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Kennair

Panel Design Legal Issues

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I am in the process of designing an aircraft panel and find that the process is made much easier by utilizing bits and pieces of 3D panels designed for other aircraft by other designers and perhaps from other flight sims (MSFS & X-Plane for example). My question is, what are the legal issues with this approach? Are these panels under copyright and if so, how do I go about getting approval for their use and alteration?This issue also arises with flight systems. I take it that using existing default FlyII gauge and panel systems is allowed, but what about utilizing systems designed by others. For example, the PMDG777 PFD is far closer to a real 737 PFD than the existing Hawker display, however I imagine the PMDG art and coding is under copyright. Would it be acceptable to give credit to the original designers and programmers within the readme documentation?I realise the time and effort that originating designers put in is enourmous and needs due credit, but if these efforts could be utilized by other budding designers, we could release more panels of equally high quality and realism.Ken Brand:-sun1

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Hi Ken, The short answer to your question is: you must get written(!) permission from ANY designers if you wish to use their gauges, bitmaps, etc. Then in a read-me, you would also need to credit each one so that the bases are covered. Intellectual property laws - wonderful stuff... ;) I seriously doubt PMDG would release their coding for the PFD... but hey - it never hurts to write them and ask! Using default gauges is allowed, but still best to credit TRI for that.Hope this helps!Cheers,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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Thanks Ken.I thought as much. I'll try and get in touch with the designers, but I might just have to give 3D graphics a try. PaintShops no problem, but Truespace! that's another thing altogether. I'll study Bart's tutes more thoroughly.As for the guages and displays, I doubt PMDG would release their code, but I wondered if they would allow their pre-configured systems to be implemented in other panels.Ever hopeful,Ken Brand:-beerchug

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I;ve had no trouble getting the ok from anyone whom I've asked permission. There's a grey area, but that is rare. In the case where I have not heard from the author, I decide whether a very strong reference to this fact is acceptable. But having worked on several panels, I can appreciate the feeling of getting an honorable mention for the work.tony

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Ken, PMDG has many dll's , and for these, they would have to release their source code, which is too much to ask. But never say never...tony

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Just an update on this issue.PMDG have replied with a NO as far as using any of their panel guages and programming in a non-PMDG aircraft model. Not surprising.Oh well, looks like its Hawker guages or hit the programming books!Ken Brand:(

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hjave you tried wilco? their 737 gauges are very nice.tony

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Ken, have you checked out Bart's site? He had, and probably still does, have a tutorial on designing gauges.

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Ken,You may want to run this by PMDG once more. If to run your aircraft a user needs a PMDG aircraft installed (because it uses the DLLs and/or bitmaps included with it) this may actually drive some PMDG sales, assuming that you don't include any of their DLLs and/or bitmaps in your POD file, just reference them.Anyway, other than the PFD, what other systems were you planning to borrow from the only two commercial developers for Fly! II (PMDG and RealAir)?Regards,http://www.avsim.com/hangar/fly/dfdg/banneraa.jpg

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I used the possible sales increase argument with PMDG but to no avail. Seemed reasonable to me but no go!As far as systems required, I was going to use many of the the aircraft monitoring and nav functions implemented by the 757/777 and perhaps even the FMC. I can probably get away with using the Hawker systems and other default aircraft.Here is a partial of the panel:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/67704.jpgLots of work ahead,Ken Brand

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Very, very nice. I've got source code for the fms and the hdi and other stuff for the Saab340. Download the file from Avsim and see how you like it. Currently I've given the source code to Laurent to see if he can tweak it for other planes. This may be a way for us to have some custom guages.Can you tell me what paint program you're using and how you do such a good job of releaving those guage edges?tony

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Thanks Tony, I'll have a look for those source codes. All I used for the panel and guage relief was PaintShop Pro V7 and messed around with the 3D Effects such as 'Buttonize' and 'Inner & Outer Bevel'. It took a fair bit of trial and error to get the right relief height and shading etc. I used existing guages from other aircraft and other sims as a guide that were very likely made with 3DMax or similar. The guage artwork was simply pasted on from another guage and will be replaced with the actual working one when fully developed. I certainly don't plan on have 4 altimeters in the cockpit! Likewise the knobs and switches are stolen for display purposes only.There are quite a range of effects that you can get from PaintShop so don't underestimate its capabilities, although I suspect that it would be much easier in a 3D program once you get the hang of its intricacies..... One day perhaps.Hope this helps,Ken.:-wave

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Ken,Yes, it's the Saab by Pontus. The Avsim file does not contain the source code. I have it and gave it to Laurent to see if he can help me on Saab related issues. However, the FMS and a number of other main guages could be used for other aircrafts--if someone knows how to work with dlls and c++. In this context, people such as yourself and I might have the ability to have a few more guages that may be more appropriate for some aircrafts.If you , like me, cannot work with dlls, I am afraid that the source code will not be of help. I am using PSP8 and I do use the "buttonize and shadows" tools. You simply did an outstanding job. tony

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Thanks Tony, I got the file and no I have no ability to utilize the source code. C++ causes a funny glaze to form over my eyes whenever I try to get a handle on it. I do however respect greatly those that can manipulate it. I will give those gauge dll's a go in my 737Thank you for the kind words on my panel guages. It was simply many, many hours of labour to copy other professionally designed works of art. I sometimes wonder whether I really could find something better to do (I know my wife thinks so), but like you and many others I have an overwhelming fascination with aviation both real and simulated.Hoping to contribute more,Ken.

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