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HELP! Learning to Repaint!!!! But all tutorials wrong

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Okay, all. I am TRYING and TRYING and TRYING to learn how to repaint an FS2k2 aircraft. The problem is -- EVERY tutorial out there is written assuming you are already an expert painter!!!!! Or an expert at Paint Shop Pro 7!!!!!! Or outdated!!!! Can someone out there PLEASE email me a step-by-step method of how to repaint an aircraft for FS2002 from beginning to end??? I am using Paint Shop pro 7. I just bought PSP7 specifically for repainting because every time I try to use anything else, people tell my PSP7 is the only program to use.Unfortunately i am starting to disbelieve this because this program is an expert's tool, not a beginner's, and I am a beginner :-(Below I am going to include, step by step, the EXACT procedure I am attempting to use to repaint an aircraft. This is from a tutorial that is **supposedly** fullproof and everyone else tells me it works, but it doesnt work, and that is that :-(PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do NOT link me to the tutorials written by Jim Oats, Mark Kiszkiel, or Garry J. Smith. Those tutorials are incompatable with FS2002 aircraft. I need a CURRENT and UP to DATE tutorial, and it needs to be a tutorial aimed at the beginner - not the computer guru geek.Any leads would be appreciated.Just in case maybe someone can enlighten me, following is the exact procedure I am using. This procedure combines the basic procedure taken from all three of the tutorial authors listed above, but something in the procedure is wrong, and that is why I need an updated tutorial:Assuming I am working with CRJ2_T for the texture file:--Open CRJ2_T.bmp with Imagetool--Click IMAGE-->FORMAT-->32-Bit--Click FILE-->SAVE AS--Save the file as Plane.tga--Close Imagetool--Open Paintshop Pro 7--Open Plane.tga--Click MASK-->LOAD FROM ALPHA CHANNEL--Click OK--Click MASK-->SAVE TO DISK--Save the channel as Plane.msk--CLOSE Plane.tga WITHOUT saving any changes--Reopen Plane.tga--Click MASK-->LOAD FROM ALPHA CHANNEL--Click DELETE--Perform the paint, using my layors as needed--FLATTEN the layors to one layor--Open Plane.msk, leaving Plane.tga open at the same time--Make Plane.tga the active file by having it on top--Click LAYORS-->NEW RASTER LAYER--Make sure "Layer is Visable, Mask is enable" and "mask is locked" are checked. Blend mode should be "Normal" and opacity should be "100". Group is "0" and Lock transparency is NOT checked.--Click OK--Click MASK-->FROM IMAGE--Click MASK-->SAVE TO ALPHA CHANNEL--SAVE the file as CRJ2_T.tga, making sure thast the options for "save as" are 24-Bit UNcompressed.--Close Paintshop Pro 7--Open Imagetool--Open CRJ2_T.tga--Click IMAGE-->FORMAT-->DXT 3--Click IMAGE-->Create Mipmaps--Click FILE-->SAVE AS--Save the file as CRJ2_T.bmp in the CRJ200 texture folder that I am working with.--Open FS2002 and sit there in awe as you look at a silly solid black texture - totally ruined because you followed directions :-(As you can see, the procedure is pretty straightforward, so you can see my frustration as I write this. Up to the point of this writing, I have tried a grand total of 73 times (been keeping record :-( ) to do this same repaint and tried a little different every time. The only explanation is that the tutorials by these authors are indeed incorrect, and i am hoping someone knows where a tutorial is, or is willing to write one, that IS correct.Can someone PLEASE help? I have an entire virtual fleet I am needing to repaint for a hobby group of mine locally and am getting desperate to know i did not waste the money on this program if it doesnt work for what I need it for. I also have Photoshop 6, but you cannot use PS6 to work with textures i found out, so I am needing something - fast :-(With thanks in advance for ANY help that ANYOINE might be able to provide . . .Chris

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As I don't have the plane you're trying to re-paint, the first thing I'd wonder is if it is even capable of displaying alpha-channel enabled textures. Have you tried any other planes with same results? - dcc

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I wouldn't recommend ImageTool if you are just getting started with editing extended format images. I use Martin Wright's DXTBmp, found at: http://www.mnwright.btinternet.co.uk/index.htm (Download link at the bottom of the page.)It makes the conversion process much more straightforward, and allows you to edit the image in BMP format.

