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Guest Adrien1004

PDMG 747 Repaint

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Hello !I'd like to create repaints for the PMDG 747, but I don't know how to use the paint kit, neither how to install the files after repainting the plane... Could anybody post a tutorial on that topic (or tell me where I can find one) ?Thanks a lot !

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Hello !I'd like to create repaints for the PMDG 747, but I don't know how to use the paint kit, neither how to install the files after repainting the plane... Could anybody post a tutorial on that topic (or tell me where I can find one) ?Thanks a lot !
Hi Adrien, I only have used the repaint for FSX. There are some painting tutorials for the PMDG/FS9 on youtube. Which do you use? I could give you some tips if it's FSX, and if you have adobe photoshop, not sure how or what other paint programs can work with .dds files. Also, please sign your full 'real' name to your posts here, as we like to keep things a bit more personable than other forums :)

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Hi Adrien, I only have used the repaint for FSX. There are some painting tutorials for the PMDG/FS9 on youtube. Which do you use? I could give you some tips if it's FSX, and if you have adobe photoshop, not sure how or what other paint programs can work with .dds files. Also, please sign your full 'real' name to your posts here, as we like to keep things a bit more personable than other forums :)
Hi, thanks for your answer !I am currently using FSX, under Windows Vista, and paint.NET since I don't own photoshop ; I could repaint the different files but was unable to "assemble" then and of course to install the new repaint.Hope you can give me a hand !Adrien Carle

