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Steve's suggestions for painting the PMDG 737 for MSFS

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    Steve's suggestions for painting the PMDG 737 for MSFS


    Painters,
    Here are some tips and instructions on how to properly configure and package your MSFS 737 paints (it applies to ALL PMDG MSFS liveries, including the DC-6 and future releases).


    Initial folder creation
    While there may be alternate ways to start the livery project, this is how I found it the easiest (and I can’t emphasize enough that this is MY way….not necessarily the BEST way. I am not endorsed by PMDG, nor a member of the team, I’m just a beta tester who happens to know how to paint. 😊 )
    Every new project starts with a lot of administrative work we can’t get away from. But its crucial to get it started right or it will come back to bite you when you’re getting ready to release your paints…trust me on this, LOL.
    1. Find an existing livery from PMDG that closely matches the paint you’re doing. i.e. if it’s a Euro livery with a reg on the underside left wing, choose that…or a livery with reg’s on both top and bottom, etc.
    2. Make a copy of the whole folder and paste it back into pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries folder. Rename the folder using the same format as the existing, official PMDG liveries.
    3. Edit the aircraft.cfg file in your new livery folder to match your livery. Again, try to keep the existing PMDG naming format and structure for the config items, just changing it to reflect your livery
    4. Once you’ve got all your folders set, the aircraft.cfg file edited and ready to paint…use the free MSFSLayoutGenerator to properly (and easily) update the ever-important layout.json file in the root \Community\pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries folder. If you know how to edit the file by hand…more power to ya!
      Once you've downloaded the MSFSLayoutGenerator file, put it in a folder that is NOT anywhere in the MSFS community folder. I put it in the folder with all my paint projects. It is an .exe file that you literally drag-n-drop your layout.json file over and it will update it in a split second. Remember the layout.json for the PMDG liveries is in:
      \Community\pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries.
    Painting your livery
    I can’t offer too much help here as how we paint varies widely based on your painting app, experience, addons, etc. However, I can offer a few tips and potential gotcha’s to watch for
    1. Remember that there is a “common” texture folder where some of the textures that will be displayed in the sim with your paint…these will typically be COMP maps and little items that are “common” on every 737. If you need to modify these, you MUST place a COPY of them in your livery folder. Do NOT modify the one in the Common folder as it will impact ALL your 737s, and when you package your paint, that custom file will not be included in your uploaded package.
      In addition, each and every texture file has a corresponding *.json file that mirrors its file name. You MUST copy that file along with the texture file or it will not work!
    2. 99% of your liveries can be painted with only painting on the 3 main fuse, wings, engine (and belly plate), reg plate (in the cockpit) texture maps, and the thumbnails of course. If you need to paint the wings, and the albedo maps are not in your main livery folder, you probably copied a livery folder in the steps above that did not have them as the paint had no reg painted on them, thus didn’t need them in your livery folder…you need to grab a COPY of them in the “Common” folder and put them in your livery folder to add the reg or any other items (like the red sun logo on ANA paints)
    3. If you have managed to display your livery properly in MSFS and are admiring how wonderful she looks in this gorgeous sim, then you got the next tips/steps correct. If you’re getting pink textures, no textures, or other display issues…read on…otherwise you can skip to the next, most important section.
      1. Pink textures and other issues when loading a new paint into MSFS are typically caused by errors in the naming, configuration and processing of the layout.json and the aircraft.cfg file. If the livery you copied from in the 1st section of this guide displays fine in the sim while yours does not, then you did something wrong, hehe.
      2. Double check, triple check that there is not a space, an extra dash, a comma vs a period in your aircraft.cfg file when troubleshooting. I have been bitten by this before, an easy mistake to make that will lead to hours of useless, frustrating troubleshooting! This is why I advocate copying the files from a working, existing paint and only changing the items that will be unique to your livery.
    Packaging your paint for distribution
