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HappyHaddock

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Some may remember my mods from ROF...

 

Well now Flying Circus is in early access and I can get back into the cockpit of some WWI crates again I've been revisiting my mods and picking up on stuff I'd been tinkering with years ago where there's more cross compatibility between ROF and FC than I expected.

 

Anyway whilst far from complete or suited to making available for others to use I wanted to paste here a WIP image.

 

I've been playing around with stuff I'd got working in ROF (but never made available publicly) by way of creating various new scripts and files to add different grass/plants/foliage effects in different fields rather than using one stock grass texture everywhere, along with trying to remove the grass textures from the dirt tracks painted as part of the basic map tiles but which aren't actually overlaid with road textures to be navigable by mission planners.

 

At the moment I'm not worrying too much about the hit on FPS I'm just seeing what's possible before optimising settings, but things still seem to be running without any noticeable stutters when maxed out so clearly I'm not slowing things down too much yet.

 

I've a lot more in the pipeline, and that's not to mention revisiting my enhanced sky mods, but here's one quick screenshot just to illustrate what I've been playing with to get some more varied/detailed and European feeling plant life.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

PS. - Note to the Devs: No doubt you'll do what makes financial sense and works for you rather than do things to make life easier for one modder; but if you haven't started work on the map texture tiles for the FC map of North France would you think about painting the dirt tracks on the map tiles in a more contrasting hue/tone to make it easier to use your colour mask features to keep the grass textures off these tracks.

 

Happyhaddock WIP.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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Looks nice.  The background trees look quite strange by comparison, with those boots of grass around the base of their trunks.  It's the exact opposite of what happens in nature.

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Cant wait for this, thank you for your time working on FC what will (hopefully) a great WW1 SIM one day now work has stopped on ROF 

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Good luck!

 

Doing this is a pita given the wide range of the color mask used by the different grass entries. Getting stuff like short grass in towns and tall wheat in fields is very time consuming. I'd suggest editing the textures.tini file to point each map to its own grass config file.

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Another WIP snap of some scrubby plants on a bit of heathland...

 

I'm starting to reach the point with these experimental MODS that my FPS is now being limited by my GPU rather than the natural refresh rate of my monitor.;)

 

Things aren't yet stuttering visually but whilst the game engine is clearly capable of so much more, I don't think I'll get a functioning MOD that can do much more than shown here.

 

However this is just one bit of undergrowth, I can apply the same complexity/diversity to totally different plants in other fields so I've still to work on grasses and wildflowers for the meadows and various crops for the farmers fields.

 

Cheers

 

HH

DR1 and ground MOD.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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Posted (edited)

Real life took me away from this for a few months but I couldn't resist sharing these quick screen grabs whilst tinkering around today with ideas to update my old ROF enhanced sky mod.

 

Work on the plant life mod plods on and is showing some real promise but is a slow burner due to the hours of labour involved.

 

Cheers

HH

the joy of flight.jpg

early morning.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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This sim just keeps on giving in terms of its lighting engine.

 

Cheers

HH

morning glory.jpg

last man back.jpg

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Very beautiful sky! Please make tuning and normal day sky. Existing mods rule it too roughly. As it seems to me now the sky is a little oversaturated.
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HOLLA!!  gib,gib,gib!! 😁

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8 hours ago, FoxbatRU said:
Very beautiful sky! Please make tuning and normal day sky. Existing mods rule it too roughly. As it seems to me now the sky is a little oversaturated.

 

The entire skydome.dds needs to be reworked. Plus the sun/ambient color and the settings for each individual weather preset. Its a real pain to work on.

733863376_109example.thumb.jpg.b82eb41fdecb51d99924f45c20685995.jpg

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1 hour ago, LizLemon said:

 

The entire skydome.dds needs to be reworked. Plus the sun/ambient color and the settings for each individual weather preset. Its a real pain to work on.

 

 

You say its a real pain to work on but I went through that pain 5 years ago figuring out all the complexities in ROF... It is proving far easier this time around now I know what I need to change and how one little change to one small part of a texture file will impact upon the look of so many other things that also need tweaking to compensate. I haven't counted but I'm guessing that I'll need to tweak the numerical settings in about 60-80 files as well as repainting perhaps a couple of dozen texture files to get this whole mod balanced and working. Plus remodelling clouds in ROF was a nightmare but allowed greater possibilities if you actually put in the time, the new game engine uses an entirely different system that's a dream to play with in terms of what it will do, but I'm damned if I can sort out the overcast clouds which I don't like but which I was able to approximate a "fudge" to address in ROF.

