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Nyghtfall

new A-4 Skyhawk skins, rookie asks for opinions please.

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Hi there,

 

allow me to say a word or two first.

 

Although playing SF2 for quite a while now (not constantly though), I wasn't an active member since. A state I would like to change :) In this summer I played around with WarThunder, its possibilities to skin planes and used that chance to intensify my learning of photoshop and its techniques with the help of several good tutorials. After some time SF2 came into mind and so I wanted to try to create some skins for a plane from existing templates. As my favourite plane always was the little Skyhawk, a plane was quickly found. Although I was and am always impressed of the great work all modders on this site do, the Skyhawk template I found was a bit unorganised for taste and so I decided to create a new one. I have to admit, in no way I had an impression on how much time it will consume (and you guys put into your models, skins, etc.)! Nevertheless I got a working template and at the moment create some skins. I really like the results, but after looking at several projects you working on (for example Centurions F-5E), I'm a little intimidated and ask myself, if my little first one may be of any interest at all and is worth a release.

All Decals are new and most parts of the skins are new (Details and Insides are from the original TW-skin as my template is based on it and atm I don't see the chance to create something better myself).

 

The 3tone-Camo is work in progress...the decals are for testing only.

My idea for the VA-93 skins is to combine both styles (roundel on nose like A-4C on some planes and roundel on the back like A-4E on the rest of the planes) in one skin.

 

Any comments, hints and tricks for improvements are welcome!

 

 

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Edited by Nyghtfall
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Welcome to the world of modding the SF series. I think your AC skins look good. Regarding the template, each person has his/her own preference on layer arrangement, their content, etc so some can feel perfect some not so.

Do not get intimidated by the quality of the "great" ones, you will get there and should not hold back if you want to share your work with others.

 

The important thing is that you enjoy the process of creating skins, decals, etc, if something not turns out the way you like it then can always restart or correct, many of us do so, we are not perfect either.

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I would check the location of the "squadron name" (ie: VA-***) Never seen them located that far aft. That's usually the only location for the BuNums/aircraft type, while the squadron name, ship name and service name are usually far more forward, usually just aft of center (depending of course, on which Scooter and with or without avionics hump) somewhere around the speedbrakes.

 

Personally, decals are the way to go. It eliminates the odd distortions the painted on insignia can create (and the time to figure them out), and one only has to create a single "base" skin, and change the marking via the decals ini.

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...and there goes another night of photoshoping. But it was fun.

 

thanks guys. 2 skins nearly done now. But I have a question to this thread http://combatace.com/topic/80161-help-trouble-with-tw-stock-a-4e-65-flap-decals/. Did someone found a solution for that? I tried every possible coordinates and meshnames I found without luck. It seems there is no visible TOP part for the flaps to put a decal on. dntknw.gif.pagespeed.ce.mowZrWAsXV.gif

 

 

@Wrench: according to my sources the squadron name position is correct (for example on this VA-192 A-4F, but A-4Es were similar).

 

A-4USN%252000016%2520A%2520US%2520Navy%2

 

and this VA-93 A-4E

A-4E_VA-93_on_USS_Hancock_%28CVA-19%29_1

 

well, bedtime, good night :)

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I stand corrected! Never seen those particular one.

 

the skins DO look good!

 

are you speaking of the INSIDE part of the flap, the "red" inner section to place the Modex on??

Edited by Wrench

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ok, this is one of them 'drive you bat-shit crazy' things.

 

the positions below will put the decals on the flap. but only on the bottom!!

when the decal facing is TOP, they don't show.

And, examining the A-4E.lod with hex editor, there are no other meshes (Flap_inside_R/L puts the decal on the bottom of the wing section of the flap well) that correspond with the actual flap itself.

 

[Decal0**]
MeshName=Flap_Left
DecalLevel=2
DecalFacing=BOTTOM
FilenameFormat=
Position=-1.25,-2.0
Scale=0.90
DecalMaxLOD=2

 

[Decal0**]
MeshName=Flap_Right
DecalLevel=2
DecalFacing=BOTTOM
FilenameFormat=
Position=1.25,-2.0
Scale=0.90
DecalMaxLOD=2

 

this is some seriously WEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDD stuff!!

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yep, thats what I found out. I got a decal on top of the wing, the bottom of the wing, the bottom of the flap and the bottom of the non-movable red flap part inside...but not on top of the flap itself. cray.gif.pagespeed.ce.e7zcGoJNnJ.gif

 

wierd is the exact word for that. thanks a lot for your help!

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Great skins! The flap modex issue has haunted me as well. I don't have the answer for it.

 

Might as well release my VA-12 skin after a year of messing with it. Especially now that we have a functional Rosie to fly from now.

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Great skins! The flap modex issue has haunted me as well. I don't have the answer for it.

 

Might as well release my VA-12 skin after a year of messing with it. Especially now that we have a functional Rosie to fly from now.

 

Thanks! Seem, there is no answer for it at the moment.

 

Sure, the more the merrier...there can never be enough skyhawk-skins, as it's one of the more colorful jets. :) If needed, I can sent you a complete blank skin, in case you want to use it! Feel free to do so.