    I can not stress enough how important these next steps and recommendations are. Failure to abide by these recommendations will ultimately lead to frustration and mayhem for both your fans waiting for your creations, and you when trying to support all the probable issues going the “drag and drop” route can cause.
    If that statement was not already obvious enough, PMDG highly recommends that you package your liveries using the PMDG Operations Center (OC). Doing it this way and resisting the cries of the public to make your package “drag and drop” will ensure that your liver will install flawlessly into the sim, with the correct placement of all the files and automatically updating the layout.json. It will also make sure that it will be compatible with future updates from PMDG.
    I am creating a step by step guide for simmers to install using the OC since it seems to be harder than performing brain surgery, LOL. I will include this guide with all my paints on flightsim.to, and you are more than welcome to copy and use it for yours to help ween our simming community off the default drag and drop when there is a dedicated livery installer included with this aircraft (and the OC is a source of so much more than just livery installs).
    Just like that guide for installing liveries thru the OC, here are the detailed (and rather easy) instructions for us painters to package our liveries thru the OC.
    Following the steps in the screenshot below…
    1. Load your plane one more time in MSFS and give it one, final lookover.
      IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST load your livery fully into MSFS at least one time before trying to export it! PMDG/MSFS use this initial load to create the folders and files specific to your livery. Failure to do so will get you an export error that is really hard to decode!
    2. Inspect all the textures in your livery folder and ensure that there is no work from other painters and all the files you didn’t paint are default PMDG textures
    3. Make sure any files you copied from the Common folder are present, and not sitting in the common folder if you planned to keep them there for your fleet
      1. Open the OC, then:
        go to Aircraft and Liveries, Livery Utilities
      2. Select the options for MSFS, 737, PMDG 737
      3. Select your livery to export
        DGOBqR.png
    4. Click Export
    5. You can name the file whatever you like, it will not affect the livery install process, but make it easy for your fans to understand what the livery is.
    6. This will create a file with the “PTP” extension. This is a proprietary file type the OC will identify for your fans to install her from the OC using that “Install Livery from PTP” box in the lower left corner of the OC.
    7. You will need to zip the PTP before uploading to most sites as they typically only take zip, rar, etc files. Within that zip, you can include and additional files you may want, (EULA, pics of your livery, special instructions, etc) they won’t impact the function of the PTP.
    8. Finally, and just a suggestion, please give credit to the PMDG crew in all your packages, especially the paint team for supplying excellent base textures to create our liveries on.
    9. And really finally....PAINTERS...we are a revered part of the community, and I feel if you're a serious painter, interested in supplying quality paints to the community, you'll do your do-diligence to properly paint, test, package and provide adequate instructions in all of your livery uploads.
      I have been doing this for over 20 years, and take this "hobby" as seriously as I take every important thing in my life...I always strive to give the best I can in everything I do. I sincerely hope you consider this when you're clicking that final button to make your creation available to our community. Its very important to them, and important to our painting community that we give them the quality they deserve.
    10. OK....really....that LAST thing.
      You'll notice in my releases on flightsim.to...they all conform to a very specific format....including the screenshots and even their sequence on how they display. This is a "Branding" method that every painter should enlist to help simmer's quickly identify your paints in a MASS of them plastered all over flightsim.to. My "Brand" changes slightly over the years if you've followed me, but for a major series of releases, I create a "brand" and stick to it. Its a mark of professionalism that indicates to your audience that you're serious about painting.
      If you have not already picked up on it...I guarantee when simmers see this at flightsim.to...they instantly (even subconsciously after a while) know its my paint. Every 737 you see from me...the 1st pic will be this...a shot of the tail (in a striking pose if I do say so myself), and the very clean text and logos that identify the livery. The next screenshots are in order, front-left, front-right, rear-right, rear-left, as if you're panning around the plane. This is not by accident...I carefully plan my screenshot and "Branding" methodology with the same detail as I plan my paints.

