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Virtual Cockpits

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HI allI was wondering if anyone can give me a few pointers for a virtual cockpit tutorial?I have updated my website showing some GMAX images but to be honest I haven't a clue what to do to get the VC to appear in FS.I have just downloaded the PANEL SDK from M$ site but I see in a previous posting some reckon it does not provide all the required information.I really want the does and don'ts of virtual cockpit design.Thanks in advance.Paul

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Heck!!! :-eek Great model dude! :-hahWell - the Panel and Gauges SDK is mainly for creating C gauges from scratch etc. not for VC design. For a VC tut look [a href=http://thegreatptmd.tripod.com/vc_tut_frame.htm]here[/a]. Works hmmm quite well. Don't remember if really *all* reqired information is included there, though.Anyway, give it a try.For further questions... Ya'd know whadda do! ;-)Good luck :-)Etienne

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Thanks Etienne.I will study this later.As an aside, are there any SDK's from M$ that provide VC info?For those that have not seen my website please visit.www.iol.ie/~bae146designHaving looked through this forum it is clear Fr Bill and Milton seem to have the edge. The tutorial you have directed me to; is this the only one available? I see a few references to mistakes contained within it.My VC parts are all named BOX-- or Cylinder--. I have a lot of renaming to do!Thanks again Paul H.

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I can't help you with your VC problems, but I must commment on your 146. WTFG!! Hold your head high when u show that bad boy.

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Hi Paul,To export the VC part of your model in gmax:Group and set CoG for the exterior model like this:1. Group all of your external model; name it "exterior"2. Select the exterior with the "move/modify" tool3. Select the "Hierarchy Icon/Affect Pivot Only" and center the pivot at the CoG (I usually build my model with the grid crosshairs set at the CoG). Use the data entry section for coordinates at the bottom to set CoG.4. Now hide the "exterior" model.Group and set CoG for the interior model like this:1. Select and group all virtual cockpit objects; name the group "interior".2. Set the CoG for the interior group at exactly the same location as the exterior group CoG.Exporting:1. You should have all objects in either the exterior or interior group.2. Select both groups3. Go to File/Export Selected4. Name your aircraft and select Files of Type ".bgl"5. Save6. After the exporting process, the MakeMdl (or bgl) window will appear.7. Select the Options Tab, click HasReflectMap and HasLightMap8. Select the Main Tab9. Change Files of Type to Aircraft10. Select SaveMakemdl will now process, optimize, and generate the bgl for the interior and exterior models, then compile the package together. The output will be saved as a .mdl in the target folder.With the model now showing in FS2002, you can now start focusing on the animations and textures. This forum has discussed all of those areas but if you can't find your answer, please ask.Your modeling looks awesome ... have fun! :-)BTW, Bill is way more knowledgeable about VC's than I. He has been a great source of experience for all of us here.RegardsMilton

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Thanks MiltonThat will get me started.I'll be gone for three days sweating in the real simulator but anyone who can enlighten me further please go right ahead.I am curious to know more about dummy bitmaps and applying textures to panels. At the moment I am not interested in gauges. As you can see from the screen shoots all I have designed are the bases and surrounds for the gauges. All the switches might be programmed as gauges, but at the moment they are only in position for texturing purposes.I hope to use lithium unwrap and take screen shots when everything is in position so that a 2d panel can be rendered easily and accurately.I can then consider where to go with the gauges.I understand there are a number of methods of achieving the desired effects. Any information would be appreciated.Thanks for your inputPaul H

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>so that a 2d panel can be rendered >easily and accurately. Uhh... You wanna make the 2d panel right from the model??? Great dude!! :-eek

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>I am curious to know more about dummy bitmaps and applying >textures to panels. At the moment I am not interested in >gauges. As you can see from the screen shoots all I have >designed are the bases and surrounds for the gauges. All the >switches might be programmed as gauges, but at the moment >they are only in position for texturing purposes. >>I hope to use lithium unwrap and take screen shots when >everything is in position so that a 2d panel can be rendered >easily and accurately. Paul,What I've done to create the 2d panel bitmap has been to finish the VC, then simply 'snap a picture' in FS2002 and use that as the template... :) The goal is to provide as smooth and transparent transition from the 2d view to the 3d view as possible.Such a nice model truly deserves the very best panel and gauges that can be made...Since there are a number of available lighting techniques that may be used, you need to make a determination rather early in the design process to avoid having to redo major parts of your work later on, because you've reached a dead end... :)When I can take some time away from some payware work I'm in the middle of at the moment, I want to develop a fully illustrated tutorial on the VC creation process, with emphasis on proper gauge design/selection for VC use, lighting techniques, and texturing.

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>When I can take some time away from some payware work I'm in >the middle of at the moment, I want to develop a fully >illustrated tutorial on the VC creation process, with >emphasis on proper gauge design/selection for VC use, >lighting techniques, and texturing. You're in payware?? ;-)Hey I'D heavily appreciate that tut!!!! Way to go Bill! :-hahEtienne :-wave

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Hi AllBack again. Thanks for all the postings.Fr Bill I realise you are busy at the moment but your reply has me somewhat intrigued? Am I going about things in the right fashion or am I going to end up frustrated? (not that I haven't been there with this project already).Again you have suggested a number of possibilities on how to proceed but I neither know what these are or which one is right for me.I have put a lot of work into this project so if you are suggesting the best way is the hardest/highest workload then so it shall be.But what is it? What is the best way? Maybe you wish to keep that to yourself, (I fully understand that I really do especially when you are working on a commercial product - I worked on the LTU2001 product for Aerosoft some years ago I built the Airbus A330 and was given information that was then cutting edge so honestly I do respect your right to a commercial edge.If this is not your intention and with time permitting I would love the opportunity to learn from you and equally if I can share any of my design experiences with you or in fact with anyone I will.Thankyou once again for the input; it is much appreciated.Paul Hwww.iol.ie/~bae146design

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Holy! Dude, that is one amazing ARJ model. Is there going to be a virtual cabin too? I am definately going to fly it when the Northwest airlink one comes out! :-beerchug Cheers to your model!

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Hi AllI finally got the VC running in FS. The view is a little distorted, perhaps I am doing something wrong.But it is exciting to see the work in place.I have no interest in making a cabin for the 146, my feeling is that you want ride down the back then go buy a ticket.While I am not knocking anyones desire to create a virtual cabin it is a bit of a gimmick and one that is using up resources that could be put to better use.I'll put my efforts into the cockpit.Thanks again for the kind words.Paul H

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Nice! I'm still routing for a virtual cabin though. If you don't want to do one, it's ok. I just live models with virtual cabins. :-bluegrab

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