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When colors misbehave

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Yes , I managed to learn something last years

I am painting aircraft-models for flightsim for many years now.

To be frank ,I did not expect to find much I did not already know.


Until some wheeks ago , when I started to make a repaint (Thai Royal Air Force) for the ATR 72-500 ( Aerosoft/McPhatstudios )

Not really a big deal , a white airplane with an emblem and a blue and gold cheatline.

The "white" happened to be the problem.

I tried,tried once again I really was going mad.

Even a complete pure white texture turned out to produce a greyish kinda thing.

I realised that had to come from the OBJ files.
An OBJ file can be opened with a text-editor so I did.


Ok I knew, a command line reading  ATTR_shiny_rat 1.00 gives us a plane with a bit of gloss, ATTR_shiny_rat 10.00 gives us even more.
We can fill in the value we like.

There are many different ATTR commands.

Among them is a special one  , ATTR_diffuse_RGB 0.00 (or other values)

This is the command which drove me mad.

In the OBJ  file for the front section of the fuselage I found this line , ATTR_diffuse_rgb 0.820  0.820  0.820

That was the explanation of the problem


ATTR_diffuse_rgb  1.00  1.00  1.00        means 100% of the color/bightness ( pure white is 255.255.255)

ATTR_diffuse_rgb  0.820  0.820  0.820  means less than 100%


0.820  is 18% less than 1.00  

As 255.255.255  is white  at 100% brightness  and 18% of 255 is 46 , the command ATTR_diffuse_rgb  0.820  0.820  0.820 reduces the brightness of the texture (all colors) with approx  46%


Thats all , I opened all OBJ files related to the fuselageparts and changed all  ATTR_diffuse_rgb  0.820  0.820  0.820 values into ATTR_diffuse_rgb  1.00  1.00  1.00  

I could also simply have inactivated all ATTR_diffuse_rgb commands by placing a   #   in front of them  ,  # ATTR_diffuse_rgb  0.820  0.820  0.820

An ATTR_diffuse_rgb 1.00 1.00  1.00 does not change a thing so we can forget about it.


Now I was able to have my bird in sparkling colors.
Ohh and yesssss, the default liveries , brand new and good looking too.
No need to say back-up all files first , however, its very unlikely you`ll ever want them back.


See the result , the front of the fuse displays the colors exactly the way they are on the texture, the rest of the fuse the suffers the ATTR_diffuse command.

( 3d modelers should not fiddle with color-values and leave that to the texture-artists )

Second screen shows the files involved, they are in the main objects folder.

Its only some minutes of work.  (the # will do nicely , just search for ATTR_diffuse_rbg 0.820)


Look at this all I wrote above as a  general explanation of what this command is about, I you are content with the ATR the way it is , do not do a thing.
My bird however will aways be a grey one for you then.




Leen de Jager






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Great hint!  Thank you for sharing Leen!


I'm pinning this post. Could you please change the Topic Title to something more suggestive of what it really encloses?


Thanks a lot !!! 


Painting aircraft is another activity I really need to get into...

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OK , I changed the tile in "When colors misbehave"


I could not think of a better one.


In this case (the McPhat-ATR)  the model is nice, the colors of the textures are nice , they only look a bit stupid on the plane.

Its like they misbehave , they do not show the way we like and expect them to show..
There the ATTR_duffuse  "thing" comes in.



Its important developers make sure colors on texturesheets are shown on the model exactly the same.

This McPhat/Aerosoft  ATR is a tipical example of how things can get out of color-control.

No need to say the textures/liveries of the McPhat ATR are fantastict as they are and I do not say everybody has to change the ATTR_diffuse values.

Nevertheless ,editing those ATTR-diffuse commands is very rewarding for guys who want superb colors and brilliance.

Many other models from various developers suffer ( more or less) the same phenomea. 



MIND:   ATR and ATTR have nothing to do with eachother, both having the characters ATR is pure coincidence.



Thanks for "pinning"




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