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P3D v3 Runway Light Effect

Discussion in 'ModelConverterX' started by pinkjr, 19 Sep 2017.

  1. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    After trying several default effects for runway lights, several times.....I'm close to giving up. Have tried pretty much all, and they disappear after only a mile or so. Tried modeling textured lights with several LOD's...same results (although it works great for taxi lights). So I always go back to SCASM lights, but it's getting old.

    So, after being unable to find an answer anywhere on the web, I ask here, definitively :)

    Is there an effect anywhere out there that will work as runway lights? Either default or custom?

    Thanks,
    David
     
  2. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Exactly.....not a single answer yet again, which leads to my conclusion that either such effect does not exist, or the code is so valuable that developers protect it very well.

    SCASM lights forever! :mad:

    :D
     
    Christian Bahr likes this.
  3. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Yes, it looks like this. Every developer has a prescription as he creates lights that are based on textures. The fx files are not suitable for this kind of lighting (Maximum for red obstacle lamps near the airport). For one of my projects, I am currently updating the lighting. The result is quite okay. The 3-D lights are a mixture of 2 textures + special material settings and a special LOD system. If you want, you can have the recipe and maybe even improve it :)

    :D:D:D


    [​IMG]
    Picture 1: P3Dv4 Muelheim Ruhr X 3-D Lights

    [​IMG]
    Picture 2: P3Dv4 Muelheim Ruhr X 3-D Lights
     
  4. robystar

    robystar

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    The secret? It has been explained a couple of times already in some of the threads here: inverse mipmapping! Textures and no effects.
     
  5. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Robby I have searched and searched..........and never saw anything regarding inverse mipmaps. I'll take a look. Glad it was not an effect because I've fiddled with those as much as I can.
     
  6. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Thanks Chris, let me try the inverse mipmaps and report back. I also tried endless (well, almost) LOD's and did work good on taxilights, but not runway lights. At least I got something out of my research. It may take reverse mipmaps and LOD's.

    In any case thanks for offering.....we may have something here.

    David
     
  7. robystar

    robystar

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    Nothing is easy and making the inverse mipmaps is not easy at all, but using your PSP, GIMP (or whatever paint program) plus ACES Image Tool, you should end up with nice and shiny runway approach lights that are visible from far away.
    I will let you do the rest of the work yourself because you do now have the ingredients and find out how exactly as that goes beyond the scope of a thread in FSDeveloper (I would have to make a tutorial on YouTube to make it understandable).
    Maybe Gary or Rick that are much more eloquent (and apparently have more time than I do before their wives start to complain:)) could explain it more in detail.

    Cheers,

    Roby (sorry one 'b' only, can't help it)
     
  8. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Many thanks for your kind offer, Christian !

    I believe others here, as well as myself, would appreciate it if you would share some insights and details on your workflow for ramp lights in P3D. :)


    BTW
    : Since P3D MDLs now have a Z-Bias negative offset Material Property option, one may be able to eliminate the flicker of Z-Buffer-fighting where a light splash on the bottom flat base plane of the ramp light MDL is placed AGL on the underlying P3D terrain surface. :idea:


    PS: AFAIK, transparency can also be used for that light splash texture material on the bottom flat base plane of the ramp light MDL where it is placed AGL on the underlying P3D terrain surface, thereby allowing the underlying terrain texture to be seen as well. :pushpin:

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2017
  9. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi Roby:

    I am not quite certain what you are referring to: o_O

    [​IMG]
    About 69,900 results (0.87 seconds)
    No results found for "inverse mipmaps".

    Are you referring to scaling up mapped textures for MipMaps to fit larger-LOD-sized MDLs while at the same time reducing the image size of the ex: "light splash" ?

    Or are you instead referring to using larger 'un-textured' geometry within a larger-LOD-sized MDL, so that the ramp 'light splash' has an effectively greater run time visibility display radius ? :scratchch

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 21 Sep 2017
  10. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Hopefully I will not be embarrassed now. Sure, you can still pick up the 3-D lights and improve them. Maybe the MiMap technology is far more mature than my 3-D lights.

