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Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"
A public forum for the JG300 Wild Sau Gruppe!
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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:26 am
Post subject: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

couldn't find the post where Stoopy hinted at this issue, this I found, and tought it could be helpfull.
this is specifically for fsX.

=>
Re transparency this is what Abacus say on the subject

How do I create glass on my windows?
In order to get glass, you need to do 2 things:

1) Assign a Material to the part.
2) Apply a texture with an alpha channel

You will need to assign the glass parts in your model a material with a specific name prefix. The names required for transparent parts, like glass, MUST start with one of the following:

• glass
• window
• prop
• trans

The color and display options for the material are not important and you can use the default colors and settings. All that matters is the material name. You can have multiple names like glass_blue and glass_green for example. If the material name starts with “glass�, “window�, “prop� or “trans�, FSDS will tell the MDL file to use the alpha channel on the applied texture as a transparency.

The Alpha channel on the texture as discussed in the FSDS Help file is greyscale. White is solid (no transparency) and pure black is invisible. The grey in between is a level of transparency. The darker the color on the alpha channel, the more invisible it will appear. The texture itself should be a green, blue or grey texture the basic color of the window.

How do I create an Alpha Channel on my textures? FS Design Studio does not create textures or modify them. You will have to have a separate program to load in your texture, create the alpha channel and re-save it. Once such program is called DXTBMP. This is a freeware program that can be found on-line with a simple web search.

If you have a separate glass texture you can simply open DXTBMP, load the image, choose Create Alpha Template from the Alpha menu. You then use Save As to save the image as an Extended Bitmap image. Set the Save As Type to DXT3 or DXT5 and overwrite your original image.

If needed, you can read the help files for DXTBMP to see how to edit the Alpha Channel by sending it to your favorite image editor.

A few sample files are included with FS Design Studio v3.5 in the \Projects folder including: ds_propdisk.bmp and ds_glass.bmp. The file ds_propdisk can be used to texture your transparent prop disks – just remember to assign a material (material name of “prop� for example).
<=


fled
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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:07 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Google also for "phil taylor blog" for his discussion re: possible tranparency fixes
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:07 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Thanks Fled!

I've been tracking this as well since with the release of SP2 for FSX there are obviously some changes in how the alpha layers are treated. This goes to a thread I had in the FSX forum.

I've found that aside from windows on certain aircraft, prop discs also on certain aircraft are impacted, you get a black disc. Only on certain aircraft however.

The fix that was suggested on another board says that opening the transparency file (which is usually sensibly named and easy to identify) and importing then saving as a 32-bit DXT format (using ImageTool or DXTBMP) will fix it. However I have tried this and it has made no change.

Curiously, the real issue is that (so far) these texture files used a non-standard alpha transparency method, and in at least one case so far, modifying the alpha layer of the texture to a much more normal approach (i.e., making it black or dark gray per the above) fixed the issue.

I found this also last night with the prop disc on another aircraft and I believe (but have not yet confirmed by trying to fix) that it also uses a non-standard alpha layer method. I'll make a nice dark gray alpha for it and I hope that solves the problem, becuase otherwise the fix depends on having access to the source files for the model and changing the texture properties in the model.

Bottom line is that it seems when the model is designed "by the book" it doesn't seem to have these backward-compatability issues.

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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:01 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

okidokie Stoopy ! Cool

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:02 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Stoopy, are you having any problems seeing the MFD's on the F18? All I see are two black squares where the MFD's should show gauges. I also have the same issues on the new Helo. Shocked
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:36 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Hmm......no, I don't.....now that's a poser. Here's some screenies, but everything that should be there is, for me. I know there've been questions on using the MFD's in the F/A-18 but I don't recall hearing about this one. Is it that way in the missions (like the carrier tutorial) too, even when starting up with CTRL-E?

And%20just%20as%20I%20thought,%20the%20dark-gray%20alpha%20layer%20did%20the%20trick%20on%20the%20prop%20circle%20of%20the%20BF109%20I%20was%20messin'%20with...no%20more%20black%20circle!:

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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:12 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

- Uhu_Fledermaus
Google also for "phil taylor blog" for his discussion re: possible tranparency fixes


Thanks Fled.....actually I have Phil Taylor's blog bookmarked as it's a great resource, but I haven't looked there yet...

So, imagine my surprise when I saw this:

blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor...nt-in.aspx

Sounds familiar?

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Uhu_Fledermaus
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:18 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Rolling Eyes

Good News travels fast ?? Laughing rotflmao Laughing


fled
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Yep!

And....since it's a special occasion, Stoop's name in lights on the Microsoft FSX program manager's web log, this calls for....


.....my happy dance.....






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JG300_Hunt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:30 pm
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Shocked Oh for the love of all things sacred!

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:14 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Hmmm, that's odd for sure! I don't see any MFD's come up. Guess I need to look into the config files and look for the references and see 'what's up'. I'll let you know. Smile

Congrats on making the top blog spot too..
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:40 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Configuration setting maybe? Is your panel transparency set to 0% (not transparent) and is your global detail level set to high or max?

Video driver issue? You're using an NVidia card, right? I'm on ATI so we can't compare notes there.....

I could upload my configuration settings and you could save yours via the menus, then load mine for kicks and then go back to your save set after seeing what happens. I think that's a very cool and underutilized feature for feature events like this... let me know.

I can (and need to) also post the secific tweaks in my fsx.cfg file. High time I did that, as I've found some that have little to no effect, and others that make a good bit of difference based on the newer behavior.

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:54 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

No luck so far. I've checked all the settings and tried to lower, change, up, etc all the setting with no luck.

Now, I did order a new vid card yesterday as the one I'm using is my old backup vid card which is a 5700 Nvidea card. I'm not too sure that may be cause. My new card will be here in a week or so and I'll let you know how that works.

I did look into the plane config file and seen the reference to the gauges MFD. It seem as if they reference a .dll file. I'm wondering if that DLL file may be corrupted??

Any chance you could fire off that file to me and let me try it? Wink
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JG300-Stoopy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:36 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Sho'thang if you PM me the dll file name.

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Shadow_Bshwackr
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:34 am
Post subject: Re: Transparancy in fsX "glass windows"

Will do AND, as soon as I get home.. Wink
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