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Effect LODs? Are they even possible?


Resource contributor
After 3 days of reading here, I've successfully made my own runway and taxi lights using effects and I'm satisfied with the look.
My last issue is the biggest of them all: the dim lights as distance increases.
The wiki mentions adding brighter effects to different LODs, which makes sense in theory, but doesn't detail how this is done. I haven't found a thread that details this either.

I'm using MCX to generate LODs and also to attach my effect to my model. Problem is, after I generate and choose an LOD other than 100 to attach my effect to, MCX reverts to LOD 100 again. So I have no idea how to add a brighter effect to a lower LOD.
(Not sure if this should be in the MCX forum, please move if neccessary.)

Another possibility could be to use a controller to control the visibility of each level of brightness. For example the brightest at 3km-2km. The next from 2km-1km and the last from 1km-0m. But I've had limited success with the distance parameter as it only seems to control an outer limit for visibility (with the inner one always set at 0).

So, has anybody successfully made lights brighter using any of these methods?


Resource contributor
So I'm assuming that its not possible... since 4 days and 60 reads later, nobody has replied.


I got around the issue of brigthness by using a combination of BGL lights and effects. The BGLs give great visibility at distance and shrink to almost nothing up close, while the effects make things very pretty at a close distance.

I had originally used a package of someone else's (can't remember the name on this forum) FS9 BGL lights and they worked great.
However, I want to change the colour so I learnt about creating ASM code for my own lights.
I eventuallly got BGLC9 to output a light MDL which opens in MCX when you set Time of Day to 2,3 or 4. I can also attach them as library objects in MCX to a model runway light by referencing the GUID.
However they do not show up in FSX at any time of day.

I have confirmed that the library BGL containing the light models are in the active scenery folder. The object also shows up as correctly attached in MCX. So I assume the problem is my code. Would someone be able to identify what the problem might be?

db  'R','I','F','F'				; RIFF file identifier
    dd  bgl_data_end - $ - 4		    ; size of RIFF data
    db  'M','D','L','9'				; file identifire (FS9 model)

    db  'M','D','L','H'
    dd  visual_model_header_end - $ - 4
    dd  visual_model_header_end - $ - 4
    dd  0
    dd  0
    dd  2
    dd  0
    dd  0
    dd  156
    db  'F','S','8','0'
    dd  2304
visual_model_header_end  label dword

    db  'I','S','F','T'   
    dd  ver_end - $ - 4  
    db  "BGLC_9",0
ver_end label word       

bounding_box_riff_start	label	word
    db  'B','B','O','X'   
    dd  bounding_box_riff_end - $ - 4
    real4  -100.000, -100.000, -100.000  
    real4  100.000, 100.000, 100.000  
bounding_box_riff_end label word       

model_outside    label    BGLCODE
model_shadow label BGLCODE
model_inside  label    BGLCODE
exterior_riff_start_0 label BGLCODE
    db  'E','X','T','E'   
    dd  exterior_riff_end_0 - $ - 4
LOD_0L    label    BGLCODE

LIGHT_NAV_beta_top label BGLCODE

bgl_riff_start_LIGHT_NAV_beta	label	BGLCODE
    db	'B','G','L',' '
    dd	bgl_riff_end_LIGHT_NAV_beta - $ - 4

; Alpha
LIGHT_NAV_beta_Alpha label BGLCODE
    BGL_CALL_32 LIGHT_NAV_beta_MasterScale_1        ; Node 1 - MasterScale

LIGHT_NAV_beta_MasterScale_1 label BGLCODE

    IFIN1 nolight, tod, 2, 4
    BGL_LIGHT LIGHT_NAV, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0, 0FFcccdaeh, 0.000000, 0.000000, 0.000000 ; Color is AB AB AB (rgb)
    nolight label word  

bgl_riff_end_LIGHT_NAV_beta	label	BGLCODE
exterior_riff_end_0	label	BGLCODE

shadow_riff_start_0 label BGLCODE
  db 'S','H','A','D' 
  dd shadow_riff_end_0 - $ - 4

Kill_Shadow_top label BGLCODE
bgl_riff_start_Kill_Shadow label BGLCODE
  db 'B','G','L',' '
  dd bgl_riff_end_Kill_Shadow - $ - 4

LOD_0_Kill_Shadow label BGLCODE

bgl_riff_end_Kill_Shadow label BGLCODE
shadow_riff_end_0 label BGLCODE

bgl_data_end label     BGLCODE

Thanks in advance.

Arno, rhumbaflappy (aka Dick Ludowise) and others here are familiar with these arcane mysteries, and may take a while to reply if they are busy.

But don't give up, as Google Search and the FSDeveloper Search function will "shed more light" on your subject, eventually revealing additional secrets.

Perhaps these links might be helpful (if you haven't seen them yet):





This thread may have some interesting and related info on other airport area night lighting and street lights etc. as well:


Hope this helps ! :)

Last edited:


Resource contributor
GaryGB thank you very much for the resources. Most of them I have already read. The first 2 gave great insight.

I believe I MAY have found my problem.
Using MDL Tweaker II to open my models and export the BGLC code, I notice that the hex values for my colours get converted to negative decimal numbers, whereas the others created by rhumbaflappy (I remember the forum name now), all have positive values.

Example: rhumbaflappy's green (hex: #00ff00) stays green (decimal: 65280)
However: my green (hex: #4eda57) becomes decimal -11609513 (which according to an online hex converter, is negative B125A9, a purple! :( )

The incorrect negative values are the only difference between rhumbaflappys compiled code and mine, and may be why nothing shows up in FSX. I have no idea how to fix it. Any ideas?


Resource contributor
Scratch the previous post... the code is correct.

My GUIDs were not properly converted from the FS9 format to the FSX format. That's why they weren't showing up.
Thank you for your help again Gary.