How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

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How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Fri Nov 27, 2009 5:25 am

Okay, somebody wanted to know how I make my lights, so I thought I'd just put it in a topic here.
Now it's not the same way that a few others do it, since my conversion process messes up the creation of incandescent materials.
Here's a basic tutorial showing more or less how I do it...

First we get the basic ship modeling out of the way... Using just a block here to create windows in...

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After cutting the window openings, I create some poly planes...

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Then, I move the poly planes in place a short distance behind/inside of the openings (making sure the poly planes are bigger than the openings) and apply whatever color/texture I think is necessary...

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Then, I duplicate the poly planes for the lights, apply a different color/texture to them, usually just black, if no detailed "glass" textures will be applied, and place the new planes just in front of the light faces, but behind the openings/wall, so it covers the light planes...

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Now, when the ship and the light and light covering models are done, I export the light coverings (day windows) as its own model, naming it "sailbf" when exporting to .x format.

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Then, I export the light model on its own, naming it "lights" when exporting to .x format.

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Finally, I export the ship itself on its own, without the lights or window coverings, as the boat.x.

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When those files are in the boat folder and you select the ship in-game, the boat will of course appear, along with the light model, which will always be there and can't be turned off (unless you delete the lights.x). If you want to turn the lights "off" or cover them, press 12 times or hold down the Page Down key until the coverings appear, and hold Page Up a little to make them go away again.

As for deck lights and lanterns and such, there isn't really a need for a daytime version, so just include the "bulbs", or lamps or whatever you want to call them, in the lights.x file when exporting it.

That's all.
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Victor » Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:46 am

Many thanks for this useful information.

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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:59 pm

Yes, it should work for any modeling program, it's fairly simple.
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Dom » Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:18 pm

Lusitania13, indeed it doesn't matter which 3D program you make your lights.x and sailbf.x files with.
A lights.x file will always shine at night and a sailbf.x (or sailsf.x as well) file will always be commanded by pressing the Del and Insert key 12 times.
What is important there in Huddizle's tutorial is the principle and the use of the 2 files for commanding a lighting within the openings of a ship. After that, each program has its own tools (but usually rather common in fact) for actually modeling faces, shapes and cut out windows or portholes.

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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:57 am

ashbash wrote:does this apply for the green and red starboard and port lights?, if so how would you do that? don't go to the trouble of putting up loads of pics though.


Well, there are two things that I do for the green and red lights...

Firstly, the "bulbs" of the lights themselves are made in the same way as any other deck lights or bulkhead lamps... By simply modeling them, applying the needed texture (or color only, if you must go without using actual textures), and including the bulb part of the lamp in the lights.x.

However, you also want to create a lights.cfg file, which will make little points of light in-game.
For example, the light config for my Titanic is:

2 [lights_num]

Green [light_name]
0.20 [light_scale]
49.25 [light_x]
95.25 [light_y]
237.85 [light_z]
-0.98 [light_an]
1 [light_da]

Red [light_name]
0.20 [light_scale]
-49.25 [light_x]
95.25 [light_y]
237.85 [light_z]
0.98 [light_an]
1 [light_da]

Actually, you don't even have to bother with lighting up the lamps themselves by making them part of the lights.x, as long as they're modeled (though having them glow is a nice touch), just create a lights.cfg for the red and green lights (and other navigation lights).
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:34 pm

ashbash wrote:aah do you mind if i copy that cfg and puit in my own co-ord's, ive got the black boxes on the bridgewing in the model where they will go.


Sure, go ahead.
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:20 pm

ashbash wrote:i got the yellow lights working, but i can't turn them off, ive got sailbf.x and lights.x but i cant get the day windows up, do you know what im doing wrong?


Hmm.. It's weird, there seem to be a good number of people who can't get the sailbf to show up, even though they press the page down key either 12 times or more, or even hold it. I'm assuming you've tried that already.

Try this instead...

Open the sails panel (S key), and on the handle on the left, click and hold/turn it to the left all the way, and hopefully the lights will "turn off". If not, I'm not sure what the issue is.
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Sharpy » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:44 pm

Perhaps the missing item could be....
1 has_sails
In the boat.cfg?
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Hudizzle » Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:26 pm

ashbash wrote:that seems to work, but with me the black flashes through and goes, i think what did wrong was when i converted the planes i had both in exactly the same place, i dont think they should be.


Ah, well yeah, like I showed in my tutorial, the window planes have to be in front of the light planes, and the light planes need to be behind the window planes, farther inside the model.. But not too far, and not too close! It takes a little tweaking..
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Re: How I Make My Lights (Moved from modeling forum)

Postby Dom » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:07 pm

ashbash wrote:ive had an idea, on my duchess the windows are already black, with 3d frames. so that if i created a sailbf.x but coloured the planes yellow and fitted them in the front of the frames do you think it would work?


The visual effect from a close viewpoint, especially once aboard would be a disaster. Indeed, there would be a bad offset that would not be realistic at all since the night lighting from a window must come from the interior, not somewhere "floatting" on the exterior.

When you're modeling something and think about some solutions or trick for a visual effect, always think close viewpoint, then far distance. Not the contrary.
My opinion of course. When I'm sailing on a simulator I want some immersive experience and be aboard, with a good dose of realism feeling, not just look at a ship from distance.
Your model in a simulator is there for creating a 3D and sailing experience and for being into the object (so aboard in this case) and into a surrounding situation, not just looking at a 2D image of a ship like if it was into a book or a photos album.

On top of that, your yellow frames wouldn't shine at all (you'd lose the lights.x feature then) since your lighting would be a sailbf.x only and no longer a lights.x.

If you really want the sailbf trick to command the switch on of the internal lighting and not the switch off, then you must use a self-illumination feature of your 3D program for applying self-illuminated material to these objects you want to shine (I don't know if Sketchup does that or not). Huddizle was obliged to use the "switch off" command instead of the "switch on" one for his sailbf and then to have an enlightened ship "by default" because his plug-in exporter doesn't seem to handle self-illumination like mine does and like I've done for all my ships. If your 3D program and/or exporter does not handle that and if you still want to command the internal lighting of your model, you'll have then no other choice than using Huddizle's solution to get around that problem.

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