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MSFS [GUIDE] Creating Livery Packages for MSFS

Will this method add liveries to the "Premium Deluxe" aircraft? And if so, where do we get the info for the aircraft.cfg "General" and [FLTSIM.0] sections?
 
I'm sorry, I've read this thread many times and I have no understanding of what ALL the steps are as all I see are portions of what's needed, and lots of "oops, I forgot that", or if it allows for multiple liveries for the same plane.

@OZWookie, you said you'd create a "How To" document, but I don't see a link to it? Has the first post been edited with all the necessary correct information? I've read through it, but I don't feel confident it says exactly what goes in every field or file or what the final directory structure would look like for each livery for the same plane. I DEFINITELY want multiple liveries for my planes, and the old method does that. There's no way I want to go in and manipulate what files are where every time I want a new livery.

It actually looks like a description of exactly how I would actually expect the structure to look like, but it looks like lots of people are having issues getting it to work?

I'm sorry, I'm sure there's something I'm not understanding here, but the thread is all over the place with questions, but no clear every single step necessary totally correct guide as far as I could tell from reading the thread.
 
I guess the missing part from the first post is the Layout.json file? I'm assuming it's contents are some sort of header information and tail information as well as the list of all the files in the texture directory?

I assume you don't need to call out what the aircraft is in the manifest.json because it's getting that info from the linked aircraft directory?
If so, why is the manufacturer needed in the manifest.json (but not the name of the aircraft)?

Seems to me even more data can be pared out of these files?
 
Is there a compilation somewhere of all the data that goes in the [FLTSIM.x] section for ALL the aircraft?
It's easy to find for the default aircraft (from the aircraft.cfg), but how do we get that information for the premium aircraft since they have no aircraft.cfg file available?

Or does just a simple TT:AIRCRAFT.UI_MODEL , TT:AIRCRAFT.UI_MANUFACTURER do it for those fields and we don't need to worry about it?

Again, I don't understand why aircraft manufacturer is in the manifest, but not aircraft model?

If we don't include the ui_maxrange, ui_certified_ceiling, etc. fields in the FLTSIM section, will it just use the values from the aircraft.cfg in the official directory?

If we leave this data in there, if I add let's say, a modified aircraft performance data addon like C-152X, how do I know which fields in which addons take precedence?

What the heck are the "size": and "date": fields for, and what is that crazy number after the "date": field?

Seems to me all these files should be pared down to only the necessary information, or those fields that we might want to change (i.e. apparently you can remove the exterior N-Number by creating a custom panel.cfg file?), and I'd like to know how to make various values I might change take precedence for a variation.

I do know my liveries work, and the C-152X is being applied at some level to all my liveries for the C-152, I'm thinking I need to go get rid of values from my livery [FLTSIM.x] sections so that I know I'm not affecting variables I don't need to control from the livery, so that they end up controlled from a master somewhere else.
 
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The only reason I'm doing this with custom panel is I cannot get rid of reg on side of plane. atc_id_enable = 0 doesn't do anything.

Did you include the path to the Panel.cfg file and panel.xml file in the layout.json (similar to the model.cfg file)?
Worked for me for the C-152, sort of, now I need to figure out how to move the N-Number around on the plane.

It seems to ignore the color?
 
Hi there OzWookiee - this has been an extremely helpful thread for me even though I must admit I must be getting slower with age - some of the concepts you address are, erm shall we say: a little bit convoluted. My first repaint attempt went well because I simply overwrote the relevant texture files for one of the megapack liveries for the C172 glass cockpit. But I also wanted to do the "classic" so here's my story with a few questions that you may be able to answer along the way. Please forgive me if I add images, but as they say a picture tells a thousand words. Besides, a part of my career spec over the past 45 years was technical writer and translator for aircraft handbooks.

1. Anyway - first question: How do you make one of those "automatic" thumbnail images? I saw a comment somewhere abut option E in the dev mode screens - no can find... so I made my own.

select ac 1.jpg


As you can see - my livery now shows in the flight setup and appears as a separate entity in the C172 classic "Liveries" Selection

select ac 3.jpg


2. As the C172 classic doesn't have it's own aircraft.cfg I obviously used your guide and the automatic layout.json creator from "S3rious". all the external items worked and are visible as a neatly textured 3D model - EXCEPT for the fact that the materials and surface decals for the registration are showing G-BRIS on the fuselage is only the texture reflection - I have atc id in the cfg turned off but selected in the flight setup menu as hidden (Show ATC ID off) - this looks like either the spec or an alpha channel in FSX, but as ASOBO have insisted on decals instead of pixels on the texture sheet itself (....fuselage.albd....)

