Several Issues with Aircraft Light Effects

Hello Asobo, Hello All,

We’re having several issues creating and optimizing our (exterior) aircraft lights, based on the legacy light effects that are still being used for all default aircraft included with MSFS.

Comment: Until lights can be created with the new SFX editor, it would be very useful to have a section in the SDK about the slightly modified legacy light effects that are still in use. There are some parameters in the the light effect file such as “NearEndFade” that we are unfamiliar with and for which we cannot find any information, even in the legacy FSX special effects SDK.

These are the issues we encountered:

  1. When using “Blend Mode = 2” in the ParticleAttributes section, we are still getting a bright square surrounding the particle when it is displayed in the sim. We are using the default “FX_0.png” texture (a white circle with a gradient on a pure black background). Black should be transparent when using the “additive” blend mode (2). The black background surrounding the white circle should not be displayed as a bright square. Only the particle, simulating the light, should be visible. We’ve checked the background in the source PNG file and in the final DDS file used in the aircraft package and in both cases, it is pure black (0,0,0). We also tested some particle textures of our own, all with a black background, and they are all displayed as bright squares. Is this an outstanding issue that needs to be fixed or are we missing something?

  2. Illuminated particles in all light effects fade when moving the camera away or towards (or zooming in and out) the aircraft light when in the outside view. We realized after many trials and errors that this might have something to do with the “NearEndFade” and “NearFade” parameters in ParticleAttributes section of the effect file, for which there seems to be no available documentation. We tried different values, and the particles still disappear when we move the camera or zoom. We don’t want the particles in the light effect to disappear when we zoom or move closer to the aircraft light. How can we prevent this from happening? Any other new parameters that we don’t know about? We don’t have this issue with our legacy effects in our FSX models.

  3. Exterior light effects pass through walls and are reflected inside the cockpit. This is due to the position of the landing lights and beacon lights on our aircraft model. This is an old FSX issue that should have been fixed a long time ago. Exterior light should not pass through the opaque walls of the cabin or cockpit. As a work around, we changed the spotlight’s inner and outer angles and reorient the light effect. It does the trick but again, light should not pass through opaque walls. (Note: We noticed the same thing inside the cockpit with spotlights and bounce lights. They pass through opaque objects.)

Thank you for providing any help or suggestion. As usual, we might have missed something.

Alain
Producer
Xtreme Prototypes Development Team
Montreal, Canada