• Which the release of FS2020 we see an explosition of activity on the forun and of course we are very happy to see this. But having all questions about FS2020 in one forum becomes a bit messy. So therefore we would like to ask you all to use the following guidelines when posting your questions:

    • Tag FS2020 specific questions with the MSFS2020 tag.
    • Questions about making 3D assets can be posted in the 3D asset design forum. Either post them in the subforum of the modelling tool you use or in the general forum if they are general.
    • Questions about aircraft design can be posted in the Aircraft design forum
    • Questions about airport design can be posted in the FS2020 airport design forum. Once airport development tools have been updated for FS2020 you can post tool speciifc questions in the subforums of those tools as well of course.
    • Questions about terrain design can be posted in the FS2020 terrain design forum.
    • Questions about SimConnect can be posted in the SimConnect forum.

    Any other question that is not specific to an aspect of development or tool can be posted in the General chat forum.

    By following these guidelines we make sure that the forums remain easy to read for everybody and also that the right people can find your post to answer it.

FSXA New way to make light splash.

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
During the day and/or foggy conditions, they look bad...
But during the day and visibility more than 10 miles I could not see any light on at all. Bill, would you mild trying this setting a see if you can see the light during the day?
During foggy conditions, it is obvious when visibility is under 3 miles.
I think I can live with that.
Are there any ways to correct the problem with low visibility condition?
 
Last edited:
I battled for ages trying to get this to work. I find the sharp lines of the light beam not to my taste, and as you say, they show up during conditions of lower visibility, I couldn't resolve the blend issues.

I just put a light splash in the form of a transparent plane with a circular light below the floodlight. It's visibility was so low that you can't see it behind the alpha channel, and it shows up during the night but not the day. The diffuse alpha channel is used on the self-illumination alpha channel too, so if you have a transparent texture on diffuse, the transparency overrides the texture on the night channel. I set it to emissive so it illuminates the ground below the patch, but not objects above unfortunately.
 

hcornea

Resource contributor
The lights render almost as a specular surface (independent of material settngs) during the day.

This effect is worse with lower mips, but can't apparently be edited out by editing the mips selectively.

I spent weeks on this problem.

The other additional problem is the "additive" effect of the cones to objects behind (in the dest blend) .. sadly no luck with that either.

Really nice summary of the technique.

You can minimise the "distance" specular issue (try zooming in whilst quite far away) using LODs ... but this is imperfect.

The other issue can be minimised by making the cones flatter, so they only illuminate the ground (disappointing)
 
I once tried it but the result is never good as possible since in fs9 only use black to transparent texture.

Now I try again in FSX and its work with yours texture file, but I m no luck use dds no alpha so I use bmp dxt3/dxt5 with alpha.

for during the day, you can check this:
No Specular Bloom
No Base Material Specular

this must be checked since this material use for glow texture only.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
I battled for ages trying to get this to work. I find the sharp lines of the light beam not to my taste, and as you say, they show up during conditions of lower visibility, I couldn't resolve the blend issues.

I just put a light splash in the form of a transparent plane with a circular light below the floodlight. It's visibility was so low that you can't see it behind the alpha channel, and it shows up during the night but not the day. The diffuse alpha channel is used on the self-illumination alpha channel too, so if you have a transparent texture on diffuse, the transparency overrides the texture on the night channel. I set it to emissive so it illuminates the ground below the patch, but not objects above unfortunately.
My setting does not use alpha channel at all.
The diffuse texture itself is alpha channel since we choose source blend to be SrcColor or Source color. So the color on diffuse texture will be alpha channel by itself. What is black color in diffuse texture will be transparent. So Alpha channel is NOT used here.
 

n4gix

Resource contributor
Bill, would you mild trying this setting a see if you can see the light during the day?
Unfortunately my current workload in aircraft & gauge development allows me no time whatever for anything else for the foreseeable future.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
Unfortunately my current workload in aircraft & gauge development allows me no time whatever for anything else for the foreseeable future.
That's OK, Bill.
I think for this is not possible to correct since the blend option will make anything behind it brighter. So if the visibility decreased, fog is one thing behind it. So not surprise that this light splash will glow because of fog behind it will be brighter. I think it is the way it has to be.
 

tylerpilot

Resource contributor
Hi,

I tried using the light settings for the light (Made with FSDS) and here is what I get:

Light.jpg

It does not exactly look the way jtanabodee's does. Here are my settings:



I made it using FSDS and FSDS tweak and I don't have a lot of experience with material texture editing.

I have also attached the .DDS textures I used too.

View attachment My textures.zip

Thanks,
Tyler
 

Attachments

Last edited:

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
I don't know about FSDS.
But why don't trouble yourself with that.
I have the model in Gmax. You can merge to your model and use my model and my texture if you like. Or you use your model and use only my material setting that comes with the model that you merged.
Then you export the what you have done to mdl. Compile it with your XML.
Then use image tool to convert my psd file into DXT5 dds file.
That's all.
 

tylerpilot

Resource contributor
I don't know about FSDS.
But why don't trouble yourself with that.
I have the model in Gmax. You can merge to your model and use my model and my texture if you like. Or you use your model and use only my material setting that comes with the model that you merged.
Then you export the what you have done to mdl. Compile it with your XML.
Then use image tool to convert my psd file into DXT5 dds file.
That's all.
Thanks, jtanabodee but I am doing this in a commercial project. Would it be okay to use your light?

