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Canopy tinting

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So you've seen my recent F-16XF and F/A-18V ADV mods, or Wrench's F-110 wraith, or even Kei Nagase cool, but slightly questionable iDOLM@STER skins, and you're wondering how its done, well, I'm going to tell you.


Tonight the Modders secrets will be revealed by me, The Masked Modder (or not)



Anyway, the canopy is tinted through the application of a decal to the canopy mesh. which seems simple enough (and there are aleady tutorials on decal placement, so I won't go into detail there)


However here's the rub, in order to put the decal on the mesh, you need to know the mesh name, sure, you can guess (as I did in the case of the F-16XF) but that time consuming and frustrating.


an easier way is to use the .OUT file.


The .OUT file is generated by the thirdwire object exporter when the model is exported from 3DS max. It contains a list of the meshes (parts) in the model and there names. heres a grapical example, using the Mirage factory's F-14A




the .OUT file is highlighted and you can open it with notepad or wordpad, either will do (incidently this my United Nations F-14 install, used for testing my macross mods, and no, you can't have it, its mine :biggrin: )




Here's what the inside of the .OUT file, and I've highlighted the pertinent entry.

As for why they couldn't have called it something sensible like 'glasscanopy', well, They're French


An important note to make is that some aircraft may have two or more canopy meshes, representing the front glass, main canopy, etc,

and you need to put a decal on each of these, for future referece, vitre means glass in french. so it'll probably be called that, unless of

course the person who made the model speaks English.



Also while most modders kindly include the .OUT file, some omit it, and none of the default thirdwire planes have one included




Here you can see the decal file, and where you need to enter the name of the mesh. remember that you need to put a decal on every relavant mesh (or mix and match) and that the canopy darkening effect will only work for that skin.


As for decal placement, You COULD actually look at the data.ini and find the correct location based on pilot postion, etc.


Or you could just set the scale variable to something like 20 or 50 so you can't miss.



As for the decal itself. Make a single colour square (say 128x128 pixels) image and save it as a .tga file using.

irfanview http://www.irfanview.com/




What I normally do is use the gimp ( http://www.gimp.org/ ) and it's colour selection tool to get the colour correct, and then export it to .tga with irfanview. (gimp does support .tga but for some reason whe I use it it never shows in-game.



Additionaly you can use the .OUT file to help you place regular decals, but that is someone else's tutorial.


And thats all there is to it. now you too can have a pimpin' fighter jet


Tally ho



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