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n4gix

VC Emissive Lighting

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Ok. I've read and re-read Bill's tutorial, and can not get the _L.bmp thing working!VC is fine, but here's what I'm doing:1. Created a poly named "vc_main" for the texture "$panel_main" (512x512) for VC.2. Added a planar UVW Map that is 20.25" square, and moved the gizmo down to line it up with the top of the vc poly created above.3. Created material with the diffuse texture bitmap named "$panel_main" which uses the texture "$panel_main" in the panels folder. This is a pure black texture (0,0,0), with some red text on it, as in Bill's tutorial.4. After reading elsewhere, I also tried adding a black alpha to this 8-bit texture. Even with the black alpha, emissive lighting didn't work for me.5. Created a grey texture "panel_main_L.bmp" in the textures sub-directory, with and without alpha channels.6. Mapped this to "self-illumination" of the $panel_main texture.5. Applied the material to the part, and exported with "HasLightMap".6. Ran FS, and in VC toggled lights on/off without effect.Help.

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I tried to respond to your email this morning, but it was bounced back as "user unknown..." ???-------------- begin reply ------------------------"First, I notice that the dummy texture no longer becomes black and loses it's transparency when the lights are on.(Unless I am doing something wrong).""Second, while I have the _L.bmp texture in the texture directory, and have this texture in self-illumination, I never see the _L as you show in the tutorial. I have checked HasLightmap in MakeMDL."The first observation is tied to the second; if the "lighting" doesn't work, then the dummy texture won't "turn black..." :)I noticed from the screen shot that the poly you are using is "rectangular." While this has nothing to do with the problem you're having, it will ultimately result in frustration, as it will be difficult to "hide the upper corners" where there's nothing but air behind the poly! :)May I suggest that you simply clone a copy of the actual poly you are using for the panel? Better still, simply USE the same poly that you have that is already shaped to fit the glareshield... :)Without more details on the precise way you've set up the panel.cfg it's difficult to offer any specific ideas or "fix" for your situation.Since the gauges do show up, obviously that part of the process went OK. Provided that you've assigned the correct filenames in the GMax Material Editor, and have "Has Lightmap" in MakeMDL, and have the [VcockpitXX] entry correctly configured in FS, there's no good reason why it shouldn't work.In GMax Material EditorDiffuse Color...........$panel.bmpSelf-Illumination.......panel_L.bmpIn panel.cfg//--------------------------------------------------------[Vcockpit02]file=panel.bmp :)------------ end reply ----------------------The _L.bmp MUST be in DTX3 w/alpha format...primary channel = greyscale lightmaskalpha channel = pure black OR pure whiteThe _L.bmp MUST be "flipped vertically" (IOW, upside down and backwards!)

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>The first observation is tied to the second; if the "lighting">doesn't work, then the dummy texture won't "turn black..." :)I follow ya.>I noticed from the screen shot that the poly you are using is>"rectangular." While this has nothing to do with the problem>you're having, it will ultimately result in frustration, as it>will be difficult to "hide the upper corners" where there's>nothing but air behind the poly! :)Actually, this was just a test poly, and I'll fix it later... if you look at that link now, you'll see that I filled it in with Black to make it transparent. Often, I just do things for "proof-of-concept" before I invest a lot of time.>May I suggest that you simply clone a copy of the actual poly>you are using for the panel? Better still, simply USE the>same poly that you have that is already shaped to fit the>glareshield... :)Yeah, I'll do this later.>Without more details on the precise way you've set up the>panel.cfg it's difficult to offer any specific ideas or "fix">for your situation.>Since the gauges do show up, obviously that part of the>process went OK. Provided that you've assigned the correct>filenames in the GMax Material Editor, and have "Has Lightmap">in MakeMDL, and have the [VcockpitXX] entry correctly>configured in FS, there's no good reason why it shouldn't>work.>>In GMax Material Editor>>Diffuse Color...........$panel.bmpIn 3DSMax:Diffuse Map..............$panel_main.bmp (bmp in /panel folder)>Self-Illumination.......panel_L.bmpSelf-Illumination Map....panel_main.bmp (bmp in /texture folder)>In panel.cfg>>//-------------------------------------------------------->[Vcockpit02]>file=panel.bmp <=== actual "visible panel texture">Background_color=0,0,0>size_mm=1024,1024>visible=0>pixel_size=1024,1024>texture=$panel <=== dummy texture name w/o the .bmp>extension!My panel.cfg://--------------------------------------------------------[Vcockpit01]Background_color=0,0,0 file=vc_main.bmp size_mm=512,512visible=0pixel_size=1024,1024texture=$panel_main>If you can't get it working, simply send me the VC panel>"stuff" in a .gmax file, along with your _L.bmp texture >and I'll have a look to determine the problem and advise >on a "fix." :)Well, it's a Max file, and exported to .X with PandaSoft.>The _L.bmp MUST be in DTX3 w/alpha format...>primary channel = greyscale lightmask>alpha channel = pure black OR pure whiteHmmm. Ok, I wasn't using DTX3, I was using DXT1 with alpha. Also, why the pure B/W alpha? Isn't it the alpha of the $dummy texture that determines the light circuit????>The _L.bmp MUST be "flipped vertically" (IOW, upside down and>backwards!)Got that. One thing, I noticed that I had to horizontally flip the UVW Map gizmo to be able to "see" the $dummy texture on the part correctly. There are two ways to do this. One, is to flip the gizmo, the other to rotate the V of the image. I tried both, thinking maybe this was causing me a problem with the _L texture.Anyway, it would seem that one should be able to do the same thing with the _L texture, wouldn't it?Thanks for all the help. I'll try making that _L a DXT3.

