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FSXA How do I build an effects texture, please?

Discussion in 'Special Effects General' started by manschy, 10 Feb 2017.

  1. manschy

    manschy

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    Hallo,

    I would like to know how I can create an effects texture. I want to place groundcrews to my several sceneries meanwhile and detected a lot of great air bases where planes with people on it are rotating to user (most ACG air bases like RAF Marham, Wattisham or the scenery Decimomannu as well...).
    All these ground crew staff people seem to be added as effects.
    I had a look at the Decimomannu effects and also its textures and find two texture sheets and about 14 effects files.
    So here comes my question:
    How do I exactly create the effect to just get only one person per effect? I know there isn't one texture sheet per effect/person but one sheet per seven effects/persons.

    Is there an option to exactly isolate the sheets segment per person like in Gmax's Unwrap UVW tool?

    That would be a great help, because how to add the effect finally to an attach point seems to be possible even to me :rolleyes:.

    Thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hello:

    You may wish to examine the (vertically-flipped) pixel coordinate scheme for mapped textures cited in the FS Special Effects SDK docs: :idea:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx#InsertMenu


    ...and in this thread:

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/difference-between-fsx-and-fx-editor.191701/#post-364448



    PS: Regarding "Decimomannu", apparently you are referring to this version of that airbase scenery package: :pushpin:


    https://library.avsim.net/search.php?SearchTerm=decimomannumil.zip&CatID=root&Go=Search


    https://library.avsim.net/download.php?DLID=189169


    Hope this helps ! :)

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2017
  3. manschy

    manschy

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    Wow, this sounds a little complicated to me, but that's not a reference lol. So it would be the best thing to use just four persons each sheet, most exactly in the middle of the four corners with feet on the horizontal middle line. This would do the job according to your suggestions, right? That's when I just use coordinates by the effects file, but how about using Gmax and the attachment point tool? Wouldn't that be more easy to create?
     
  4. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    Hi again:

    The Effects in the above "Decimomannu" addon scenery package are indeed placed via AttachPoints on 3D models.

    AFAIK, "Rotate-to-camera" FS Effects are 1-sided "sprites" specially-coded as 'flat' 3D objects mapped with textures.

    All coding for such Effects and any "UV mapping" of texture image 'sheets' are contained only in the *.Fx file itself.


    NOTE: The number of image 'areas' within the texture sheet to be used for ex: "persons" is not required to be limited.


    One merely needs to code within the individual Fx file, the 'area' within the texture sheet to be mapped / displayed by an individual Effect at run time via the (vertically-flipped) pixel coordinate scheme for mapped textures cited in the FS Special Effects SDK docs linked above.


    The percentage of the pixel Row / Column 'span' for the UV-mapped texture image area from the pixel coordinate origin point (lower Left corner) of the total overall mapped texture sheet, is the basis for defining a individual Fx mapping coordinate position on the texture sheet ...regardless of the total overall mapped texture sheet 'size' in Rows / Columns of pixels.

    IIUC, this allows a UV-mapped texture image area to be swapped between MIPMAPs according to LOD (user aircraft camera distance from a Effect) within FS at run time.


    You may note that the Effects in the above "Decimomannu" add-on scenery package use 10 texture image areas per texture sheet for "persons", and their 'UV mappings' are specified within the code for the Fx file as cited in the FS Special Effects SDK docs linked above.

    Those Fx files are placed into the [FS install path]\Effects sub-folder by the automated installer for the "Decimomannu" addon scenery package.

    The textures 'mapped' onto those Fx objects are placed into the [FS install path]\Effects\Texture sub-folder by the automated installer for the "Decimomannu" addon scenery package.


    If you open 1 of those Fx files from the above "Decimomannu" addon scenery package in Windows NotePad or Arno's FxEditor, you will see the Fx coding. ;)


    BTW: One can also 'directly' place Effects using BGLComp-type XML scenery placement methods without having the Effect associated with a 3D MDL via a AttachPoint. :idea:

    [EDITED]

    PS: Arno's FxEditor can be accessed via the links here:

    http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/fxeditor-general-information.79358/


    Alternatively, one can use the GUI provided by FSX SDK Special Effects Tool (aka "VisualFxTool.DLL") ...when that is properly enabled prior to starting FS, by an edit to the FSX DLL.XML file located in the "active" Windows user profile folder chain using ex:

    FSX DLL.XML Viewer and Repair Utility


    http://www.flight1.com/files/FSXML.zip


    The Special Effects Tool setup process can be correlated with instructions in the FS Special Effect SDK docs:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx#Setup

    [END_EDIT]


    Hope this helps a bit more ! :)

    GaryGB
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2017
  5. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    Effects textures indeed rotate to user either but you can select around which axis they should do so.

