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arno

Faded taxiway lights........who knows the trick?

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Well folks, after reading 9 pages of postings without finding anything about this topic, I guess that the problem has been solved so much time ago that none of you speaks about it anymore.But I lost the train.........oops, the aircraft.So, how can I do to make my goddamn taxiway (and/or runway) lights to fade out as far as I get farther from them? At the moment their brightness is always the same, regardless to the distance: the result is an airport looking like a shining spot when still 10 miles away from it, and suddenly disappearing when 10,1 miles away.........I played with visual distance settings, Gmax material colors and /or opacity settings, but nothing to do. Maybe some 'magic' command has to be added manually into the .asm code generated by Gmax?Thanks to anyone will like to help me......

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There's really no one, out there, that's able to tell me something about the topic?Or is this topic of no interest for anyone? I don't think so......22 times viewed and no answers.........Believe me, I really would like to give Gmax-built lightpoints the same appearence than default runway/taxiway lights, guess this should be of some interest for any 'colleague' and for the community in general.Thanks anyway,Raf

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Well, I think I know what you are talking about. I tried to make my own taxiway lights awhile back. The problem was that they appeared the same no matter what distance I was at. I think that the trick may be to use an effect in your scenery, like the nav lights on an aircraft are. I'm not the expert at using effects though.- Martin

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I tried to make my own runway lights as well, but my problem was that they are visibile from a too short range only. And I could not get the range bigger, that's why I dropped the approach.It is also true that the default runway lights look better, as they use smaller dots for the lights. But I think it is not possible to repeat that effect with GMax as the default lights are somewhere hardcoded in the runway command it seems.Also when you look closely at the default runway and move away from it you will see that less lights get drawn on it. This way they also prevent that it is going to look like a big ball of light from further away.Hope this helps you (a bit),

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Hi Raf!Making taxiway lights to fade out isn't as simple as it may seems. I however didn't use fading but I did my taxiway lights and they work okay and are visible from some distance. To do the trick of fading, You should make:- taxiway light pole, which is visible only for some distance (otherwise You'll get substantial FPS drop!)- make some taxiway lights - the number depends on fading effect and steps. It should be light_nav, not light_beacon because light_nav is visible for approx 10km, light beacon for only 5km.- For each of this taxi light make own material with own brightness. If they are far away, they must be quite dark. - Then You must define also condition (distance) at which the light is visible, let's say 0-150m, 150-250m, 250-350m, 350-450m, 450-500m...This way it is possible to get this effect. But if You really carefully look in FS2004, You'll notice, that taxiway lights already have this effect but maybe not at the distance at which You want. And of course, don't forget to put Your light in library and use line of objects feature found in FSSC and Airport for Windows.Hope this helps and best regards,Goran BrumenFS Slovenija 2002 teamhttp://slovenia.avsim.net

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I tried this already. The Gmax material light_taxi is supposed to do the trick. Note that I had no luck exporting this directly, the exporter plugin seemed to forget writing some data into the ASM file when using light_taxi. What I did was use the "light_nav" in Gmax, export, edit the _0.asm file and search+replace light_nav with light_taxi.This will give you fading taxilights however they all fade based on gmax's main "refpoint", which makes the whole thing pretty much useless again. If your airport is really small (which I think it is not ;) you could get away with it by separating it into small portions each having it's own refpoint. This of course would be a pain to manage design wise. You could also make a single gmax taxilight, put it into a library and place them all with another program/SCASM... but I don't think there would be much sense in doing that.If someone known more about this Gmax light_taxi refpoint-based fading issue I too am more than interested in figuring it out.martin_ktpa

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Hi Martin,That is the way GMax/MakeMDL works. Everything placed in one scene will always use one single RefPoint. So when you want to use GMax for placing your lights the only option is to make each light as a separate file (which I do not consider a realistic option :)).If you want each object to have their own RefPoint you probably need to revert to macros or write the code manual.

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Hi Arno,Of course you're right about the Gmax refpoint. What makes me wonder however is why they put in the light_taxi if we can't use it in any way that makes sense. What we need is some kick a** tool that reads the asm source file and calculates new refpoints for each object based on the relative position to the main refpoint... Visibility settings could be handled via object's name, for instance box01_v3000. I sure would would be willing to pay for such a tool ;)

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Also that would be hard to do. In the ASM source the different parts can not be identified really easy. So what you suggest is to write a new MakeMDL, but there is no information available on how to make a plugin for GMax (you have to pay Discrete for that info I guess :)). So there is not much we can do at the moment.

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I think they really only need to fix the light_taxi code parts within makemdl/bglc. I mean, when you do a dotline in SCASM it also has a single refpoint but still the lights fade individually. To me that is simply a "bug" or "forgotten thing" in makemdl/bglc, otherwise I can't understand what they intended the light_taxi to be used for.

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The lights created by the DotLine command in SCASM are really different. As far as I know the DotLine command is no longer used by MS, but BGLC will probably still support it.I don't know where the LIGHT_TAXI option is intended to be used for, but I know that GMax is not intended to design your airport in. It is intended for 3D objects, not for a complete ground layout. That is very clear from the BGLC source MakeMDL does produce. So they have probably never meant that at complete light layout of an airfield would be designed in GMax.I don't know how the lighting works on the default airports (haven't looked closely at that), but maybe that might provide a solution? I suspect that all the lighting is now included in the AFD format.

