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Night Lighting Issues With Repaint Kit

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Hello fellow PMDG riders!

 

I tried to do my 1st repaint of the PMDG 737-800NGX (non winglet version). I managed to get the livery on the aircraft but I still struggle with the night lighting. I searched about 40 pages of topics in the forum but couldn't find a thread with this issue.

 

The original PMDG (re)paint that comes with the 737NGX when bought contains a file called "pmdg_737NGX_tailnight". The repaint kit does not include a file with this name. After searching the internet I found some guys who created their own night lighting file for the tail. They adjusted the alpha layer of the "pmdg_737NGX_tail" file and saved it as "pmdg_737NGX_tailnight". Here's their description:

 

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/348802-paintkit-tail-night-textures-psd-file/

 

Just like them I can't fix the issue. My repaint still shows with bright tail and inboard engine fairings during night. Maybe someone from PMDG or any repainter who has had more success could tell me what I'm doing wrong?

 

I repainted the tail file. What is the layer 60 for? When I enable it, it it covers my entire tail repaint. By default it is disabled and that's how I left it.

 

Bildschirmfoto_2015_05_12_um_12_30_13.jp

 

Next I flattened all the layers.

 

Bildschirmfoto_2015_05_12_um_12_30_35.jp

 

I accessed the channel section to enable the alpha layer.

 

Bildschirmfoto_2015_05_12_um_12_30_40.jp

 

In order to do so I selected Alpha 1.

 

Bildschirmfoto_2015_05_12_um_12_30_55.jp

 

As the color looks strange I deselect the RGB channels so that only Alpha 1 is left active. But this deactivates my repaint and I only get the white tail with the light beams from the logo lights.

 

Bildschirmfoto_2015_05_12_um_12_30_59.jp

 

I managed to create a PSD file by following the instructions in the other thread posted above. The result looks like it does on the PMDG demonstrator livery that comes along with the product.

 

pmdg_737_NGX_tailnight.jpg

 

But even with this file the tail and the engine inboard cowlings appear in bright condition. What is my mistake?

 

fsx_2015_05_12_10_57_08_85.jpg

 

Greetings!


Stephan Kruse

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Stephan;

 

I don't have the answer to your specific question regarding the layers...but I suggest that you look at your repaint at night with no "pmdg_737NGX_tailnight.dds" at all. As far as I can tell it adds no value, and few if any of the repaints that I have seen (PMDG liveries from the Operations Center, Goldstar Textures etc.) even have it in the texture folder.

 

I pulled 'tailnight' out of one of the default liveries for comparison:

 

WITH tailnight:

 

WithTailnight_zpseb5yt3bx.jpg

 

 

WITHOUT tailnight:

 

WiithoutTailnight_zpsob7n4lke.jpg

 


Matt Smith

Prepar3D

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Hi Matt!

 

Thank you for your help. I also deleted the tailnight file and it had no impact at all. You are right on this. But I still have the bright engine parts and tail. I looked in the PSD file of the paint kit again. Maybe some developers can explain why this file has a layer 91 in the Paint Layer Group and what this Layer 60 in the vertical tail group is about.

 

Next to that I discovered that there is a vertical stabilizer group in the fuselage master PSD file. What is this for? Should I apply the tail livery there to get a better result with the night lighting? But this couldn't fix the issue on the engines. I assume the vertical tail group in the fuselage master PSD file is just for proper location of the paint if it continues on the tail coming from the fuselage.

 

Thanks for your help everybody!


Stephan Kruse

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Maybe some developers can explain why this file has a layer 91 in the Paint Layer Group and what this Layer 60 in the vertical tail group is about.

 

 

I don't think layers 60 and 91 matter at all.

 

I think what you need to do is get back to the point where your photoshop looked like this:

 

http://postimg.org/image/rt6t4kbuf/

 

Then, save the .dds DXT5 file and it should look fine in the simulator. When you display the alpha channel in Photoshop it makes everything look pink and crazy but that is OK. The final paint will not be pink.

 

 

Next to that I discovered that there is a vertical stabilizer group in the fuselage master PSD file. What is this for? Should I apply the tail livery there to get a better result with the night lighting? But this couldn't fix the issue on the engines. I assume the vertical tail group in the fuselage master PSD file is just for proper location of the paint if it continues on the tail coming from the fuselage.

 

 

You are correct...the tail in the master PSD is just for lining up.


Matt Smith

Prepar3D

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Hi Matt!

Thanks for helping me again. I really appreciate your time.

 

I did what you said and flattened the pink PSD, saved it as JPEG and converted it into a DDS DXT5 file. As I only have a Photoshop version for iMac I can not install the Nvidia DDS Plug-In (works for Windows only). I have to use a stand-alone program to convert my files into the DDS DXT5 format. It worked very well on all other fuselage sections. The only thing I experienced is, that I have to save the night lighting files as JPEG to get the correct result after converting these files into the DXT5 format. At the "day time" PSDs it doesn't matter if I convert to DXT5 from a JPEG, PSD or BMP file. It's only the night files where I have to make sure to go from PSD to JPEG and then to DDS DXT5.

 

I still have the bright tail and inboard engine cowlings. Tomorrow I'll try to make a (white) tail file from the paint kit without adding any paint layer. If that doesn't work there might be a mistake in to paint kit PSD file that I don't know and therefore can't fix. But as you mentioned there're freeware paints available without these problems. So if anyone knows how they did it, please let me know.

 

Take care!


Stephan Kruse

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Stephan;

 

I think the problem with your method is that when you save that pmdg_737ngx_tail.psd as .jpg or as a 24-bit .bmp you are losing the alpha channel altogether. That is why you are continuing to see a bright tail and engine at night. The pmdg_737ngx_tail.dds is different from the fuselage textures because the alpha channel controls the night lighting, whereas on the fuselage it controls the transparency of the window openings.

 

That is why there is no need for pmdg_737ngx_tailnight.dds.

 

Once you are done editing pmdg_737ngx_tail.psd in photoshop...just 'save as' a 32-bit bitmap (dont need to flatten)...this will preserve the alpha channel that should already be in place. Then you can use whatever other program you like (dxtbmp?) to convert the 32-bit pmdg_737ngx_tail.bmp to .dds dxt5 on your windows machine.

 

If you want to confirm what I am saying, use dxtbmp or something to look at the alpha on your current pmdg_737ngx_tail.dds...I'd bet money that it is all white, which is allowing all of the light and color to shine through at night.

 

As a last resort I'd be happy to just make the .dds for you if you want to upload the .psd somewhere :)

 

Good luck!


Matt Smith

Prepar3D

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Hi matt!

 

Thank you! I did what you said and it worked immediately! Thank you very much for your replies!

 

fsx_2015_05_16_10_20_37_22.jpg


Stephan Kruse

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