FS2004 Light with projection

Are there any tutorials on creating light objects with light projection?
Is it as mysterious and complicated as it seems to be?
Is it way over my head? :)

Even if I can't create object I had liked to at least understand the issues of projected lights on ground tiles.
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Staff member
FSDevConf team
Resource contributor

Do a search for leaming and light. Then you should find an interesting thread from bill about how he made his light.


Resource contributor
You can find the technique here:


"For FS8/9 I used a very complicated scheme that involved exporting the GMax file, capturing the assembly files (xxx.asm and xxx_0.asm), then hand-editing the two .asm files to change the light code from LIGHT_BEACON to LIGHT_TAXI, then recompiling the .asm files to a .mdl. I then had to convert the model to a .bgl file for use as a scenery object."
I haven't done much research yet thus my understanding of the whole process is very limited. However it seems there are 2 parts to lighting: a pole and light that have nothing to do with the projection and a flat poly with taxi light projected on it.
I can't imagine at this point how the projection can grow in size while the object is elevated and it doesn't matter right now.

What I'm trying to figure out is why the light projects fine on some tiles while it doesn't on other created the same way, placed the same way, etc. Also why that light disappears when viewed at different angles. Is it due to an FS bug or maybe a rendering impossibility?


Resource contributor
Well, I got close but no cigar (US idiom).

I did this:

1. Created a light pole in GMAX, and created the LIGHT_BEACON polygon (pointing down) at the light source, with a material called LIGHT_BEACON.

2. Exported it using Keep=1 in the makemdl.cfg file. I had to export it as an Aircraft MDL file to get the Beacon entries to show up in the ASM_0 file.

3. Changed the two LIGHT_BEACON entries to LIGHT_TAXI and saved it.

4. Compiled the ASM file using BGLC_9, which created a BGL file. I renamed this to an MDL file.

5. Tried to add this to a library using Library Creator X. It said my MDL file was "invalid".

So close...
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Resource contributor
Well, I got closer, but still no luck.

1. I am now able to compile the file as a Scenery BGL file, and the beacon lines show up in the asm_0 file (I had forgotten to change the material name to LIGHT_BEACON).

2. I assume that this is the same as adding a taxi light to an aircraft - create two polygons and link them. So I did that, but named them LIGHT_BEACON. I also tried it with a single LIGHT_BEACON polygon.

3. I then changed the two instances per part of LIGHT_BEACON to LIGHT_TAXI in the asm_0 file.

4. I then used BGLC_9 to compile them into a "BGL" file (renamed to MDL).

5. I then compiled the MDL file into a library BGL.

6. I can add the light pole with Instant Scenery and the pole does appear as expected, but the light does not shine.
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Resource contributor
Hi Bill,

Thanks! I will take a look at them. Sidney Schwartz has also sent me some information, and I hope to get something working soon. :)
Hi Sid,

As usual your information is clearer than pure water and so valuable. Why in hell have you kept that a secret for many years. :D
Thank you for this lifesaver, timesaver precise tutorial.