Gauge Night Lighting

#1
Hello everybody!

Currently I do my first night textures for gauges. I got my regular panel lightmap running, can switch it off and on with panel light switch, but the gauges itself remain dark.

I put the _NIGHT version in the correct directory, but my computer says NO NO NO NO NO.

Can somebody please tell me about the workflow (perhaps I forgot something on the way).

Bills lighting tutorial brought me a step ahead, but these gauges are nasty. :banghead:

Greetings
 
#2
Night Lighting Part2

Interesting!

When I want to select emissive modes, I only get

Additive
Blend
Additive User Controlled
Blend User Controlled


But in the tutorials there are much other alternatives
listed Multiply and Night onlys.

Where are they? Timbuktu? :eek:
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#3
Have you installed the FSX SDK SP1a?

The additional Emissive Modes are only available with the latest SP1a SDK installed.
 
#5
Night Lighting

Hi again!

I managed now to run the additional emissive modes. I had installed SP1A already, but somehow the installer used an exotic directory. But now, that is solved.

I changed my gauge material to MULTIPLY but it is still not shining in the night. Do I miss something inside the XML code?

AND: How can I change color and brightness of the fx_vclight assigned in the aircraft.cfg? I firstly thought over making lightmaps for allover the cockpit, but that seems a bit heavy for todays computers and graphics card. After some testing with that fx_vclight I looks OK, WHEN SLIGHTLY DARKER AND MORE REDDISH. How to manage that for a NEWBIE?!

Please light guru, let shine light of wisdom shine in my spirit! :)

Greetings
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#6
Hi again!

I managed now to run the additional emissive modes. I had installed SP1A already, but somehow the installer used an exotic directory. But now, that is solved.

I changed my gauge material to MULTIPLY but it is still not shining in the night. Do I miss something inside the XML code?
Well, did you create a lightmap for the gauge textures?

AND: How can I change color and brightness of the fx_vclight assigned in the aircraft.cfg?
Greetings
Don't confuse these two completely seperate methods for "lighting." Emissive backlighting does not need nor require any "fx" type "light" at all.

Deal with one thing at a time and you'll be much better off! ;)

But, to answer your question with regards to color and brightness of an .fx file, that is done in the .fx "code" itself. Open any .fx file in notepad and you can see the "code" in plain text.

Let me state this quite strongly:

NEVER alter any of the default .fx files! Instead, make a copy of one you like, rename it to what you want, then make any edits or changes to that file. :twocents:

FSX has a neat new tool which is an FX Editor. Using that tool, you can quickly create/edit/see any .fx file in "real time" while the sim is running! It's cool! It's wild! It's fantastic! :D
 
#7
Gauge Lighting

Hi N4GIX,

I tested with the FX file (fx_vclight) and made backup before :D and it works well. I got the correct reddish color, but how can I make it a little darker too? Simply bringing the RGB values down doesnt do the job, what would be logical for most of other graphics software. So, how can I make the emission strength less powerful?

I do my first gauges set now, and I saw that _NIGHT textures stuff fitting my desires. But they dont emit light themselfes? I have to do a separate light map, so they can glow nicely in the dark and assign it via the Materials Editor in the 3D-Software?

Greetings
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#8
I do my first gauges set now, and I saw that _NIGHT textures stuff fitting my desires. But they dont emit light themselfes? I have to do a separate light map, so they can glow nicely in the dark and assign it via the Materials Editor in the 3D-Software?

Greetings
Yes. Merely enabling the Emissive Mode is not enough; you must tell FSX what you want lighted. That is the purpose of the lightmap (xxx_L.dds) file!

If you read my paper at http://fsinsider.com you'll see a complete description of the process, complete with pictures.
 
#9
Night Lighting

I did read it yesterday completely. But its completely news stuff for me and a lot more complicated than in other game engines. It has really a strange logic somethings.

But my desire is greater to overcome these odds. Today I try those illumination map.

But what about the engine fx light? I got the color right. Now I want to dim it down. I use it addtionally to the panel light map, to save graphics card memory. I want a very nice look and so I had to render the lights physically correctly for the map. If I want to use those technique for every single material in the pit, there will be not enough room in the memory. So I had to search after a possibility for a almost same look, but with less texture use. And viola, with the right settings the lightmaps and the engine light do the job very good. But I little bit darker please. So, how I can acces s those FXFile to not only change the color, but the brightness to.

And what do I have do to when I want some gear control lamps glow all the day and night. Must I disconnect them from the other gauges, because the light panel switch should have no influence on them.

Greetings
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#10
But what about the engine fx light? I got the color right. Now I want to dim it down.

And what do I have do to when I want some gear control lamps glow all the day and night. Must I disconnect them from the other gauges, because the light panel switch should have no influence on them.

Greetings
Use the FX Editor to create and adjust your .fx files, as I said earlier.

For things such as the gear lamps, create a new FSX Material and use the Additive emmissive mode. It will be "ON" all the time.

Don't misunderstand. You can create as many FSX Materials as you wish that all use the same bitmap! Each FSX Material will simply apply it's own selected properties to that part of the bitmap to which it is assigned.
 
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#11
Hi N4GIX!

THX for the TIPS.

How I could find out, changes of the FX_VCLIGHT are not directly loaded via QUICK AIRCRAFT RELOAD (SHIFT N) and so to my surprise I saw the wished changes at the next cold restart. So the color and light is ruled by these two RGB settings.

Something other: I did use those backlighting you mentioned, but in my case it seems not to be the right choise. My gauge are more directly lightened and so all changing parts a hard to see, when they are blended with one image.

So I rode that there is some other possibility to make the gauges glow with a LUMINOUS YES thing, whats this?
Can I say in the XML Code, hey Pointer up there, please glow for me now!

Greetings
 
#12
OH man...

...I told you of this gear gauge.

It has red lights in the upper row, green lights in the lower row. When I assign those backlighting map its glows all the day,

but the problem is, that either the red OR the green should glow.

How can I achieve this with your technique?

Greetings
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#13
...I told you of this gear gauge.

It has red lights in the upper row, green lights in the lower row. When I assign those backlighting map its glows all the day,

but the problem is, that either the red OR the green should glow.

How can I achieve this with your technique?

Greetings
Don't use WHITE for the lightmap. Use very dark GRAY (RGB:90,90,90) for example. With practice and experience, you will be able to "estimate" what shade of gray to use... :D
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
#14
So I rode that there is some other possibility to make the gauges glow with a LUMINOUS YES thing, whats this?
Can I say in the XML Code, hey Pointer up there, please glow for me now!

Greetings
Whether you use BRIGHT or LUMINOUS in your gauge is not relevant. How "bright" will an LCD screen be without a BACKLIGHT???

It's not a trick question at all. The answer is "completely dark..."
 
#15
Hi!

How do use this luminous?

I rode your tutorial about that, but i not fully understand.

When I use this in my gauges, they dont work, completely dont work.

Greetings
 
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