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A couple of cold SDKs later, and I still can't figure it out - how in the world are the default planes' VC windows as defined in panel.cfg mapped to the VC in the model? Is this still one of those unknowns, or just to me?Thanks in advance!sg

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In the panel.cfg, the vcockpit sections, there is a "texture=" parameter. The name that goes here is the name of a planar in gmax. That planar becomes a "projection screen" onto which the gauges are mapped and then displayed by the sim. When mapping the vc panels, use square maps, power of 2.The mapped planar material must have a texture assigned in gmax. That texture name must be preceeded with a $ as per the SDK.In the panel.cfg, the $texture name is simply used to convey the coordinates of that planar. The map is used to position the gauges on the planar.The actual texture background for the panel can be applied in two ways. One way, in the default aircraft, they are applied in gmax. That texture must be in the texture folder.Second way, most of us use the "filename=" parameter in the vcockpit section to name that background bmp. That texture must be in the panel folder.Hope this helps.Milton

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Thanks for the reply, Milton! It does help quite a bit...However, I'm still left with at least one question, and it is specific to gauges. When you look at the gauge layout as defined in panel.cfg for the vc - let's use the default lear as an example: (VCockpit01) size_mm=512,512 pixel_size=512,512 texture=$Lear_45 background_color=0,0,0 gauge00=Lear_45!PFD, 0, 0, 299, 408 gauge01=Lear_45!Radio Stack, 307, 0, 206, 256 gauge02=Lear_45!Annunciator, 311, 256, 201, 76 gauge03=Lear_45!Backup Airspeed, 304, 332, 104, 104 gauge04=Lear_45!Backup Attitude, 408, 332, 104, 104 gauge05=Lear_45!Pitot Heat, 129, 405, 30, 30 gauge06=Lear_45!Deice, 193, 405, 30, 30 gauge07=Lear_45!Autopilot, 0, 436, 512, 76 gauge08=Lear_45!Left Starter, 1, 405, 30, 30 gauge09=Lear_45!Right Starter, 33, 405, 30, 30 gauge10=Lear_45!Left Alternator, 225, 405, 30, 30 gauge11=Lear_45!Right Alternator, 257, 405, 30, 30 gauge12=Lear_45!Fuel Left Standby, 161, 405, 30, 30 gauge13=Lear_45!Fuel Right Standby, 97, 405, 30, 30 gauge14=Lear_45!Fuel Crossfeed, 65, 405, 30, 30The coordinates defined for each gauge, to me, seem to have no relationship to the position that they are found in the actual vc or in relation to the texture that is mapped to the surface...Editing the 2D is easy, but moving and/or replacing gauges in the VC is next to impossible.Am I wrong about that, or is there some trickery here ;)? Is there a way to replace the VC and gauges in the default aircraft?Thanks again!sg

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When laying out gauges for the VC, remember you can have multiple "panels" or planars as a background. For high res, many use a vcockpit section for each major or logical section of a panel.The textures also can be placed on the map sideways, vertically, or upside down just to make it interesting. :-)We usually map the planars and lay them out just like 2D panels.Notice the Lear's vcockpit2 section, filename= bmp name. Now look at that bmp to see the texture arrangement. :-) I think that best explains it.

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>Notice the Lear's vcockpit2 section, filename= bmp name. Now>look at that bmp to see the texture arrangement. :-) I think>that best explains it.With that much 'blank space' on the .bmp, I can see no reason whatever why MS would have place that one sub-panel texture sideways... :)For that matter, with that much room, why make 'em so darn small?Oh well, I'm more convinced than ever that MS should simply 'contract out of house' for their 'default' a/c development! :)It could only be a win-win situation for everyone involved... MS makes the sim and saves the overhead of model development; payware companies get to strut their stuff to a much wider market... :)Imagine if FS2006 came 'out of the box' with 'default a/c' from the best of the commercial and freeware developers! :)

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I guess my confusion comes from the notion that you could possibly use part of a bmp to texture a part of the VC. What I mean is that those decals in the lear's vcockpit 2 section bmp show up in different orientations, in different locations of the VC, but it's just one bmp...I expected the texture to be a 1 to 1 reflection of the entire bmp, but instead, parts of the bmp can be mapped to the VC...clearly I'm new at this!That layout makes it next to impossible to do anything but gauge substitutions in the VC, right? Wholesale redesign would be close to impossible?Thanks again for your time...Best,sg

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Well, looking at the rest of the vcockpit2 section, that blank space is where the gauges are...

