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MSFS rotating beacon light tower

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No, no other lights, only the 3D model of the tower is exported. Nothing needs to be synced.

Ok, Appreciate the input, but this is not what I was looking for. What you mentioned is a "stock" rotating beacon model with lights. I do not want to use "their" model and have already eliminated it from my airport in preference of my model. I DO want to use the lights for that model though! Wonder if I can deconstruct the model somehow and figure out how to use JUST the lights with MY model. Hmmm....

Worse comes to worse, I'll eliminate my model and replace it with theirs.

TB2
 
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Christian Bahr

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Ok, Appreciate the input, but this is not what I was looking for. What you mentioned is a "stock" rotating beacon model with lights. I do not want to use "their" model and have already eliminated it from my airport in preference of my model. I DO want to use the lights for that model though! Wonder if I can deconstruct the model somehow and figure out how to use JUST the lights with MY model. Hmmm....

Worse comes to worse, I'll eliminate my model and replace it with theirs.

TB2
But that's exactly what I did 🤔
The 3-D model of the Beacon housing comes from me. But the light is from Asobo (only the light).
 
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Ok, Appreciate the input, but this is not what I was looking for. What you mentioned is a "stock" rotating beacon model with lights. I do not want to use "their" model and have already eliminated it from my airport in preference of my model. I DO want to use the lights for that model though! Wonder if I can deconstruct the model somehow and figure out how to use JUST the lights with MY model. Hmmm....

Worse comes to worse, I'll eliminate my model and replace it with theirs.

TB2

Hi TB:

I also seek a MSFS true Rotating Green - White Civilian Airport Beacon - not one that "flashes" On / Off (with / without a 'fade' effect).


I like the image of the 3D model you showed above in your post earlier in this thread ...here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/rotating-beacon-light-tower.453047/post-913604


Is that the Rotating Beacon on top of the Ocala International Airport tower ? :scratchch

I ask because, there is typically some small Red hazard lights adjacent to such Rotating Beacons that may be required as well.

IIRC, those Red hazard lights are either Continuous On, or 'slow' On / Off types.


I am curious if it is best to make these as part of a Control Tower 3D model used to mount a separate Rotating Beacon SimObject ?

GaryGB
 
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Hi TB:

I also seek a MSFS true Rotating Green - White Civilian Airport Beacon - not one that "flashes" On / Off (with / without a 'fade' effect).


I like the image of the 3D model you showed above in your post earlier in this thread ...here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/rotating-beacon-light-tower.453047/post-913604


Is that the Rotating Beacon on top of the Ocala International Airport tower ? :scratchch

I ask because, there is typically some small Red hazard lights adjacent to such Rotating Beacons that may be required as well.

IIRC, those Red hazard lights are either Continuous On, or 'slow' On / Off types.


I am curious if it is best to make these as part of a Control Tower 3D model used to mount a separate Rotating Beacon SimObject ?

GaryGB

Yes, it is the beacon at KOCF! Well, it's supposed to be. I truly don't know what's actually up there now, being that I don't have access to the towers roof or a helicopter. The model I made is of the original airport beacon that is now in the main terminal. (Makes it real easy to make a model when I have the actual light!) The current beacon probably doesn't look anything like this one, so in all reality, I probably could use the "stock" model, and nobody would know the difference. I may give that a try to see if I get the results I want, but as you stated above, it probably "flashes" instead of rotates. THAT's not a big deal from a distance, but up close doesn't work for me. Perhaps I can simply make a combination of my light at closer distances and the stock beacon at a far distance so it wouldn't matter. Hmmm. Hadn't thought of that.

As stated above, I really don't know what is surrounding the light, except that at the top of the tower is an array of antennas that have red lights on them. So, I'll assume, (Yes, I know) that the beacon does not have a collision light on it since it is lower than the antennas.

My beacon does rotate, and the green / white lights rotate with it. So up close it looks pretty good.

The red lights. This is another issue I'm dealing with. I know how to make them, BUT I don't know how to make them visible from a distance! I have red lights on several antennas, buildings, towers at the airport, but they are barely visible until you're right on them! The streetlights are brighter than my lights! I would love to find a solution to this issue!