      Pbmk1M.png


      You'll also notice in my uploads that I include this screenshot to help the simmers properly install them

      FzKN7t.png
    I encourage you guys to grab a copy of this and include it in your uploads, and feel free to copy any of my detailed instructions I supply as well. It is crucial that you leave no reason for a simmer to post on your repaint, that you didn't include proper instructions on how to install.
    Not that its hard mind you, but sadly this community seems to become so entitled (i.e. too lazy to figure it out themselves...or gasp...read the included manuals!), that if they had it their way, they'd have you come over to their house, install it, open MSFS, load the flightplan, configure their controls, and and ask you to do everything short of actually flying the darn thing!

    I will post more painting items that are potential "Gotcha's" as we all transition into painting into what is undoubtedly the best 737 we've ever seen in the flightsim world

    Drafting up one right now for this: Wondering where you paint the reg above the cockpit? (its on the decal map)....and my instruction will show you how to "Straighten" that number...if it needs to be on your paint.

    pK4KWX.png



    I'm eventually planning to either start learning how to stream in youtube/twitch and/or record in each and attempt to show some of the painting tips I've learned in my brief career as a painter.

    The F1/2/3/ you guys may refer to are the Fuse 1,2,3 textures and are in the livery folder themselves, and when you have an app on your PC associated with reading DDS files (The free paint.net is a great one), you can clearly see these 3 fuse files when you open up the folder.

    NOTE:
    This post will not be an all-encompassing, detailed tutorial on how to paint, steps 1 thru 10,000, but a simple screenshot and description. Good painters are inherently curious and will seek all the info they need....99% of the time they just need a starting point....here it is on this topic:
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____

    After I installed paint.net and told it to open DDS files...when I navigate to my livery folder in MSFS community folder...specifically:
    C:\YOUR MSFS INSTALL FOLDER\Community\pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries\SimObjects\Airplanes\YOUR LIVERY

    Once there, switch the folder view to Extra large icons and type "ng3_f" into the search window.
    As you can see in my TUI Yellow livery below, it becomes quite apparent which are the files your alter for the fuse.

    mFrbYq.png

    Basic steps after that are:
    1. Copy the fuse file you need to paste your textures on in your paint program (I usually start with the F1, and you can even copy them all to your paint program if you have the memory to support them all, I have 32GB and can do this with no issues in Photoshop 2022.) How you get this file to your paint program is up to you and it...for example, I just drag and drop the file on to the Photoshop window and it opens it...I can also highlight all 3 and drag them....the twenty two million ways Windows allows you to manipulate files are all valid and will work...your choice.
    2. Once in your paint program, grab the area using the guides (with Snap to Guides enabled) to copy the 4096x4096 part of the master you need...if you were working on F2, then grab between the guides 4096 and 8192...yes in the screen example below, you may notice that its NOT the TUI yellow livery....just happened to be the one i was working on when I replied to this post. LoL

      k9Ff1j.png
    3. Next copy all the layers in that square (a control C does NOT usually work in this case...you either have a "Copy all layers" feature or a button/shortcut to it.)
    4. Switch to the F file you copied into your paint program
    5. Paste the copied, combined layers onto the F file
    6. "Flatten" the file and save it. Of course...for this step, you would have already downloaded and installed a plugin for your paint program that allows it to process DDS files properly.
    Sorry I can't get more detailed than that, nor answer the questions I know this in itself raises, but I'm just too time constrained to be as responsive as I'd love to be. Ambitious types with a thirst for diving into it will take what I've shown above, and run with it.

    I wish everyone the best of luck in perusing your painting career, I will help....when I can.
    Last edited by Steve Dra; 26May2022, 23:54.
    Regards, Steve Dra
    Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
    Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

    #2
    One more time you are the best and most helpfull person that i met!!! Thank you very much for these instractions. They inspired me to make my liveries more professional.

    This is my second livery that i made : https://el.flightsim.to/file/32677/p...ys-9h-tas-2016
    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 1 photos.

    Comment


      #3
      Amazing information provided here. As someone new to paints for PMDG and MSFS, this was what I needed to point me in the right direction.

