FSXA New way to make light splash.

Hello there :)

I think I have found a convenient way to solve all the bugs with light splash.

First of all, here are a few screens of the result:

As you can see, no "see-through" clouds:

Working fine with foggy weather:

It switches off during the day:

You first need to create an effect with FSXeditor. I'll save you the work and give you the effect parameters I used in this example.

I created the effect from the default white nav. Then I modified the settings and created a new .bmp file for the effect:

To get this

I modified the .FX settings in order to get the effect to turn on the user's position.

The above effect is just an example. You can do whatever you want of course. Be sure to read the SDK help about effects. It is quite simple to create an effect, the SDK is very helpful.

Then you can use Tic's solution to add a light splash on the ground (but only on the ground):

I did not see any FPS drop when using effects for light splash (but I admit this was only tested on a small airport). I'm sure we can make the light splash look better than in my example.

Please see attached my effect settings. ;)

If needed I can create a new topic about this solution with more details.

Hope this helps,

Best regards,



Resource contributor
Great, thanks for your information Thomas32. I will try that at once. I thought before that the solution has to be effect anyway. But a lot number of effect can cause fps drop, however such light poles are not so many like taxi edge light poles.
Very valuable solution...i think this is the best tradeoff between all the solution stated in this thread. And I think this is the same technique used by other commercial developer.

Thank You Thomas32, I'll try it as well.


Resource contributor
Oh Thomas, your solution is perfect.

This is the lamp light that I use your effect. However I did modify the texture a bit.

This is my previous version of lamp light splash using only texture.

Effect is perfect solution for light splash
  • No problem with cloud behind.
  • No problem with low visibility.
  • Easy to make by using your text file.
  • Can change the texture, color to suit your preference.
  • You have less control on the shape since you cannot see it in Gmax.
  • It is not 3d, just rotating plan.
  • It needs to be symmetrical shape from the center.
Color texture:
  • Better control on shape size since you see in Gmax.
  • Problem with cloud behind, no solution yet.
  • Problem with low visibility but we have solution now.

Choice is yours.
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Resource contributor
No FPS is almost the same since there is only one emitter.
I think you'd better use smaller texture. I use only 128x128 pixels and the edge is nice blurry. The bigger texture you use, the more detail will be seen and you get moire pattern.
Using the effects you get the best result, but what happens if you fly to your airport (using light effects) coming from a distant airport?
Often the effect doesn't spawn, so you have a dark airport.
Did you have the same problem with your solution?
Someone tell to use a controller, but it fail?

In the airport I've recently developerd, LICJ, I've used effects to make lightspalsh on the apron ground.
It's work like a charm when you start your flight in LICJ, but if you fly from a distant airport to LICJ you don't get any lights in the apron, using or not the effects controller...

Any ideas?


First tests with Thomas' effect setting: awesome. Adding Tic's ground light splash method right tomorrow :)
Thank you both for sharing your knowledge!

Cheers Volker


Resource contributor
Your welcome, my pleasure sir.
One thing I found about the effect, it is a rotating plan just like rotating tree we use in FS9! Very interesting if you press F12 to see from top view, you can see it. I think I prefer light splash from texture. It is always 3d volume and it can project to left or right, do not need to be symmetrical spawn from the center.
Another point, I think we can use effect to be a rotating tree as well. But I cannot figure out how to and effect kills frame rate.
Hi all :)

Tic, you were right, using a 128x128 texture is better. About the rotating effect, we can change this in the FX editor to prevent it from rotating. I think that we can combine two effects to get something nice: a non-rotating directional effect ( can be done by modifying the texture), and another effect to get a subtle diffuse light around the light spot. But then you have the FPS problem...

Diego, I have modified the effect to include a controller. I have to do a flight to check if it is working.

Volker, you are very welcome ;)

I'd like to add a pretty UNCONVENTIONAL further method on how to achieve a realistic looking night light splash on top of a multi layered ground polygon.

First let's take a look at the result:

What you see is what it would look like if we had a real light source on top of the ground, illuminating the content of all ground poly layers in a natural way.
In fact what you see is a blended snapshot of the scenery during daylight ;-)

The idea is to create the light area of a lightpole from a scenery screenshot and put it on top of the ground polygon during night time.

So, what you have to do is:
1. make the screenshots of all lightpole areas in a appropriate resolution
2. rework the images in a way like shown above
3. create the new texture sheet (I got my 7 light splashes on one 2048x2048 pixel texture sheet)
4. create new planes with this texture and place them on the appropriate position in the scenery
5. complile an extra ground poly with the new planes on top of all others with a fully transparent daylight texture

Here is my actual layer strucure:

I'm aware of the fact that this is a somehow strange method and only applicable for very few light splashes in a scenery. But this is the way I'll do it with my smaller airfield project and I thought I'd share this idea and add it to TIC's ground light splash thread ;)

Cheers Volker
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Resource contributor
Nice technique. I think we can get this even better. If you do this in 3dsmax, you can render texture and you will get the shadow cast of those equipment on the ground. However it should be done in a small airport with a few light pole, or else it will be a big task.
Hi Volker,

Your technique is very clever and interesting! Very suitable for smaller airfields, the result is extremely nice.