I made the tower and beacon as separate models and simply(?) put my beacon on the top of the tower. I found it's easier to have two separate models.

beacon 3.jpg
beacon 2.jpg
beacon 1.jpg


TB2
 
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When I last updated my Essen/Mülheim Airport EDLE, I added the so-called "Asobo Beacon Light" to the tower. the light is visible in fog and has great visibility.
In the first step you create a dummy object in your 3D model and call it attachpoint_beacon, for example:


View attachment 86936

In the next step you reference the dummy object with the same name in your XML placement file:

<!--SceneryObject name: mh_flughafen_tower (Beacon)-->
<SceneryObject parentGroupID="8" groupIndex="18" lat="51.40647299999826" lon="6.93854500000000" alt="0.00000000000000" pitch="0.000041" bank="-0.000041" heading="135.000000" imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE" altitudeIsAgl="TRUE" snapToGround="TRUE" snapToNormal="FALSE">
<LibraryObject name="{59589256-FB71-4D94-99D8-953DC12312BE}" scale="1.000000"/>
<AttachedObject attachpointName="attachpoint_beacon" instanceId="{42910FFC-EEF5-43B1-A0F6-AEB885F7B95A}" pitch="0.000000" bank="0.000000" heading="0.000000">
<Beacon type="CIVILIAN" baseType="AIRPORT"/>
</AttachedObject>

</SceneryObject>


The referencing can also be done in the Scenery Editor, where you only have to use the tower as a beacon light object. It's called Replace Beacon Light Model, or something like that.

View attachment 86937

Ok, here's what I've come up with. After MUCH experimentation, testing and frustrations,

I get the flashing intense beacon, but for some reason it's about 50 feet above where I placed it in my rotating beacon model. (My model is 53 feet over the ground at the top of the control tower).

Also, (and most frustrating,) is I attempted to make it ONLY show up in the far LOD of the model so it wouldn't be present all of the time. I do not want it to overpower the rotating beacon model that already emits light beams when viewing up close.

I would rather not use the bright "stock" beacon unless I can set it where and "when" I can have it "enable".

I discovered that you CANNOT see the beacon (light) when in project or scenery editor. I have to compile the airport, exit out, put the file(s) in the community folder and restart MSFS for it to work. (Unless I'm missing something?)

I also didn't understand your last line in the post above.

Thanks!

TB2
 

Christian Bahr

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"I get the flashing intense beacon, but for some reason it's about 50 feet above where I placed it in my rotating beacon model. (My model is 53 feet over the ground at the top of the control tower)."

I also have this offset, it is about 6.44m on the X axis. I solved it by shifting the reference point of the dummy object by 6.44m:

rotationg_beacon_offset.jpg

"I discovered that you CANNOT see the beacon (light) when in project or scenery editor. I have to compile the airport, exit out, put the file(s) in the community folder and restart MSFS for it to work. (Unless I'm missing something?)"

Unfortunately, I don't know your workflow, but I don't have to move the files to the community folder and I don't have to restart the sim either (3dsm babylon Exporter). I've symlinked to the package folder and pretty much all changes are updated on-the-fly.

"I also didn't understand your last line in the post above."

This means that you can write the beacon code directly into your XML project file. You can also add the Beacon Light to your 3D model in the Scenery Editor. There is also the "Has beacon" option in the Scenery Editor:
 

=rk=

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There is also the "Has beacon" option in the Scenery Editor:
FYI, "has Beacon" also includes the offset, which means that if you decide to use the default beacon placed with the Scenery Editor, you will have to include a second instance of said beacon which uses the beacon attach point, buried below at presumably, Christian's same offset, in order to see the beacon and light together.
 

rhumbaflappy

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Here's an example of a beacon set to an attachpoint. You need to jump through hoops to get it. It needs to have the package compiled and the package placed in the Community.
XML:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<FSData version="9.0">
    <!--SceneryObject name: VertexBrickCube-->
    <SceneryObject groupIndex="1" lat="42.62955774618441" lon="-88.60053272113089" alt="0.00000000000000" pitch="0.000000" bank="0.000000" heading="0.0" imageComplexity="VERY_SPARSE" altitudeIsAgl="TRUE" snapToGround="FALSE" snapToNormal="FALSE">
        <LibraryObject name="{A7836CA0-32C4-4C1B-8865-CE0DD63BEB67}" scale="1.000000"/>
        <AttachedObject attachpointName="myattachpoint" instanceId="{C8FC79C5-CE91-45E3-90ED-95ABBA54E0A8}" pitch="0.000000" bank="0.000000" heading="0.000000">
            <Beacon type="CIVILIAN" baseType="AIRPORT"/>
        </AttachedObject>
    </SceneryObject>
    <Airport groupID="1" groupGenerated="FALSE" state="Wisconsin" city="Delavan" name="Lake Lawn" ident="C59" lat="42.63388284867607" lon="-88.60112657613251" alt="288.77326180133969" magvar="2.000000" trafficScalar="1.000000" airportTestRadius="5000.00000000000000" applyFlatten="FALSE" isOnTIN="FALSE" starAirport="TRUE">
        <Aprons/>
        <PaintedElements/>
        <ApronEdgeLights/>
    </Airport>
</FSData>
This is the placement, and the rest of the code is a stub airport (not really needed). I edited this post... Sometimes the beacon won't display in DevMode. But it does display in the final package. You can use MCX to create ans save an empty attachpoint of your naming and location, if your 3d program doesn't allow empty nodes.

