A panel is a 2-d screen drawn by X-Plane filled with instruments; you create your panel in Plane-Maker by dragging instruments onto the panel background.
The panel can also be used as a texture for the 3-d cockpit object – in this way elements of a 2-d panel (like a moving map) can be used in the 3-d virtual cockpit.
The panel is drawn dynamically by X-Plane; you can use X-Plane to create a PNG screenshot of your panel for use in your 3-d editor. The steps are:
- Load your airplane in X-plane.
- Type control-alt-shift-space (or command-option-shift-space for mac users).
- X-plane will put the screenshot in the cockpit_3d/-Panels- or cockpit/panels folder of your airplane with a name “Panel_preview.png”.
Unlike your panel background, this panel will be a snapshot of the “live” panel in X-Plane with instrument moving parts drawn in, and it can be directly used for UV mapping in your 3-d editor.