• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
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    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

Airport Rotating 3D Beacons

There may be a number of differing applications for MSFS SDK compatible lighting configurations in static or animated 3D models. :)

Personally, I consider controlling display / occultation of 3D lights for light houses / airport beacons a top priority, since MSFS (using purportedly 'state of the art' methods) shipped with no rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon. :banghead:

IIUC, in the MSFS SDK, we have thus far only been provided with worked examples of what are 3D modeled "Blinking Effects", rather than true animated emissive 3D light cones (with many Kilometers of visibility upon approach to airport).

I look forward to seeing a 3D modeling savant produce a MSFS-2020 compatible version of the legacy FS2Kx / FSX / P3D rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon, even if it ends up being a SimObject. :scratchch

Some pertinent info and prior efforts to create a custom version of that beacon for FSX were discussed here: :idea:

IIUC, at the end of the Day (...meaning at Night, when lights are supposed to be visible in scenery of MSFS as a 'state of the art' flight simulator ;) ), Windows renders MSFS via DirectX-11 (and purportedly via DirectX-12 by the end of summer).


(Source: [FSX install path]\Scenery\Global\Scenery\Airport_Objects.BGL)

Note MCX' Material Properties for Light Cones of the FSX legacy format rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon:




Surely, if we already have a exemplary and fully functional rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon in FS2Kx / FSX / P3D via legacy DirectX, we 'should' also have one working in MSFS via DirectX-11 by now (...6 months post-release from August 2020). :rolleyes:

IMHO, "2020 vision" would have resulted in MS / Asobo having seen the need to "Git-'R-Done" long before RTM. :stirthepo



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Hi Dick:

Thanks for the reminder about that option for a "sea base" type beacon. :)

I anticipate that we may 'eventually' see a true 3D light cone rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon (for non-sea base type airports) of MSFS in the future, whether it be created via Blender (with- or without- use of the Blender-To-MSFS-Toolkit), or another 3D modeling application.

Personally, I believe there might greater benefit to the FS Developer community if we had a full-featured 3D model import / glTF export work-flow available via MCX, that reduces dependency on Blender or 3DSMAX, which have learning curves and/or costs so steep as to make their use impractical for a majority of the MSFS Community.

Of course, prospective use of MCX for full-featured 3D animated model output of a functioning airport beacon depends on whether / when Arno enables the ability to retain animations in the ex: FSX default MDL cited above converted to glTF, that, AFAIK, contains animation code, which IIUC, is sanctioned for full use in MSFS under the MS XBOX 'Game Content' license).

One might wonder if MSFS developers may thus far be so challenged by the learning curve of working with the under-documented MSFS SDK W.I.P., that they are willing to accept limitations of working with 3D objects that are, IIUC, "Blinking Effect (sur)Faces" (with- or without- 'Face-Me' / 'rotate-to-camera' type display) ...rather than converting / adapting the legacy 3D light cone rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon (for non-sea base type airports) already made available for use in ex: FSX ? :scratchch

Hmmm... 'Face-Me' / 'rotate-to-camera' type display... wasn't that FS 2000 and FS 2002 era technology ? :laughing:

Brings to mind *.SCA files ...and a general move "Forward Into The Past". :oops:

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I posted some information regarding 3D modeling work-flow to create rotating airport beacons and lighthouses here:


Hi Stinger:

A separate thread regarding prior efforts and 3D modeling methods to make a lighthouse (as an analogue of a airport beacon) in FSX ...is here:

As I was looking into this topic further today, I also found a thread which shows a 'worked example' created via Blender for use in MSFS:

You may be especially interested in viewing this YouTube video by "Flying Theston": ;)

[020] Creating Animated Scenery​

PS: Some additional info which might be considered when a light source passes through objects versus being subject to "occultataion": :idea:

NOTE: The latter linked web page immediately above uses animated *.GIF images of light types and not code usable for MSFS.

I hope this info helps 'shed some light' on the original subject as you posted it in the OP, and is not 'opaque' to comprehension by others here. :)

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