• 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.

Simple bitmap effect [video]

As everybody know, the default Learjet 45 do not have the taxi light "splash on ground" effect hardcoded (while it has the landing lights one).
So i was trying to add a simple bitmap to emulate the effect.
I created it with the fxtool, and attached it to the [lights] aircraft.cfg.

The .fx do not rotate following the plane ruddering.
No matter how i set the .fx, i've tried every possible combination (facing, static, align to ground, offsets, type, fx inside fx...). Edit: in my desperation, i also tried the [smokesystem] trick...

Here is a video of what i am talking about.

Any help would be extremely appreciated, as this is getting personal to me :)
Last edited:
You have the video set to private.
I do not think you can add splash light effect through the config for the ground without designing it in the model. You can create 3D shockwave lights. But again this will not light the ground.
Yes sorry, i put it on public view.
Actually the splash light in the MDL is just a plain texture (or polygon) that could be emulated with any .fx, as you can see from the video now. The splash is not a real light that illuminate.
The problem is the .fx behaviour, not rotating with the plane rudder.
Is fxtool like Arno's toolbox that allows you to add effects to mdl files? I have no clue how to solve your issue. Seems like your close but need to assign it to stay with the aircraft. maybe someone else can help.
Arno's fxEditor do not allow you to attach effects to models.
What you see on the video is a cfg [light] attached (i also tried [smokesystem] trick, same result).
So i can say that [lights] and [smokesystem] effects are attached to the plane but do not rotate with the plane...
ESP 1.0 Engine mysterys.............................

I cannot add the texture to the mdl plane, 'couse mdl's are not (fully) editable.
Last edited:
FxEditor lets you edit the .fx files and preview the results

ModelConverterX can attach an effect to MDL using the Attached Object Editor. You can also edit the visibility tag of the attached effect via the object hierarchy viewer. I don't think MCX can link an effect to an existing model part like you can do in 3ds/Gmax.

I don't know if exporting an aircraft external model from MCX works 100%, though I've used the above tools to attach lights to a basic aircraft mdl and it seems to work fine. It could be that once Arno adds the copy protection for modeldef.xml code it will no longer work.
thanks bdf
but if i am not missing something, a "native" fsx MDL file like the learjet body cannot be imported, modified (even a simple modification like an attached fx) and then exported with MCX.
it will not work.
am i right?
Please give me the answer so i can quit frustrating my mind :)
thanks bdf
but if i am not missing something, a "native" fsx MDL file like the learjet body cannot be imported, modified (even a simple modification like an attached fx) and then exported with MCX.
it will not work.
am i right?
Please give me the answer so i can quit frustrating my mind :)
I've done exactly that using MCX, however there may be some limitations that I'm not aware of. Best to ask in the MCX forum.

If you try it, make sure you backup the original MDL first, and also use the latest developer release of MCX.

It might not work properly with a complex payware mdl. Or you might need to get the P3D v1.4 sdk and use its compilers, they might have fixed some bugs from the original FSX SDK compilers.
Ok ok ok wait.
BDF thanks a lot for your suggestion!!
I made it.
I attached a new fx to the mdl and it works properly.
Now i really do not figure how it can be on or off with a gauge, like the landing lights.
I am afraid that turning on or off an attached fx is hardcoded in the mdl somehow...
Damn, i was so close....

EDIT: found out that the landing light one is activated with a variable in the mdl hierarchy called "custom_vis_Landing_light_12" which is calledback by "A:landing light" variable in the sim.
Doing some other researches i am quite sure that the "splash" effect is hardcoded in the exe: any fx can do the splash, if it is called exactly "fx_landing.fx". No matter what is inside the .fx.
But i am still experimenting and researching....

EDIT 2: ok, i am 100% sure that what is inside fx_landing is no matter. This effect, because of its name, will be always rendered as a small white dot with the big splash on ground. I tried to change the bitmap and some properties, and nothing changes. Another proof is that if i attach fx_landing as a light in the plane cfg i can see the changes i made in the fx. But if it is attached inside the mdl it will be always rendered in that way (smal dot with splash).

Getting closer, now it comes the hard part: i have to figure out how to add a variable in the modeldef.xml similar to "custom_vis_Landing_light_12", making it work for taxi lights when they are on.
Right now, i am not able to edit the specific modeldef.xml for the learjet. MCX just shows it, no editing.

EDIT 3: I am figuring out. Will report soon
Last edited:
If there's not a visibility condition available for taxi light already, it might be possible to export mdl as a .x/.xanim file and then recompile using xtomdl with the appropriate code added to your modeldef.xml. I'll try to look at this later when I'm at my sim computer. I recall my modeldef.xml included visibility tags for most standard aircraft light variables but it's possible in the learjet mdl they are not there.
They are there, they are there...
Modeldef.xml from p3dv3 sdk got everything... And even more.
Yay!!! The project goes on.
Thanks for your precious suggestions!