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Blurry 4k Skins in FC vol.II?


Luftschiff
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Luftschiff

As excited as I am for Volume 2 of Flying Circus, I remain a little sceptical to the improvements (or lack thereof) of the models imported over from RoF. With the release of the Nieuport 28, the first of the volume II aircraft, I was disappointed to turn around in my seat and be greeted by a texture that is stretched and blurry. 

 

image.thumb.png.1aba2805bd24f59b6f613e7ac499f123.png

 

With all the new releases for BoX arriving with purpose-made 4k textures I had assumed the old kites would get the same treatment. If these are indeed the 4k textures promised for FC.II I can only assume they are simply upscaled versions of the old textures? Something this close to the camera really ought to look much better, and that seam where the cockpit starts just looks odd.  For comparison, here it is next to the Nieuport 28 in RoF from 2010 (right).

 

image.thumb.png.5f4d62682b989601f00f92da124cc03f.png

 

The old RoF texture certainly looks more plastic than fabric, but it's clean and even in fidelity, and the cockpit transition looks great. 

In short, I find it much less distracting, even with modern eyes. 

 

I don't have a conclusion to draw here, because I know no improvements or fixes will be coming, and I don't like wanton complaining - but I'm curious to hear if this is a me problem. Did anyone else find it distracting, or am I alone in my malcontention with the quality of the FC.II textures so far? Perhaps my computer is broken and my install corrupted, but I'd appreciate civil thoughts on the matter. 

 

 

 

Edited by Luftschiff
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Ala13_UnopaUno_VR

Completely agree with your comment, The feeling you receive with the texture is close to that of wood. something rigid, dull ... you don't feel like you're looking at a canvas at all, maybe you have to change the templates, and eliminate some layers that dirty or create strange textures, also work the Alpha channel to increase the reflection and make it shine more or less...

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Luftschiff

Aaaand it's in the wrong forum section, please move it.

Just now, Ala13_UnopaUno_VR said:

Completely agree with your comment, The feeling you receive with the texture is close to that of wood. something rigid, dull ... you don't feel like you're looking at a canvas at all, maybe you have to change the templates, and eliminate some layers that dirty or create strange textures, also work the Alpha channel to increase the reflection and make it shine more or less...

 

I don't necessarily think it creates the wrong impression, it's just the fact that something that close to the camera really shouldn't be that blurry. That and the lack of a nice transition into the cockpit.

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blue_max

Yeah that's wayyyyy too blurry. And in general, in VR, blurry textures really stand out. It would be cool we get an 8k texture pack, especially for the larger planes. My GPU can handle the memory requirements for sure!

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RNAS10_Oliver

Those textures are from the external skin.

 

It’s not part of the cockpit textures. And good thing too otherwise you would see stock camo when your fuselage has been painted fully blue or pink for example.

 

Though they could and maybe should have devoted more of the external skins UV mapping to those parts closer to the pilot indeed. The UV mapping does leave a bit to be desired in other ways on these aircraft also from what I have noticed when skinning them.

 

The WW2 aircraft are no different just less noticeable as your not right next to those textures, lean out when on the ground with the canopy open and you can see same thing IIRC.

Edited by Oliver88
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Yes I am not impressed with the textures on the N28 at launch (at least not the one I selected for my only flight so far)....I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that it'll get upgraded eventually.

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Luftschiff
2 hours ago, Oliver88 said:

Those textures are from the external skin.

 

It’s not part of the cockpit textures. And good thing too otherwise you would see stock camo when your fuselage has been painted fully blue or pink for example.

 

Though they could and maybe should have devoted more of the external skins UV mapping to those parts closer to the pilot indeed. The UV mapping does leave a bit to be desired in other ways on these aircraft also from what I have noticed when skinning them.

 

The WW2 aircraft are no different just less noticeable as your not right next to those textures, lean out when on the ground with the canopy open and you can see same thing IIRC.

