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Author Topic: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!  (Read 5921 times)

Jonathan

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Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« on: October 02, 2014, 07:59:56 pm »

 :)Hello Ladies & Gents.

I have thought of an interesting project which requires HD photos of Cessna 172 Gauges. The project I am attempting is, I am going to actually try and take the real photos of and cut/copy/integrate them into C172 panel in Outerra. I want to see how realistic this will look. If this is successful I want to show other developers how this can be done with this game engine. I know games like X-Plane and MSFS actually paint their own gauges and try to match them as close to the real thing as possible but they don't look realistic. The approach I mentioned above is a much more realistic way to capture the realism of a real cockpit & I think this could work! So who is interested in helping with this project? It would help if you are a real Pilot with a C172 so you can go out and take pics.I can give you the specs on the sizes I need the gauge pics so I can crop and do the rest of the work. I could go online and find them but they all have copyrights and most people want to be paid if I use their images. Perhaps does anyone know where their is nice HD photos of aircraft gauges that aren't copyrighted?


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Steve.Wilson

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 08:53:20 pm »

First of all, I'm not a taker on the project.  I have another similar project I'm working on for a client, however, so I have a pretty good idea of how this sort of thing is best accomplished.

Any images you take or acquire will be of assembled gauges.  Then these gauges will likely have an indicator needle present.  Finally, they will have glass over the face of the instrument.

The most realistic gauges in Outerra would be based on 3D elements.  Therefore, you would have a gauge indicator face, an animated indicator needle or needles, finally covered by a semi-clear surface.  All of which need their own textures -- or photographs. 

If you had an excellent series of C172 photographs taken under very controlled conditions, you would still need to Photoshop them to remove artifacts induced by the clear face and you'd have to carefully remove the needle to create your background.  The needle gets reused, and of course you'd have to do some sort of baked reflection for the transparent face.

So you never do get away from Photoshop, and it's far from just a matter of cropping images.  The key thing is the controlled environment for the original images, and this is something you, as the creator, really should do yourself with a decent camera.  Since this is your baby, you'll want and need complete control.  It's a great idea to give a try, but a team effort would probably be a lot more cumbersome than just going to the local FBO and describing what you want to do.  Don't be rebuffed by the first rejection, you'll eventually find someone willing to let you spend an hour or so in his aircraft...under supervision!  Good luck!
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HiFlyer

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 09:03:50 pm »

Not my bailiwick, but I suspect you would get just as good (and easier to control) results using a 3D modeling program to just make the gauges.
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Jonathan

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 09:40:08 pm »

First of all, I'm not a taker on the project.  I have another similar project I'm working on for a client, however, so I have a pretty good idea of how this sort of thing is best accomplished.

Any images you take or acquire will be of assembled gauges.  Then these gauges will likely have an indicator needle present.  Finally, they will have glass over the face of the instrument.

1. The needles can be brushed out
2. I already have a solution for glass over the gauges as I have posted before, I have made a glossy gauges mod in the past.

The most realistic gauges in Outerra would be based on 3D elements.  Therefore, you would have a gauge indicator face, an animated indicator needle or needles, finally covered by a semi-clear surface.  All of which need their own textures -- or photographs.
1. Already have this solved & I have done this before


If you had an excellent series of C172 photographs taken under very controlled conditions, you would still need to Photoshop them to remove artifacts induced by the clear face and you'd have to carefully remove the needle to create your background.  The needle gets reused, and of course you'd have to do some sort of baked reflection for the transparent face.

Of course you would, I always new you would have to brush out artifacts

So you never do get away from Photoshop, and it's far from just a matter of cropping images.  The key thing is the controlled environment for the original images, and this is something you, as the creator, really should do yourself with a decent camera.  Since this is your baby, you'll want and need complete control.  It's a great idea to give a try, but a team effort would probably be a lot more cumbersome than just going to the local FBO and describing what you want to do.  Don't be rebuffed by the first rejection, you'll eventually find someone willing to let you spend an hour or so in his aircraft...under supervision!  Good luck!

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Steve.Wilson

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 10:17:33 pm »

Well, you seem to have this project well in hand, Jon.  You just need a C-172......with a glass cockpit!!  ;)
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bomber

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 09:22:07 am »

I would say the problem is your 2d artist isn't up to snuff....

Now you get yourself a BLOWHARD on your project team and it's a different kettle of fish.

Now where did I put  those images of cockpits?
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Steve.Wilson

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 12:28:55 pm »

Bomber is absolutely right.  A good 2D artist can work amazing magic in Photoshop.  I've got the privilege of working with one now on a combined FSX/X-Plane commercial project, and what this guy can do is amazing.  I think of myself as being at least somewhat skilled, but I've seen this guy's cockpits, and they are works of art that look exceptionally real, especially with good ambient lighting and shadows.  I'm dreading having to animate all the goodies he's put in the cockpit of our project.  I will be very busy.  Even a C-172 would be quite time consuming, but you already know that's the way to go.

Bomber is also right about people that gainsay their skills and offer up the moon, but have nothing behind them.  So choose your team carefully.  I may kid around a lot, and offer up ideas and suggestions more than tangible content, but I do wish you well.  (The glass cockpit comment was humor, in case that might have been missed! ;) )
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bomber

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2014, 12:51:19 pm »

Arh.... BLOWHARD is a person.

