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About HappyHaddock

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  1. A slightly different angle, but the best customer service I ever encountered also occurred when ordering tech/elec-equip from an on-line retailer. 15:50hrs - I placed and paid for an on-line order with an overseas firm for just a few hundred pounds worth of obscure/specialist manufacturing equipment for my business with an indicated ten day delivery period. 16:01hrs - I received an e-mail receipt for my payment. 16:57hrs - I received another e-mail from a member of sales staff who clearly had some initiative and common sense as they messaged to say that their European distribution centre was only about fifteen miles away from where I lived. They must have messaged that distribution centre and it turned out that one of their staff lived in the same village as me. They wanted to know if rather than waiting up to ten days for the order to go through the usual delivery channels would it be all right to just have this staff member pop my order in in his car and drop it at my door that evening on his drive home from work? That if I were happy to accept this form of delivery they could reimburse some of the high delivery/courier costs. 17:03hrs - I immediately replied to say yes but given that it was after office closing hours I thought it likely that they would not pick up my reply in time to actually do anything about it. 18:21hrs - There was a knock at the door and my goods had been delivered. Given this age of entirely thoughtless automated systems supervised by disinterested staff I thought such initiative was above and beyond. How many sales staff have you encountered that would even think to look at a customer's delivery address in a foreign country and wonder where that little place was in relation to their own overseas distribution centre. Then having found out that they were close together to then take the trouble to contact that distribution centre to see anything could be done to speed up delivery? All told it took less than 3hrs from placing an international order to receiving it at my door! Now that is customer service! HH
  2. No need to apologise as I've no monopoly on the right to tweak this game, for as you say it is easy to list many little things that could benefit from a little fine tuning to bring them all into balance... When life occupies your time with other things even a short list takes long while to get through! HH
  3. It's surprising how you really are following in my footsteps... redoing the various rain textures is one of many things in my ongoing WIP project to improve the natural world in IL-2 Cheers HH
  4. Well having woken at a silly early hour of 3-30am and not been able to get back to sleep I spent some time before breakfast taking a first quick peak at what the new deferred shading can do. First impressions are that overall it makes lots of subtle improvements visually that I like and that some of the bits of my work I was most pleased with now look even better. However after even a quick cursory skim through things I've already spotted a couple of things about my mod work that this latest version of the game doesn't like. I've been getting strange inverted shadow/reflections; that is where I'd expect a momentary bright glint of sunlight bouncing off the sea, a clear canopy or polished metal engine cowling I'm getting flashes of dark black shadows. I've already identified the "culprit" and it's taken all of about 10minutes to change some settings in my mod to get rid of the "black glints" and turn them back to white... however I will now have a lot to change to re-balance the look of everything else affected by changing these key settings. Another thing I've noticed which will probably seem trivial to everyone else but has really caught me by surprise and caused me some head scratching is that the ground level seems to have been raised by about 5-10cm... At least something about the way small objects and textures at ground level are visually represented is now different as they've sunk into the surface. This could be a fix for some other issue or problem or may relate to changes brought about with the move deferred shading; at this stage I don't know which is the case... I've a lot of experimentation ahead of me before being certain what has changed, if it is consistently different or only different under freak circumstances, and what I can do about it. However if I can't get to the bottom of this then I've got an awful lot of previous work which I'm going to have to go back and re-do simply to lift things back above the surface of the earth. Nevertheless this all relates to stuff I've not really posted images of or spoken publicly about in anything other than the most casual passing manner. Everything I've previously posted images of is still possible, these issues are with all the good stuff I've been keeping to myself until I'm satisfied I can make it all function and it can be turned into a reliable stable mod others can use.... I did earlier today however have one of those rare moments when everything came together in a HOLY S**T! sort of experience that left me thinking I've not seen youtube clips or screenshots of the new MS Flight sim 2020 that looked as good.. if only I could deliver such quality consistently under all scenarios and at a high resolution and fast frame rate. Anyway for the time being it's back to paid art work and sculpting commissions... I'll pick up IL-2 again as and when I can but the finishing line of this long slow mod-making project seems to have moved a little further away, but as it technically started in 2014 for ROF as a one man band working in my limited spare time I may always be chasing to keep up with a team of professional developers. Cheers HH
  5. I've been really busy since the start of the year with a lot of commissioned work so had very little time for IL-2. I thought covid-19 might see my work dry up but aside from a brief blip when the whole world stopped to revaluate priorities I've been busier than normal since the social distancing restrictions came into place in March. Jason Williams (IL-2's official producer) did contact me about six months ago to discuss my work and their proposed changes to the game engine's lighting and I'm not expecting any impact directly from the switch to deferred shading, but I've not had a chance to try things yet... we'll see how my diary looks in June.... In terms of the clouds and lighting it looks as if Rowdyboot's mods have been playing with much of what I'd been looking into, so although I've only had a brief look through the files he's been changing these last few months and not had time to actually install and run his work, if his mods still function then it's likely the bulk of what I'd been doing should still function. HH
  6. whether reflecting in/on the sea is new or not I'm not sure as they have always reflected in still water, though it does seem to be new
  7. Well I wasn't sure quite what had happened to my client, in the current circumstances you fear the worst when somebody stops responding to messages about the sculpt they'd commissioned as the finished piece has sat on my work bench for a few months now. Anyway, I've been buried under a busy work diary of late with a mass sculpting for a variety of clients all wanting work in 1/72nd scale or below and had somewhat forgotten about the large figure. However, the collector for this large 1/9th scale sculpt has finally got back in touch with me, prompting me to post this picture. Strictly speaking their budget only really paid for three days work, but I suspect I exceeded that a little given that it was sculpted from scratch using epoxy putty over a wire armature putting in an odd hour or two here and there along the way. It was also an odd brief in so much as the client said they didn't want something that looked like a modern refined and detailed model figure sculpt, but wanted it to capture something of the style of the artwork from the 1970's comic with coarse "outlines", with a simple rough and dirty finish using pale subdued hues... Interpreting that in a way that didn't translate as poor quality was... "interesting" … especially when the graphic novel style of the comic used a lot of heavy black on a dull off white paper. For a miniaturist working at roughly ten times larger than I'm used to, whilst not brilliant I didn't think the end result was too bad. Cheers HH
