Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish my blog readers a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year.

Hopefully 2007 will be very productive for me.

2006 has seen me on multiple learning curves ...... completing the Bristol Fighter; doing my own flight modelling and texture art; learning and refining 3D modeling techniques; modeling and animating characters; xml parts animation for FS2004 and now FSX; beta testing FSX and more recently the FSX SDK SP1.

Work on the FSX Bristol Fighter is still ongoing. Despite the SDK there is much to learn in developing for FSX and much trial and error is involved. I spent 4 days last week just tweaking my crew members and getting them to animate to my satisfaction. They shade somewhat differently in sim than they do in 3DS Max and much tweaking and trial and error was required to get them looking right across a variety of lighting conditions. However once things are learned they stay learned and matters should speed up soon.

I had hoped to have the 'Biff' for FSX out by now but alas all this tweaking, Christmas arrangements and job interiews have delayed matters a little. I still have the airfile to adjust once the visual model is complete.

The Sopwith Snipe for FSX/CFS3 is still on the list..... sometime in Q1 2007.

Merry Christmas


Monday, December 11, 2006

Bristol Fighter FSX Update

Here are a few pics of the FSX version of the Bristol Fighter. The crew are complete. The external model and textures have been updated to FSX standard. I have some further work to do on the specular maps.

I have only used a little bit of bump mapping on this occasion. Actually I'm not exactly impressed with bump mapping as at stands at present in FSX. One has to export the bump map from photoshop using the Nvidia plugin and then further convert using the SDK Imagetool utility. Imagetool introduces pixel artifacts on fine parts of the maps thus it is not suitable for fine detail unless one uses large textures. Bump mapping is to be used sparingly for the time being. The results are somewhat course IMHO. Rivets and panel lines are still best acheived using conventional textures. This opinion may change given time and different methodologies.

I still have the VC to fix up and some xml animations to puzzle out and also tedious work in converting the lods over to FSX standard. Once this is released then on to the FS9 version which will also need lod work and the crew added. I'm still hoping pre Christmas for the X version and we'll have to see for the FS2004 version. The poor Snipe has had little work in the last 2 months save for being used to test the FSX SDK tools.

Anyway here are the pics.......

PS almost forgot.... the crew will be included in a future CFS3 Biff update and also one of them will be in the Sopwith Snipe.



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The dudes revisited

My two ww1 aircrew are just about ready to go into my FSX Bristol F2b 'Biff'. (external model ... not VC). They'll also follow in the external models of FS9 F2B version and one will go in the extrenal model of the Snipe - all versions.

Afternoon update - one more pic.... and a slight addition.... those who know my surname will get it. ;)