Tyler
 
Last edited:

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
That's fine. No problem at all. But if you post any photo regarding this light, please link to this thread.
 
Would it be possible just to reduce the intensity of the texture images during the day with a bit more black in the alpha channel (reducing the brightness in your graphics program)? In clear conditions it might be enough for the residual light effect to disappear, and in bad visibility simulate the effect of lights trying to fight through the gloom? I assume at Macau the lights go on in bad weather just like most other places! Being the daytime texture, it still leaves the lights full on at night. The sky-lighting effects you show actually look quite real (skyglow from a city) but I assume they move around unrealistically and spoil the illusion.

I don't use FSX, but I remember a friend of mine using similar light effects (well, images on planar surfaces) for a scenery of Riga he made for FS9. Tiny daytime texture for the ground splash of light that was masked out by black alpha on a slightly raised plane (ASM object, at the time he was using EOD and Scenegenx), and at night he used the visible texture to determine the colour of the light (same colour all over 1024x1024), and the alpha channel to determine the shape of the light splash on the ground (for example some of the lighting poles had more than one array of lights on them, and the alpha was used to create lobes in the light splash).

He didn't do the fans of light from the lighting elements themselves, I seem to recall him saying that he just didn't like them - but either way the light against the sky problem was avoided that way. He also mentioned the problem when you get the ground planes overlapping, and having to be careful to avoid flickering effects by editing the ASM code itself. But that was long ago and far away.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
I don't use alpha channel at all.
For this light splash I use texture color to be alpha blend in FSX.
Since only alpha of diffuse texture will be used in FSX, if you make it invisible during the day it will be invisible at night too. I have tested this so many times until I gave up using alpha channel at all.
 
True, you said as much. I don't use FSX or your development program, so I was speaking generally about the principle of the light splash. It may well be that in FSX it works differently, but the common principle is making an invisible mask from alpha or diffuse texture slot (the result is the same, even if if one method is for FSX and the other for FS9/8, surely - I may be missing something but that seems to be the situation). Therefore I was proposing that reducing the intensity of the alpha/diffuse for daytime only might be enough to hide the downward lighting in all situations other than extreme bad visibility, when it might actually be realistic.

The alternative might mean something complex like having entirely different models for daytime lights and dusk/dawn/night lights and have them swap places using references to environmental variables to detect time-of day and triggering visibility clauses accordingly. In daytime the models would be slightly simpler too, giving a very small performance lift. I'm assuming there that scenery can "see" sim settings through XML in the same way as aircraft.
 
I'm assuming there that scenery can "see" sim settings through XML in the same way as aircraft.
Unfortunately, you cannot set conditional visibility for scenery objects in FSX. This is a huge step backward from FS9.

There are some workarounds (such as effects, missions, or a dll), but they are ridiculously complicated.
 
Reminiscent of the luminous thinking that took the ability to close one end of a runway to AI traffic away in FS2004 when it was there in FS2002.

For every box a new sim ticks, it sometimes seems as though 2 boxes are taken away. At this rate developers will have to export scenery models as aircraft models instead just to get functionality.
 

jtanabodee

Resource contributor
Honestly, I can't think of the way to go around this obstacle.
Foggy condition is something like you have whitish background. The blend in FSX does it job in all conditions. As you seen in the picture, it will light up the buildings behind. If you consider the fog is the material behind, it will lighten up too. So, whenever it is foggy, it will be lighten up like the fog that is behind the gmax plane. The plane itself is still not visible but the fog surround it is lighten up to be visible.
I think this might be the reasonable explanation that why we got a plane when the visibility is low.
I think the best way is to be more compromise to what the program can do.
We cannot get everything the way we want to.
 
I think it is a variation on the problem that has plagued all versions of the sim that I have known, that of transparency and display order (I've faced it recently with my aircraft canopy, and previously with propellers).

I can't guarantee what I'm about to say will be of any use (I've limited experience and I make simple things, so I only push a boundary when it is absolutely necessary), but one of the things that helped me with the canopy was cloning the transparency, putting the two cloned surfaces fairly close together and flipping the normals of the clone that was behind the canopy so that they faced inwards. In itself, that is meaningless for you, but would a variation on that idea enable you to mask out backgrounds? For example if you make a planar object that you've put light onto, what would be the effect of having another plane behind it that is more opaque but has nothing on it, perhaps made transparent using alpha - the sim would see it as a solid object because it can't know that there's an alpha channel making it invisible. There's be no clouds rendered behind it because of that. The trouble then is that there would be masking of scenery objects, but that is something you have more control over.

When I had intractable problems with systems in my IT career, I sometimes had to adopt the approach of trying to force the problem into a kill-zone where I could actually make a difference - sometimes by redefining the parameters of the problem in incremental steps to morph it into one I could solve, and that's all this is.

Your new problem of scenery masking could possibly be fixed with small opacity adjustments of the alpha-ed object, or maybe even a simple thing like alphabetised texture names that enforced a particular draw order in-sim.

Its just a thought. Don't waste any time on it if you think it would not work, or is a rubbish idea.
 
Top