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light beacons

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I am working on a project which requires the placement of individual light beacons, both flashing and non flashing, of various colors such as white, red, green, blue, etc.For those who may know,..these will simulate Holophane and OCCULT beacons as used during WWII to temporarily mark Drop zones and navigational waypoints. These need to be visible for a distance of perhaps ten miles I have downloaded FS Scenery creator and find that there is no feature for placing a light anywhere.Is there a utility or perhaps some macros out there which will be of help to me?ThanksSam

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You will need to download a object editor like EOD or VOD and make a beacon .api file. You can then use FS Scenery creator to place the beacons. You can also use GMAX to do this.

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Thanks, This gives me a good starting point.I have downloaded EOD and will check it out.The OCCULT beacons were coded, i.e. they emmited lighted morse coded signals to designate the waypoint for which they were used. Ussually these were a single letter designation such as "G" (-.). I wonder if it is possible to create a flashing light source to emulate this.Thanks again.Sam

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OK mission accomplished. I downloadedEOD and created a macro. I now have a flashing white light at one of my waypoints but there is another small issue to deal with here.The light is very dim and small. Is there any way I can make it prominantly visible, like the airport lighting is, for a distance of say 10 or 20 miles.Thanks a million for your help thus far.Sam

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Bump! Still waiting for an answer!Thanks for your consideration!Sam

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Hi Sam, you could try placing multiple macros very close to one another. I've never tried this myself but remember reading about this in a forum somewhere. Maybe place a central one with one to either side and one above and below. A sort of array of 5 lights Tony

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Not a bad idea and I actually tried it. It efectively changes the size of the object but it is still not very bright and only comes into view when within a couple of miles of it.The other thing I tried was to make a cylindrical object 2 m by 2m by 2m in EOD. This was painted white with no shading or night effects (iluminated) the result was like having a brighter light but it still does not come into view until you are nearly on top of it. It also does not flash.There has got to be a way. Aircraft beacons are visible at some distance as is airport lighting. and these flash.Either there is a secret utility out there for generating this sort of thing, some secret feature of the common utilities or a magic code I can paste into a macro to do this.Someone out there has to have an answer.Sam

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Hi Sam,I don't know how this EOD beacon of yours works in terms of generating the light but I've had similar problems when trying to place obstruction lights and marine navigation lights: they would fade out at about a mile distance.The solution in my case was to manipulate the mip maps of the light effect's texture (and credit for that idea goes to Rhumbaflappy). If you use the default bitmaps or make your own with imagetool the lower-level mipmaps are not just smaller but also non-white, which leads to the limited visibility. Loading each mipmap into Photoshop and making them pure white, then loading them back into the texture via imagetool, did the trick for me. Now the ob-lights are visible from much farther out.Cheers, Holger

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Thanks Holger;My first try was to create a light using EOD. The result was dim and did not come into view until I was right on top of it. As I dod not know what texture was used, if any, for this feature by EOD, I decided to experiment with solid objects.As an experiment, I created a cylendar with 2m dimensions overall and used the paint option to make all the sides pure white. with no night effects (i.e. illuminated) and the result was prominantly visible at short range.Following your advice I created a pure white texture (32 bit extended bmp with mips using DXTBMP and used this as a texture for all sides of the cylendar.The result was aquired visually at a 12 mile range but tended to flicker until I was virtually on top of it.I then tried to increase the size of the macro using EOD, all such attempts make it invisible.I consider this is progress and would like to know why the object is flickering and why it dissapears when I make it over 2m in size. The technique might have some use in creating a steady light.Thanks for the response. I have more questions butI figure the best way to approach this is one or maybe two questions at a time.SamP.S. What utilities did you use to make your lights?

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Hi Sam,I just placed my lights as XML effects on top of the "light bulb" fixtures of my buoys and skeleton towers. These lights are non-directional (well, some are but I didn't want to go into that much detail) and thus I didn't need a rotating or fixed beacon.Cheers, Holger

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I'm not sure how this will work in EOD but in FSDS2 I make multiple visable disks that are different sizes and then set them to be visable from different distances. At 5 miles you can't see the beacons structure andway. Try the closest diameter of .5 meter for a 250 meters, 2 meter diameter from 250 to 5000 meters, and 6 meter diameter for greater that 5000 meters.

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Yes I am beginnign to think that effects are the way to go with these things.To give you an idea here is what I am trying to do.I am creating the navigational waypoints used by the IXth troop carrier command during operation NEPTUNE BOSTON, The Airborne invasion of Normandy, France, for use in FS9.Two kinds of visual markers were used in most of these waypoints:"OCCULT" beacons were borrowed from the British and emitted a single letter morse coded signal to identify the waypoint at which they were placed. These were white omni-directional lights.Holophane lights, which were used to mark two waypoints and the drop zones. These were with one exception steady lights visible at a distance of about ten miles and came in three colors, red, green, and amber.The lights were set up in a "T" configuration at the Drop Zones with the tail of the "T" emmiting a single letter Morse coded signal to designate the particular DZ at which it was placed. High frequency "radar" beacons were also used and I am simulating these by placing short range VOR or NDB beacons where needed.I am doing this to create an interactive educational tool to familiarize interested persons in the mechanics of conduction an airborne lift during WWII.As for the light issues I am hoping that I can twiddle with effects, i.e. create flashing lights of varying frequencies, delays, and durations, placed at the same location to simulate the flashing morse code.There has been some discussion regarding the range at which lights become visible as well as flickering effects, I am not sure if these are artifacts associated with autogen scenery. I have noticed that the beacons on AI aircraft are visible at great range and I was thinking about creating some simple scenery macros. and attaching lights to them to render a readily visible light with a range that will suit my needs.I am new (actually real green) when it comes to GMAX and effects. and no doubt will need a little help along the way.Do you think I am on the right track here?Sam

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