 

So having said that understanding what needs tweaking and how to tweak them stops modding this from being a pain, it hasn't avoided what's so far been more than 24hrs of fine tuning; it's just got rid of the nasty surprises when you unexpectedly screw things up through not appreciating everything one small tweak to just one file would change.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

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Can't wait to see these finished! Looking great!

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Indeed, looking great so far, I really like this mod. Thinking of this, it also shows the potential of this game engine and so

I ask myself why this is not already set up in the official game. But maybe it can have some performance hit? Don't know.

 

There are a lot of other fabulous mods here, but the problem for MP is, there are not many servers allowing mods. Pity!

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1 hour ago, -IRRE-Therion said:

Indeed, looking great so far, I really like this mod. Thinking of this, it also shows the potential of this game engine and so

I ask myself why this is not already set up in the official game. But maybe it can have some performance hit? Don't know.

 

 

As somebody who studied the behaviour of light as a scientist when at Uni, and who now makes my living as an artist it was the amazingly lifelike way that ROF handled the behaviour of light that made me fall in love with it.

 

In terms of a performance hit it's not so much a strain on FPS (the above clouds were rendering at about 60-90FPS according to the counter in the corner of each image) its more the strain on man hours that makes it uneconomic for the devs to spend so long subtly refining and tweaking to wring the last drop of potential out of their engine when the majority of their customers have other priorities.  Customers spend money on new maps and new planes, they tolerate the devs time being spent correcting the occasional little problems that occur, they don't spend money on fractional improvements to things that weren't broken.

 

HH

 

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I gotta say this looks absolutely stunning! I dunno how i'd missed your RoF mod. This could well be the first mod I install fore BOX

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There's just as much work has to go into tweaking daylight settings, but any visual improvements are far more minor and are more about offsetting the consequences of the mod's work on twilight to stop them disturbing the look of daylight.

 

HH

wingman.jpg

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Beautiful work, I still have your RoF mod and its great!

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Very excited by this. Looks fantastic!

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14 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

You say its a real pain to work on but I went through that pain 5 years ago figuring out all the complexities in ROF... It is proving far easier this time around now I know what I need to change and how one little change to one small part of a texture file will impact upon the look of so many other things that also need tweaking to compensate. I haven't counted but I'm guessing that I'll need to tweak the numerical settings in about 60-80 files as well as repainting perhaps a couple of dozen texture files to get this whole mod balanced and working. Plus remodelling clouds in ROF was a nightmare but allowed greater possibilities if you actually put in the time, the new game engine uses an entirely different system that's a dream to play with in terms of what it will do, but I'm damned if I can sort out the overcast clouds which I don't like but which I was able to approximate a "fudge" to address in ROF.

 

So having said that understanding what needs tweaking and how to tweak them stops modding this from being a pain, it hasn't avoided what's so far been more than 24hrs of fine tuning; it's just got rid of the nasty surprises when you unexpectedly screw things up through not appreciating everything one small tweak to just one file would change.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

 

I've mostly got it figured out now. I understand how the lighting works and all the other files that go along with it. But the pita part comes from making changes isnt WYSIWYG. I can alter the skydome file to what looks right, but then those changes aren't quite the same in game. Its been lots of trial and error to find what sort of corrections are needed to get the look I want in game.

 

I haven't mucked around much with clouds besides a few early experiments. But I am getting close to a skydome + altered lighting that improves things quite a bit.

 

Here is what the sky looks like just before sunrise stock.

562099350_stockskypano.thumb.jpg.53c3aaf3375fce3e0e931cb736b3e532.jpg

 

And here is what I've done, basing things off a precomputed atmospheric scattering model. The color in the sun direction isn't quite to my liking but 180 from sun is nearly spot on to the reference I'm using.

203864979_skypanomod.thumb.jpg.fc9c0fa9e6e96eb1c5475cedffefd801.jpg

 

I've also figured out how to almost completely eliminate the annoying color blooming. Stock if left modded is right.

406183524_boscolorbloom.jpg.b4e5f123c815ebcebdaf8becc0550143.jpg

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8 hours ago, LizLemon said:

 

I've mostly got it figured out now. I understand how the lighting works and all the other files that go along with it. But the pita part comes from making changes isnt WYSIWYG. 

 

 

That's certainly very true. When modding most texture files you simply paint what you want to see.

 

With this what appears on screen is very much a case of blending multiple aspects of different texture files in different ratios and you need to be very much aware of this when making any change to any part of any single texture.

