Lights One More Time – Lights that don’t Shine Part 1

In this post I want to explore how lights that don’t have a shine emitter behave. We know that these have a DX10 Preview limitation that they are always orientated towards the cockpit. Up until now I have thought that they are totally decoupled from the bug which affected lights that shine.

However I wondered if that is really the case?

I set the plane up as follows – so 6 lights arranged along the wings all using the same texture. However I have removed the shine emitter from the blue lights.

[LIGHTS]

//Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit

light.0 = 1, -2.76, 18.00, 2.97, TESTRED

light.1 = 2, -2.76, 10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS

light.2 = 3, -2.76, 4.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

light.3 = 1, -2.76, -4.11, 2.97, TESTRED

light.4 = 2, -2.76, -10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS

light.5 = 3, -2.76, -18.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

 

Test 18

Lights on in normal sequence (L key)

Both blues are there but cannot be viewed from outboard.

 

This is what we would expect, they are otherwise similar in setup to the default strobe lights (apart fron the fact that they don’t flash)

 

Test 19

Same setup – Lights off, then turned on just the strobe bus which is the two blue lights. They didn’t appear.

As far as I can tell they only ever appeared when the landing lights were lit.

 

Test 20

In this test I arrange for the two non shining light effects to use different textures. I was hoping that this might affect (fix!) the restricted visibility of the second light.

[LIGHTS]

//Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit

light.0 = 1, -2.76, 18.00, 2.97, TESTRED

light.1 = 3, -2.76, 10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS

light.2 = 2, -2.76, 4.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

light.3 = 1, -2.76, -4.11, 2.97, TESTRED

light.4 = 3, -2.76, -10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS2

light.5 = 2, -2.76, -18.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

 

The result was bizarre and somewhat unexpected

 

 

The blues behaved as before except that they now appeared whether the landing lights were on or not.

 

What was really surprising was that the other lights (those with shines) now appeared but were restricted to be viewable from the port side of the plane – so somehow they had inherited the restricted viewing angle of the first blue light as well as the visibility property.

 

Test 21

This is the same test as test 20 except that both blue lights now use the fx2SJP.bmp texture.

[LIGHTS]

//Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit

light.0 = 1, -2.76, 18.00, 2.97, TESTRED

light.1 = 3, -2.76, 10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS2

light.2 = 2, -2.76, 4.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

light.3 = 1, -2.76, -4.11, 2.97, TESTRED

light.4 = 3, -2.76, -10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS2

light.5 = 2, -2.76, -18.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

 

I really expected the results to be the same as test 18 – but they weren’t. The results were exactly the same as test 20 except (even stranger) that the lights with shines were visible and visible from all angles.

So this is in some sense another possible fix for the missing nav lights – whether its useful is open to question.

 

Test 22

[LIGHTS]

//Types: 1=beacon, 2=strobe, 3=navigation, 4=cockpit

light.0 = 1, -2.76, 18.00, 2.97, TESTRED

light.1 = 3, -2.76, 10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS2

light.2 = 2, -2.76, 4.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

light.3 = 1, -2.76, -4.11, 2.97, TESTRED

// light.4 = 3, -2.76, -10.11, 2.97, TESTBLUENS2

light.5 = 2, -2.76, -18.11, 2.97, TESTGREEN

 

This is a single non shining light using the fx2_SJP2 texture. The results were the same as test 20 except that the lights with shine were now visible from the starboard side of the aircraft only?!

 

Thoughts

This is all very puzzling – more tests are needed. It seems that for non shining lights fx_2.bmp has a special meaning in some way and that they can influence lights with shines but not it seems the other way round.

 

 

About stevefsx

I don't use FSX that much. But I am very annoyed when it doesn't work properly!
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2 Responses to Lights One More Time – Lights that don’t Shine Part 1

  1. Matthias Peppmüller says:

    A further comment on NAV lights in DX10 Mode:
    Did anybody realise, that the NAV lights become visible the same moment the contrails do? Perhaps it’s an artefact of my graphic card? I have installed the latest DX10 fixes, and i am very happy with dx10 mode. But i was wondering my Jet NAV lights were visible sometimes and sometimes not! Now i checked during some flights while watching my plane from outside. And in that moment the contrails come up, the NAV lights are there 🙂 Perhaps that’s a little further hint to unterstand how FSX manages NAV lights in DX10.
    Matthias from Germany

  2. Hi Steve!!
    First of all, thanks so much for your fixed files for DX10. You are doing a great work.
    Secondly thanks to you i have learned a lot on how FSX works, and now i managed to make it look as i desired (i made a very good looking realistic darker and shining water editing water and waterconstant (very hard to understand the variables in it, but i got it now after one month of try and trial :-)… a better, stronger, bloom, and so on…).

    The only thing i really miss is having good navlights…

    I tried the light fix file + aircraft.cfg modification described in the readme for the default 737 and i can say it worked. I can see shining lights on the 737, even if they are quite small, imo, but i supose they are affected from halo.bmp too, i have to try.

    Anyways, do you have some new news and updates about navlights?

    Thanks so much for your precious work on fsx.

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