Effects Parameters - In laymans terms :-)

nickw

Administrator
Staff member
Hi All :wave:

I thought it would be nice to create our own description of the effects parameters in FS in more laymans terms for other users. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to create effects, but I am beginning to get places.

What I propose is that this post will be added to as you reply with your own comments. This will then be a powerful information base for other designers.

So, I will start off:

Changing the rate of a light flash
You can change the rate of flash on the lights by changing the rate of particle emmission and the lifetime of the sprites. If you emit 10 particles a second with a lifetime of of .01 on the particles, you should get a nice fast flashing light. eg: if you have a rate of 2, that's one every 1/2 second. 3 is every 1/3 second etc.

The key is making the lifetime of the sprites small so they don't pile up and turn into one big light (which can also happen if your framerate drops too significantly). I often use .01 lifetime for a real quick flasher. Otherwise it piles up.

Scaling an effect
[particle.x]
Code:
X Scale=0.10, 0.10
Y Scale=0.10, 0.10
Z Scale=0.10, 0.10
This will change the size of your effect as displayed in FS.

Delay an effect
[Emitter.x]
Code:
Delay=0.25, 0.25
You can change the delay amount on the Emitter to whatever you want to create your effect. I used this for WigWag Hold Short lights. Bear in mind that effects are framerate dependant, so if the framerate drops below about 10, they will start to get "wonky" ;)
 
Last edited:
Nick:
Regarding scaling.
When you scale down the effect, do you need to also need to scale down the XY & Z offset? In particular, I am trying to scale down the fx_forestfire.fx effect that came with the Effects SDK to the size of a "signal" fire. Any comments appreciated.
 
you must scale down the effect. when you use attachpoint and attach to an object...the effect is attached to the center of the object...no matter how big or small, the effect will always be the same size, so you must edit the effect to make it smaller or larger. just edit the particle section as Nick has above to a smaller number. also make sure if it has more then one particle to change them equally to maintain the effect the way it should be. one more thing is that i reccomend to copy,paste,and rename the effect or else anything else that fs uses that effect for will also be affected.

Dave
 
Last edited:
Thanks, Dave. I did that, and it works. Unfortunately, it is a frame rate killer.
I have six of the fires, 3 on each side of the runway...and it brings my FPS down from 35 to 3 or 4 on final. I need to find a better way. I am looking for something to simulate a fire in an oil drum to mark an un-lit runway at night.
I should maybe check out the chimney smoke as opposed to the forest fire smoke, and might have to settle for an orange-yellow light instead of actual flames...or try to simplify the emitter. Also, can someone explain the offset feature to me? Right now I am using 6 different "objects" in the placement file to get the 6 different locations for the fire. Is it possible to do it with 6 controllers in the same file and use a different offset for each effect? Not sure if that would help the frame rates...as I think it is the fire effect that is draining the resources.
 
I wouldnt see why it wouldnt work. Im not sure about how many controllers you can place in one file. Just make sure you name each controller has a different number after it...

[controller.0]
[controller.1]
[controller.2] and so on

As far as the offset, you dont want to edit these parameters as they are used for the line type controller....we would use type 3 which is for distance. Then for each controller, go down to where the fx_file is stated and place them by editing the x,y corrdinates there. If you dont have it already, get the fs2004 effects sdk which will show you which values to change to place your effect.


Also as far as the offset, what i mentioned abouve is for the controller only as you can see there is also parameters for offset in the effect itself. Those values when changed edit where the sprites will be emitted from the emitter from there x,y,z position.

Let me know if this helps at all.

Dave
 
Yes Dave, that does help.
I will try it tomorrow. Meanwhile I kept tinkering with the fire until I got it right...adding one emitter at a time, and then making many many adjustments. I think I now have a pretty thorough understanding of each attribute and how it works...at least as far as fire and smoke are concerned! It certainly wasn't as easy as I thought, just scaling down values. As the particles get smaller, you have to tinker with velocity and temperature also.
The interesting thing is when I got rid of the controller, and just placed the effect my frame rate problem went away! I'll have to investigate that more, because I don't really need the controller....was just using it to light the fires at a certain distance. For anyone interested, here is the file:

[Library Effect]
Display Name=Signal Fire
Lifetime=5
Version=2.00
Radius=100
Priority=0

