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Effect Altitude

Messages
478
Hi,

I've been having some troubles with effects in FSX. In FS9 they appear fine on a light pole to give a halo effect, but in FSX if I open the sim directly at the airport and at night it is fine, but if I have the airport opened during the day and change to night, it seems that the effect is no longer placed at altitude above ground level, but seems to change to mean sea level.

Anyone have this happen before?

The effect was attached within gmax, and appears normally on mdlconverterx.

Kindly,

Blazer
 
Hi,

Anyone else have this problem? All I have managed to find out so far is that it only happens when using a control file. I if use it directly, there is no issue.

Kindly,

Blazer
 
Hi,

I've been having some troubles with effects in FSX. In FS9 they appear fine on a light pole to give a halo effect, but in FSX if I open the sim directly at the airport and at night it is fine, but if I have the airport opened during the day and change to night, it seems that the effect is no longer placed at altitude above ground level, but seems to change to mean sea level.

Anyone have this happen before?

Hello:

This is an interesting report on FSX Effect (*.Fx) behavior I've not seen yet. :scratchch

The effect was attached within gmax, and appears normally on mdlconverterx.

As you may know, attaching *.Fx files to 3D MDLs which use Draw Call Batching may prevent rendering of "curved Earth world model correction" for scenery objects in FSX at run time:

http://www.scenerydesign.org/category/fsx/

http://www.scenerydesign.org/category/modelconverterx/page/6/


CAVEAT: There are also a number of other altitude-related "offset" / placement issues with FSX and/or P3D (sometimes also involving curved Earth correction, Draw Call Batching, LODs, Animations, Tesselation etc.) which have been discussed in threads here at FSDeveloper recently, but I was not able to locate and link to them with the limited available time I had this morning; Google is your friend to research these "gotcha's". ;)



NOTE: MSFS requires that existing and/or newly-edited edited code for *.Fx files must be present within the [FSX install path]\Effects folder (and any textures mapped specifically to such effects must also be must be present in the [FSX install path]\Effects\Texture folder) ...before FS itself is started.

Thus, when loading new or edited Effects, one must always fully re-start FS so that FS can detect, re-index and otherwise process the *.Fx files in order to allow normal FS run time display of Effects.


However, another 'tool' might help....

FYI: After properly installed and enabled via the FSX DLL.XML flile, the FSX SDK Visual Effects Tool (aka "visualfxtool.dll") can display FS Effects in a interactive manner during a live FS run time flight session "immediately" after editing and re-loading a *.Fx file.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx#TheFXToolDialog


IIUC, even that Visual Effects Tool may not properly detect the impact of certain conditional display variables and/or Effect "Type number" parameters imposed on a *.Fx file by 'complex', nested controller *.Fx file sequences.

However, ISTR that Visual Effects Tool does correctly detect the date and time conditional display parameters in Fx files / controllers, and also adapts resulting Effect display according to the FS internal state of date and time set for ones live flight session when when the "[Do Effect]" button is pressed.


BTW: Since FSX SDK Visual Effects Tool displays the Effect at the 3D object datum of the end user aircraft / SimObject used during the FS flight session when the "[Do Effect]" button is pressed, for better visibility, a temporary X,Y,Z "offset" can be used via the Visual Effects Tool tabular parametric GUI ...to allow display of the Effect at a specified distance (rather than being hidden inside the end user aircraft / SimObject).

So, perhaps some live, interactive troubleshooting within FSX itself might be more easily implemented via use of FSX SDK Visual Effects Tool. :idea:


Hope this info might help make further testing of your Effects display in FSX a bit easier. :)

GaryGB
 
Last edited:
Hi Gary,

Sorry for the delay in replying. Thanks for your answer.

I guess my problem was much simpler than anticipated. The only reason I was trying to use a control file was to avoid not having the effect visible when flying into the airport. It seems that effects placed using attach points will load anyway, it doesn't seem to suffer the problem that effect placed one by one using XML code suffers that must use a control file in order to properly display when flying into the airport.

This is a rundown of my discovery:

Effect placed using attachpoint in mdl with a controler = Effect displays at different altitude when you start at the airport and when you fly to the airport.
Effect placed using attachpoint in mdl without a controler = Effect displays as normal, whether you start at or fly into the airport.
 
