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steve dra

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Everything posted by steve dra

  1. I'll link the page to the upload when I finish up some last things (it'll be on the default Aerosoft Downloads page). This will be version .90. I have many little things still to do to her to make her what I feel will be a complete paint...but she is certainly flyable in her current condition...and I KNOW some folks are really wanting to fly this bird Christmas morning. (no way I'll have all the little touches done by then, I'll make the final updates and include a change log so you know what I updated later after the holidays) ....some of you may not even notice the changes as on most of them...you can't see them using the normal external views...you need a camera utility (or know how to move the default camera) to move in close to see the many enhancements I made to this paint. I used some special techniques that are unique to metallic paints to try and replicate how they react to the sun's glint at certain angles...within flightsim (extremely difficult to do).
  2. Well...that has been his modus operandi for going on 18 years now....so I don't think that will change (short answer...yes). Have to help Santa deliver this one first though....
  3. Great job on the yellow bird! I'm doing the new A330-300 P2F (Pax to Freighter)..... flown also by DHL...I love flying Freighters. Customized the bump maps to give a 3d effect to the new cargo door on the converted passenger A330. Hope to have it done soon.
  4. Is there even such a thing? If there were...surely someone would try to alter the bump maps, alpha layers and such to "emulate" the cargo door (i.e. the door is only there in the paint...not in the model...i.e. again...it will not open unless there is a corresponding model to accompany it) .......naw...that's crazy....NOBODY.....not even a committed FreightDog like Steve would ever attempt something as ludicrous as that.............. would he? That's crazy-talk.....it'll never happen.
  5. Guys....I will get to Hawaiian....Hopefully other painters are monitoring this forum and have see the many requests for it and are ready to release one for you....mine is next after...well...you know. You will see a "version" of my American paint before Christmas....I will release an "almost done to Steve's standards" version when I clean up the tail and tweak the custom sparkle I've added to the alpha layer to emulate AA's custom silver-mica paint. In the screenshot below you can see the mica flecks between the "c" and "a" in American. Its only visible close up (as it is in the real paint). As I mentioned above...the paint effects are extremely difficult to get right, and you have to try all sorts of custom layer and channel and map editing to replicate this special paint.
  6. Hehe.....while I appreciate any and all complements Dave...I really want to make sure nobody thinks that being labeled a "master" at anything in the virtual world is an unachievable goal...especially in these days of the internet. I know some may think that I have some sort of Master's (pun intended) in graphics design and I'm a certified Photoshop artist or something. Nothing could be further from the truth....the real truth is that I've been doing this a looooong time (hence...a LOT of practice), and have no special skills or abilities anyone reading this doesn't have. In fact....the time its taken me to achieve the results I have...should actually "disqualify" me from being a master....as many have achieved the same level of "mastery" I have in a far shorter time, LOL. What I may have that edges me back into the "mastery" label is patience, curiosity and an intense desire to: know how things work, and produce a product I would fly myself. A perfect example: I have an extreme desire to "master" the PEN tool in Photoshop. I am woefully inadequate at it (and I mean pitiful at it!!!)...and in the few trips I made to the internet to find out more...none have more increased my knowledge and skill for this one tool than this: This tutorial, his presentation style, and the game he links you to in the end to "practice, practice, practice" your new skill are unmatched anywhere I could find.....so if you're a painter struggling with the pen tool....you WILL be better with it afterwards and I know some "lightbulbs" will go on..they did in this old brain, hehe. A lot about becoming a painter from the beginning is knowing your tools, and your canvas...get those skills up 1st before you start learning to paint planes....doing it the other way around will just cause frustration...trust me Its like "I want to learn to make a tire" Well...what do you know about the Vulcanization process? (hint: it is NOT the study of Mr. Spock) How about varying rubber compounds? Tread Design maybe? How about steel-belting? Sidewall design? "Oh I don't know anything about that stuff....I just want to build a tire" Good luck with that.
