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Finkeren

WIP: Finkerens easy ID-guide

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I'm working on a quick-reference guide to ID-ing the planes in BoS/BoM.

 

It's going to consist of basic black silhouettes of the plane from 6 different angles (side, front, back, top, top rear left, bottom rear right) together with tips on what particular features to look for as positive identifiers along with a list of other aircraft most likely to get confused with it - and how to avoid confusion.

 

Here is a prototype I did for the MiG-3:

 

post-13181-0-39003300-1454962293_thumb.jpg

 

Let me know, if you'd be interested in me finishing this (final product will be available as a PDF) and please give me ideas, constructive criticism, so I can improve it.

Edited by Finkeren
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Excellent idea Finkeren. Please continue! 

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Definitely a good idea! Please continue, it will be very useful. :salute:

Cheers.

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Literally the only problem I see is that you spelt 'landing' as 'langing'.

 

Otherwise, the PDF version already has a spot on my iPad :)

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I can edit your document when you are done if you like.

Edited by JimTM
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Great idea!

 

As you asked for positive criticism: Usually when I am as close as to see them as on your example drawings of the Mig, I have no problems to ID the planes, its when they are further away.

Perhaps one could add images of the lower detail models you see when further away, and point out details that can be seen at distance?

 

Maybe I can give that a try also myself, perhaps next weekend...

 

But yes, please continue!

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I'm working on a quick-reference guide to ID-ing the planes in BoS/BoM.

 

It's going to consist of basic black silhouettes of the plane from 6 different angles (side, front, back, top, top rear left, bottom rear right) together with tips on what particular features to look for as positive identifiers along with a list of other aircraft most likely to get confused with it - and how to avoid confusion.

 

Here is a prototype I did for the MiG-3:

 

attachicon.gifMiG-3.jpg

 

Let me know, if you'd be interested in me finishing this (final product will be available as a PDF) and please give me ideas, constructive criticism, so I can improve it.

 

That is absolutely great work, Fink.

 

Please finish the set - I may have an eye for the silhouettes but this'll surely be a great resource for those who don't.

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I'm working on a quick-reference guide to ID-ing the planes in BoS/BoM.

 

It's going to consist of basic black silhouettes of the plane from 6 different angles (side, front, back, top, top rear left, bottom rear right) together with tips on what particular features to look for as positive identifiers along with a list of other aircraft most likely to get confused with it - and how to avoid confusion.

 

Here is a prototype I did for the MiG-3:

 

attachicon.gifMiG-3.jpg

 

Let me know, if you'd be interested in me finishing this (final product will be available as a PDF) and please give me ideas, constructive criticism, so I can improve it.

 

It looks nothing like a Spitfire!

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Thanks for the kind words :happy:

 

Finished the first 4 tonight:

 

post-13181-0-84245600-1454969379_thumb.jpg post-13181-0-13260500-1454969362_thumb.jpg post-13181-0-49304400-1454969400_thumb.jpg post-13181-0-40772600-1454969391_thumb.jpg

 

Obviously I've given little thought so far to layout etc, but they should definately be usable.

 

I propably won't have time to work on this again before Thursday, so hang in there. I plan on doing the VVS planes first and the LW birds afterwards. By then we'll propably have the Ju 88 in the sim, so the list will be complete.

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Great idea!

 

As you asked for positive criticism: Usually when I am as close as to see them as on your example drawings of the Mig, I have no problems to ID the planes, its when they are further away.

Perhaps one could add images of the lower detail models you see when further away, and point out details that can be seen at distance?

 

Maybe I can give that a try also myself, perhaps next weekend...

 

But yes, please continue!

 

I actually planned to do exactly that, but making those small dots look crisp and clean like the larger black silhouettes went beyond my Photoshop skills, I simply couldn't get them to stand out in a meaningful way.

I found, that the lower LoD models in the sim reflect the overall shape of the aircraft rather well, so I thought it better to focus on the simple, clean silhouettes which give a nice impression of the overall shape of the planes.

Maybe you could try doing it and we could merge our work into one guide?

Edited by Finkeren

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Terrific idea.

 

The only thing that looks odd (to me) is the front and back views.

 

In silhouette the outline of an aircraft should be identical when seen either fore or aft, except for foreshortening effects ie the tail vs wing ratios. By when seen from a typical firing/recognition distance these should make little difference between fore and aft views. I suspect that you have taken your screenshots from much closer, which is why the tail surfaces in the rear view look twice as big compared to the wings as in the front view.

 

Having said that, the people most in need of this guide are those who are getting very close to a plane and still do not know what it is, so perhaps your treatment is best!

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Terrific idea.

 

The only thing that looks odd (to me) is the front and back views.