[Properties]
Spot=1
Tower=1
Cockpit=1
VirtualCockpit=1
Map=0

[Emitter.0]
Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
Delay=0.00, 0.00
Bounce=0.00
Rate=30.00, 40.00
X Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Y Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Z Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Drag=0.00, 0.00
X Particle Velocity=-.500, .500
Y Particle Velocity=4.00, 6.00
Z Particle Velocity=-.50, .500
X Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Y Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Z Rotation=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=0.00, 0.00
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
Pitch=0.00, 0.00
Bank=0.00, 0.00
Heading=0.00, 0.00

[Particle.0]
Lifetime=2.50, 3.50
Type=19
X Scale=1.500, 2.200
Y Scale=1.500, 2.200
Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
X Scale Rate=0.01, 0.01
Y Scale Rate=0.01, 0.01
Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Drag=-.500, 0.00
Color Rate=0.90, 0.95
X Offset=-1.000, 1.000
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=-1.000, 1.000
Fade In=0.30, 0.30
Fade Out=0.80, 0.80
Rotation=-50.00, 50.00
Face=1, 1, 1

[ParticleAttributes.0]
Blend Mode=1
Texture=fx_1.bmp
Bounce=0.00
Color Start=255, 220, 220, 200
Color End=100, 100, 100, 255
Jitter Distance=0.00
Jitter Time=0.00
TempK=109.00
TempRate=0.01
FPS=8.00
TextureSize=256
CellSize=64
CellStart=0
CellEnd=7
X Scale Goal=1.00
Y Scale Goal=1.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Extrude Length=0.00
Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
Extrude Heading Max=0.00

[Emitter.1]
Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
Delay=0.00, 0.00
Bounce=0.00
Rate=7.00, 10.00
X Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Y Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Z Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Drag=0.00, 0.00
X Particle Velocity=-.500, .500
Y Particle Velocity=4.00, 6.00
Z Particle Velocity=-.500, .500
X Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Y Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Z Rotation=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=0.00, 0.00
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
Pitch=0.00, 0.00
Bank=0.00, 0.00
Heading=0.00, 0.00

[Particle.1]
Lifetime=1.50, 1.75
Type=19
X Scale=1.500, 2.500
Y Scale=1.500, 2.500
Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
X Scale Rate=0.01, 0.01
Y Scale Rate=0.01, 0.01
Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Drag=-.50, 0.00
Color Rate=0.30, 0.80
X Offset=-.500, .500
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=-.500, .500
Fade In=0.00, 0.00
Fade Out=0.00, 0.00
Rotation=-100.00, 100.00
Face=1, 1, 1

[ParticleAttributes.1]
Blend Mode=2
Texture=fx_2.bmp
Bounce=0.00
Color Start=220, 250, 250, 200
Color End=100, 100, 100, 0
Jitter Distance=0.00
Jitter Time=0.00
TempK=109.00
TempRate=0.01
uv1=0.75, 0.00
uv2=1.00, 0.25
X Scale Goal=1.00
Y Scale Goal=1.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Extrude Length=0.00
Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
Extrude Heading Max=0.00

[Emitter.2]
Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
Delay=0.00, 0.00
Bounce=0.00
Rate=10.00, 18.00
X Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Y Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Z Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Drag=0.00, 0.00
X Particle Velocity=-2.50, 2.50
Y Particle Velocity=4.00, 7.00
Z Particle Velocity=-2.50, 2.50
X Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Y Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Z Rotation=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=0.00, 0.00
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
Pitch=0.00, 0.00
Bank=0.00, 0.00
Heading=0.00, 0.00

[Particle.2]
Lifetime=12.00, 16.00
Type=19
X Scale=3.00, 4.400
Y Scale=3.00, 4.400
Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
X Scale Rate=0.10, 0.10
Y Scale Rate=0.10, 0.10
Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Drag=-.50, 0.00
Color Rate=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=-1.500, 1.500
Y Offset=1.000, 1.250
Z Offset=-1.500, 1.500
Fade In=0.15, 0.15
Fade Out=0.95, 0.95
Rotation=-50.00, 50.00
Shade=1
Face=1, 1, 1

