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Metal Mastery....it takes time...and a team.

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    Metal Mastery....it takes time...and a team.

    As you all may have noticed, Brian and I have been working on a few metal paints.
    Anyway...what you don't see is all the tweaking/testing we do to try and perfect the "metal look".
    Trust me, when you look at it long enough, and from every conceivable angle of both the aircraft and time/season, you start to scratch your head and say..."Hmm looks ok at that angle, but if I rotate the aircraft a bit and change the time from 1pm to 3pm....it doesn't look quite right.

    Brian and I may have settled on the metal base color (maybe...still a lot to try)...but with PBR, that is only one in about seven variables that control how the metal looks overall, and in all conditions.

    Here is just one of many ideas we've come up with to alter how the metal looks.
    Using left/right sides to check for results, you see we modified the red channel left side to wash out the artificial horizon drawn on the metal base layer (its also used to paint the red channel...or should be. ) You can see the line clearly on the right (bottom) side
    red and green channel 01.jpg
    We are also testing the effects of modifying the shadow or green channel. Here you can see on the front texture map, we applied more shadow effect.

    Here are the results in the sim:
    Right side
    PBR Metal test 01.jpg
    Left side
    PBR Metal test 02.jpg

    On the top photo, you can clearly see the effect from the demarcation line in front of the nose gear doors....the angle of the left side doesn't really show it....highlighting the fact that every angle and placement of the sun effects how the metal looks (just like in real life)

    Some of these changes may look subtle or not even different at all, but you have to remember that screenshots, frozen in place, do not reflect (pun intended) how the metal looks as you pan around it real time...changing the time as well to see how different angles of the sun change the look.

    I guarantee that Brian and I have probably panned around/moved the Time Preview bar, at least a thousand times looking at this metal, trying to dial it in. You almost think when you 1st get the metal on and a base RGB channel mix up in the sim...you're almost done with the paint...not so with metal.

    We'll post more pics and explanations as we come up with new discoveries and ideas...the paints will be released when..well you know. Painting and patience go hand in hand, hehe.
    There was a lot we learned on our 1st PBR project, and we're just fine-tuning what we learned with this model. Hope other painters take the plunge and experiment with the new tools LM gave us.
    Last edited by Steve Dra; 15Mar2019, 00:33.
    Regards, Steve Dra
    Click here to download my paints

    #2
    Little more tweaking...
    PBR Metal test 03.jpg
    Regards, Steve Dra
    Click here to download my paints

    Comment


      #3
      Looking good so far, Steve.
      Captain Kevin

      Kevin Yang

      Comment


        #4
        Well everything took a left turn today as Steve was hinting at. We both wanted to try a different style of Metal Base and we liked it so had to re-export everything after the work was done. Still have a few things to get right that are plainly obvious and still need a good QC but here the Atlas bird I put together today. This could end up being my favorite aircraft to fly honestly.




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

        Comment


          #5
          Wow. this Atlas Air is a master one.
          Well done.
          Patrice Jaubert

          Comment


            #6
            Looks awesome!
            Curtis Smith

            KSUS/1H0

            Comment


              #7
              Another metal version I'm testing...I'm liking this one too.
              You can clearly see the coastline in the reflection....to watch it move when the plane is flying is magical.
              PBR Metal test 04.jpg
              Regards, Steve Dra
              Click here to download my paints

              Comment


                #8
                Superb! Congratulations "MCPO Livery Painter" .

                Comment


                  #9
                  Steve and Brian:

                  You are creating a big problem for all of us:

                  "Which one do I fly today?"

                  They all look amazing!
                  Roberto
                  Roberto Stopnicki
                  Toronto, Canada

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by stopnicki View Post
                    Steve and Brian:

                    You are creating a big problem for all of us:

                    "Which one do I fly today?"

