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FSX fsdsxtweak material tweak clarification please

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Hi, all. My first post. I have almost literally 1000 planes completed, but haven't wanted to upload them anywhere until I get VC gauge lighting figured out. I use FSDS 3.5, and have been wrestling with fsdsxtweak's tweak for emissive gauge lighting, unsuccessfully. I'm hoping someone can verify the correctness of the manual's screenshot of the settings. In the Diffuse box, under General Maps, the screenshot shows "$vc1". No file extension, which I normally attribute to the 'dummy' texture that's applied to gauge polys. Up till now that has never been a "real" file. Is that correct for this material tweak? I would think that a "diffuse" file is real file that should have a file extension. Thanks in advance for any clarification on that. Also, am I correct in assuming that the file shown in the "Emissive" box (vc1_l.bmp in this case) is only used for the tweak, and does not have to be copied to the aircraft panel folder? Thanks.

vc.jpg


And a screenshot of one of my latest projects:

sj1000.jpg
 
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tgibson

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The vc1_L.bmp file is used if you want to light up the gauges, etc. It is placed into the plane's texture folder. Where it is light colored, will be lit. Where dark, unlit. It also has to be flipped vertically.

I have always used Bill Leaming's VC tutorial for this kind of thing.

http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showthread.php?152401-FSX-Emissive-Textures-New-VC-Lighting-Tutorial

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/70388-vc-panel-lighting-tutorial/

FS9:

http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showthread.php?152225-VC-Panel-Lighting-Tutorial

Hope this helps,
 
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Follow-up question, Tom

Thanks, Tom. I have referred to Bill's tutorials. Of course they are slightly different in that they discuss the process from the point of view of non-FSDS aircraft-building apps such as Gmax, etc.

Perhaps all I need to do is verify a few things:

  1. I create a gauge bitmap made from a screenshot in FSPS of a 1024x1024 vc panel (added to panel.cfg) that has some of the gauges arranged to make best use of space. For example, six round gauges.
  2. I use that gauge bitmap to create and size the polys for individually-created gauge polys in FSDS, using the appropriate portion of the bitmap as the texture for each individual gauge poly I'm working on. This means I do not use a dummy texture (file with no filename extension), right, since I can only apply one texture to the poly?
  3. The gauge bitmap above is my "diffuse" bitmap, as referred to in the material tweak dialog of fsdsxtweak. Is that correct? In that case I would think it should include the file extension ".bmp" (omitted in the manual).
  4. I use that diffuse bitmap to make the emissive bitmap, which goes in the "Emissive (self-lighting)" box of fsdsxtweak.
  5. After I run fsdsxtweak's "Build all models", the emissive bitmap is manually copied to my aircraft's texture folder, while the diffuse bitmap goes to either the panel or texture folder, but must be 24-bit if it resides in the panel folder.

All the tutorials mention that the emissive should be saved upside-down. Is that true also, for the diffuse file? That's not made entirely clear in the various tutorials I've read.

Again, thanks for any further help with this.
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
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Hi,

I am assuming you are going to add these gauges using 2D XML gauges and not 3D?

If you are making your VC as "polygon disks" which will only display the gauges, then the "diffuse" texture will never be used, since it is used to display any part of the VC panel that is NOT gauges. The gauges will use their textures in the Gauges (etc.) folders.

I assume you've looked through the tweak forum?

http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?board=FSDSTweak

Dave's VC tutorial:

http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1207911018

Some examples:

http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1276434415

http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1242142090

Some ideas here:

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22378&highlight=fsds

http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21482&highlight=fsds

Hope this helps,
 
Messages
65
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Thanks, Tom

Thanks for that, Tom, and all those links, which I'm slowly going through. Yes, 2d gauges. I have no trouble creating a VC panel. That's easy enough. The only nut I've yet to crack is night lighting. Up till now my panels have only been illuminated by the vclight entry in the aircraft.cfg file, which doesn't quite cut it anymore. But, despite thoroughly reading the 14.5 Emissive Panel Lighting section in the fsdsxtweak manual, as well as a bunch of forum posts on the subject, I'm having no luck. I'm creating planes for FSX, using FSDS 3.5.1, and fsdsxtweak 2.8. I must be misinterpreting a step or two somewhere.

Up till now, I've merely created the dummy $pan1, $pan2 files and applied them to square polys positioned just in front of my VC panel, and then placed gauges in FS Panel Studio. All that works fine. I'm not sure how much of that tried and true procedure remains unchanged while following the fsdsxtweak panel lighting steps. I guess I'm confused on how the dummy $pan files fit into the picture, if at all. I see references to "base texture", "diffuse", and "emissive" or "self-illuminating", but no discussion on whether or not any of those replaces the dummy texture. It would probably come to me if I experimented with about 30 different combinations of what I think is happening, process of elimination, trial and error, but I don't think it should have to be that difficult, so I'm hoping someone can spot where my confusion is setting in and set me straight! :)

EDIT: 6/18/13 - Finally got it all working. Just had to stick with it and fully understand the various tutorials out there. I thought I'd just update my last post to keep this from going to the top of the list again.
 
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