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Mathijs Kok

Topic: Lights... I see the light!

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New discussion topic, aircraft lights. We now have these lights defined (apart from the option for developers to create them for an aircraft). Are we missing anything? Where is FSX wrong (and yes we know about the landing-lights not lighting up the objects and the crazy way some lights are interlinked in FSX)? What am I forgetting?

LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_1

LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_2

LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_3

LIGHTS_INT_PANEL_1

LIGHTS_INT_PANEL_2

LIGHTS_INT_PANEL_3

LIGHTS_INT_CABIN

LIGTHTS_INT_CABIN_DIMMED

LIGHTS_EXT_LANDING_LEFT

LIGHTS_EXT_LANDING_CENTER

LIGHTS_EXT_LANDING_RIGHT

LIGHTS_EXT_STROBES

LIGHTS_EXT_BEACON

LIGHTS_EXT_TAXI

LIGHTS_EXT_RECOGNITION

LIGHTS_EXT_WING_LEFT

LIGHTS_EXT_WING_RIGHT

LIGHTS_EXT_NAVIGATION

LIGHTS_EXT_TURNOFF_LEFT

LIGHTS_EXT_TURNOFF_RIGHT

LIGHTS_EXT_LEADING_EDGE

LIGHTS_EXT_WHEEL_WELL

LIGHTS_EXT_LOGO_LEFT

LIGHTS_EXT_LOGO_RIGHT

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It'd be fun if lights could actually be light sources, instead of some graphical gimmick that makes no sense at all (like the way it's implemented in FSX). Also, make sure they don't end up like those crazy lights in X-plane, where the lights on the plane seem to be some really advanced kind of plasma orbs, but resemble nothing i've ever seen in real life. Also, make sure they actually comply to FAA regulations as far as blinking/rotation frequencies are concerned.. even better, make the frequencies adjustable to devs (i don't think that was the case in FS9, where all aircraft had their lights blinking way too fast.. not sure about FSX).

Also.. have a good look at how Orbx has implemented for example streetlights in the scenery.. each lamppost actually casts some light on the ground, and it's really a nice thing to see. Speaking of Orbx.. wouldn't it be amazing to have those guys onboard to take care of all the scenery textures and related stuff?

Oh.. and those light-beams which the white-green rotating lights on the airports cast could use a lot of improvement too..

I guess the point is just to make things look natural.. it's those little details that make a sim fun to play.. for me anyways. Have little lights on the road traffic, green/red ones on the ships, some neon lights on buildings, etc

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I think you are forgetting the LIGHTS_TOILET_1... :P

The only one I think you could add would be spot-ligt/s for SAR aircraft/helicopters.

I would like to see all aircraft lights cast realistic beams on items (i.e. be a light source), but things like road lights are fine being just light points.

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New discussion topic, aircraft lights. We now have these lights defined (apart from the option for developers to create them for an aircraft). Are we missing anything? Where is FSX wrong (and yes we know about the landing-lights not lighting up the objects and the crazy way some lights are interlinked in FSX)? What am I forgetting?

Do you talk only aircraft lights here? Otherwise I'd like to see some tower beacon, taxiway and rwy lights defined, e.g. for either pilot controlled lighting at smaller airfields or malfunctions of a light system on the ground (imagine just to see the threshold lights and PAPI when descending through a 300ft cloud layer... Also, taxiway signs might get a switch.

Phil

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Fsx missing 3D lights.. But it exist a addon that make the light to 3D. Seems more relistic

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LIGHTS_EXT_LOGO_LEFT

LIGHTS_EXT_LOGO_RIGHT

two separate Logo lights? but ok, moe is better ;-)

From the A2A Aircrafts I know that the warbirds e.g. P47 have three (or more) different recognition lights:

green, red, amber

And the B377 has a passing light

Don't forget that many aircraft have a retractable light.

And the airliners have in the cockpit some dimming lights.

e.g. in the PMDG MD11 (also the J41) you have about 6 or 8 dimming knobs for several cabin and instrument lights.