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I found the same issues. I also got PSP v7 and fooled with it for 6 hours straight and gave up. I think I'm going to have to thouroughly learn PSP first. Like you said, many of the tutorials are written assuming you are already an expert using the paint program. Much more difficult than I thought it would be. Makes me appreciate all the A/C paints out there much more!

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FYI - I try this procedure on all sorts of paints, including the default models.I am familiar with Imagetool. It is a very simple tool to use, so i do not see what I could possibly be doing wrong there. Imagetool is idiot-proof at least.It is Paint Shop I am having the issue with. I need to know the paint shop procedure - the CORRECT one - not these crazy tutorials that speak basically Russian to me.And, Flic74, I agree. I may just give this all up as I have been trying for over a week just to get one repaint out of this. The only reason i am trying so hard is PSPro7 cost me an entire paycheck (yes, people, I know, I am in a dead-end low paying job :-P )So, I agree with you in that after all this fiasco i really do appreciate repaints by others even more. I just wish you didnt have to be a computer guru to start the basics :-(

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I think you could enjoy this process if you change your perspective a tad. The tool, whether its paintshop pro, photopaint, photoshop, gimp, or others...HAS to be complex if it will be capable enough to produce amazing results in many different directions and type of challenge.And learning to use it, changes completely your enjoyment of anything you choose to do with it. To say that you want to be a painter but you don't want to learn the entirety of using paintshop pro is not sensible to me.My advice to you, and to the folks that write similar messages about wanting the "easy road" to learning any of the other tools, is to postpone your "project" goal...in your case a repaint. If you want to learn to paint fs textures, determine what tools you'll want to learn, and then learn. Not with only one tut, but ALL you can find. And look for chances to use the tool. Practice. You'll be amazed at how the tuts make so much more sense later.I made a similar mistake, myself, a while ago...I'd been a pretty experienced user of FSDS, and when fs2k2 came out, I tried to learn GMAX without losing my pace of producing scenery projects. FRUSTRATING. I talked to myself EXACTLY like I just advice you, and simply put all my projects on "hold". Now I returned to the tuts, and they were a completely different experience. Now I could glory in what I was learning, rather than being critical about the tuts for not providing my scenery focused techniques. As I began to really learn the tool, I had new ideas streaming through my mind. Now I love the tool....its as much fun as all my other processes.Perhaps you are impatient to produce results, as though the results is where the satisfaction is....IMHO, the satisfaction to this or any other hobby is the DOING, not the admiring of results. And the doing CANT be fun, if (instead of learning the real way to use a tool) you simply learn a set of steps that acomplish something without knowing why.Best of luck,Bob Bernstein

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I followed a Garry Smith tutorial from a recent issue of Computer Pilot without any problems at all. I'm not a painter, infact I would be hard pressed to draw stick people, but I just wanted to get some appreciation of the process. The tutorial appeared to be extremely well written, highly detailed with precise step by step instructions, succinct and amply illustrated. If someone like me, with only 1 day's previous experience of PSP7 could follow Garry's tutorial then I am sure others could as well.

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It's not using PSPro that's bothering me, friend, though I do understand where you are coming from.No amount of knowledge of PSPro would tell me what format FS2k2 requires for it's textures. That is the main procedure blocking me right now. As for the easy road - I am not looking for that :-) Just a beginners road to get me started. Once I know what conversion rates and everything to use then I will be able to experiment my way to masterhood.I could sit here all day and play with paints and such and get layers easily. In fact I created 20 really awesome splash screens yesterday using various methods from photos to screenshots galore.However, the procedure to creating a texture is entirely a process all it's own and THAT is the process I am seeking out. Though I just bought PSPro, it seems entirely the same as my Photoshop 6 - with the exception of it's basic goals in program design.My apologies if I gave the wrong impression.

