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Lighting for my bridge

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I would like to add streetlights to the Coronado Bridge, but I am having trouble figuring out how to get the effect in GMAX. I looked around for a street light file that I could import, but haven't found anything. Any thoughts?Thanks,Robert

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It's not too tough Robert, you just have to follow a set procedure. Perhaps the easiest way is to use the Gmax material names that translate automatically into lights. Here's the technique:1. Create your light pole2. Make a light head for the top of the pole that'll contain the bulb3. Create a simple triangle in Gmax using the line tool (or whatever technique you like) -- I make mine approximately the size of the bulb, but I don't think size has much to do with it. Convert this triangle to an editable mesh.4. Link the "bulb" triangle to the light head5. IMPORTANT: to make the light face down on the street in the final scenery, make sure that the Z-axis of the light head object -- not the bulb -- is facing UP. The light will shine in the opposite direction of the bulb triangle's parent object, in this case the light head.6. Create a new material and name it "light_land" -- this is also very IMPORTANT. MakeBGL will translate this material into a landing light which will give the light the effect you want. Apply this material to the bulb triangle. It doesn't matter what materials you use for the rest of the light pole, but make sure the bulb material is named in this way. There are a number of "light_" names that produce different kinds of lighting effects. See the FS2002 MakeMDL SDK for more info.Compile the scenery file and view it at night to make sure it's the effect you want. Once you've got one light looking the way you want, you can just clone it and line the bridge with them. There are a number of approaches to doing what I described above, but the key elements are to make a parent object and link the simple triangle polygon to it to make the bulb, make sure the parent objects Z-Axis faces away from the direction you want the light to shine, and make sure the bulb triangle has the correct "light_land" material name.Of course, if you don't want to go through all this you can also just make an "_lm" texture for your bridge if you mapped a texture onto the roadway surface and add light effects there as well. Either way it shouldn't be too difficult to do.Good luck!

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Bill,I think the landing light method only works on the ground. I've attempted to use your method, but have had no success. I have noticed that the landing light on the cessna 172 only seems to work on the ground, and does not show on any buildings. Am I missing something?Robert

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Oh duh, now I feel like an idiot! Of course it only works on the ground. I've been spending so much time building land-locked scenery that I forgot it won't work on your bridge! In that case, you could probably just make night textures for the bridge roadway, yes? That'd be a good alternate. thanks,

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Well, here's where I'm at after a weekend of thrashing. The lighting is pretty good if you buzz in close, but I need the bulbs to show like the lighting on a runway, which is visible miles away. How is the runway lighting achieved, and can it be used in my situation?http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/44143.jpgThanks Again, the input has been quite helpful!Robert

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Actually, you might be able to use one of the other special "light_" materials to make beacons or something. Those will do what you're inquiring about. I don't have the MakeMDL SDK in front of me right now, but there's probably a material to suit your purpose. You could also use FSRegen to add the effect only at night, which is probably the way you'd want to go. It's looking good, though! I think if I were you I might widen the pool of light thrown on the roadway, as they look a bit anemic currently. Also, remember that the light thrown is more or less straight down, so you'll get more of a circle and without so much falloff on the roadway interior.thanks,

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Bill,First off, I appreciate your responses as I grind thru this project. I agree that the current lighting needs work, currently it serves as a "proof of concept" type thing to be refined soon. I'll investigate your ideas tomorrow, as it's getting kinda late for me to think straight now...Robert

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Why not take the texture of the roadway and rename it *(Roadrwt)_LM.bmpThen just edit it with the airbrush in the graphisc program.....Joe W.

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I made a material for the bulb and named it light_reco_bulb. This gave me the desired effect of the lights being visible from a distance. The Makemdl SDK supplied the info. Now I need to work on my lighting texture for the roadway surface. Robert

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Sounds like you're on the right track! I really like your bridge, btw. Don't know a lot about the San Diego skyline, but this was obviously a glaring omission.

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