Google, “blowhard texture plane“

Had the pleasure...
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"If anyone ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me - it's all balls" - R J Mitchell

Steve.Wilson

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 01:47:06 pm »

Hehe, you're *still* not out of the woods, Bomber.  ;)  Indeed....a "blowhard" is a person, a person that is full of themselves and offers nothing but opinions, his opinions, and his opinions are always RIGHT.  But I took your initial comments incorrectly, I think... :D

Blowhard, the person, is a skilled texture artist, and Jon would benefit well from a person with his skills if he can't get the pictures he thinks he needs.

More thinking there, Jon... you might consider contacting the makers of the gauges themselves to request pictures of naked instrument faces prior to assembly.  Asking nicely, describing yourself, your project and your ambitions can sometimes pay dividends you don't expect.  I recently queried a company about performance data for an engine they were using and they complied quickly and with enthusiasm. 
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Jonathan

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2014, 08:58:27 pm »

Bomber is absolutely right.  A good 2D artist can work amazing magic in Photoshop.  I've got the privilege of working with one now on a combined FSX/X-Plane commercial project, and what this guy can do is amazing.  I think of myself as being at least somewhat skilled, but I've seen this guy's cockpits, and they are works of art that look exceptionally real, especially with good ambient lighting and shadows.  I'm dreading having to animate all the goodies he's put in the cockpit of our project.  I will be very busy.  Even a C-172 would be quite time consuming, but you already know that's the way to go.

Bomber is also right about people that gainsay their skills and offer up the moon, but have nothing behind them.  So choose your team carefully.  I may kid around a lot, and offer up ideas and suggestions more than tangible content, but I do wish you well.  (The glass cockpit comment was humor, in case that might have been missed! ;) )

Sure you could always use Photoshop but it still doesn't satisfy the needs of realistic junkies like myself. When I create something I want it to be perfect and yes I do have OCD so that probably plays a role. I do have to say look at XP & MSFS, guess what? They use Photoshop for their gauges and are still not even close to mimicking the real textures of gauges from their real counterparts. Real pictures are real pictures period and add to the authenticity of an art project. If I had an aircraft myself I would do it but I don't so this is where I am stuck  ::) I may have to talk with people from Airliners.net and ask if I can use their photos for this project. I know for a fact that my methods can be done and need to be shown to the devs on how it can be done. There was many here on the forum that brought up valid points like the needle always showing, The gloss effect but as I have stated before all of these problems with methods I have created myself and it puzzles me that devs can't even figure out a simple notion on how to do it. I am a simple minded but analytical person and if the big companies can't figure out how to do what I just did then they need someone else to work for them.

Here is a sample of the glossy Gauges I made awhile back. Yes some improvement could be made but it's a start & yes all the needles work as expected!
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/9549/afterg.png
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PytonPago

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 11:39:40 pm »

Arh.... BLOWHARD is a person.

Google, “blowhard texture plane“

Had the pleasure...

 ... has some nice how-to i see : http://www.eaf51.org/Photoshop/Tutorial/Basic_Weathering.htm


 ... right there, having naked instrument photo-documentation would be needed for something like that, but probably, they will have just clean ones too (no wear on them). I would not underestimate good texture work. Played whyte my gauges some little and if ya make a good detailed inscription work, it may end up better than photos, whyte the addition of bump or reflection maps (crazybump and other similar software may help there a lot). Doe i would say the biggest problem would be light on the photos if ya take the road - i havent seen an vehicle interior snapshot gallery, where you could blend them together whyteout dealing whyte inconsistent light distribution trough the photos. For a airplane cockpit, you would probably need some pro taking really good snapshots of all panels and stuff in there whyte some heavy lighting tweaking in mind. (and i have no idea how he would convince the airport service team to unscrew all the switches from them ... probably a lot of vodka on an russian airshow involved ;D ) --
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Jonathan

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Re: Outerra Project: Cockpit Realism...Calling All Real Pilots!
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2014, 08:34:56 pm »

Arh.... BLOWHARD is a person.

Google, “blowhard texture plane“

Had the pleasure...

 ... has some nice how-to i see : http://www.eaf51.org/Photoshop/Tutorial/Basic_Weathering.htm


 ... right there, having naked instrument photo-documentation would be needed for something like that, but probably, they will have just clean ones too (no wear on them). I would not underestimate good texture work. Played with my gauges some little and if ya make a good detailed inscription work, it may end up better than photos, with the addition of bump or reflection maps (crazybump and other similar software may help there a lot). Doe i would say the biggest problem would be light on the photos if ya take the road - i havent seen an vehicle interior snapshot gallery, where you could blend them together without dealing with inconsistent light distribution trough the photos. For a airplane cockpit, you would probably need some pro taking really good snapshots of all panels and stuff in there with some heavy lighting tweaking in mind. (and i have no idea how he would convince the airport service team to unscrew all the switches from them ... probably a lot of vodka on an russian airshow involved ;D ) --

Thanks Pyton! very interesting read :)!
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