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Certainly, I'm sure this is the case. Usually a person without skills is not able to fairly judge if a tutorial is correct or not. The important thing in my book to realize is that this person is trying to end their frustration...that is the real issue, the terms he/she used to express their frustration is less significant. Certainly Garry knows how to use paintshop, and his words may have double meanings or he may just be misunderstood....hard to say. But a beginner needs to be in learning mode, not judgeing mode, if he/she hopes to learn.B

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Heya, Jon :-)I agree with you on the Computer Pilot artical being an excellent tutorial - with one exception -- Have you ever tried it on files other than the ones he provided? His files were already converted, and there were no conversions necessary. Most of the work was already done for you in the files he included.I know :-) I succeeded using those files MANY times. The unfortunate tyhing is I would like to paint something BESIDES the default 737 LOL.Have you tried other files besides the ones he included? If so, would ya be willing to share some tips and tricks on how to convert? It's the process from PSPro to FS2002 that is killing me here. Seems I have tried all possible options in PSpro and my plane either cannot be opened by Imagetool or when i CAN open it with Imagetool then after the conversion I am doing it comes out black in the FS2002. If I can just stop the silly thing from being solid black I will knwo what i am doing wrong.

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ouch...somebody led you down a silly path. Photoshop 6 is the best in class for graphics....somebody told you paintshop pro was better! LOLUse photoshop and take psp back to the store for a refund.For fs texture formats, go to martin wrights site: http://www.mnwright.btinternet.co.uk/index.htmDownload at least two utilies...and look at all of them. Read his whole site...you'll learn gobs. Get (for sure) DXTbmp and ConvimGreat stuff....DXTbmp can load an "extended" file format directly, and can then save out the alpha channel and main image seperately. You can then work on each image in an isolated fashion, and then recombine them with DXTbmp and save back to DXT format.This way, no fuss no muss. fs2k2 uses DXT1 opaque, DXT1 + Alpha, and DXT3 formats (at least). DXT1 can have a single alpha channel that is used for a few different things, either transparency or reflectivity. DXT3 has 4 bits for the alpha channel which means you can have gradual transparency, using shades of grey.Hope this helps....convim can also be used to work with the various conversions and it does a great job of big batch jobs.Bob B

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actually i followed garries tutorial thats on his site. pretty sure its the same one that was in the mag. anyway i used my own aircraft and following the steps. works just fine. you just have to use a system that helps you more instead of doing it exactly how it is in the tutorial.same thing in school really. the teachers will teach you the lessons theyre way but it really doesnt sink in untill you develop your own system to learning it.

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School? What is . . . school?J/KI am playing a little bit trying different things. Still getting the nasty black plane though :-P

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did you get dxtbmp yet? When you do, click help. Martin has an AWESOME tut there on the fs texture formatsB

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Aaaaah. Now THAT I understand!!!!!!!Gonna go see what i can DL and figure out.LOL Aye, I can almost make a month's rent on what PSPro7 cost me (but then again I live with my grandparents, so rent isnt much LOL)I'll try the Photoshop thing again and see if it works.Strange thing is I can create textures and awesome paints out the ying yang with that tutorial from Computer Pilot Magazine. He really did write an awesome tutorial. I just wish he would have included how to convert LOL. Sounds like that DXTbmp program might be pretty tasty.By the way - if there are any Celtic or Druidic peeps out there wanting 737's - LOL - i created about 20 of them trying to learn this. Just gotta try and nail these other airplanes. made all the 737's using Garry's texture LOL.

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By the Gerbil Jedi I GOT it!ALL HAIL the Gerbil Jedi!!!!!!!!!!yes, I was sitting here petting my pet Gerbil when I finally got a dash of desperation and though -- "Everyone keeps telling to to convert these frigging textures. I wonder what would happen if I didnt? Cant be any worse than what is happening already"So I place the gerbil down to wonder on my desk happily in search of -- well -- whatever the heck she searches for (nuts perhaps?) and I saved my BMP as 256 color depth BMP. Slammed it into my texture folder -- all the while giving that !@#$ing imagetool the bird and WHAMMO!!!!! Celtic Airways took flight in a CRJ200. LOL Then I realized the lettering was behind the engines. Whoops.No alpha channels - no funny business. What the heck are all those alpha channels for anyway? My texture shows just fine. just gotta redo the texture -- move the lettering -- and make sure to ERASE the green from in front of the windows this time and I got it.Though I admit I DO need imagetool to convert the BMP from whatever mess it is in to something readable by Paint Shop (for some reason if i try to open the raw file straight from the texture file with paint Shop it comes out in funny lines).Now . . . to create NIGHT textures for this bird and I'll be GREAT! In fact, if I can get PAI's permission I'd love to share some of the Celtic Ways textures I am doing with you all. I am going to take out "air" from airways just to give it even more individuality in the airline But that is for another post. THANK you gerbil jedi -- and thanks to those who responded!

