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EagleSkinner

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About EagleSkinner

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  • Birthday 12/29/1953

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    Grumpy old Git

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  1. I have had a couple of successes at repainting the Waco, I like it. But... When I create a package for the community folder I don't get the pilot's body to show, nor does the knee pad function other than show and hide. Any advice please?
  2. @Kenjiro75 - There are indeed plenty of "Paint Kits" around - So far the best come from IRIS and FoxTecho (Jabiru, LongEZ and MB339). Go to flightsim.to and you can find bare template bits that you can drop into community "as is" and they will give you a basic livery pack which you can play around with. These are usually just a couple of wireframe texture sheets unfortunately, so you have to open the dds images of one of the other aircraft liveries for that model and save as a basic colour texture that you will have to edit with a painting software. But most of the templates on flightsim.to will need work on your part. separate layers for dirt, shade, colour, wear and weathering. The best way to create a unique texture sheet is to use Blender - You can physically paint on a 3D model of the aircraft you want to create a texture for and extract that texture to a paint program for further work. With Blender you can also create great wireframe texture sheets and save these to your graphics editor. For painting on these 2D texture there are a few choices - Photoshop, Paint.net, GIMP are the most common although I use the Corel Draw suite. (Have been since it first came out and I find it the most intuitive art software (personal choice and opinion - make your own mind up please). For creating the dds textures so that the sim can read these at runtime they need to be converted to DDS format. There is dxtBMP from http://www.mwgfx.co.uk/ this is an older tool and has limitations in msfs 2020, but works for most. GIMP and Photoshop convert textures to dds too. The best conversions can be done with these and the nvidia export plugin. I don't know if this works with gimp, but as I also have the cheapest possible subscription to photoshop, I can say from experience that the nvidia tool plugin to PS is really the best converter going. I don't know how much in depth knowledge you have of graphics work, but there are plenty of good folk here who provide teaching tips. I am now more or less out of the scene now, but if you go to the paintshop threads here at Avsim, you will find many of the greats who have written their own tips and guides.
  3. Yep, it was a moment of awe for me too - I finally reconnected my first generation Oculus rift and had a "wow" moment like not meany I have hade before. In fact my exclamation was so "forceful" I even got a wowowowowowowowowowow from my dogs - who didn't have a clue what I was on about... 😄 ...and then I discovered you don't even have to be satisfied wth default VR graphics settings. My new 3090 graphics card took all the alterations in its stride and allowed me a whole slew of "Ultra" settings for display. I didn't blanket everything with ultra - some you don't really need. OK, so the Rift still leaves those mouseover tooltips unreadable - er, actually I found out that if you lean close in, you can even read the very small print on the cockpit decals as well. But best of all - you don't need to use those clutzy Rift controllers - just tune your joysticks, quadrants, yokes, HOTAS and put all the needed commands at your fingertips. Well impressed!
  4. oh yes - I have been in touch with Martin Wright (author of dxtBMP) and he is aware of these quirks. He's not overly active with dxtBMP because apparently it is no longer absolutely necessary to use all those older DDS formats. I will allow myself one small quote from him: "Currently it is a messy business adding liveries. Asobo are looking at making it more practical." He also remarks that things like the need for JSON files also possibly an awkard thing. But he is aware of our worries, but as I mentioned earlier - PS or GIMP help.
  5. DXTbmp does work with some msfs texture files - try the ***ALBD.PNG.DDS textures. Forget about editing the alpha channels though - the standard albedo textures don't need them. on the other hand - the decals can use alphas: all black actually makes the decal transparent. Er, sometimes... And then, msfs also uses TIF compression on some of them, so you will need the ability to save as TIF. It's a mess still and I am having fun too. Then there's the "comp" textures - you edit those to change shine, reflection and surface - but these don't use alphas either - you edit the separate RGB channels for these. Yes - PITA Another thing becomes noticeable if you have a thumbnail viewer codec in your Windowssoftware - when you look at some of the msfs textures they appear to be transparent and odd. That's because msfs does indeed use a different dds format to what you would have used in dxtBMP. So while dxtBMP does work (for some msfs aircraft and most of the addons), Asobo has basically forced users to go the photoshop way and that means you can then save your dds images in the nVidia dds exporter plugin. You can also use GIMP to edit the images and export. There is a reasonably priced subscription for Photoshop at around $20 a month. GIMP is free and I think you can add the nVidia exporter too. (Someone correct me please) Anyway, to recap: ALBD are the standard reflected textures and don't seem to use alphas COMP textures are for material behaviour - use colour channels to change as follows Red channel - occlusion Green channel - roughness Blue channel - is for metal (No alphas used) The NORM is normal map - i.e. direction of reflections
  6. Perhaps I voiced my anger a bit too - errrrmmmm - vocally? Vociferously? I have had a post blocked on the forum, and my retraction, though it got a fair few few likes and supportive agreements, also go a few returns from admin. I am not worried, after all I have also posted a fair few compliments on the msfs forum. After all - it really does have a lot going for it. I was just miffed that each update means up to two days to investigate to find out which addon in community was breaking the game this time. But the most apparent problem is that livery mods are the most likely cause of many failures. The AP glitches are by their own admissiion something they are looking into. Oh... hang on - just starting msfs again and got a message popup "1020.45 mib update" must go and see what it's all about.
  7. I bought this one too - really a no brainer. But I personally think the flight dynamics were set to "kill" you as soon as you leave the ground. The aileron animation is very close to being either max or neutral and the throttle response is rather impossible - move the lever and nothing happens for a long while, then the sound goes "loud". It seems like you have to fight this little baby all the way from take off to landing - and it doesn't forgive slightly off angle of approach landings, leaving the model below the surface. Not that I dislike this model in any way. It is fun! But definitely in great need of gentle handling.
