Effects Editor - tutorials and effects library project

Hello fellow developers, modding enthusiasts and anyone who is interested in making this sim better.

I would like to start a new community project - effects library. We just got an effects editor weeks ago, it is still in Beta state and quite unstable, some important node types are missing, some presented does not work properly.

But still - it works, it is flexible, it is promising. Some skills are required to work with it, especially because not many official tutorials exist yet. I hope it will be helpful to share ready-to-edit effect projects so everyone will be able to start with this editor quickly.

For now I am adding effects, made for my current aircraft projects. Maybe someone will join the party and share their work as well, it will speed up effects implementation for sure. All included projects and compiled effects are under MIT license, so can be used in any kind of projects (freeware and payware) without limits.

Details and files you can find on GitHub page: GitHub - thealx-eech/msfs-effects-lib

Ask any questions, push your edits, use existing effects in your projects. See you around!

What we have already (to be clear - all effects are proof of concept, visuals can be greatly improved - my goal was to show that it can work in the current game version already):

And if you have no idea how to work with Effects Editor, my attempts to explain the basics:

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Wow! Great work! Looks superb. This sim really is going to keep getting ever more incredible.

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These are great!
I followed your great tutorial on ribbon smoke but just couldn’t figure out how to get it to work on a static sim object rather than an aircraft. There’s already been some discussion on another thread where nobody has got it working.

I managed to get it correctly spawning smoke on the node in the effects editor without relying on the Spawn button, but moving the built package to the community folder and the effect is nowhere to be seen.

Would love if you could figure it out!

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Yes, I have tried to use same technique to cast smoke (with XML edits) on windsock but no luck. So probably only aircraft can generate effects at the moment, but hope it will be fixed in next SDK update.

I’ve made it work on a static sim objects. Just today. Output directory for visual effects needs specific structure. I’m on my phone now, but you can check it in my mod We Love VFR - Region 2 » Microsoft Flight Simulator

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I’ve just replicated your file structure (I was only missing the extra vfx-lib directory) but still no luck.
I’ve even tried referencing your smoke GUID in my simobject but still nothing.

Then I’ve just checked your chimnies at Sudbury,ON and I don’t see any smoke there either!
Maxed our ULTRA settings and still no smoke.

Maybe somehow you overwritten my effects with your mod that you are testing and that’s why Sudbury doesn’t work? I had a small heart attack when I started MSFS yesterday, after releasing my mod, and on top of my chimneys there appeared… smaller chimneys that I used for testing simobjects. Thankfully my test mod took priority and the uploaded mod was ok :smiley:

Back to your issue. TBH I don’t have any idea how to help you. First of all, try to eliminate conflicts. Then maybe try to attach my effect to your object (remember to put correct attach point name). One thing ata a time.

Thanks for the mod and working example! Both works like a charm for me.

So the main difference to the method I have tried - <ModelBehaviors> is outside of <ModelInfo> (maybe it was something else tho).

I have tested it on windsock (which is landmark as well): opened the file

[MSFS files]\asobo-simobjects-landmarks\SimObjects\Landmarks\Windsock\model\Windsock.xml

And added at the end (after </ModelInfo>):

<ModelBehaviors>
<Include ModelBehaviorFile="Asobo\Generic\FX.xml"/>
<Component ID="SmokeTest"  Node="Windsock_SPINE1">
	<UseTemplate Name="ASOBO_GT_FX">
		<FX_GUID>{3154CA46-3149-4014-AF44-3B111F7C54D3}</FX_GUID> 
		<FX_CODE>1</FX_CODE> 
	</UseTemplate>
</Component>
</ModelBehaviors>

Where Windsock_SPINE1 is existing node, {3154CA46-3149-4014-AF44-3B111F7C54D3} GUID of installed effect (this one from WLV2). After game restart, windsock started to generate smoke

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I’m glad it helped.

Downwash effect added

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Looks like you have a great thing going… My interest is primarily aerobatic display smoke. so if I may:

Would there be any chance of a simple applet for users to add their own smoke and colours? Without the need for trying to learn how to use the SDK? It was fairly easy in FSX - you just needed to type in the xyz coordinates in the effects part of the aircraft.cfg and add the fx name from either the fsx fx library or the third party dev’s fx.

A couple of comments:

  1. Some aircraft add smoke oil to the exhaust, so the effect really shoud start very close to the aircaft exhaust pipe.
  2. Multiple colours are possible by adding dyes to the smoke oil, so if you’re a deve you need to consider multiple switches or a rotary tap for different colours.
  3. Wingtip smoke needs specialised smoke generators.
  4. Older display aircraft (e.g. “The Blue Eagles”) used smoke grenades, so the smoke comes directly from the canister. In the case of the Blue eagles smoke was triggered in a very high tech way - lengths of string tied to the grenade ring pulls. It was fraught with the risk of pulling several or all strings at once though… Especially as a smoke grenade pod had possibilities for mounting up to 4 grenades of each colour.
  5. I did see that the ribbon effect is easier on the system, but for the slower aerobatic aircraft there will be no getting away from the cotton candy type effect - and that is going to need a fairly hich density. Is there any knowledge about that?

Thanks for reading.

This time developers decided to make effects part of the model, not aircraft entity. So to attach effect to aircraft, you need to edit XML and point on existing model node. Not really a problem - all nodes listed in GLTF file in plain text.

  1. current FX code has problem with ribbon appearance - first (closest) section instead of “slide out” is “scaling up”, so if you set 1 section alpha 100% - you can see how ugly it looks like. sprites looks better but still visual issues here and there (blending quality is most problem right now), you should play around with scale and alpha curves to sort them and reach acceptable result.
  2. you can’t change single effect color on the fly, but you can add several similar effects and make them toggleable, like - knob position 1: red effect active, knob position 2: blue effect active etc. you can find Jonx’s XML example in smoke folder which he made for Gee Bee multiple colors switch
  3. if you need actual 3d geometry for generators - it can’t be made as a mod - original model should be edited
  4. you can simulate limited capacity and failures, if you wish, by XML script, but that is closer to model animation rather than effects
  5. currently large amount of sprites affects performance, at least on weak machine. maybe later sprites will be replaced by particles, same as clouds. in theory it should improve performance and quality for dense smoke.

Excellent info! Thanks. Now I will go away and digest…

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Downwash effects for jetpack project

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Wow. Hoping to see more of these effects!
I understand that at this time, effects editor is principaly used for smoke / spray effect. Is it possible to generate flames? Looking forward to see forest fires… virtually!

with last update sprite UV shift added, which can be used for animation. so yes, flame is possible, but ATM FX editor is very unstable and some important features broken, I had to stop any experiments until they will be fixed.

If anyone using aerobatics smoke - I have updated them for SU5 compatibly, also black and orange smokes added

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Hi,

You write that some effects are not SU5 compatible. Can you me give somes details ?

PS: I am writing some wake effects and I have graphic problems so it’s to verify if they are not induced by a concern of compatibility.

I have used pow often, but now it always returns 0. alternative is bezier curve even if it not always fit the requirements.

other minor bugs introduced as well, mostly related with rotation translation - it’s became harder to apply initial velocity to particles for example, they are moving to the wrong direction compare to previous sim version.

Thank you for your answer, I had also noticed some problems with the initialization of the particles (my wake was starting in the bad direction) but I could not define them exactly, now it’s clear !
We can only wait for the next SU6 … hoping that there will be corrections on theses points and no new bugs :innocent:

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Water drop effect

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