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Tutorials \ Street Legal Modding Tutorials \ How to make cars have interior lighting

Author / Submitted by: Roltzy

How to make cars have interior lighting

Night time interior lighting

This tutorial assumes you have Photoshop and 3ds Max 5 and can use both.

Part 1: Making the texture

First, open the texture that you want to light up. For this tutorial, I will use the C5 Vette accessories panel.
This is what it looks like:

Now make a new layer and draw the details that you want on it.
Here's what I got:

Now select the Magic Wand Tool and, make sure it's not Contiguous and select any transparent part of that layer. Then go to the Channels tab(same window that has the Layers tab) Press the Create new channel button that's on the bottom. Now you have an Alpha channel, make sure it's totally black.
With having the transparent part of the detail layer selected, now (while using any Marquee tool) right click on the layer and click Select Inverse. Now paint the details on the Alpha Channel white, again make sure it's not Contiguous.

The finished Alpha should look like this:

And after putting the RGB and Alpha together:

Note: it's only be red in Photoshop. It signifies that you have both the RGB and Alpha channels visible at once. For the sake of understanding, I made the background red by hand and saved the JPG.

Now you're ready with the texture part. If you know how to save and use DDSes, you can do that. I don't, because usually the filter craps out on me with Alpha'ed stuff. I saved it to TGA, 32bits.

Part 2: Making the model

Fire up Max and open your car. Find the part that gets your texture applied.
For me:

Now select those faces and duplicate them, them move them a tiny bit closer to the back of the car, so it's ON the surface, not IN it.
Here's what I ended up with:

Go to the Material editor. Create a new Material. For the diffuse map, pick your newly created texture. Then go to the maps list and drag the diffuse map over to the opacity map. Now click on the opacity map. Under bitmap parameters, make sure Mono Channel Output is Alpha:

Now press the Go to Parent button, so you're back at the main material. Set Self-Illumination to 100.
This will make it glow at night, otherwise it will just look like a plain texture. Now set your new material on the faces you duplicated earlier.
Here's my outcome:

Make sure the object's pivot is the same as the car's(which should be 0,0,0). Then export it to SCX. Nothing special, but name it something like chassis_CITY, that's the proper IV convention, or something. You can name it whatever the hell you want.

Part 3: Putting it ingame

This part of the tutorial assumes that you know how to make RPKs. The glow parts only need the texture, mesh and render sections. Make them.

Now that you've got them done, remember the render TypeID. For me it's 0x0000000D0 (you'll see where I need it later)

Now open the _main cfg of your car. Note, that if you're making this for some other part, open that cfg instead. I added these lines before the camera lines(anywhere else they might interfere):

render 0x0000000D0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000 ; CITY
flags 4

As you can see, it will render 0x0000000D0, replace it with yours. The render line itself isn't that special. Without the flags, it would instead render the car as your interior lighting, but the flags, specifically with the value 4, will make that model appear on your car at night.

Other flags:
1 - brake
2 - reverse
4 - general night lighting, headlights, taillights
16 - left turn signal(blinking)
32 - right turn signal(blinking)

For other, non-main cfgs, you can place the lines before the phys model.
Also you can add as many of them as you like. You can add all of the renders, with different flags, to one cfg, and they will work. My C5 front bumper has both turn signals, for example.

And now you're done, I suppose.
End result
The C5 has more glowing parts than just the accessories panel, but the general idea is the same. They can use separate materials, but they should all be one mesh with the pivot in the center of the car. Tags: No tags


4. Nailliw

2013-04-05 14:04

hello friends, anyone could level up again, the photos of mentoring ? thank you


3. TimEK9

2009-01-16 15:25

this is exactly what i needed - cheeeers :)

2. nightrider br

2008-10-17 00:00

Thanks for this great tut, im going to try it out on my next car for sure :)

1. Christopher Jason

2008-10-16 06:07



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