      Thomas Hucksoll
      Dadx5Gaming ​

      Comment


        #4
        One additional point:

        When transferring your fuselage sections from the master to the individual files, USE THE GUIDELINES TO SELECT THE SQUARE...NOT THE COLORED SQUARES in the paint kit. The colored squares at the joint of Fuselage 2 and 3 do not have a hard edge and I'm seeing a lot of repaints with an ugly white line a couple of pixels wide at the joint.
        Matt Smith

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by MattS View Post
          One additional point:

          When transferring your fuselage sections from the master to the individual files, USE THE GUIDELINES TO SELECT THE SQUARE...NOT THE COLORED SQUARES in the paint kit. The colored squares at the joint of Fuselage 2 and 3 do not have a hard edge and I'm seeing a lot of repaints with an ugly white line a couple of pixels wide at the joint.
          Oh yeah.....ALWAYS use the Guides! and have Snap to Guide turned on so it's easy to quickly grab the exact 4096x4096 for each fuse piece.
          Truth be known...the 1st thing I do on a new PMDG paintkit is delete that multi-color map layout layer! It creates a lot of additional file size. May drop a shot tutorial on how I do it quickly for those who are new....This is all in Photoshop mind you.
          Last edited by Steve Dra; 14May2022, 00:07.
          Regards, Steve Dra
          Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
          Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by CptGreek172 View Post
            One more time you are the best and most helpfull person that i met!!! Thank you very much for these instractions. They inspired me to make my liveries more professional.

            This is my second livery that i made : https://el.flightsim.to/file/32677/p...ys-9h-tas-2016
            Very nice! I like BlueBird.
            Thanks for the comments, in addition to being a painter I'm also a former, certified instructor in several areas of expertise.....Let's just say I know my way around a lesson plan and understand adult learning methods.
            So, I to know how to teach...I just need the time to do it, LOL.
            I created that quick painting guide based on what I know both about painting and how to present material in an organized, and easy to understand way...the keystone to good comprehension.

            I just released this one...

            Ogdn48.png

            Working on this one while I wait for some info on my Air Berlin paint.

            Ddsejt.png
            Attached Files
            Regards, Steve Dra
            Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
            Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

            Comment


              #7
              Do you need to use something like Photoshop for doing repaints? Or will a freeware editor like "paint.net" work? I was thinking of trying a repaint for my VA, but haven't done any repaints since FS98, so it has been a very long while.


              Thanks,
              Bryan
              Bryan Opalka
              Noble Air - Americas Regional Manager
              PMDG 737/777

              Comment


              • Steve Dra
                Steve Dra commented
                Editing a comment
                No...other paint programs can handle repaints....paint.net being one of them...it just the majority of painters use photoshop and know it well. Sadly I could not offer any help on other paint programs.

              • nobleord
                nobleord commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks. I may give it a try when I have some free time. Just hope I can come close to the quality of the paints that I have seen from yourself and others.

              #8
              For those waiting for the Lufthansa Cargo livery...she's out on flightsim.to now.
              Just click the link in my sig (the flightsim.to one, I have one for my old paints on avsim too).

              8PjlyN.png
              Regards, Steve Dra
              Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
              Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

              Comment


                #9
                When I try to customize the window config like how I painting NGX and NGXu, and this happened..... still don't know why.

                I think PMDG should have a post or even a handbook or "HOW TO" show user how to proper handle these files.

                Microsoft Flight Simulator 2022_5_20 下午 11_30_55.png
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • Steve Dra
                  Steve Dra commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The windows are built into the model so you can't create custom window configs with the textures.
                  It's nothing you're doing wrong...you just can't do it like you did with previous versions.

                #10
                Thanks for the awesome write-up, I'm trying to make all the RAF P8's based at Lossiemouth, the only part I need help with (atm) is

                4.Once you’ve got all your folders set, the aircraft.cfg file edited and ready to paint…use the free MSFSLayoutGenerator to properly (and easily) update the ever-important layout.json file in the root \Community\pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries folder. If you know how to config it by hand…more power to ya!

                I've no clue how to use the MSFSLayoutGenerator and which file/folder in need to drop into it?? Could you please explain that part for me, thanks.