  7. Very helpful Mathijs! But the one thing everyone has to understand is that the level of detail in the manual is really meant for painters who know the process....it is NOT a tutorial on how to paint. I know some simmers misunderstand this and are disappointed that the manual doesn't teach them to paint. This level of explanation is not within the scope of what Stefan wrote...and simmers seeking how to paint should always consult the internet and the dozens of youtube tutorials to get them started. In regards to the manual being helpful, detailed, and instructional in the ways of getting the 2d maps to the 3d model, and especially understanding the new challenges PBR brings to the painting (and modeling) communities...I find this manual one of the...if not THE best source for this info.....Stefan really went over the top on this...literally spilled his brains on it from what I can see! The more I paint this new Bus and use Stefan's approach to mapping the textures, the more I like it. In fact...as a "retired" painter....I find myself painting more than I expected...LOL....I wanted to only do Delta for a friend...and Lufthansa because I just love LH and have painted the airline on every model I own....even "fictional" ones on models I hoped the real LH would buy for their Cargo company.... Anyway.....Manual included in the paint kit....two THUMBS UP!
  8. Already done.... Guys...it would behoove you to check the downloads page before submitting a request....may save you some time.
  9. Hehe....the biggest part of being viewed as a "master" is simply just understanding the subject matter Dave. When P3dV4 came out...I spent a LOT of time going over what the new PBR features brought us, and how it would effect the painter's world. Trust me there is nothing I do that anyone else could if they dove into the literature and played with it until it "clicked" in their brains like I have. Once I knew what the new implementation of the color channels did within PBR, it was just a matter of playing with them and seeing the result in the sim to ultimately achieve the look we were going for. (In the past we never had to mess with the 3 color channels of the texture maps...only the "Alpha" layer was enabled to slightly alter the "Shinyness" of the texture). Anyway....much like Simmers practice a CAT III approach to mins...and when done over and over enough...can be described as "masters" as they know all the correct procedures at least...same with the painting world. Paint enough planes over the years...and you get good enough...or pull the remaining hair out of your head and go slightly insane in the process. LOL. Same methodology, same end result...NOTHING influences proficiency more than endless hours of practice.
  10. Almost a year later to the day and here we are with Aerosoft now sporting a PBR aircraft...... Great modeler info for us painters Christian! I've painted a few models in flightsim in PBR now, and it is indeed interesting on how P3d renders things.... For the wonderful new A330, I've had to tweak the Green channel on the maps to pull out color variations due to shading.... I applied a gradient shade on the green channel as the gray on Lufthansa blends in with the white too much when viewed at certain sun angles. This pic shows the effect applied way too much as I was testing the strength of the effect Stefan applied to his model.... Still in the process of adjusting, but its looking better at every pass. So it appears to answer your question the green channel on the texture map is controlling the "shading" effect. The red channel of course...controls the reflectivity of the surface as seen in bare metal planes.... Here is me playing with the Red channel on the A333.
  11. Fantastic paint my friend! You certainly nailed the Brussels look! I lived in Atlanta for over 20 years so I had to paint Delta as a matter of respect for the hometown airline. I now live in Dallas, TX...and a few miles from KDFW...the home of this airline... So I'm currently in work trying to nail down the special metallic paint AA used on them. (involves a very tricky gradient to paint) Anyway....I too normally don't do fictional paints...but made an exception with Aerosoft's newest beauty. @LN-OSS .....I KNEW this post would interest you. Looking a the links you sent me....deciding....hehe.
  12. Hey Gustavo.....wonderful job on all the repaints! I've noticed a small part on the tail ....especially ones with a dark tail. The part in question is on the AS_A333_EXT_TAILFIN_A.dds map and is right here: I'm sure you have your own method, but in the spirit of sharing I thought I'd show you how I do this which is to turn on the UV UNWRAP layer to see the model line boundaries....it really helps seeing the green lines denoting where the boundaries are. Keep up the great work painting...and for goodness sake leave some liveries for the rest of us to paint! LoL!!!
