Customizing Images for MX32

You can add images to the MX32 that can be displayed with a loco number. The images are BMP files, and need to be presented along with a configuration file.

To begin you need to get an example file. This is on the Zimo firmware site, under 2014.11.20 date for the MX10/MX32 downloads, it's called MX32_Lokbilder_01.15.zip

 

There are basically 2 BMP files per locomotive "ID", they are usually referred to as 01 and 02.

01 is 150 x 50

02 is 279 x 92

 
 I'm not going to give a course on image editing, but a few tips:

  • Start with a good picture of pretty high resolution
  • crop the left and right sides closely
  • make 2 copies to work with
  • resize them to 150 pixels and 279 pixels horizontally, maintaining aspect ratio.
  • now crop the vertical dimension to 50 and 92 respectively, centering the image
  • realize that this pictures are presented on a black background.
  • adding contrast and sharpening helps

 

Note that since these are presented on a black background you have 2 ways to go:

1. Follow the Zimo convention and make sure you have a black background. This makes the loco stand out nicely, but it does lose detail with black things near the edges, they "melt" into the black background. If you want to do this, you need to make sure the border/background is black, and you have to watch losing details if you do the "bucket fill". The pictures look best if you paint the black color as close to the loco as possible . For this, open the picture and make it large enough so you can see every single pixel. Follow with a brush tool (about the size of a pixel) around the locomotive. After "encircling" the loco like that, use the "bucket fill" tool to fill the rest of the background with black color.

2. Leave the background alone, normally white or a light color. The downside is the loco shows up in a white rectangle, but in my opinion, I see the details of the loco better.


Next you need to prepare the .zsc file that allows the picture upload. Start with the file you downloaded above. Open up the file with any text editor. Notepad or Wordpad work fine on Windows.

Basically the structure identifies a series of images, each one bounded by [Image] and [/Image]

Inside there are a number of information items. I have not determined the meaning of all of them, but the most important thing is the ID number.


3. Next you have to amend or create a new .zsc list that tells the MX32 what to do with those pictures. The easiest way to do this is to use an already existing copy. Go to the ZIMO update web page and download the loco picture file "Lokbilder_01.15.zip". Unzip the file. You'll see a whole bunch of loco pictures in that file, which you may or may not want. What you want though is at the bottom of this file called "ZsLocoImg.ZSC". This is the file you need to amend or create from scratch. Open the file with Notepad or Wordpad (NOT Word!!)

 

Here's an example of a simplified file: (the red letters are my comments, they should NOT be in the file)

//
// Vehicle Pictures --- anything preceeded by // is a comment, affects nothing
//
[FileInfo] --- this section is for your convenience and documentation
Content=Image.Loco
Version=03.02.0003
Date=2019.01.26
Name=Greg Elmassian
[/FileInfo]
//---------------------- EMD F7 --- nice to put a comment on your image section
[Image] --- this "command" starts the definition of an image for the data base
Id=5800 --- ID number, very important, and this ID is how the system references the picture in the system
Name=EMD F7 --- the name that will appear on your screen
Engine=D --- the following 4 are optional I think, not sure if they appear anywhere
Country=US --- "engine" I think maps to the loco types, here D = diesel I think
Gauge=N
Autor=MFS --- this is "author" I believe, you can probably put your name here
PartNum=M:33622 --- very important, must match the 2 lines below, you can use any #
File=1|Loco 5800.01 EMD F 7 [M33622].bmp --- these are the names of the 2 files for this picture, 1st is the smaller one
File=2|Loco 5800.02 EMD F 7 [M33622].bmp --- and the file names must match EXACTLY, spaces and all
[/Image]
//---------------------- EMD F3 SF Passenger
[Image]
Id=6000
Name=EMD F3
Engine=D
Country=US
Gauge=N
Autor=MFS
PartNum=M:37060
File=1|Loco 6000.01 EMD F 3 [M37060].bmp
File=2|Loco 6000.02 EMD F 3 [M37060].bmp
[/Image]
//---------------------- STIRLING SINGLE
[Image]
Id=6001
Name=STIRLING EMILY
Engine=S
Country=UK
Gauge=N
Autor=MFS
PartNum=B:91404
File=1|Loco 6001.01 EMILY [B91404].bmp
File=2|Loco 6001.02 EMILY [B91404].bmp
[/Image]