Untitled.png
 
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Christian Bahr

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FYI, "has Beacon" also includes the offset, which means that if you decide to use the default beacon placed with the Scenery Editor, you will have to include a second instance of said beacon which uses the beacon attach point, buried below at presumably, Christian's same offset, in order to see the beacon and light together.
Rick, is this offset always the same, or does it vary along one axis and along another axis?
I would also be interested in the background of this offset. Do you have an explanation for that?
 

=rk=

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The offset for the "has beacon," for the default rotating EDJA beacon, is some value greater than 6.44 meters, I just checked. The thing is that the light effect is not rotating and does not even conform to the frequency of the model, which does have it's own rotating light that is visible at night at least as far as the edge of the field, possibly further. Granted the light effect seems much brighter up close, but Asobo light effects attenuate weirdly, an example being the default blue taxi lights, which are little blue dots up close, but much brighter at distance.

That said, rotating beacons are left over from a bygone era of night VFR. The default is authentic to this particular airport, with the green and white, so it will stay as is. As to the reason for the offset, I believe it is arbitrary. I believe the original effect engine suffered the most, of all the various components that made up the FS9/FSX universe, when Asobo "modernized" it and the few light effects they hacked into the code, have been the best possible, thus far. The original "has beacon" was a rotating light effect with a visible beam that exactly corresponded to the position and rotation of the model. The military version had three lenses, for the two white one green flash.

Ok the Asobo has beacon light effect is strobed, it does not rotate, nor cast a beam, it does illuminate and the strobe fades in and out to give the appearance of rotation. This is not original from FSX and I believe the offset is as close as it could be set.
 
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The offset for the "has beacon," for the default rotating EDJA beacon, is some value greater than 6.44 meters, I just checked. The thing is that the light effect is not rotating and does not even conform to the frequency of the model, which does have it's own rotating light that is visible at night at least as far as the edge of the field, possibly further. Granted the light effect seems much brighter up close, but Asobo light effects attenuate weirdly, an example being the default blue taxi lights, which are little blue dots up close, but much brighter at distance.

That said, rotating beacons are left over from a bygone era of night VFR. The default is authentic to this particular airport, with the green and white, so it will stay as is. As to the reason for the offset, I believe it is arbitrary. I believe the original effect engine suffered the most, of all the various components that made up the FS9/FSX universe, when Asobo "modernized" it and the few light effects they hacked into the code, have been the best possible, thus far. The original "has beacon" was a rotating light effect with a visible beam that exactly corresponded to the position and rotation of the model. The military version had three lenses, for the two white one green flash.

Ok the Asobo has beacon light effect is strobed, it does not rotate, nor cast a beam, it does illuminate and the strobe fades in and out to give the appearance of rotation. This is not original from FSX and I believe the offset is as close as it could be set.

IIUC, Rick refers to the FS2Kx "true" rotating 3D Beacon, as previously discussed here:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/airport-rotating-3d-beacons.451551/

There may be a number of differing applications for MSFS SDK compatible lighting configurations in static or animated 3D models. :)

Personally, I consider controlling display / occultation of 3D lights for light houses / airport beacons a top priority, since MSFS (using purportedly 'state of the art' methods) shipped with no rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon. :banghead:




IIUC, in the MSFS SDK, we have thus far only been provided with worked examples of what are 3D modeled "Blinking Effects", rather than true animated emissive 3D light cones (with many Kilometers of visibility upon approach to airport).