So the question is how do I avoid having to use decals for ATC ID? Is this a default 172 thing? I managed to hide them on the c1722_G1000 variant. The thing here is that Asobo really fluffed up with the decals as the ATC ID is cut off by the lower fuselage skin and that makes the aircraft look worse.

fix atc id.jpg



3. Third question - how do I find the textures for the instrument panel? I have tried copying the "panel" model folder into my file structure, but this is what I get:

F:\msfs\Community\Eagleskinner-Livery-C172sp-classic_Demonstrator\SimObjects\Airplanes\asobo_c172sp-classic_demonstrator\panel.demonstrator

fix instrument panel.jpg


My main consideration is that I classify myself as a full aircraft repainter and also change the interiors. I don't just flood-fill areas of the texture sheets. That's not rep[ainting in my view :) ;) The seats in this model are blue with charcoal inserts, the cabin skin is white and eventually I will be making fully weathered, grubby hand prints, blood stained interiors with chipped and worn panel bezels... oh, bloody? Yes, if we get something like the Aerosoft beaver with removable seats - bush flights might mean hauling the odd deer or muddy booted hunter. All the current aircraft are simply way too new and clean.

I could now go into aircraft registrations and really get annoyed at Asobo - no country in the world has aircraft id like ASXGS. many airworthiness authorities have different rules about how the letters should look and where they are placed. Suffice it to say, the team at Asobo did not check their facts and really made a hash of the ATC ID system.

PS - as an aside: what I did find unusual was that my liveries now appear in the content manager as a completely different aircraft. Is this wrong? Especially as it is in the official content section:

visible in content.jpg
 

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@CBris Setting atc_id_enable=0 in the [FLTSIM.x] section appears to be broken.

One fix for the Registration decal is to create a custom Panel.cfg file, as @Ither showed on page two of this thread. You can check out my repaint at

https://flightsim.to/file/367/c-152ii-livery-n48270

for an example of how to do it.

I use an older version of adding repaints by installing the megapack repaints and adding my texture/model/panel directories to the megapack texture directory and updating the layout.json and aircraft.cfg files appropriately. I have yet to implement the methodology described here in this thread so people can drag and drop my repaints into the Community directory as standalone addons.

"Removing" the Registration Number decal requires:
1. create a custom panel.texturename directory and copy the files panel.cfg and panel.xml from the main directory of the airplane to your texture location
2. modify the Panel.cfg file and zero out the exterior decal size (i'm not sure what the numerals after the decal color are for, but they work to remove the texture by changing them to zero, or you can just resize them if you want).
3. modify layout.json and add the two files too it.

It worked for the C-152. @Ither had issues with the premium planes, such as the C-172 classic you are trying to modify, in that he lost functions in some of his avionics. I'm imagining it had to do with him not calling out the files appropriately in layout.json, or perhaps some sections are missing from his panel.cfg file.

I was hoping to just move the decal on the plane and make it smaller, but I couldn't get them to move by changing values after the color. I'm going to have to study the decal setup files some more to figure out how their location is set.

The "Registration" decals are specified in main directory in asobo-vliveries\html_ui\Pages\VLivery\Liveries\Registration directory. There might be other hooks elsewhere.

To get rid of the C-152 Decal texture, I just made the decal transparent by changing it and its alpha channel to black.
I wonder if I could have just pointed it's layout.json entry to a non-existent file? Anyway, it worked.

With files spread out all over the place like they are, it's amazing there aren't more bugs as stuff might be mistyped or changes forgotten to be made all over the place...

Ultimately, I imagine the decals can be removed from the panel.cfg file and specified to be in a separate file at some point as we better understand Asobo's file structure and how to split up the cfg files.
 
