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About HappyHaddock

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  1. I've been really impressed by the quality of image produced by OLED but, as you say, doubt their life expectancy, plus there really aren't that many OLED monitors out there. They do however offer really black blacks so can produce insane contrast ratios even without needing high maximum brightness levels. 500nit brightness is great for HDR but in a darkish studio is about 300 more than I'd be comfortable using... I think what I need to do is win the lottery and then go shopping at Eizo! HH
  2. Just a first impression on watching the AI scrap it out, but these WWI crates seem to more readily soak up a spray of bullets from behind typically leading to a swiss cheese mass of little holes whilst still flying on, yet shots head on or to the side can still inflict critical failures. Seems a bit more along the lines of what I'd expect for aircraft that are little more than fabric over a sparse wooden frame.
  3. In many respects that was my thinking until I started looking at what is available by way of HDR monitors... Lots use the term HDR in their marketing, but about half of what is out there doesn't meet what I'd consider the bare minimum for colour quality/accuracy as they seem to get less accurate as they stretch beyond basic sRGB, or (like Lizlemon says) they offer a token nod towards HDR but don't really go far enough to be worth calling HDR.... The screens that offer all of what I want as artist seem to push well into four figure price tags. As I never watch movies on my PC and the only game I own is IL-2 FC my need for HDR seems minimal, where as what I want is decent colour accuracy for creative work along with more screen real estate (physical size and actual pixels) for running multiple windows/software side by side; that I can get for a lot less money by not buying into HDR.... It's just that as you say HDR is becoming so main stream I can imagine that a few years down the line I'll feel I missed out if I bought a new screen without HDR... I'll probably end up doing what I've done for some while and stick with what I've got... it delivers the colour quality I want within sRGB (though doesn't really cover the full Adobe colour space which would be nice) and is still going strong after about a decade, that way I can keep browsing whilst waiting for something worthwhile to hit the market.... I'd hoped to find some sort of 32" 4k IPS screen I would be happy to use for about £500-£700 (uk sterling) but at the moment I've not found anything I'd consider a worthwhile upgrade for under a grand, as on paper it is easy to get "better specifications", just not in the ones that matter to me. HH
  4. Thanks for this, it is as I suspected in terms of non-HDR screens I just wasn't sure if it was a multi-layered thing that did apply a genuine HDR affect for those screens IL-2 was able to detect as 10bit capable?
  5. In terms of changing/lightening of the cockpit that is clear as the image below shows. This is also what makes me think that IL-2's HDR isn't really true HDR but simply a brightness contrast adjustment of an sRGB signal to allow for the fact the vast majority of screens have very poor contrast in terms of differentiating levels of black. If it were true HDR all that darkness in the non-HDR image would still be dark just many more subtle dark shades potentially stretching further towards true black which would require a screen with a very strong ability to subtly differentiate this so that we could see those differences. As it is on my non-HDR screen everything in the shadows is lightened considerably by turning on HDR. I suppose, given all I've said about he quality of my existing screen I should ask how many people looking at the image below see the HDR cockpit as essentially one black shape, or like me do you actually see the modest degree of subtle detailing and form within the model/data signal? HH
  6. Depends exactly what the devs mean by HDR... If the signal is genuinely a higher bit rate colour coding then a non-HDR monitor will either fail or offer a lower quality image by using software compression to convert back to what it can handle. However the term HDR is much used and abused to mean many things, where if the IL-2 HDR setting is merely a filter which increases contrast within a regular sRGB signal , then there is no advantage in owning an HDR screen other than if the monitor itself includes software to try and upscale the standard sRGB signal to a higher bit rate colour code. Plus, as I've said, a lot of screens use the term HDR in their branding but you need to be sure how much that refers to the inputs the electronics can handle and what the screen can actually show. As I say it is a topic that could be discussed in depth... In short I'm browsing and looking at new monitors. I currently have a 24" 60Hz 1080HD IPS screen with excellent and accurate coverage of the sRGB colour spectrum. I can now get a new 32" 4k HDR 144hz screen for a fraction of the cost of what I paid for my exiting screen a decade ago. However in spite of all the headline numbers these cheap new screens offer a less complete and certainly less accurate coverage of the sRGB colour space and so I won't go near them.... I'm looking at what's on the market and wondering how much of my existing colour accuracy and coverage of the sRGB space I may be willing to sacrifice in terms of gaining the option to run HDR data or gain a decent coverage of Adobe colour space. As an artist I work in paint on canvas so theoretically don't need a computer at all for work, but I know I am fussy about on-screen colour reproduction so if I'm going to be spending more on my monitor than my PC is worth I want to make an informed choice as the likelihood is I'll be using whatever I buy for at least the next decade.
