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Chuck_B

Add bmp Frame to Existing Guage

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I posted this over at the FSPS forum, but Ihaven't received any responses yet.I just bought FSPanelStudio and made my first mini-panel for the PS Panels 737NG freeware that incorporates the HSI gauge. To finish it off I would just like to add a .bmp frame from the master panel mask around the outside border of the gauge, as the gauge doesn't have one. I 've already created the .bmp I want to use from the full panel mask, but I can't figure out how to merge my new .bmp frame with the existing HSI gauge. I've even tried bringing the .bmp frame into the mini-panel as an element of the panel itself, so that I could possibly move the existing HSI gauge on top of it, aligning it so that they look like a single gauge, but there doesn't appear to be a way to do this and limit the frame to one gauge -- it surrounds the entire mini panel. (BTW, the PS Panel is installed via .exe installer and none of the gauges are in .cab files.)I HAVE been able to bring the HSI from the default 737-400 (which has a .bmp frame incorporated into it's design) into my new mini-panel, and then lay the PS Panels' HSI gauge on top of it, which looks "OK" -- but the frame on the default gauge doesn't match the rest of the gauges and doesn't look as professional as I would like. I know I'm going to want to do this type of thing more in the future if it's possible and it seems I should be able to do something like this in the Create or Edit Gauge utilities.Can someone tell me how to do this with FSPS, or perhaps guide me step by step on how to do it? I've tried editing the xml code myself but I can't get the guage centered in the new .bmp frame. (I would think this isn't an uncommon request, but I wasn't able to turn any thing up in a search.)Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

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Well, it may just be me, but although you worked hard at giving a good description, because you are using terms that are not standard like "master panel mask" etc. I really have no idea what you are talking about.Best if you have a question to not use custom terms (unique to you or a particular program), and to post pictures to illustrate what the heck you are asking. As most likely you will have to alter XML code, you may wish to post the existing code as well.Good luck.

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Thanks, Patrick. I tried to post the code in the zip file, but apparently it didn't upload properly although the upload message said it had been successful.And I ended up being verbose because I was wondering if there was a way to do what I wanted to do easily in FSPanel Studio using the gauge editing module, and perhaps I was just missing it. It's looking more and more like it can't be done except "the old fashioned way", by modifiying the code.Basically, I've made a simple .bmp mask from the master panel pask, and all I want to do is take an existing gauge and merge the two so that when the gauge is displayed in my minipanel, it has the mask around it, and is not just the bare gauge. I'm close, but I can't get it centered right, and the gauge is very complex (the HSI) that will require a lot of manual adjustment in order to do so.I was hoping to simplify the process, and instead made a very complex original post. Thanks for at least reading -- I don't understand why the zip file didn't contain the code, but I'll look at it again tonight when I get home and maybe repost -- I've already spent a lot more time on this little project than I wanted to.Best regards,Chuck B.

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Hi,Also don't understand it exactly, but another way is to give the minipanel a background color:(from my panel.cgf)[Window00]position=7size_mm=1280,320windowsize_ratio=1.00background_color=1,1,1visible=1sizeable=0ident=MINIPANELgauge00=mini!pfd, 0, 0, 320, 287gauge01=mini!nd, 320, 0, 320, 320gauge02=mini!uppereicas, 640, 0, 320, 300gauge03=mini!lowereicas, 960, 0, 320, 300See picture (bad quality jpg)Jan"Beatus ille qui procul negotiis..."http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/179955.jpg

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For that matter, you could also "paint" the needed bezel(s) to a bitmap and specify that as the background for your mini-panel gauges! ;)

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Thanks, Bill and Jan -- after seeing Jan's post, that's the direction I may take. I was really hoping the gauge editing feature of FSPanel Studio would do what I wanted to do, though. Creating the mini-panel itself took all of 5 minutes, and I was hoping I could jazz it up with custom bezels at the same time.I'll let you know what happens. Thanks for taking the time to help me.Best regards,Chuck B.

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Using Jan's example, simply replace the "background_color=" with "texture=" entry.position=7size_mm=1280,320windowsize_ratio=1.00texture="My_Custom_background.bmp"//background_color=1,1,1visible=1sizeable=0ident=MINIPANELThen create a background .bmp file with your bezel artwork where it needs to be... ;)

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Hi, Bill!Here's what I ended up with, which is incidentally exactly where I started out with (screen1.jpg). :(http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180322.jpgI just wanted to add the frame around the HSI, just for fun and because the other gauges had them.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180321.jpgThank you very much to everybody for your help -- I think I'm in over my head with gauge design, though. Best regards, all!Chuck

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Chuck, I gave this a try using Bill's method of adding a background .bmp to the minipanel window and locating the gauges on it. Here's what I came up with:http://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/minipanel.jpgI made the background image by cropping the gauge frames from the main panel .bmp like you did, but I pasted 2 instances of it onto a new 1280 x 400 .bmp. The black area between the 2 gauge bezels appears transparent in the sim and allows full view of the runway on approach. Here's a shrunk down .jpg of what my actual mp_bkgd.bmp looks like:http://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/mp_bkgd.jpgIn the panel.cfg I've added the following to the [Window Titles] section (window numbering may be different in your case, as you can see I had previously added a GPS window already):[Window Titles]Window00=Main PanelWindow01=Radio PanelWindow02=Throttle PanelWindow03=Overhead PanelWindow04=IRS PanelWindow05=GPSWindow06=Minipanel...and then further down the new minipanel window is defined like this:// ******************* MiniPanel *******************[Window06]file=mp_bkgd.bmp size_mm=1280,400position=7child_3d=1background_color=0,0,0ident=MINIPANELgauge00=PS737NG!PS737NGPFD, 25,27,368,340gauge01=PS737NG!PS737NGEHSI, 891,28,366,338Changing "position=7" to "position=1" would put the minipanel near the top of the screen more like it is in your screenshot. I'm not done yet, I still want to add the HSI mode selector gauges (switches/knobs) and maybe an abbreviated MCP/autopilot to the minipanel.You should be able to make yourself a background .bmp like this and import it into your minipanel in FSPanelStudio, then just drag your gauges into position over the .bmp.Jim