Diego, I tested the ramp light effect with a controller, and had no problem: the lights appeared correctly on arrival to the scenery :)
Hey guys, (Take into consideration the words written in red color and correct them if they wrong, please guys)
Great, thanks Thomas for your help. But your method doesn't seem to work for me:
1- Light does illuminate during Day and Night although I wrote on the MAXSCRIPT on the effect params DAY=0; NIGHT=1
2- Sky does illuminate too.

3- Misplaced or rotated by 90 degress.

I followed those steps to get Apron Light Splash this :
1- I took your effect attached above and modified a bit to get a white color of the light splash.
this is the .FX source code, you may find something wrong :
[Library Effect]
Display Name=DAOO_ApronLightSplash


Lifetime=1.00, 1.00
Delay=0.00, 0.00
No Interpolate=1
Rate=1.0, 1.0
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=0.00, 0.00
Bank=0.00, 00.00
Heading=0.00, 0.00

Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
X Scale=25.00, 25.00
Y Scale=25.00, 25.00
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=0.00, 0.00
Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
Fade In=0.00, 0.00
Fade Out=0.00, 0.00
Rotation=0.00, 0.00
Face=0, 0, 1

Blend Mode=2
Color Start=255, 255, 255, 255
Color End=255, 255, 255, 255
Jitter Distance=0.00
Jitter Time=0.00
uv1=0.00, 0.00
uv2=1.00, 1.00
X Scale Goal=0.00
Y Scale Goal=0.00
Z Scale Goal=0.00
Extrude Length=0.00
Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
Extrude Heading Max=0.00
2- I created 5 Boxes with free dimensions (Whatever dimensions, Please see my question below about this) and didn't change their names. After that, I went to Aces Tool -> Attach point tool, I checked Effect and No crash in the new window which appears just now.
3- I browsed for my effect : DAOO_ApronLightSplash.fx then attached effect to each box. Then I raise the altitude of the boxes to 4M (The height of the light tower).
4- I created a bounding box that covers all boxes and applied to it a Standard material with an opacity of 0 percent.
5- I converted all boxes attached and the bounding box to Editable Mesh and then opened the MAXSCRIPT and modified it like this: (Take a look at it maybe something wrong)
strAttachNumber = 0
           for obj in $box* do
               obj.name = ("attachpt_DAOO_ApronLightSplash" + (strAttachNumber as string))
               strBufferText = ("<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"ISO-8859-1\" ?> <FSMakeMdlData version=\"9.0\"><Attachpoint name=\"attachpt_fx_DAOO_ApronLightSplash" + (strAttachNumber as string) + "\"> <AttachedObject> <Effect effectName=\"fx_DAOO_ApronLightSplash\" effectParams=\"DAY=0; NIGHT=1\"/> </AttachedObject> </Attachpoint></FSMakeMdlData>")
               setUserPropBuffer obj strBufferText
               strAttachNumber += 1
6- I exported the boxes as (*.X) file then converted it to (*.MDL) using X2MDL.exe tool in FSX SDK. After that I used Convert and place Object Wizard tool (not ground polygon wizard) in Arno's ModelConverterX, and compiled my (*.BGL) File, and placed my effect.fx in Effects folder of FSX, and its texture in Effects->Texture folder :)

The question : the size of light splash depends on the size of boxes drawed in 3ds Max/Gmax or it depends on the Radius=?M written on the .FX settings??

This is DayouMyScene.ZIP (See Attached files) contains BGL, FX and texture file, please guys take a look at it to see what's going wrong.

Any help would be great, thank you so much for your interest.


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Resource contributor
1. The size of the box that you attach the effect to does nothing with the size of the effect. The Radius=xx determine the size of the effect. You need to adjust the size over there.
2. MCX and place object wizard tool has nothing to do with the problem.

I could not answer anything more since I don't know how your model look like.
It would be better if you show us the model in Gmax and how it looks during the day.

One another thing, you cannot export JUST the effect that you attach the box. You need the model of the light pole too. Just only the effect export as mdl would never works.
Hi jtanabodee,
First, I would thank you for your interesting about my problem.
I think you don't need to see how my models look like. Please read those steps I've followed carefully and see what's missing.

1- I created 7 Boxes with free dimensions (Whatever dimensions).
2- I moved the boxes to the place of lighting tower of my airport and hold them to altitude of 4m in Z Value (The height of lighting towers).
3- I created a plane that covers all of the boxes and applied to it FSXMaterial Dummy texture which is colored with pure black both of texture color and alpha channel.
4- I converted all of the 7 boxes and the cover plane to Editable Mesh.
5- I go to Aces Tool->Attach Point Tool, I checked Effect, No crash and Remove FS9 Attach? Then, I browsed for my Effect .FX in FSX->Effects folder, after that I wrote inside Effect Params the following:


6- I attached the effect to each box.
7- I exported all of the boxes and the cover plane to .X file and then converted it to .MDL using XToMdl.exe tool found in FSX SDK.
8- I imported the .MDL and put it through FSX earth curve correction, and then I corrected Lat and Lon and checked *Correct geometry and animations for curve of the earth and didn't check the second case, after that I clicked Correct Button.
9- I clicked on Export Scenery Button on MCX and saved it as type FSX BGL file (*.BGL).
10- I copied the BGL compiled into my scenery file, FX effect file to FSX->Effects folder and the texture of the effect to FSX->Effects->texture folder.

The new problem: Now I don't see the light splash at all -_-
I was able to see it at least, but now -> No light :( :banghead: