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Gauge lighting by 'candlestick'


Resource contributor
Older aircraft had the instruments illuminted externally by a bulb in a tall bulbholder (colloquially known as a 'candlestick'). If I told you I have spent the equivalent of 30 hours (or more) over the last few days trying to create such a simple fx effect, it's true... and I've failed.


The problem is the needles not being illuminated between about 22" MP and 41" MP. Can anyone please tell me what is wrong with my .fx file? The SDK Help doesn't help ('PBH = XYZ' and that's it, seriously); I spent a number of hours trying to figure out what the pitch and heading parameters do singly and in combination, but I cannot see any effect whatsoever when bank is applied. I also suspect that the position of the needles in the VC object hierarchy has somenthing to do with it but getting the VC model changed will happen when the world ends.

I am, as they say, at my wit's end.

[Library Effect]


Lifetime=0.50, 0.50
Delay=0.00, 0.00
No Interpolate=1
Rate=1.00, 1.00
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=0.00, 0.00
Y Particle Velocity=0.00, 0.00
Z Particle Velocity=0.00, 0.00
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=50.00, 50.00
Bank=0.00, 0.00
Heading=-80.00, -80.00

Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
X Scale=0.1, 0.1
Y Scale=0.00, 0.00
Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
X Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Y Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
Drag=0.00, 0.00
Color Rate=0.00, 0.00
X Offset=-0.02, -0.02
Y Offset=-0.02, -0.02
Z Offset=0.0, 0.0
Fade In=0.00, 0.00
Fade Out=0.00, 0.00
Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Face=0, 0, 0

Color Start=255, 0, 0, 255
Color End=255, 0, 0, 255
//Color Start=100, 100, 100, 255
//Color End=180, 140, 100, 255
X Scale Goal=0.00
Y Scale Goal=0.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Falloff Exponent=1.00
Inner Cone Angle=5.00
Outer Cone Angle=80.50
Intensity Day=0.00
Intensity Night=100.00

I should have said this is a v4 problem. In v5 there's a reflectivity layer in the texture stack which I've made use of to redirect the lighting.
Last edited:


Resource contributor
To answer my own question for anyone else looking at this... I didn't actually find an answer. What I did was to add a second effect and initially set it to bright green (Color Start/End=0,255,0,255), then moved it around the gauge using the Emitter X,Y,Z Offset until all the gauge was bathed in red, yellow or green with the needle at any position. Once done, I reverted the Colors back to the correct colour for the lighting.