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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!

Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Thorsten » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:16 am

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


I on the other hand am pretty sure that if something is placed in screen coordinates, it makes a difference if you treat multiple screens as one coordinate set or multiple coordinate sets. Which is to say - what Wayne says makes absolutely sense - even if I can't check it for lack of multiple displays.

As for your questions - try the documentation:

http://wiki.flightgear.org/ALS_technica ... ary_lights
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:32 am

Thanks for the doc link. That is what I was missing. I'll do a bit of reading and experimentation.

Edit: The doc answered my question. It was looking ok until this:
"Range, color, light cone opening angle or intensity of the lights can currently not be configured, and there are no plans to support such a feature in the near future. "
I haven't ruled it out yet. I'll need to play with it a bit.

But until then, there is no darkened runway or taxiway that is out of bounds to my aircraft.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Thorsten » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:37 am

But until then, there is no darkened runway or taxiway that is out of bounds to my aircraft.


Sadly there is - I believe a grass runway will let you down, and so will several custom scenery runways which do not use the runway shader. I'm not sure about gravel runways, they might work (?)

The simple truth is that if that kind of night flight detail is important to you, Rembrandt was the renderer to use - the various ALS lights were meant as a cheap 'better than nothing' not as super-realistic configurable features. Nowadays however it is clear that Rembrandt doesn't have a future, so... you'll have to wait for the compositor.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:56 am

I understand what you are saying. I have been exposed to the ALS spotlight limitations.

If Rembrandt rendering is on its way out, I see no reason to pursue that action.

I haven't given up on the ALS landing-light yet. I'll play with it. Right now I'm about to land at Saba in my Twin Otter.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:39 pm

I have both display methods in my defaults.xml. I was testing them both for performance and simply to see for myself the differences. Unfortunately my ATI card shows artifacts at various times using the single screen space (one defined windows) so I am stuck using multiple windows.

I also was told multiple windows caused a performance hit which I verified for myself absolutely does.

Lastly on my setup (Linux) trying to (ALT + TAB) out of the simulator to a different workspace causes the OS or GPU rendering to fail completely and freezes the GUI leaving me no choices but a reboot. This only happens using a multiple window setup.

So if it weren't for the artifacts, I absolutely wouldn't be using the multi-window approach.

Another thing that I need to add to the documentation.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:15 pm

I have to make a correction.

On my Linux install, if I use a single window with three cameras across the single window, that is when I can't alt+tab out of the application, it freezes FlightGear and my entire system.
The three window approach behaves when I alt+tab out of it.

That is a pretty big downside for me when I am in development mode. Not so much if flying for pleasure and remember I can't tab out.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:11 pm

I just tried the standard ALS landing light again. It doesn't reflect off anything but ground, just like the lightspots I used in the OP.

I'm not going through a major OS setup change for that if what I end up with is less than I have now.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby Thorsten » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:46 pm

It doesn't reflect off anything but ground


It sure does - here's fog and trees for instance

Image

It's not really helpful to claim that a documented feature doesn't work as documented without any additional information - quite obviously people who did the screenshots were able to make it work, so the likely fault is your implementation and only when that is ruled out a regression.
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:54 pm

I'm not going through a major OS setup change for that if what I end up with is less than I have now.

Where can I look at what your doing and how your doing it. I'm still not positive I understand what your doing.

If memory serves me, I/we used the two different ALS light techniques for landing light. One for interior view and a separate one for exterior view.

The one used while in interior view uses

* 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.


The one we use for exterior view landing and taxi as well as "all" courtesy reflection and nav reflection are

* 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


The nav and courtesy spots are also used or left active while in interior view.

So I guess your using the "lightspots" for both the exterior and interior view landing and taxi lights, is that correct?
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:50 pm

I want to taxi to the runway threshold. That is what I use the lights for.
Here is the standard landing light in CATIIIb night conditions. Yes, I see trees, but what about the taxiway?
Image
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:51 pm

Here is the ALS lightspot landing light in CATIIIb night conditions.
Image
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby SurferTim » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:21 pm

...and if you are into bad weather night flying like I am, here is my fav. The DHC6 with ALS lightspot landing and taxi lights in the same location and conditions as the two above.
If you were going to taxi out in this crap, which of the three looks more realistic? Which is more usable?
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:48 am

Hum, I went ahead and looked for myself. I like the secondary lights (second image) better. It looks more realistic. Fog and rain catches the light as it should. I will admit I would like to have more control over where the lights are positioned and their size. I believe we can at least position the "alt" secondary light. That is what I am using for the taxi light. I could adjust it to be closer to the aircraft to catch the ground closer to the front wheel. I thought I had done that originally because I felt the taxi light should be lighting up the area immediately in front of the aircraft. The landing light I think needs to be extended a bit distant in front of the aircraft.

Image

Image
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:10 am

OK, I moved the taxi light closer and to the left to light up more of the area in front of the aircraft. Moving it down any farther is ineffective and does not illuminate any pavement closer to the aircraft all it does it lower the glare on the fog and rain which in my opinion is undesirable.

I think I like this adjustment though, It does give you a bit more of the pavement illuminated.

Landing Light Only
Image

Landing and Taxi Light
Image
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Re: ALS Landing/Taxi lights

Postby wlbragg » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:21 am

You know, I got to thinking, it doesn't have to be an either or, it can be both.

Landing light using both secondary and spot
Image

Landing and taxi using both secondary and spot
Image

Even though I was using the lightspots for courtesy and nav light from the interior view, it never really registered that they could be used for the landing and taxi light from interior view. I think it might have its use in that regards. Unless there is some negative aspect I am unaware of?
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