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VC Finally Finished!

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I took most of the day today and just managed to complete the VC night lighting. All the bitmaps have been updated as well...Now I just need to finish up some details on the exterior model...I've managed to slash nearly 5k 'excess polys,' and hope to get this down to a target of ~30k when done. Hopefully, it'll be ready for release this weekend.For those who've already d/l'ed the "Final Beta," I'm going to package a special 'upgrade,' so no one will have such a huge d/l again! :)I believe that I'm enjoying this a/c more at night now... :)

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>I believe that I'm enjoying this a/c more at night now... :) Argghhh!!! The image was too small, and the header was corrupted!Here is another try... notice the yoke mounted timer! :)

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Looking good. Here is a couple of ideas - don't take it wrongly :)1) Whenever the panel light (or probably landing light switch) is on, I would select another gauge graphics set with a much toned down brightness instead of the day graphics. See the code in my earlier airspeed indicator I sent waaaay back :) You can further improve it with a slider that controls the brightness in the gauges - i.e. ten different airspeed_background_xx.bmp files. Maybe you have night graphics in already, it's just hurting my eyes :) Ok, so I'm "used to" a C172 with no back or postlightning - only a VERY dim red spotlight...2) I've thought up a solution to the landing light vs panel light problem you might look into. The panel light switch should switch the landing light variable. Since the panel is either pitch black or lighted if switch is not on, chances are that one are more likely to "forget" landing lights than panel lights during a stressy approach. So the landing light switch can control tail_hook or whatever you prefer. The landing light _cone_ in the model is animated with the tail_hook variable and will swing into place when "your" (somewhat fake) landing light switch is toggled. Or, if your plane doesn't come with a taxi light, the solution is even simpler :D But I'm not a model designer, so there might be traps I'm unaware of.3) Amber digits on the radios at night?I can't wait...

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>Looking good. Here is a couple of ideas - don't take it >wrongly :) >1) Whenever the panel light (or probably landing light >switch) is on, I would select another gauge graphics set >with a much toned down brightness instead of the day >graphics.Actually, that is already the way it works. The panel light switch on the 2d panel turns on the "night lighted gauges" for the 2d cockpit, but also switches the 3d lighting to the night maps as well. What I need to do to 'tone down' the VC's nightlighted gauges is to modify the xxx_l.bmp illumination masks.You see, in GMax you simply "name" a texture on which the gauges will be "projected," using a $ to indicate that it is for the VC. FS2k2 will auto-generate the 'virtual .bmp' file on the fly. In order to achive backlighting, you need to do two things: 1) use GMax to specify that a 'nightmap' is used (see: Self-illumination), and 2) create a mask marking where 'lighting' should take place.For example, in the model's texture folder (not the panel folder), you will find a number of mask images such as bdvc_07_l.bmpThis is a simple, 8 bit .bmp file that is used to 'light' the VC compass when appropriate. The 'whiter' or 'greyer' the image, the brighter the lights. All you need to do yourself is 'darken' the mask... ;)>2) I've thought up a solution to the landing light vs panel >light problem you might look into. The panel light switch >should switch the landing light variable. Since the panel is >either pitch black or lighted if switch is not on, chances >are that one are more likely to "forget" landing lights than >panel lights during a stressy approach. So the landing light >switch can control tail_hook or whatever you prefer. The >landing light _cone_ in the model is animated with the >tail_hook variable and will swing into place when "your" >(somewhat fake) landing light switch is toggled. Or, if your >plane doesn't come with a taxi light, the solution is even >simpler :D But I'm not a model designer, so there might be >traps I'm unaware of.Karl, I never take constructive criticism or suggestions "badly." I welcome them! :)I've already made up my mind to tie the 'landing lights' toggle to the existing 'panel lights' switch. That way, I won't have to alter the code on all the durn gauges.An alternate 'workaround' I'm considering is to tie the landing_lights to the nosegear movement. There is a tag which will turn the lights off whenever the gear is retracted past 45 degrees. This may be an acceptable compromise, since few people will forget to lower the gear. If they do, then the lack of landing lights will be a moot point, and the least of their worrys!Unfortunately, the plane does use taxi lights, so that option is out. >3) Amber digits on the radios at night? The lighting on the real radios doesn't change color; only brightness. The VC lighting for the radios can be 'dimmed' by altering the VC mask used to self-illuminate them, just as above.

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