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ALS Landing/Taxi lights

An exciting "new" option in FlightGear, that includes reflections, lightmaps, the particle system etc.. A lot is yet to be discovered/implemented!

ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:05 am

I've been playing with landing lights lately. Nothing seemed to do the trick. I just noticed the C172 went to that flashlight-type, which doesn't work with multiple screens.

I made a video of my newest test. There are two different lights. The first is the taxi light. Since it is on a DHC6, the taxi light is on the nose wheel, and points in the direction of the wheel. The second (about halfway through the video) are the actual landing lights.

The landing lights have a mod that makes the lights more realistic. They fade and increase with range as the aircraft climbs. The taxi lights in contrast, does not. It pivots with the nose wheel, but I have not added the realism code yet. Note on landing that the taxi light and the landing lights appear differently.

http://www.prolectron.com/flightgear/LandLight.mp4

Any thoughts?
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Isaak » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:24 am

I can't answer on your question because I don't know how the code works, but I've got one question myself: how did you manage to add more than 2 spot lights? I thought the ALS light code was limited to 3 point lights and 2 spot lights?
Nice addition of the taxi light moving with the nosewheel!
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:33 am

Isaak wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:24 am:I can't answer on your question because I don't know how the code works, but I've got one question myself: how did you manage to add more than 2 spot lights? I thought the ALS light code was limited to 3 point lights and 2 spot lights?
Nice addition of the taxi light moving with the nosewheel!

Apparently I can add a bunch of ALS lights. The code is currently set to use 5, but I'm only using 3 of them.

I was fortunate enough to see the C172 ALS lights before it was changed to those horrible little orange things that appeared on all 3 displays. :(

Edit: My copy of the C172P and the Citation-X both have these lights. The Cessna 172 has only one landing light on the left wing. Neither of these have swiveling taxi light.

And the best part for me is it works great on multiple displays.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby legoboyvdlp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:21 pm

Horrible orange things? Could you be more clear? I don't think anyone has ever mentioned that before as an issue with the 172. A screenshot would be good!
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:13 pm

legoboyvdlp wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2019 3:21 pm:Horrible orange things? Could you be more clear? I don't think anyone has ever mentioned that before as an issue with the 172. A screenshot would be good!

I tried the C172 just a few days ago to verify it still had the lights like in the video above, and there instead was the three flashlight-type lights, one in each display. The lights also pan and tilt with your view. Not what I wanted.

It is the standard c172p included with FG 2019.2.0.

I'll have to check if I still have the original aircraft folder. It took a couple file changes.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby legoboyvdlp » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:26 pm

Any change to the lights is on your side - looking at the repository, no change has been done to them.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:36 pm

legoboyvdlp wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:26 pm:Any change to the lights is on your side - looking at the repository, no change has been done to them.

I found the original light-manager.nas file. It does have the little flashlight-type lights, but they are inadequate for my purpose. They are in each of my 3 displays, and move when you pan or tilt your view.

I found you can apparently change the color of the little circles of lights. That is not enough for me.

I just finished the realism adjustment for the taxi light on the DHC6.

Edit: Here is the difference.
The standard landing light uses this
/sim/rendering/als-secondary-lights/use-landing-light-ext

Mine uses this
/sim/rendering/als-secondary-lights/lightspot/
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:15 pm

I was fortunate enough to see the C172 ALS lights before it was changed to those horrible little orange things that appeared on all 3 displays.


They are in each of my 3 displays, and move when you pan or tilt your view.


I found you can apparently change the color of the little circles of lights. That is not enough for me.


The ALS interior landing lights (spot lights) duplicate per window with systems using multi-configuration monitors if that configuration is using multiple windows, one each per monitor (or window) VS one window spread across all three monitors.

If you use a monitor configuration that treats all monitor surfaces as one window you will eliminate that problem.

As far as the "ugly orange" I am not sure what your talking about. Either you changed your color scheme or used a definition meant for an ugly orange light in your landing.taxi light definition?
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:34 pm

wlbragg wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:15 pm:The ALS interior landing lights (spot lights) duplicate per window with systems using multi-configuration monitors if that configuration is using multiple windows, one each per monitor (or window) VS one window spread across all three monitors.

