• Hello,

    to bring clarity into it

    we have the following Shader hints:

    standard - this is for your non-transparent surfaces

    necessary maps (color, ambient, bump / normal, reflection, specular - specular_alpha)

    glass - for glass surfaces

    necessary maps ( color - color_alpha )

    so this is kind of the BASIC, now you have to specify if it is used for OUTSIDE surfaces, or INSIDE surfaces. So the Aerofly can handle them differently. For example, it can adjust some values in reference to the Camera distance.

    and we do that with "exterior" and "interior": example "standard exterior"

    now one thing is missing here, the glass has an additional specification "canopy" and "instrument" it is kind of self explanatory,

    the canopy is used for all the windows, and instrument for all the instruments, again, this controls how the Aerofly handles those surfaces. mainly how the "environment" is reflected.

    so one example for glass would be "glass interior canopy"

    and there is a CATCH, the "interior canopy" glass needs two more maps, it need a "reflection" and a "bump / normal". the reflection is a prebaked reflection of the interior.

    so but this is basically it for the shader hints.



  • Thanks very much Michael, that info is invaluable!

    I've made some very good progress over the last couple of days. A large amount of the port side controls have been implemented, most of the dash (minus some instruments) and some of the starboard switches.

    I've also gone through and tweaked some textures - some need more tweaking but it is looking a lot better. The shaders also helped immensely, just need to work out how to render a reflection map.

    Here's a couple of shots;

    I hope to implement a fuel system soon. I've been looking at the Cessna as an example but I am stuck at the moment.



  • This was how I did my reflection maps for Steve's F104 (there may be better ways I don't know)...

    create a grey texture layer with panel and rivet detail above (and anything else you want to include... Steve had added some panel shading to his paint kit which I included). This was flattened and saved as bmp. I then created a bright red texture background and blend/multiplied the flattened grey texture over the red to give the required red scale result. When flattened that I experiment with darkening and less saturation... to get desired result. Darker and less saturated is more subtle and generally better unless you want polished metal. Kai posted a useful colour chart somewhere here which was helpful.


  • Would looking at the Corsair fuel setup be at all helpful?

    I don't believe the Corsair has a proper fuel system. It would work roughly the same anyways, just need to work out the parameters and what is needed is all. Should be all good :D

    And thanks Matt for the tips on the reflection maps. I'm just exporting a rough one from Substance Painter and tweaking it a bit, seems to work ok.

  • Just to be clear, that tip was provided by MDIvey ...

    Whoops, my bad. Thanks for pointing it out I edited the reply :D

    Been working on improving the lighting with AO maps. Still working out the best way to bake them (if anyone has any ideas please let me know). Looks SOO much better though, especially in VR :love::love:

    Also, does anyone have any tips on removing the light that is leaking through the cockpit on the starboard side?



  • I think the inner walls of your interior are actually bigger than the fuselage outside...

  • Hi Alex

    I may be wrong but I believe all polygons in FS2 only render one sided in the positve direction which is why we need to build a full cockpit with internal walls.

    It looks to me like the a vertex in the corner of you internal wall is not welded, or the front and side have different vertice numbers, simply butting up two polygons doesn't work no matter how close you get them, yep tried that and it failed

    Sometimes it's unavoidable as we want more polygons in the cockpit but less polygons on the outside fuselage. I kept the internal cockpit a separate object but not sure if this is a good idea for this very reason. Interior cockpit rails had far more polygons and even though I snapped them to the fuselage edge I got the light bleed.

    We Live and Learn


    PS, They are a funny bunch here, users I mean, and I include myself in that statement, too much reflection on the canopy tends to get them all excited in a negative way, less seems to be the best

  • PS, They are a funny bunch here, users I mean, and I include myself in that statement, too much reflection on the canopy tends to get them all excited in a negative way, less seems to be the best

    fully agree - doable is not allways desirable



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  • Re: the AO Maps Alex... have you looked at the ones in the SDK DR400? They are a BMP that is largely white with a few shaded areas of grey.

    I haven't had a go at this yet but the way I had in mind to do this is to take the greyscale AO and whack up the brightness and contrast to get something like the SDK example... and if that didn't work I was going blend/multiply the greyscale over a pure white background and see how that looks... maybe tweak brightness and contrast of that.


  • fully agree - doable is not allways desirable


    When sitting in a real aircraft you sure have canopy reflections, there are many of them for instance in an aircraft like the Chipmunk with its very British hood.

    However, when looking outside my eyes and brain focus in the far distance and out-of-focus reflections get almost unnoticed. Most of the times it's when I take in-flight pictures that I suddenly notice the nasty reflection I cannot get rid of, while otherwise my brain simply ignored it.

    In simulators however, everything is in the same focus and my brain cannot look beyond reflections like in a real aircraft.

    Some sure add life to the cockpit, but I find they can quickly tend to kill immersion.

    My 2 cents.

    Congrats for your work, this Spit looks gorgeous!



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  • Agreed. Which is why I always disable canopy reflections (if possible). It's not only that they are too obvious, but they also don't change depending on where you are looking: it's too obvious they are painted on the window. Kills the immersio imho. Would be great if we'd get an in game option to enable or disable reflections.

  • Hey Matt,

    Manually tweaking the AO seems to be the best solution. I've brightened everything up and I think I've reached a decent middle ground. I'll definitely be tweaking this a lot more (and redoing some parts that didn't bake correctly) but I'm happier with the results.

    I havn't had much time to work on it this week but I'm hoping to get some more done tonight and tomorrow.