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Hi,

 

thanks :)

 

Well, that may be. I tried to use the correct color, but unfortunately there is no one "translation" for the original FS color (FS 16440 should be the correct color) to RGB values. There are several websites with RGB values for FS colors available, that differ considerably from color to color, so I chose one, that was fitting for me. Another name for the gray I found was ANA620 (I have a typing error in the following pic), which seems to be in the same colorrange as FS 16440. Weathering effects add a bit of darkness, so maybe the basecolor has to be a bit lighter...I'll play a bit with the colors later. :)

 

I don't know how other people handle this. Opinions? :)

 

I add a picture with a quick selection of variations.

post-89464-0-62792500-1413287659_thumb.png

Edited by Nyghtfall

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Well, ..... now I'm not so sure... a simple google image search for A-4s definitely show some darker gray versions in navy markings. I think we are all just used to the lighter shade that comes stock in the game. Weird that there is variation, perhaps from fading or different batches of paint. Similar effect as on SEA USAF cammo judgiing by pics from the period.

 examples of different shades (apparently)..

 

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don't forget differences in film stock as well.  These can give all sorts of changes to the print. Kodachrome or Technicolor or (whatever that is for color prints), especially when aged, change.  

 

I just used a base "gull grey" and 'insignia white"

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My two cents..... Wrench's templates with Nyghtfall's outstanding decal work, is the way to go.

Sounds like a good idea!!y

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I combined Wrench's Template with my decals and my template with decals for a quick comparison. Judge for yourself. I definitely agree with you, that the colors need additional tuning, rivets and lines could be more visible and everything looks some kind of blured on my side of the skin (probably due to thicker lines painted with gray instead of black or my method of putting one layer over another).

 

There were 3 mainreasons, why I went the way of creating a template before making a skin:

1. As I explained earlier, Wrench's template was a bit to unorganized for my taste (no offense). My aim is a template, where you can check and uncheck layers and to get skins for different skyhawk versions and/or different camos in no time. Atm it's far from being perfect and I change things with every skin I make, but it works for me.

2. I really don't like the graineffect, that is on all default skins (and therefor on Wrench's template, as he didn't touch the basecamo on that one). I didn't know if you can remove it without creating new problems, so I went the other (longer) way.

3. You just learn more about photoshop with a template then with just painting over things :)

 

As for the stock colors: After looking for the right colors for different camos on websites I came to the conclusion, that TK's colors are sometimes way off the real color. For example, the dark brownish color in SEAcamo (should be another green) and the to light stock navy-gray.

 

Long story short: I agree, there's still much to do on my template, but I think I stay with it.

 

Nevertheless, if I can help with a decal, just ask. I'm still in the learning process though.

 

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the "noise" (the grain effect as you called it) TK generated on his original skins (and by inference, his original templates, and that I left alone) is VERY annoying. It's on all the stock skins, no matter what they are. I personally prefer using a 'clouds' layer. Give a more patchy look to the weathering.

 

Rest assured, I'm not insulted in any way! But, I thought I'd grouped the layers better. Looking at the template, I could have done a better job! Should have put things into Layer Sets. 

 

You just keep on doing what you're doing; they look great!

 

Out of curiosity, which of my templates did you use for the base? (meaning, for which Skyhawk model?)

Edited by Wrench

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the "noise" (the grain effect as you called it) TK generated on his original skins (and by inference, his original templates, and that I left alone) is VERY annoying. It's on all the stock skins, no matter what they are. I personally prefer using a 'clouds' layer. Give a more patchy look to the weathering.

 

Rest assured, I'm not insulted in any way! But, I thought I'd grouped the layers better. Looking at the template, I could have done a better job! Should have put things into Layer Sets. 

 

You just keep on doing what you're doing; they look great!

 

Out of curiosity, which of my templates did you use for the base? (meaning, for which Skyhawk model?)

 

Thanks Wrench!

 

The clouds effect is great, I discovered it not long ago, but have to experiment with it a bit more. Thanks for the hint.

 

http://combatace.com/files/file/13673-sf2-template-set-for-3w-a-4f-skyhawk/

 

Thats the only Skyhawk template I found for SF2. I know, that WoV used a different mapping or model, so I didn't have a look in the WoX/SF1 section though.

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I agree with you making a good template is the starting point of a skinning project.

Time consuming at the beginning but as you well explained the only way to get proper skins in number when you want to cover each Nations / Squadrons / Service date.

 

I like to use

  1. Paint
  2. the Gimp
  3. Artweaver
  4. Xnview (Very useful tool to convert all the picture file format with batch processing)

http://www.xnview.com/de/

 

I'm still working on Veltro2K's Alizé with the help of experienced moders Baffmeister for the FM's, JonathanRL for the specific Campaign and learning.

As example

 

4 different version of the planes for the French Navy x 3 Squadrons skins per planes 12 skins + one for the Indian Navy version + the Decals job (Template also needed)

+ 1 specific Hangar screen for each so I've made a template for the Hangar too.

+ The INI's work

and at least all the debug flights

 

The good thing I can ask to the 3D modeller to make the necessary change / the Bad thing 4 version of 2 LODs Family.

 

Without templates impossible to do with the RL issues

 

I'm just looking at your nice template and you give me some ideas thank you for sharing

 

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the mapping is different, as are (almost) all the decal positions. I think TK, when going to sf2, re-generated all the lods with a different world center, throwing everything off by 1.5 meters or so aft of where they used to be.

 

For some of the other Scooter skins I've done, I've used "partial" templates. Only redoing the sections I needed to change. I'll have to look around for them, if anyone wants them

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