  7. Hi, I wondered if anybody here might be able to chip in with any knowledge or speculation about IL-2 and High Dynamic Range Lighting. Those that know me are aware that I work professionally as an artist and "have a thing" about correct balance of contrast of hue and tone in terms of giving a more pleasing image. There seems to be very mixed feelings here about IL-2's implementation of HDR as whilst turning on this setting clearly makes a difference not everyone feels it makes things better, just different. True HDR increases the number of hues and tones any image can be broken down into, both to allow more subtle transitions and contrasts between similar hues and tones, and also it will typically extend the possible range between the lightest and darkest tones to span more of the colour spectrum, where the industry seems to be undergoing some sort of commercial battle to establish which of the various standards out there get adopted as a new default. However whilst 8bit colour coding like sRGB has been default for years it is the case that many cheaper monitors still cannot accurately display the full extremes of this simplest of colour standards. The use of newer 10 bit (or even 12 bit or 14bit) standards requires newer (specialist) monitors capable of handling the larger data set representing hue and tone, alternatively the monitor requires some form of internal compression to covert the 10bit data signal back to a simpler 8 bit format (thereby losing the advantage of a more detailed colour coding). Plus on top of this there are a wide array of so called "HDR" monitors on the market that, whilst having electronics and firmware able to handle higher bit rate data signals, they still lack the full colour gamut screens capable of actually displaying the far extremes of this higher bit colour data. Anyway whilst the technical background to HDR is a topic that could be delved into in much greater depth, could I ask if anybody here knows if IL-2's HDR setting is a genuine conversion to outputting a higher bit data set to represent finer graduation of hue and tone for those with screens capable of handling such data, or is it merely a manipulation of values within a regular sRGB data set to artificially adjust the balance of shadow and highlight in the manner of a post effect filter like re-shade? Secondly, whilst the devs announced move to deferred shading needn't technically affect the colour space used to define a scene on screen, a major overhaul of the lighting engine would be an ideal opportunity to look at other changes, so do you think that we may see a difference in the HDR implementation brought about with this planned change? Cheers HH
  8. Not quite as severe but my wife's elderly uncle served in bomber command on an RAF Halifax all the way through WWII. He recalled a rather gory yet slightly amusing story (it may well be that in real life it was more gory and less amusing and he simply tried to lighten his anecdote around the dinner table) of the lower leg of a German fighter pilot killed when his plane exploded striking their Halifax and somehow getting tangled up such that for the entire return to base the flapping foot kept kicking the outside of the aircraft. HH
  9. Well it's kind of you to say so but so far all this community has had from me has been a few screenshots. Rowdy is the one putting out work as and when he makes each new little discovery or tweak. I told myself when I switched from ROF to IL-2 I wasn't going to go that route again, I'd wait until I'd actually completed all I knew was possible rather than keep sharing what I'd know to be incomplete experiments... As for saints... well at this time more than any other I can imagine most folk would name those working in the medical/health care profession as true saints... To that end as a modest part of my profession entails making replica period costume for museums I'm no stranger to a needle and thread.... Our local NHS trust has been putting out a plea for more medical scrubs as they are getting through them at a far faster rate than usual... to that end, with not a lot of paid work on my books currently, I've spent the last few hours cutting out basic blue cotton fabric and now have a load of machining to do to stitch them all together.... My wife and I can't make enough scrubs to make any measurable difference but if everyone does what little they can then collectively society can make a difference, where if nothing else at least it shows all those doctors and nurses out there that their own efforts are appreciated. HH
  10. In itself deferred shading doesn't have to change any end result it is just about how efficiently you get to that particular end result. Of course the reason for changing systems is to make it more efficient to do things that previously would have overtaxed a PC, so it should create more new potential than it destroys existing potential ... We'll just have to wait and see how much potential it is economic for the devs to realise when the switch is made... I'm sure we'll both be interested to learn how much any new systems impact upon the look of any particular output. I'm not a betting man but I'd hazard a guess that there will be a lot of impressive stuff going on behind the scenes but that upon release most people won't notice any significant difference in the look of the game.... More that there will be a few subtle differences and that over time progressive improvements to better utilise the change to deferred shading will bring about further differences. I may be completely wrong but I can't see the devs imposing changes that require them to go back and rework all their existing files for maps, aircraft etc. so it is likely that the new system will be designed to utilise all the existing content without compromising their look; something that may in itself compromise how much of an improvement the change to deferred shading can initially bring about... Of course I am merely speculating, on release we may see huge chunks of what we were familiar with gone to be replaced by something entirely different and radically better? Cheers HH