[ParticleAttributes.2]
Blend Mode=1
Texture=fx_1.bmp
Bounce=0.00
Color Start=25, 25, 30, 150
Color End=25, 25, 30, 0
Jitter Distance=0.00
Jitter Time=0.00
TempK=108.00
TempRate=-0.01
uv1=0.00, 0.50
uv2=0.50, 1.00
X Scale Goal=20.00
Y Scale Goal=20.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Extrude Length=0.00
Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
Extrude Heading Max=0.00

[Emitter.3]
Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
Delay=0.00, 0.00
Bounce=0.00
Rate=10.00, 18.00
X Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Y Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Z Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Drag=0.00, 0.00
X Particle Velocity=-2.50, 2.50
Y Particle Velocity=4.00, 7.00
Z Particle Velocity=-2.50, 2.50
X Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Y Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Z Rotation=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=0.00, 0.00
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
Pitch=0.00, 0.00
Bank=0.00, 0.00
Heading=0.00, 0.00

[Particle.3]
Lifetime=12.00, 16.00
Type=19
X Scale=3.00, 4.400
Y Scale=3.00, 4.400
Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
X Scale Rate=0.10, 0.10
Y Scale Rate=0.10, 0.10
Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Drag=-.500, 0.00
Color Rate=0.25, 0.30
X Offset=-1.500, 1.500
Y Offset=1.000, 1.000
Z Offset=-1.500, 1.500
Fade In=0.15, 0.15
Fade Out=0.95, 0.95
Rotation=-50.00, 50.00
Shade=1
Face=1, 1, 1

[ParticleAttributes.3]
Blend Mode=1
Texture=fx_1.bmp
Bounce=0.00
Color Start=90, 90, 100, 100
Color End=45, 45, 60, 0
Jitter Distance=0.00
Jitter Time=0.00
TempK=108.00
TempRate=-0.01
uv1=0.00, 0.50
uv2=0.50, 1.00
X Scale Goal=20.00
Y Scale Goal=20.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Extrude Length=0.00
Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
Extrude Heading Max=0.00
 
The controller is effect itself.....then when the effect is used with it...you are actually using 2 effects which would reduce frame rates. The main purpose of the controller was to be able to emit several effects at a specific time like the fireworks effects. If you havent already seen some of the posts in here, there is a problem regarding viewing effect under situations like the effect not showing when arriving from more then 10 miles, yet works when you start out. When you attach a controller along with the efffect, it would solve the problem but then you might get your frame rate problem again.

Dave
 
What I cant understand why there is no uv for [ParticleAttributes.0]

What I cant understand why there are no uv's for [ParticleAttributes.0]

in Signal Fire
 
Hey Tas,

The reason there are no uv's section in that part is because that is an animation...basically in that section the uv's are replaced with these parameters....

FPS=8.00
TextureSize=256
CellSize=64
CellStart=0
CellEnd=7

Dave
 
Speed...

Hi all,

Just some things to be cleared in my head, i would like to know which parameter do i use to fix the falling speed for an object. I've seen that in some skydivers effects, they use the TempK and TempRate values and i don't understand why they didn't use the Y Emitter Velocity. What i would like to reproduce is a smoke of falling object. In my mind, the Y Emitter Velocity i for the vertical speed of the emitter, then i will use the TempK and TempRate for the smoke. Is it right or not?
Thanks in advance for your reply
 
In layman's terms

Hi,

Small contribution in layman's terms about the Effects SDK write-up.

The SDK Effects document says the [Properties] Type must be 19, and that is not true.

In fact, if you use Thorsten's light effects (pools of light on the ground, for light posts or apron lights) with type 19, when you arrive flying from another place the light effects won't show. They only show if you start your flight at the place where the effects are.

Change that Type number to =25 and it works fine. Now you can come from another airport and arrive at night and the apron lighst will be on.

Fern
 
Hi,


The SDK Effects document says the [Properties] Type must be 19, and that is not true.

In fact, if you use Thorsten's light effects (pools of light on the ground, for light posts or apron lights) with type 19, when you arrive flying from another place the light effects won't show. They only show if you start your flight at the place where the effects are.

Change that Type number to =25 and it works fine. Now you can come from another airport and arrive at night and the apron lighst will be on.

Fern
Hi Fern-are you talking about FS2004 SDK or FSX SDK?
If 2004 this is a major discovery-as I think most people are having to use controller fx files for twy,rwy or approach lights etc (see the long threads on how to eliminate the '10 mile' problem).
Just as as amatter of interest-how did you discover the Type 25?
 
