Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Looking ahead......

After the intensity of finishing off both the FSX & FS9 versions of the Biff I am having a bit of a break from serious aircraft creation. I'm still doing a bit of research & reading, visiting my meshes already started and maybe a bit of skinning, in otherwords dabbling, but only when I feel like it.

I'll resume working on the Snipe sometime in the next two weeks. I face the challenge of instrument lighting in the FSX Snipe and have a number of strategies that I want to experiment with. I also hope to simulate fuel management in the Snipe once I have a clear idea of how this worked in aircraft such as the Snipe. Additionally I would like to program and animate a blip switch in the FSX Snipe and also chocks, so that it doesn't race forward when started. Ideally it would be nice to have an animated groundcrew swing the prop but that might just be a bit too ambitious at this stage and would add to the poly count. In the interim I might skin the external model which was mapped back in October. If I decide to continue with a CFS3 version, I'll also have to make the lods at some stage, very necessary in a CFS3 aircraft, and of course damage modeling for that version too. Needless to say the FSX version will be first. I have not planned a FS9 version at this stage as that will involve a lot of work.

After the Snipe?? Well that's a $60,000 question. The great unkown to me is the time I will have available for these activities this year, combined with my desire to go 'payware' at some point. Unfortunately payware aircraft, even if successful, are not enough to both pay the bills and put food on one's table.... at least not WW1 aircraft or warbirds. There are many many aircraft that I would like to do so I will have to choose wisely. Of course if I won lotto or was otherwise richified I'd devote my time to making virtual WW1 aircraft with the occasional foray into aircraft of the 1920's & 30's and jet aircraft of the 1950's and '60's..... the occasional chopper maybe too. I've also received some feelers about doing 3D work on commission. In the meantime I am searching for work in my normal vocation (finance/admin) and things at long last are looking promising there, so I'll have a lot less time for all, this if successful in my normal vocation.

In closing this post I must say that it has given me enormous pleasure to see people really enjoying the FS version of the Biff. It is certainly more rewarding to model for Flight Simulator than CFS3 for a number of reasons. There is no systems modeling in CFS3, as in FS, nor the ability to create new animations. CFS3's convoluted aircraft container file system makes extra demands on modelers (the reason some of the FS Biff improvements are not immediately flowing back to CFS3.... maybe after I've had a break.) However it is the customer satisfaction combined with the people who have taken the time to say thanks that make aircraft creation for FS far more rewarding.

Thanks to all the people who've taken time to thank me.