Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Office...

I guess it's time for you to see it. :)

I still have a about a thousand tweaks to do on it plus a fair bit of scuffing and weathering and have to add the canopy glass and such, but it's getting close, the front cockpit at least. The rear still needs a lot of work.

Most of what you see works and pretty much anything that could be animated does actually move. I'm a track-ir snob of course but I'm not cruel, so those without one can hide or show the control sticks in either cockpit independently by clicking on the leather boots at their bases. It makes things a little easier for IFR flying sometimes, even if you have a track-ir actually.

Anyway, enjoy. I myself am pulling the fuel cutoff handle and taking a day or two off now. I've been running at full burner since christmas and I'm utterly beat. ;)

-lotus

(click to enlarge, it's big)

34 comments:

Vlad said...

uhn tss uhn tss uhn tss
Lotus's L-39 is just sex misspelled!

Seriously speaking though, this looks like the best-est piece of payware period. And by the reports I've heard, it flies just as good.

You're almost there. Keep at it.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks Vlad. :)

Yup, a day will come when I'm able to open up the project and find nothing left to add or fix, and I am surely looking forward to it.

Paavo said...

Is there any way of contributing some repaints? I'd love to do ES-RAZ and ES-YLZ, two trainers that Estonian Air Force used. (Pics)

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hi Paavo. Thanks for the offer, that's very nice of you. The problem I have at the moment is that I have a ton of work to do on the external model after the cockpit is done, a whole bunch of shape and texture fixes.

The way I have the paint kit laid out right now is going to change a lot, and so any work done on paints would be wasted before I make those changes and fixes.

I will keep those two paints in mind though, I like the grey one a lot, and I have time I will try to do one of them, but if I don't get to them then you're certainly welcome to paint away once the plane is done. :)

Thanks.

-mike

Anonymous said...

Mike,

As a future customer, could I be so bold as to ask for mine without "weathering" and "scuff marks"?

Why does the sim community like beat up aircraft, when in the real world pilots like the new, shiny, jets.

Look in any airline pilot's personal hangar and you'll see many rags, wax, polish, paint guns and some part is always in a state of disassembly getting refinished. After having some avionics work done on my plane I flew around with a container of flat black paint and repainted the scratches in the screw heads on my F33C.

In our real world L39's are mostly prized personal possessions. They are dream airplanes for people who can afford them. People don't dream of scratches and weathering, just looks like something to fix, not something to add.

Regards - your eager customer,
Tom

Brandon said...

I can't wait for this to be released. It'll justify my buying a new video card. Are you looking at any specific release date yet?

I am actually lucky enough to have flown in an L39 last year - my uncle's. It was an absolute blast - the visibility is amazing, the speed, the maneuverability. It's a dream. I was surprised at how physically intense it was though...you cant move the stick at all without having to fight the G forces. I can't imagine how something like an f16 would feel.

Speaking of the finishes on these planes, my uncle just had his repainted in its original scheme from the Ukranian air force. That would be a sweet repaint.

Really looking forward to this, man.

Cheers
Brandon

Anonymous said...

Yea I know what you mean brandon, in the trainers I've flown, when you bank left or right the stick "moves" away from you. and when you push the stick forward it "runs" downhill. flight itself is very dangerous, and I never do half the shit I do insine FlightSim.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hey Tom. I understand your concern and all I can say is don't worry. The look I'm going for is a jet that's been restored and is well loved, but is also actually flown a lot. I'm not going to turn it into a wreck haha.

The reality is that these jets are old, there hasn't been a brand new L-39 from the Aero factory since 1988 I believe, and the action of using any control will slightly wear it out over time. The scratches and worn paint etc will be in logical places and won't look abused, not spread about willy nilly.

The problem with keeping the entire thing factory fresh lies mostly in the limits of computer graphics and the way things are lit in FSX. Believe me, if I kept the whole thing perfectly pristine then it just wouldn't look real in the slightest. It'd look more like a plastic toy. Dirt is a part of life wherever humans interact with anything, but don't expect to see any real rust or dents. :)

Brandon, thanks. Yeah they're a hell of a ride aren't they. I wasn't at all prepared for the abuse an L-39 could dish out, but I was high as a kite for days after my flight with Tyson. What a rush. And yup, it's *uber* responsive to stick input. No fly by wire or hydraulic setup can compete with direct control rods for feel and sharpness of handling. I love it.

I can't give a release date yet, but my best guess is sometime *around* March. Could be earlier, could be later, we shall see. Not releasing it until it's perfect and I would really like to avoid having to release a service pack later because I missed something.

Cheers guys.

-mike

Anonymous said...

Mike,

We're looking forward to this. With the situation at ACES there is a larger gap for artists like you to fill. In a week of bleak news, thanks for giving all of us something to eagerly anticipate.

Regards,
Tom

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks very much Tom!

Yeah, it has been a bleak week for the FS community, and it really killed my motivation to work on the jet for a few days, was just sort of going through the motions, but that passed. Back in the saddle. The short term prospects are ugly but I have to hope for a good future out of this mess.

FSX has some good life left in it, and I aim to help show just how much of it there is, mostly by doing everything backwards from convention hahahaha.

Cheers man,

-mike

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Very nice detail.
Also, since the current FS11 code is now going to rot for a couple years. And since ACES is gone. Can you tell all of us a cool thing or two that WAS going to be in the now dead FS11?

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Thanks, glad you like the look of it, and no, I'm sorry I can't say anything about FS11. I respect NDAs and the ACES team, all the more so because they didn't make me sign an NDA. It was a matter of trust, I had theirs, and I really respect them for that.

