FSX 33MO - Leaming Field Lighting Progress

n4gix

Resource contributor
#21
So, if I follow this correctly, the "sandstone" texturizer is applied only to the HeloRampLight_LM.psd file that is intended for use in "Self-Illumination: Map #6" as seen in the GMAX Material Navigator in your Post #6 above ? :scratchch
Um, not quite. Map#282 HeloRampLightSplash_spec.psd file is the one.
And IIUC, after that material (and all others in the project) have been mapped to the 3-D model in GMAX, when final output files are created, those mapped *.psd files must all be copied, "flipped", and converted to *.DDS files for use in FSX using a graphics utility (ex: FSX SDK ImageTool) external to GMAX itself ?
Yes, that is one method, although if using the FSX Imagetool the "flipping" is done automatically.

Personally I use the nVidia DDS plugin and simply "flip vertically" then SaveAs DDS directly from Photoshop. It's much easier, faster, and less effort... :D
 
#22
Um, not quite. Map#282 HeloRampLightSplash_spec.psd file is the one.

Yes, that is one method, although if using the FSX Imagetool the "flipping" is done automatically.

Personally I use the nVidia DDS plugin and simply "flip vertically" then SaveAs DDS directly from Photoshop. It's much easier, faster, and less effort... :D
Ah, excellent... an important clarification indeed ! :p

I would otherwise have thought the "HeloRampLight_LM.psd" file name was the clue, but I now see from a 3rd party reference (couldn't find this in the FSX SDK docs yet) ...that:


"By convention, night textures are normally named with the daytime texture name plus '_lm' -- but you could call it whatever you want. Night textures are processed exactly the same as the normal daytime texture, through ImageTool, and saved in the same format.

Night textures for FSX are a bit different. They are more flexible, but more complex. You can use the same method as FS2004, with a picture of the building at night, but that is available for compatibility with FS2004. The new FSX method, though, allows a more flexible blending with ambient light through dawn and dusk.

In FSX, the night lighting is applied to the Self-illumination map, rather than the ambient map.
"

http://windowlight.co.nz/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=23&chapter=1


Thanks again for sharing your expertise, Bill ! :)

GaryGB
 
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n4gix

Resource contributor
#23
Normally I do "stick with convention" and name lightmaps with "_LM" extension if they are FS9 type that go in the Ambient slot, and "_L" extension if they are FSX type that go in the Self-Illumination slot.

However, in this specific case I'm using the same texture in both the Specular Color and Self-Illumination slots, so I simply used the "_spec" extension.

I could just as easily named the textures Fred, Ginger and Frank for all FSX cares! :rotfl:
 

hcornea

Resource contributor
#24
Bill, with the additive blend ... have you been able to elevate the polygons (say to apron light level) and combat the unusual additive effect with objects on the other side of this?

It had been my thought that a complementary "subtractive" material might make this possible ... but it seems fraught with problems.
 
#25
Amazing! And congrats.
Reminds me of a magician that once explained one of his tricks saying it was very simple and straightforward and showed a couple of times how he did it.
But in the end, still nobody knew how he did it.
Well, that is more or less how I feel.
Will probabaly figure it out some years from now :).
But then, I do not live in Hammond, Indiana where there is not anything else to do anyway (Sorry, sure hope you are not offended by telling the naked truth):D;).
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#26
Bill, with the additive blend ... have you been able to elevate the polygons (say to apron light level) and combat the unusual additive effect with objects on the other side of this?

It had been my thought that a complementary "subtractive" material might make this possible ... but it seems fraught with problems.
All of my light polygons are set 0.25" above the ground to eliminate z-buffer fighting. I'm still experimenting with different formulae for the FSX Materials trying to find the best. Using a suggestion from another fellow experimenter, I've eliminated the need for the Specular Color assignment completely, as well as the fresnel ramp.

Now I've noticed that at certain angles during the daytime, the "in the air beam" is visible, in spite of being explicitly specified as "AdditiveNightOnly." According to logic, this part should not be drawn at all during the daytime!

In any case, I've set all the lighting object to be visible only at "Extremely Dense" settings, so users do have the ability to supress them entirely should they not like them.
 

hcornea

Resource contributor
#27
I used a similar set of settings (actually was quite bemused to find you doing much the same thing!)

Source Blend: Dest Color
Dest Blend: One

Using just a black diffuse texture and a lightsplash LM texture. With an additive blend, the day texture is a "zero" addition. No alpha in either, just a faded gradation to "black" ... which has zero additive effect. The framebuffer settings should determine the additive effect for both day and night textures .. hence a black texture shouldn;t have any effect during the daytime.

What I had wanted to do was create a cone of light, that would illuminate the ground and those objects under it, ... but from the side, there is an additive blend applied to objects in the distance which is quite unnatural.

Unfortunately my attempts to "negate" that with a "subtractive" material have failed to date (although I have come close!)

More experimentation and ideas required.
 