  8. One reason I don't like flying tubes is that even if you get a perfect approach, flare and contact, the dam thing calls you a "Retard"...
  9. I can only agree 100% on the eye candy. As for functionality, we still have a few months (years? I do hope not) to go. First off - I do not fly large airliners (or even small ones). I am dedicated to GA, Bush, fast and low, ignoring civil aviation rules (I fly under anything if I find it - I am still looking for barns open at both ends to take a Piper Cub through 😇) There are still many things that don't feel right - flight dynamics leave a lot to be desired. I am a glider pilot and I have 3-400+ hours "you have" stick time in military fixed wing (piston engined) and light helicopters as an engineer. msfs is getting close but none of the predecessor sims were this buggy out of the box. I am even beginning to like glass cockpits - mainly because there are so few "steam" planes around. Certainly the sim has me lusting for a 3090 RTX graphics card, but I do get great smooth video around most places. Yep. at 67 I do get cranky about sim performance, but I am falling in love with this one, despite the numbers of reports and suggestions I keep writing to Asob/Zendesk about.
  10. The only way I know of how to affect the default given livery decals is to completely hide them - find any "decal" texture, make it a white colour sheet with a black alpha channel. But you still need "decals" - to do this try the Blender "stencil" brush method. First you will need your livery pattern saved as a PNG with transparent background. Then you can load this into Blender and "paint" it onto the 3D model. Then save the Blender This link is the best (subjective) YouTube tut on the subject of painting on 3D models: Blender paint tutorial. Watch the whole tutorial first - the guy also gives a lot of good hints for working with paint programs (in this case GIMP, but the commands are repeatable in Photoshop)
  11. Coming along nicely folks! I have now added the use of Blender to my repertoire - very useful! Painting directly onto the 3D model is easy - even if it requires some practice to get positioning of elements just right.
  12. Tip: Get Blender, if only for two funcions. Blender is a 3D modelling tool and apparently great at its job. I am not really into modelling, but the two functions I refer to are: 1. Extracting UV Maps, i.e. convert the wireframe model to a series of 2D textures and save to your PC. 2. Painting directly onto the 3D model. i.e. paint a dab of colour on the bit you are looking for - this is then instantly displayed onscreen on a 2D image that you can save to your PC. The beauty is that you can literally find the things you are trying to paint in real time, so even if you don't want to extract full textures (yet) you can identify where that elusive part is while you work in your paint program of choice. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube. P.S. Oh, I see you are using Photoshop. Get to know masking tools - a freehand mask is great for outlining the area to be painted. Then create a new object by filling the mask with your colour of choice
  13. [Tongue in cheek mode on] Another update... sigh - I have just fixed the problem I was having with a livery on 1.10.7 and.8
  14. I recently shared a youtube link (in another post here) to a video tutorial for painting directly onto the 3D model - here's another one which basically tells you the same but is slightly more useful in that you can scroll over the timeline and navigate to whatever part takes your fancy by reading the titles on the timeline. 3D painting tutorial What does become apparent, however, is that if you are unfamiliar with Blender, you can miss a lot of different ways to do certain things. In the tute above the guy shows you how to hide all unselected parts of the model. This is really great, so how do you unhide? He doesn't mention it - so for an old knacker like me you might be left wondering. Actually you need to click on the "scene collection" checkbox in the list of model parts in the upper right docker window. Twice. Then all the individual model bits are visible again. All great stuff, but it does show that there is a steep learning curve for us repainters if we want to use blender to produce appropriately pre drawn texture sheets that you can layer over your model's masters. When you have a lot of items in that list, it's hard to know what you want - another tip I can offer is for you her is to go about selecting the bits you want to paint in a different way - hide everything (shift h) and then use that drop down to select one item at a time until you find the relevant ones you want and use Blender's "join" function (select multiple items and right click - it's in the menu) to make multiple items paintable. Bits that stay purple (Blender's standard colour for the base model items) are basically not joinable because they are on different texture sheets. don't worry about it. Paint what you can, save that new paint texture sheet and then start over for the other items. Greek? Yes, I know, but as we can only share images from the web and not our PCs I can't show you - I don't have my own web storage and Photobucket is now too commercial). Just bear my suggestions in mind when you are following that tutorial above. Blender is also full of little goodies like creating wireframe textures. (UV maps). You can also use Blender for much much more so I suggest taking some time out (maybe a lot - if you're 3D modelling challenged like me) On the other hand, you aren't going to escape from needing programs like photoshop and illustrator, photopaint and Draw, GIMP, paint.net and co for various different parts of your repaint - each software has different aspects and no one program does it all 100%. Then you also need to understand the science of lighting and colour mixing (I have had to adapt my realworld knowledge - perhaps you can). Oh, and then there's specular, emissive and normal maps... still valid in msfs. Today's painter needs to be as skilled in this field as a 3D modeller is in his. It's not going to be easier for you, but persevere and have fun.
  15. Let me see now... Livery stripes... Usually these are "flood filled" from the texture sheet that looks like a 2 x 2 checkerboard. There can be (apparently) any number of squares here - 2x2, 4x4. Something like that - 2x2 is relatively normal. On the C172 you'll see two vertical bands of colour, on the Extra the split is diagonal. But the common factor is the name - it'll be something like C172SP_AIRFRAME_LIVERYCOLOR_ALBD.PNG.DDS So how to kill? Relatively easy: make the colour all white and give it a 100% black alpha channel. save as a DDS with alpha. For the Extra I still have to find a way of hiding the Extra company logos yet. For some reason Asobo made these from TIF images. It'll come in the end. There's also a great video on YouTube that shows how to paint directly onto the 3D model. Still learning that one though, but it does look really useful. Link There is a growing number of video tutes appearing on YT now - many hours worth.
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