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#4312789 - 11/17/16 09:03 AM Helios Panel Creation Method 1 (cockpit design)  
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 114
Slippery_Rat Offline
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Helios Panel Creation

One feature of Helios that makes it so powerful as a user interface is panel creation. Capt Zeen et
al, use this to make complex interactive panels.

Designing a panel can contain sub-panels take a long time to build, and to be a fully functional
interactive panel may require potentially complicated bindings.

The word "panel" as used here, refers strictly to the panel control object within Helios. In the programing sense, a panel is a "container" and can contain any other control including other panels which could also contain panels containing yet more panels.

Remember the Helios cockpit is only a layer that sits on top of the whatever background (MCFD, RWR etc) your monitor.lua file told your monitor to show, that's why to see and MCFD you need to tell your monitor file where your Helios profile expects it to be.

Creating cockpit panels can be accomplished in 2 ways in Helios:

1. Simply dragging a panel control from toolbox to the desired monitor.
2. Simply dragging a panel from toolbox to the desired monitor, then double clicking it and editing or adding other controls on top of it. By double clicking the panel a new tab with the panel name will appear in the central display window.

By using method 2, the panel is now a container object, ie it can contain other controls including other panels.

Method 2 has the advantage of re-sizing all of the controls on it at one time since the panel contains other controls these sub-controls all resize when there parent control is resized. In addition hiding this panel will hide all the controls on it at one time.


Method 1

Below are numerous panels, but created using Method 1. Double clicking the panel will show the panel tab at the top but there are no controls contained in these panels.



Here I dragged four panels from the toolbox to monitor 2. The order in which panel is placed first since the first panel is created on the bottom and subsequent panels are place on top. Control objects added in the following order:


Panel Green
Panel Black
Radio Panel 1 Blue
UHF Panel 2 Red

Controls "3D" display from the top

UHF Panel 2 Red
Radio Panel 1 Blue
Panel Black
Panel Green

Position in this stack can be change be selecting a layer then pressing the indicated "Up" down "Down" arrows.




My graphic program showing the relationship of the layer tab and its position in 3D space.


By double clicking on each Panel a tab will appear at top of the main control window. As shown here these tabs are displayed BUT each tab contains no other controls, so it is NOT a container object.



By clicking on each panel tab, you could see the contents of that tab only, in Method 1, that tab would only show an
empty panel...... adding controls to the empty panel tab is Method 2.


Black squares in the corners of panel!

When I dragged the panel onto the main monitor 2 work space it was black. I selected the panel then click on properties
tab and changed the fill colour to green, this made the black squares appear. The squares are the borders of the panel. By deleting the top right image i got rid of the square in top right. Note also the hidden check box on the properties tab, this tells Helios to display on not display the image at start up.

Notice that I used a green fill, but I could have used any user created file I wanted, best to use PNG file type. When adding images, bigger images usually appear clearer, but too many large images may contribute to slowing the system down.



Double clicking on Panel Green shows a tab with just Panel Green, there are no controls or objects on it, as shown on the empty layers tab.(Method 1)



More tutorials here:

Below are some Helios tutorials using both DCS Warthog, BlackShark and BMS Falcon as examples:

Basic Helios Tutorial

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4311178/Basic_Helios_tutorial_w/_RWR_i#Post4311178

Showing Helios Control Panel and Helios control of DCS Active Pause
http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4313084/Helios_Control_of_DCS_Active_P#Post4313084

Helios Panel Creation Method 1 (cockpit design)
http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4312789/Helios_Panel_Creation_Method_1#Post4312789

Helios Panel Creation Method 2, the Best Method (cockpit design)

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4312877/Helios_Panel_Creation_Method_2#Post4312877

Getting Screen Coordinates of Windows without use of graphics program (cockpit design).
http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4313980/Helios_easiest_way_to_get_scre#Post4313980

Helios Gotchas for the Noobie (cockpit design)

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4313906/Helios_Gottchas_for_the_Noobie#Post4313906

Helios use of "Send Keys" to Control DCS (cockpit design)

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4312967/Helios_use_of_Send_Keys&#Post4312967

These tutorials use Capt_Zeen's, Ice's Profiles.

Last edited by Slippery_Rat; 11/26/16 06:28 PM.
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#4313523 - 11/19/16 10:16 PM Re: Helios Panel Creation Method 1 [Re: Slippery_Rat]  
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Posts: 335
sobe Offline
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Slppery_Rat
I just found these tutorials on this site. Usually, I only view the DCS forum for Helios help. These are great so don't give up.


Trackir4, Win10 Pro 64Bit, Intel(R) Core i5-2500 3.30 GHz 6M Intel Smart Cache LGA115 , GigaByte GA-Z68XP-UD4 Intel Z68 Chipset, DDR3 8GB Ram,AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card, Main Monitor 1 on left 1920x1080 Monitor 2 on right 1280x1024
#4313599 - 11/20/16 05:19 AM Re: Helios Panel Creation Method 1 [Re: sobe]  
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Slippery_Rat Offline
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Slippery_Rat  Offline
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Joined: May 2015
Posts: 114
Thank you for your feedback Sobe, with no feedback I dont know if people can follow what I'm trying to explain or not, these are a lot of work, and without feedback I wont continue to waste my time!

Slippery_Rat aka LaLa smile2

#4313822 - 11/21/16 02:00 AM Re: Helios Panel Creation Method 1 [Re: Slippery_Rat]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
- Ice Offline
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- Ice  Offline
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You've mentioned you have my Helios profile for BMS. I've used hidden panels extensively in that profile so that every button and knob and switch in the cockpit is available to me just by calling up the correct panel. Once I start up BMS, I have no need for the keyboard or mouse. Cockpit interaction is done via Helios and voice commands are used to send radio calls.

Might be a good place to start "reverse-engineering" panels. biggrin


- Ice
#4314967 - 11/24/16 07:29 PM Re: Helios Panel Creation Method 1 [Re: - Ice]  
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Slippery_Rat Offline
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Slippery_Rat  Offline
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Originally Posted By: - Ice
You've mentioned you have my Helios profile for BMS. I've used hidden panels extensively in that profile so that every button and knob and switch in the cockpit is available to me just by calling up the correct panel. Once I start up BMS, I have no need for the keyboard or mouse. Cockpit interaction is done via Helios and voice commands are used to send radio calls.

Might be a good place to start "reverse-engineering" panels. biggrin


You've got a great attitude! ;-)

And, yes you are correct, I learned a lot from reverse engineering profiles, I still find the multiple bindings problematic while you can see the bindings but difficult to determine what controls involved, but I'm still learning too! :-)

#4314975 - 11/24/16 07:51 PM Re: Helios Panel Creation Method 1 [Re: Slippery_Rat]  
Joined: Jun 2005
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- Ice Offline
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- Ice  Offline
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I've learned most of what I know via reverse-engineering stuff that works in Helios. biggrin
As for bindings, it's easy to see what's bound to a switch. Just select the switch itself, then look at the BINDINGS > OUTPUT > BINDINGS window for switches that sends commands TO the sim. For stuff like lights that get data FROM the sim, again, just select the switch/light itself, then look at the BINDINGS > INPUT > BINDINGS window.

Hope that helps!


- Ice

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