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rhumbaflappy

Effects Parameters

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Has anyone been successful in using the effects parameters in MSFS special effects? I've been trying to use the RANDOM function to make smokestacks and power plant cooling towers to emit smoke and steam randomly. That way, I can create a special effect for large numbers of smokestacks, but, if they are triggered randomly, it won't look like the city is on fire. However, it seems whenever I include the effects parameter, the effect never triggers at all. I'm trying to get the effect to occur 80% of the time by using RANDOM=10,2 as the parameter. Any help would be appreciated. ThanksRay

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Hi Ray.I also couldn't get the random function to work. When I read the SDK, the random is supposed to control the effect when the scenery loads... so either it is on or off. It doesn't get reset until the next time the scenery loads. "RANDOM" is determined when the scenery is first loaded. If the randomcheck fails, the effect will not occur at all until the scenery iscompletely reloaded (at which point it may fail the random check again).That would mean the effects don't "blink" like Christmas tree lights, going off and on randomly, but are either off or on for the duration of the entire flight. The next flight should have a different set of effects off or on. I don't think that is what you wanted... and I don't think it works, anyways.I'm not sure if there is a way to generate a random timer with SCASM and using the IfVar() command, but that might be more of what you wanted. Otherwise, you can specify smoke from a location for different time periods. Generally, a new effect entry is needed for each time period... so if you want smoke from one stack every 3rd hour, then you'll need 8 separate effect lines to generate that for a 24 hour period. I know that would be a real pain for dozens of smoke stacks.Maybe someone else has a better idea... or would have a random SCASM example.Dick

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Doesn't seem to work here either. Also I wouldn't know a way of making a really random effect in SCASM, so I think you can best use some time limitations as Dick already suggested, to prevent all the smoke from showing.

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What I am trying to do is this: I made a smoke effect for all the smokestacks in the Philadelphia area ( lots and lots of smokestacks) and as a simple effect file they work fine. However it looks like the Great Chicago Fire with all of them smoking at the same time. I want to use the RANDOM function so that each time I fly through the Philadelphia area the simulator randomly activates some, but not all, of the smokestacks. I also wrote an effect for steam from power plant cooling towers and applied the effect to all the cooling towers in Pennsylvania. Again, it is unusual that all of the towers would be operating at the same time and I want to apply the RANDOM function to those, too. I have been using: RANDOM=random_range,random_thresholdapplied as an effect parameter in the effect file. When I use this method, the effect never triggers at all, even when I choose a 100% chance.Someone on the flightsim forum said this:"RANDOM is a controller command. So in a file like ctrl_smkstack.fx you would have: Display Name=Effect Copyright PLANESIMULATION Lifetime=5Version=1.00Radius=200Priority=0 lifetime=0.01, 0.01 type=1 delay=20.00, 20.01 //this is the overall delayx offset=0.00, 0.00 y offset=0.00, 0.00 z offset=0.00, 0.00random count=1, 1 //choose randomly an effect fileeffect.0=smkstck1, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 20.00 //this is each step delay or the amont of time to wait before moving on I believeeffect.1=smkstck2, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00//X, Y, Z location here, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 30.00 effect.2=smkstck3, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 20.00 effect.3=smkstck4, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 30.00 You can keep going here for a long time and each file like smkstck4.fx could have a long delay."This seems like a possible solution to my problem. I'm going to try it to see if I can get the effect I want. I'll post my results here.Ray

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Hi Ray.That sounds promising. I also see that the in the controller, the effect.x can be annother controller, not simply an effect. That could give you a great variety of complication, that, along with the delay, could really add some realism to your smokestacks.I don't know of anyone who is seriously experimenting with FS2002 effects, and their placement parameters. Little has been written here, other than what we have from Christian Stock.The RANDOM placement parameter should have worked, but obviously isn't implemented in FS2002 ( the SDK being wrong in that regard ).Another problem is that the parameters used with the placement of the effects do not seem to allow multiple parameters of equal priority:DAWN=1;NIGHT=1;DUSK=1;does not work correctly... that requires 3 separate effect placement lines, with one for each light condition.Dick

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Yes, I've been doing some inspection of the controllers for the fireworks used in FS2k and it seems to be pretty powerful and versitile. You can even spawn controllers from within controllers. Should be able to create some really nice effects with that. I've become pretty proficient at writing the effects files and have come up with some, in my opinion, creative effects. I'm still experimenting, though.Ray

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Try a Variation of:RANDOM=1,1This seems to work with multi areas. It has for me anyway.Joe W.