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Hey Adrien, This won't be a full blown tutorial, but I'll help answer what your looking for (How to cut out, assemble, save, and a couple other tips you'll need to know). Since I only have used Photoshop (CS3) and unfamiliar with Paint.Net, I'll be explaining how I do and you should be able to find a similar way hopefully in your app. *Main files we'll be using, and you'll want to have open: PMDG_747_FUSE_LEFT_T, PMDG_747_FUSE_RIGHT_T, 747400_Fuse_Layout_Template & 747400_Fuse_Cut_Template.Assembly:Left and right when dealing with liveries can be confusing. Left is very simple and as many often approach doing a livery for the first time can have a hard time with the right. I'll explain the left side and then note the differences for the right later, below.1.) Paint your PMDG_747_FUSE_LEFT_T to your liking.2.) Make a copy for backup, you'll be sorry if you don't ;-)3.) Flatten your image. That's what is done in Adobe, if you don't have that option, do whatever merges all the layers as 1 picture.4.) Drag and drop the your flattened image to your 747400_Fuse_Cut_Template.psd. (Holding down shift should line it up perfectly).5.) The way I do this next step may only be a Photoshop feature. In the layers panel on the right, either shut off the visibility of the other layers (color rectangles) or put the Plane layer as the top layer. With the Plane layer selected, CTRL + Left click on the "Front" layer (Green). This creates a selection around your plane using the trace of the layer you CTRL + Clicked on. If you cannot do that, you will want to use the Marquee tool. Important to note that it is essential to make sure you are tracing the entire Layers since they overlap, and for good reason. The Red slightly overlaps the green so you'll need to disable the visibility for the others (or put the green on the top of your layer list) prior to making your selection. Create a selection of the green "Front". Note: There are many ways to do this step, some use the magic wand, some play with locked layers and just "Select all" on the layer they want. Hard to say, since there are so many ways. Here is the result.ranger1.gif6.) After the selection is made, select your plane layer via layers panel. Thus making it the editable layer. The selection you made should still be visible (The dashed lines, see above). If not you may need to save the selection, or save it as a path, again not sure about your program.7.) Cut or Copy this layer to the "747400_Fuse_Layout_Template.PSD". (Should only be the nose section)8.) Position it in place, exactly as seen in the template. I use two different methods for this. I will get it close by eye, then either lower the Opacity of the Plane layer and guide it into position, or using the arrow keys I'll nudge it, then toggle visibility off and on, repeating until aligned.9.) Do the other two sections of your 747 repeating steps 5-9, substituting the Red & Blue layers as needed.Final steps and saving:1.) I hope your program has channels, or your night flying will not be the way you may hope. For showing the correct shine from the lights on the sides of our fuselage we need to add the appropriate Alpha Channel. In your file, delete the all white Alpha channel. channels.gifOpen up an existing PMDG file (PMDG_747_fuse_Left_T.dds) from one of the existing Texture folders (\\FSX\SimObjects\Airplanes\PMDG747-400\texture.UA2 *example) and from the channels tab (adobe), drag and drop it's "Alpha 1" to your livery (Again, hold shift to have it auto align). If your not able to do this step, don't worry for now. It will only be visible when your lights are on. It causes the whole nose section to illuminate rather than what you normally see.2.) Make a copy for backup!3.) Flatten the image (Making all the layers as one). 4.) The paint kit files are going to be opened differently then they need to be saved. They need to be flipped into position before you save. For the left side we need to "Flip Vertically" and that's it. DO NOT just rotate 180 as it is not the same thing. If you do try Rotate 180, then you will have to add the step of "Flip horizontally" also to make it correct. 5.)Using "Save As", Save "747400_Fuse_Layout_Template" as "PMDG_747_fuse_Left_T" with "File Type" as "D3D/DDS (*.DDS)". Here may lie another problem with the Paint.net. This particular .dds file needs to be saved as DXT5. Even adobe cannot save as this file type without first installing the free "DDS_Utilities_8.31.1127.1645" found here. I hope these can be used with Paint.Net or you can save that way by default. If not, try and see what else you can find on the web for it. This step cannot be skipped and is very needed. If you have got the DDS Utilities I listed above, the options you want look like this.DDS.gif* .DDS extension* DXT5 ARGB 8bpp | interpolated alpha* 2D Texture* MIP Map Generation = No MIP mapsAnd that's all there is to it :( Well, for the one side that is.Right side: The right side is handled much different than the left, in that it is a mirror like image. This is the side you will wish you made back ups prior to flattening. Also, I see a lot of people making the mistake of merging layers to save space, to only later wish they had the original layers. In the beginning lots of layers can seem cluttered, but later I realized the more the better! In one pic I made, I have about 30 folders and over 1000 layers haha. With each labeled of course ;-)To do the right side you will want to use the "PMDG_747_FUSE_RIGHT_T" template. Some use the same, but then they lose out on the cargo doors, doh.The easiest way to do this is to drag and drop each of your Left side layers that you just finished, to the PMDG_747_FUSE_RIGHT_T.Since you cannot just flip your last file and make it work, you will want to go layer by layer of the ones you just copied over and "Flip Horizontal", not the entire image, just each layer.Now of course reposition them accordingly. Follow the steps in the "Assembly" section and from the "Final steps and saving" section including to do the "Flip Vertically" even though we already did the "Flip Horizontal".*I do the above way, but others may find that they rather retype everything. The format will be fine and ready for the mirror image. However, I often have had to convert my text to objects by this point for painting purposes and find this way easiest.Other files:As the directions in the paint kit state, Only the two I've explained here and one other need to be saved in DXT5 format. They are:PMDG_747_EXTERNALS_TPMDG_747_fuse_LEFT_TPMDG_747_fuse_RIGHT_TThe other files can be saved in DXT1 format.Do the other files to compete your set. There isn't any need for anymore alpha channels to worry about, but I would recommend opening existing textures and checking which way they should be flipped prior to saving.Install:I'll presume you have never installed a livery for this section to eliminate any skipped steps.1.) Create a folder named texture.XXX (The XXX is whatever you want. Normally something to remind you which folder this is. Most use the Airline prefix, ex: UA1)*The .XXX is not a File Extension, so if you have "Show file extensions" enabled, do not rename your extension.2.) Take all of your finished .dds files and put them into this folder and then put this folder in your \\SimObjects\Airplanes\PMDG747-400 directory.3.) Inside the \\SimObjects\Airplanes\PMDG747-400 directory, you will find a file named Aircraft.cfg. Open this in note pad.4.) Scroll down the list noting the entries of "[fltsim.0]", 1, 2, 3 etc... Copy one of these entries that most closely resembles your variation (ui_type= is what I normally go by). Go until you've reach the end entry and paste it.5.) There are a couple changes here you need to make. Here is a typical entry and things you must change are bolded and underlined below:[fltsim.0] // Change the 0 to whatever number yours will be once pasted at the end of the list.title=PMDG - 747-400 GE CF6 Engines // There cannot be duplicate names or FSX will not load it.sim=B747-400model=GEpanel=VCsound=GEtexture=DAN // This is where you would type in whatever you named you texture folder. In my case I replaced the XXX with DAN.kb_checklists=PMDG747-400_CHECKatc_id_color=0xffffffffatc_id=N744PMatc_airline=PMDGatc_flight_number=744ui_manufacturer=BOEINGui_type=747-400 GEui_variation=PMDG House Livery // Not a must change, but this is where you would want your Livery Name to more easily find it in the list. ui_typerole=747-400ui_createdby="PMDG"description=Boeing 747-400 powered with CF6-80C2B1F engines v 1.0\nPrecision Manuals Development Group\nwww.precisionmanuals.com \n\nProduced under license from Boeing Management Company.\n\nBoeing 747, 747-400, the 747 airplane configuration & Boeing are among the trademarks owned by Boeing.visual_damage=0atc_heavy=1LongAntenna=1LongAntenna2=0There are other changes you can make, and should, but not MUST's. Example, you may want to change your engine type or sound for that engine. Choices are PW, RR & GEI also change the "ui_createdby="PMDG"" field to "Dans". I do this mainly because I then have my own name in the drop down list, making my customs Livery choices more easily sorted. If you often have to change your ATC call sign, you can do it here as well to make it more permanent.just change these fields:atc_airline=Speed birdatc_flight_number=777Well, that's it in a nut shell. Hope this helps. Keep in mind creating a livery can sometimes be very time consuming. Especially in the beginning. It will get easier. I can't even imagine the trillion hours that must have went into making the paint kit templates. The layers are awesome and insanely detailed :)Here are some tips to keep in mind when learning to use these kits as well as working with layers.Final tips:* Layers work like FS Scenery, in that one active(visible in this case) will hide others below, so watch for that. If you no longer see the shadows or rivets, chances are they are covered by a new layer. Take your time to position it correctly from the start.* An advanced tip, using the methods in the Assembly section on selection can make for great liveries. I often purposely have a painted layer above some layers. In this case we'll say the rivets, I will then make a selection of the rivets but have my paint layer selected and use the eraser to bring them through. I use this effect to bringing out some of the detail that went into creating these original layers. Mainly I use this method on effects and shadowing.*Create tons of layers! I can not emphasize this enough. Keep a neat workspace, such as naming your layers so you can find them easier, and layer them accordingly.*Save Back ups as you go. When I do a livery, I often make several back ups at different stages of my progression, that way, should I miss making a major mistake, I can always revert back, to my latest back up before I made the goof. When saving backups, save in the Adobe .PSD file format. It saves all the raw data such as all your layers. Hopefully Paint.Net can save this way, not sure. It can open a .PSD, but you'll have to see which is best for it. Just do not save as a .bmp or .jpeg, or the image will have had all it's layers flattened into one image, and you won't be able to edit them individually.*I've never looked into uploading a Full Paint Tutorial on the wiki and not sure I can for that matter. But if PMDG would allow, I'll make one for either a sticky here or something on the wiki detailing step by step procedures in a "Paint for Dummies" fashion. (I love the dummies series ;-)