  8. I do hope that's not the case otherwise I'd be largely out of work...
  9. My biggest challenge at the moment is simply time; my year started with a busy work diary, got busier, then when covid-19 struck there was brief moment when it looked as if things might slow down, but if anything things have got even busier as my wealthier retired clients are getting bored stuck in doors they have nothing to do but spend money and all sorts of miniature art commissions they'd been thinking about for ages have become priorities I still check these forums regularly but I think since early January I've spent about 20minutes in the cockpit flying my camel and about half a day on some of my plant life mod-work... so essentially I've done almost nothing this year on IL-2.... but as a self employed artist you make the most of the work when it's offered; IL-2 is just one of a few hobbies I haven't had much time for of late. HH
  10. Just checked back in with this thread and although I've still to download and try any of your mods there's some real nice screen shots here. From the things you are describing it sounds as if you are now pretty much doing everything I've been playing with in terms off sky/lighting for the last 12months+.... and you're also coming to the same compromises in terms of what looks good and what runs well. Cheers HH
  11. @Andre Not so much a criticism as it may not even be your software that is the issue, more just a heads-up of a weird issue I've just had to deal with. Just tried to fly IL-2 and noticed the lack of tactile feed back in that sim-shaker had stopped working. Tracked the problem to corruption of the appropriate lines of code in Il-2's start-up.cfg so I re-pasted in the appropriate data figuring it may have been upset by a recent IL-2 patch from the devs…. Still not working... Checked that simshaker was working outside of IL-2 and found I could get feed back through my buttkicker in simshaker's manual test but it was stating that it wasn't receiving a signal from IL-2, Checked the startup cfg once more and the additional lines of data had gone again and so I re-pasted these... again no feedback in IL-2.. again the reason being the loss/corruption of appropriate code in the startup.cfg… Pasted these back in, saved and then reopened start-up.cfg to actually check they had saved which they had... however when launching IL-2 it still wasn't talking to simshaker Anyway to cut a long story short something weird has (had?) been going on whereby launching IL-2 was corrupting the lines of code for sending a signal to simshaker by deleting the first two lines shown below as asterisks *********************** ********************** decimation = 2 enable = true port = 29373[END][KEY = telemetrydevice] addr = "" decimation = 2 enable = true port = 29373[END] I have no ide what was causing it as it defies any logical explanation, but for the time being at least it seems to have settled down and is behaving as it should. HH
  12. The in game HDR setting , in so far as I can tell, is nothing to do with HDR in the sense of extended contrast and higher bit rate data, it is merely a modification of the sRGB signal to deal with the fact most screens are poor at displaying detail in the shadows. Whilst technically lowering image quality it will subjectively improve the appearance of darker parts of an image. I've not checked out the exact way this works in any measured or numerical way to tell if it is simply compressing all the colour palette into the lighter values, or is done through more of a gamma adjustment to simply minimise the proportional change from one low colour value to the next. By default I do have the in-game HDR setting on (though I'll need to check if this has been disabled without me realising) HH
  13. Certainly not done intentionally… I've been playing around with a lot with my mods but not turning off the dither … I'm not even sure I'd know where to find an option to disable this? Any pointers and I can check if this has been accidentally turned off? HH
  14. I take it that you also have a reasonable monitor actually able to show the limitations of sRGB and how bad this looks... some folk don't see it! JPEG compression may have done nothing to help but it still looks blocky and banded to me in game such that, as mentioned above, I've ended up creating a custom profile to reduce contrast in the lower end of the gamma curve. There's always going to be limits within any colour gamut if you are trying to show subtle contrasts in a narrow proportion of that colour space that doesn't use 99.999% of the colour values available, and that's as true of 10bit as 8bit... it's just a shame when those limits feel so restrictive. HH
  15. There probably is some truth to the fact that using jpeg compression isn't showing a fair representation of how things look in game. Whilst it is not so much a solution as simply a disguise, one of the things I have been able to do is create a new ICC profile for my monitor which plays with brightness and contrast and essentially flattens the gamma curve at the low end to minimise the banding in dark tones. Of course this doesn't help anybody else and does make things less "technically accurate" but if the end result is more pleasing then I can live with that so long as I remember to switch back when doing more colour sensitive creative work!
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