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Painting metal in PBR - get used to green

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    Painting metal in PBR - get used to green

    Hey guys,
    There is a LOT to painting metal in PBR....now that I have the update with the PBR features for the Queen, I'm able to let you know what's what and maybe dispel some concerns and myths about PBR.

    First, PBR effects every model its applied to, in our case the 747. Next, the good news is that the reflections and shininess you'll see for any non-metalic paint is good to go as it is right now. In other words, painters will not have to do anything to their existing paints unless they want to play with the strength of the effects, or tweak a few things specific to them.
    For example...Here is my Lufthansa 747-400 with PBR right out of the box with no adjustments....
    PBR-LH01.jpg

    The bad news, if you're like me and love bare-metal paints...you have a LOT to do!
    Here is the Cathay freighter out of the box...the standard effect is on the middle section, (the dull...gray area to the right) the front section is me playing with the PBR effect really quick.
    PBR-CX01.jpg
    Like I said....there is A LOT of work to do for metal paints.

    Why in the title of this post did I say "get used to green" ?
    In the tiny, secluded world that is flight sim livery painters, we spend countless hours looking at a 2 dimensional representation of what the livery will eventually look like, wrapped around a cylindrical 3d model in flight sim.
    We work on "texture maps" that look like this:
    painting 1.jpg
    Now....If we want to paint metal in PBR, or tweak the PBR settings for any of our paints, we need to become very familiar with this new texture map....
    painting PBR 1.jpg
    Paying very close attention to the "Channels" as highlighted in yellow...and specifically the red channel. (yeah it appears black...why is it called red? Its complicated guys...trust me)

    So...enjoy the wonderful PBR effects out of the box the PMDG boys gave you....it was a lot of work! For 90% or better of all your favorite liveries, you're ready to fly and marvel when you pan around the exterior at certain times of day.
    If you're a bare metal fan....well...re-read the post above, grab a box of popcorn, and stand by.

    Important note to all painters...you should already know this...however....
    The metallic maps live in the common texture folder. If you're going to tweak PBR in any of your liveries....COPY them to your livery folder and tweak those textures, lest you apply those effects to ALL your paints.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Steve Dra; 09Mar2019, 13:49.
    Regards, Steve Dra
    Click here to download my paints

    #2
    Thanks Steve, will want to try to tweak PBR in some of my liveries. Will not attempt bare metal. Looks too advanced for me. Thanks for your pointers. Appreciate.

    PS: Took N856GT from SCEL to KMIA this morning zulu time. Will post a couple of pics in the paint hangar.

    Comment


      #3
      That Attached Cathay 74 at the bottom looks hot Steve!
      Brian Thibodeaux
      B747-400/8 First Officer
      Typed MD-80, BE1900
      ATP, CFI, MEI

      Comment


        #4
        +1 for me on that Cathay paint shipmate. It looks amazing!
        Curtis Smith

        KSUS/1H0

        Comment


          #5
          Looks like a cross between a standard -400F and a -400. I'm guessing the emergency exit on the upper deck isn't supposed to be there.
          Captain Kevin

          Live streams of my flights here.
          Kevin Yang

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
            Looks like a cross between a standard -400F and a -400. I'm guessing the emergency exit on the upper deck isn't supposed to be there.
            I'll get with him, however I recall the rivets and lines being screwed up on the Freighters. All the pax doors were still there. Unless I goofed it at some point, but I remember having to go back and painstakingly go thru each door and fix that issue.
            Brian Thibodeaux
            B747-400/8 First Officer
            Typed MD-80, BE1900
            ATP, CFI, MEI

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks guys. Not only do I love metal paints...love Cathay as well...so this by default is one of my favorite planes.

              Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
              Looks like a cross between a standard -400F and a -400. I'm guessing the emergency exit on the upper deck isn't supposed to be there.
              Door is supposed to be there if you believe any of the pics of the real plane on the internet. I've personally never seen this airframe with my own eyes so I can't confirm.

