Lighting and the world

I was wondering if anyone could help me out of a bit of a problem. I am building a flight sim (Yawn - i here you say) I have a model of a piper cherokee built out of an awful lot of beziers which flys along okay, but am having trouble with lighting. The problem is that in my sim, i can wing walk, to see how the plane responds to joystick etc, however in the global world, when wing walking the plane just looks lie a big white toilet roll with wings, unless i use lighting, if i do use lighting, do i have to fly the light along with the plane to see the planes detail? It looks lovely with lighting, but will flying a spotlight along with the plane to illuminate it actually show up under ambient light conditions. I can also go multi flyer in which case do i have to fly a spotlight with every plane to see its detail.

I think i am missing a very basic point but am buggered if i can work out what it is.

Anyones help on this would be gratefully recieved.


I think what you want to be using is a directional light. A directional light is an infinite distance away therefore all of its rays are parallel before reaching the scene, like the sun (which I assume is what will be lighting your planes). In this case instead of the light’s coordinates specifying its position they specify its direction vector. As an added bonus it is a less complicated lighting equation for the graphics card and you may see a speedup. To create a directional light just set its fourth positional value (w) to zero.

Many Thanks, after much experimentation I got there in the end, the directional light was of course the correct solution. coupled with the fact that i had not set the material properties correctly. Thanks for your help though, much appreciated.