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Dan, what a fantastic effort. There are a few steps missing there for me, being an old sod. I'm sort of "monkey see monkey do" lol. I agree, PMDG should consider allowing you to create a painting tutorial and whacking it in the general section, pinned under say tutorials? I am sure many forum members would have lots of valuable information to share. I saw a thread there about flight routes. Again, another sticky many people would use.

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Dan, what a fantastic effort. There are a few steps missing there for me, being an old sod. I'm sort of "monkey see monkey do" lol. I agree, PMDG should consider allowing you to create a painting tutorial and whacking it in the general section, pinned under say tutorials? I am sure many forum members would have lots of valuable information to share. I saw a thread there about flight routes. Again, another sticky many people would use.
Thanks Geoff, I may just make one, and hope people just find it in there search. I am far from an expert and spent days trying to figure some things out through trial and error. I saw a request for some liveries on here so I may just pick one and do it as I write up a full tutorial as time permits. I can list it the way I know it in Photoshop and people can go from there and post things that could be either shortcuts to my learned methods or differences in the programs they use. Unfortunately, Photoshop is one of the kings of editing and fairly expensive for most. I looked into the free Paint.Net a little, but doubt it has all the features I'll be using. I could explain some more of how layers work but the actually painting part is up to the creator haha. One last thing would be the amount of pictures I would need to post for it to work, which will take some more thought of how to do it. Hmmmm, I'll keep you posted.