Hi Guys....
Interesting thread. I haven´t the faintest idea how to make an effect, but would like very much to learn. How about showing us neewbees the following:
How to make a Fire.....and if possible Smoke...and then how to place it in an object!!!...quite a menu hu??

I would like to put some fire on top of a volcano and sure, some smoke too.....

Thanks for the class!!!!:)
 
I agree with Solid- I would also like to pose a question:

FS9

Awhile back I made some rwy/txi lights which are activated in two ways. nav and adf. I uploaded to afvsim.com author name is Robert Lacy

Using tis library the user can place red, blue, or white lights along a taxiway or a runway at an airfield without any. The idea was - this may be a private field one is comig home to, wanting the lights to come on only when one is approaching the field. While on approach you tune your radio to a given frequency on ADF or NAV2, depending on which you installed, and the runway and/or taxiway lights would come on! One of those sets I preprocessed as dawn/dusk and night only. The others you could turn on during the day if you wanted to.

Fun project, fun idea.

I have just one problem... if you go get this library of mine you will see all works very well EXCEPT... they aren't very bright at a distance as default rwy lights are. It would be a godsend if someone could get these lights as bright as FS9 default rwy and taxiway lights.

Is there anyone out there who can fix this for me, or tell my how to fix it with step by step instructions. Or fix it and tell me how you did it. If so I'll upload the library again and give credtis to that person. Or- if there is a patch to make this work as I describe, I'll up load that and give wonderful credits.

This was done with FSDS 3.0 If needed I will send the project files and anything else you might require. Bob (aka jyarddog, aka Robert Lacy)
 
I agree with Solid- I would also like to pose a question:

FS9

Awhile back I made some rwy/txi lights which are activated in two ways. nav and adf. I uploaded to afvsim.com author name is Robert Lacy

Using tis library the user can place red, blue, or white lights along a taxiway or a runway at an airfield without any. The idea was - this may be a private field one is comig home to, wanting the lights to come on only when one is approaching the field. While on approach you tune your radio to a given frequency on ADF or NAV2, depending on which you installed, and the runway and/or taxiway lights would come on! One of those sets I preprocessed as dawn/dusk and night only. The others you could turn on during the day if you wanted to.

Fun project, fun idea.

I have just one problem... if you go get this library of mine you will see all works very well EXCEPT... they aren't very bright at a distance as default rwy lights are. It would be a godsend if someone could get these lights as bright as FS9 default rwy and taxiway lights.

Is there anyone out there who can fix this for me, or tell my how to fix it with step by step instructions. Or fix it and tell me how you did it. If so I'll upload the library again and give credtis to that person. Or- if there is a patch to make this work as I describe, I'll up load that and give wonderful credits.

This was done with FSDS 3.0 If needed I will send the project files and anything else you might require. Bob (aka jyarddog, aka Robert Lacy)
Hey Robert!!!....what a great addon!!!! I would love it it FSX, I need those lights for out in the woods fields!!!....does it work in FSX????.....
 
Solid- or Gera-

As I understand, FSX does not like "materials"... colors that are embedded within the object itself. Each object has to have a bmp with it. I used materils.

You might try this---

Go see if it works. If everything shows up as a default colorYou would add a bmp to each object that contains a material. Each bmp would be a solid color itself.

Try it and let me know. If it doewsn't work as is, I'll send the fsds projects to you. Make your own red.bmp, blue.bmp and white.bmp or whatever colors you want to use. then is fsds apply each color to the objects. Then save as mdl and compile and compile into the same library or a library of your choice.

I made a simple stand with a 1/2 ball on top. They showed retain their preprocess of dusk/dawn on those where I did so. Some items might be joined which might be a problem.

I think the nav2 are the ones with the preprocess. Those have a 1/2 ball for day, slightly different size for dusk/dawn, and slighty different size for night. When you select for each part take note of the slight size change if you find you need to redo that part due to joining. I try not to join unless I really need to. Watch your pm messages. I'll try to leave my e-mail address there. I would be very interested if it works in fsx as is or if we need to fiddle with it as I mentioned here. Bob
 
Top