So its important to have not just ON/OFF lights, but also dimmers

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LIGHTS_EXT_STORM comes to mind.. Some airplanes I've seen have this as a toggle, I know sometimes it just causes the strobe lights to work in a different sequence than the normal strobe.

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Whilst mentioned above, to expand on guenselis post, recognition lights for both modern and historic aircraft, whether 'slime' lights or other night aids for air to air refuelling as well as specific lights on certain aircraft.

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What about lights on retracting airstairs etc? Perhaps some additional individual light sources in the cabin for something like reading lights in an executive jet.

Cheers,

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LIGHTS_INT_CARGO_HOLD_1/2? On a PAX plane the places where cargo, baggage, etc is placed. Not sure if that is even controlled from the cockpit or by the handlers themselves with a switch in the compartment. Could be a nice detail though, to see the light go on inside a little time after the door is opened for the truck.

Simon

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Last year i was in LA, and as i was standing outside, i saw 2 alternating lights coming in my direction. It turned out to be a twin prop plane which had a landing light on each wing, which were alternating each half second or so. I've never seen that over here in Holland, but a little research shows that it's used here and there to increase visibility, and some say it also scares birds away.

Here's an example of a raytheon jet using flashing landing lights.. On this jet they flash simultaneously, but apparently there are several modes, and the one i saw had them flashing alternately (like a wig-wag).

This is an explanation of such a system:

Apparently most jets and whatnot have such a system.. so i guess it'd be appropiate to simulate this as well?

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LIGHTS_EXT_STORM comes to mind.. Some airplanes I've seen have this as a toggle, I know sometimes it just causes the strobe lights to work in a different sequence than the normal strobe.

Got any source for that? Might be a nice idea.

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Last year i was in LA, and as i was standing outside, i saw 2 alternating lights coming in my direction. It turned out to be a twin prop plane which had a landing light on each wing, which were alternating each half second or so. I've never seen that over here in Holland, but a little research shows that it's used here and there to increase visibility, and some say it also scares birds away.

Here's an example of a raytheon jet using flashing landing lights.. On this jet they flash simultaneously, but apparently there are several modes, and the one i saw had them flashing alternately (like a wig-wag).

This is an explanation of such a system:

Apparently most jets and whatnot have such a system.. so i guess it'd be appropiate to simulate this as well?

Nice one, and thanks for the links.

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Nice one, and thanks for the links.

Mathijs, Looking Glass studios Flight unlimited 3 had the pulsing landing lights simulated on the Beechjet 400A around year 1999 blush.gif

Also Eaglesoft have implemented this in their version of the Beechjet 400A, I think perhaps maybe Abacus had it also on "corporate pilot" addon

This is a cool feature I think, and seems to be good for safety also.

Mathijs, if you have the time, take a look back on FU3(just for some ideas), it was quite good at special features, had good clouds, great nightlighting(for the era), fotoreal terrain, nice ATC ,and many more things, they had weather radar and a good autopilot also.. also had a proper reversing mechanism, and you could get flameouts on the engines in the air if you really gave it some speed, and in rough cold weather(heavy rain) it could flame out also if you did not have ignition-starter switches on flight-setting if the conditions called for it

smile.gif

Also It had a really cool random weather generator, wich was easy to use, which you selected season-spring,summer,fall,winter settings and it would generate weather based on the probablility that of kind of weather for the given season, quite nice.

That program manager from FU3 is now actually a Beechjet 400A pilotwink.gif he helped the development for Eaglesoft's Beecjet400A project

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In FSX, the external lights (LIGHTS_EXT_WING_* for exemple) don't work properly.

It comes into the interior of the plane (if you have a cabin view of course).

It's because FSX don't make real lighting (with 3d support) but only show a strange 3d image...

I think you know all of this, but who knows... :)

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How about variable dimming for cockpit lighting ( instrument , panel , flood )

How about the storm position of the panel lights ? This is actually an interesting case . They cast a more intence light in the respective panel section such that if a lightning occurs near and infront of the pilots (nightime) the blinding effect is minimized . Maybe that can be simulated .