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I understand your issues. My last job was as a developer for SAP and one of my roles was also to work on the help desk sorting out issues for users. I also prepared training material of the various modules, which as you say, takes lots of pics to help the user understand. Many times in my mind it was so clear, a different thing when you give some one several pieces of paper and say, "go do it". I lookforward to seeing your eventual manuscript. I also agree, Photoshop, while expensive is an excellent bit of software.

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Hi Dan,Thank you so much for this detailed answer and also for replying so fast ! I'll follow your explanations step by step (it might take me a while^^) and let you now if I could make it.Adrien Carle

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I understand your issues. My last job was as a developer for SAP and one of my roles was also to work on the help desk sorting out issues for users. I also prepared training material of the various modules, which as you say, takes lots of pics to help the user understand. Many times in my mind it was so clear, a different thing when you give some one several pieces of paper and say, "go do it". I lookforward to seeing your eventual manuscript. I also agree, Photoshop, while expensive is an excellent bit of software.
Hi Geoff and Adrien,Well, I decided to make a go of a full blown hand holding tutorial haha. I actually started it a few days ago and it's already 20 pages long. However, I am trying to make it so the user can just follow the steps or take the time to read further notes. Hard to do all this in a post here, I would have been done by now if it were a web site haha. Doing it all in BB code is pretty funny yet painful, but I think rather than just a link to one of my web sites it would be better used to be posted here in the forum in it's entirety.I am on my 4th proof read and doing changes yet again that should take a few hours. Should be finished in a day or two. It's going to be huge, probably 30 pages, haha, I hope it doesn't crash the server! It's long because I am trying the best I can to explain it for both the beginner to paints, as well as the beginner to Photoshop.

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Hi Geoff and Adrien,Well, I decided to make a go of a full blown hand holding tutorial haha. I actually started it a few days ago and it's already 20 pages long. However, I am trying to make it so the user can just follow the steps or take the time to read further notes. Hard to do all this in a post here, I would have been done by now if it were a web site haha. Doing it all in BB code is pretty funny yet painful, but I think rather than just a link to one of my web sites it would be better used to be posted here in the forum in it's entirety.I am on my 4th proof read and doing changes yet again that should take a few hours. Should be finished in a day or two. It's going to be huge, probably 30 pages, haha, I hope it doesn't crash the server! It's long because I am trying the best I can to explain it for both the beginner to paints, as well as the beginner to Photoshop.
Thanks for that Dan. Maybe a file zipped?. Not sure how to pm someone an attachment? Yours maybe a tad large, once you start getting some pics there. I guess the test is to get someone with Photoshop to try the script and see where they get lost, if at all. It is so difficult writing these sorts of things so 'any one" can follow the logic.....Best of luck

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Thanks for that Dan. Maybe a file zipped?. Not sure how to pm someone an attachment? Yours maybe a tad large, once you start getting some pics there. I guess the test is to get someone with Photoshop to try the script and see where they get lost, if at all. It is so difficult writing these sorts of things so 'any one" can follow the logic.....Best of luck
Well, I will be doing it all just like this reply. All from the normal post/reply window. I'll post it on the "PMDG General Forum" when finished. There isn't really much file size to it since all the pictures will be streamed from my own web site, and the thumbnails and hyperlinks also. Doing it like this will make it so there is no bandwidth burden on the Avsim server. The downfall is because it is written this way, I cannot ask anyone to try it out until it's already posted. Unless of course I want to rewrite it in entirety changing from BB code (forum code) to html, which would take a few days in itself. Nah, I think I'll just post it and let it drift around, if people are looking for, they'll find it like any other post, and if they still have questions, which I'm sure some will no matter how easy I make it, they can always just post a question. I'm sure you know the problem of over writing something to make it simpler and simpler, it can be made so simple that there is just too much to read and then people just get lost altogether.

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