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Guest Matthias Lieberecht

Panel Design

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Hi!As you maybe know, I'm working on a TBM700 Panel.Gauge-programming is running fine, but what I want to change is the background bitmap of the panel. I've made it out of some pictures and have reworked it with MS Paint. But I also want to have those shodows and all those other special things, which make the panel much more real!But this is not possible with MS Paint.What Graphic programm is best for making panels with all those special effects like shadows, reflexions etc...Just tell me your programm you're using and maybe some tipps and tricks!Best regards,Harry

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If you want the 'simple' way, take PSP (www.jasc.com), but if you want the hardcore way... then take 3ds max (www.discreet.com). Panels being rendered out of 3ds max are, no more to say, OUTSTANDING. (as long as the modeller ain't a beginner of course...)Oder Adobe PhotoShop... aber nicht so gut zum einfach nur 'painten', IMHO...Etienne

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Danke!I'll try PSP, because 3D MAX is even more difficult than gmax...but even gmax is too much for me, because I've never made anything with this tool.But I'll try it with PSP. The panel mustn't have the best background ever seen, but just should look more realistic, or let's say it on German: Einfach ein bisschen "aufpeppen"!Best regards and sch

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Hi Harry,you can make a good Panelbitmap also just with MS Paint. It's not necessary to pay a lot of money for a 3D Programm which makes nothing else than what you can do yourself. PSP is a very good programm (I also just use PSP for my Bitmaps). The problem is not the possibility of the used Programm, it's a question of the power of observation for simple things. You can compare it with MS Excel. The Programm itself is easy to use. The hard thing here is to write a correct formula and this you won't learn with Excel.Take a look at your surroundings. Close one eye and observe the color bleed, shadows and bright edges. Those are the things that made a 2D picture looking stereoscopic. You can train yourself on an easy way (it's the way I do). Use a black (or any other single colored) ball and place it before you on a table. If you start painting it you just have a round black circle which doesn't look like a ball. Now observe the things which gives the ball a stereoscopic looking. You recognize a white part at the upper left position (depending from where the light comes) of the ball. Now carry over the white part in your Bitmap and you see, that suddenly the black circle becomes more globular. Now take a look at the edge of the white part and you see that the black ball is more grey than black there. Carry over this color bleeding to your picture. The last thing to do is the shadow. If you take a look at the shadow of your Ball you see that the color bleeds from grey into black getting closer to the Ball. After you've put this into your picture you will see that your former circle becomes a Ball with a classic 3D effect. For this example I prefer you just use MS Paint. If you are able to paint a Ball with MS Paint you can do it easily also in PSP. If you realize such globular bodies you could also give your Panelbitmap a stereoscopic looking on the exactly same way.Best RegardsMatthias

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@Matthias:You're right, I've tried it with a pen, and it worked.I've also tried some shadows on my panel, looks much more real. But I haven't saved them, because I first want to try PSP(you can try it 30days, so it's ok).Regrads from the rainy Austria,Harry

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Hi Harry,Great, you're on the right way. I'm not really sure but I think you can get an older Version of PSP for free. If I remember back when PSP 6 came out PSP 5 was offered by several Freeware servers for free. If you get PSP 6 now for free that's absolutely okay because Version 7 do not have many useful news to the old Version and you can save a lot of money.BTW: Enclosed I put your Pen on my table and switched on the bedside lamp. A further example of what you can do with colors, lights and shadows.Best RegardsMatthias

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I'll look if I can find a free PSP version!But there are many effects, but none is good for making those shadows!How do you make those shadows with PSP???Or is MS-Paint the only way to get really good results?Regards,Harry

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So, as I didn't find a really good function to make shadows in PSP, I've done it all by hand(with MS Paint).I've added a picture, one side without the shadows, the other side with the shadows!!! I think it looks ok, what do you say!?If you know the function, which is best for shadows in PSP, please tell me!Best regards,Harry

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Hi Harry,You find the Shadow Effect in the Effect Menue "3d-Effect". There's a separate point for making simple Shadows. But take care. PSP just can produce vertical and horizontal shadows. For simple things this is okay but if you have a toggle switch for example, you have to make it by hand because you need an angle in the shadow. And this is what PSP couldn't do for you (the programm did not know how the length and angle of the toggle).The way you start is not bad but I think you make a small mistake. What you need is just the shadow of the distance from top of the case until the Cockpit. Lay down a CD Cover on a table and switch on a light beside the cover. Than take a look at the shadow the cover makes on the table. This is almost like the shadow you want to produve for your Gauge case.Enclosed is a small sample. The left cases are with a handpainted shadow (could also be done with MS Paint) and the right one is with the PSP shadow. The small picture on the upper right side shows how you can simulate different illusions just with shadows. The lower left cylinder stood on the floor (done with just a fat grey line) while the upper one lies on the floor (done with a couple of lines in different grey tones). The third painting shows a case in similar color to the floor which lies on it, done just with 3 Lines in different brightness. All of these small examples are done without the shadow effect of PSP.Best RegardsMatthias

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You're right, the shadow was too big!But the 3d effect of the EADI/EHSI is ok???I found the shadow under 3d effects, but it didn't work. Now I found it out, and it worked, but you've to edit it with Paint a bit, because it's not a perfect shadow. But it helps!Best regardsHarry

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So, if you want to see how the panel now looks like, here are 2pictures. Of course, much is left to do, but it now looks much better than without shadows! And today, I also got my EADI finished(ED461).And all just because it was so a rainy day and I had nothing else to do as to make Paneldesign. :-)Regards,Harald

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Hi Harry,Looks very good and has much more deepness like before. Now you should do it also to the other cases in the Panel. Just some further words about PSP. I've used this Programm from the first day I made Panels. I always wonder why my Bitmaps just looks plain and ugly. Then I began observing my surrounding and take a look at some simple things just with one eye to see how stereoscopic they look when watching them in the same way you're looking at a flat monitor. This helps a lot and I recognized the things which are important for a 3D illusion. I'm also not a professional painter for such things (could you ever be?) but I do my best to learn every day. What has this to do with PSP now? You may lough but my really first tryings in painting stereoscopic things were made with MS Paint. After I understand how I could do this with a simple Programm I go back to PSP and tryied it there. PSP is an absolutely great painting Programm and I don't want to miss it. But as written above not the Programm makes a good painter (it just helps you). It is the ability to watch the things beside you. When I take a look at your finished things (and the Pen of course) you're on the right way.BTW: Your EADI and HSI Gauge looks very good and realistic.Best RegardsMatthias

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