Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

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Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:22 am

Hello, I'm at that crossroads. Did some research on how aircraft texture BMPs are saved for and used in FS2004, I believe it's 32-bit BMP? It explains why I can't open them on Microsoft Paint (most people have PhotoShop Pro, I don't), so I downloaded DXTBmp to convert the textures from Ron Watson's Grumman AA1-C from 2010. The program is terrific in that it can convert the 32-bit BMP textures to 24-bit BMP for my Paint to read, but I cannot figure out how to convert the revised textures from 24 back to 32 with DXTBmp. Perhaps it can't be done, not sure. I have two new textures made up: an all-orange N6146L and an all-green N5985L, both with minimal factory striping in white. Both these aircraft were planes my dad learned to fly on and where I spent a great deal of time in back, held down by luggage straps, LOL (I was 7 and 8 then). The orange one was memorable in that all 3 of us almost lost our lives aboard her one night, long story. Just reliving the good memories is all...

So has anyone used DXTBmp to the extent of converting 24-bit back to an FS2004-readable 32-bit (?) format? Any advice? I can't afford PhotoShop Pro, any advice would be great. BTW, Ron Watson's AA1-C Yankee is a hoot to fly. Thanks!
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hagar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:44 am

Since nobody has answered this I'll have a go.

Everyone has their own favourite methods for repainting so I'll tell you the way I do it. Before editing any files I strongly suggest backing up the originals in case anything goes wrong.

I never had any luck using MS Paint for anything. There are many alternatives but I suggest you try Paint.NET which is a powerful freeware graphics editor with advanced features like layers that are very useful for this sort of work. https://www.getpaint.net

Once you've installed your new graphics editor you will need to set it as the default editor from the DXTBmp menu bar --> Prefs / Select Editor.
Navigate to the EXE file for your editor & select it. For example C:\Program Files\paint.net

To edit a texture, first open it in DXTBmp then double click on the image to send it to your chosen editor. When you've finished editing click File/Save & save it.
If given the option select 24-bit or Auto detect.
The edited file will be saved as norm.bmp in your Windows/Temp directory. There is no need to look for it as DXTBmp will find it automatically.

Back in DXTBmp click Image/Reload after Edit. Your edited image should appear in the window. To save it click File/Save As/Extended Bitmap & save it in the desired format to your chosen location. To start with I suggest using the format of the original texture.

Hope this is some help.
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:07 pm

Hagar wrote:Everyone has their own favourite methods for repainting so I'll tell you the way I do it. Before editing any files I strongly suggest backing up the originals in case anything goes wrong.


Thanks, I always do with everything. Learned the hard way in other ways there!

Hagar wrote:I never had any luck using MS Paint for anything. There are many alternatives but I suggest you try Paint.NET which is a powerful freeware graphics editor with advanced features like layers that are very useful for this sort of work. https://www.getpaint.net


I'll get it, thanks!

Hagar wrote:Once you've installed your new graphics editor you will need to set it as the default editor from the DXTBmp menu bar --> Prefs / Select Editor. Navigate to the EXE file for your editor & select it. For example C:\Program Files\paint.net

To edit a texture, first open it in DXTBmp then double click on the image to send it to your chosen editor. When you've finished editing click File/Save & save it. If given the option select 24-bit or Auto detect. The edited file will be saved as norm.bmp in your Windows/Temp directory. There is no need to look for it as DXTBmp will find it automatically.

Back in DXTBmp click Image/Reload after Edit. Your edited image should appear in the window. To save it click File/Save As/Extended Bitmap & save it in the desired format to your chosen location. To start with I suggest using the format of the original texture.

Hope this is some help.


It is, thank you. As for the original, I'm not sure what format of BMP it's in, as the highest I've ever encountered in a graphics editor has been 24-bit (I'm pretty measly, I know). Not sure if aircraft textures are 32-bit and what extensions of BMP fall under that category that's readable by FS2004. Kinda learning as I go, and unfortunately taxing the time of the good folks here...not that it goes unappreciated by myself, and I thank everyone who helps me out. Now, I'mma gon' get that Paint.net prog and, to paraphrase Starlet O'Hara from "Went with the Wind!", "I've got me a paintjob to make!"
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hagar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:47 pm

Hoorf wrote:As for the original, I'm not sure what format of BMP it's in, as the highest I've ever encountered in a graphics editor has been 24-bit (I'm pretty measly, I know). Not sure if aircraft textures are 32-bit and what extensions of BMP fall under that category that's readable by FS2004.

Most FS2004 aircraft textures are in an Extended BMP format. There are various types depending on what they're used for.
When you open an FS texture in DXTBmp the format is indicated above the menu bar. In the example below it's DXT3 16-bit which is also the format of the FS9 default aircraft main textures. You should be able to find FS repainting tutorials from a quick google which explain the different texture formats & their uses. It's been a while since I had anything to do with the subject so I can't recommend any. Sorry.

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It hasn't been updated for a while but there is a lot of useful info in DXTBmp Help.

Note: The DDS format is used in FSX & is not compatible with FS2004.
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:34 pm

Yow. You show the exact same aircraft I am trying to repaint. And thanks for the heads-up on that matter!
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hagar » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:59 pm

Let me know how it goes.
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:02 pm

Welp, here's how it went...

Image

This is N6146L at KAWO lifting off from 34R, reliving the happier days when she was part of the 1970s Southern Flying Service stable of trusty mounts there (among them, Yankee N5985L, the next to get done up). She and I, along with my father and his instructor, survived a near-midair collision on the night of my 8th birthday (it was the other plane's fault), but her luck ran out almost a year later at Hoquiam, WA airport when she crashed there after porpoising on landing.

That's how the repaint went, works well in conjunction with Microsoft Paint. Just gotta work on the wing fairings where they join the fuselage, the whites at the lower windscreen...and the nosegear caster fork, I canNOT find the part on any Bitmap which deals with it, I'll delve into the other BMPs.

So, success!
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:20 pm

One more shot, after landing at KAWO (Arlington, WA) for a $100 cheeseburger at an airport restaurant that doesn't exist anymore... :crying-yellow:

Image

Had to do a teeny bit of tweaking to the CFG, in comes ACM to the rescue. Moved the empty CG (light blue dot) to its proper place (about 1/3 back from leading edge, just ahead of the dark blue reference point), lowered the occupants' stations a touch (navel level) as well as the rear cargo level (a little above the floor). Made a world of difference in that it no longer rides the mains so badly on roll-out, the nose comes down on landing with no force from the pilot and it steers better on the ground. Flight trim characteristics improved, too. Much better experience from an already-good experience.
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hagar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:19 am

Excellent! Looks like we have a result. 8-)

Thanks for the feedback & also the interesting background story.
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:41 pm

Thank you! Just finished edge-blending of the forward stripe angle and the N-numbers, they looked too pixel-y so I went to work and blended the edges to look more natural, even close up. I think we got this...thanks again for all your help, Hagar!
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Re: Converting 24-bit BMP to 32-bit BMP

Postby Hoorf » Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:47 am

And now, there's 4 -- count 'em, 4 -- Yankees in the hangar:

(1) Ron Watson's stock Auckland Flying Club FVR;
(2) N5721L, in goldenrod;
(3) N5985L, in green;
(4) N6146L, in orange.

Think I'll go for all the colors Grumman made...this is fun! 8-)
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