View Full Version : Questions about creating Panels

August 1st, 2010, 08:12
So my Firefly is externally complete minus loadouts for particular models. I've been working up to making the interior which may take another year to learn and complete. I'm kind of dreading it. Why? I don't know. Perhaps there is something valid to the reason why so many fine aircraft are released without a VC. Is it that difficult? Considering I knew nothing about modeling a year ago and now have a complete working model, I am baffled as to why I am putting off the VC instead of jumping into it with enthusiasm. So, perhaps I can ask a few questions regarding the start of VCs.

I'm aware of cloning everything in Gmax and linking to an internal node to see the VC. This is where all of my animated switches and levers will be. I think I understand the task there. Create the housing part, the moving parts, name and animate using specifics laid out in the Makemdl SDK guidelines. However I'm not clear on a couple of things.

I've created a panel object in Gmax, applied a photo to the face so I can begin shaping the contours and extrusions, question: How do I embed a working gauge?

There are many beautiful vintage gauges in several of my models I would love to see in my Firefly, what is the likelihood that a modeler will allow me to incorporate his work onto my panel?

Would it be easier to make my own gauges?

Could I use the default Microsoft gauges and give users the option of swapping out for their own preferred gauge?

If I was to create replicas of the gauges in the Firefly, I'm curious how you get the writing and marks so small and legible?

One other thing, when you toggle views on your joystick, the panel view, not the VC, how do you achieve that?

Any help here will be appreciated and hopefully encourage me to begin the serious work on the interior. Thanks.


Milton Shupe
August 1st, 2010, 11:02
Hi Doug,

There are many ways to create VC panels and gauges. I will show you the basics to getting a VC Panel in the sim in short order.

Here is a tute I did some time ago:

All you need in the VC cockpit is a planar the shape of the panel.
Copy the face polys off of your panel as an object (clone them) and name the object $vc01.
This planar becomes the "projection screen" for the sim to display gauges. This planar is invisible to the sim but the sim needs the mapping coordinates to display the gauges.
Now move that object toward the pilot about .002m to avoid bleedthrus.
Map the object as you would a panel. Use a 1024X1024 for best resolution.
Apply a texture to the object; call it $vc01. (This can be your panel texture if you like)

Now export your exterior and interior model to the sim.

In the panel.cfg, add a vcockpit01 section like this:


//add a few gauges using your $vc01 texture to determine appropximate positions to show.
gauge00=Bendix_King_Radio!Bendix-King Radio Nav-Comm 1, 0, 0, 205, 77
gauge01=Bendix_King_Radio!Bendix-King Radio Nav-Comm 2, 206, 0, 205, 77
gauge02=Cessna172!Clock, 413, 1, 93, 93

Also in the panel folder, add a copy of your panel bmp or $vc01 and name it vc01.

Fire up the sim and check your work.

Be sure to check out the tute I linked for added comments.
And FYI, the panel bmps have the same requirements as others, power of 2's reign, but they do not have to be square/ A 1024 X 512 or 256 works fine too.
You can use any gauges in the default aircraft as long as they are in teh FS/Gauges folder. This is a good place to start for simplicity.
If you do your VC this way, users are free to change all the gauges and place them anywhere on the bmp.

Hope this helps.

August 4th, 2010, 09:59
Thank you again Milton for your knowledgeable assistance. :salute: