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Everything posted by Geezer

  1. In cooperation with VonS and Quack74, I'm developing some new WW1 aircraft. I've begun mapping the Junkers J.I and will pass it on to Quack for textures, then VonS for FM.
  2. A couple of guys have wondered why my stuff looks so "real." Before returning to aviation in the 1980s, I graduated from a professional art school and had to learn both scientific theory and the techniques of the masters (DaVinci, Rembrandt, etc) to paint realistically. I thought I'd pass on some basic information that will assist you guys in making more realistic mods. First, leave your preconceptions at the door and approach the subject of color theory with an open mind - the odds are, what you think you know is wrong. First, we start with the science. What we call color is reflected light at different frequencies. Every color has a unique frequency which travels through the real world until it is detected by our eyeballs. The real world usually affects these frequencies as they travel through the atmosphere, and shifts them slightly before they strike our eyeballs. These frequency shifts, and other phenomena, create optical illusions that are part of the world we live in. Understanding optical illusions is crucial to creating realistic art. We have all seen railroad tracks converge to a point on the horizon. Your mind knows the tracks are the same distance apart at the horizon as they are at your feet, BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT YOUR EYES SEE. Creating realistic art requires you focus on what your eyes see, and ignore what your mind tells you. Lets say you want to make some new skins for an aircraft. You do careful research and identify some accurate colors, then use a paint program to take samples of those colors, and then start painting the new skins. You just screwed up! Because of the frequency shifts that happen while light is traveling through the atmosphere, the colors seen by your eyeballs seldom match color samples. Yes, your mind knows those color shifts are not "real" but so what? If you want to make realistic art, the only thing that matters is what your eyeballs see. A color frequency consists of three things: - The color itself - is it red, or blue, or green, or whatever. - The saturation of the color - is it vivid or dull. Think of the difference between vivid fire engine red and dull brick red. - The lightness/darkness, called "value" in the art world. The bottom line: because of frequency shift, most colors seem lighter and duller to our eyeballs. So, make copies of your color samples and then lighten the value of each color and also reduce the saturation of each color. OK, how much? It varies due to the situation. Is the noonday sun bright, or is the setting sun dull? Is there a lot of dust or water vapor in the air? It boils down to your own personal interpretation - that's why they call it "art." - If you like your aircraft looking like they just rolled out the paint shop door, then lighten and dull your colors just a little - say 5% to 10%. - If you like your aircraft looking like they have been used but well cared for, then lighten and dull your colors 10% to 20%. - If you like your aircraft looking like they have been beat to hell, then lighten and dull your colors 20% to 30%. To illustrate how these factors affect "realism" let's look at value. NEVER use true black or true white as a general color because THEY SELDOM OCCUR IN NATURE. That's because black and white aren't colors, they are values. White is a combination of all light frequencies, while black is the total absence of any light whatsoever. These conditions - all light or no light - are quite rare, but most people don't know this. What most people describe as black or white is actually EXTREMELY DARK GRAY or EXTREMELY LIGHT GRAY. Shot below of "black" painted Lancaster shows how black seldom occurs in the real world. Note the strips of "true black" added in Photoshop. Close examination of the photo shows the picture is almost always a tiny bit lighter than the strips of "true black." OK you say, what happens if you turn out the lights and darken the hangar? Remember that black is the total absence of any light WHATSOEVER. So long as small amounts of light leak under doors, etc there is some light inside the hangar, so scientifically speaking, the hangar cannot be "black." So, why have I beaten the subject to death? If "black" is darker than any other color, but does not occur outdoors in the real world, then "black" in the real world is actually a slightly lighter dark gray - and all other colors appear lighter too because they are lighter than black. Note the use of black in publications and computer graphics is a form of style. Style is a variant of realism but is not realism itself. Try experimenting with any art you may have already made. Load the new art into the sim and see what it looks like. Below are two shots of MontyCZ's excellent Stuka art. The first is his original art unmodified. The second is his art that has been lightened and dulled around 15%. Another shot of lightened and dulled art, plus a little glossiness.
  3. I have stated several times that I do not care what the SF community thinks. Your obsessive compulsive behavior is spoiling what should be an enjoyable hobby for everyone. I am now going to do what I should have done when you first came to the FE forums - follow Mark Twain's advice and ignore you.
  4. I come back from a short business trip, and find you are still whining. You are stubborn to a fault. One of several reasons why I won't touch SF with a ten foot pole is it is full of obnoxious fanboys like you. You deserve to be insulted because, when it comes to my intellectual property the only thing that matters is what I think. Go back to your own forums and pound sand.
  5. After a two year break, due to real world distractions, I have recently resumed work on a First Eagles 2 mod - Storm Over The Sahara. The setting is June-December 1940 in North Africa, when Italy declared war on Great Britain and invaded Egypt. At that time, Britain's back was against the wall in the Battle of Britain and had no resources to spare for North Africa. Plus, Italy's aircraft production program was a shambles. The result? Nearly all aerial combat during the first six months of the World War 2 in North Africa employed biplane fighters - monoplanes slowly dribbled into the theater and did not become numerically significant until 1941. In addition to the widespread use of biplanes, there were other similarities to World War 1. Initially, aerial combat took place at the same low altitudes as over the Western Front, and use of radio was spotty - command and control was little different from 1917-1918. Some shots: http://www.slickpic.com/album/ModShots#2392310
  6. Storm Over The Sahara