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How about variable dimming for cockpit lighting ( instrument , panel , flood )

How about the storm position of the panel lights ? This is actually an interesting case . They cast a more intence light in the respective panel section such that if a lightning occurs near and infront of the pilots (nightime) the blinding effect is minimized . Maybe that can be simulated .

Variable dimming sounds like a fantastic idea. I wonder how difficult it would be to implement. I don't think I have ever seen that done in FSX or X-plane before (I could be wrong, I often am)

Rhydian

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Mathijs: Seems the Storm light is actually an internal light, my mistake. It's on page 11-63 of PMDG 747X manual.

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Guest Dag

You should differentiate between normal red strobes as on the upper/lower fuselage of most airliners and say wintip/tail cone white strobes and they should blink in unison from another, as a general rule.

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We now have these lights defined

I'd say scrap that, and replace it with LIGHT_1, LIGHT_2, ..., LIGHT_N, or better yet, make it an array, and add NUMBER_OF_LIGHTS. I think you will never be able to guess every possible light configuration out there, so the approach needs to be more flexible. On the other hand, you provide unnecessary redundancy. What's the difference between LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_1 and LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_2, for example, apart from the knob that controls it, and the bulbs that light up in response? What's the purpose of a content creator to say 'this is a left turnoff light'? Wouldn't it be much more flexible to let them say 'this is a steady white light of medium intensity, which casts a beam on the ground, and it's controlled by light switch number 17'? Of course, a convention where the first several light switches are expected to control certain common lights might be handy, as are a couple of pre-configured light types that set color, brightness, flash rate, etc. to reasonable defaults. But I think these two - the systems modeling aspect and the 3D modeling aspect - should be distinct, and above all, it should be possible to define any number of custom lights with custom attributes, as well as any number of custom light knobs. A rigid system like you propose would be abused rather quickly anyway. Need voodoo lights? Well, just use LIGHTS_EXT_WHEEL_WELL for that, which your magic flying carpet won't need anyway. ;) On a more serious note, it should be possible to dim lights, which could be easily accomplished by setting the controlling variable to something between 0 and 1.

Judith

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Something light related : What about simulating the visual effect that strobe lights have in dence cloud at night time ?.

The reflection from the cloud is really annoying after a few seconds . Unfortunately i cannot find a video in youtube , so ill try to make a video as soon as i can .

It would add another touch of realism

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Yep, that would be much appreciated. As well as visible landing lights on and in clouds.

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I'd say scrap that, and replace it with LIGHT_1, LIGHT_2, ..., LIGHT_N, or better yet, make it an array, and add NUMBER_OF_LIGHTS. I think you will never be able to guess every possible light configuration out there, so the approach needs to be more flexible. On the other hand, you provide unnecessary redundancy. What's the difference between LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_1 and LIGHTS_INT_FLOOD_2, for example, apart from the knob that controls it, and the bulbs that light up in response? What's the purpose of a content creator to say 'this is a left turnoff light'? Wouldn't it be much more flexible to let them say 'this is a steady white light of medium intensity, which casts a beam on the ground, and it's controlled by light switch number 17'? Of course, a convention where the first several light switches are expected to control certain common lights might be handy, as are a couple of pre-configured light types that set color, brightness, flash rate, etc. to reasonable defaults. But I think these two - the systems modeling aspect and the 3D modeling aspect - should be distinct, and above all, it should be possible to define any number of custom lights with custom attributes, as well as any number of custom light knobs. A rigid system like you propose would be abused rather quickly anyway. Need voodoo lights? Well, just use LIGHTS_EXT_WHEEL_WELL for that, which your magic flying carpet won't need anyway. ;) On a more serious note, it should be possible to dim lights, which could be easily accomplished by setting the controlling variable to something between 0 and 1.

Judith

what happens when an addon developer decides to control these or record the position of the lights... TAGGING the data is the only way to insure cross compatibility between apps. They could very well be held in an array, but the tags are there to tell you which is which, not to limit the number of lights in anyway.

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Yep, that would be much appreciated. As well as visible landing lights on and in clouds.

I'd say that this should be a must . This is how we sometimes confirm at night that we are in icing conditions to use the engine anti-ice

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