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Texture for C-141A Starlifter


jw
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Burkhard,

First thank you very much for the C-141A, it is truly wonderful! I now have the 63rd MAW flying in and out of Norton!

However, I would like to replace the present gray texture with the white/gray texture of the time peroid. Is there a way to take a texture I have now for a FSX C-141 and replace the one that is currenlty being used by the C141 in MyTraffic?

Jim

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It is extremely unlikely that this works, most user planes have dozens of textures that make up all the details. Painting isn't complicated at all, I can upload the blank and the gray bitmaps here and you can give that a try, maybe that is a new hobby for you to paint all the major historical liveries of the C141.

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Attached is the texture used on the C141 that you see as a simple bitmap. Extract it and put it into a folder you want to collect your work in. I see this one is for the B model, I will attach the one for the A model later.

If you double click to it, I assume Paint will open, if not then male a right click on it and select open with... Paint. Now you have the tools almost complete.

Make a copy of that file and give it another name - you want to go back later to the original I'm sure.

Browse to the MyTraffic\aircraft\C141MX folder.

It contains two texture folders. My00 is for the later C141B and contains files

C141-t.bmp

C141-t-1.bmp

C141-t-3.bmp

C141-l.bmp

C141-l-1.bmp

C141-l-3.bmp

The -l files are for night illumination - we ignore that for the moment, a later lesson.

The -1 files are for the low quality model, and the -3 ones for the distant model when the aircraft is small on screen - we ignore that for the moment, a later lesson.

So all you have to do is to replace the file C141-t.bmp with another one and the near model will look different.

Make a backup of the My00 and My01 folders so that you can go back an times. Any devolpment means to keep many intermediate files until a project is done.

If you now try to open texture.My00\C141-t.bmp with paint this will fail - the FSX textures are in a compressed special format ( DXT1) not many programs can read or write. Never try to convert a bitmap from that format to the standard 24bit format - the compression makes artefacts that will ruin your day.

So now go to your work folder, open the 24bit C141-t.bmp with paint, and you see the two sides. Make a big red dot onto the left side and big blue one onto the right, and save the file.

Now you must convert the 24bit file into a DXT1 file. You can best do this using Imagetool that you find in the FSX SDK ( or the FS2004 SDK on the net if you haven't) in the Environment Kit\terrain folder, copy it to your work folder.

Start Imagetool with a double click, open the bitmap you changed, under Image->Fomat select DXT1, save it. Now copy it to the texture.My00 folder, replacing the original. And now already all of your C141B will have the red and blue dots.

Now you are more or less done. The rest is artwork, I recommend to play a bit with it so that you get full control over the technical process - and once you have that we can come to the next lesson.

C141-t.zip

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Hello Burkhard,

First, I appreciate you taking the time to go thhrough this with me. I hope when it is competed it will be helpful to others.

I completed your lesson without difficullty. I then tried my hand at painting using Paint. I should add, I also experimented with PhotoShop as well. I went back to Paint as I found it much easier to use for a beginner such as myself. When all was said and done, I was pretty pleased with my result - it looks in the bmp file the way the aircraft looked in the early 70's. However, if you look at the attached, I somehow changed the size of the .bmp file. I ran it through the Imagetool without knowing this at first. All areas I worked on came out black when I ran MYT.

I have tried unsuccessfully to change the size of the bmp file. I have attached the file in the hpes you can tell what I did wrong and maybe help me correct it.

Jim

C141A 3.0 Work in Progress File.bmp.zip

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You can always see the size of the bitmap in paint when you go to properties. That should never change, nor the position of any of the parts on the texture.

One second lesson now:

When you have your bitmap in imagetool, and converted to DXT1 format, next go to image - create mipmaps - this creates lower resolution sub images that are faster to load. Save this.

Then select images - extract mipmaps, and you get several smaller images. Select the -3 image, create mip maps, press save, and you have the texture used for the far away model.

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Not always, but in general yes. The most important function you will need in Paint is the transparency. If you select the selection to be transparent, you normally have white (255,255,255) as transparent, so you select say the left side fuselege that you painted, copy, paste, no click into the image!, mirror the pasted horizontally, and pull it precisely ( no pixel shift allowed here!) over the right side, and once it is there you may want to remove the transparency before delecting the mirrored object, and you have it. Next you will have to Mirror parts like everything that is written.

This needs a bit of practice, and may involve playing with the zoom factor so that everything can be placed precisely easily. Maybe you also prefer to only copy, paste and mirror sections, sometimes this is even necessary to not overwrite other parts of the textures like wing or engines.

This message cannot be used if any writing is diagonal, like in the tail of Southwest Airlines, that requires other tools.

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Now to your artwork. You are on the right way, this could be used already.