 

Indeed, of course it's the external texture - the cockpit texture is fine. If you mean to say that only the cockpit is in high resolution, perhaps it is so - in which case I'd argue that we should hope to get 4k textures for the externals too. After all, the store page does not specify that only the cockpit textures would be in 4k, and the recent WW2 releases have also had 4k external textures. Keep in mind until very recently the cockpit textures could not be modified at all. 

That technicality aside, yes - You're absolutely right in that the UV mapping is definitely the biggest culprit here. A 4k, 2k or even 1024 texture should do plenty fine if the UV map was laid out with more care. 

2 hours ago, blue_max said:

Yeah that's wayyyyy too blurry. And in general, in VR, blurry textures really stand out. It would be cool we get an 8k texture pack, especially for the larger planes. My GPU can handle the memory requirements for sure!

 

For the bombers, perhaps - but an 8k texture really shouldn't be necessary. I think this is simply a poor texture, and maybe not the best UV mapping. 

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US93_Larner
6 hours ago, Luftschiff said:

As excited as I am for Volume 2 of Flying Circus, I remain a little sceptical to the improvements (or lack thereof) of the models imported over from RoF. With the release of the Nieuport 28, the first of the volume II aircraft, I was disappointed to turn around in my seat and be greeted by a texture that is stretched and blurry. 


Yeah, in all honesty I wasn't overly impressed with the N28 skins. Not only the blurriness but also they look like they've really overcooked the weathering IMO - she looks more like a barn find to me. Some of the FC1 planes seemed a tad 'over-weathered' to me as well (not to mention decals on some of the official skins not lining up properly in places) 

I can appreciate the effort that went into them, as well as the 'craft', but I think that there could be a little bit more care and attention to detail put in. 

Edited by US93_Larner
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Luftschiff

It was in the wrong section, got moved to even wronger section..

 

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Yep. Like all the ROF/FC ports, it's a slapdash, half arsed job. Yugra media clearly do not have the skills or the passion required to deliver what one would expect from a 21st C flight sim.  You could argue no time/no money but it's clearly taken time (and therefore money) to make these planes look this bad. What a waste.

 

I would remind everyone of the claims on the box.

 

"Detailed and precise exterior models of aircraft with 4K skins."

 

Yeah, right.

 

As a skin maker, I wouldn't touch these templates with a bargepole. The developers should be ashamed of themselves.

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When seeing pictures of the N28 I was suspecting that the quality was very low in VR, and after reading here it seems indeed Its absolutely not the quality what you are expecting to see in an 2021 game. 

Thanks for warning. 

 

@1C there are so much good content makers for FS2020, who can make an decent 3d map, content, planes, etc. why not ask them and drop Uglymedia. 

 

edited just before this post will be closed by the big chief. 😇

 

 

Edited by Dutch2
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76SQN-Brazo

I’ve been disappointed by the plane textures, camel wings for example but cockpits are generally very good. I’d prefer though the dire by even ps2 standards ground scenery when up close, was addressed. The grass is comical.

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J5_Adam
On 4/27/2021 at 10:04 AM, US93_Larner said:


Yeah, in all honesty I wasn't overly impressed with the N28 skins. Not only the blurriness but also they look like they've really overcooked the weathering IMO - she looks more like a barn find to me. Some of the FC1 planes seemed a tad 'over-weathered' to me as well (not to mention decals on some of the official skins not lining up properly in places) 

I can appreciate the effort that went into them, as well as the 'craft', but I think that there could be a little bit more care and attention to detail put in. 

Yup. Barn find. No wonder it flies funny with all that dirt on it.

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Jaws2002
On 4/27/2021 at 1:04 PM, US93_Larner said:

Yeah, in all honesty I wasn't overly impressed with the N28 skins. Not only the blurriness but also they look like they've really overcooked the weathering IMO - she looks more like a barn find to me. Some of the FC1 planes seemed a tad 'over-weathered' to me as well (not to mention decals on some of the official skins not lining up properly in places) 

  Absolutely agree with this. Weathering on some skins is taken to extremes, even in situations that don't really call for that much weathering. 