Hi again:

Is the described 'Effect being used to represent a light halo in conjunction with a light pole object' ...something which is unique to the FSX sim platform that must be in a FSX MDL format (ex: due to requirements for Draw Call Batching, or for display in FSX DX-10 Preview mode) ? :scratchch


If not, have you tried using a FS9 format MDL file to place these light pole objects (most FS9 MDLs do properly display in FSX), and if a FS9 and FSX compatible *.BMP file type DXT3 for gradient transparency is used as the mapped texture for the light halo, IIUC there should not be problems with FSX display showing "incomplete transparency / excessive opacity" in the background of that texture. :idea:

http://www.fsdreamteam.com/forum/index.php?topic=2199.0;wap2

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/transparency-dxt3-drawing-order-issue.4521/

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Texturing


As far as this apparent 'gotcha' with Effect altitude offset due to use of a Effect 'Controller' *.Fx file used as an attachment which "calls" a nested / batched 'Basic' Effect *.Fx file, IMHO it would be very helpful for the FSDeveloper Community to know more about whether any other possible characteristics may apply to the type of FSX format MDL file being used with these attached Effects showing the "offset anomaly". :pushpin:


The only reason I was trying to use a control file was to avoid not having the effect visible when flying into the airport. It seems that effects placed using attach points will load anyway, it doesn't seem to suffer the problem that effect placed one by one using XML code suffers that must use a control file in order to properly display when flying into the airport.

This is a rundown of my discovery:

Effect placed using AttachPoint in MDL with a controller = Effect displays at different altitude when you start at the airport and when you fly to the airport.
Effect placed using AttachPoint in MDL without a controller = Effect displays as normal, whether you start at or fly into the airport.

Could you post in this thread such a MDL with attached *.Fx that you tested, and which does demonstrate the *.Fx "Altiude offset" behavior you observed ?


PS: Is the reason you are using a 'controller' type of Effect to set Effect display parameters for the AttachPoint on the MDL because it (thus far) seemed not possible to set the needed parameters via the MCX Attached object editor "Effect parameter form" ?

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=ModelConverterX#Attached_object_editor


[EDITED]

FYI: In most cases, it is now possible to set the "Time of Day" (for 'properly functioning' Night / non-daytime attached Effect display) by using the MCX Attached object editor "Effect parameter form" to create the 2 separate entries for attached Effect parameters.

CAVEAT: 2 Effect parameter "Time of Day" entries are actually required for 'properly functioning' Night / non-daytime Effect display due to a FS "bug" with "Time of Day" in Effect parameter processing) :

http://www.scenerydesign.org/2010/09/duplicate-attached-objects/

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/day-0-night-1-dusk-1-dawn-1-not-working.323349/#post-511548

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/effects-problem-solved.830/page-2#post-4552


Some additional considerations as to Effect 'type' which may or may not correlate with use of a type number when setting Effect placement parameters for certain FS default *.Fx files:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/ground-lights.171669/

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php?title=Apron_lighting_using_effects_and_GMax


BTW: A particularly interesting tutorial by Jim Robinson which, IIUC, describes using a AttachPoint with a light object:

1.) FS9 Light Pole Object with attached BGL_Light *.ASM source file compiled via BGLC_9 to a FS9 MDL

2.) FS9 MDL Object compiled into a FS9 BGLComp XML scenery object library

3.) FS9 Library Object attached to a Light Pole imported into ModelConverterX (aka "MCX")

a.) FS9 Object Modified as a FSX object via the MCX Attached object editor by referencing it with the FSX GUID version of its FS9 original GUID

4.) Resulting object with Light Pole attached via MCX exported / compiled to a FSX object within a FSX BGLComp XML scenery object library

5.) FSX Library Object with attached Light Pole placed via FSX BGLComp XML

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/effect-parameters-using-fsx-attach-tool.429670/


[END_EDIT]


Thanks for bringing this apparent new MDL AttachPoint Effect altitude offset gotcha' to the attention of the FSDeveloper Community. :)

GaryGB
 
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Hi again:

Would the OP for this thread please reply as to whether the scenarios reported above with 'Effect Altitude offset' are from FSX flights in DX10 or DX9 mode ? ;)

Also, would the OP please also state whether this is seen only at payware airports (ex: Aerosoft, Orbx etc.), or if it is also seen at FSX default airports too ? :scratchch



FYI: I just found a reference to yet another possible factor which might contribute to this 'Effect Altitude offset' scenario:

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/452896-lightseffects/


Thanks in advance for the favor of your reply. :)

GaryGB
 
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