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Brian Doney

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About Brian Doney

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  • Birthday 09/25/1978

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  1. Try: C:\Users\%YOUR_USER_ACCOUNT%\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\Prepar3D.cfg
  2. Yep, you have it right. :good: Open with DXTBMP, send to editor (Paint.net or other), save from editor as 24 bit bmp, convert to DXT with Imagetool. Believe me Richard, I am well aware what a big job it can become :shok: ...and that's just one aircraft...and I still have so many more airlines to add :vava:
  3. If you open any texture with DXTBMP you can look at the alpha channel in the top right corner. Double-click on it to send to your editor of choice. If your finished night texture is of good quality, the only things that can then effect quality in the sim would be the original alpha, or the compression method used, and if the texture is converted to DXT without dithering. I also recommend against saving/converting textures with DXTBMP, as it hasn't been kept quite up to date with better compression/dithering methods, and can often produce very poor results after conversion. Here is the batch script I use for Imagetool conversion from 24 bit to DXT1 DDS with mips: :START echo. echo (Converting original textures to DDS format) "C:\ImageTool\ImageTool.exe" -dds -DXT1 -nogui -dither -mip -r *.bmp echo COMPLETE :END You'll need to change the path to reflect where you have Imagetool installed, and you could also change the -mip flag to -nomip if you prefer unmipped textures. You'll also want the textures you are converting to be in the same folder as Imagetool for this to work. I personally keep my batch files in the Imagetool folder as well. The rest just comes down to personal preference, as far as light splashes, etc. I personally remove them, as while I agree it would be nice to have them for aircraft on the runway, it just looks a bit strange to see them on with aircraft at the gate. As said though, personal preference.
  4. I was thinking about just streaming to my twitch channel :lol: I just finished some hardware upgrades so I'm not quite there yet, but we'll see. For a first try with not so easy to follow instructions that's not bad though ! Some examples to maybe help make things more clear for now: Original lightmap Edited lightmap Finished night texture It would be great to be able to leave in the landing light splashes among other things, but without some very heavy re-configuring of the model, that just doesn't work out, as they would be lit at all times, even while the aircraft is parked. This is what I meant by only leaving in the areas that would be lit at the gate, or better, while parked - namely the tail sections, winglets if equipped, and windows. I would always recommend upscaling the lightmap to 1024, rather than reducing the day texture to 512. There would be a very noticeable loss of detail going that way. Also, make sure the both the day and night texture, once finished, have pure white alpha channels. There are some uses for alpha channels for AI aircraft, but only when using the more advanced methods chosen by FAIB, et al. For our purposes we do not want anything in the alpha space but pure white.
  5. I'll leave it to Bill to set things straight, but no I don't think there is. Even all stock animations are scripted in modeldef.xml from the SDK. Pretty sure that's just how it's done now, but I only know just enough to know I don't know much at all :lol: EDIT: Let me save him from having to repeat himself, by linking and quoting a post of his :lol:
  6. Many custom animations are written in XML, and are compiled with the model. For many things, I'm not sure there is any other way.
  7. I have a few minutes today so thought I'd at least start talking this through :smile: I described the three tools above that we'll be using, and now I will describe what to do with each one. I will try and keep things simple initially, and go into detail as required: (note, this may not be the most efficient way to do this, but does provide the best results using freely available tools) DXTBMP: Not really used for much in the way of editing, but I like it because it is capable of opening any FS related texture, and sending it in a common, 24 bit format to any editor (PS, Paint.net, etc). Depending on what the original texture artist used to convert his final texture to an FS-friendly state, there are some that PS cannot read, some that Imagetool cannot read etc, but DXTBMP has never failed to read them all. Paint.net: This is where you will actually do any editing. DXTBMP can be configured to send textures directly to Paint.net ( or any editor ) for editing. For the night textures we all be creating, this will primarily be contained to: - Re-sizing: We need to make sure the night texture and day texture are the same dimensions before adding them together as layers. Very often, older FS9 paints will have a 256x256 light map, as opposed to the common 1024x1024 or sometimes 2048x2048 day textures. - Touch up: Anything that would not be lit while at the gate must be removed from the night texture. I personally leave pretty much only the tail and any windows. The rest must be removed using pure black. (reference Delta lightmap posted above) For the best results, make sure to edit after re-sizing for the best clarity. I also like to apply a bit if Gaussian blur to the tail areas to soften it up before combining with the day texture. - Combining layers: After editing the original night texture as described, we than add the edited night texture as a layer over the day texture, and then apply a Multiply blend mode. If satisfied, we then flatten the image and save it for conversion. Imagetool (from the SDK): As Paint.net is not able to export textures into a desirable format for FS use, we will use Imagetool for the final conversion. From Paint.net, we will have a 24-bit .bmp after editing, that we need to convert to a DXT format, and also, if you are so inclined, we can change from .bmp to .dds with Imagetool, but that is not required. I personally prefer using the command line method via a batch file, but the GUI is capable of doing a decent job. I will caution though, that I have not figured out a way to apply dithering via the GUI, so some textures really should be converted via command line for the best results. I do have a few batch files I can share (I'll just post the script, and you can add to your own so there won't be any issues). OK that's all I have time for at the moment, but that should make it easier going forward.
  8. No worries Richard, but I do appreciate the sentiment. I might not get to it today, or even tomorrow :lol: , but this actually is one of those things that I've been wanting to post about for awhile now, and never got around to. You just gave me a good opportunity :drinks:
