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Guest Rex Farley

Is There a way ?

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Hello Everyone,I was wondering if there is a way to somehow get to the bitmap of a vc to create holes where gauges can be added. I was flying one of my favorite aircraft and noticed there are some gauges that cannot be seen but they are in the panel.cfg under the vc section.I removed one of the gauges and added a different gauge in its place, at this point I moved the gauge and it disappeared behind the bitmat.The vc bitmap or whatever it is called has a lot of nice artwork/dummy switches that can be edited out and real working gauges or switches can be inserted. But how to get to the bitmap of a vc.I know the vc is part of the model, but is the artwork also?Thanks,Rex

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Hi Rex, The art work for the VC consists of textures, just like the external model uses. They are in the same directory. (although, MS has some textures for their VCs in the panel directory, like the barron and king air, but I have no clue how that works) I am no modeller, but from what I can gather, there is an invisible polygon designated for gauge placement. This may or may not cover the entire texture area, and the recent trend has been to use a lot of these polys for gauge placement. This allows for the much higher reselution and clarity, but also adds to their jerky reactions. If you have FS Panel Studio, you can open the VC entries and see where the gauges are, however, with out the bitmap backdrop. But by doing that, you can get a feel for the expanse of the polygon that gauges are on. You can only work with in that, to change it requires work on the actual model. Hope this helps out.Ian Grant

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>Hi Rex,> The art work for the VC consists of textures, just like the>external model uses. They are in the same directory.>(although, MS has some textures for their VCs in the panel>directory, like the barron and king air, but I have no clue>how that works)Ian,Textures that're placed in the panel directory are referenced by this line in the panel.cfg file://--------------------------------------------------------[Vcockpit01]file=vc_main.bmp <==visible textureBackground_color=0,0,0 size_mm=1024,1024visible=0pixel_size=1024,1024texture=$vc_main <==projection screen textureWhat makes a VC a bit more "complicated" is that the normal 3d parts are textured just like any other part of the model, which is from the texture directory, and as such may also have 'lightmaps' associated with them if the modeler has chosen to include this feature.However, a "projection screen polygon" which is textured via a $autogenerated.bmp (FS dynamically creates the texture while running), cannot also have a visible background texture applied the "normal way" from the texture directory. So, FS allows a "file=xxx.bmp" method to accomplish this. Where the most confusion occurs though is that the "lightmap" for these type entries is kept in the texture directory, just like all the others! :)A "lightmap" applied to a VC's "projection screen" is what allows gauges be be "backlighted" (see my tutorial for more details). However, the side effect of this form of "backlighting" is that those areas not covered by a "gauge" will turn solid black when the panel lights are on. Hence, the need to apply a "normal type texture" to the entire gauge "projection poly" to mask the solid black at night...The major advantage to using say, three "panel sized projection polys" to display gauges is that this will allow for near infinite gauge rearrangement by anyone. The huge disadvantage is loss of gauge clarity and sharpness, due to "wasting" most of the available pixels on a projection poly for non-gauge textures!So, for best clarity and sharpness, the most efficient method is to use what I've termed the "cookie cutter method," whereby the modeler creates a set of "gauge sized and shaped polys," then groups them into a logical and space efficient arrangement on the $projection.bmp and either superimposes the polys on TOP of the normally textured panel, OR cuts "holes" in the normally textured panel through which to view the gauges, which are placed BEHIND the normally textured panel... :)Sorry for getting carried away... This is probably WAY more than you wanted to know... :)

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Yep, what he said :) I guess I wasn't too far off though eh?

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Ha Ha Ha:-laugh1 So I guess I can't just color me a hole in the thingy magigy and add a gauge. I was reading some guides and downloaded DxtBmp and started to play around with removing a yoke. I'll leave the heavy stuff to the pro's. Meanwhile I removed the gps gauge from the vc panel and added the extra switches I like. It's not pretty but it's functional.I do very much appreciate both of your respones. I'll start reading and see if I can accomplish something.Thanks,Rex

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