I think we can start another lesson, and I assume the unit emblems to be a good candiate for this. I expect you have a bigger version somewhere, a giant source of information that can keep you busy the next three lives as example is http://www.scramble.nl/airforces/index.html but there are million other sources. You get an emblem, it is typically 80x80 pixel, but on the body it should not be bigger than 10x10, so you have to scale it. There the scale function in Paint is not good, there are better algorithms, and that is where Irfan View comes into the game. Paste the big emblem into IrfanView, scale it there, maybe adjust color tone if you want, and then copy and paste it back to paint - the quality of the emblems will increase a lot.

A little detail on your artwork, on the right side the number in the yellow field near the nose is well readable, on the left side it is less readable, I would copy paste the better over unless these plates are different in size on the original.

With the next upload, please upload the 24bit (zipped) and not the DXT1 - DXT1 compression is not loss free - these losses happen in the GPU anyways, but it is very important to keep the original clean of such artefacts, otherwise it can happen they get applied twice and then they really get visible.

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Good day to you Burkhard.

I am working on getting the emblems correct per your comments, but I am having to spend a little time on this "lesson." The emblems are better, but not as goos as I would like. I want to work on it before I submit it for you review again. I will remember to use a 24bit zip file.

Could I move on to another lesson that involves the night lighting of the aircraft? I looked at it at night and I saw "bleed thorugh" of the gray airplane that I assume is a night model.

Also, I may be losing my mind, but I would swear I saw the cargo ramp open and then close. When I looked closely you could see a line where the rear cargo clamshell bay doors would have opened. Is this possible, or am I imagining things?

Finally, while I am far way the airplane shows up fine. However as I approach it, it turns a milky white. Then as I get closer still it changes back to the way it is suppose to be. Is there a "lesson" to be learned here to?

I am really enjoying this Burkhard! Thanks so much!

Jim

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You don't see a ghost, you saw a rare event. Indeed most MyTraffic military aircraft have the ability to open their cargo door, like many of the cargo planes have complex cargo operation with a container to load, or the Il76 has a military truck parked behind it that rolls on board shortly before the ramp closes.

In order this to happen, the aircraft in FSX must be parked on a parking that is a gate. Many military airports in MyTraffic contain very special Gates with radius 29m or 39m and airline code MILC - if you see a C5 or C17 or Herc or C141 parked on this, then it will go through the normal ground animation that airliners have at the gate ( provided there is a ground vehicle, and will open the cargo door and get some baggage at the side too. I'm sure most users never saw this detail, but sometimes I hear this wow - MyTraffic contains enough for years to come for every user.

OK, here a lesson about night illumination. What you need is another texture which is shown at midnight, in dusk and dawn and near to it FSX uses a mixture of both textures. For my airliners I use a special program to create night textures from the day textures to create the illuminated tails, in this case it can be made simpler.

Make a copy of your -t bitmap and give it the -l name. Open the -l bitmap in Irfanview, and in collor correction make the brightness around -200, experiment with that value, then save it. Now you may open it again in paint and make the fields for the position lights light green and red again, save it, and then with imagetool make the -l DXT1 files - there you are.

On the emblems, on thing one might consider is the change the outer border of it already the color that will be its background before changing the size. Another one is that one might want to make them a bit bigger than real world to have them better visible - in the end here we have a plane of 50m dimension with 1000 pixels for its length, so a pixel is 5x5cm.

On the milky, does this also happen with MyTraffic planes? If not, does it recover also if you do not move, or do you have to get near to get sharp again? I need more info about this to be able to help. One idea to see if it happens when switching from -3 to full texture would be to take the full texture from you and the -3 from my model, then the far ones look gray, the near white and you know when they flip...

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Hello Burkhard. Attached is my latest effort. I am still having trouble with the lettering near the nose that is suppose to read 63rd MAW. Any advice as tohow to sharpen the letters up would be appreciated.

Wow, so I saw a rare event. To bad I was so concenred something was going wrong that I didnt enjoy it! Hopefully, it will occurr again and I can enjoy it more.

As to the milkyness, it only happens on the airplane (C-141) I am working on. The milkyness does not improve until I move closer to the aircraft. I have checked this a number of times to be sure.

I plan to work on my night assignment this weekend and have homework ready for you on Mondya!!..grin

Thank you again,

Jim

C141A24bit v5.2.3t-.bmp.zip

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Not bad.Definitively usable.

On the emblems, a few border points should be made less dark, that one can do individual per pixel using the pencil

63rd MAW in the absoulute minimum is 29 pixel wide, + border, so a plate to show has minimum 33 pixel which means a size of 1.5m. If you make it smaller it will be unreadable. So you have three choices: Make it too big, ommit it, or cheat to write it in two lines, or just 63... Here now this is the artwork you have to do, you arrived there rather fast.

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