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>Well, looking at the rest of the vcockpit2 section, that>blank space is where the gauges are...Nope... where the 'blank space is,' is totally unused, wasted space.The way this works is really quite simple:a) the texture from the .bmp is applied to the gauge poly in the model:( the gauge is mapped to the proper coordinates ON THE TEXTURE FILE so that it will be 'projected' (i.e., superimposed) at the correct location/orientation when the a/c's VC is displayed.Although FS Panel Studio cannot (yet) create vcockpit entries, it CAN display ones already created. So, I can load the defalut Learjet's panel.cfg and visually see how the background image and the gauges are related.In fact, I do exactly that for each a/c I build. That's how I manage to tweak the panel.cfg precisely... :)

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>Although FS Panel Studio cannot (yet) create vcockpit entries,>it CAN display ones already created. So, I can load the>defalut Learjet's panel.cfg and visually see how the>background image and the gauges are related.Thanks again to you all for the input - I'm clearly having trouble getting my head around this.If you load the default lear's panel.cfg into fsps, select the vcockpit2 window, almost every inch of that blank space in the panel_decal_lear_2.bmp file is covered by a gauge...also, examining the relationship between that texture bmp and the gauges that are mapped to it really has no relevance, in this case, to where the gauges are located in the aircraft...right?The texture:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/74515.jpgThe (vcockpit2) window in fsps:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/74516.jpgClearly the gauges aren't displayed in that configuration on the vc of the model. So what's going on? How are the gauges transposed from that (vcockpit2) entry in the panel.cfg to their actual positions in the model? It must be that each surface in the model can be 'textured' by a portion of the bmp as defined by coordinates? By extension that would mean that every gauge that needs to be mapped has it's own surface - that can't be right...I know that other planes aren't like the default ones. Most aircraft have vcockpit sections that are defined such that the relationship of the gauges to the textures are reflected in the modelled VC. The defaults planes aren't like that, and I'm wondering where the difference lies...Thanks again, sorry to be so dense about this...best,sg

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>If you load the default lear's panel.cfg into fsps, select the>vcockpit2 window, almost every inch of that blank space in the>panel_decal_lear_2.bmp file is covered by a gauge...>also, examining the relationship between that texture bmp and>the gauges that are mapped to it really has no relevance, in>this case, to where the gauges are located in the>aircraft...right?>Clearly the gauges aren't displayed in that configuration on>the vc of the model. So what's going on? How are the gauges>transposed from that (vcockpit2) entry in the panel.cfg to>their actual positions in the model? It must be that each>surface in the model can be 'textured' by a portion of the bmp>as defined by coordinates? By extension that would mean that>every gauge that needs to be mapped has it's own surface ->that can't be right...I'll admit it's been awhile since I last looked at the vcockpit02 in FSPS and had forgotten that they put the MFD and some other ancillary gauges in the 'blank spots.' So, that isn't 'wasted space.'However, it does illustrate something that I've been doing for quite awhile: it is possible - in fact highly preferable! - to use a single $xxx.bmp (gauge texture) to map as much of the VC as possible.As you can easily see, you simply map the same $texture.bmp to as many 'gauge polys' as you can, and may even rotate some of them if you like to make 'em fit. The one caveat being that you cannot 'rotate a .gau' no matter how hard you try! You can however, easily rotate the underlying texture if you like.The areas at the bottom are 'eye candy' to be displayed on a polygon. The shaded 'knob areas' are for the 3d 'knobs' that're modeled in gmax and animated/controlled via xml instructions embedded in the .mdl file during compilation of the model. Obviously, such 'gauges' cannot be edited or moved by any means.Even though the pictures are long gone by now, the article I wrote several months ago is worth a good read:"Am I Carrying the "Minimalist" Approach Too Far?"http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...16362&mode=full

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Boy i wish those pictures were still there, Bill...Thanks for the input!Best,sg

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I wish I could repost them, but they're long since gone from my archives here. I cannot post any new pictures of the project, since it is now a commercial release.The main point being illustrated though is that you can use the same $texture.bmp for multiple gauge polys, and thereby use nearly the entire area of the 1024x1024 canvas, instead of 'wasting space.'The other thing is this: don't think that gauge polys have to be flat! They can in fact be nearly any shape whatever, even 'humped' as in a throttle quadrant. While the UVW map will be planar, the object being mapped doesn't have to be. You would simply have to make adjustments in the panel.cfg to make allowance for the curved projection surface.For example, in the case of a curved throttle quad, the gauge will be 'stretched' in the vertical dimension when applied to the curved polygon, therefore you simply "squash" the vertical gauge entry...Alternatively, you could use the UVW Editor to "stretch" the mapping to achieve the same effect. I find it easier to edit the panel.cfg myself.

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