    So if you create a texture with your crew member and lock X and Y axis so it only rotated around the vertical one you should get what you want
     
  6. manschy

    manschy

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    A lot of interesting infos, thank you guys. So very important to me is the fact that you need flat 3D models in Gmax instead of planes, is this correct? May I be able to texturize it then like a normal building part?

    @ Dave:
    That sounds good indeed. I know it is possible for sure, to let my old FS9 groundcrew guys rotate also in FSX, but my poor brain is at its limits very often to use all the needed skills correctly. Or knowing about the needed skills. Sometimes I wish I simply would read a good book instead of trying to design flightsim sceneries...
     
  7. dave hoeffgen

    dave hoeffgen Resource contributor

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    This may have been done like Gary mentioned above using an ASM tweak but I'm not sure if that still works in P3D
     
  8. GaryGB

    GaryGB

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    FS Effects are created only via ASCII text within a *.Fx file, and are not '3D-modeled', nor 'textured' ...in the same way as FS MDL-based 3D objects using a interactive visual application such as GMAX / 3DSMAX, FSDS, Blender, Sketchup etc.. :pushpin:


    When you open ex: [FS install path]\Effects\fx_DeciPeople01.fx installed by the above "Decimomannu" add-on scenery package in Arno's FxEditor, you will see the Fx code (listed below for illustrative purposes), with the relatively few significantly 'unique' parameter values for this 'type' of Effect colored in Red: ;)

    [Library Effect]
    Lifetime=5
    Version=2.00
    Display Name=DeciPeople01
    Radius=200
    Priority=0

    [Emitter.0]
    Lifetime=1.00, 1.00
    Delay=0.00, 0.00
    Bounce=0.00
    No Interpolate=1
    Rate=0.00, 1.00
    X Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    Y Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    Z Emitter Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    Drag=0.00, 0.00
    X Particle Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    Y Particle Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    Z Particle Velocity=0.00, 0.00
    X Rotation=0.00, 0.00
    Y Rotation=0.00, 0.00
    Z Rotation=0.00, 0.00
    X Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Pitch=0.00, 0.00
    Bank=0.00, 0.00
    Heading=0.00, 0.00

    [Particle.0]
    Lifetime=0.00, 0.00
    Type=25
    X Scale=.4,.4
    Y Scale=1.2,1.2
    Z Scale=0.00, 0.00
    X Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
    Y Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
    Z Scale Rate=0.00, 0.00
    Drag=0.00, 0.00
    Color Rate=0.00, 0.00
    X Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Y Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Z Offset=0.00, 0.00
    Fade In=0.00, 0.00
    Fade Out=0.00, 0.00
    Rotation=0.00, 0.00
    Static=1
    Shade=1
    Face=0, 0, 1

    [ParticleAttributes.0]
    Blend Mode=1
    Texture=DeciPeople.bmp
    Bounce=0.00
    Color Start=255, 255, 255, 255
    Color End=0, 0, 0, 0
    Jitter Distance=0.00
    Jitter Time=0.00
    uv1=0.00,0.50
    uv2=0.15,1.00
    X Scale Goal=0.00
    Y Scale Goal=0.00
    Z Scale Goal=0.00
    Extrude Length=0.00
    Extrude Pitch Max=0.00
    Extrude Heading Max=0.00


    Additionally, in Arno's FxEditor, you will see [FS install path]\Effects\Texture\DeciPeople.bmp as the texture mapped to fx_DeciPeople01.fx (also installed by the above "Decimomannu" add-on scenery package).


    When [FS install path]\Effects\Texture\DeciPeople.bmp as the texture mapped to fx_DeciPeople01.fx is opened in:

    [FSX -or- Prepar3D v1.4x SDK install path]\Environment Kit\Terrain SDK\ImageTool.exe


    ...you will see in the largest MIPMAP (attached below for illustrative purposes) of the texture sheet that it contains 10 texture image areas for "persons":


    [​IMG]


    'UV mappings' for the top Left "person" image area (#6 - counting Left to Right, upwards from the bottom Left corner) individually mapped to fx_DeciPeople01.fx are specified in the code for that Fx file.



    NOTE: All the above FS Effect coding parameters and applicable unit values are detailed in the FS Special Effects SDK docs: :idea:

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx#EffectsFileFormat

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx#TheControllerFileFormat

    https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526969.aspx



    Hope this helps even more with the learning process ! :)


    GaryGB
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: 13 Feb 2017
  9. manschy

    manschy

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    Aaargh, heavy stuff, mate. But it is appreciated very much!!! Thank you for this effort, I don't take it for granted!
     

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