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Guest Stoopy

SP2/Accelleration and Alpha Layer transparency changes?

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Greetings, have a question and any assistance is greatly appreciated.What changed in regards to SP2 and Accelleration in how Alpha transparency layers are handled? I'm noticing different transparency behavior in FS9 aircraft that previously were quite flawless in FSX. Example below.I understand that the community-at-large has voted "no" against backwards compatibility, so although here we are reaping what we've sown, if there's a fix for this in regards to texture modification, I'm happy with that since I work with textures quite a bit already. F'rinstance, the beloved Junkers Ju-52......a clear day over KLAX reveals that a whole BUNCH of Windex is gonna be needed to clean the windows of the VC now.....before there was a just a tiny little bit of dirt and grime, but this may call for a whole tub of that Oxy-Clean stuff that Billy Mays yells about in his TV commercials....or it's IFR the whole way all the time I guess....Alpha_Text_Question_00.jpgAlpha_Text_Question_01.jpg

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sure sure..., but aren't your fps readings higher?i.e. ... less scenery draw calls...allen:+

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Thanks for your help but I guess I should have prefaced the question with the fact that I'm actually looking for constructive dialogue and would be willing to experiment on any changes that could be suggested so as to help the community move forward with what we have. If it's too tempting to reply with sarcasm instead then I'd rather have the mods here lock this thread and delete my question just to avoid any more naysaying pitfall threads. Again, thanks anyway.

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Stoopy, I posted this fix in response to your post in the incompatibilities thread, but guess you missed it. For anyone else that has these problems, read on.-----Any aircraft made through the FS9 SDK tools are probably going to have transparency issues in the VC when used in Acceleration. Here's a quick fix for those who are so inclined until aircraft authors are able to (maybe) release updates.Keep in mind this is just for FS9 aircraft, or early FSX ones that have been ported from FS9, like Carenado releases etc. Pure FSX aircraft should not exhibit any transparency problems.To do this you will require one of the following tools: Imagetool.exe from the FSX or FS9 sdks, or DXTbmp, the Nvidia DDS tool, or you can use photoshop if you have the nvidia texture plugin for it, available from the nvidia site.Look for the VC canopy reflection or glass textures for your particular aircraft. They're usually intelligently named. They may be in the aircraft's main texture folder, or in each of the variant folders. It changes from plane to plane.Make backups of the textures, then load the originals into your preferred tool. Change them from DXT1/3/5 or 8 bit format, whichever it is, to 32 bit and save. Depending on how the textures were authored you might lose the reflection definition in your VC glass (if the original textures didn't employ an alpha channel) but you'll be able to see where you're going. If you're comfortable with image editing in photoshop it's no trick to get the proper reflections back into them via the texture's alpha channel. You can do this with FSX running and test it if you have a 'reload aircraft' key assigned, but its best to restart FSX to test the change. Sometimes textures don't refresh without an FSX restart.Hope that helps someone. Cheers,

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Excellent, and thank you very much! I'll give it a whirl and sorry I missed this previously.Tailwinds!Erich

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As an update on the above issue and tip:The method of just re-saving the window textures as 32-bit (888-8 format in DXTbmp) did not work on this bird. But, problemo solved anyhoo!The alpha layers on this bird were done in a way I've never seen before and I still can't get my head around how they worked in FS9...the alpha channel was just a copy of the regular bitmap. So anyway I just did it the old-fashioned way and replaced the alpha layer with a normal dark-gray bitmap and voila.....windows are transparent and also have just a fine layer of grime if you look closely.Fittingly enough, using what my wifey says is my "German method ("If it don't fit, FORCE IT!") worked wonders on this good ol' German bird...flying in style again!Alpha_Text_Question_02.jpgMany thanks!Erich

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Hi Stoopy. Can you fix the Carenado T-34B the same way? Have you a fix for the Carenado T-34B panel errors that were reported ? If you can I might try installing my copy of the Exp. Pack. I am hesitant as I love the T-34B. Best regards, Bob.

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Well, sure I could do the same thing and we could see if that works too. Only thing is, we'd be at a bit of an impasse since I don't own the Carenado T-34B (nor would I want it sent to me of course) and it sounds like you aren't installing X-Pack/SP2 until you know if the fix works....if anyone would want to send me just the window texture they could PM me with their email and I'll contact 'em so they can send me the one texture file, that shoudl be perfectly legal.But I believe from reading the other thread that converting it to 32-bit fixes the problem so maybe we can just re-read that thread and verify it, then you can install X-Pack/SP2 and get your texture fixed and be on your way.Thoughts from other X-Pack/Carenado T-34B users?EDIT: Oops, an afterthought....sitting here thinking about it, I could see some headache emailing textures back and forth asking "does this work....OK how about this....now how's this look" etc. Since I'm rather cheap (read: I own very few payware planes) I'm thinking that the publisher - such as Carenado - may be a better source to contact, as surely they would be aware of the issue and reasons for it in their design, and have a vested interest in keeping their aircraft working for their userbase. Especially if it's such an easy fix, and they could offer it as a download update to all users. Have you contacted Carenado? Not to pass the buck....just looking to save you headaches and time...

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Hi. Thanks. Yes I contacted Carenado already. There is a big language difference between us. From what I have understood from their answer they are not going to make any fixes for FSX or the Exp. Pack now. I would imagine if they got enough e-mails they would look into it. They stated that MS has changed things around so much that they can't keep up with them, as best as I got from their answers. I own their excellent RG and the T-34B. If it is just that the glass files have to be changed from DXT3, which they are now for the T-34B, to 32 bit, I think I can use Imagetool and convert them myself. I do not know anything about the more complicated changes you did with the alpha channels as that is way beyond me. Best regards, Bob

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Hmmm.....well really what I did wasn't terribly hard at all or ground-breaking, just one step above what was already suggested. Took all of about 60 seconds to accomplish....which leads me to suspect that if that's the publisher's response, maybe the issues are much deeper than what I had with the Ju-52 in my shots above?Ideally the publisher would be the one to fix it and man I'd hate to be on the wrong end of a EULA agreement by "modifying and redistributing files" form a payware app.....not saying we cuoldn't explore it. Just sayin'....for AvSim's sake (and protection).I guess what I dont' know is....what exactly are the issues with the T-34B? Just windows? Can you post a screenshot of wha it looks like now? Maybe that'll answer wetehr it's a simple fix to one texture or if the thing has a severe case of cooties all over.

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Hi. I can't post a screenshot as I have not yet installed the Exp. Pack. I just read a lot of complaints that the T-34B glass was screwed up and that there was some large silver object on the 2D panel. That's why I have not instralled it yet. My T-34 is my special aircraft as I used to fly one for real. Maybe someone who has had the problem will post a pic. If I install it later and have difficulties I'll PM you. After trying to contact Carenado and asking for help, with no apparent success, I am not going to worry about any EULA! Best regards, Bob.

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