 

I suppose you could say I'm at an advantage in that at Uni I studied the behaviour of light both experimentally in a lab, and theoretically, my first job was working in IT having been doing basic coding since the very early 80's home computing revolution. I  now work as an artist/model maker and have published papers in journals about the psychology of perception and how the eye and brain work together to interpret what they see and what makes them judge an image to be pleasing, realistic or dramatic. Much of which is not about getting things right in any absolute manner. The eye and brain are very poor at judging absolute hue and tone, what they do is judge relative contrasts so you've got to apply lots of small changes  to everything to maintain a balance. Consequently a single step in the right direction can, on its own, actually make things look worse overall. This is why you've got to make subtle changes to so many things on-mass and have confidence that the changes you are making are going to work together. You can't really change one thing and then test it to see if it makes things look better.

 

As such playing with the lighting in a PC sim is very much something I've spent my life training for.

 

I would however offer the one bit of advice I offer to all art students. The difficult bit is not the technical aspects of manipulating what ever tools or materials you are using, it's learning to put them down, walk away and use your eyes to genuinely study the real world. Most peoples problem's stem from replicating what they think the world looks like more than they come from not being able to replicate what they think the world looks like. Pre-conceived ideas and mis-conceptions are what ultimately stop people achieving lifelike representations of anything.

 

HH

 

 

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What is a real pain is that there is some kind of white balance and brightness adjustment going on during one of the shader passes. Turning off the post contrast filter means the sky will be near exactly what the skydome texture is. But then the contrast is terribly low unless HDR is also disabled. This same filter also causes problems with very dark nights yet fixes exposure fluctuation from spinning props. There is also some annoying threshold for things like radium coated instruments that makes darker shadows in the cockpit impossible.

 

Another issue is how some things are implemented. The high alt cirrus clouds are only illuminated by ambient lighting. This isn't a huge issue because the color of the ambient should be corrected in the sky.ini file, yet those values don't appear to work quite as I'd expect.  The haze taken from the skybox is done in a clumsy way as seen in this pic;

376177576_horizonbug.thumb.jpg.b339fd647abe58a721ecacd1c02977e5.jpg

 

Do you know what the third section in light.bmp is for?

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Posted (edited)

 

the third part of the light.bmp is a straightforward one; it's the night time equivalent of ambient light ie. star light; something that needs to be almost black, the subtlety is in how dark to just offer a slight contrast to the directional moonlight.

 

EDIT: having just checked that part of the light.bmp it seems it is far less effective than I remember it to be from ROF, perhaps the new game engine already factors in a very low intensity for this light as you can now make it really bright without dominating the moonlight.

 

I too have been bugged by the high altitude cirrus clouds not picking up direct sun light, and although I may misremember this I seem to recall that in ROF they did pick up the directional warm glow of my sunrises.

 

The foot of the haze is another thing that's not ideal to have to work with but to some degree it can be disguised with changes to the skydome.

 

It's all fun and games tinkering gently with the numerous things that go into creating the look of the sky... if you say you haven't fully explored the coding behind the clouds yet then there's some real nice features in there, but just like in ROF the devs have gone a different route with the overcast clouds and I can't find a way to disable some of the features of them I don't like.

 

Cheers

 

HH

Edited by HappyHaddock

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, LizLemon said:

I've also figured out how to almost completely eliminate the annoying color blooming. Stock if left modded is right.

I hate that bloom. Does your mod do the same as turning bloom off in the startup config?

 

HappyHaddock, that looks amazing! I hope we can play with your sky when you´re finished! :o:

Edited by Psyrion

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Posted (edited)

Help I'm in danger of turning this into a farm sim😉

Somebody remind me that there's not just plants and the weather to think about.. shouldn't I also be thinking about aeroplanes?

 

an early crop.jpg

Edited by HappyHaddock
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I love the results.

But I would kill you for posting such a compressed image.

 

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These pics are amazing. You are doing a fantastic job HH. So when do you think you'll have these available?? No rush, just can wait to add to the experience! :good:

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9 hours ago, Psyrion said:

I hate that bloom. Does your mod do the same as turning bloom off in the startup config?

 

HappyHaddock, that looks amazing! I hope we can play with your sky when you´re finished! :o:

 

Bloom is still on in-game. Its changing a few other things to mostly get rid of it. It still pops up, but when it does its the color of the sun, and its almost completely imperceptible.

