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KenWood

Question about future panels

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I have spent many, many hours trying to modify existing panels. My goal has been to get very close to a cockpit feel, yet work within the limitations of my time and my(lack of) experience. A true FLY2 panel requires months if not years of painting and understanding of the internal workings of guages. Without a question, ROTW, PMDG and and many other individuals deserve our wholehearthed appreciation. They sure get mine.Now to my question: animating new switches is almost impossible without a tool that would significantly automate the process of creating multi frames renditions of this same image. All of which, would then create the illusion of animation. To put it simply, to make a working switch from scratch is very, very difficult and time consuming.For my panel mods, I've borrowed from the many fine guages whenever I could. This,however, has its drawbacks, since they have unique colors that may not match a particular panel. So, even using existing guages is not so easy if we are looking for truly good looking panels.I've tried to "fuse" authentic panel pictures with parts of FLY2 panels, and , alas, the results are not attractive. There's one more option: to leave the new authentic panels intact, but to provide the "static" switches with "mouse" identity and recognition. For example, we could have a fully authentic upper panel of, let's say, a 737, and when the mouse cursor lands on a particular guage, this guage will be functional. It will not graphically move, though. This is a compromise, but it would speed new panels and not necessarily take away the functionality.In my quest to provide panel modifications with a "look real" feel, I have reached a point of feeling terribly discouraged--the work required, the lack of time and experience, have become real obsticles. tony

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Tony, I am not sure what you are trying to do, but let me tell you what I am doing.I used the Malibu panel and used what I could from that panel and incorporated other guages, switches, etc. from other planes to create a panel for a plane that I hope will be born before too long. I also use Paint Shop Pro to add a little paint to make the different systems match the panel I am working on. It took about 3 hours to create the panel. Of course now I have to be sure everything works.Chris Wallace wrote a paper called "Fly! II Subsystem Walkthourgh" that covers almost every guage, switch, etc. used in the sim. I believe I downloaded the file from AVSIM or Fly Developers. Do an advanced search using the name "Chris Wallace" and see if you can find it on AVSIM. If not there it would have to be on Fly Developers. It is well worth the download as it describes the guage function and how each tag is used.

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Wayne,I essentially do the same thing. However, there are panels, such as the upper panel for a 737, where this approach is not as simple. First, these panels have perspective, giving the guages a 3d look. Second, these panels have unique looking switches , also 3d, that cannot be taken from other FLY panels, because either the color or the shape would make them look less than authentic. So, in my quest to come close to making panels look authentic, I get into real dilemmas. In the FLY 737, the upper panel and all the systems belong to the Hawker. So, the designer has the choice of creating a totally flat panel, use the Hawker upper panel, or take a real picture of an upper panel and try to insert switches that "fit" nicely with the panel. It's a real dilemma, and I am trying now to mitigate that dilemma. tony

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Tony,Just wanted to tell you that your work is very much appreciated. Everybody has to go through a learning curve. You have done a great job modifying panel given the limitations that you have just keep on doing what you have started and you'll accomplished your goal if you don't give up. Many thanks.chris-CA

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G'day Tony,I can really empathise with much of what you are saying. We have been spoilt rotten by the beautiful work of others and tend to look far too critically at our own.What you have achieved has been fantastic and very much appreciated by me and the forum. Don't just give up!As you know I have had a small flirtation with modifying a panel and also came to the same conclusion as you have. ie a full blown all singing all dancing panel is far beyond my capabilities. I'm not a graphic artist and know absolutely zip about 3d modelling, but I get some sort of perverse enjoyment fiddling around with things about which I know nothing. :-)I've lowered my sights a little and decided to have a go at a very simple panel, set myself a realistic goal, especially since I have unashamedly started with the basic Tri Flyhawk panel. Most switches are only 2 frame PBG files so that's not too hard and so long as one uses standard needles for the instruments then simple instruments are attainable. I have to learn to crawl before I can walk - Your infectous enthusiasm is worth more than panels and the forum would be the big loser if you were to give up your panel work.Attached is a progress shot of the panel I'm working on. Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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Nothing wrong with that panel, Roger. It is certainly taking shape. Time well spent.

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I too agree with you, Tony.. It *would* be much nicer to have a way to do that. It would also be nice to have all the tools MSFS has available to them for doing such work. But alas - to do a really upstanding panel for Fly! requires 3D modelling experience. Like you, Rodger and Wayne, I lack many of the talents to do a panel like ROTW, PMDG or Giorgio or Jarno... but there's always a light at the end of the tunnel! I *will* learn to do 3D - it is a goal of mine. Bart's tutorials will help us immensely! And I have done a repaint of some PBG files, and I am frustrated at not being able to get them back in the sim with the new filenames I gave them! Still trying to figure that one out!! ;-)I've been enjoying your work! So hang in there and don't stop doing what you are doing, okay?And Rodger, that panel looks really good! Keep at it!Cheers and best!Ken Wood :-sun1http://www.avsim.com/hangar/fly/dfdg/bannernewkw.jpgGateway 700X; Intel P4 2.4GHz; 512MB RAM; NVIDIA Ti4200 4X AGP 128MB; SB Audigy; Thrustmaster TopGun Fox 2 Pro Shock

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