If you use a monitor configuration that treats all monitor surfaces as one window you will eliminate that problem.

As far as the "ugly orange" I am not sure what your talking about. Either you changed your color scheme or used a definition meant for an ugly orange light in your landing.taxi light definition?

I'll use the monitor setup I have now. The standard "landing light" isn't good enough for that.
Mine works great now.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Thorsten » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:47 pm

Mine works great now.


Anyone wants to take the bet what the next complaint will be?

My bet is on 'Help - my landing light doesn't actually illuminate anything!' :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:42 pm

Thorsten wrote in Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:47 pm:
Mine works great now.


Anyone wants to take the bet what the next complaint will be?

My bet is on 'Help - my landing light doesn't actually illuminate anything!' :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

....just the ground. That is all I need. I know what it illuminates and what it doesn't. I know what the standard landing lights did also. One on each display.

BTW, I've been using it as my landing lights since somebody here (maybe you?) recommended getting away from Rembrandt months ago.

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:56 am

I'll use the monitor setup I have now.


Hum, I have to admit I am a bit confused.

First, multi-monitor setup.

It is proven, setting up a three monitor, three window, three camera approach is causing you to loose a bit of performance. It is also the cause of not being able to use the interior view of the exterior ALS landing/taxi (spot) lights. They display on each window which is not what you want. So you are using some other technique. I wouldn't mind knowing exactly what that is mainly out of curiosity.

The standard "landing light" isn't good enough for that.


What exactly is "standard" lighting? I really don't know if there is such a defined thing in FlightGear for lights. I'm not trying to be a smart ($$, I get the terminology confused all the time. If anything, I think you may be using the "original" standard lighting now. But there is benefits to using ALS lighting as you get the proper interaction with fog. You may not be getting any interaction with the technique your using now?
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Thorsten » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:24 am

Terminology:

ALS offers six kinds of light effects:

* procedural lights are the visual glare of light emitters - such lights do not illuminate anything, they're just visible

* lightmaps are pre-computed illumination textures for the interior, they're a property of the illuminated surface and render the distribution of light in great detail - since aircraft designers can't assign them to e.g. terrain surfaces, they can only illuminate the aircraft itself

* geometric lights allow to define a simple light geometry with respect to a surface. They're a property of the surface being illuminated and basically are a crude version of runtime-computed lightmap (I think you actually need the space shader family to access them) - again one can only illuminate the aircraft itself

* implicit lights allow to simulate backlit instrument panels - basically they run a capture on a color and make that color range emissive

* secondary lights are rendered in screen coordinates and can be used both for internal flashlights and landing lights from interior view. They illuminate pretty much anything they shine on.

* lightspots are five illuminated spots (two of them can be elongated) which drive the behavior of the runway shader, so they appear only on the runway - which usually is good enough for external views

We use this range of lights because they all offer different ability / performance / implementation tradeoffs and to get a good light concept of an aircraft, you usually need to run a combination of them.

In the future the compositor will also bring Rembrandt-like lights to the table, but that will not change the above statement, because such lights also have a very specific ability / performance characteristic, so in many situations they're inferior to other solutions. So a good light concept will still require multiple light effects and additional coding.

I know what the standard landing lights did also. One on each display.


And Wayne has also told you why, and how you can change your setup to fix this. Ain't this nice?

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement.


I'd say your wording those horrible little orange things well earned you that kindness.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:34 am

Thank you for clarifying that. You must also be a mind reader in your spare time. I almost composed the question to your "terminology" answer in my last post, but didn't want to admit I didn't have a handle on exactly what lighting techniques are available and exactly how they work. That is a very good explanation and if not already added to a wiki or facts somewhere needs to be. I may take the time to do just that.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:30 am

I'm not convinced that changing my display setup will be of any use.

Before I do, I would like answers to these:
Can you change the size and shape of the landing light?
Is there more than one?
Can you stop it from moving when you pan and tilt the view?

If not, then you might want to suggest another more realistic alternative.
Until then, I can easily navigate around airports in the dark quite well.

Thanks for all your help.

Edit: I apologize for the "horrible" remark. What I meant was "useless".
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