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@FlyingsCool here's my [FLTSIM.0]

;===================== FLTSIM USER DEFINTION =====================
[FLTSIM.0]
title = "Cessna 172SP classic demonstrator" ; Variation name
model = "" ; model folder
panel = "demonstrator" ; panel folder
sound = "" ; sound folder
texture = "demonstrator" ; texture folder
kb_checklists = "Cessna172SP_check" ; Procedures/Checklist sibling file name
kb_reference = "Cessna172SP_ref" ; Reference information sibling file name
description = "TT:AIRCRAFT.DESCRIPTION" ; Variation description.
wip_indicator = 0 ; know if the variation is good to go or still WIP : -1=Disabled, 0=Rough, 1=1st Pass, 2=Finished
ui_manufacturer = "TT:AIRCRAFT.UI_MANUFACTURER" ; e.g. Boeing, Cessna
ui_type = "TT:AIRCRAFT.UI_MODEL" ; e.g. 747-400, 172
ui_variation = "Custom" ; e.g. World Air, IFR Panel
ui_typerole = "Single Engine Prop" ; e.g. Single Engine Prop, Twin Engine Prop, motorcraft, etc
ui_createdby = "Eagleskinner" ; e.g. Asobo Studio, Microsoft, FSAddonCompany, etc
ui_thumbnailfile = "" ; app relative path to ThumbNail image file
ui_certified_ceiling = 14000 ; service ceiling / max certified operating altitude (ft)
ui_max_range = 640 ; max distance the aircraft can fly between take-off and landing in (NM)
ui_autonomy = 5 ; max duration the aircraft can fly between take-off and landing in (Hrs)
ui_fuel_burn_rate = 54 ; average fuel consumption per hour (lbs/hr) - reminder: fuel density is ~6.7lbs per US gallon
atc_id = "" ; tail number
atc_id_enable = 0 ; enable tail number
atc_airline = "Eagleskinner Repaints" ; airline name
atc_flight_number = "" ; flight number
atc_heavy = 0 ; heavy?
atc_parking_types = "GATE,RAMP,CARGO" ; "ANY" / "RAMP" / "CARGO" / "MIL_CARGO" / "MIL_COMBAT" / "GATE" / "DOCK"
atc_parking_codes = "" ; Comma separated and may be as small as one character each
atc_id_color = "" ; color for the tail number : i.e. "#ffff00ff"
atc_id_font = "" ; font for the tail number
icao_airline = "ESKIN" ; airline icao code
isAirTraffic = 0 ; Is the plane usable for air traffic
isUserSelectable = 1 ; Is the plane selectable by the user

________________________________________________________________________________________


For some reason there's no panel.xml in the Asobo C172 SP classic. There is one in the C172sp AS1000 - but that is for the Glass cockpit and obviously wouldn't work on the classic.

The font colour 49668e for the exterior reg tourns out to be

49668e.jpg

- with a given transparency or alpha, that looks like it could indeed be the colour of the blue-grey ASGSX in my image above

- at a guess, the four numbers in the lines "painting00=Registration/Registration.html?font_color=0x49668e, 0, 0, 1024, 256" refer to start coordinates and size of the text itself and the two dimensions on the first line give the size of the decal itself. as far as the mapping goes, the position of the registration on the 3D model is forced by the person who actually created the .gltf model. Only one way to find out about resizing and/or repositioning might be to make the exterior registration slightly smaller (remember the 4 to 1 scaling and assuming the start coords are bottom left and end at top right perhaps) Ah! There could be another problem in that on the stbd fuselage the start point is at the rear and on the port side it's at the front. Gods! This looks really convoluted and very much like fuzzy thinking by Asobo. Have they ever studied aircraft? I have been an aerospace engineer for over 40 years and from the technical aspects Asobo makes me cringe.

- that Registration.html hooks to a registration.css and also hooks to that vliveries reference. Oh Jeez! I just looked - F:\msfs\Official\OneStore\asobo-vliveries\html_ui\Pages\VLivery\Liveries\Registration co check it yourself - the css defines the fixed font. If you need to go true to life, you'd have to find the realworld font approved by the national authorities and start cooking that into the sim. The registration.js defines how the sim gets the info from the flight setup data.

RESOLUTION to other readers:

If you are creating repaints simply lock out the Asobo "forced" info from ATC ID and paint your desired registration directly onto the fuselage.albd texture using the airworthiness guides. Asobe has really fluffed this.