              EDIT: Kevin, I see that you're referring to the PBR example and not the attached pic of the Cathay BCF.....you are correct, those door outlines should not be there on the 747-400F...I'll correct them on my paints before I push any out. good catch!
              Edit again: looking closer...i pulled this map from the main 747 folder. the 747F has its own common folder with the correct textures. However, not sure why the screenshot of the Cathay freighter seems to have an outline of the upper emergency exit behind the windows...maybe a spec map...will have to look closer.
              Still a LOT to figure out.
              Last edited by Steve Dra; 10Mar2019, 20:19.
              Regards, Steve Dra
              Click here to download my paints

              Comment


                #8
                I have to give you a lot of credit for being able to do all this, Steve. I just spent a good three hours updating textures to 14 planes, five of mine and nine of my friends', and that was considering all I needed to do was remove the shadow. Only two of them had the issues of the bare metal Rolls-Royce engine pylons, although I guess I only really needed to work on one to solve that one. My hands hurt now.
                Captain Kevin

                Live streams of my flights here.
                Kevin Yang

                Comment


                  #9
                  Something I'm working on with Steve's metal. Still sooooo much work todo, custom Metallic files but I wanted to atleast start this today as I've been working on blending for the Metal all day.

                  Brian Thibodeaux
                  B747-400/8 First Officer
                  Typed MD-80, BE1900
                  ATP, CFI, MEI

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Brian, the reflections of the surrounding area on the fuse look good. Would look awesome if you placed her on an airport with snow capped mountains nearby.

                    Used to fly out of KDTW for work for a few years. Mostly with 747-400 for the long hauls to Asia. Others for the flights around the USA. Good to see someone keeps the long history of NWA as an independent airline alive. The airport, before the reconstruction is another story. No need to remind us.
                    Cheers
                    Charles

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by CJSCHCargo View Post
                      Brian, the reflections of the surrounding area on the fuse look good. Would look awesome if you placed her on an airport with snow capped mountains nearby.
                      I only just started it. But I'll be sure to get a shot in PANC when I'm done Steve Dra told me I couldn't play until all my chores were done. So spent the whole day polishing his metal layer. :-).
                      Brian Thibodeaux
                      B747-400/8 First Officer
                      Typed MD-80, BE1900
                      ATP, CFI, MEI

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I'm not the screen shot master like Steve is, but I just wanted to preview the current work a bit more and show the PBR off. You can see things such as paint and placards can be handled differently than bare metal. The shine and reflection is taken away and makes the stand out a tad more because of it. Hopefully have it done by the end of the day...but ya never know. Steves griping cause I might get mine out before his! Haha





                        Brian Thibodeaux
                        B747-400/8 First Officer
                        Typed MD-80, BE1900
                        ATP, CFI, MEI

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by thibodba57 View Post
                          I'm not the screen shot master like Steve is, but I just wanted to preview the current work a bit more and show the PBR off. You can see things such as paint and placards can be handled differently than bare metal. The shine and reflection is taken away and makes the stand out a tad more because of it. Hopefully have it done by the end of the day...but ya never know. Steves griping cause I might get mine out before his! Haha
                          Yeah I'm pretty sure you came to my house and cut my internet line to handicap me from beating you to release the 1st 3rd party PMDG metal paint in full PBR.
                          Not a contest, especially for looks....because you can't deny this one looks waaay better!
                          1d0MZA.jpg

                          Regards, Steve Dra
                          Click here to download my paints

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post
                            Not a contest, especially for looks....because you can't deny this one looks waaay better!
                            Eh, I vote for Northwest because, WEL, Pratt & Whitney.
                            Captain Kevin

                            Live streams of my flights here.
                            Kevin Yang

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
                              Eh, I vote for Northwest because, WEL, Pratt & Whitney.
                              If anything thats a vote against it......
                              Brian Thibodeaux
                              B747-400/8 First Officer
                              Typed MD-80, BE1900
                              ATP, CFI, MEI