 

In silhouette the outline of an aircraft should be identical when seen either fore or aft, except for foreshortening effects ie the tail vs wing ratios. By when seen from a typical firing/recognition distance these should make little difference between fore and aft views. I suspect that you have taken your screenshots from much closer, which is why the tail surfaces in the rear view look twice as big compared to the wings as in the front view.

 

Having said that, the people most in need of this guide are those who are getting very close to a plane and still do not know what it is, so perhaps your treatment is best!

I know exactly what you mean, and I kind of agree. I see it as a bit of a trade off from working from in-game screen shots (because I wan't the silhouettes to follow the exact lines of the models in the sim). To get a usable amount of detail from 1080p screens they have to be taken up close which creates the illusion of the enlarged tail. Other differences between fore- and aft silhouettes I can only put down to me not bein careful enough to get the exact same angle in the two shots. I'll keep that in mind going forward.

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-snip-

 

Finished the first 4 tonight:

 

-snip-

 

These are all awesome.

 

They remind me of something you'd see in a MS: CFS manual or something.

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Had a bit of time this afternoon to finish the P-40 and I-16 sheets:

 

post-13181-0-94832400-1455036636_thumb.jpg post-13181-0-32271600-1455036650_thumb.jpg

 

BTW: The main reason I'm posting these is because I'd like feedback on the text as well, not just the design and format. Let me know, if some of the instructions/tips are hard to understand, poorly worded/misspelled or if I've overlooked something obvious that should be mentioned.

 

Now we have all the VVS fighters. Time for the bombers. :)

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If you want feedback on the text.... I suggest you try editing it down by about 70%. Dump all the "extremely", "uniquely" etc. 

 

They will work better as recognition cards if the text is as short as you can make it. What you lose in the detail of the description you more than get back in clarity and ease of memorization.

 

So "Very large and deep chin radiator that starts almost behind the spinner" could become " Big chin radiator" and so on. 

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If you want feedback on the text.... I suggest you try editing it down by about 70%. Dump all the "extremely", "uniquely" etc. 

 

They will work better as recognition cards if the text is as short as you can make it. What you lose in the detail of the description you more than get back in clarity and ease of memorization.

 

So "Very large and deep chin radiator that starts almost behind the spinner" could become " Big chin radiator" and so on. 

 

Roger that. I can see, that it has become progressively more "wordy" as I work through them.

 

I'll do a thorough reediting before assembling the PDF.

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I actually planned to do exactly that, but making those small dots look crisp and clean like the larger black silhouettes went beyond my Photoshop skills, I simply couldn't get them to stand out in a meaningful way.

I found, that the lower LoD models in the sim reflect the overall shape of the aircraft rather well, so I thought it better to focus on the simple, clean silhouettes which give a nice impression of the overall shape of the planes.

Maybe you could try doing it and we could merge our work into one guide?

 

I gave it a very quick first try just to test the idea. This is The Yak and the 109 at 700m distance, zoomed fully in, on a 1920x1200 resolution monitor.

Perhaps one could even try 1000m.

Of course one has to ensure to view it at 100% size.

Also I guess what people actually see depends on their monitor and anti-aliasing settings.

 

I am uncertain however now if adding such a picture somewhere would add information to what you have done.

It could however be all planes on one view in this size on one page and allow a direct side-by-side comparison of these distant views.

 

What do you think?

 

If anybody (or 2 or more persons :) ) would think this could be helpful I would sit down and try to do it in good quality.

post-947-0-26932300-1455040796.png

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I think it looks usable if obviously pixelated (which naturally is imposible to avoid)

 

I think you should go further with this. I you were able to put together a set of these for all the major types (Yak, LaGG, Bf 109, Fw 190, MiG, P-40, Macchi, I-16, Ju 87, IL-2, Bf 110, Pe-2, Ju 88 and He 111) from 700, 1000 and 1500m, I think it would be viable to put together a chart that would be a great quick reference.

 

I realize we're talking well over 100 images. Not a small task as these are propably harder to capture than the ones I use.

 

Keep up the good work.

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Here's an edit for you Finkeren. Please use whatever edits make sense to you.

 

attachicon.gifFinkerens Spotting Guide - Edit 1.pdf

 

Thanks. I agree with most of them. I actually had to look up when to add apostrophe-s to possessive nouns, and apparently it really is supposed to be "Finkeren's", even though that makes no sense to me, since the apostrophe is supposed to indicate elision. But oh well, make sense of the English written language he who can...

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It would be cool to add them as loading screens.So people can look at something usefull,when mission loads  :salute:

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I think it looks usable if obviously pixelated (which naturally is imposible to avoid)

 

I think you should go further with this. I you were able to put together a set of these for all the major types (Yak, LaGG, Bf 109, Fw 190, MiG, P-40, Macchi, I-16, Ju 87, IL-2, Bf 110, Pe-2, Ju 88 and He 111) from 700, 1000 and 1500m, I think it would be viable to put together a chart that would be a great quick reference.