 

The Nieuport 28, for example, got just four months of combat and the Americans had enough ground crews and not so many planes to care for.

This planes look like they spent half a century in a barn with leaky roof.

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Dutch2
12 hours ago, Jaws2002 said:

  Absolutely agree with this. Weathering on some skins is taken to extremes, even in situations that don't really call for that much weathering. 

 

The Nieuport 28, for example, got just four months of combat and the Americans had enough ground crews and not so many planes to care for.

This planes look like they spent half a century in a barn with leaky roof.

 

Think that example of the N28 is more counting to the lack of craftsmanship from Uglymedia and not  in general for the BoX WW2 planes. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

On 4/28/2021 at 5:17 AM, Gooseh said:

Yep. Like all the ROF/FC ports, it's a slapdash, half arsed job. Yugra media clearly do not have the skills or the passion required to deliver what one would expect from a 21st C flight sim. What a waste. (...)

As a skin maker, I wouldn't touch these templates with a bargepole. The developers should be ashamed of themselves.

I am somewhat reluctant to such harsh criticism. But on the other hand: it's absolutely true and justified. Where is the passion we so much love in the IL-2 series?
I was disapointed at the first opening of my preordered FC 1. WWI planes were made of wood and fabric ─ and what I saw looked firm and solid and ─ worst of all ─ like wrapped up in shrink plastic. They lacked EVERY immersive haptic feeling of «I'd like to touch it». I hoped for more realism in FC 2 and preordered it, too. But if the Nieuport is an augury of what's to come, then it really feels like money wasted...😪

 

On 4/27/2021 at 12:24 PM, Ala13_UnopaUno_VR said:

Completely agree with your comment, The feeling you receive with the texture is close to that of wood. something rigid, dull ... you don't feel like you're looking at a canvas at all

I agree 100%! Even FS2020 does MUCH BETTER, though it's certainly not born a WWI sim. Look at the 3rd party Blériot XI! Its coat IS canvas. It has texture, the fins shine through, and yes, the wings even BEND! I go for a VR walk-around and want to touch it. A dream come true! Compare it to what Yugra media delivers us and you'll agree with Gooseh: «What a waste.» You may keep Yugra for landscape and towns, but not for the aircraft!
bleriot_langenbruck_auswahl_31.thumb.jpg.b574127398f10f5cb57131c4b7316b66.jpg

bleriot_langenbruck_auswahl_32.thumb.jpg.2a262f4a7dbc60a5054154af206abdc8.jpg

bleriot_langenbruck_auswahl_38.thumb.jpg.43cc02c920499974e0bfe81792aed37b.jpg
 

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  • 1 month later...
SR603-Flowbee

I was curious reading this post and although not having this part of the game I took a look to see if I could fix it.

 

The fabric texture was easy to sort out - here is a before and after look zoomed in on the template. It looks better once the Alpha is also brought into play ie. in game on the actual plane. The particular texture being discussed however is not at all easy to fix as only a small part of the template is given to the fuselage and then stretched over the 3D model. Unlike the wings and tail plane surfaces. That part therefore is not 4K as it is being over stretched. I thought I might be able to create an 8K texture and 'squeeze' it into the space provided enabling it to be stretched further to give a better resolution as I have done that before but the detail in canvas is just too small to pull that off. So a wasted afternoon all told but here is the skin I was working on if you want to take a look. I could only see what it looked like externally as I don't have FC.2

 

canvas.jpg.82617ceeb9c5c642300e5d3c5c7f96b6.jpg

 

