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SurClaro

FS Repaint by Abacus Software

 

The layout of the program is fairly nice.? You see two windows, left and right, when you open the program.? The left side is for your aircraft list (which it gets from your FS aircraft folder) and Texture files, and the right side is where you view your paint job.? The right window can be split from 1 view to 4 views.?

 

You can rotate the plane in any of the views by clicking the left mouse button and moving it around.? I like this and found it handy, except that you can NOT precisely control the movement.? You can, however, get the view very quickly to something better suited to what you need to look at.? Currently, precise control is a bit difficult and takes a bit of time to master.? Arrows or precise turn and rotate buttons would be a welcome addition.

 

I you are a painting beginner and don?t have access to high end paint programs and simply wish to repaint (change the colors) of an existing plane, then this is quite easy to use and just what you are looking for.? I wanted a bit more out of it, but it does do exactly what it claims to do.? And it does that very well.

 

I decided to try the training that is included with the program.? I followed the instructions as stated in the tutorial.? They are very precise and easy to follow.? You should have your first (tutorial) plane repainted in about 5 minutes.? 10 at the most.?

 

Next, I wanted to paint some blank textures with a custom paint scheme.? Nothing I tried would allow me to pull these textures into the program.? It simply wouldn't see them.? I think that many beginners may have downloaded a blank from sites like ProjectAI (http://www.projectai.com/packages/paintkits.php) and they should be able to paint them inside FS Repaint.? This is currently NOT possible however, the suggestion has been made.

 

As far as features go, this program is close to being an incredible, must have program.? A few more features and it would be there.? I understand that this is a $30 dollar (USD) program and geared toward the novice or beginner.? The ability to change the texture files on the fly is incredible.? Not having to load your texture into a program ,convert it, save as a bmp that is editable, load into another app to edit, then save and reload and resave...? That alone makes this a program that is ALMOST worth the money you pay for it.

 

The second greatest feature of this program is the light setup utility.? Before this, placing lights on your plane, direction, type, intensity, and anything else you can think of dealing with lights would take a considerable amount of time to get just right.? NOW, you just mess with the ligh properties after placing a light on the plane where you want it, and you see the effects instantly in your preview pane.? WOW.? And that is all I can saw about this feature.? WOW?WOW!!!!

 

The HELP system is really pretty good. At present I would rate it an 8.? For what it does, the help system is very nice and well thought out.? It is easy to navigate and easy to read.? One problem with the Help feature is that the INDEX (find) feature DOES NOT WORK.? This needs to be fixed.

 

Now, for the part that I sincerely hope the creators of this program will read and pay attention.? I would like to take this space to mention what, to me, would make this program a MUST buy and MUST have addition to my flight sim life.

 

Give an option to use layers.? This would allow some testing of changes and very easy modifications before applying them to the base texture.? Again, I realize this is a $30 dollar program and NOT 80-100.? As a programmer I have no idea how hard this is, but can even 1 layer be added?? Just an idea.

 

In the aircraft tab/preview pane, there are a few things that would really improve this program. They include:

 

Allow the user to choose textures from anywhere.? Don't limit us to only using actual aircraft files that are already installed in FS.? Again, I want to paint blank textures, and as I can not find how in any of the documentation or help files, I must conclude that this is not possible.? Unless we put the textures into an already pre-existing models aircraft folder.

 

There should be a third tab in the main left window.? This tab would show a list of textures in other places.? I don?t mean anything other than TEXTURES.? Textures are exactly what FS Repaint is used to edit, so why can?t we add them from other folders other than the pre-installed aircraft folders.? This way the user could tell the program where to import textures from and it would list them in this third tab.? This tab could be named Texture Library or Texture Sets.? In this tab, you could have an Import Textures button, or put it in the prefs if it must be, and it would open a file find window where you point to the folder of the textures you wish loaded.?

 

You should be able to export the textures that you paint/repaint from the third tab directly into your FS aircraft folder when you are done painting them.? Of course, this gets tricky if there are no associated files (panels, sounds, model, air file, reference, checklist, etc...) but, at least it would be there ready to be fixed up.? The program could alert the user that the model is not usable until these things are added.

 

Add sliders to the review pane.? Or Arrow buttons.? This will allow for much more precise control over the positioning of the models.? The current method, while it works, is very difficult if you want to move say 90 degrees to the left, then 45 degrees up.? It currently moves in a ?free floating? method that is very fast and will get you a view angle in a flash.? This is very cool and fun for a few seconds.? But when you want an exact view, this current method is NOT the way to go.? It is NOT made for exact precise rotations and to get them, you will spend some time learning how to move the model to get it just right.

 

Allow sorting of the aircraft in the tab pane.? I would like to separate all my flyable planes from my AI aircraft.? My Prop planes from my Jets.? Military from Commercial, etc..? This should NOT be limited but rather, should allow the user to create their set-up however they wish with as many sub sections as they wish.? So maybe include the ability to create virtual folders in that tab where planes could be put and separated for easier locating and sorting.

 

Added: May 6th 2004
Score:
Related Link: Abacus Software
Hits: 40077
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