 

I realize we're talking well over 100 images. Not a small task as these are propably harder to capture than the ones I use.

 

Keep up the good work.

Pixelation is what we have on the screen, and the idea is to find characteristics of these pixel heaps which allow to recognize a plane. So there is no intention to make the pictures "better looking", they are supposed to represent what one sees on the screen.

I have to think about the workflow, all in all it will take quite some time, probably weeks.

But I think I will try to create that chart.

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Glad to hear that :good:

 

And I absolutely understood what you were going for with portraying the planes pixel-for-pixel as the look in-game.

 

A chart like this really would be a useful tool, even for experienced players. Just tonight I spent ten minutes in my MiG chasing another MiG across the map, because I had caught a glimpse of long, narrow wings, as he turned (from 2km distance the wings of the MiG can look remarkably like those of a Bf 109 when viewed from above) and during the "chase" he was far enough away, that I couldn't easily make out the inverted gull shape in the wings, but if only I had thought when I first saw him, that the rear fuselage was much too short to be a 109, I might not have gone on a wild goose chase.

Edited by Finkeren

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Here is a prototype I did for the MiG-3

 

How in the world did you choose the MiG-3 for the prototype? :lol:

 

Anyway, great idea and the sheets are awesome!

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super awesome, finkeren!

 

wonder if you could make a version with blackened/filled-in canopies; i think it might be better for quick recognition practice

 

maybe its just me, but the canopies ( as cool and awesome as you made them) somewhat distract my brain from concentrating on the silhouettes...

 

what do others think?

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It would be cool to add them as loading screens.So people can look at something usefull,when mission loads  :salute:

They don't call you Braino for nothing do they. :)

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I'm working on a quick-reference guide to ID-ing the planes in BoS/BoM.

 

It's going to consist of basic black silhouettes of the plane from 6 different angles (side, front, back, top, top rear left, bottom rear right) together with tips on what particular features to look for as positive identifiers along with a list of other aircraft most likely to get confused with it - and how to avoid confusion.

 

Here is a prototype I did for the MiG-3:

 

attachicon.gifMiG-3.jpg

 

Let me know, if you'd be interested in me finishing this (final product will be available as a PDF) and please give me ideas, constructive criticism, so I can improve it.

 

Awesome, just completely awesome! Bravo!

 

It would be cool to add them as loading screens.So people can look at something usefull,when mission loads  :salute:

Awesome idea, you should ask the devs if it is possible.

 

Morality:

 

Thanks to people like  you guys il2 is just not only a sim, its really much more than this! :good:

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Well, this will take probably at least a month.

 

But I start thinking it might be worth the effort.

 

Current state. (Dont forget: NOT to zoom in, to be watched at 100% pixel size!)

 

Of course there will be some infos later about plane and distances, for now just guess :)

post-947-0-83083900-1455138760_thumb.png

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That is good work indeed. :good:

 

Might actually be more what people are looking for than my format (still gonna finish my own project though)

 

I was wondering, if it could be improved by fiddling a bit with the light/dark levels and contrast to make the planes appear more as dark silhouettes without discernable camo or markings but without altering the shape. That will focus the viewers attention on the shapes of the aircraft.

 

It could also be achieved by doing a simple trick, which I used as the first stage of creating my images: make a completely matt black skin by simply taking one of the available templates (doesn't matter which one) and paint the entire thing black (all the plane parts too) leaving just a 2048x2048 black square. Do the same to the alpha layer, erasing all detail and leaving only a uniform canvas, but paint the alpha dark grey instead of black (if you make it purely black, it'll make the skin invisible instead) Save the template as a regular DDS skin file (name it something obvious like "black") and copy it into the skin directories of every type of plane. You now have a skin, that works on all aircraft and will make the entire plane appear matt black (on a few planes some components like guns, exhausts etc. don't change for some reason, but these parts are usually dark anyway, so it matters little)

 

Use the black skin for all the shots in the chart to create a uniform look of all the different planes with no confusing markings or camo.

 

I realize this means redoing all the shots you have already done, but I believe it would make the chart even more clear and accessible.

Edited by Finkeren

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:lol:

 

I see, a perfectionist :)

 

But I must confess my subconsciousness was also repressing exactly that point.

 

Have to think about if I am really willing to put that much work into it.

You really think the little one sees from the skins is so disturbing?

 

Need to let that settle a little.

 

But I am really grateful for the feedback. Keep it coming!

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No, I don't at all think it ruins it :) it's still clear and usable. I'm just thinking of ways to make it even better.

 

And also, I must admit I kinda like seeing charts with a uniform look to them.

 

If you want, I could give you a download of the black skin I made. Just to test out and see if you like the effect.

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