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FSX 33MO - Leaming Field Lighting Progress


Resource contributor
Bill, will this lighting method work in FS9 or is it just FSX only? I would like to implement this lighting method on my Bell 222 (making an FSX version later in the future). Thanks.


Resource contributor
Bill, will this lighting method work in FS9 or is it just FSX only? I would like to implement this lighting method on my Bell 222 (making an FSX version later in the future). Thanks.

Unfortunately, no it will not. The technique requires "animated bones" for which FS9 has no support.

One could of course use a fixed size polygon, but then it wouldn't "expand" as the a/c gains altitude, which would kill the illusion completely.

It will however work well for fixed ramp lights... ;)
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.

Make sure you have "Special Functionality: Blend diffuse by inverse of specular map alpha" selected. I had "Blend environment by inverse of diffuse alpha" checked and was getting the same effect you are.



Resource contributor
The "FSX Material Recipie" is in post #6, Thorsten. I've not changed it since that post.
Hi Fr. Bill,

Above you mention that the technique should work for fixed lights in FS2004. Do you know what material 'recipe' should be used in that case?

This looks really nice :)




Resource contributor
Bill ... a problem I came across using my recipe prompted me to try your recipe (post 6), but unfortunately the problem seems to persist.

Everything looks normal and as it should close-up. (Pic 1)

The problem is that the light polygons seem to draw as bright objects the further you are away from them (inset 2 and zoomed 3). This is a gradual effect, much the same as the way mipmaps blend into view ....but when you are a long way away it is a large bright square edged object you uare looking at.

It is extremely unrealistic, and annoying, and as yet I have not really been able to eliminate it.

Are you seeing this when you are a large distance away (eg on approach) from Learning field ?


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Resource contributor
Yes, and I've yet to find a solution. I've had no time to work on 33MO for the past 10 months, so I'm pretty much dead in the water myself...


Resource contributor
Maybe a time of day based animation could solve things?
Or is that not possible for scenery objects?


Resource contributor
That doesn't seem possible for true FSX Scenery. After having slept on the question though, I now recall that one way to mitigate the issue is to use LODs to essentially "turn off the lights" at about 1500' AGL.

As I said, I really haven't had time to even look at the project since late last January. In fact, I seem to be missing some of my source files now, or at least I can't remember where they are kept on my network's drives... :(


Resource contributor
I did try LODs ... but it was a bit abrupt (given the way I'm using the material it is a little hard to tune further, because of the way it interacts with the ground surface)

I guess I could go back to a lighting fx, and then solve the problem later (sigh)
I'm trying to use this as a ramp light, but I can't seem to get it right :mad:

Here is what I have in the gmax material navigator. All of the boxes have been checked in the editor to specifically what you have shown on the first page. I have saved everything as both a 32BMP and a 32DDS. I tried it using a plane, then extruding the plane, both getting the same result. Also, the Specular texture was given an alpha channel from the color white.

Where did I go wrong?


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Well I found my problem, it was the "DestColor.":eek:

I have gotten it to show up in FS but it looks odd and it isn't illuminating the aircraft. Any help would be appreciated! :)



Resource contributor
I don't see any light at all in that screenshot. How many polygons have you "stacked?" Is at least one of them at a slight upward angle?
I fiddled around with it some more last night and I have it looking like a light (well, sort of...) My goal is for it to look like it's coming down from that light post. :)

I have yet to make the _lm texture for the post itself, but that wouldn't have anything to do with the lighting of the aircraft would it?


Here is the light:

Still not lighting up the aircraft :banghead:


Resource contributor
Rotate the polys such that the elevated poly(s) are facing away from the pole. Also, move the polys so that the inside corner vertices are centered on the pole.

How these poly(s) "illuminate" is when your view angle allows the poly(s) to be between your "virtual eyes" and the object (airplane in this case). That's why if you lower your viewpoint to near ground level, the "light splash" on the aircraft will seem to disappear.

The way you have it set up now, you're lighting the lower edge(s) of the building, with the rest of the "light" being blocked from view by the building...
Hi Bill,

Finally got it to work!! This is fantastic! I'm only having one slight problem: it only "lights" up when I slew into backwards...? I raised the poly's higher off of the ground and that helped somewhat, maybe you have another suggestion?

Anyhow, thanks for the help! :wave:



Resource contributor
I'm not sure what you mean by "slewed into backwards..."

Keep in mind the angle of the poly(s) means that you can't park directly under the light, but need to be a bit further away before the a/c will be "under the poly(s)" visually.

It's looking quite nice though!

Once your satisfied with the light, I highly suggest that you experiment with using an LOD to "hide the light(s)" at about 1000' AGL, otherwise they will turn really ugly and flicker like crazy. I know I spent a few hours on my ground-mounted ramp lights (modeled on the helo ramp light model) before I was satisfied, but...

...somehow or another I seem to have misplaced the darn source file(s), so I can't check to see what the LOD value was. :(
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