                UPDATE - I had too long a file name (260 characters) so I moved the PMDG livery folder onto the desktop, dropped the layout.json into the generator then copied the json back to the original PMDG livery folder inside the community folder.
                Last edited by Cutlass72; 23May2022, 22:32.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Originally posted by Cutlass72 View Post
                  Thanks for the awesome write-up, I'm trying to make all the RAF P8's based at Lossiemouth, the only part I need help with (atm) is

                  4.Once you’ve got all your folders set, the aircraft.cfg file edited and ready to paint…use the free MSFSLayoutGenerator to properly (and easily) update the ever-important layout.json file in the root \Community\pmdg-aircraft-737-liveries folder. If you know how to config it by hand…more power to ya!

                  I've no clue how to use the MSFSLayoutGenerator and which file/folder in need to drop into it?? Could you please explain that part for me, thanks.

                  UPDATE - I had too long a file name (260 characters) so I moved the PMDG livery folder onto the desktop, dropped the layout.json into the generator then copied the json back to the original PMDG livery folder inside the community folder.
                  you just drag and drop your layout.json on the MSFSLayoutGenerator exe file and it will do everything it needs....if you have a really fast machine, you may not even see the CMD window that briefly opens.
                  Regards, Steve Dra
                  Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                  Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Steve! Amazing and very helpful write-up!

                    Thank you for taking time to write down and simplify the process! For someone new to PMDG, this made it so much easier! I'm actually using this not only as a checklist to start off a livery, but also as a troubleshooting reference to figure out the problem when something doesn't load or display correctly.

                    Thanks a mil Champ!
                    Emile Swanepoel

                    Comment


                      #13
                      Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post

                      Oh yeah.....ALWAYS use the Guides! and have Snap to Guide turned on so it's easy to quickly grab the exact 4096x4096 for each fuse piece.
                      Truth be known...the 1st thing I do on a new PMDG paintkit is delete that multi-color map layout layer! It creates a lot of additional file size. May drop a shot tutorial on how I do it quickly for those who are new....This is all in Photoshop mind you.
                      I'd love to know how to do this, I have PS but am no expert with it, I want to grab F1 F2 & F3 from the master fuselage, but haven't figured it out.

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Originally posted by Cutlass72 View Post

                        I'd love to know how to do this, I have PS but am no expert with it, I want to grab F1 F2 & F3 from the master fuselage, but haven't figured it out.
                        This might help
                        Hey All, Its great to be here, I've got the new 737 and its absolutely wonderful ,could not have asked for more! Now I do most of my flying on Air Hauler 2, so I really wanted to give livery making a go as it would add a touch of realism for my virtual company. Now I've watched a few tutorials on YouTube for painting the
                        Regards, Steve Dra
                        Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                        Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

                        Comment


                          #15
                          I am trying to work on a simple paint using Paint.Net. When saving the image as a DDS... the dialog gives me some different options. Are there any preferred values that should be used?

                          dds-save-2.jpg
                          Attached Files
                          Last edited by nobleord; 29May2022, 06:52.
                          Bryan Opalka
                          Noble Air - Americas Regional Manager
                          PMDG 737/777

                          Comment


                          • nobleord
                            nobleord commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Steve Dra Thanks will give that a try. One other question... for the VC N plate, do you know what the font is or if it matters? I tried searching but couldn't find anything on that item. Thanks.

                          • Steve Dra
                            Steve Dra commented
                            Editing a comment
                            No clue about the font nobleord. I think it varies between airlines...and an accurate cockpit placard is one of the trickiest things to find on the net

                          • nobleord
                            nobleord commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Steve Dra Thanks. Since it is for my VA I just picked a font that I liked for the placard. 😁 Also, thanks so much for your suggestions and tips. I got my first paint done (well the first draft of it). I noticed one place where the text was not flipped properly and another where the size was a tad too small. But, all in all not a bad result for the first paint in 20+ years.