Even though they've been canned I'm still bound to my verbal agreement with them unless they tell me otherwise. I'm relying on the circumspection of a few people on some of the L-39's features myself, and they've certainly kept their word, so I can't be a hypocrite.

All I can say really is that there was some truly cool stuff in the works for FS11, and it likely would have been viewed as their greatest achievement in performance and features, the version that would have had people dropping both FS9 and FSX like they were worthless. It's really sad.

-mike

Doug said...

My favourite texture has to be of that throttle. I dunno why, just appealing to the eye :)

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hehe thanks Doug. Some planes will have the yellow foam overlay on the throttle, and others will be brushed aluminum, same crosshatch grip though.

Tommy said...

Is the glass compatible with Vista/FSX SP2? and by the way, it's freeware right?

Vlad said...

Haha. Sincerely, thank you for the morning laughs, Tommy. :)

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hi Tommy. The plane is only for FSX with Acceleration or SP2, so yes the glass is guaranteed to work in it.

And no, it will be payware.

Anonymous said...

http://www.richard-seaman.com/Wallpaper/Aircraft/NonCombatants/Trainers/Oceana2005L39.jpg
ive found the repaint im going to do.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Haha, yeah seen that one a few times, it's cute. The talons on the tanks are a nice touch. It's quite similar in layout to the Biele Albatrosy, so shouldn't be too tough with that as reference.

Anonymous said...

whats the big black thing? its where hud are usually located? what could that thing possibly be? trim ball or something? what the hell is that? it bugs me.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

It's the bottom half of the gunsight (which will be on the military models only) the rest is out of frame.

Tutmeister said...

Looks great, as always.

If you release in March I am going to be gutted as I won't be able to buy it until April anyway...Eagle Dynamics has that crappy online pay system that didn't like my visa debit and didn't have an alternative, so I'm being forced to wait for the boxed version at the end of March...hence the L-39 falls to April as I've been waiting for Black Shark forever, it seems.

Sorry, but I know you know DCS:BS is worth it!

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

I dunno man, I might run out of L-39s.... ;)

No worries. Black Shark is cool. I wish I had time to play it.

Mugar said...

I'll buy 2 incase I lose one of them.

Anonymous said...

sorry but that "gunsight" is ugly, is there going to be a vc without the gunsight? like this?
or similar to
this modern one?

-Jordan

pebble said...

Jordan, as Lotus said just a couple of posts above, the gunsight will only appear on the military models where it is actually used.

As for being ugly, I worried that it would be too visually obstructive. But Lotus and I have been flying the gunsight version for a couple of months now, and we scarcely notice it any more. It's far less intrusive than you might imagine, based on the screenshots.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I hope I dont notice. I just dont want to seethis kind of thing. lol

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hi Jordan. That is exactly the gunsight that the L-39C originally came with, and that's exactly what I've built. Realism before beauty.

As I said it's only in the military models, so if you don't like it you can fly the civilian ones, or you can always change the model assignments in the aircraft config if you want to fly a mil paint without one.

As for a 'modern' version, one that's been upgraded with all digital avionics, I won't be doing anything like that simply because 2D gauges are brutal on fps and cause massive stutters, especially those big EFIS displays.

-mike

Jordan said...

oh sorry didnt see that, but how do u shoot out of a knob? is there a trigger? and it seems like 3d would be worse than 2d gauges. still aiming for middle of march rama? I am truly amped.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Shoot out of a knob? hehe. You can only see the bottom half of the gunsight. Above it is a combiner glass and projected reticle, much like a small hud. The big black knob is for range selection.

There will be a trigger on the stick yes, but remember FSX can't model weapons to any level of consequence. The gunsight is fun for mock dogfights though.

And nope, 3D gauges are *always* much much faster than 2D. 2D gauges are made of up dozens of bitmap images that the sim has to composite in perfect order every frame and then render into a texture so that you can see them in the VC. It's incredibly hard on the cpu and causes constant stutters, especially when the bitmaps are big, like moving map displays etc. 3D gauges are simply polygon needles that are translated in the same way an aileron or control stick is, and the code that drives them is built into the model itself, making it very quick for the sim to read.

The code that drives 2D gauges is in ascii text format and has to be compiled on the fly when you run the game, another thing that makes them slow. Using 3D gauges only taxes the video card and they free the already overloaded CPU to do scenery stuff instead, a much better use of its time.

3D gauges are invariably smoother, faster in response, look cleaner, are properly antialiased and lit, and take far far less processor time, and that equals higher fps. It's win win win win. ;)

-mike

Tutmeister said...

Can the images be used as sprites, where one large image is pre-loaded and you just denote what area is shown to which gauge?

It was the solution a few years back to CSS-only websites with rollover images, which is my trade alongside flying, so just professional curiosity really! :D

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

Hey Tut. That's kind of how 2D gauges work, at least during the render to texture phase. You basically have all the gauges being mapped into one or two big images and then parts of those final composites are sent to the VC. Whatever uv coordinates the VC is referencing in those maps is what shows for a particular gauge. Therein lies the problem though, to get any kind of decent resolution for 2D gauges you're having to composite some huge images together. Only the cpu can do that, the videocard just sits there waiting for data.

The 2D/3D gauge thing was a major factor in my decision to do the Albatros in the first place actually. Steam gauges are perfect for 3D.

Tutmeister said...

Gotcha, thanks for the info. Always interesting to hear how these things work.

Lotus / Ramasurinen said...

No worries. If you really want to glaze your eyes over we can always discuss enumeration variables in xml. ;)