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Thanks all for your replies, I think this topic is something really worth to be seen in depth.Martin, of course to give each lightpoint an its own refpoint in Gmax would be a mad's job for sure, but I'm anyway used to not draw all airport's lights into a single Gmax file (also due to the size of the airport), I already split them in several bgls and place them individually into the scenery, so I can also better manage their visibility range. Also, seems that MakeMdl cannot export files featuring more than 500 lightpoints each.Arno, default airport's lights ARE hard-encoded in the AFD data, just have a look at AFCAD 2.21 and you'll clearly see that. Unfortunately, any visible AFD data is overwritten by custom add-on sceneries, only nav facilities are not, therefore default lights cannot be used into an add-on scenery, maybe the new XML format will allow that.Meanwhile, I got another suggestion by a friend: seems he did the trick simply grouping (using the 'Group' Gmax utility) all the lightpoints in a Gmax file and exporting them as such. I will immediately check if it works and will let you know, otherwise will try Martin's 'light_taxi-light_nav' suggestion.Raf

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just a shot in the dark....but try using your gmax lights..convert it into a macro and use one of the other scenery design tools...like fssc...which has an option to set visual distance...not sure if it will work...but cant help to try..good luck

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The problem, to me , is not 'how to set the visual distance', this's a thing I can easily do through MakeMdl. The problem is how to get lights gradually fading and then disappearing, instead of lights suddenly disappearing all at once (and, when visible, shining like a Las Vegas billboard as far as you get farther from them).Btw, I tried both suggestions (the one from my friend and the one from Martin), but no luck.I had a test with some runway lights and, to group all the lights together in the gmax file before exporting them, doesn't change a nail; to set the material's name to 'light_nav' and then manually replacing it into the .asm file with 'light_taxi' doesn't work at all (the lights are gone in FS); to set the material's name to 'light_taxi' in Gmax does give the same result as if I used the 'light_landing' material's name: lights are visible and do look fine when on the runway, but they become brighter and brighter as far as I get farther from the runway itself.I'll try to encode at least my runway lights into an XML source file and then compile it with BGLComp, let's hope it will be displayed into my scenery, since AFD visible elements are normally overwritten in FS by any BGLC add-on code.Thanks anyway,Raf

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this code will put 3 fading lights at KSAN between terminal 1 and 2 @ around N32* 43.99 W117* 12.20. the refpoint isn't in the center so they fade uneven depending from where you're lookn at.;light_center.asmheader label word dw 0001 ; 00 World set number dd 0003782A7H ; 02 North bound dd 000377F83H ; 06 South bound dd 0ACA88332H ; 10 East bound dd 0ACA88330H ; 14 West bound dw 20 dup(0) dd (offset OBJECT_DATA) - (offset header) dw 33 dup(0) OBJECT_DATA label word db 21 ;;LATBAND_REL dw 01BBFh ;;lat min (inclusive) 512M units dw 01BC2h ;;lat max (exclusive) dd (offset OBJECT_0) - (offset OBJECT_DATA) db 0 ;;EOL OBJECT_0 label BGLCODE db 12 ; NEAR_FAR_HUGE_OBJECT_HEADER dd 000378115h,0ACA88331h ; latitude,longitude db 100 ; image power dd (offset OBJECT_0_END) - (offset OBJECT_0) OBJECT_0_START label word IFIN1 OBJECT_0_FAIL, image_complex, 2, 32767 ADDOBJ OBJECT_0_SCALE; SHADOW_CALL OBJECT_0_SCALEOBJECT_0_FAIL label BGLCODE BGL_JUMP_32 OBJECT_0_END OBJECT_0_SCALE label BGLCODE SCALE_AGL OBJECT_0_RETURN, 10000, 402, 131072, 000378115h, 0582Eh, 0ACA88331h, 0803Ch, 0, 0 INSTANCE_CALL OBJECT_0_BEGIN, 0, 0, 0CB60hOBJECT_0_RETURN label word BGL_RETURNOBJECT_0_BEGIN label wordmodel_outside label BGLCODEmodel_shadow label BGLCODELOD_0 label BGLCODE BGL_JUMP_32 LOD_0Lmodel_inside label BGLCODE BGL_RETURNLOD_0L label BGLCODE include E:ksanfs2004scenerycenter_lm_0.asm ;fix path***********************************************************;light_center_0.asmcenter_lm_top label BGLCODE BGL_BEGIN 0800h ; version = 8.00 MATERIAL_LIST_BEGIN MATERIAL_DEF 0.619608,0.988235,0.592157,0.298039, 0.619608,0.988235,0.592157, 0.000000,0.000000,0.000000, 0.000000,0.000000,0.000000, 0.000000 ; 0 MATERIAL_DEF 0.603922,0.584314,1.000000,0.007843, 0.603922,0.584314,1.000000, 0.000000,0.000000,0.000000, 0.000000,0.000000,0.000000, 0.000000 ; 1 MATERIAL_LIST_END; Alphacenter_lm_Alpha label BGLCODE BGL_FTAG "MasterScale", 0.00 ; Node 1 BGL_LIGHT LIGHT_TAXI, 106.787, 0.000, 750.521, 20, 0.60, 0.40, 04C9EFC97h, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000 ; source poly num = 1 BGL_LIGHT LIGHT_TAXI, 142.178, 0.000, 750.521, 20, 0.60, 0.40, 04C9EFC97h, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000 ; source poly num = 2 BGL_LIGHT LIGHT_TAXI, 180.442, 0.000, 750.521, 20, 0.60, 0.40, 04C9EFC97h, 0.000000, 0.000000, 1.000000 ; source poly num = 3 BGL_END BGL_RETURN

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