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How-To: Change ATC_ID colour


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In MSFS there is a great feature to change the registration of the aircraft to personalize the flight experience. However, the registration is black or white in almost all cases.
What if I create a livery and want the registration color to match the color scheme?

In the following I will explain how to change the color of the registration in a custom livery.

 

 

 

Please note that you need to know how to create a basic livery to understand this blog.

It should also be noted that the way to change the color has changed since the release of MSFS. Here I describe the latest method as of January 2024.

 

 

 

First of all, you need a working paint job where you want to change the color of the registration. It is important that the standard folder structure for such an add-on is adhered to, as otherwise it can lead to problems.


As an example, I have a livery for the LS8 from Asobo. I have created a black and blue livery and would now like the registration to have the same blue color.
 

Please note that some folders have names that the creator is practically free to choose. Mine are different from yours. How exactly you name your folders does not matter. You simply need to be able to keep track of everything later on.


Here is my existing folder structure:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.5213887ea4f9707e80c490bb091df5e4.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have already created your own liveries, you may have noticed that there is a line "atc_id_color" in the "aircraft.cfg" file. This sounds good at first, but is no longer usable. When MSFS was released, you could actually enter a HEX code in this line and the registration took over this color in the game. Unfortunately, this has been changed and works differently today.

 

But where is the paint color recorded today?
The answer: In the "panel.cfg" file.

 

To get this file and avoid damaging the folder structure, it is best to copy it from the folder of the original Microsoft airplane. In the case of the LS8, this looks like this:

 

image.jpeg.348bc133491aef207c9c726321d39079.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you don't know which folder I mean, here is the file path:
C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\Packages\Official\Steam\asobo-aircraft-ls8\SimObjects\Airplanes\Asobo_LS8
Depending on where you purchased and installed MSFS, this path may vary.

 

The file we are looking for is contained in the "Panel" folder. To retain the structure, we now copy it and paste it into our add-on. It should then be at the same level as our "Texture" folder.
It is best to rename it so that it is easy to identify.


Here is my example:

 

image.jpeg.82681a9f755ac2ecaeee0322fc7ab917.jpeg

 

 

 

 

If we now open this folder, there should be several files in it. In the case of the LS8, there are two. However, this may be different for other aircraft. The file we are interested in is "panel.cfg".
We open it so that we can edit it. I use Notepad++ for this. However, other text editors also work.

 

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Here we can finally change our color. In the LS8, the corresponding section is called [VPainting01]. This varies from aircraft to aircraft. It is important to distinguish between "exterior" and "interior". I have marked it in red in the picture.

 

You can either use a CSS color or enter a HEX code as the color. I would now like to enter the HEX code "0074D3". This is the same blue as I used on the paintwork.

 

This is done as follows:

 

image.jpeg.9abf199d7d2a1362d6013daff3d3b09d.jpeg

 

 

 

 

All letters in the HEX code must be written in lower case. You must add "0x" before your code. (Not a "#"!)
Don't forget to save this file!

 

Now we switch to our "aircraft.cfg" of the add-on. Here we have to enter that our new "panel.cfg" should be loaded instead of the normal one.
For this, it is important that you still know what you have named your "PANEL" folder.
Don't forget to save this file as well 🙂

 

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The last thing you need to do now is to adjust "layout.json" so that MSFS knows that there is a new folder in your add-on. The easiest way to do this is with the following tool:
https://github.com/HughesMDflyer4/MSFSLayoutGenerator

 

If you now restart MSFS, your registration should have the color you selected.

Have fun with it 🙂

 

image.jpeg.de3fdd8a45e7c296a8d5e4f40342ec54.jpeg

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