                          #16
                          [QUOTE=Cutlass72;n191417]Thanks for the awesome write-up, I'm trying to make all the RAF P8's based at Lossiemouth, the only part I need help with (atm) is

                          IF you're doing the RAF P-8 liveries...I've already done 01 "Pride of Moray". You can use my textures if you want and change the number (and the name) to finish the rest of them.
                          Regards, Steve Dra
                          Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                          Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

                          Comment


                            #17
                            When configuring the json package, I am now getting the 260 characters or greater error and it is telling me to move the file. Is there a way to get around this? It is the microsoft.flightsimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe file that is the problem.
                            Brian Swintal
                            https://fsai-repaints.com/

                            Comment


                              #18
                              Im not sure what Im doing wrong..Im getting pink checkered patterns on the plane after finishing the repaint and saving it in PS as a DDS with the Nvidia plugin..as for the json layout generator how exactly do we use that?
                              TIMMIEJ CAPTAIN PMDG 737,777,747

                              Comment


                              • timothyj6767
                                timothyj6767 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Hey Steve Im looking at your directions..I dont have a .exe file I downloaded it from your link to get the layout generator but I have MSFS Layout Generator.sln is this where I drop the layout on?

                              • Steve Dra
                                Steve Dra commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Go here (this is the link to the page that has the exe....not sure what a .sin file is.


                                Download the exe file somewhere on your drive...drop your layout.json on it. Done, finished, complete

                              • timothyj6767
                                timothyj6767 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Hey Steve ok got the plane to show up buut its black textures on the main body and the tail is correct, the winglets are not..so Im wondering if the PS Nvidia DDS exporter wasnt set correctly?? What do you use to export to dds?

                              #19
                              Originally posted by rampantfox View Post
                              When configuring the json package, I am now getting the 260 characters or greater error and it is telling me to move the file. Is there a way to get around this? It is the microsoft.flightsimulator_8wekyb3d8bbwe file that is the problem.
                              Hey Brian, See if this works....I think it did for me.
                              How to change the default 256 character path length limitation (MAX_PATH) in Windows 10. By default, Windows uses a path length limitation (MAX_PATH) of 256 characters: Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces. Starting in Windows 10 (Version 1607), the MAX_PATH limitations have been removed from Common Win32 file and directory functions. To use the new extended path behavior, you must opt-in by using a registry key change
                              Regards, Steve Dra
                              Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                              Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

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                                #20
                                Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post

                                Hey Brian, See if this works....I think it did for me.
                                https://knowledge.autodesk.com/suppo...haracters.html
                                Unfortunately no it didn't work
                                Brian Swintal
                                https://fsai-repaints.com/

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                                  #21
                                  Originally posted by rampantfox View Post

                                  Unfortunately no it didn't work
                                  ugh.....not sure what to do after that.
                                  Regards, Steve Dra
                                  Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                                  Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

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                                    #22
                                    timothyj6767 here are my DDS settings for the PS plugin


                                    0DJy4j.png
                                    Regards, Steve Dra
                                    Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                                    Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

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                                      #23
                                      Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post

                                      ugh.....not sure what to do after that.
                                      It seems the MSFSLayout Editor doesn't like the 260 character limit and it is a known issue. My way around it is to load up Ops Center and download or delete a livery and it updates and captures my files.
                                      Brian Swintal
                                      https://fsai-repaints.com/

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                                        #24

                                        Was able to get a couple of paints done for Jeff and the Sky Blue Radio team
                                        N737SB.png
                                        Brian Swintal
                                        https://fsai-repaints.com/

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                                        • timothyj6767
                                          timothyj6767 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          any chance you can look at my textures and see why my main body of my repaint is black the rest is fine

                                        #25
                                        So how do I fix the black textures
                                        You do not have permission to view this gallery.
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                                        TIMMIEJ CAPTAIN PMDG 737,777,747

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                                          #26
                                          I cannot get this to work at all..I had it work on the first segment on a test plane then when I added the rest of the body textures..it went black again...I dont know what Im doing wrong. Do I need to do the layout generator ea and everytime I update a image?
                                          TIMMIEJ CAPTAIN PMDG 737,777,747

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                                            #27
                                            Thanks for the post. Could be a good resource of information also in the future.
                                            However, maybe I missed something but which folder exactly should I copy in the beginning? The entire "PMDG 737-800" folder within the "Airplanes" folder should be copied to the "pmdg-aircraft-738-liveries" folder? With all the model, panel, sound etc. subfolders? I'm not sure but it doesn't feel right. Maybe someone could elaborate again. Should the subfolders be deleted afterwards? Apparently the aircraft.cfg is the important file here, what happens to the rest? Thanks in advance!

