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scottb613

Experienced FS9 Painter needs a few tips in P3D

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Hi Folks,

 

I'm pretty darn familiar with FS9 painting, PSP, PS, Gimp, Alpha Channels, various compression algorithms and even painting for other sims... I recently transitioned from FS9 to P3D skipping FSX completely...

 

I'm currently working from an FSX paint kit for a model that uses Extended BMP's for the model with DXT3 compression... The BMP's have a greyscale alpha channel which I assume is the specular shine control...

 

Is DDS preferable to Extended BMP with DXT5 ? If I use DDS - do I stop using alpha channels and just create separate textures for bump-maps and specular shine with some specific naming convention ?

 

I know P3D also supports bump-maps - since none exist in the paint kit or the original model - can I make my own or is there some flag that needs to be set in the shape to allow bump-maps ? From looking at other models it appears that bump-maps should be pink in color - so are higher elevations lighter or darker ?

 

Any help appreciated...

 

Regards,

Scott

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Thou Shalt consult P3D SDK!

 

Generally, if an aircraft does not "use" specular or bump maps, they can not be added. Missing spec/bump texture files make the aircraft render incorrectly. If the aircraft does not ship with them, they can not be added...

 

Just like FS9, diffuse (normal) texture contains an alpha channel that "should" add reflections (envmap). You can try add it if not there, but if aircraft becomes semi-transparent, remove it.

 

You shall check texture.cfg (if present) as FS-X & P3D do fallback tricks so you can have a  "common" texture folder and have single re-paints without repeating stuff as VC and bump/spec maps. This is where specular/bump map textures may be.

 

Specular maps contain a color map for the shine (in FS-9, this is a color embedded in the model) and an alpha that dictates if the shine is "glossy" or "matte" (e.g. thin but bright or wide and gradual, think metal vs. rubber. Black alpha= metal, white alpha=rubber). If diffuse is black, no shine. Diffuse can be any RGB value.

 

Bump maps are more complicated. There is a bump map plugin for photoshop, and then you need to juggle around the RGB channels and drop one in the alpha... do not remember how to now... you should try to google "FSX bump maps GIMP" or something alike...

 

Final note DDS DXT5 is higher quality than DXT-3, better use that one! FSX (and P3d?) attempts to load a "BMP" file, if not found looks for "DDS". DDS may need to be flipped vertically. DXTBMP can do this for you...

There is no strict naming convention for texture files, therefore a   "_spec" or " _bump" file will not be picked up by the sim unless it is declared inside the MDL file...

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Hi Mario,

 

Thanks so much for the detailed response...

 

Hah - I knew I should have downloaded and looked at that SDK...

 

A big help - I guess I'll have to live without bump-maps on my current project...

 

Regards,

Scott

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...and another advice! Go join the guys at FSDeveloper.com Forums, that's the FS-Dev's hiding nest (see you there?)!

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Before you forget how to paint in FS9 I need a little something from you, a stock C 172 in the colours of Kitchener CYKF training school. Interested? Not at all interested but will do it anyway? They have 19 of them so a big impact on the CYKF scenery I am making now and which is almost finished.

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