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#28
Hello:

It will be interesting to see what new insights arise from this exploration. :)

I'm wondering if the default civilian airport beacon holds any secrets as to showing or hiding its own "light beam" depending on the time of day.

I've read that the beacon is actually there rotating around the clock, and its display is somehow controlled via rather esoteric trickery involving materials in the MDL file.


Hmmm... so much to learn in GMAX... so little time ! :eek:

GaryGB
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#30
is this even a real airport? seems more like bill in wonderland :D
Well yes, it is a real field...

33MO is a private grass field owned my a distant cousin on my late father's side of the bed. Ronald has graciously sold it to me (virtually), after I won the Global Virtual Lottery and now am the world's richest gazillionaire...

I've since bought up several ajoining farms and have embarked on an expensive infrastructure expansion to suit my interests, and to house my bevy of biz-jets and numerous GA and helos. :D

When I'm finished, I'll share it with anyone who wants to have a nice place to stopover in western Missouri on their way to/from the coasts. A free fillup with either 100LL or JetA for all visitors, as well as an invitation to party with the guys from Eagle's Nest Flying Club, who seem to have a "do" every night! :rotfl:

Seriously, I'm using this as a test-bed for some radical new ideas, as well as learning everything I can about scenery development...
 
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#31
Hey Bill,

Man, that tower is absolutely awesome. Love the controls glowing inside the tower area.

Sounds interesting on your scenery ideas. I hope they are very successful.



Bill
 
#32
Hey, Bill: anything new on 33MO? I just love watching your attention to detail, especially when doing that lighting (it's one of my favorite parts about scenery design, too). Got any more shots to show us?
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#33
I've begun work on a new, H.U.G.E., 3-bay hanger at the west side of the main ramp, using a kit from the Bigass Hanger Corp. Work proceeds apace, but alas nothing worth documenting yet...

I needed some space to use as an assembly and completion facility that could handle a/c up to the size of Globals and Challengers. :D
 
#34
Bill, nice work. I am intrigued by your use of 3 polys. I do remember the use of 2 polys to acheive a programmed effect in the last version of the sim, but they needed to be linked if memory serves me correctly. Are you doing something similar here? Your description appeared to only mention the fact that three polys were created once...and I note that the material is applied to all three. Only one gets extruded. Are the three linked? And in any order? Or is just the presence of the three somehow impacting to the effect?
Thanks, Bob
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#35
Bill, nice work. I am intrigued by your use of 3 polys. I do remember the use of 2 polys to acheive a programmed effect in the last version of the sim, but they needed to be linked if memory serves me correctly. Are you doing something similar here? Your description appeared to only mention the fact that three polys were created once...and I note that the material is applied to all three. Only one gets extruded. Are the three linked? And in any order? Or is just the presence of the three somehow impacting to the effect?
Thanks, Bob
There are two different methods used, one for scenery and another for aircraft taxi/landing lights.

The only reason for "stacking" polys is to increase the amount of "light" generated. I create one poly, texture it with my FSX Material, then clone two copies. The last copy I tilt slightly from the edge nearest the lightpole (about 0.5º or so) to provide a more illumination for other objects that're in the scene.

For aircraft landing/taxi lights, I use four animated and size-scaled "bones" to provide the framework for a "polygon skin," along with custom XML scripts to drive the animation of the "bones." Otherwise, the FSX Material used is the same as that used for the scenery.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#36
Hi Bill,
I make my own light cone under my light pole but I don't get the same result. May be I missed something. Sorry to ask in this thread but it relevant to your experiment on light.
I have pictures attached and my gmax file. Would you mind take a look what did I do wrong?
You can download my file here: http://www.upload-thai.com/download.php?id=c2566b24aec4a141f0c01f5bc076883a
I really appreciate you help.
 

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n4gix

Resource contributor
#37
Hi Bill,
I make my own light cone under my light pole but I don't get the same result. May be I missed something. Sorry to ask in this thread but it relevant to your experiment on light.
I have pictures attached and my gmax file. Would you mind take a look what did I do wrong?
You can download my file here: http://www.upload-thai.com/download.php?id=c2566b24aec4a141f0c01f5bc076883a
I really appreciate you help.
I would be happy to look at your file, but that free hosting service won't allow me to download without registering, and all the text is in Thai(?), which of course I can't read...

Send the file directly to me as an email attachment: n4gix@comcast.net and I will take a look at it.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
#39
Hi Bill,

Would you mind if I have your gmax file?
I can study what the set up it should be or I can just import you thing to mine gmax and use the material that you use.

Thanks

Best Regards,
Tic
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#40
Sorry about the delay. Just after receiving your file, I got involved in conducting a beta test for a soon-to-be released aircraft project (C310R from MilViz) and have had no time whatever for anything else... :(

I'm just about done with that and will take a look at your file within a few days at most. I will also send you some of the models I've done for your examination... :D
 
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