Did you guys already try a picture enhancement software called Gigapixel AI from Topaz labs?: https://www.topazlabs.com/gigapixel-ai
I have been using it for some time to enhance default skins and terrain textures and I have to say it is working really well. it's a bit expensive though.
I wanted to post this before the end of the year, but our schedule was too intense and time was short. I also wanted to post it during our New Year’s holiday break, but as was trying to finish this up, I was forced to do battle with a moderate form of COVID. Luckily, after a few really annoying days I am able to function again and get back to our yearly round up. So, without any further delay here it is, finally.
This was a very hard year for us, even more so than 2020 thanks to the prolonged pandemic and lingering half-open, half-closed nature of major cities and office environment coupled with our busy development schedule. In addition, we had several team members get sick and require time off, plus family members who got sick needed the attention of team members to aid in recovery. Also, doing remote work, which can have advantages, is not always ideal for our development work. Our office environment has always been one of our strengths where problems and discoveries can be easily shared and discussed much quicker and focus can be better maintained. Regardless we have continued our work and even with some aircraft delayed, our overall timeline for Battle of Normandy is on track. With each new product, we set more ambitious goals for ourselves and keep pushing what we are capable of as a team. Sometimes, these goals are easily reached and sometimes not. We promise to keep pushing in 2022 and beyond.
Let’s take a look at what we accomplished in 2021 shall we.
2021 started off promising with worldwide vaccination drives and we all thought it would allow us to get back to a normal work environment and I could once again travel to Moscow to meet with the team in person. That didn’t really happen as planned, but work on IL-2 continued and we were able to do the following in Q1.
In February we released update 4.506. Highlights include:
In February we released update 4.506. Highlights include:
- German fighter/bomber Fw 190 A-6 is now available to all Battle of Normandy owners
- Fw 190 A-6 added to Rhineland Career mode (to the 1st and 2nd chapters to joinable squadrons III./JG 11, I./JG 26 and II./JG 26 and to all chapters to AI squadrons III./KG 51 and NSGr. 20)
- Bf 109 E-7 got 4K quality external textures by Martin =ICDP= Catney
- New truck variations (which look exactly like the regular ones) that are loaded with ammo and explode when attacked in a spectacular way
- Many cockpit texture improvements by Chiawei =Oyster_KAI= Liang
- AI improvements
- Improved explosion effects
The second quarter was a busy one for Sturmovik as we released two major updates - 4.601 in April and 4.602 in June. These updates brought several new planes and vehicles to BON and Flying Circus and even brought our first Collector Vehicle to market!
Some highlights from 4.601 and 4.602 include:
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Autumn 2021 saw two more updates that really boosted Flying Circus II content with 3 new planes and we released our mobile German Flak half-track. If you look through the highlights below, you’ll notice a lot of rather small, but important changes. Such details are important for our sim, but they take time and require research. Also notice our unique pilot fatigue modeling that makes dogfights and combat feel more real and less superhuman. Imagine being a young kid flying one of these machines and the physicality it took to be successful as a fighter pilot. It wasn’t always just about the performance of the aircraft like we seem to focus on in the sim. The human factor played a larger role in real life.
4.603 and 4.604
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The push was on to finish the year strong even though our fabulous twin-engine aircraft for Normandy had developed slower than planned. So, we focused on adding the AQMG and New Clouds to IL-2 as fast as we could. Update 4.605 came in October and updates 4.701 and 4.702 hit in December wrapping up the year.
Updates 4.605, 4.701 and 4.702 includes these great additions and much more.
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As is always the case, we cannot do what we do without the support of talent individuals that help us improve the simulation. Sometimes they help in small ways and sometimes in big ways, but it all adds up to make users enjoy Sturmovik that much more. This is in incomplete list and I’m likely to forget someone, but we want to say special thanks to ICDP, Raptorattacker, LukeFF, SYN_Vander, Jaegermeister, Oyster_Kai, Requiem, SYN_Haashashin, Pat_Wilson, MisterSmith, ShamrockFive, Gambit21, Haluter, BlackHellHound1, Rowdyb00t, SolidKreate, ROEN911, Juri_JS, PatCartier, Obelix, E69_Cananas, J2_Trupobaw, namhee2, SCG_Fenris_Wolf, LF_Gallahad, Mr. Black Dog and all our Beta Testers and anyone else who pitched in to help us this past year in any capacity!
Also, we want to say thanks to our professional development partners Ugra Media, DigitalForms, Michael Luchin & Team and Ivan Shirshov who are doing a great job expanding the Great Battles series!
Plans for 2022
So, what’s in store for 2022? Lots of things! Our main goals are to release BON and FCII by the summertime and work to release the Collector Planes and Tanks we have previously announced. As we do that, we will begin planning for future titles and continue to try and beef up our personnel so we can have better options then we’ve had previously for parallel development and new technology.
You can check out the list of the content we previously announced and what their status currently is. There is much new content coming in 2022 along with some new features and usability improvements that we will share in our Developer Diaries.