  13. American Airlines...oh how I hate your paint! So the bottom line is that this is going to be a gradient paint. After trying many flat paint variants....I was never completely satisfied with outcome in the sim...even if I felt I nailed the color (which you never can with a metallic paint using a flat color BTW) Anyway..... This series of screenshots shows you the stark difference between a flat and gradient paint. 1st up....the madness that is my paint shop when working on countless variations of colors, hues, brightness, gradient patterns and such...here I am adjusting a gradient...the notepad shows just some of the colors I tried to match (7 on this list...many others that I didn't even bother to log after seeing them in the sim) what see see in the real world. Notice the bottom fuse (left side of the plane) is slightly darker than the right (I'm playing with the best brightness level now that I'm happy with the color...for now) Depending on your monitor settings....it may not even be noticeable to you (hence the issue we have when someone claims a paint is too dark or light...sometimes its just monitor settings....or in-game settings, or Nvidia settings, or HDR settings, or time of day, season, cloud coverage, angle of view, etc....) Now see the difference in flightsim.... Pretty amazing contrast in the sim vs what's on my paint screen huh? Of course the light source in the sim is heavily influencing this effect as well....but you see the challenges painters face to get all the various paint settings just right (or as close as we can) Finally....this next pic clearly shows how superior a custom gradient looks against a flat color selection when it comes to replicating a metallic paint in flightsim. The mid-fuse texture map (on the right of the screen with the "n" in American near the border between the 2 texture maps) as you notice is a flat color...one of the many grays I tried after going thru my blueish phase....which I found is only relevant on an overcast day after looking at 100s of photos. I may add just a tinge of blue to the final color to get a best mix scenario...as the in-sim color rendering engine does not faithfully reproduce the different hues you see in varying overcast conditions (Trust me I tried every type of overcast and saw no appreciable difference in the fuse color) I KNOW you guys are anxious to fly an American paint...and trust me I'd like nothing more than to release one now for you guys to fly....but it would be a flat-color version that I would not be happy with...and neither would you after seeing a properly painted, gradient version. Give me some time....in the midst of the holiday season when I'm not painting full time as you can understand....and I'll give you the best American Airlines repaint I can.....After all...I've done a few good ones in the past...hehe. Okaayyyyy.....that is the OLD AA paint in bare metal (with PBR effects)...but you get the idea...I like to produce very good paints.
  14. Making some adjustments to the shadow layers and thought these test shots looked pretty good.
  15. Valid observations but what you're actually seeing is a Lufthansa gray color that is even a little darker than the official gray....the real problem is with the shadow channel on the PBR-Metalllic texture map. So as pics are worth a thousand words... On the metallic texture map...the GREEN channel controls the amount of shadow intensity..... On the map above, you can see I applied a gradient fill on the left side of the bottom of the nose on the GREEN channel.....while there is a gradient on the other side...it is very slight.... Here is the effect on the plane in the sim..... Right side has the change, the left side does not..... I did not alter the paint one bit.....this just shows you the power and flexibility we have with the new PBR textures! So what I need to do to properly fix this issue is alter the GREEN channel of the PBR map. The effect you see in the pic above is way too pronounced as the bottom is almost black at the apex of the bottom point as you can clearly see. This will take time to correct (because I have 4 texture maps to sync this effect to...not just one)...and I'll have to eventually add it to all my paints. If you set yourself up to follow to this page, you'll know when I make the update and post it. No timeline for it...its a good bit of trial and error to get it looking just right. Painting used to be fairly easy before PBR....you "painted" the shadows on the bottom and you were done....not any more...you're actually painting 2 whole planes when you have to edit the PBR maps as well as the Albeo maps. Hehe...I guess if it were easy everyone would be painting.
  16. See the dilemma? Right next to each other....BOTH look good....torn now and I'm leaning towards the gray (matching the color of my last few hairs I haven't pulled out doing this paint!) I'll work on the tail texture while you guys chime in and tell me which one...and if the color needs a slight adjustment. Help me decide guys
  17. Hehe...close is a relative term in a painter's world. Especially with a paint that has "special" qualities (like this darned metallic paint). And the base color is extremely hard to match off internet photos since a metallic paint is HIGHLY susceptible to the background lighting, time of day, haze, cloud coverage.....AND...YOUR HDR settings (off/on...strength of effects, etc)....angle of the sun in the sim, time of day, season (as hues are different becuse of the sun's relitive position)...your plane's location on the earth, PTA installed or no...what settings....Evenshade, Tomato shade...you know...just a FEW things that affect the color you see. Its a good thing I live in Dallas...home of American Airlines and I've flown and been close to the planes in real life a lot so I have an idea of what the "real" color, hue, color temperature, chromatic deviation ...etc is...Hehe. I promise you the color I settle on will look as close as it can on MY system with MY settings. I will guarantee it will look different on yours. Anyway....the purpose of my diatribe about color as it relates to your question: I have spent HOURS testing every imaginable shade of the color that is American Airlines (starting the journey off with the OFFICIAL color they list in their branded literature).....and I think I have it as close as it will get (on MY machine which the screenshot below is based on of course)...oh...and to let everyone know...using the official color does NOT work in flightsim....ever. Call it the difference between the real word and ours You can see i use the different maps to see the difference in my changes....the front section is the color I think is closest (but still adjusting and will make a final decision when I get it on the whole plane)...the grayish mid section was at least 10 changes ago and just one of the gray versions I was close to saying looked good....but up against the blueish tint...I think that is closer....may make it a bit lighter, LOL (I could probably adjust the color for forever and not be totally satisfied)
  18. I've decided I'm going to set the main metallic textures to 4k..... Just let me know when I upload the livery if its too sluggish on your system when you try it out(I don't think it will be)...and I'll send you a new set of re-sized textures and then upload an alternate set for all users with medicore systems. It's hard for me to judge because I have a pretty beefy system (8700k and a Titan 12GB video card).