                    They all look amazing!
                    Roberto
                    That will be simple. You fly NWA or GTI.
                    Brian Thibodeaux
                    B747-400/8 First Officer
                    Typed MD-80, BE1900
                    ATP, CFI, MEI

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Steve's busy today so we haven't gotten together to talk about. Well anything. So decided to take a flight PANC-KJFK. Sunset shot came out pretty decent.
                      Brian Thibodeaux
                      B747-400/8 First Officer
                      Typed MD-80, BE1900
                      ATP, CFI, MEI

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Looks amazing Brian!!!
                        Curtis Smith

                        KSUS/1H0

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Beautiful work.
                          Patrice Jaubert

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Wow!

                            Nice work, you guys.

                            Robert S. Randazzo
                            PMDG Simulations
                            http://www.pmdg.com


                            Comment


                              #15
                              First time trying to get the engines to mix with the fuse. Idk why but this is driving me nuts. Maybe I'm over thinking it and they blend well enough. I just can't get to the point where I'm happy with them. Clippers here we go. First up will be the Freighter because the metal is done, but it will be an easy transition for this on the Pax bird. So Clipper Bald Eagle is first then Clipper Juan Trippe. Think Steve was talking TWA.

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

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Hmmm i never knew that. Great to hear. Now if i can seem to find a way to paint and not quit and throw my keyboard across the room that would great too
                                Alex Kulak
                                PMDG Studier and flyer
                                Ramp Agent @PHX

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Tremendous omg but one thing the plane on the pics looks like its on the ground?


                                  Anthony Miller

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Pure skill awesome.
                                    Regards.
                                    Danny Z.Cebis

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Thanks for the info. I'm attempting to create a metal shine for the engines but there doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the "red" channel. Is there a new paint kit I should be using? I thought the paint kits contained a "spec" layer but I'm not seeing it.
                                      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]

                                      Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                      USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by PC Pilot View Post
                                        Thanks for the info. I'm attempting to create a metal shine for the engines but there doesn't seem to be any way to adjust the "red" channel. Is there a new paint kit I should be using? I thought the paint kits contained a "spec" layer but I'm not seeing it.
                                        The Engine base metallic file can be found in the base 747-400 common folder for the engine variant you want. I think thats how its laid out if I recall. I'm actually away from my Desktop until Friday evening UTC. Or if you have that file and you are still having issues reaching the Red Channel this could be due to the program you are using. Photoshop is pretty simple, its in the same tab as the Layers just select the channel tab, if you are using Paintshop, Steve Dra is the one to ask.
                                        Brian Thibodeaux
                                        B747-400/8 First Officer
                                        Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                        ATP, CFI, MEI

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Thanks, Brian for responding.

                                          I am using PhotoShop and I do see the channels tab along with the alpha. I am using the PW engine PSD file. When I select the Red layer in the channels tab I don't see any adjustments. I've tinkered with the engine PSD but can't seem to get the cowls to be bare metal: it's always an off white color. So maybe the issue is being able to turn off the engine cowl color or changing it to a metal color.

                                          Any insight or help you provide is appreciated
                                          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]

                                          Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                          USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by PC Pilot View Post
                                            Thanks, Brian for responding.

                                            I am using PhotoShop and I do see the channels tab along with the alpha. I am using the PW engine PSD file. When I select the Red layer in the channels tab I don't see any adjustments. I've tinkered with the engine PSD but can't seem to get the cowls to be bare metal: it's always an off white color. So maybe the issue is being able to turn off the engine cowl color or changing it to a metal color.