 

15 hours ago, HappyHaddock said:

 

the third part of the light.bmp is a straightforward one; it's the night time equivalent of ambient light ie. star light; something that needs to be almost black, the subtlety is in how dark to just offer a slight contrast to the directional moonlight.

 

EDIT: having just checked that part of the light.bmp it seems it is far less effective than I remember it to be from ROF, perhaps the new game engine already factors in a very low intensity for this light as you can now make it really bright without dominating the moonlight.

 

I too have been bugged by the high altitude cirrus clouds not picking up direct sun light, and although I may misremember this I seem to recall that in ROF they did pick up the directional warm glow of my sunrises.

 

The foot of the haze is another thing that's not ideal to have to work with but to some degree it can be disguised with changes to the skydome.

 

It's all fun and games tinkering gently with the numerous things that go into creating the look of the sky... if you say you haven't fully explored the coding behind the clouds yet then there's some real nice features in there, but just like in ROF the devs have gone a different route with the overcast clouds and I can't find a way to disable some of the features of them I don't like.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

I messed around with clouds enough to figure it out. Then I dropped it to focus on getting lighting and the skydome correct. After that then I'll get back to clouds. This is where I ended at;

 

1325788585_bosclouds.thumb.jpg.d382ed0e3e368e0da9770c4fa438a37c.jpg

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8 hours ago, rowdyb00t said:

These pics are amazing. You are doing a fantastic job HH. So when do you think you'll have these available?? No rush, just can wait to add to the experience! :good:

 

Who knows when it will be done... I'm looking at a lot of work to produce a complete mod others would want to download, and the nature of my employment means I frequently lose months at a  time to busy periods in real life.

 

When my work diary is without commissions I can get a lot of time to tinker with this flight sim, but like most I need to earn a living and can't afford to have an empty work diary.  I do have a major international art fair coming up soon which I need to get certain projects finished in time for, and I hope to pick up more commissions when I'm there. Consequently there's a strong chance this may end up on the back burner again for a few months whilst I disappear from here.

 

Whether it's realistic or achievable I don't know but in my own mind I'd like to get this set up for as soon after the release of the FC map as possible, as the WWII stuff doesn't do a lot for me.

 

HH

10 hours ago, Picchio said:

I love the results.

But I would kill you for posting such a compressed image.

 

 

Just for you, here's the original 1920x1200 screenshot

an early crop.jpg

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8 minutes ago, HappyHaddock said:

Just for you, here's the original 1920x1200 screenshot

 

I really love your work, mate! That's incredibly gorgeous - what a fabulous mood. And if all of this doesn't lead to a major performance hit,

well then, congratulations! Thank you very much...

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, -IRRE-Therion said:

 

I really love your work, mate! That's incredibly gorgeous - what a fabulous mood. And if all of this doesn't lead to a major performance hit,

well then, congratulations! Thank you very much...

 

To date the sky, clouds and lighting aren't notably impacting on FPS, and believe it or not some of the little tests of plant mods I've been experimenting with I've been able to optimize enough to hint that I may gain a few FPS as the existing grass script doesn't seem particularly efficient, but then as there's really only the one of them applied everywhere in the stock game it doesn't need to be that efficient.

 

That said the first time I bundled a lot of different plant scripts together with the different parts of my sky mod FPS dropped as there was too much overlap and needless repetition...

 

Time will tell as they say, but my gpu was last updated to a 4Gb-GTX970 back in 2014 and the CPU is even older, so whilst competent it's no uber gaming rig anymore. It has so far been producing the above screenshots at roughly 60-80 FPS with all graphics settings maxed out, and from certain "less interesting" angles and FOV I've achieved as much as 140FPS

 

At ground level in the thick of the undergrowth with a lot happening on screen I've nudged below 40FPS at times, but the stock game does this occasionally with everything maxed out.

 

I certainly won't be producing a mod my old PC can't handle. Those with a more modern PC could probably run things faster unless going for huge 4K + multi-monitor resolutions.

 

Cheers

 

HH

 

 

 

 

Edited by HappyHaddock
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Hi mate,

 

by being a little bit worried concerning the performance, I absolutely do not put your hard work in question, no! I really appreciate your work and I'm very eager

to try this out. And reading about your system's specs makes me quite confident as I have nearly the same system. Again, thanks very much, mate.

 

Cheerio

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A few more screen shots of WIP, now I'm moving my attention to cloud modelling for this mod.

 

Cheers

 

HH

cloud 1.jpg

cloud 2.jpg

cloud 3.jpg

cloud 4.jpg

cloud 5.jpg

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