  11. I hear you on this one. I've probably averaged less than an hour a month in the cockpit since the announcement of Flying Circus which was when I made the move from ROF and began looking at how much of the work I'd been doing to mod ROF I could carry forward into IL-2. However I'm pretty sure I've now spent over one thousand hours on my own mod work as I can see the untapped potential in so many different things, including in a small part the clouds. I know some others are focussing very much on technical changes but the bigger gains are to be had with artistic improvements. When the capabilities of the existing game engine are very much under-utilised, adding technical complexities seems unnecessary as the existing game engine can already deliver much more natural and impressive results than people are currently asking it to do. When you last messaged me comparing your progress with cloud modding to my own I made the analogy to you of a game of a chess, where I felt you had reached the point of having learned how all the pieces move individually but that the real work is in finding strategies of how best to use them all to support one another as a winning army; that is to balance out and refine all the settings that can be adjusted. In so far as I can tell I'd say you are at about the point I was 12-18months ago of knowing "what does what" and that every change you make to improve one aspect has subtle knock on effects elsewhere which you need to fine tune out.... I doubt many people reading this will appreciate the work that goes into such mods, after all if it were quick and easy it would have been economic for the devs to have released the stock game with such features. You said that that the more you try to refine and improve each different setting the more they want to merge back to all becoming the same again. It is a real fight to find the point at which a deviation from a theoretical ideal is sufficient benefit through offering variety, without being too much of a deviation from that ideal to actually feel obviously worse. The devs stock/vanilla game offers a wide variety of atmospheric options which all look so similar I suspect most probably wouldn't even realise they were flying under different conditions. And if it is any comfort, reassure yourself you are only dealing with the clouds, myself I'm also fighting a bigger fight to overhaul and bring some balance to many other aspects of the in-game natural world. In that respect I've probably only shared screenshots of about 10-15% of what I'm working on.... I know (hope?) I'll be able to cut back a lot, but so far I've got close to 10GB of assorted data and test that are forming the basis of my "full" WIP.... The full IL-2 install across all modules, planes and maps is only about 50GB... It's frightening how such modding-work takes on a life of its own and becomes more of a hobby than playing the flight-sim itself. Anyway keep up the obsessive fight for perfection HH
  12. As it was the superb lighting in ROF that drew me back to flight sims I'm all in favour of any up-dates to the lighting engine and will probably be paying greater attention to this than many! Your business model rarely allows me to directly pay for the changes I want, but if the things I value most keep squeezing in indirectly then all the better!
  13. In terms of seeing this coming... well obviously I didn't predict a global pandemic but I saw the 2008 Financial crash as merely a warm up act for a major implosion of a highly leveraged and very fragile global economy addicted to debt, so I have spent the last decade slowly moving my investments towards things that would cope with such circumstances as the "next one" was going to be much bigger. Covid-19 has been the pin that has been stuck into that bubble and came rapidly from nowhere, so whilst I wasn't expecting a pandemic to be the trigger I have been expecting financial chaos for some years... In short I've no real financial worries over the near term panic as being a self employed artist you get used to an erratic income and naturally build a decent safety net into your cash flow and some diversity into my skill set so I'm not dependent upon only one type of client.... I'll look upon it, in the near term at least, as just a bit of much deserved time-off after a manically busy start to the year! The nature of my clients is such that work in some form or other will bounce back.... I know many will suffer far worse than me economically, and when looking at the rising global death toll economic losses pale into insignificance compared to the losses many families are already suffering. I wish others all the best through what are very uncertain times. HH
  14. It happens to the best of us. I have a single cupboard about 4ft wide, 3ft tall and about 2ft deep in which I keep my stash. I now have a simple rule that if a new purchase won't fit I won't buy until I've completed enough to create space for the next unopened box. However when you largely scratch build/sculpt, enjoy micro modelling, and only have one box in your stash larger than 1/72nd scale (the bulk is 1/144th down to 1/2500th scale) that one cupboard holds an awful lot! HH
  15. Well so far this year work has been keeping me very busy so IL-2 has very much taken a back seat. However covid-19 looks set to see all the commissions in my work diary as a self employed artist/model maker about to be potentially exhausted. I normally work alone in my studio running what is essentially a mail order business for clients around the globe so my ability to work hasn't been impacted at all by having to self-isolate, but it has seen to it that the new e-mails and commission enquiries have dried up very rapidly, so I may be getting a bit more spare time on my hands in the near future. Anyway @rowdyb00t has been messaging me a little more of late with questions about his own cloud mods where it has been interesting to watch him progress through the same learning curve I went through some while ago in terms of finding out what is possible. This has prompted me to fire up my work to remind myself where I was at and what is next on my to do list, where the bulk of what I need to keep plodding through is other environmental mod-work that isn't sky/cloud/lighting related. Anyway I just thought I'd share this latest random quick screengrab which I think shows quite nicely the lighting effects I'd previoulsy been trying to achieve, aiming for a look somewhere between mother nature and an oil painting, and as far removed from a video game as I can manage. Cheers HH
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