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>No amount of knowledge of PSPro would tell me what format >FS2k2 requires for it's textures. That is the main >procedure blocking me right now. If that's the problem, try this:Before editing an image, open it with Imagetool and take note of the specs on the right side of the window. It tells you the size of the file, the size in pixels of the image, the format, the type of alpha channel, and the number of mip-maps.

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Slow down, bud! Yes, you managed to get the texture to show up (sort of) correctly. But there's a lot to know in order to get a really good result. The alpha channels control reflectivity, something that's important to do right on a Gmax model to get things looking the way they should. But using Alpha channels isn't a black art, it just takes a little patience. Conversion in ImageTool is a snap, so don't get hung up about that. The trick is maintaining all the information in your texture file when you export it from FS2002 to a format readable by your image program. I use the Targa format because it retains the alpha channels and can be used for a 32-bit image. To export from and to FS2002 in ImageTool, do this:1. Open the original texture you want to repaint in ImageTool2. Under the Image menu, choose Format, and then "32 bit"3. If the image is displayed in ImageTool as a set of the same image in various sizes, choose "Extract Mipmaps" under the Image menu. Then select the largest of the images it creates.4. Do a "Save As" for the image to your hard drive wherever you want to put the image you're going to paint and save it as a Targa (.tga) file.5. Open up the image in PSP or Photoshop and edit it.To put the image back into extended bitmap mode for FS2002, do this:1. Open the .tga file you edited in ImageTool2. Under the Image menu, choose "Create Mipmaps" -- this will create the multiple resolutions of the image used for displaying the texture at various distances efficiently.3. Under the Image menu, choose "Format" and set it to DXT3 -- this will enable the reflections if you have alpha channels in your image.4. Under the File menu, choose "Save As" and save it as a bmp file in the same directory in FS2002 that you took it from originally. Make sure you give it the same name as it had before, and choose "yes" when it asks if you want to replace the file.That's it! It's quick, easy and it works. Try it out.thanks,

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Heya Bill.Sorry, friend, but if you see in my original post above, that is precisely what I was doing. The images will, of course, appear as solid black planes in FS2002. If I bypass Imagetool for the final part then the textures come out fine. They just do not reflect. Someone else referred me to some DXTbmp application I am going to try. heck I'll try anything once - hence the scars on my forehead, but I was indeed following the precise procedure you just quoted and it makes airplane black in FS2002 :-(

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Okay, all. I think I figured it out. The DXTBmp application converted the file successfully and I got it to work in the FS2002. Imagetool was doing something wierd to my files making them appear as black ghosts in the sim, but with the DXTBmp file it worked just fine, and i did not change my procedure I was using in Paint Shop Pro 7.Frustrating as this was, I am glad i found a solution. I just wish i knew what Imagetool was doing diffferent to my files that it hasnt been doing to anyone else's, but since I have a converter that works now, I know it was indeed NOT the tutorials - it wass the frikking application tool.I hope I do not sound egotistical when i say this, but at least I know it wasnt operator error either. I confirmed that by most of you either posting here or emailing me telling me to do exactly what I was doing in the first place - like the post just above with the procedure for Imagetool. Wierd - do it step by step and get a black ghost.I wish I knew about this DXTBmp program sooner. Took me last night and today to figure it out, but I got it. Hopefully by the end of the day I can share some of my repaints with everyone.

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Are you sure the models you are trying to paint are Gmax-based? If they are FSDS, no amount of alpha channels are going to make them shine; you'll just get the result you mentioned. I don't think using DXTbmp can do anything about that. In fact, if you followed my points to the number in ImageTool (and you had a good alpha channel to begin with) you'd have no problems, so something's wrong there.

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