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Hi Joe.Could you attach an example or two of the RANDOM use. Both Arno and I haven't had much luck with it. Thanks.Dick

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This is from a contrl file for forest fires that I got somewhere.... Maybe Nanji? File name is : cntrl_N_FFire.fx[Library Effect]Lifetime=5Version=1.00Radius=200Priority=1[controller.0]lifetime=0.0, 0.0 type=0 delay=4.00, 12.00 random count=1, 1 effect.0=fx_N_Fire1, -140.00, -20.00, -20.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 2.00effect.1=fx_N_Fire2, -130.00, -25.00, -30.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00effect.2=fx_N_Fire3, -120.00, -30.00, -40.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 2.00effect.3=fx_N_Fire4, -100.00, -35.00, -50.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00effect.4=fx_N_Fire1, -80.00, -40.00, -60.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 2.00effect.5=fx_N_Fire3, -60.00, -45.00, -70.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00[controller.1]lifetime=0.0, 0.0 type=0 delay=2.00, 10.00 random count=1, 1 effect.0=fx_N_Fire2, -145.00, -25.00, -25.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00effect.1=fx_N_Fire3, -135.00, -30.00, -35.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 2.00effect.2=fx_N_Fire1, -125.00, -35.00, -45.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 2.00effect.3=fx_N_Fire4, -105.00, -40.00, -55.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00effect.4=fx_N_Fire1, -85.00, -45.00, -65.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00effect.5=fx_N_Fire4, -65.00, -50.00, -75.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00Screen shot is enclosed.

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Hi Ray.I did make some progress with the randomizing of effects.{Library Effect}Lifetime=5Display Name=My_cntrl_RandomPick6Version=1.00Radius=200Priority=1{controller.0}lifetime=0.01, 0.01 // allows only enough time to pick one effecttype=1delay=2.00, 2.01random count=1, 1 //choose randomly an effect fileeffect.0=fx_smoke_r.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02effect.1=fx_steam1.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02effect.2=fx_BOGUS.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02effect.3=fx_smoke_w.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02effect.4=fx_troplights.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02effect.5=fx_BOGUS.fx, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.00, 0.02The above will display one of the 6 effects at the same placed location. It does seem pretty randomized. You could play with the delays.In the above, the fx_BOGUS.fx is just that... a null effect. With the above ratio, the BOGUS effect will display nothing 2/6th of the time.If you wanted to display your smoke on only 1/3rd of the stacks, then you'd need 1 smoke effect and 2 BOGUS effects in the list.You could also mix steam or smaller/wispier effects the same way with the BOGUS effect ( and the smokestack.fx ) mixed in the group... to get some real randomization going.Here's fx_BOGUS.fx:{Library Effect}Display Name=BogusLifetime=5Version=1.00Radius=10Priority=0Here's a sample CSV file:EFFECT,My_cntrl_RandomPick6.fx,N42* 37.74',W88* 35.99',304.06,0.00,0.00,0.00,Very Sparse,""EFFECT,My_cntrl_RandomPick6.fx,N42* 37.75',W88* 35.99',304.06,0.00,0.00,0.00,Very Sparse,""EFFECT,My_cntrl_RandomPick6.fx,N42* 37.75',W88* 35.98',304.06,0.00,0.00,0.00,Very Sparse,""EFFECT,My_cntrl_RandomPick6.fx,N42* 37.74',W88* 35.98',304.06,0.00,0.00,0.00,Very Sparse,""This places 4 random effects from the list at 4 nearby locations, at the elevation of 304.06 meters. If you go to the Scenery Library, and just click 'OK', it will force a reload of the scenery, and the effects will change each time.With bogus.fx in the list, sometimes nothing will show at one or more locations... which should be what you wanted.Dick

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