                                            PS. Last time I did repaints for the 37 was like ten years ago for the former version. So things might have gotten a bit rusty here ;-)
                                            Еtіеոոе Dеhο

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                                              #28
                                              Originally posted by bobbydriver View Post
                                              Thanks for the post. Could be a good resource of information also in the future.
                                              However, maybe I missed something but which folder exactly should I copy in the beginning? The entire "PMDG 737-800" folder within the "Airplanes" folder should be copied to the "pmdg-aircraft-738-liveries" folder? With all the model, panel, sound etc. subfolders? I'm not sure but it doesn't feel right. Maybe someone could elaborate again. Should the subfolders be deleted afterwards? Apparently the aircraft.cfg is the important file here, what happens to the rest? Thanks in advance!

                                              PS. Last time I did repaints for the 37 was like ten years ago for the former version. So things might have gotten a bit rusty here ;-)
                                              When I start a new paint project...here are the preliminary steps I take:
                                              1. Determine what model type I'm going to paint (Blended winglets, SSW, BCF, BDSF, ETC)...lets do a BCF.
                                              2. Find a BCF you have in your D:\YOUR MSFS folder\Community\pmdg-aircraft-738-liveries\SimObjects\Airplanes
                                              3. My example will be one of the default BCFs that come with the plane (if you don't have any BCF liveries installed, install at least one, like the PMDG 737-800BCF FedEx (G-NPTD - 2019 - Operated by West Atlantic). This one has blended winglets (Its important to pick one with the same winglet type to copy from)
                                              4. Make a copy of this folder an paste it back into the Airplanes folder like shown below...Windows will append "copy" at the end of the folder name.

                                                4Zz12j.png
                                              5. Now, rename that folder to the livery you are painting. In my example, I'll paint a Lufthansa Cargo, D-ABCD.
                                                2 important notes:
                                                1. I HIGHLY suggest you maintain the folder naming convention PMDG uses...it will help in the long run, trust me.
                                                2. After you're finished renaming it...the folder position will likely shift in the list...so it won't necessarily be directly under the one you copied from any longer
                                                  See my example below. The "2012" in the name indicates when this livery was flying...in the case of a fictional, I just pick a relative date...for a real one, its always best to you use the "date taken" year from the photo you are using as a reference. Why is this date important? The 1st time someone tries to tell you your livery is incorrect and that (for example), "This airline is not part of the Star Alliance anymore, you must take off the stickers". You can reply back "well, in 2012, the year my livery depicts, they did and its displayed on the photo I used as a reference to paint this livery". That should end all arguments from the arm-chair painters, hehe.

                                                  yjMQmn.png
                                              6. Click one time into the name of the folder and it should open the folder name to be copied (as plain text, not the actual folder...we are getting this exact folder name into the clipboard....trust me you do NOT want to type it into your aircraft.cfg...that has led to countless "My livery doesn't show in the list" posts in this forum. As usual, highlight all the text, do a CTRL+C to copy (or right-click copy...your choice)...by default all the text should already be highlighted.
                                              7. Navigate into your new livery folder and open the aircraft.cfg file.
                                                Change these 5 line items in GREEN:

                                                [VERSION]
                                                major=1
                                                minor=0

                                                [VARIATION]
                                                base_container = "..\PMDG 737-800BCF"

