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Most efficient way to make a VC Panel.

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Hello, everyone. I am doing some research trying to get educated about making a VC for the 182RG. Some of the things that I want to accomplish are:1-Clear instrumentation readability, highest resolution?2-Efficient updates of the main Gyro instruments.3-NO 2D mode, I want to eliminate the overhead and resource bleed associated with it.4-Only 220 degrees of viewing area, forward, wings and slightly behind each wing.5-Night light read out, a la TB20.6-I would like to use Gmax and XML, but I could use VC ++ etc. if I can get more efficient output. I

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If you look back a few weeks, Bill (n4gix) posted a lot of information about making a VC. However, it applies to an airplane built from scratch using Gmax or FSDS. It helped me a lot, but I'm afraid your questions are far too advanced for me to contribute much of anything.John Woodward

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>5-Night light read out, a la TB20. >6-I would like to use Gmax and XML, but I could use VC ++ >etc. if I can get more efficient output. > I do not think that a step by step Tutorial is practical, >we should each know how to use Gmax, PhotoShop, XML, VC++ >etc. but an outline of the major elements required. Does >anything like this exist? As far as the night lighting is concerned, I can certainly help you when you get to that point... seeing as how you seem to like the TB20 lighting... :)As far as the bitmap sizes for maximum clarity, dissect the 1024 bitmaps in the TB20GT.CAB file. Use the biggest size you can to design the bitmaps. It's far easier to 'shrink' them than it is to make 'em bigger! :)As John mentioned, some three weeks ago I wrote a 'mini-tutorial' on VC panel creation from 'scratch,' but haven't had time to create a full-fledged tutorial yet.There are at least six different directions one can go with any project, so trying to be comprehensive in any meaningful and understandable way is exceedingly difficult!

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Hi, BillThank you for your open approach to your project. It was your messages that convinced me to do get started again. I was, at one time, involved in making aircraft, panels etc, but I stopped when I had to prioritize my tasks and other people made much better units. I read your messages, and as I recall you are using FSDS to make your project. I still have an old version, but I wanted to learn and try to use Gmax, and this would give me a reason to do that. I was hoping to get some points ahead of time and save myself from reinventing the wheel. Since I wanted to get a good read out, I was looking for some feedback as to which avenue will allow me to get an efficient model. I know that I cannot have it both ways, high res. and high FPS / efficiency, but there may be a best compromise. I like the Night lighting on your instrument panel, and I think I have sufficient information to implement it. Thank you for your time and effort. Do you know how a certain effect, resolution, size etc. affects the performance? Some other words what may be the most efficient way to proceed? What utilities may be best to use? Is Gmax and XML a good combination? Or should I use C? Thank you. TV

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> I read your messages, and as I recall you are using FSDS to >make your project. I still have an old version, but I wanted >to learn and try to use Gmax, and this would give me a >reason to do that.Er, nope! I use GMax exclusively and have never even had as much as a demo of FSDS on my system here... :)Now in all fairness to FSDS2, had it been available when I was ready to begin the learning process, I'd have surely invested some time in evaluation. As it happened though, my design journey began as a 'tabla rosa' and I just did it without any preconceptions about how things 'should work,' but simply accepted the GMax interface as I do any new program. If you recall the reaction of most folks to the 'so-called wing leveling bug' when they first engaged the AP in FS2k2 and were totally unprepared for the inability to turn, this is a perfect example of preconceptions inhibiting the learning process! :)>I was hoping to get some points ahead of >time and save myself from reinventing the wheel. Since I >wanted to get a good read out, I was looking for some >feedback as to which avenue will allow me to get an >efficient model. I know that I cannot have it both ways, >high res. and high FPS / efficiency, but there may be a best >compromise.That is precisely why we at F.A.R.T.S. have embraced the concept of freely sharing whatever painful lessons we've learned! :) > I like the Night lighting on your instrument panel, and I >think I have sufficient information to implement it. Thank >you for your time and effort. Do you know how a certain >effect, resolution, size etc. affects the performance? Some >other words what may be the most efficient way to proceed? >What utilities may be best to use? Is Gmax and XML a good >combination? Or should I use C? Thank you.One of the oddities that remains a mystery is why FS2k2 will still use a lowres 640 version of a particular gauge's bitmap set when all the others are using the hires 1024 version. It is obviously not a case of the hires version being 'too large,' since removing the 640 bitmap from the set will force FS2k2 to use the hires version instead - which it does quite well! ???I would say that I prefer XML gauges simply because they are quite easily modified by anyone, which makes customization of the bitmaps or complete rebuilding a breeze, although in all candor I "don't do C" and haven't the time or inclination to master the rather arcane and archaic contruction/compiling techniques required.My 'gut feeling' is that a well constructed and optimized C gauge is most likely much more efficient and frame-rate-friendly that its XML counterpart, but a poorly optimized C gauge is just as likely to be worse. XML is probably a compromise in this respect.Another consideration is that XML simply isn't capable of doing many of the things that compiled C gauges are, such as vector graphics, reading/writing data files, etc. A few of the k_events that are defined in XML simply do not work also, but 'work arounds' have been found to overcome - albeit not perfectly - this limiting factor.The main point I would like to stress though, is simply this:before beginning any design, define clearly what your goals are going to be, since much of that end result begins at the lowest level!For example, I could have saved an enormous amount of time had I known in advance the specific techniques required to produce the 'backlighted gauge illumination,' and not had to go backwards to reconstruct all the existing gauges! :) It's a darn sight easier to implement it from the beginning than it is to 'rebuild.' :(

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