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What do you guys use to design panels?

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Hi AllWhat programs do you each use to design and/or build panelsIs there one program that sticks out as the best?ThanksFaxCap

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I don't know a lot about making panels but I do modify the panel bitmaps and use CfgEdit to add stuff to panels.I just picked up a little program for graphic editing called:PixelStudio2 for $35.00 CAD and it's great. I use it in conjunction with MSPaint.As much as I like CfgEdit, for some reason it wants to resize and reposition windows/gauges for me automatically. So, as the previous posters say, notepad works really well.I'm just learning now how to work with XML gauges to install panel spot lights. There is SOOOO much to learn but there are many helpful people in this forum.Be warned...this panel editing is addictive, if not frustrating some times! I just started and I'm hooked.Adam

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>Be warned...this panel editing is addictive, if not>frustrating some times! I just started and I'm hooked.>AdamThat's what I was afraid of, Adam! :-)I may try CFGEdit 1st and work my way up from there.FaxCap

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Not sure what you guys do with MS Paint, but for some high quality I think nothing can beat 3D Studio MAX, Lightwave or any other 3D modelling/rendering tool for those who can afford it IMHO. Look at PSS's panels, they were made using Lightwave I think. :-eek

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Modeler/Lightwave...that's several thousand bucks is it not? I worked with a guy this summer who built a 3D model using lightwave. Check out his website and the model we made during a course we were taking at:http://www.smythe.nbcc.nb.ca/Maguire/mogall.htmlED4973 3D VideoThe actual model took about 3 hours to render on my P2.4 and was over 200MB. Unfortunately the original was lost due to a HDD failure.Adam

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did someone say... gMAX? You can place lights and whatnot to sort of imitate the missing renderer. Maya and lightwave have free "training" versions, i believe, if you want to chase them down.

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Hi,- Adobe PhotoDelux Home Edition v4.0- MS Paint- DXTBmp (...for creating alpha images)- ImageTool (...for converting alpha's to 8 bit)- FS Panel Studio v1.1 (...I love this program!)- MS Makecab (...for packing XML gauges and bmp's)- MS Notepad (...for XML coding)- Gauge to BMP program by Chuck Dome. (..for extracting bmp's from C gauges)- Scale maker programs by Scott Macmillan. (...for making gauge/dial bmp's)Here is the latest screenshot on my project using just the above.Thanks,Johnhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/55542.jpg

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YesI will be playing with the alpha's again this weekend (to verify what I did the first time) and I will post after that. ...I know I said I would post the other day, but, I have'nt had the time to really sit down and go through it all again and write the tutorial.I'll do it soon though. It's good stuff!Thanks,John

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John,May I suggest that you post your alpha channel tutorial if possible under the XML FAQ.BrgdsEugen

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As a "newbie" I have to ask.....what's an "alpha" in panel making? :-)FaxCap

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Hi,Not specifically alpha, but to change the brightness of my MFD's i use this element as last one in the row:................. (A:Circuit general panel on, bool) (L:bright,enum) 0 == (L:bright,enum) 1 == (L:bright,enum) 2 == (L:bright,enum) 3 == (L:bright,enum) 4 == (L:bright,enum) 5 == (L:bright,enum) 6 == (L:bright,enum) 7 == (L:bright,enum) 8 == (L:bright,enum) 9 == (L:bright,enum) 10 ==..............and on the pedestal a rotary knob:............. (L:bright,enum) 4 /................MFD's Less Bright (L:bright,enum) 1 - 0 max (>L:bright,enum)MFD's More Bright (L:bright,enum) 1 + 11 min (>L:bright,enum)...............Gives a nice effect!Jan"Procul Negotiis"

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Hi,An alpha channel is graphical data embedded into a special BMP file. The alpha channel is not actually displayed, but rather is converted by FS into a shadow effect over other gauge elements. If you want to see an example in action, load the default 747 and look at the Standby Attitude Indicator. Notice that as the pitch card moves up and down that a shadow exists over the card. That effect is what you can do with Alpha channels.I'm working on a small tutorial on how to do this, keep checking back here for it.Thanks,John

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