1948087982_canvas2.thumb.jpg.15da1f3c37495dd91e58a47c1d1615b8.jpg

 

https://mega.nz/file/d9sWSKaS#W5a-_KDwXX9EITG0ONPtbB0sBCV_-0nb-vh2w_mTNEM

Edited by SR603-Flowbee
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Flowbee. Sorry for not having noticed your post before (but I changed my settings now)!
This is a tremendous improvement, thanks so much! All the excessive reflections have completely gone. And along with it the feeling of a shiny plastic surface. And yes, I can now even recognize some linen texture underneath the paint. Flat, since a bump map is still missing (or am I mistaken about that?), but it is there.
Now one certainly can argue how shiny and glossy a period canvas wing covered with contemporary 'field' paint may have looked like, but I am quite certain, Yugra in many cases has overdone it.
I am not familiar with Haluter's policy, is your file a new skin or is it a mod (?), but if you can submit your skin there and with the right details in title ('in canvas look') and in 'description' it certainly would find many fans and help to keep the discussion going...
Thanks again!  🤗 🤗 🤗

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  • 4 weeks later...
SR603-Flowbee

I don't alter the bumpmaps as they are part of the game and require mods on for individual planes if altered. The bumpmap, if used, could certainly fix the flat surface look.

 

The shiny appearance comes from the Alpha channel in the DDS file and can be altered freely. The alpha channels are in some (a lot of) cases not being used properly. This appears to be by choice or design as a lot of people like the jet fighter super reflective look. Other skins like the latest German flak halftrack are incredible and show just what is achievable with a properly utilised alpha layer. I have brought it up on quite a few occasions but there seems to be little interest in getting it fixed. I can't fathom how some skin alpha layers are spot on while many others are tweaked offscale to give an overall wet gloss look by just sliding a levels adjustment without consideration of whether the surface should be reflective or not. Luckily there are a handful of skinners who do actually use the alpha layer properly. Others leave it as is or turn it pure white to get all over matte which is at least slightly less annoying than the metallic looking dust and dirt. If you click on my avatar and then check activity you can find other skins that I've done that show what the alpha layer can do.

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US93_Larner
37 minutes ago, SR603-Flowbee said:

I don't alter the bumpmaps as they are part of the game and require mods on for individual planes if altered. The bumpmap, if used, could certainly fix the flat surface look.

 

The shiny appearance comes from the Alpha channel in the DDS file and can be altered freely. The alpha channels are in some (a lot of) cases not being used properly. This appears to be by choice or design as a lot of people like the jet fighter super reflective look. Other skins like the latest German flak halftrack are incredible and show just what is achievable with a properly utilised alpha layer. I have brought it up on quite a few occasions but there seems to be little interest in getting it fixed. I can't fathom how some skin alpha layers are spot on while many others are tweaked offscale to give an overall wet gloss look by just sliding a levels adjustment without consideration of whether the surface should be reflective or not. Luckily there are a handful of skinners who do actually use the alpha layer properly. Others leave it as is or turn it pure white to get all over matte which is at least slightly less annoying than the metallic looking dust and dirt. If you click on my avatar and then check activity you can find other skins that I've done that show what the alpha layer can do.


That Canvas texture looks great!  Instant improvement!  It even makes the weathering look better (unless you played around with that as well) 

On the subject of Alphas - the Alpha layer gave me a real headache when I was trying to work on my squadron's SPAD XIIIs....the 'real thing' is actually reflective, but not particularly glossy or overtly 'shiny'. When I was playing around in the Alpha layer, it seemed like I could either get both (reflective and super shiny) or neither (non-reflective, closer to matte). 

For reference, a surviving SPAD XIII restored using period-correct and extensive details on the doping process from a US Air Service report: 

deliveryService?id=NASM-2006-29564&max=9

86-12094h.jpg

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SR603-Flowbee

I just adjusted the Alpha to get it within a normal range. The weathering would look better because the gloss obscures it by the amount of reflectivity, masking it in effect.

