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Guest JeanLuc_

Alpha problem in gauges - turn coordinator glass cover.

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HiWhen I try to modify the Baron's xml turn coordinator to use a different Alpha image for the ball glass cover (Turn_Indicator_Cover.bmp) nothing seems to work at all. Even if I load the original image into Photoshop as an indexed image, change one pixel and save, the image and effect gets totally ruined.I've even tried to open it in imagetool, but I get an error message on that image (along with a whole lot of other standard bmp files).The original Turn_Indicator_Cover.bmp is 26014 bytes in size, but when resaved from Photoshop it becomes 26360 bytes long - and unusable.I could find little to no information in the SDK.What is going on?

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>Hi >>When I try to modify the Baron's xml turn coordinator to use >a different Alpha image for the ball glass cover >(Turn_Indicator_Cover.bmp) nothing seems to work at all. >Even if I load the original image into Photoshop as an >indexed image, change one pixel and save, the image and >effect gets totally ruined. >>I've even tried to open it in imagetool, but I get an error >message on that image (along with a whole lot of other >standard bmp files). >>The original Turn_Indicator_Cover.bmp is 26014 bytes in >size, but when resaved from Photoshop it becomes 26360 bytes >long - and unusable. >>I could find little to no information in the SDK. >>What is going on? Well Karl, that's simply because is not an extended bitmap image! It is a 'normal' 8 bit .bmp file... there is no Alpha channel! :)Bill

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I kind of considered one of these special MS formats, but since imagetool couldn't handle them I ruled it out.What do I need to work with these? A photoshop (free) plugin, or a separate program?Anyway, the idea was this. Choose an alpha image based on a light intensity switch, then simply cover the day graphics set with it for a good night effect. See where I'm going? No need to have a lot of varied graphics in a gauge.

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>I kind of considered one of these special MS formats, but >since imagetool couldn't handle them I ruled it out. >>What do I need to work with these? A photoshop (free) >plugin, or a separate program? >>Anyway, the idea was this. Choose an alpha image based on a >light intensity switch, then simply cover the day graphics >set with it for a good night effect. See where I'm going? No >need to have a lot of varied graphics in a gauge. Karl, I have an older version of Adobe Photoshop LE that I use most of the time for texture use, that supports 8 bit RGB images.I use DXTBmp as my interface instead of Imagetool (which, I personally feel a bit flakey). Attempting to load that particular .bmp as an "Extended Bitmap" resulted in the notice that "This graphic is not a valid 16 bit Extended image. Attempt to load as a Normal 8 bit image?"By choosing yes, the image was loaded into DXTBmp's viewport. The first thing I noticed was the information in the lower left corner which indicated that the image as a "Normal 8 bit 256x256 bitmap," and also that (of course) there is no Alpha channel.I've never had any luck whatever with anything other than "Normal" 8 bit, 16 bit, or 24 bit bitmaps when working with gauges. I'm not certain that FS2k2 even supports (or allows!) the use of "Extended bitmaps" in gauges. This is consistent with my observation regarding texturing in the Virtual Cockpit (i.e., the -interior- model) as well.I simply do not know for certain that what you seek to do is even possible, Karl... Have fun trying though! You never know what might turn up! :)

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If I recall that right, Elements in XML-gauges that use "Alpha" use ordinary RGB or 256 colours bitmaps. The Alpha has the result that there is a gradient in transparancy between the RGB(0,0,0) parts and the RGB(1,1,1) parts. See also the 747 standby ADI.Arne Bartels

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Hi Karl,this bitmap is special in a sense that it is a true alpha chanel encoded in a 256 color bitmap. You can make some like this one with the imagetool and photoshop through the TARGA file format (if memory serves me right) and doing some "hex editing" in the resulting file. However, for the effect you want (lighting), the problem is that an alpha enabled bitmap over a another bitmap (from another underlying gauge) is erased if the underlying gauge bitmap is updated. The idea is however very good. I'm still exploring this.Hope this helps!

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