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Guest EdrickV

Freeware?

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Are there any freeware programs wich you can create and/or repaint aircrafts?? Christian Hogstad chrihog@online.no

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To repaint aircraft - easy - MArtin Wright's DXTBMP graphics programs allow you to convert the various formats, as well as Microsoft's imagetool.exe, available with the FS2002/etc SDK's.As to amaking the flyable aircraft .. the answer would be a qualified "no" ... The vast majority of aircraft are being produced with either gmax or FSDS. While gmax is "free" to download, you would still need the converter plugins that only come with the FS2002 Professional Edition.If you have CFS3, for example, then yes, because the necessary converter is available as a spearate free download from Microsoft (CFS3 design SDK ...)FOr FS2K2, theoretically (I don't have first hand experience of someone who's done it) if you can convert the output of a 3D modelling program, preserving the texturing and animation, into a DirectX format file, you could then use makemdl.exe directly on the resutling file. I believe there are a number of free 3D modelling software products,such as Blender, that could be used ... I don't know of anyone who has effectively created a model in a different program and exported to flightsim without going through gmax or FSDS..

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ok, I've gotten the software. Is there any place on the net describing step by step what to do??

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When it comes to editing textures, I recommend Gimp (available at http://www.gimp.org/win32/) which is a very nice GPL graphics editor for people like me who don't have access to Photoshop. :) The old version I have seems to like saving 256 color indexed images that have less then 17 or so total colors as 4 bit 16 color images rather then 8 bit 256 color images. That might have been fixed as my copy is really old. The solution I use is either to use DXTBMP to save the texture as an extended bitmap or use some other painting program (not MS Paint!) to save it as a 256 color (8 bit) bitmap. And I highly suggest avoiding the use of 0 mips DXT bitmaps, some video cards (like mine) won't work right with them. Paint can be useful, but I would run the file through another graphics program after saving the file from Paint. I've had odd problems with regular 256 color textures saved from Paint somehow being invisible/100% transparent. Opening and saving the file in another program (in my case ThumbsPlus) fixed whatever was wrong with the file. Saving as an extended bitmap from DXTBMP fixes the problem too.You'll also want to try and get familliar with the aircraft.cfg file, since you'll need to edit it to make repaints show up. (Unless you're replacing the original paint job.) I suggest associating .cfg files with Notepad or a similar program if they aren't already. It's useful for many programs since 99% of the time they're simple text files."Let me help you out. You're cleared to taxi any way you can to any runway you see."

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