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Guest horst18519

Ramp Lighting

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Gentlemen,From messages here, I've come to grips with the apparent fact that GMAX light objects do not work in FS2004 but that one uses effects for this. OK, I have used effects to place red obstacle lights on top of hangars so have the basics of effect placement. I have not been successful in finding an effect to light a ramp area in front of a hangar. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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Can I just qualify your comment please. GMax object lights DO work in FS2004 if they have been compiled with the earlier FS2002 version of MakeMDL which exports the object directly as a BGL. It's only when you start using the new MakeMDL for FS2004 that this becomes difficult.I've hit the same problem as yourself because I wanted to convert my apron lights into library objects - which I can't do with the early BGL files. When I moved on to the FS2004 MakeMDL and exported the lights as MDL files I did indeed find the lights no longer work. There is a workaround, as Arno kindly explained, but it looks like you will need to edit the code. See my post below on FS9 MakeMDL problems..boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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As I wrestle with this, what does the 2004 Makemdl do that the 2002 Makemdl not do? Can one use the 2002 version to create for 2004?

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I can't answer that too deeply as I have only just started to use the newer version.At a simple level the FS2002 MakeMDL converter would export GMax objects as BGL files whereas the new version converts the output to both an MDL and XML file. The FS2002 conveter also allowed you access to the export options such as the Crash map, Light map, Night map etc etc. With the newer version you can only get to these if you use a utility like MDLCommander.If you use the early FS2002 MakeMDL file the output seems to work fine in FS2004 and (obviously) the scenery is backward compatible with FS2002. Here's a shot of apron lights made for FS2002 but now running in FS2004 - white for the ramp but orange (sodium) for the roadways:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/111691.jpgThere are obvious advantages to using the new MakeMDL exporter, one being the ability to convert the MDL/XML output into library files but someone else will have to chip in here with the deeper knowledge of this tool - I'm just beginning..boneshttp://fsaviation.nethttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/ng_driver.jpg

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The scenery I am doing is not rocket science. Maybe the 2002 MakeMDL will do all I need. If it doesn't, maybe I can create one file with the lights and delete everything else and then create the same file without the lights with 2004 MakeMDL.

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Unfortunately there is a bug in the new MakeMDL that causes these light commands to not export correct. With some source code tweaking you can make them work again. But it is probably easier to make your lights with the old gamepack.I would still advice you to do all your other objects with the new gamepack. Placing your objects is for example much easier with the XML code and the performance also seems to be slightly better.

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Thanks, I am retooling for 2002 on my laptop. I'll keep the 2004 gamepack on my desktop. In order to have a clean install, I uninstalled and then reinstalled GMAX on the laptop. Then I installed the 2002 MakeMDL SDK files in the plugins directory but I am apparently still missing something since it won't compile. Are there other files that need to be in the plugin directory? The GMAX install is 1.2 from the "GMAX Bible" CD.

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Hi Mike,There is a document (and some files) with the Fs2004 SDK, that tells you how you can use both together that works much easier.You also need the fsmodelexp.dle file that came with Fs2002 to be able to export.

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I went to the web site listed but saw nothing of a fx type. Probably would have helped if I spoke German.

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Oh, sorry. ;-)Yes, the HP is in german. You should be directed to a screenshot with a terminal and some airliners. The lightdots and the ramplighting is made with effects.

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Hi Thorsten,That looks nice. How many of these effects have you placed at the airport? And does it influence the performance much?I once tried a realistic amount of LIGHT_LAND lights on my airport, but it killed the performance :).And the last question would then be of course, can we use the effects as well :). I did not see them in the download section, but my German is not that good anymore.

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Hi Arno,thankyou. :-)Of course the effects affect the performance, but it really is OK. I can't say at the moment how many fps I lost. But I can't see a big difference between day and night (of course the fx is only active at night/dusk/dawn). I placed about 150 single effects.I attached a zip with the effects and a texture for the fx. It's build on the halo.bmp, which I find very useful for many applications.I'm jut entering the scenery-design, but I think I'll make an english version of my HP in order to avoid languageproblems like this...

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Hi Thorsten,Thanks. I am certainly going to take a look at them :).Can you maybe indicate what is the difference between the 3 FX files? I see lichtkegel and lichtkegel_sm, I assume these are the normal light beams, but what is the difference in the sm version? And the strahler file what kind of light does it contain?As I am Dutch, I have had some German at school (and some words look similar to Dutch anyway), so I must say I did not have a very big problem with your website :).The LIGHT_LAND I refered to, I think I had placed around 120 light posts in that case (which a few LIGHT_LAND lights on each) and that halfed my framerate. So I guess effects are more efficient.

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Yes, I'd say that effects are very efficient.Sorry, that I didn't comment the files.strahler - the lightdots simulating the spotlights above the terminal.lichtkegel - a lightbeam on the ground with a radius of about 50m.lichtkegel_sm - a smaller lightbeam on the ground with a radius of about 25m.Take a look at the other pictures at my FIMP-project-airport. I only designed it for myself to learn more about making sceneries.For the moment I'm improvising and testing very much, but maybe someday it's good enough to make a scenery that can be downloaded.

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Arno & Thorsten,Thanks for the help. I'm on the road and away from my desktop computer and laptop GMAX won't work. I tried a clean GMAX install trying to get FS2002 MakeMDL functionality but never got it to work. Now it looks like the effects Thorsten has may work in FS2004 MakeMDL. My problem in that after reinstalling GMAX, the FS2004 Gamepack and FS2004 MakeMDL, GMAX claims MakeMDL is not in its path. I have it in the Gamepack Plugin directory yet it balks. Suggestions are much appreciated!

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Thanks for the upload. As soon as I get my GMAX installation running I will be trying this. Your help is invaluable.

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Hi Mike,Have you just used the installer to install the Fs2004 gamepack? After that you should have a new shortcut that you can use to start GMax with this gamepack. No need to worry about the location of files etc, that is all done automatically.

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Arno,Yes, after reinstalling GMAX, I installed the FS2004 Gamepack and then installed the FS2004 MakeMDL and I checked to make sure that the FSMODELEXP.DLE file is in the plugin directory. Life isn't supposed to be this complicated.Thanks

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Hi Mike,Are you sure that you start GMax with the Fs2004 shortcut? Else the gamepack is not loaded correct.

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New wrinkle! The effect you made available to us works great on my desktop computer. When I copy scenery directory with files to my laptop and texture files also, no effects go with transfer. Is there a setting on the computers that needs to be adjusted to view effects? I am nearing the point of uploading the scenery to the library and by transferring from one computer to the other am proving (or not) the process for those that will download it. So far, I'm not batting well!

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Hi Thorston, can you tell me what effect file and texture you used to get the effect on your light poles? Jay

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As it turns out, I had an errant exclude file floating around. Once I deleted that, all is well. Thanks!

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