                                            Any insight or help you provide is appreciated
                                            A few screen shots of your normal paint file and the Metallic file Red Channel if you please.
                                            Brian Thibodeaux
                                            B747-400/8 First Officer
                                            Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                            ATP, CFI, MEI

                                            Comment


                                              #23
                                              Sure thing. Hopefully this will help: Metal Channels 01.jpg
                                              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]

                                              Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                              USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                              Comment


                                                #24
                                                There is a layered texture "aluminum" I added in an attempt to make it look more like metal. Here is the normal layers screenshot:

                                                Metal Channels 02.jpg
                                                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]

                                                Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                                USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                                Comment


                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by PC Pilot View Post
                                                  There is a layered texture "aluminum" I added in an attempt to make it look more like metal. Here is the normal layers screenshot:
                                                  Ok first, turn off the shadows, they aren't doing you any good on any of the painted files. Secondly, Try not to use white as your guide for metal. Use a light grey or I prefer light blue, think I have an example up above. Give that a shot and see what you get. From there it will be modifications of your Metallic Red Channel until you get the right metallic properties. You can stick with white, but you are going to end up with a very very very bright metallic color, and I don't think theres a single plane out there polished that can match what you'll see.
                                                  Brian Thibodeaux
                                                  B747-400/8 First Officer
                                                  Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                                  ATP, CFI, MEI

                                                  Comment


                                                    #26
                                                    Thanks, Brian.

                                                    Sorry for the bonehead question, but how do I adjust the Red Channel. I see it, I can get to it, but I'm not sure how one adjust it in PhotoShop (I'm using the older version of PS - CS6 Extended).

                                                    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]

                                                    Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                                    USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                                    Comment


                                                      #27
                                                      OK. I turned off the shadow layer. I've applied a light blue color to the parts to make them look like metal. All to no avail. It still shows up as an off white or gray no matter what I do. Yeah, PBR looks great but getting the metal look has proven difficult, at least to me. (I know creating the shiny metal look was a lot easier on the DC-6 aircraft which had a spec layer included in the paint kit.)

                                                      If I'm in the wrong forum for assistance, please kindly point me in the right direction. I'd really like to master this.
                                                      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]

                                                      Fly Virtual (flyvirtual.net)
                                                      USAF Veteran [Aircraft Electrician / Egress Tech]

                                                      Comment


                                                        #28
                                                        Originally posted by PC Pilot View Post
                                                        OK. I turned off the shadow layer. I've applied a light blue color to the parts to make them look like metal. All to no avail. It still shows up as an off white or gray no matter what I do. Yeah, PBR looks great but getting the metal look has proven difficult, at least to me. (I know creating the shiny metal look was a lot easier on the DC-6 aircraft which had a spec layer included in the paint kit.)

                                                        If I'm in the wrong forum for assistance, please kindly point me in the right direction. I'd really like to master this.
                                                        Just got back home yesterday evening and I can make a better reply. You adjust the Red Channel the same way you would adjust any layer. Move the tab to Channels, there you will see RGB, Red, Green, Blue and Alpha. Select the Red channel. Select the color you want to modify, in this case Steve and I found around #dedede works pretty well for a representation of bare metal. We use #0d0d0d for painted areas. I use pure black for Stickers and static ports to make them stand out more also. Editing a channel is no different than any layer except you are doing it in grey scale. Heres a link to an example of what we use for bare metal.
                                                        https://www.dropbox.com/s/ti1wdv3pk5...ample.zip?dl=0

                                                        Heres a link to a post I made regarding quick bare metal. Its not pretty honestly, but you can see how a light blue color can turn out with a proper Metallic Red Channel.
                                                        https://forum.pmdg.com/forum/main-fo...=7263#post7263
                                                        Brian Thibodeaux
                                                        B747-400/8 First Officer
                                                        Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                                        ATP, CFI, MEI

                                                        Comment


                                                          #29
                                                          I released both my Metal paints. You can download them from Avsim. If you find something off let me know and I'll evaluate if I can easily fix it.
                                                          https://library.avsim.net/search.php...root&Go=Search
                                                          Brian Thibodeaux
                                                          B747-400/8 First Officer
                                                          Typed MD-80, BE1900
                                                          ATP, CFI, MEI

                                                          Comment


                                                            #30
                                                            Both paints are incredible mate a big well done on getting the metal reflecting the way it should. Great work..

                                                            Darren Howie
                                                            Last edited by dehowie; 07Apr2019, 11:31.
                                                            Darren Howie

                                                            Comment

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