  9. Hi Richard (and Paul :smile: ) You can grab Paint.net here, and it is free: http://www.getpaint.net/ I'd also recommend you install the FSX SDK if you haven't already, and grab DXTBMP from here: http://www.mwgfx.co.uk/programs/dxtbmp.htm Link is at the bottom of the page. Get those things installed when you have a chance and we'll go from there. Still trying to figure out the best way to show you the process. :lol: I'd actually prefer to use Paint.net for this, since it is actually a bit more capable than older versions of Photoshop, is free, and does a great job for this purpose.
  10. If you'd like I'd be happy to show you how to create FSX style night textures in Photoshop or if you prefer, Paint.net, which also does just fine. Once you get the hang of it it literally only takes a minute to do, for textures anyway.
  11. Glad to help. For the record I think it might actually be the FSX nav or panel lights command that control the AI lighting, though it has been awhile so I am not certain. I realize it may be a lot more information, and definitely a lot more work, than you were hoping for, but this is the situation as it stands. There are some recent rumors that work has been done to update many of the models by, or with permission, of the original model authors. This is good news as it would allow for distribution/upload, something which I obviously cannot do. I am keeping my fingers crossed. In any case, even though manual conversion is a bit of a job, the results are definitely worth the effort, in my opinion:
  12. Well, the screenshot is just a night texture example, for a Delta 77L, FSX vs FS9 side by side. In FS9, by default the sim itself would "multiply" the night texture over the day texture. This is why, if you look at the FS9 side, the night texture is more of a simulation of how the light would fall, and does not include any actual details of the paint. FS9 handled the blending on it's own. In FSX this changed, where now the default behavior was to ADD the night texture over the top of the day texture, and for this, no longer was it ok just to simulate the light, now the night texture must be an exact representation of how the lit up areas of the aircraft would look at night, all paint details included. Just look at the tails on each side, that should help clear it up. (note the FSX side is flipped as it is a DDS vs BMP for the FS9 side) Eventually MS did revive a similar feature, I think with SP2 (maybe even SP1, I don't recall), called multiply blend. It wasn't until after a good deal of the work had been done on UT2 though as far as I recall, and none of the UT2 models use this method. It is also not a direct replacement for the multiply method in FS9, and results in much dimmer night lighting, that really isn't visible until the sim is much darker, compared to FS9. The UT2 models use a method called "Additive Night Only User Controlled", which is why you see a need for your lights to be on for the AI to have lighting. There are a few methods that can work better than this method, but again, I do not believe any of them were available when UT2 was in work. For the models I converted, I simply went with Additive Night Only, removing the User Controlled requirement, for automatic lights when the sim decides it is "dark". Newer models, like the wonderful FAIB models, use a combination of Multiply Blend, and proper use of alpha channels in FSX, to achieve very good results, with the only negative being the dimmer lighting that I talked about above. It is likely the best solution, and allows for proper landing light splashes, etc. This is much easier to do with a model designed with these features in mind though, then it is to convert an FS9 model in the same fashion. For more information on the conversion process, here is a good place to start: http://www.fsdeveloper.com/forum/threads/fs9-fsx-aircraft-model-conversion-an-experiment.427512/ It isn't "technically difficult", but is a bit time consuming and requires a bit if trial and error. Should you decide to go further with it, feel free to message me and I'll try to answer any questions you might have.
  13. I do not use the MTL, but I can tell you from looking at your shot that this isn't likely a DX9 vs DX10 issue, but more of an FS9 vs FSX issue. You can achieve exactly the same effect when using any model and repaint that was designed for FS9, in FSX, because they way lightmaps are handled was changed quite significantly. It is possible to change the night texture only to achieve an acceptable effect while using an FS9 model, but for older models this must be done for each and every livery, and is not without tradeoffs when dealing with older models. UT2 has indeed re-compiled some, but not all, of the popular AI models for FSX compatibility. It is certainly a good starting point, and if you aren't an AI nut, a good solution overall. Since I am a bit of an AI nut, I personally went ahead and bit the bullet last year and recomplied all of the models I use for FSX via the SDK, and then created proper FSX lightmaps for each paint. It is quite a job as you can imagine, and I still have a lot to do. EDIT: Here is a screenshot to better illustrate the differences:
  14. Yeah it's really not a good situation, no matter how you look at it. From purely an end user perspective, what about all of the FSX aircraft that aren't being actively maintained ? I'd say the majority of FSX aircraft available are in the grey area regarding P3Dv2, where they weren't actually supported, but weren't prohibited either. In 2.0 they mostly worked well enough, but now, many won't work at all or with severe side effects. A2A are a great example, will there now be no A2A for P3Dv2, in any form ? Will all of this extra work, surely many devs will end up having no choice but to charge a fee for upgrades, which in and of itself is perfectly reasonable. Nothing is truly free after all, and time spent working on this, is time that could have also been spent working on something that pays the bills. Might not be too big of a deal for everyone, but look at what Lionheart has had to do. The thing is, I'm not sure I'm willing to purchase a new fleet now, and then again for 64 bit. Or 2.2 when they add another surprise. :unsure: I don't know, I guess I'm rambling a bit, and I don't really have any evidence that it will be as bad as all of that, but, this one little change sure did take the wind out of the sails for me. I can only imagine if I actually ran a business that was impacted.
  15. I hope no one minds if I continue to add relevant quotes here as I find them, as they are rather scattered throughout the LM forum. Latest info here: So it would actually seem, from reading this, that if you can find an aircraft that works, and if you can manage to run reasonable settings, and finally if you haven't applied bad tweaks that get in the way of things, well then you might just be able to manage until the next patch. Unfortunately, the first "if" is the tough one.
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