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P3D. Landing lights poorly visible? Running PTA? Explanation is here.

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After running into a problem of poorly visible landing and taxi lights in P3D when using PTA or any other shader mod profiles I started digging for explanations. Did PMDG screw up? What did I do wrong? Did my addons mess something up?

 

After almost a week of digging I can tell you one thing, PMDG did nothing wrong and to be even more specific they actually did everything right when it comes to lights. Let's talk about lights for a second, no not landing or taxi light, lights in general. As we know light will reflect differently off surfaces. Shining a bright light at a white wall will light up the dark room, shining a bright light at the pitch black non gloss wall will not do anything. I will not get into light temperatures and kelvin scale even though do they make a difference.

 

Presets: Presets nowadays make things pretty, make things realistic. They make us enjoy flying due to the eye candy effect. Some people like presets to extremes. I went over various presets for PTA from individuals at ENVTEX as well as THOPAT plus a few more and I will tell you, they are all amazing. It is all really up to your liking what you will use. Most presets will make days very beautiful and nights very dark making it very authentic.

 

Presets vs lights: When you make runways darker, textures darker, the lights which are projected onto them will be less visible based on my previous explanation. Runways especially at addon airports have few stages to them. They have clear pavement (concrete or asphalt), they have pavement with tire marks, and pavement with runways markers. Now lets assume for a second that the airport has very little lighting. Your landing lights will have high reflection off runway marker lines, low reflection of pavement and VERY low reflection off tire marks + runway. A lot also has to do on how high you sitting off a runway, if you were to fly lets say A320 you will see those runway landing lights easy but on 747 when you are practically sitting on the roof of a house with two floors, you will not see much.

 

I was thinking that all that is very wrong but then went on youtube, typed in "boeing 747 landing at night" found some -400 series jets landing and could not believe my eyes. On some of the landings it seemed like the runway lights were not even on. All depends on how what kind of surface runway had, if they are asphalt with tire marks, it was literally pitch black.

 

Now, many of you at this point might be thinking, "But I want to see my landings lights". This is where you have to compromise, you will either have to remove your shader mods or simply brighten up your textures through apps like PTA.

 

I hope this would clarify some things.

 

P.S. From what I have read, some real world pilots had issues with poorly visible taxi lights on 747, so some of the 747's got rid of their taxi lights, and were using inboard landing lights for taxi.

I was thinking that all that is very wrong but then went on youtube, typed in "boeing 747 landing at night" found some -400 series jets landing and could not believe my eyes. On some of the landings it seemed like the runway lights were not even on. All depends on how what kind of surface runway had, if they are asphalt with tire marks, it was literally pitch black.

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Very interesting read, thank you Konstantin. What baffles my brain regarding the Landing and Taxi lights is the fact that PMDG created an AI-object that is clearly visible in AivlaSoft EFB if you have this must-have software. It is right behind your aircraft and follows you around on the ground and that object, according to PMDG, is there for L&T lights. The problem is that quite a few times it seems on my rig that this AI-object gets stuck and then you taxi away from it and then you loose your L&T lights - or, you land and it is as if the AI-object stopped in its tracks on impact and then your L&T lights obviously disappear as well.

 

I've opened a ticket in this regard and we are trying to figure out why L&T lights will work at an airport and next time, same airport, it doesn't work. I've also noticed that if it doesn't work at an airport by simply deactivating the scenery for default scenery does not necessary means the L&T lights will work. 

 

In the image you will see no lights in the circle because for some reason the AI-object did not follow the aircraft. When I switch the lights on it appears in the circle away from the aircraft. I then reloaded and started all over again and this time the AI-object followed the aircraft as you can see on the EFB screen. The most perculiar thing of all is the fact that then next time I loaded LOWW there were no L&T at all and when I taxied there was NO AI-object following me. Will investigate more.

 

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Very interesting read, thank you Konstantin. What baffles my brain regarding the Landing and Taxi lights is the fact that PMDG created an AI-object that is clearly visible in AivlaSoft EFB if you have this must-have software. It is right behind your aircraft and follows you around on the ground and that object, according to PMDG, is there for L&T lights. The problem is that quite a few times it seems on my rig that this AI-object gets stuck and then you taxi away from it and then you loose your L&T lights - or, you land and it is as if the AI-object stopped in its tracks on impact and then your L&T lights obviously disappear as well.

 

I've opened a ticket in this regard and we are trying to figure out why L&T lights will work at an airport and next time, same airport, it doesn't work. I've also noticed that if it doesn't work at an airport by simply deactivating the scenery for default scenery does not necessary means the L&T lights will work. 

 

In the image you will see no lights in the circle because for some reason the AI-object did not follow the aircraft. When I switch the lights on it appears in the circle away from the aircraft. I then reloaded and started all over again and this time the AI-object followed the aircraft as you can see on the EFB screen. The most perculiar thing of all is the fact that then next time I loaded LOWW there were no L&T at all and when I taxied there was NO AI-object following me. Will investigate more.

 

 

 

See, your textures are extremely light. My textures follow the night realism state where everything that goes not have lights in its proximity is almost pitch black. Makes more better night immersion

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See, your textures are extremely light. My textures follow the night realism state where everything that goes not have lights in its proximity is almost pitch black. Makes more better night immersion

 

I want to make sure I follow you - do you mean that time of day is too light because as you can see it's only 15H46 UTC and still 'light' dusk ... at night it's a different story and really dark in my sim.

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I want to make sure I follow you - do you mean that time of day is too light because as you can see it's only 15H46 UTC and still 'light' dusk ... at night it's a different story and really dark in my sim.

 

Essentially for optimal lighting, your terrain textures should be barely visible under full night. You can adjust the moon as well.

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Essentially for optimal lighting, your terrain textures should be barely visible under full night. You can adjust the moon as well.

 

And I promise you, in my sim they are dark at night ... the screenshots were taken at early dusk.

But I think we are a little off topic now. Back to the point is the fact that for some of us the Queen and her landing and taxi lights are inconsistent and you never know if they will work until you are on the ground because the splash on the side does not mean the lights shine on the ground.

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Interesting thread. I guess that AI explains why people are seeing and AI aircraft on top,of the 744 when connected to VATSIM.

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I guess that AI explains why people are seeing and AI aircraft on top,of the 744 when connected to VATSIM.

 

OMW - I did not think about that ... of-course, if EFB picks it up as 'two objects' then VATSIM will too.

 

Maybe @PMDG can shed some light on this?

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