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MSFS Scenery Lights

rhumbaflappy

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Just starting a discussion about Scenery lights.

These are made from Blender 3.1 with the Official Asobo Blender addon:
Untitled.png


None of these lights cast a shadow. Point, area, and sun seem to be identical.
 

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Christian Bahr

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Dick, this is really interesting and a lot of developers need lights for their scenes. Can you provide some information about the visibility range of the lights?
 

rhumbaflappy

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Looking at the gltf, Sun, Point, Area, and Spot are identical, with the cone angle set as 360 for all excepting the Spot. So there really is only one type of light.
 

=rk=

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Dick, this is really interesting and a lot of developers need lights for their scenes. Can you provide some information about the visibility range of the lights?
3ds Max has access to the same exporter, you would select “Asobo” Lights, from the light creation panel, it’s well documented in the SDK and you have control over color, cone, flash, flash duration, range, etc.

Addressing Dicks information about “cone,” the 3ds Max lights and I’d guess the Blender ones too, can be imported into MCX and the cone, inner as well as outer, can be adjusted, as well as the other attributes and those changes show in sim. I made a set of decent directional wig wags between the two programs.

However, if you’re working within the radius of an airport, “LightRows” allows you to also specify spacing, orientation, so they all point the same direction and aspects about flash, that aren’t available through the plugin or MCX. LightRows allows us to set up working VASI, as well as sequentially flashing strobes, besides the obvious edge and center light rows.
 
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Just starting a discussion about Scenery lights.

These are made from Blender 3.1 with the Official Asobo Blender addon:
View attachment 83730

None of these lights cast a shadow. Point, area, and sun seem to be identical.

This may appear to be a Blender specific question, but I believe this may also inquire into the capability of the current build of the Asobo exporter used to create the MSFS extended glTF.

IIUC there may be way to cast shadows from one of the light types cited above, if a composite of multiple Spot light cones is set at a small increment less than 360 to make it "slightly less than omni-directional" in extent.

I visualize this as creating the equivalent of a multi-faceted object surface that is faux-emissive in effect, by using multiple Spot lights whose cones overlap / approximate one other at the edges of their beam extents, each with a 'Halo' attribute.

IIUC, how many such Spot lights to use may involve as few as (2), with each outer cone angle of coverage set to 180 degrees; otherwise, if tweaking light preset code directly (uh-oh... 'tweaking 3D model code directly... here we go again ! :stirthepo :laughing:), with a cone angle < 360 degrees.

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/render/lights/light_object.html#beam-spot-shape

https://www.cdschools.org/cms/lib/PA09000075/Centricity/Domain/81/5th-Chapter_7.pdf


This should not prove objectionable considering there is a base in a light housing that occludes a portion of the light emitted by a light bulb in a Taxi / Edge light fixture, so there 'should' be a small circular area under the base of such a light that would not be illuminated by such a bulb IRL.

In that scenario, AFAIK, one may be able to set the Spot Shape > Step value to 1 (or more?).

https://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/6298/how-do-i-properly-set-up-a-spotlight-cone

https://blender.stackexchange.com/q...ght-is-shining-through-plane-how-to-stop-that


We have previously looked at work-flows used by prior versions of Blender that used slightly different terms for light types, and obscure settings reportedly allowed one to 'block' a Spot light cone, and thus, IIUC, cast a shadow from where the "beam" is occluded by an object.

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/spot-light-shines-through-geometry.451430/post-874858


But, I am curious as a predominantly non-Blender user, whether this may otherwise be possible in recent Blender versions exported to a MSFS extended glTF, without using multiple Spot lights having a 'Halo' attribute ?

GaryGB
 
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=rk=

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This may appear to be a Blender specific question
Maybe because Asobo decided to dis Autodesk and provide better tools to the free platform, but as I suggested above, after exhausting Blender resources, you'll want to experiment with MCX, as I believe it provides more fidelity into light cone shapes.

Here are two images of the wig wags I made using the Asobo exporter in 3ds Max and then tweaked in MCX:

wigwag front.jpg
wigwag back.jpg


Now, I don't see what you might call a shadow, but I definitely see differential illumination. I can see that part of the grass that is positioned near the "front" of the light, to be more illuminated, than is grass an equal distance away but not equally distant to the front of the light. So, no shadow puppets, but most certainly, light cone articulation.
 

rhumbaflappy

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Here's the Asobo glTF code for lights:
JSON:
            "extensions" : {
                "ASOBO_macro_light" : {
                    "color" : [
                        1,
                        1,
                        1
                    ],
                    "intensity" : 100,
                    "cone_angle" : 45.0,
                    "has_symmetry" : false,
                    "flash_frequency" : 0,
                    "flash_duration" : 0,
                    "flash_phase" : 0,
                    "rotation_speed" : 0,
                    "day_night_cycle" : false
                }
            },
This is the same code exported from either 3DS or Blender. The current Blender addon does not have a tick for day_night_cycle, but you can edit the glTF and set it to true.
I do not know the limit for intensity, but setting it very high messes up the sim. And I have no idea what has_symmetry does.

Also, this code doesn't have a light orb. That would be a separate object with the emissive property set to create a 'bulb'. The Simple Scenery example has a light pole object that shows this.
 