                                                [fltsim.0]
                                                title=PMDG 737-800BCF Lufthansa Cargo (D-ABCD - 2012)---Here is where you'd highlight the existing title and paste the new one in
                                                atc_airline=Lufthansa
                                                atc_flight_number=738
                                                atc_heavy=0
                                                atc_id=D-ABCD
                                                atc_id_color=0x00000000
                                                atc_id_enable=1
                                                atc_id_font=
                                                atc_parking_codes=
                                                atc_parking_types=GATE,RAMP
                                                description=Boeing 737-800 BCF powered by CFM engines v 1.0\nPMDG Simulations\nwww.precisionmanuals.com \n\nProduced under license from Boeing Management Company.\n\nBoeing 737, 737-800 & Boeing are among the trademarks owned by Boeing.
                                                icao_airline=
                                                isAirTraffic=0
                                                isUserSelectable=1
                                                KB_Checklists=
                                                KB_Reference=
                                                model=BCFBW
                                                panel=
                                                sound=
                                                texture=D-ABCD--In a coming...step make sure you change the texture folder name to this
                                                ui_autonomy=6
                                                ui_certified_ceiling=41000
                                                ui_createdby=PMDG
                                                ui_fuel_burn_rate=4500
                                                ui_manufacturer=Boeing
                                                ui_max_range=2935
                                                ui_thumbnailfile=
                                                ui_type=737-800
                                                ui_typerole=Commercial Airliner
                                                ui_variation=Lufthansa Cargo (D-ABCD - 2012)--Here I just paste in the title again and remove the PMDG 737-800BCF
                                                wip_indicator=2
                                                pmdg_revision=3
                                                sim=B737-800 BCF
                                                visual_damage=0​
                                              8. Save and close the file
                                              9. Back in the PMDG 737-800BCF Lufthansa Cargo (D-ABCD - 2012)​ you see the texture.XXX folder (the XXX typically has the livery's reg number)...Rename it to: texture.D-ABCD​ (matching the entry in the aircraft.cfg...but its not "="....it is texture.XXX....you just replace the text to the right of the dot with your reg number)
                                              10. Navigate back to the D:\YOUR MSFS folder\Community\pmdg-aircraft-738-liveries\​ folder and drag-drop the layout.json file to wherever your MSFSLayout generator file is....mine is on my desktop. This automatically updates the layout.json file to include the new livery you just added. (If you don't have the MSFSlayout generator...get it...its a vital part of painting in MSFS unless you like manually updating your layout.json file (hint: You DON'T like doing that, hehe)

                                                YwvHUP.png
                                              Once all this is done, you now have a perfectly functioning livery in the PMDG 737 (in this case the -800 model)...just ready for you to modify the specific dds files to make the livery look how you want it to.

                                              One tip that can help....(it helps me)
                                              I installed paint.net soley because it can display the thumbnails of DDS files...when I associated the DDS format with it, and change the folder view to (extra large icons), I can easily see the files I need to change to make this a Lufthansa Cargo livery (note they still have FedEx textures as we copied that livery, remember?).....here are the ones you need to paint:
                                              1. The reg plate in the cockpit
                                              2. The belly plate and engines
                                              3. Fuse 1
                                              4. Fuse 2
                                              5. Fuse 3
                                              6. Tail
                                              7. Left wing reg (if your livery has one)
                                              qc0zcd.png

                                              Hope this info helps.

                                              EDIT:
                                              Oh yeah....2 more files to update....the thumbnails! LOL....

                                              RZjDMv.png
                                              Last edited by Steve Dra; 10Oct2022, 13:41.
                                              Regards, Steve Dra
                                              Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                                              Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

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                                                #29
                                                Hi Steve,

                                                I saw the question regarding other paint editor programs. Using Photoshop does it have to be the full version or could it be Elements ?

                                                Scott
                                                Scott Stephens

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                                                  #30
                                                  Originally posted by Scotty View Post
                                                  Hi Steve,

                                                  I saw the question regarding other paint editor programs. Using Photoshop does it have to be the full version or could it be Elements ?

                                                  Scott
                                                  I never used elements so I could not tell you....maybe some others here will have the answer. Regarding the tools inside Photoshop I use, I probably use about 1% of the ones that are available and most are very basic, so I'd imagine that elements would have them. If it can't use the Nvidia DDS plugin, there are other ways to import/export them using other apps.
                                                  Regards, Steve Dra
                                                  Click here to download my P3D, FSX, 2004 paints at Avsim
                                                  Get my paints for MSFS planes at flightsim.to here

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