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Jim:Thank you! I've gone back to wrestling with this little project -- last 2 hours at least. That's very helpful and you've given me hope! Would you please be sure to post how you end up with this?Thanks again!Chuck

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Jim:Thanks to your help and direction, and after another 8 or 10 hours this is what I ended up with -- Can you tell me why I had to stretch my minipanelbkg.bmp longways to give it proper proportion in photoshop when it looked fine in FS PanelStudio? Is this common when designing panels, or is it just going to be another part of my learning curve with FSPS?:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/180382.jpgIn any event, and as always, thanks for all of your help and, most of all, pointing me in the right direction! Now all I have to do is remember how to actually fly this best now.Best regards and smooth skies!Chuck "I'm pretty proud of myself as a beginner" B.KPHL, KVAY

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>Can you tell me why I>had to stretch my minipanelbkg.bmp longways to give it proper>proportion in photoshop when it looked fine in FS PanelStudio?I'm afraid I can't Chuck. I copied the bezel from the main panel .bmp and then pasted 2 copies of it right back onto the main panel.bmp and slid them apart to about where I though they should appear for the minipanel. I then did a rectangular marquee selection around both of them tight to their outer edges and temporarily cropped the panel .bmp to come up with a size. That cropped out to something like 1244 x 400 (I don't remember exactly, just trying to get a ballpark size is all). I then chose 1280 x 400 as a size for my mp_bkgd.bmp just for nice, round numbers and created a new image of that size with a black background. I pasted 2 copies of the bezel to the new image, slid them to the outer edges and saved it as a .bmp.For the window definition in the panel.cfg I simply specified "size_mm=1280,400" and used the same gauge sizes that were used in the main panel window but changing their position coordinates to place them where they needed to be on the new mp_bkgd.bmp.I'm not familiar with FSPanel Studio at all, if you had to stretch things to get them to fit, it's likely that the window "size_mm=" proportions are out of whack with the proportions of your .bmp. Why it would show up correctly in FSPS and not in the sim is beyond me, I think I'd try it again making a new background .bmp, undistorted, and then see if there's some way in FSPS to define the minipanel window size exactly the same as the pixel dimensions of your background .bmp.Anyway congratulations on your progress :) . I haven't done anything else with mine yet, don't tell anybody but I spent most of the day yesterday in multiplayer :-roll .Also, I know you're using that panel with the Posky 737s, have you had any trouble with opening the doors? I made up a door "gauge" since the panel seems to throw "Shift+E,2" and "Shift+E,3" for a loop. Here's a pic:http://www.cat-tamer.com/attach/door_pnl.jpgand you can download it here if you're interested:PS737NG_door.zip][/bJim

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Yup, I got it and couldn't fly without it. Thanks for all of your efforts -- my "shift e" commands worked just fine, but I thought your addions were too cool to pass up! I think I can figure out how you made the buttons, but I'll have to go into the panel.cfg later to see how you actually get them to execute the desired commands.Just out of curiousity, can I upload this minipanel to AVSIM without violating any copyright laws, or just generally infuriating the panel's author? I spent some time on it and thought SOMEbody out there just might want it. I've tried to email him on more than one occasion but have been unsuccessful.Again thanks for all of your help and direction.Chuck

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>I think I can>figure out how you made the buttons, but I'll have to go into>the panel.cfg later to see how you actually get them to>execute the desired commands.That's in the XML actually, the panel.cfg entry does nothing more than place the gauge on the OH panel. Go into "Flight Simulator 9GaugesPS737NG" and find "door_pnl.xml" and open it with Notepad to see how it actually works. Be careful, you'll be designing your own gauges next :) .Not sure what happened to Paul Scarratt, at about the same time he released this panel as freeware, he briefly had a comment on his site about an unfortunate turn of events that had taken place in his life that made it impossible for him to continue supporting his payware panels, therefore he was releasing it as freeware. Soon after that the site went away and I'm assuming that when the www.pspanels.co.uk domain went down, his e-mail address went with it.I suppose since you're using parts of the main panel .bmp to create your mp_bkgd.bmp, you'd be technically guilty of distibuting his original work without permission if you released it on Avsim, however I highly doubt Paul would mind, especially since there is apparently no way to contact him now for permission, and you did try. Further, if I'm not mistaken, I believe there are some night lighting mods available for this panel, and they no doubt use some derivative of the original artwork. Since you're not trying to make money off of it, I can't see where there'd be any ethical or moral question, so if it were me, I'd go for it. Make sure you give proper credit for the original artwork in your readme, and maybe a few words expressing appreciation for the original panel as well. If anyone sees it and objects they can contact the library managers and the file will simply be removed.Jim

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Sounds good - it's a great panel.And again, thanks for all your help and encouragement. Write at you soon, my friend.Chuck

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