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Here's the Asobo glTF code for lights:
JSON:
            "extensions" : {
                "ASOBO_macro_light" : {
                    "color" : [
                        1,
                        1,
                        1
                    ],
                    "intensity" : 100,
                    "cone_angle" : 45.0,
                    "has_symmetry" : false,
                    "flash_frequency" : 0,
                    "flash_duration" : 0,
                    "flash_phase" : 0,
                    "rotation_speed" : 0,
                    "day_night_cycle" : false
                }
            },
This is the same code exported from either 3DS or Blender. The current Blender addon does not have a tick for day_night_cycle, but you can edit the glTF and set it to true.
I do not know the limit for intensity, but setting it very high messes up the sim. And I have no idea what has_symmetry does.

Also, this code doesn't have a light orb. That would be a separate object with the emissive property set to create a 'bulb'. The Simple Scenery example has a light pole object that shows this.

Which "has_symmetry" parameter spelling are we supposed to use:

* symmetry

...or:

* simmetry

...in order for MSFS' rendering engine to process this instruction correctly ?

https://devsupport.flightsimulator....e-minding-the-store-at-asobo-blender-git.html


Is this another "MSFS default objects are FUBAR-ed" scenario ? :rolleyes:


FYI: Thus far I have only found this info regarding "symmetry" ...in the context of a Blender MSFS exporter:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php/Blender2MSFS

"Lights

B2msfs lights1.png

Lights are automatically exported into the sim. Note however that not all parameters of the light will be exported to the sim. The values that are supported are:
  • Color
  • Power
  • Shape-size (cone angle for spot lights)
Furthermore, there are a few custom parameters to create flashing and rotating lights. You can find those under the light object's properties.

Note that you can utilize point lights, however make sure to switch on "symmetry" to prevent clipping issues. No idea why that is, but it seems to help."


PS: In seeking a better understanding of how to use 'Lights' with Asobo's Exporter I found an interesting treatise on cone/spotlight culling:

https://bartwronski.com/2017/04/13/cull-that-cone/


BTW: That post incidentally links to this intriguing post:

https://mynameismjp.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/bindless-texturing-for-deferred-rendering-and-decals/

...which might reasonably raise questions as to what Asobo encountered with MSFS SU-10's attempted performance boost via DX-12.


GaryGB
 
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rhumbaflappy

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Blender 3.10 Light Sample, using the current official MSFS Blender addon:
Blender Light Sample

See a post below for how to add properties to lights in Blender for MSFS.
 
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Christian Bahr

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I know the Asobo lights very well, they are these:
asobo_lights.jpg

The Asobo lights are good and versatile to configure, but unfortunately have the very big disadvantage that they do not have a long range. The Light Rows have a very good range, unfortunately you can only use them within an airport project environment. For example, they cannot be attached to a Sim object. I have used the Asobo lights numerous times, both as spotlights and as omnidirectional lights and also as flashing lights on wind turbines. My question was, what's the range of this lights?
 

rhumbaflappy

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The range seems to be 2100 meters, but I might be wrong. And again, the Asobo lights are basically a light splash, not an orb.

Edited:
I made a light with a huge (100M) invisible cube and a 9999W light. I could see it at 26000 meters. I think an invisible plane, buried underground, would do the same thing.
 
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rhumbaflappy

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I altered the above Blender_Light_Sample including the editing of the day_night_cycle for the spotlight, and added a huge 200 meter plane under the ground to the LOD_2, which allows the light-splash to show 20000+ meters away.

I also found that the "day_night_cycle" is available for punctual lights (spot, sun...), but it is under Object Properties... not Object Data Properties (where I would expect it).

Untitled.png
 
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I altered the above Blender_Light_Sample including the editing of the day_night_cycle for the spotlight, and added a huge 200 meter plane under the ground to the LOD_2, which allows the light-splash to show 20000+ meters away.

20,000 Meters / 200 = 100 Meters


So, that is approximately 100 Meters of visibility per Meter extent of (welded ?) non-textured / invisible under ground plane.

That is just over a LOD-9 / QMID-11 FS2Kx Terrain Quad per Meter extent of non-textured / invisible under ground plane.


A prior recommendation was a 50,000 Meters extent ARP Radius, so, if we use 500 Meters, lights match ARP visibility Radius ? :scratchch

That would help match display activation extent for other Airport-only scenery components ...with the light display activation. :idea:

GaryGB
 
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=rk=

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I went ahead and did an experiment using LightRow to place normal, regularly spaced scenery objects. The idea is for; fencing, houses, trees and of course, street lights. If the desired row is within the radius of the airport being edited, the only requirements are that one picks a mesh and one attaches a light. However, the light can be attenuated to whatever level of visibility is desired.

I used a standard street lamp and attached the required light to the top, like a marker light. It could be hidden within the lamp, or dimmed to invisibility. One could use one's own lamp model and use the light itself for illumination, with the caveat that the light must be aimed, as well as positioned. The light models themselves can be rotated to a common direction within a set row, presumably one would place the rows in segments and turn each one to align to curves in a road, for example.

street light row.jpg
 
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CAM32 beacons.jpg


Well, succes at last. Thanks Dick.
We are working on a scenery for the old Airmail beacon system in the USA.
And in the Columbia River gorge, there is a system of red and green flashing beacons, to keep the old crates in track in the narrow gorge.
Thanks to your suggestion, of placing a realy large plane below ground level, now the lights are bright, and visible from a distance.
rocky-butte-viewpoint-1948.jpg

Rocky Butt in 1948

unknown.png

And in MSFS. We might need to do something about the photogrammetry trees
As you see, we also use your beacon trick.

CAM5 (Salt Lake City to Pasco) is already on Flightsim.to, soon to be added with CAM32 and some Intermediate Landing Fields.

Cheers, Rob
 
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