    Contact me by PM and I'll send you some LODs for testing. Been thinking about making Italian L3 and British MK6 tanks, but haven't gotten around to it.
  7. You're laboring under the false impression that someone died and left you in charge. This unfortunate situation exists only because you chose to come to the FE forums and cause trouble. A prominent SF modder observed that the best modders work in FE. Whether true or not, the point is modding is supposed to be a fun and rewarding hobby not an ego trip. Speaking only for myself, I will have fun making stuff any way I please. Others may use or reject my work as they see fit because they are entitled to pursue their hobby any way they see fit. That's what its all about. What you think does not matter.
  8. Fine. You clowns have been pestering me since day one because you ASSUMED I was interested in your opinions. Not once have I ever said I cared about SF or the views of SF fanboyz. Not once. Despite that, you clowns persisted in coming to the FE threads and ASSUMING that your inputs were relevant despite the fact that none of you know anything about professional art direction/design. I do not care what you think, and never have. If this unfortunate situation is what it takes to get you clowns to shut up and go away then so be it.
  9. What is it about "tough shit" that you don't understand?
  10. Storm Over The Sahara

    Been pretty busy with RL but got some work done on some desert trucks. I'm working on some high poly models that are not suitable for TW's antique game engine - green trucks in foreground. Lower poly trucks, suitable for the TW game engine, have partially completed skins that resemble the finished product Final shot shows a selection of other high poly vehicles in development that will be placed in Tunisian scenes using the Unreal Engine.
  11. Found my early notes, and reviewed the comments above. The facts say you guys are full of it. Typical SF fanboyz. For starters, not one of you have built maps in FE/FE2 so you only have uninformed opinions. You literally don't know what you are talking about. Second, Wrench pointed out that FE objects vary wildly but you ignored that and instead pursued your fanboy preconceptions. Measurements will vary depending on which object is selected, so naturally you went with what confirmed your prejudices. Third, and most telling, Gterl is the expert on FE map making, not some overly opinionated but under informed SF fanboyz. Several times over the last couple of years he and I have worked together making some custom models. He never had any problems with 63% models; his only problem - which I mentioned before - is having to mix 63% and 100% models together in such a way there were no visual conflicts. You clowns ignored that because it did not fit your prejudices. So, your methodology was flawed and your fanboy motivations questionable. I will continue to build 63% models for FE and if you guys don't like it, tough shit.
  12. Thought I'd start a new thread dedicated to the Spanish Civil War mod that Steve and I have started working on. We intend to make all new figures, guns, buildings, vehicles, etc so this is going to take a while - at least a year. Spain was a fascinating blend of late biplanes and early monoplanes. At that time, the superiority of the monoplane was not clearly evident so both Italy and Russia developed new biplane fighters based on their experience in Spain.
  13. New Aircraft

    Been working on the Bleriot gunner and S79.
  14. Storm Over The Sahara

    In addition to the Wellesley, I might make a Valencia. It just oozes character and atmosphere!
  15. Storm Over The Sahara

    Progress shot of the 1940 desert war aircraft. On the S.79, you can see test colors for a desert camo scheme. When the FE version is complete Guuruu will consider making a more complex version for SF.
  16. Storm Over The Sahara

    Yeah, plus there were several more obsolete aircraft used in East Africa, such as the Wellesley and Caproni Ca133. What map are you referring to?
  17. Storm Over The Sahara