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>>If you can't get it working, simply send me the VC panel>>"stuff" in a .gmax file, along with your _L.bmp texture >>and I'll have a look to determine the problem and advise >>on a "fix." :)>>Well, it's a Max file, and exported to .X with PandaSoft.I have both here, but MUCH prefer working in GMax, since the essential tools needed are the same, and the export is a WHOLE lot easier!>>The _L.bmp MUST be in DTX3 w/alpha format...>>primary channel = greyscale lightmask>>alpha channel = pure black OR pure white>>Hmmm. Ok, I wasn't using DTX3, I was using DXT1 with alpha. >Also, why the pure B/W alpha? Isn't it the alpha of the>$dummy texture that determines the light circuit????No, there IS no "alpha channel" for the $dummy.bmp file... It's simply a filename to instruct FS to autogenerate the actual texture at runtime.If you note, you don't actually HAVE a $dummy.bmp in the panel folder, only the actual "visible texture" you will add via the panel.cfg entry.>>The _L.bmp MUST be "flipped vertically" (IOW, upside down>and>>backwards!)>>Got that. One thing, I noticed that I had to horizontally>flip the UVW Map gizmo to be able to "see" the $dummy texture>on the part correctly. There are two ways to do this. One,>is to flip the gizmo, the other to rotate the V of the image. >I tried both, thinking maybe this was causing me a problem>with the _L texture.>Anyway, it would seem that one should be able to do the same>thing with the _L texture, wouldn't it?No, since the _L.bmp shares the same UVW Map as the $dummy.bmp! :)

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NOTAM:Just to put a "cap" on this topic, at the end it was determined that the problem is caused because the Pandasoft export module will not export any texture to the .x file except the "Diffuse Texture." :(Because of this, unless you want to do some serious hacking of the exported .x file manually, do not expect "Specular Texture" or "Self-Illumination Texture" to work... "out of the box" when exporting a 3dSMax built model via Pandasoft to FS's MakeMDL.exe...

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Way above, Bill wrote:-------------------------The _L.bmp MUST be in DTX3 w/alpha format...primary channel = greyscale lightmaskalpha channel = pure black OR pure whiteThe _L.bmp MUST be "flipped vertically" (IOW, upside down and backwards!)-------------------------I had not read this until I was already deep into experimenting with this technique. I've been using Imagetool to export my modified _l textures but the format I've been using is 8 bit & no alpha at all. This results in a no alpha, grayscale image.It's been working great. In other research with alpha channels I've found that pure white and pure black alpha channels can each be interpereted as no alpha, depending on conditions. I've had pure white alpha channels over over 0,0,0 actually show up as 0,0,0 or as transparent and never figured out the reason for the inconsistency. The best way I've found to trigger total transparency in other images (not _l emissive maps) is to use a black alpha channel over 0,0,0.But, as far as _L textures go, I've been using 8bit grayscale and have had perfectly consistent results that do a great job. Am I just getting lucky?Scott / Vorlin

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