    It was not easy to develop something of your own because there were strong deviations in the presentation. Depending on whether the HDR option was set in the graphics settings or not set, you got very different lights. However, this problem could be limited. The 3-D lights have a freely scalable visibility, currently the lights are visible around 32nm.

    Have a little Lib with various lights created: http://fsdeveloper.com/forum/attach...3/?temp_hash=f07e89ca3eebaf7b241ee33c297b429c

    You can attach the various lights as a Libary object to your light object.

    [​IMG]
    Picture 1: Green 3-D Light

    [​IMG]
    Picture 2: Same lights, but from the other side the light is red

    [​IMG]
    Picture 3: No problems with clouds


    [​IMG]
    Picture 4: 3-D Lights in Arno's Modelconverter
     

    Attached Files:

  11. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Christian, they work great. Just tried them.I could not get 32sm visibility though, I could only get about 4.5sm, which is still a lot more than I can get. I think my LOD error was not making the last LOD big enough.
    The only thing I would tweak is No Z Write change to True, and change specular color to 0,0,0 so you don't get that shiny ray all over,though it looked right on P3D.

    I'll play with it some, perhaps add a 3D model to the LOD 105 and 100.

    Thanks,
    David
     
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  12. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Hello David.

    You are right, thanks for the hint :)

    The range of the runway lights at zoom level 1 is about 7.5nm (14km). The visibility 32nm refers to my rotating beacon light, see picture:

    [​IMG]
    Picture: The visibility of 3-D lights is about 7.5nm. The visibility of the rotating beacon light is approximately 32nm. It was measured under zoom level 1

    Link Bahrometrix P3Dv4 3-D Lights: http://fsdeveloper.com/forum/attachments/bahrometrix_p3dv4_3d_lights-zip.36983/
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2017
  13. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Alright Chris, progress has been made! I went ahead and increased my final LOD sizes and got this to work significantly better.

    This is the light model at LOD 100, has a nice daylight specular

    RL4.jpg

    This is the LOD 100 at night:

    RL1.jpg

    I started with 4 basic LOD: 100,75,50, and 5 .....Im still learning LOD generation. As you can see, my changes are a little bit abrupt. Need to figure out how to space them apart more subtle. Is there a formula for LOD vs real distance?
    RL2.jpg

    And lastly,the LOD 5 starts showing at about 3 NM, and can be seen as far as 7 NM, which is really more than enough for most small airports,or big airports with dim lights.

    RL3.jpg

    We are getting there sir!
     
  14. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    I think I need to make LOD 75 and LOD 50 smaller. Probably leave LOD5 alone and add an interdim LOD 20.
     
  15. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Hi!

    Your light effect looks very good! Very much softer and more beautiful than with my light effect. With your LOD system still more intermediate models have to be inserted so that the transition from one LOD model to the next LOD model is barely perceptible. In my LOD system, a total of 21 differently sized LOD models were created using a copying function (array).

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  16. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Your LOD 100 model, what is the visibility? I mean the light here:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    Christian, is about 3000 ft. then the LOD 75 pops out.
     
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  18. pinkjr

    pinkjr

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    I need to get to work on my LODs haha :D
     
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  19. robystar

    robystar

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    Hi,

    I am not sure what you mean by LOD's in this context.
    The way I explained (or tried to:() is to inverse the mipmaps (i.e. instead of the light point becoming smaller inside a smaller texture size, reverse it so that it becomes bigger inside a smaller texture.
    Of course there are more ways to skin a cat but I found this one working as it should.
    But, I rest my case:).

    Cheers and good luck with your LOD-ding (whatever that means).
     
  20. Christian Bahr

    Christian Bahr

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    Hello Roby.

    Before I tried myself to a solution, I had searched this forum. Again and again. But unfortunately I have found nothing suitable. The term "inverse mipmap" leads to no goal. Can you give a link so that we can benefit from your great experience, please? :)