Fokker D.VIII - Released in 2021
Spad 7 150hp - Released in 2021
Spitfire Mk.XIV - Released in 2021
Fw-190 A-6 - Released in 2021
Nieuport 28.C1 - Released in 2021
Spad 7 180hp - Released in 2021
GAZ-MM 72-K - Released in 2021
Sd. Kfz. 10/5 + Flak38 - Released in 2021
Typhoon Mk.Ib - Released in 2021
P-51B/C - - Released in 2021
Pfalz D.XII - Released in 2021
Breguet 14.B2 - Released in 2021
DFW C.V. - Released in 2021
Airco DH.4 - Released in 2021
Western Front WWI Map – Scheduled for Q1 2022, might slip to Q2 if quality issues. (Made by Ugra Media)
Normandy Map - Scheduled for Q2 2022
Sopwith Triplane – Scheduled for Q1 2022
Ju 88 C-6 – Scheduled for Q1 2022
Handley Page 0-400 – Scheduled for late Q1 2022
Gotha G.V – Coming in Q1 2022
C-47A – Scheduled for Q2 2022 (Made by Ugra Media)
B-26 (AI) – Scheduled for late Q1 2022
V-1 Cruise Missile – Scheduled for Q2 2022 (new engineering needed to make this to launch and fly right)
Ar-234 – Scheduled for Q2 2022
Mosquito FB Mk.VI – Scheduled for Q2 2022
Me-410 – Scheduled for Q2 2022
IAR – 80/81 – Second half of 2022 (Made by Ivan Shirshov)
Churchill Mk.IV Tank – Summer 2022
Stug III Mobile Assault Gun – Summer 2022
Siemens & Schuckert D.IV – Scheduled for 2022 (Made by Ugra Media)
Sopwith Snipe – Scheduled for 2022 (Made by Ugra Media)
Li-2 – After C-47 (Made by Ugra Media)
Thanks again to all of your support in 2021 and for your continued support in 2022!!
We're glad to report that the work on 4.702 update is finished and it is released. It doesn't contain as many changes as the previous one, but it does bring the long-awaited P-51B-5 fighter for the Battle of Normandy! It took a very long time, but there were some reasons for this - namely the long list of its modifications. It has three different gunsights(!), two canopies - standard and Malcolm Hood where the moving part of the canopy is a single spherical shaped piece of plexiglass. This aircraft is also the first to have flexible bomb loadouts depending on the country (please note that for this feature to work you should select the aircraft skin of a country you want before generating a quick mission and not after that on the hangar screen). Of course, it also uses the new DVD damage visualization system and dynamic tactical codes.
Along with P-51B, we have a late Christmas gift for the owners of Flying Circus Vol.I - two new free campaigns Gallant Green featuring the British S.E.5a and Red Knights featuring the German Albatros D.V. There are also 10 new single-player missions showcasing all the birds of Vol.I. They were created by our friend Jaegermeister. A big THANK YOU to him for creating them. Enjoy!
Jaegermeister has created 28 custom skins that can be used with the Campaigns. You can download them HERE.
As usual, there are many other improvements and additions aimed at increasing the sim quality you can see in the list below. IL-2 Sturmovik team wishes you a Happy New Year, all the best and for your dreams to be fulfilled!
1. The P-51B-5 fighter is now available for all Early Access customers of Battle of Normandy;
2. The new free campaign "Gallant Green" (S.E.5a) was added for all Flying Circus Vol.I owners;
3. The new free campaign "Red Knights" (Albatros DVa) was added for all Flying Circus Vol.I. owners;
4. 10 single missions showcasing Flying Circus Vol.I aircraft were added;
5. Visual pixelization and shimmering of medium and low-density clouds at medium and far distances was minimized. Note: Radeon users may experience some minor artifacts or visual anomalies due to this change. We are working to fix this, but the solution may take until next update as we need to discuss with AMD.
6. Radio compasses of all German planes except Ju 52 were retouched (Oyster_KAI);
7. Seats and throttle controls of all Messerschmitts were redrawn (Oyster_KAI);
8. P-51D panel lettering improved (Oyster_KAI);
9. Detail of the sight cap on all Spitfires improved (Oyster_KAI);
10. All Fw 190 A8 paint schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney)
11. All Bf 109 G6 Late paint-schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
12. All Bf 109 G14 paint-schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
13. All Bf 109 K4 paint schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
14. All Me 262 paint schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
15. All P-47D-22 paint schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
16. All P-47D-28 paint -schemes, including the default, were redrawn (Martin =ICDP= Catney);
17. Fixed number of rounds for KV-1 tank when there are two ammo types with one prevailing type;
18. Tracers and navigation lights are not visible through clouds;
19. New effects of fires of aircraft engines and fuel tanks created;
20. Fixed misalignment of machine gun and automatic gun bursts on detailed ground vehicles;
21. Fixed an issue that caused large planes at a distance of more than 10km to be invisible in binoculars;
22. Morning/evening fog is now visible at different haze settings, not only the maximum one;
23. Low visibility z-fighting of the morning fog has been eliminated;
24. Reduced "blockiness" of cloud shadows on the surface;
25. The influence of launch tubes, transport containers and paratroopers on total aircraft mass was restored;
26. The old issue where the propeller was visible through the light halo of the cockpit light bulb is gone thanks to improved technology;
27. Fixed an issue where the formation lights toggle switches on American fighters were not animated when the engine was turned off;
28. Added parameter for VR: render_eye = 0 [-1, 0, 1] to startup.cfg. If set to -1, only the left eye camera will be shown on the monitor in VR mode, and only the right eye view if set to 1. If set to 0 it shows both eyes.
29. HUD appears faster on mission start;
30. Fixed problem with the direction of MLRS rockets in a multiplayer game;
31. Restored functionality of fixed cameras (LAlt+2) in multiplayer (both Cooperative and Dogfight modes) when starting the server from within the game with spectators allowed (difficulty option Allow Spectators).