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by thibodba57 View Post

                                If anything thats a vote against it......
                                Spoken from the man who's life literally depends on them...I take it you're a GE man Brian?
                                Regards, Steve Dra
                                Click here to download my paints

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post

                                  Spoken from the man who's life literally depends on them...I take it you're a GE man Brian?
                                  Most definitely.
                                  Brian Thibodeaux
                                  B747-400/8 First Officer
                                  Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                  ATP, CFI, MEI

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Steve showed what happens with metal if you play with the Red Channel. My pet peave with PBR has been the application of paint. No matter how polished you make paint, it will never have the reflective properties of polished metal. You can see what I'm talking about by looking at PMDGs provided Boeing Bare Metal demonstrator (No offense guys). But as you pan around you almost stop seeing the paint as the reflections take over. So when Steve and I were working on the other project and we were trying to feel our way thru all this mess we found a happy mix we thought between the two. I figured I'd demo what happens if you apply the alterations to the Red Channel vs not (such as the Boeing Demonstrator).
                                    First up, N516MC, was a bare metal Atlas aircraft before they painted her. Eventually it will be released, its definetely back burner as I'll probably have to do the side logo a few times to get it completely right.

                                    Next up, the non modded Red Channel

                                    Results

                                    Bleh right?!?! You can see the metal just shine thru!
                                    Modded Red Channel

                                    Results

                                    Much Better! You can see how it actually looks like paint is on top of the metal layer now. Basically by changing the color on the Red Channel you are telling the model to render a different material. so the lighter the Color the closer to reflective metal, the darker the color the more 'plastic' the look. By referencing this chart you can start to determine what changes you want to apply.

                                    Anyways, figured I'd share of aircraft we are painting and provide some interesting tidbits of the things Steve and I have been digging into. :-)
                                    Brian Thibodeaux
                                    B747-400/8 First Officer
                                    Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                    ATP, CFI, MEI

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by thibodba57 View Post
                                      If anything thats a vote against it......
                                      Now why would I vote against the very engine I'm using on my plane.
                                      Captain Kevin

                                      Live streams of my flights here.
                                      Kevin Yang

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Nice. I like the Atlas one.
                                        Well done
                                        Patrice Jaubert

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by Steve Dra View Post
                                          Hey guys,
                                          There is a LOT to painting metal in PBR....now that I have the update with the PBR features for the Queen, I'm able to let you know what's what and maybe dispel some concerns and myths about PBR.

                                          First, PBR effects every model its applied to, in our case the 747. Next, the good news is that the reflections and shininess you'll see for any non-metalic paint is good to go as it is right now. In other words, painters will not have to do anything to their existing paints unless they want to play with the strength of the effects, or tweak a few things specific to them.
                                          For example...Here is my Lufthansa 747-400 with PBR right out of the box with no adjustments....
                                          PBR-LH01.jpg

                                          The bad news, if you're like me and love bare-metal paints...you have a LOT to do!
                                          Here is the Cathay freighter out of the box...the standard effect is on the middle section, (the dull...gray area to the right) the front section is me playing with the PBR effect really quick.
                                          PBR-CX01.jpg
                                          Like I said....there is A LOT of work to do for metal paints.

                                          Why in the title of this post did I say "get used to green" ?
                                          In the tiny, secluded world that is flight sim livery painters, we spend countless hours looking at a 2 dimensional representation of what the livery will eventually look like, wrapped around a cylindrical 3d model in flight sim.
                                          We work on "texture maps" that look like this:
                                          painting 1.jpg
                                          Now....If we want to paint metal in PBR, or tweak the PBR settings for any of our paints, we need to become very familiar with this new texture map....
                                          painting PBR 1.jpg
                                          Paying very close attention to the "Channels" as highlighted in yellow...and specifically the red channel. (yeah it appears black...why is it called red? Its complicated guys...trust me)

                                          So...enjoy the wonderful PBR effects out of the box the PMDG boys gave you....it was a lot of work! For 90% or better of all your favorite liveries, you're ready to fly and marvel when you pan around the exterior at certain times of day.
                                          If you're a bare metal fan....well...re-read the post above, grab a box of popcorn, and stand by.

