Thursday, May 21, 2009

Onwards and...

Now that most of the bugs are fixed (and which are boring to talk about) I figured I'd give a preview of how the second pass on the cockpit is coming along.

Coming up with a really good and consistent lighting solution was a major headache and required about a week of extremely annoying trial and error alone, inducing a lot of uncontrolled cursing and ranting (sorry Peb, hehe), but the results realism wise so far are well worth the effort. Keep in mind this is still work in progress and the improvements here are only about half complete, just the panels, seat, and controls really. The upper frames still need much love, everything else needs a little tweaking still, and this is also pre-weathering, but it'll give you a hint as to the final look of the pit.


Friday, May 15, 2009


This screenshot by TopDollar is the best I've seen of the plane(s) so far and puts my roster shot below to shame. It's both very strange and very inspiring to see such artwork done by another using my creation. :) My new desktop. Thanks TopDollar.

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comms open... and other stuff.

Well, time for another update. First off, I'm opening up this blog to comments again, but, I'm asking anyone who reads it now:

Please do not give me any reason to close them again.

I really don't need any grief, I certainly don't have time for it, and if I see any comments that are even remotely insulting to myself or anyone else I will delete them immediately. If you feel the need to rant on me because you think the plane is taking too long, well, simply go and find something else to do because it just doesn't help, in fact quite the opposite, it's very demoralizing. C'est la vie.

If we can keep things polite and civil I am happy to keep correspondence going here, but if not then I will probably shut them down again, for good.

Anyway, on to better things.

I wasn't originally going to do this paint below, mostly because I'm an anarchist and not particularly fond of 'corporate' anything, but I've put that aside since my respect for this team has grown a lot in recent months. I also don't want to be a stick in the mud in the face of umpteen requests for this scheme, and nor would I wish it on any potential repainter, haha. One of the downsides of my mission to keep performance high on the airplane is that the UV coordinates are designed for speed and the lowest number of texture vertices possible, rather than ease of repainting. Generally the airplane is fairly easy to paint, but lining up the Breitling logo on the bottom of the plane would be a complete bloody nightmare without having the original scene files. Actually it was hard enough with them and I'd probably get real hate mail from the first person that tried to do this paint, so I figured I'd save them the bother. ;)

I'm trying to secure permission from the team to include their schemes in my release package, but if they say no then I'll probably just release them as freeware around the time the plane goes on sale. One way or the other I think they will be available for use. Both the 2008 and 2009 paint jobs are represented. The 2009 is the yellow tailed one.

As for the status of the plane, she's getting close. The paints are done, the code is now very solid, with few remaining bugs and some new fun features added, and all that remains really is a good second pass on the cockpit textures, some optimizations, and the writing of the manual, plus of course sorting out distribution. While that still represents a ton of work, enough that I delayed a trip I had planned in June until October, it feels really good to see the to-do list getting smaller every day rather than bigger.

In other news, if you haven't heard, Avsim sadly had their servers trashed by a hacker. There are few crimes I hate more than senseless vandalism and the turd responsible should simply be killed in my opinion. It's good to see that they're going to come back though, however long that takes. I wish them the best of luck.

They have a temporary forum up and I'm sure donations are welcome now more than ever. There's been a lot of support shown for them, even from competitor sites, which is great to see.

Avsim's Temporary Forum

By the way, here's a truly excellent film of the Breitling Jet Team in action shot by the best aviation filmmaker out there, Lionel Charlet.