CAVEAT - some of the models use mirrored textures for opposite sides of fuselages. Another right royal fudge job!!
 
Yeah, no.... setting the atc_id_enable to 0 had zero effect. the only way I could disable the decal was through the panel.cfg concept I described (while still allowing me to set a Registration number that works for ATC).

that was my thought, too, that the first two characters suggest start location, but changing them didn't change the location of the Registration text. I'm assuming they're getting overridden elsewhere. The size numbers worked in the sense the N-Number changed size proportionally to the first of the two numbers. Maybe the second number controls the background, but the text overrides the background... It's all HTML based basically it appears....

And yes, I've been reading all the Registration and common files in detail. It's going to take a long time to figure out all the dependencies and what really controls what. (I have another issue where the guy who created the C152X mod redid the electrical system, and now the lights in the radio are tied to the Taxi Lights button for some reason. I was trying to track that down. I have an idea what's wrong, but I couldn't figure out a fix.)

Yes, as I noted, the premium aircraft all the config files are encrypted and stored somewhere else. People have started to figure out how to get around stuff, but they're going to be a bear to modify for a while. But, it may also be true it doesn't need the panel.xml, or perhaps I didn't even need to call it out in my repaint and could have left it out and not called it out in the layout.json file and let the default one take precedence...

To that end, there's likely a way to call out the Registration section of the panel.cfg file as a separate file so it can replace those variables. Basically what I expect this whole thread is about, how to pare down the sections that get edited to the bare minimum for creating liveries to simplify their specification and delivery to users.

Yes, for the C-152, they do a lot of reflecting of textures to save space (as they say in the SDK, it's more efficient... forgetting it precludes any modification of textures for the most part), and they kind of did the same here. Note that the C-182 has two external decals for N-Numbers, but the C-152 only has one... sigh. But, given that the text isn't reversed, there's got to be a definition of both points somewhere... I just haven't found it yet.
 
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Talking of mirrored textures, does anyone remember the Long Island Classics Christen Eagle? (early 2000s for fs9 / 2004 ) The wings were mirrored because the devs never even thought anyone would think of creating an asymmetric text. I got in touch with them, pointed out that at the very least we painters might put reg IDs on the undersides of the wings...

Well they were so for my suggestion that they simply duplicated the texture with the wings on, deleted anything unnecessary and gave the texture sheet a new name - just one more character "R" to identify right wings. Mapped this texture sheet to the mdl simply by adding the "R" to the various bits on the mdl file and sent me a new set of texture sheets.

How long did it take them? About a couple of hours from my closing explanation email to being edited, packaged, emailed to me and installed in my paint kit ready to go. Check out the Avsim library for my name - I think there are still those LIC liveries still there with my comments about LICs helpfulness. Hang on, let me chack. Yes - I uploaded my first asymmetric paint for the Eagle in October 2006. Checking the Avsim Library was also a great trip down memory lane - my first repaint went online 15 years ago - and that was for the LIC Eagle

LIC_eagle.jpg



TWO HOURS ASOBO!!!

Suck it up! :p
 
1. Anyway - first question: How do you make one of those "automatic" thumbnail images? I saw a comment somewhere abut option E in the dev mode screens - no can find... so I made my own.

With Dev Mode on, you'll need:
  1. Start a new project ([DevMode] > NewProject...). This will display a new project dialog box.
  2. Click Ok. None of the settings matter. This will open the project editor.
  3. Click the + button at the bottom of the project editor. This will display the Add Package dialog.
  4. Type "test" (or anything) into the Package name field and click "Create".
  5. Click View > Inspector on the Project Editor menu. This will display the Inspector dialog.
  6. Click Capture aircraft thumbnail. You will be prompted to select a folder.
  7. Once you select a folder, MSFS will create a screenshot called SCREENCAPTURE0_LE.PNG in the folder you selected. If you click "Capture aircraft thumbnail" several times, it will create multiple files called SCREENCAPTURE1_LE.PNG, SCREENCAPTURE2_LE.PNG, etc.
I hope this helps.
 
