How to make 3D landing lights for FSX

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Xpand
Posts: 50
Joined: 06 Sep 2010, 16:54

How to make 3D landing lights for FSX

Post by Xpand » 07 Jan 2012, 00:43

It's been a while since I posted anything...
Oh well, here's my recepie for making cool looking 3D landing light for FSX planes, like this:
Image
I learned this one with Bill Leaming from Eaglesoft.

This is very simple and works in both gmax and 3DS Max, as long as you have the FSX SDK:
Start by making a texture sheet like this:
Image

This is going to be what defines the light splash on the ground and the gradient is the fallof of the light cone.

Now in gmax/3dsmax create a cone, that is going to be the light cone, and place it in front of the landing light housing in the plane. Make the smaller part of the cone the same diameter as the light lamp and make the larger side of the cone have a diameter that makes the cone's side make more or less a 40 degree angle between themselves, kinda like this (I used two cones because the plane has both a taxi and landing light), delete the larger end cap and flip the normals:
Image

And make a plane with the size of the wanted landing light splash, at the level of the landing gear when it's ground compressed. Then make 2 copies of it and move them upward a bit so that they're not coincident but are not too apart from each other that you can notice the gap and attach them all to each other, that will give the light more intensity. You can do the same with the cones and duplicate them.
Image

Now apply the textures and map both the cone and the plane. The gradient goes to the cone and the splash shape to the planes.

Now for the material:
FSX Material:
Put the texture in the diffuse, specular and self-illumination slots.
Increase the self-ilum to 100.

FSX material properties:
//FRESNEL RAMP//
Fresnel Ramp: Make a R:32 G:32 B:32, 254x4 bitmap and use it as the fresnel ramp.
Check the Specular box in the Fresnel Ramp section.

//SPECIAL FUNCTIONALITY//
Blend diffuse by inverse of specular map alpha, checked.
Reflection scale=0
Specular map power scale=256 (max)

//FRAMEBUFFER BLEND//
click Set Default Transparent
Source Blend=DestColor
Destination Blend=InvSrcAlpha

//Emissive properties//
AdditiveNightOnly

//MATERIAL ALPHA TEST//
Check Z-Test Alpha
Alpha Test Level=0
Alpha Test Mode=Always

//FINAL ALPHA BLEND//

Check the box and slider on the max

//Enhanced Parameters//

No shadow checked

This is all for material. When you export it for FSX it should appear as the image I shown in first place.

Now for animation and visibility.
If your landing gear is retractable and has the landing light lamp attached to it, link the cones to the landing gear.

Now you have to add the following visibility codes to your modeldef.xml file:

Code: Select all

 

<PartInfo>
    <Name>light_land_gear</Name>
    <Visibility>
      <Parameter>
        <Code>
        (A:GEAR CENTER POSITION, percent) 90 >
        (A:LIGHT LANDING, bool)
        and
	</Code>
      </Parameter>
    </Visibility>
  </PartInfo>

 <PartInfo>
    <Name>light_land_splash</Name>
    <Visibility>
      <Parameter>
        <Code>
        (A:LIGHT LANDING, bool)
        (A:PLANE ALT ABOVE GROUND, feet) 10 <
	and
 	(A:GEAR CENTER POSITION, percent) 90 >
	and
	</Code>
      </Parameter>
    </Visibility>
  </PartInfo>

In gmax/3dsmax select the light cone, go to the "attach point tool" and click visibility and scroll down until you find "light_land_gear" and click "attach to selected geometry". Do the same thing for the planes, only instead you'll select the "light_land_splash" tag.
And voilá! You have yourself a nifty set of 3D landing lights!

Any doubts or problems, just tell me!

GaryG
Posts: 880
Joined: 19 Jul 2009, 10:32

Re: How to make 3D landing lights for FSX

Post by GaryG » 07 Jan 2012, 07:17

Very nice of you for sharing such information. Thanks a lot !

Xpand
Posts: 50
Joined: 06 Sep 2010, 16:54

Re: How to make 3D landing lights for FSX

Post by Xpand » 07 Jan 2012, 15:07

No problemo!
I'm going to post one on how to make realistic looking glass in a while.

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