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dolph98

Reformat of Panels

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Hi all,I searched but did not find the answer I am looking for. (Target is FS9, not FSX but I would like to apply it to FSX later).Will the program "FS Panel Studio" help me to reformat my panels for a 1920x1280 widescreen monitor? Or what other program may be suitable for this task? I have done one panel by hand and it was painful. I used MSPaint to resize the .bmp then adjusted all the locations/sizes of the gauges in panel.cfg and it looks quite nice. But I have been using the same panel in all my favorite airframes and it is getting old. I need the variety of different panels but I can't stand stretched out gauges.Thanks in advance, dolph

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The short answer is yes.The long answer is that you have to provide the 1920x1280 background panel artwork... :)I wouldn't even bother trying to do serious panel work manually...

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Thanks Bill, I will purchase it today based on your answer. I really need to get this done since I don't plan to ever give up my 24" monitor!dolph

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Panel Studio will just help you reposition gauges really.You really are going to need to make the artwork higher res, either by using something like Photoshop CS3 to change the resolution, or to recreate it entirely. MS Paint is going to do a lousy job of enlarging the bitmap as it does not have the tools of Photoshop.All panel studio is going to do is allow you to strech the panel, and then you are likely not going to be happy with the pixelated results. It doesn't "reformat", just allows you to change the size at which it is displayed.

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Yeah, that's what I figured. Panel Studio will be nice once the new bitmap is in place because that's about 3/4 of the work, repositioning the gauges.I need to work on getting good bitmaps first.What I don't like is the default stenciling on most panels. It looks terrible on my big monitor. I will need to work that issue as well. Guess that's why they call this a hobby...

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Umm, I found my install disks for Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 that came with my Dell. Will that do it?

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That should be sufficient for your purposes. Heck, I used an ancient copy of Adobe Photoshop v5.0LE (Light Edition) that came bundled with a scanner I bought almost 20 years ago up until a few years ago......for that matter, it's still installed on my main development machine! :)

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Well much better than MS Paint! =)Actually, should meet your needs fine, although Photoshop is still notable for it's capabilities in this area. In the photo world, if you want to resize something up/down, it is the tool of choice. But it isn't cheap. =)Considering a guy recently painted a Mona Lisa in MS Paint, I guess it does more than I remember!

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I haven't figured out how to make my .bmb images larger, i.e. resize them to 1920x1280. I can't seem to find that tool in the menus in Photoshop. But I bought FS Panel Studio and it is pretty cool, but I could actually have used the demo version for free to do what I need to do which is to move the instruments back into the right position after resize. Oh well, the author deserves to earn his $24.99. There is one problem with FSPS though, I have added the window .bmps for other views such as left, forward left, right, etc. and it is not working correctly or I goofed something up. They don't appear in FS9 at all. I will figure it out though if it's the last thing I do.

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In Photoshop, use Image/Size the type in your width. The height will be calculated automatically unless you have the box ticked to allow you to manually resize both width and height.Yes, you "goofed something up..." ;)The only thing lacking in FSPS is the ability to create a new Virtual Cockpit entry, but that's nothing you'll be needing to do anyway! ;)

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Bill, I figured out the side view thing. Some windows had the same idents so I had to straighten that out. I did this manually because FSPS kept numbering them the same way.And I don't fly with virtual cockpits anyway so I won't miss that feature.So now, I have yet another question for you. If I take a panel bitmap, say 1024x541 as the default Cessna panel is, and resize it to 1280x541, why doesn't it scale properly on my 1920x1280 monitor? I just don't understand the relationship between the bitmap size and what FS9 is going to do with it on the screen. I get different results from different panels. For instance, I have a panel we will call bitmap X that was 1024x768 with oval gauges. I resized it to 1920x1024. When loaded in FS9, the gauges became round (although I have to place them with FSPS) and the bitmap still has oval holes where the gauges were. But the Cessna doesn't have round gauges no matter what. I see one difference is the Cessna already starts out as a strange size (1024x541) because the bitmap does not include a windshield but bitmap X does, it has a vertical window frame included. So I guess the question is, do I need to add a windshield to the Cessna bitmap and get the size to 1024x768 to get things to work out? I can always paint out the oval gauge holes as long as the gauges themselves are round.Can you point me to a web site that can splain this to me so I don't waste your time here?I'm such a noob.

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Existing 2d panels are 4:3 ratio to fit the full screen of a "normal" monitor.The default C172 panel is 1024x541, but the window in which it dispays at full resolution is 1024x768. This simply means than the 2d bitmap is positioned by the panel.cfg to start at the bottom left corner when being drawn on screen.Your monitor has an unusual ratio of 5.2:4Wide screen of 1680x1280 would require you to resize the original C172 bitmap to 1680x912 in order to preserve the original bitmap ratio and have "round backgrounds..."What I did was load the original C172 background into Photoshop, then increased the Image/Size to 1680 wide by 1280 high.Then, I converted the image to RGB format, copy/pasted to a new layer, then use the Edit/Transform/Scale to pull the top of the image down until the gauge shadows were approximately "round." I confirmed their "roundness" by using the Circle Lasso and Shift-Alt keys to drag out a perfect circle the size of the gauge shadows.Once I was satisfied with the result, I the used the Ctrl-A key to lasson the entire image, then used the down-arrow key to drag the bounding box down to the top of the glareshield.I then used the Image/Crop tool to achive the final size of 1680x912 pixels... ;)

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Awesome explanation, thanks Bill. But I'm still confused, again. How did you get 5.2:4? 1920x1280 is my monitor's resolution. Your example uses a 1680x1280 monitor? Anyway, I am going to fiddle with Adobe Elements and see if I can duplicate what you described. I have nothing but time on my hands. Well, I have to go back to work Monday morning, that's all hehe. Sorry for my ignorance. Once I get this, I will be sailing.dolph

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>Awesome explanation, thanks Bill. But I'm still confused,>again. How did you get 5.2:4? 1920x1280 is my monitor's>resolution. Your example uses a 1680x1280 monitor?My main monitor is 1680x1280, so I am fixated on those numbers... ;)Your monitor at 1920x1280 is of course 6:4 ratio... *:-* The same priciple applies of course. In fact, it might be easier to create a "New" image at the size you want 1920x1280, then paste a copy of the C172 panel into that as a new Layer.Then you can simply use the the Edit/Transform/Scale tool to stretch the artwork to the correct width, then drag the top up until the gauge shadows are "round..." ;)In fact, I just did that using the Shift key and dragging the upper right corner until the image was precisely 1920 pixels wide. I then cropped the top out which left a final panel size of 1920x1024.

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I think I have it. I ended up copying the original into a new, resized template, then filling in the blank right side for more panel space. Thank you for all your help.dolph

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