I look forward to seeing a 3D modeling savant produce a MSFS-2020 compatible version of the legacy FS2Kx / FSX / P3D rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon, even if it ends up being a SimObject. :scratchch

Some pertinent info and prior efforts to create a custom version of that beacon for FSX were discussed here: :idea:



IIUC, at the end of the Day (...meaning at Night, when lights are supposed to be visible in scenery of MSFS as a 'state of the art' ffff_light simulator ;) ), Windows renders MSFS via DirectX-11 (and purportedly via DirectX-12 by the end of summer).


fsx_sp2_default_civilian_rotating_airport_beacon_light_cones-jpg-jpg.69596

(Source: [FSX install path]\Scenery\Global\Scenery\Airport_Objects.BGL)


Note MCX' Material Properties for Light Cones of the FSX legacy format rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon:

fsx_sp2_default_civilian_rotating_airport_beacon_light_cones_material_properties-1-jpg-jpg.69597


fsx_sp2_default_civilian_rotating_airport_beacon_light_cones_material_properties-2-jpg-jpg.69598


fsx_sp2_default_civilian_rotating_airport_beacon_light_cones_material_properties-3-jpg-jpg.69599


Surely, if we already have a exemplary and fully functional rotating Green / White civilian airport beacon in FS2Kx / FSX / P3D via legacy DirectX, we 'should' also have one working in MSFS via DirectX-11 by now (...6 months post-release from August 2020). :rolleyes:

IMHO, "2020 vision" would have resulted in MS / Asobo having seen the need to "Git-'R-Done" long before RTM. :stirthepo

GaryGB

While I would not be surprised if there are 'flashing' beacons that may be in use at some airports, (Holger Sandmann used them for years before OrbX), I am baffled as to why, 2-1/2 years after MSFS RTM, we still do not have a replacement FS2Kx' default "true" rotating 3D Beacon object.

I have the impression that it may be due to a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of even the most talented members of the Asobo team.

And MSFS still requires trial and error to work around a FS2Kx "Effect Offset" for AttachPoints that should be at precise Cartesian Coordinates ? :yikes:


Surely someone in the FS Developer Community with advanced experience in Blender or 3DSMAX can look at Material properties in MCX for the original FS2Kx "true" rotating 3D Beacon, and make a replacement that can be mounted onto the MSFS tower or other 3D tower Models ? ;)


IMHO, if MSFS uses new technology for FS, we should end up with more-, not less- ...than we had before Asobo took over development. :stirthepo

AFAIK, all FS scenery animations render via DirectX; DX-11 / DX-12 should be able to render a rotating beacon "object" as well as Dx-9. :pushpin:


PS: Oops; I almost forgot to complain about the fact that MSFS omitted giving us a converted VFX version of FS2Kx' "Fireworks" Effects. :laughing:

GaryGB
 
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=rk=

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I don't want to make excuses for Asobo, I I want to suggest that the VFX engine in use, is toast. Effects, in FSX, were a thing for me, I did them professionally. I made water fountains, sand storms, I made a fire foam effect for a commercial addon and of course, tons and tons of lights. This is the same engine, the interface has been reworked and the old text format .fx file has been obscured, but if Asobo allowed that same text file for input, it would work, because all the parameters are the same. The "particles" still rise with heat and fall. The original effects system had been designed to work like smoke, presumably since idling engine exhaust smoke and campfires, are the only two things they ever thought they'd need to create effects for, because "temperature driven buoyancy, over time" is a extremely contrived way to control persistence.
Just the very fact that I cannot sit down to a real session with the VFX Tool, before it crashes the sim, even with graphics turned all the way down, informs me the system is buggy.

With the FXTool, you could learn through trial and error, to create an afterburner effect. Start with a flame, change shapes, colors, it might take a while, but it is possible. With this VFX engine, it is extremely contrived to link rising smoke, with directional wind. Rising smoke, no problem, drifting smoke, no problem, need both? Luckily mamu worked it out for us. If it is possible to make "advanced" effects, I am not ruling it out, but the learning curve is like climbing Half Dome, straight up. It is so bad that many developers are using 3d models for fire and exhaust flames - except in the MSFS world, it is impossible to get polygons brighter than sunlight.

It is my belief that all the other "boutique" effects we have, the weird searchlight wash effect, the various glows, the new "default" rotating ish beacon, were not made with the VFX engine. They were made specific and then tweaked to be visible in MSFS. This is not to say it is all bad, just different. I use the term "cartoon" a lot, when referring to MSFS, but FSX was literally, "Tom and Jerry," in comparison, "The Jetsons," so all those "wonderful" effects had been wonderful, that in the Fred Flintstone world of FSX, they actually represented something recognizable.
Surely someone in the FS Developer Community with advanced experience in Blender or 3DSMAX can look at Material properties in MCX for the original FS2Kx "true" rotating 3D Beacon, and make a replacement that can be mounted onto the MSFS tower or other 3D tower Models ?
I think Christian has already done that.
 
