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Last month I showed you all the new cockpit and the old A2 external textures this month I'm showing you the upgraded externals and some of the baked details. We're are taking the view that the Gripen will probably be used by several other mods, given the number of requests we've had for it. So we're going to make it as paint kit friendly as we can. This isnt exactly as simple as it sound given that Rock is baking most of the textures and detail onto the low poly. Step One is to get all the panel lines drawn in high resolution. Step Two was to make high resolution textures for special areas. Things likes the afterburners, interior panels etc that wouldnt have a high texel count. (number of pixels per area) so that we could get as much detail in as possible. That meant we ended up with 11x 2048x2048 textures and about 20 hours of painstaking work. It should have taken half that but Rock was drinking the first night and it got a bit messy in places she he had to re-do some of it the next day. Step Three is going to be baking those HR textures down onto 3 lower resolution panels for use ingame. Each of the High Res panels covers a part of the aircraft: Wings Foreplanes Fin After burner Engine Ring Airbrake Liners Landing Gear bays Landing Gear Glass Canopy Misc Glass and Lights Misc Metallic details You can see from the shots below some of the high-res panels Rock used. Rock has tried to get as much detail in as possible so when it bakes down onto a lower resolution texture you will be left with the faint impression of proper panels and rivets rather than clumsy thick lines in a low res normal map. Something that we all believe ruins the immersion of the game. By the way, the green panels either side of the rear fuselage are the internal airbrake detail. We've had to move them outside of the model so they bake onto the low poly model easier. The Low poly/in-game version uses: 3 external textures which include all the external detail, landing gear, afterburners etc. 2 internal panels for the cockpit 1 for all the glass on the model: canopy, light fittings, MFDs, formation strips everything. Which with materials and the quirks of alpha layering equated to 11 sections this will hopefully improve ingame performance too. Paint Kit Friendly The intention is to bake all the panel lines on a white background to that they can be left on a layer in photoshop with a "multiply" blending option. This allows people to create their own camoflage on layers below that and still retain detail. And we'd then have the weathering and details on other layers for you to use. Or just remove so you can make your own. Rock has already begun painting and detailing the aircraft prior to baking it onto the low poly model. He'res a partial paint job... And the fully textured version. Please note we are going to leave things like the intake warnings etc. off the paintkit version so that people can make their own national versions with the warnings etc in their own language. We're also taking advantage of Modo's rendering capabilities to produe the Ambient Occlusion and Specular maps. Which anyone that makes thier own will tell you is a pain in the arse to do by hand. Finally, the addon really is ingame and we are testing the new flight model and various quirks of ArmA3's new features right now Thats all for the moment. Keep an eye on the RKSL website for more details.
So I've been spreading my time between getting things moved over to A3 and finishing off projects that were intended for A3. Right now this something of a delight. Just getting back into the swing of making models but also a break from the horrors of configs. Seasoned modders out there will know exactly what i mean when i say that. While A3 isnt a million miles away from A2 there is a lot of learn and work out. New Features to experiment with and new config bugs to squash. I'm really not a coder or scripter. I just like making models... this is one of my favourites. SAAB JAS-39C Gripen Created at the end of the cold war and sharing a lot of features of the Typhoon and Rafale, the Gripen is the much cheaper cousin. It may cost less but it is arguably almost as capable. Which makes it almost perfect for balancing the Resistance forces against NATO and Former Soviet-bloc or the newer Chinese aircraft. When I first started this model it was as a distraction. I had just spend nearly 4 weeks solid developing the HUDs and MFDs of the Typhoon. I need a break from coding and testing. This was it. Oringally I was going to use it fro the IAP Government Air Force but as we developed the IAP story line it just did not fit in. We toyed with the idea that South Africa would be leading the ASA (OPFOR) for a while and discounted that pretty quickly. Just too contentious really so its technically "homeless" for the moment. You will have seen screen shots from earlier attempts to get the model in ArmA2. There are quite a few on this site, but i've never quite had the time or drive to get the cockpit finished until recently. The Gripen is actually a really small plane and the cockpit is actually quite small. But like most 4th Generation Aircraft it is actually quite sparsely populated. I started with the main console and bit by bit built up the components. I'm going to revisit a lot of the Class MFD setup that i developed for the Typhoon with the Gripen but i also have a few more interesting ideas i want to try. Its not finished yet but its getting there slowly... It might even be finished for next month's update. Thats all for the moment. Keep an eye on the RKSL website for more details.