  19. Hey Mathijs, I completely agree...i've seen it happen before (textures re-rendered down). On this texture map however, P3D is reading and displaying the full texture....I checked it out.... You can see when i manually down-sized the texture to 2k,,,it lost almost all its "sparkles" I actually started at the normal 2k texture size (not being a fan of upscaling textures when not needed)...and the Gaussian noise pattern I put on the alpha channel to make this effect was horrible....so you see the 4k version above, and then a re-scaled 2k version (with almost all the sparkle absorbed into the re-scaling process in Photoshop. The original 2k version is since gone...but trust me...i would not release it in that state) The load on the GPU is negligible as its only 3 of the many maps that I'm up-scaling....and the content of the maps are gray-scale only (256 shades of gray vs 65,000 colors of a normal map) so that helps reduce the GPU load significantly as well. The only issue is that it slightly increases the size of the download file for our simmers...but that's not a big of a problem as it used to be....besides...I've seen painters up-scale ALL the maps in their paints....UGH! I'd never do that....who needs a 4k rendering of the hydraulic lines in the main gear bay that you ONLY see when the gear is down and you happen to be under the plane? LoL This effect will also be nice on any livery having a silver'ish paint. @samwise7 I think these textures would run about the same on your system....just compare it to other A330 paints out there that have 4k textures (You'll know because the file size will be huge compared to other liveries)
  20. Hey Painters (and Simmers too...just know the painters can appreciate the dilemma I'm facing here) I'm working with the metallic maps and adding a sparkle effect seen on the real American airlines special metallic paint.. you only really see this effect close up. when you use the default 2k map size...the sparkle effect gets too ragged and does not look good at all...however, at 4k (4096x4096)...it looks like this: I left the effect on the Eagle logo as the blue really shows the effect nicely (I'll remove it as I did on the American text when I decide if I'm using this effect). As this distance....the effect is quite striking and is very similar to how I see it on the real AA planes I frequently ride on. However....when you move away to this distance...the effect is hardly noticeable... if the filesize didn't jump from 4097kb (4mb) to over 16,000kb (16MB) there would be no decision...hehe. The filesize jump does NOT effect the performance that I can notice...nor the loading time too much...but I have not tested it extensively too tell you for sure. If it were only one file it would not be a huge deal...but you have to alter 3 texture maps (4 if you add the vertical tail map which doesnt really benefit from this effect as its vertical angle never really sees the same sun angle as the fuse). So....what do you guys think? add the effect to this paint or not?
  21. Beautiful Holgi! Still working on this when I can....
  22. Thanks for the feedback! I actually added a new tail map with your suggested edits so simmers can fly the post or pre 2015 versions. (they changed the registration font as well after 2015...the D was fatter and the K was funky back then....could not perfectly replicate but did the best I could).
  23. Great looking paints Vital! Hehe...of course you can paint sabena....I've already painted Delta and working on a few others that don't have RR's...but they look nice anyway.
  24. Its on the nose map...in the upper right corner (unless you're looking at your flipped map hehe) And to save you some time...the OTHER ones near the tail are on the MID fuse map....here Oh and another tip...when in ModelconverterX.....click the "Hide Event Log" icon at the top to give you a lot more viewing area of your model.
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