                                          Important note to all painters...you should already know this...however....
                                          The metallic maps live in the common texture folder. If you're going to tweak PBR in any of your liveries....COPY them to your livery folder and tweak those textures, lest you apply those effects to ALL your paints.
                                          Steve, to be honest with you manipulating the channels etc. doesn't trouble me as much as coming up with the base diffuse layer. Not at home right now, so can you tell me does the paint kit include the gray metal layer upon which you put the Cathay Paint? If not, would you mind sharing a few pointers on how you created it? Is there some specific technique to get the grey layer to look more metally?

                                          I want to try some 737 bare metal (not PBR I realize, but there are some convincing metallics with the old system too), but always hit a wall on that base layer and corresponding specular.
                                          Matt Smith
                                          Prepar3D NGX/747

                                          Comment


                                          • Steve Dra
                                            Steve Dra commented
                                            Editing a comment
                                            Hey Matt,
                                            The metal base layer is custom-developed by me and Brain. We've used it on several projects, including our 1st PBR project which was the Maddog.
                                            Fortunately we worked close with the developer and they liked our metal so much it is included in the official paintkit for that plane. You just need to grab it from them, and adapt the metal layer to fit the 737.

                                            You've also seen the metal on my FT 777 as well...all the same metal base, just adapted for each model as needed.

                                          #22
                                          Brian, that Atlas looks great!
                                          Regards, Steve Dra
                                          Click here to download my paints

                                          Comment


                                            #23
                                            That IS awesome! And thanks for the tips!
                                            Curtis Smith

                                            KSUS/1H0

                                            Comment


                                              #24
                                              Hi Brian, Thanks very much for your tips. Very thankful for you guys sharing the gained knowledge with the rest of us.

                                              BTW your M516MC looks much better than the original job done stripping her of the Alitalia paint back in 1995. At least on the only picture I could find.

                                              Comment


                                                #25
                                                Steve,

                                                How is the Cathay Pacific repaint comming along? I'm looking forward to it.

                                                Comment


                                                  #26
                                                  Hello, again:

                                                  I re-read this post and for whatever reason I missed a key component of Steve's post:

                                                  "Important note to all painters...you should already know this...however....
                                                  The metallic maps live in the common texture folder. If you're going to tweak PBR in any of your liveries....COPY them to your livery folder and tweak those textures, lest you apply those effects to ALL your paints. "

                                                  I'm working in PhotoShop and I'm curious as to how I should copy the metallic maps from the common texture folder since after all they are in .DDS format. I can't seem to bring the texture files into the paint.
                                                  R. Will Thomas
                                                  KMDT - Flight Sim 1998 to Present
                                                  P3D, X-Plane, FSX
                                                  J41, MD-11, 737, 747, 777, DC-6 [All versions of each aircraft]

                                                  USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                                  Comment


                                                    #27
                                                    Originally posted by PC Pilot View Post
                                                    Hello, again:

                                                    I re-read this post and for whatever reason I missed a key component of Steve's post:

                                                    "Important note to all painters...you should already know this...however....
                                                    The metallic maps live in the common texture folder. If you're going to tweak PBR in any of your liveries....COPY them to your livery folder and tweak those textures, lest you apply those effects to ALL your paints. "

                                                    I'm working in PhotoShop and I'm curious as to how I should copy the metallic maps from the common texture folder since after all they are in .DDS format. I can't seem to bring the texture files into the paint.
                                                    Install this plugin for Photoshop. Will allow the opening, modifying and direct saving of DDS files in Photoshop.

                                                    https://developer.nvidia.com/nvidia-...dobe-photoshop
                                                    Brian Thibodeaux
                                                    B747-400/8 First Officer
                                                    Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                                    ATP, CFI, MEI

                                                    Comment

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