Monday, December 31, 2007

Snipe Cockpit

Now that I have resumed working on my projects, here's a WIP of the Snipe virtual cockpit. I've fixed a few things and am now working on the textures. As you can see it includes much of the external aircraft. Much of what is shown here are texture templates, some parts being colour coded on my texture sheet. Some of the textures will take some puzzling out, as it is many months since the parts were uv mapped.

The arduous task of animating the cockpit begins now too. It's almost a year since I last dabbled in coding parts xml. I have also to make decisions on cockpit lighting for the Snipe. All Snipes appear to be equipped with instruments lights. However they were usually only fitted with an accumulator, which in turn had to be hooked to a generator, usually mounted on the undercarriage struts. The generator was usually only fitted for night missions. Do I cheat and enable the lights anyway? And if I do the question of implementation in FSX. I'd like to use effects instead of lightmaps. However I don't know if that's possible. Light maps complicate matters somewhat as switches light individual instruments, making maps difficult as I would have to split them up.

I'll be waiting until I have a DX10 capable computer before I enable volume shadows on the interior materials, if that is possible in an open cokpit aircraft. Hopefully it will be possible.

I'll also be exploring dropable bombs for the Snipe too.... more modeling ahead. :)

Again have a happy new year.


2007 ends and a gradual return to virtual aircraft hobbies.

I seem to be on the mend from surgery (though there's still a bit of a caveat hanging around with infection), and gradually resuming interests in hobbies etc. I've been picking away at the Sopwith Snipe trying to pick the threads of where I was at before surgery, and develop renewed interest in the project. I'm also picking away at modeling bits & pieces for various projects such a Clerget engine (also soon a Mercedes DIII) and Spandau MG08. Completion of these bits & pieces will see me move ahead with a number of projects.

I still hope to start working on detailed aircraft for rendering sometime in 2008 to allow a little bit of freedom from low/medium poly modeling. Some of the images at Military Meshes are very inspirational.... some great draftsmen & artists. I will probably dabble in conventional art too in 2008 as a counterpoint to all the precision involved in aircraft modeling. Of course music also gives me great pleasure... the Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 DVD provided a great finish to 2007 - especially Jeff Beck , Derek Trucks and of course EC himself (now to restring my guitars LOL).

All the best for 2008 & take care.



Saturday, December 01, 2007

Biff in PC Pilot Winter Special

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email informing me that the FSX Biff is featured in the PC Pilot Winter Special. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a copy in a few weeks myself, when it appears on newstands here. The Biff was download of the month in PC Pilot earlier this year.

The other good news is that I am home after 3 weeks in hospital, having major surgery on my leg. The road to recovery will be long though, and restrictions on sitting for any length of time will prevent me from resuming modeling for a while.