 

I am amazed that an aircraft of this period and construction was that shiny. It is not at all what I imagined it to look like and not at all like the aircraft featured in the blue max or aces high that my perception was based on.

 

 There are a number of posts on how to use the alpha layer. Basically it is about painting in grey scale of 1-100. Anything below 6 is transparent, below 50 is matte and above 50 increasingly shiny. At the upper levels things like metal start to glow in the dark and look wet gloss while 100 suddenly is pure matte. Things can be controlled though by clipping the output levels to between 6 and 216 on a scale of 0-255. You can use curves, levels and even brightness and contrast to get the desired balance. This is using photoshop. I don’t know about Gimp.

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1PL-Husar-1Esk
8 hours ago, SR603-Flowbee said:

I just adjusted the Alpha to get it within a normal range. The weathering would look better because the gloss obscures it by the amount of reflectivity, masking it in effect.

 

I am amazed that an aircraft of this period and construction was that shiny. It is not at all what I imagined it to look like and not at all like the aircraft featured in the blue max or aces high that my perception was based on.

 

 There are a number of posts on how to use the alpha layer. Basically it is about painting in grey scale of 1-100. Anything below 6 is transparent, below 50 is matte and above 50 increasingly shiny. At the upper levels things like metal start to glow in the dark and look wet gloss while 100 suddenly is pure matte. Things can be controlled though by clipping the output levels to between 6 and 216 on a scale of 0-255. You can use curves, levels and even brightness and contrast to get the desired balance. This is using photoshop. I don’t know about Gimp.

They use flammable dope to protect linen from moisture, this make it so shine.

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US93_Larner
10 hours ago, SR603-Flowbee said:

I am amazed that an aircraft of this period and construction was that shiny. It is not at all what I imagined it to look like and not at all like the aircraft featured in the blue max or aces high that my perception was based on.


The doping process contributes to the 'reflectivity' - some French planes (typically the 'silver finish' or 5-tone camouflaged ones) are also a bit unique in that they have aluminium powder worked into the dope as a protector against UV rays, which subtly affects the plane's appearance
 

Back to OT - one thing I noticed when some of the official Ugra templates came out is that some of the old RoF textures had been 'recycled' here and there - I don't think that's the case for the official skins that were released (at least, not all of them), but you definitely can tell when something's made for 4K and when it's been upscaled from 2K...

...for reference, before the official S.E. template was released I did a "Conversion" of the old RoF S.E. template, complete with new 4K textures covering most of the plane. You should see the difference if you look at the exhaust pipes, which I left as the old upscaled 2K textures. I do think that the "tailor-made" (for want of a better term) 4k textures make a world of difference...! 

hbYTqBG.jpg 

Another thing I've noticed in the Ugra skins is that the weathering seems pretty, er, severe. S.XIII is a good example, the plane looks really worn out. I'm wondering what references they use to come up with weathering (assuming they're using references to determine) - in the case of the new S.VII, it reminded me a little bit of Guynemer's Spad VII, which is still on display at the Le Bourget Air & Space museum....the only problem being that, IIRC, the canvas is practically rotting away on that old bird, and resultantly it looks far rougher than it would've in its heyday! 

47265827971_703d0ae9e0_b.jpg

Edited by US93_Larner
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[F.Circus]Gorn_Captain

It definitely caught me off guard how shiny these planes actually are in person. I generally tend to far more matte alphas on my own skins, simply out of preference, but having seen a lot of these planes in person now (both on the ground and the air) it's hard to say the base game alphas are too far off. As Larner said, they're not so much glossy as they are reflective. And it's very hard to tweak the alpha in game to produce the right kind of effect, hence why I prefer mine on the matte-er side. 

 

DSC_0117.thumb.JPG.51a058a3d306e4ef782be12547724318.JPG

 

DSC_0151.thumb.JPG.8d7ed4a11c5bfb4a6343bb8d5f398794.JPG

 

 

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