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Hi folks,anyone able to knock up a skin or decals for this beauty ??? I Would try but can't find decent images of the logos anywhere.This image came from an AceCombat mod...

Maverick tomcat.jpg

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Do you have a link to the mod? IF so then the problem is that I can't open the .pak files given the native file format for Ace Combat. Or if there is a utility I can download the skin and reverse engineer the skin to make it work for a Tomcat skin. Otherwise I'd help though, looks pretty cool.

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I watched this movie as a kid some 12 years ago (or something like this). What strikes me now is that Maverick's Tomcat had no USN markings. Any ideas why? They wanted not to be assiociated with the movie in any way?

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I think its because nothing is ever done correct in movies regarding the military, except for movies like The Lone Survivor, and the one about Chris Kyle. Other than that movies just get it wrong and I think they were painted that way in order to be not seen as an official endorsement of a movie, or some other reason that I don't know of.

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Just checked, the F-14's in the 1986 movie did have USN markings, they wore the wrong unit markings but this was deliberate.

The USN were pretty supportive of the production as they saw it as a recruiting poster.

Edited by fallenphoenix1986

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16 hours ago, EricJ said:

IF so then the problem is that I can't open the .pak files given the native file format for Ace Combat. Or if there is a utility I can download the skin and reverse engineer the skin to make it work for a Tomcat skin. Otherwise I'd help though, looks pretty cool.

Internet is your friend: https://github.com/TTFH/Ace-Combat-7-Mods

Ace Combat 7 uses the Unreal Engine 4, but those .pak archives are somewhat coded, hence they made a tool to decompress those. The extracted skin files then must be hex-edited so that they can be opened as .dds textures in a painting software. I have used this for a few custom Raptor skins.

The mentioned skin of Maverick is available here: https://www.moddb.com/games/ace-combat-7/addons/f-14d-tomcat-phoenix-top-gun-maverick

However, decals are painted on the skin, and I think it won't be of much use in this case. I mean, decals will have to be remade from scratch.

13 hours ago, EricJ said:

I think its because nothing is ever done correct in movies regarding the military, except for movies like The Lone Survivor, and the one about Chris Kyle.

So true. I liked the old but gold Black Hawk Down, and more recently Dunkirk. Sure, there are inaccuracies here and there, but some movies are definitely better than others. Top Gun surely is not meant to be an accurate portrayal of the USN.

Edited by Menrva

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Thanks, I didn't think the file was named that, as I tried a couple sites and didn't see it. As for decals it shouldn't be too hard to reverse engineer it, just have to see how it goes getting it unpacked.

Okay I managed to extract the file, but how do you hex edit? I tried renaming the file but that obviously didn't work. Which hex editor do you use and what are the steps?

Edited by EricJ

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2 hours ago, EricJ said:

Okay I managed to extract the file, but how do you hex edit? I tried renaming the file but that obviously didn't work. Which hex editor do you use and what are the steps?

I don't remember. I just found a python script which adds the .dds header to the .ubulk files, IIRC. Here's the link: https://github.com/CapitanRetraso/HEADER-7

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Okay how do I use the script? Do I just run it and it'll do the headers?

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4 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Okay how do I use the script? Do I just run it and it'll do the headers?

Well, where do I start? You need Python installed on your machine first, otherwise you cannot run the script. This is getting more complicated though. I have Python. I'll unpack and convert the files for you guys.

Edited by Menrva

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Thanks man, I do appreciate it. Also here is the start of the skin:

img00005.JPG

Edited by EricJ

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It turns out that this skin was saved as a .uexp file, not as the usual .ubulk file. In the end, after much surfing through the net, I found this tool: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LPkhshGJEJ69y_QZHSgFXRciZP-k6Oni/edit

It's very easy to use, it comes with a graphical user interface, and with it you can open the .pak files and export the .uexp file to a .TGA or .PNG image. 

Here's the Maverick skin (my attachment space is limited so I will remove it in the future): f14d_00_D.zip

With the above tool, it's easy for everyone to convert Ace Combat 7's skins anyway. I wish I had it when working on some custom F-22A Raptor skins, it really simplifies everything.

Of course, let's always give credit to the original creators of the custom Ace Combat 7 skins. Their community is made up of a lot of fantastic guys. Would be cool to get them interested in Strike Fighters 2 sometime in the future.

Edited by Menrva

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Thanks man I got it so you can remove it, again thanks for the help (and was planning on crediting the author of the skin, just a matter of course).

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Some better work. The tail insignia per the original is already low-res so I can only do so much with it, but it's something.

img00006.JPG

img00007.JPG

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Thanks and now I have to dirty it up as the original is somewhat dirty as well.

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Managed to figure out the tool Menrva linked and improved the tail and fuselage insignia:

img00008.JPG

img00009.JPG

img00010.JPG

img00011.JPG

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58 minutes ago, EricJ said:

now I have to dirty it up as the original is somewhat dirty as well.

Not really necessary, IMHO. The custom skin in not meant to be dirty actually. The original aircraft skins of Ace Combat 7 are all weathered skins, and those making custom skins use them as a base. Ace Combat portrays aircraft used extensively in wars of a fictional universe.

2 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Managed to figure out the tool Menrva linked and improved the tail and fuselage insignia.

My bad, the image I linked above was full quality already, but you had to click on it to fully open it and download it as it was. Hence why I reuploaded the skin in a zipped form.

Anyway, glad the tool works for you. I had borrowed some of the painted insignia from the Raptor skins of AC7, and converted those to .tga decals for SF2 use.

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Just now, Menrva said:

Not really necessary, IMHO. The custom skin in not meant to be dirty actually. The original aircraft skins of Ace Combat 7 are all weathered skins, and those making custom skins use them as a base. Ace Combat portrays aircraft used extensively in wars of a fictional universe.

My bad, the image I linked above was full quality already, but you had to click on it to fully open it and download it as it was. Hence why I reuploaded the skin in a zipped form.

Anyway, glad the tool works for you. I had borrowed some of the painted insignia from the Raptor skins of AC7, and converted those to .tga decals for SF2 use.

I didn't weather it too much (I can really dirty it up but it's not my call) but I'm familiar with at least some aspects (I like the jet art mainly) so cool

I will probably use it for a skin or two, maybe something else down the road but for now it helped immensely in getting it right.

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