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Surely someone in the FS Developer Community with advanced experience in Blender or 3DSMAX can look at Material properties in MCX for the original FS2Kx "true" rotating 3D Beacon, and make a replacement that can be mounted onto the MSFS tower or other 3D tower Models ? ;)

I think Christian has already done that.

EDLE_Flashing_Beacon_Green_Bloom_OFF_AMD

edle_flashing_beacon_green_bloom_off_amd-jpg.87012


EDLE_Flashing_Beacon_Green_Bloom_ON_AMD

edle_flashing_beacon_green_bloom_on_amd-jpg.87014



Shall we look forward to Christian's next version which, IIUC, may be a SimObject that displays from DUSK to DAWN ? :scratchch

Or perhaps even better, a 3DSMAX "true" rotating 3D Beacon with translucent / emissive 3D cones in MSFS ...as we now have in FS2Kx ? :wizard:


PS: Regarding the "offset" that in MSFS still requires 'trial-and-error' for Effect placement via AttachPoints etc. ...such as in FS2Kx:

edle_flashing_beacon_green_bloom_on_amd_lateral_offset-jpg.87015


Did Asobo reduce "bit depth" of floating point precision for MSFS Cartesian placement coordinates as it did for UV vertices ...to save 'bandwidth' ? :rolleyes:

GaryGB
 

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I believe this topic may merit a review of the content linked in this post:

Which "has_symmetry" parameter spelling are we supposed to use:

* symmetry

...or:

* simmetry

...in order for MSFS' rendering engine to process this instruction correctly ?

https://devsupport.flightsimulator....e-minding-the-store-at-asobo-blender-git.html


Is this another "MSFS default objects are FUBAR-ed" scenario ? :rolleyes:


FYI: Thus far I have only found this info regarding "symmetry" ...in the context of a Blender MSFS exporter:

https://www.fsdeveloper.com/wiki/index.php/Blender2MSFS

"Lights

B2msfs lights1.png

Lights are automatically exported into the sim. Note however that not all parameters of the light will be exported to the sim. The values that are supported are:
  • Color
  • Power
  • Shape-size (cone angle for spot lights)
Furthermore, there are a few custom parameters to create flashing and rotating lights. You can find those under the light object's properties.

Note that you can utilize point lights, however make sure to switch on "symmetry" to prevent clipping issues. No idea why that is, but it seems to help."


PS: In seeking a better understanding of how to use 'Lights' with Asobo's Exporter I found an interesting treatise on cone/spotlight culling:

https://bartwronski.com/2017/04/13/cull-that-cone/


BTW: That post incidentally links to this intriguing post:

https://mynameismjp.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/bindless-texturing-for-deferred-rendering-and-decals/

...which might reasonably raise questions as to what Asobo encountered with MSFS SU-10's attempted performance boost via DX-12.


GaryGB

ASOBO: Why be concerned by run time 'culling' perf of 3D light cones (rotating or not) ...if they are not light beams made of "particles" ? :scratchch

Please stop calling the current MSFS 'flashing' beacon ...a "rotating" beacon.

GaryGB
 
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Christian Bahr

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What do you expect when approaching an airfield that you cannot find immediately after dark?

Well, it'll be a light you'd expect, flashing white and green alternately.
The Asobo Beacon light ensures no more, but also no less. Thank you Asobo :)
I had dealt with the initial question above and am very satisfied with the Beacon Light solution that Asobo made available to me as a developer.

Let's just wait and see how far @TBryson2 got with all the information ;)
 
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What do you expect when approaching an airfield that you cannot find immediately after dark?

Well, it'll be a light you'd expect, flashing white and green alternately.
The Asobo Beacon light ensures no more, but also no less. Thank you Asobo :)
I had dealt with the initial question above and am very satisfied with the Beacon Light solution that Asobo made available to me as a developer.

Let's just wait and see how far @TBryson2 got with all the information ;)

I have very high confidence in your abilities, Christian. :)


My critique of MSFS' default "flashing" beacon that typically is placed on the "Rotating Beacon Tower" object was of ASOBO ...not of you. :duck:

I do appreciate your kindly shared "worked example" above, as many here now become familiar with how to use that MSFS default object.


But, I bet you can make MSFS' equivalent of FS2Kx' "Rotating Beacon" object as a 3DSMAX glTF export rather than a FS legacy MDL. :wizard:

GaryGB
 
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rhumbaflappy

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The problem with beacons is the emissive material. A huge emissive-assigned object can be seen at night for thousands of meters. A object can have a huge face that has a mostly transparent texture, and the emission can be seen for a far distance. If you could increase the mapping of the texture over the huge face by distance, then it could be seen for thousands of meters.
 
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