2. As the C172 classic doesn't have it's own aircraft.cfg I obviously used your guide and the automatic layout.json creator from "S3rious". all the external items worked and are visible as a neatly textured 3D model - EXCEPT for the fact that the materials and surface decals for the registration are showing G-BRIS on the fuselage is only the texture reflection - I have atc id in the cfg turned off but selected in the flight setup menu as hidden (Show ATC ID off) - this looks like either the spec or an alpha channel in FSX, but as ASOBO have insisted on decals instead of pixels on the texture sheet itself (....fuselage.albd....)

I think you guys have covered this. I am still figuring this out myself. I am not a fan of changing anything in the Official folder as it will create issues with updates. I am also not a fan of copying Asobo (or others') intellectual property into my own mods which is why I am not a fan of the megalivery package. I have been able to successfully create a separate panel.cfg file that changes the registration appearance of the registration number including the size. I tried to do this on the Baron and ended up with a "new" MFD that displayed a "new" set of engine management gauges despite the .cfg entries being virtually identical. I suspect his has to do with the panel.xml file which is not visible in the Official Baron directory.

3. Third question - how do I find the textures for the instrument panel? I have tried copying the "panel" model folder into my file structure, but this is what I get:

I wish I had an answer for this. Based on your screenshot, the missing textures are instrument-related, but I cannot find these images anywhere.

PS - as an aside: what I did find unusual was that my liveries now appear in the content manager as a completely different aircraft. Is this wrong? Especially as it is in the official content section:

Your Content Manager listing is related to your manifast.json file. The topline in the Content Manager is the "title" field in the manifest.json. The second line is the value in the manufacturer field. The creator field is the third line. The package_version field in the json is the Version, obviously. If you select your entry and then press "D" or click "Dependencies", it will show the minimum_game_version field. The V or "Version History" pulls from the OlderHistory section but I have not experimented with it to understand how it works. Keep in mind that "Content Manager" is not "Official Content". "Official Content" is only available in the Marketplace.
 
Thanks Clements for some very helpful replies!!!

I also made that discovery about content manager listings when I saw that some of the other liveries in the megapack appear there. Nice to know stuff but only makes me more annoyed with the illogic used by the devs. Ah well.

Reading around the fora, I think the instruments might be part of the "other" Asobo data the seem to have hidden around your PC during the install process. There are some scramble files with names that might point to the gauges. Now as I won't be repainting the default aircraft too often, I doubt it will be a big thing for me. It's when the greats start churning out the more popular aircraft - A2A, Iris, yes, even some of the Carenados - that's when things will get real. I um using the classic and G1000 Cessna 172's for personal proofs of concepts.
 
Does anyone know what these lines are? They suddenly appeared. This is my first livery.
View attachment 63073


Check your texture.cfg within your TEXTURE folder. It should look like this:

Code:
[fltsim]
fallback.1=..\..\Asobo_A320_NEO\TEXTURE
fallback.2=..\..\..\..\texture\DetailMap
fallback.3=..\..\..\..\texture\Glass
fallback.4=..\..\..\..\texture\Interiors
fallback.5=..\..\..\..\texture

The "Asobo_A320_NEO" is of course a placeholder for the original Aircraft you're working on.
 
Check your texture.cfg within your TEXTURE folder. It should look like this:

Code:
[fltsim]
fallback.1=..\..\Asobo_A320_NEO\TEXTURE
fallback.2=..\..\..\..\texture\DetailMap
fallback.3=..\..\..\..\texture\Glass
fallback.4=..\..\..\..\texture\Interiors
fallback.5=..\..\..\..\texture

The "Asobo_A320_NEO" is of course a placeholder for the original Aircraft you're working on.
Oh, I see now. I completly missed that. Thanks
 
This has been a great informative thread for me so far. But then I moved on to the Extra 330. Painting the "livery" texture box all white removed the colour, but it left a "mirror foil" overlay covering the rest of the airplane. I can't, for the life of me, seem to find an "alpha channeled" texture that seems to be the root of this?

Anyone?


port high.jpg


I can find all these decals in blender if I open the gltf, but as such that is no help. It would be far easier if we could have a "switch" in the aircraft.cfg or somewhere that says something along the lines of [decal_visible = "0" ; switch decals on or off]

Anyone have any ideas about that?
 
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