    More stuff: "The first North African Campaign was a very interesting one for several reasons. North Africa was Italy’s main front in what was later called the “Parallel War”, i.e. the period during which Italy tried to fight the Commonwealth autonomously, without the help of the German Armed Forces, and thus a period during which achievements and defeats were due only to Italian merits or mistakes. This period is one of the very few where historians can try to assess the real effectiveness of the Italian war effort, without being confused by the presence of German forces, and this is obviously true also in the field of air warfare. With the Battle of Britain absorbing practically all the best resources, the Commonwealth forces on the North African front had to rely mostly on second line machines, sometimes already put out of service at home. This, together with the Italian trust in the biplane formula, meant that the Western Desert was (together with Greece and East Africa) the last battlefield in the history of air warfare where biplanes confronted each other. Needless to say, pilots of these archaic aircraft were by no means inferior in determination or skill to their colleagues fighting in Spitfires or Messerschmitts over the English Channel. Many of the most important Italian and Commonwealth pilots of the conflict drew first blood during this campaign, notably amongst them the top Italian and RAF aces of WW II, Teresio Martinoli and Thomas Pattle." Gustavsson, Hakan. Desert Prelude: Early Clashes. Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, knew a thing or two about armies. He described the Italian army as "good soldiers, bad officers." 1940 drew to a close with the Italians having suffered disastrous losses, prompting the Germans to send a couple of mobile divisions to prop up the Italian survivors. The spring of 1941 ushered in a new phase in the desert war, one that most buffs are familiar with. But it all began with CR42s dueling with Gladiators over the Libyan/Egyptian border in 1940.....
  18. Storm Over The Sahara

    Found more interesting stuff in Desert Prelude Early Clashes that reinforces the overall feel of outdated equipment used because nothing else was available - truly a "forgotten battle." First photo shows 3 RAAF squadron at Helwan on 11 November, 1940 - still using fixed pitch wooden propellers. Second and third shots show Gladiators with scruffy finish due to intense desert sun. Third shot shows FO Linnard of 89 Sqdn on 27 September 1940 still using ring and bead sight. Fourth shot shows Dragon Rapide and Bristol Bombay transport/bomber. When used as bombers, between one and six Bombays would raid Tobruk most every night. The ancient Vickers Valencia transport continued in service until 1941. Final shot of Hawker Hart K4901 still in service in 1941.
  19. Storm Over The Sahara

    Took a break from the Bleriot and dusted off the 1940 desert stuff. Found an old reference, Desert Prelude Early Clashes, and refreshed some delightful memories. Italy was woefully unprepared for the war that Mussolini suddenly sprang on the Italian military. Meanwhile, the Battle of Britain was raging over the Channel so Britain could not spare any desperately needed production for Libya/Egypt. Consequently, the 1940 desert war was the swan song of the biplane. It was the last time that biplane fighters were mainstream equipment used by BOTH sides, as no monoplane fighters were immediately available - small numbers of monoplane fighters began to slowly dribble into the theater some months later. The result was combat between many obsolete types of aircraft that had been retired from service in other theaters that had higher priority for new production aircraft. One example was the Italian port of Tobruk was initially defended by obsolete CR32s, as "modern" CR42s were being rushed to Africa but had not yet arrived. On one occasion, CR32s intercepted a British Sunderland over Tobruk and chased it out to sea where they shot it down. EDIT: for those who might be interested in this theater, and others, a good source is Biplane Fighter Aces of the Second World War - http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/
  20. Spanish Skies

    Thanks! I was unable to find an existing font, so I made my own. The "2" shown is a variant of the fonts included in the CR42 graphics pack. See attached. CR42_Elements.rar
  21. Spanish Skies

    Progress shots...
  22. New Aircraft

    Got more detail work done on the Bleriot.
  23. VonS - It's always a pleasure to read one of your analytical posts. Keep up the good work!
  24. Interesting. Now that I have thought about it, I recall someone requesting 63% vehicles to place next to buildings so the vehicles did not look too large. Perhaps there was a mixture of 100% and 63% objects in the early releases? Gterl has the most experience with placing buildings on an FE map - perhaps he could comment? I no longer have those building LODs on my computer. Perhaps someone could sweet talk Baffmeister into sharing the stuff I sent him, so some comparative testing could be done?

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