Confused about panel transparency

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sunbeam60
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:56 pm

Confused about panel transparency

#1 Post by sunbeam60 »

Hi,

I've laid out a bunch of instruments for use on a touch screen.

Due to needing transparency for some pop-out avionics, I've switched Background Mode to "Transparent".

However, this means many of the instruments that are scattered across the panel show the desktop/whatever is running behind the panel:
Image

I'd like to use a "Custom image" as background mode so provide a "flat, opaque surface":
Image

I had assumed that if I "cut out" some transparent areas in the background image, these would show as transparent on the panel:
Image

But instead it just shows black.

In effect, I'm looking for a way to give all instruments a background but still have transparency where the sim pop-out windows slide under - something like this (I've spliced two pictures together to make it clear what I'm trying to achieve):
Image

The only way I can understand how to is by creating an instrument that loads a picture full screen and put that image at the very back on the panel.

But there must be something I'm missing ... it seems I'm very confused about transparencies and background images. I searched this forum and across the wider internet and I'm not finding an explanation that's clear enough to penetrate my thick skull.

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Keith Baxter
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Re: Confused about panel transparency

#2 Post by Keith Baxter »

Hi

This has been discussed over and over on this forum. I am not sure anyone is going to have the appetite to answer again.
A search of the forum will return what you seek

YouTube also has a few explanations

Keith
AMD RYZEN 9 5950X CPU, Corsair H80I cooler, ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS AMD Ryzen Mother Board,  32Gb ram Corsair Vengeance 3000Mh, MSI GTX960 4G graphics card 

sunbeam60
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:56 pm

Re: Confused about panel transparency

#3 Post by sunbeam60 »

So sorry - I really feel like I’ve searched for an answer - in the manual, on YouTube and on this forum. I shall go back and search for more variations of “AirManager AND transparency AND background”, here and elsewhere.

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Keith Baxter
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Re: Confused about panel transparency

#4 Post by Keith Baxter »

Hi,

Not sure you find these. Here are some links to assist.

https://siminnovations.com/wiki/index.p ... e=Pop_outs

https://www.youtube.com/c/ExperimentalS ... ics/videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/srbarlow/v ... pp=desktop

The only way to have a color background with a transparent panel image is to change screen background image or color..

Keith
AMD RYZEN 9 5950X CPU, Corsair H80I cooler, ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS AMD Ryzen Mother Board,  32Gb ram Corsair Vengeance 3000Mh, MSI GTX960 4G graphics card 

sunbeam60
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:56 pm

Re: Confused about panel transparency

#5 Post by sunbeam60 »

Appreciate the links - thank you.

It seems others have settled on creating a custom instrument, set to the dimensions of the panel, that load the transparent PNG in. Then set the background to transparent. Thus the desired effect is achieved.

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Sling
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Re: Confused about panel transparency

#6 Post by Sling »

Like Keith said this has been discussed so many times. Creating a custom instrument is a workaround method that some use probably because they don’t understand the designated method. Just create the png with the transparent sections in the areas where the pop out instruments need to show through and then select this png as the custom image in the background mode panel settings. You also have to set the background color to transparent.

I have a couple of videos on my YT channel (linked below) all about pop outs. The MSFS version has all these details shown but the AM methods and settings are the same for any sim.

Hope this helps you and any others who use search to find this in future.

sunbeam60
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:56 pm

Re: Confused about panel transparency

#7 Post by sunbeam60 »

I've been religiously watching your super helpful videos (even before posting this question :D) but still couldn't find an answer.

Your MSFS pop-out manager video shows the solution you mention, I think ... but I still don't understand it.

At 12:57 your panels are not transparent:
Image

Then you say "and then power up" and your panels are suddenly transparent (at 13:03):
Image

I had originally set background PNG with transparent "holes" as the background image (indeed that is the very same picture I'm now loading into my custom instrument, out of desperation and lack of understanding, as you say) and now I'm suspecting this might actually have worked except for the magical "power up" statement. I would have theorised that maybe the transparency didn't start to work until Air Manager has a sim connection, but you clearly have a sim connection even before your "power up" invocation. Clearly what you are "powering up" is the Garmin units in the sim ... but how does Air Manager associate that with suddenly showing transparency in the instruments?

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Sling
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Re: Confused about panel transparency

#8 Post by Sling »

You have the wrong video you need the MSFS pop outs one.

The particular scenario you observed in this video is simply because I am using my own G1000 overlay instruments that show the G1000 with a black screen when the aircraft power is off. If I were to remove that you would see the desktop until the pop outs are automatically placed into position.

Hope that explains that one.

sunbeam60
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2022 3:56 pm

Re: Confused about panel transparency

#9 Post by sunbeam60 »

Image

Ok, it all FINALLY makes sense thanks to that last video. Thank you

So, for anyone else that may come across this thread in the future, watching the MSFS Popouts with Air Manager video will explain it, starting at 25:55.

But briefly for others in the future:
  • Create a background with transparency for where you want the pop-outs to slide under.
  • Set the "Background mode:" to "Custom image" and choose the background image you've created.
  • Change the "Background color" to "Transparent", by choosing "Custom Color..." in the colour drop-down and setting all values to 0.
This is required because the background colour still sits under the custom image you've chosen. So unless you set this background colour to Transparent, you'll just see the background colour through the transparent elements of your custom background.

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Sling
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Re: Confused about panel transparency

#10 Post by Sling »

Lol. Glad you have now seen the light. I thought that might help. Unfortunately not every struggles with the same aspect. You had most of it in place a just needed to know how to connect the dots.

Enjoy your popouts.

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