Monday, September 24, 2012

F-14D Progress - and volunteers recruiting

Work on the new F-14D is slowly proceeding - actually far more slowly that I envisioned, as I am struggling to find the time to work on it, as usual.
The external model should have been finished weeks ago... but I am still adding minor details here and there, so it is not 100% ready yet. Here is the latest version (v2.028).



Now, this project is getting bigger and more detailed every day... so I'd need help. Specifically, for the moment, I'd need:

A SOUND SPECIALIST - The current Tomcat is using a quite good package from Aaron Swindle. I believe it is good, but it is a quite generic sound package for a military jet.
I'd need someone to develop a custom, authentic sound set for the Tomcat. I have no knowledge at all in this field, so I cannot provide any help or support.

A GAUGE/XML SPECIALIST (TBC) - I have plans to add a RIO cockpit (either from the initial release or as an update) but I will not have time to develop its "special" avionics (i.e. the radar functions). I'd need someone to develop custom XML gauges for the radar display in the RIO station.

The project is freeware - so there is no money involved - but if you consider yourself an expert in these fields and are willing to help with this tribute to one of the most amazing aircraft ever, please contact me. I may also need the help of other specialists...but I'll announce that later on.

21 comments:

Stéphane said...

Hi Dino,
regarding the sound package, you have the "real deal" Tomcat sounds by Christopher Petersen available at avsim.

Dino Cattaneo said...

Thanks Stéphane

I will check it out asap!

Stéphane said...

I just hope you won't be disappointed... you should normally not...

Jiri said...

Looking good! Only thing is that upper side of the fuselage should be painted with #718187, your is maybe too brown-ish (nitpick, I know). However, I have some reference photos and drawings, so I'm ready to do some paintjobs. Too bad there are not many "fancy" schemes for D model, all the beauties are from older ones. J.

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Jiri

You may be right, although I purposely kept it as grayish as possible in order to avoid overly blueish colors. In the past I based the HUE of my textures on actual pictures, and I did no consider the HUE shift due to lens and the sky reflection. Also, I was using REX Essentials, which seems to make mods on the HUE lightning.

Proper color for the upper surface of the Tomcat should be FED-STD-585 FS Color 36320 "Dark Ghost Grey", which seems to be closer to #849199 (although this is the value I read on sample colors with the Gimp). Anyway, I am trying to match the VRS Hornet on that aspect.

Also, I tend to agree that the most beautiful schemes were from the old hi-vis days (e.g.VF-84 and VF-111), but there are some quite fancy ones for the -D out there.

At the moment I believe I will do only the "Last Flight" schemes myself - and those will be the ones of the initial release.

Jiri said...

I used this site and ColorPic for reference: http://www.colorserver.net/showcolor.asp?fs=36320
But after checking some other sites with Federal Standard colors, I don't know which one is right because I've got different values from every site.

And If I understand, you're gonna release package first with your repaints only? I thought you may want repaints to be done during betatesting or developing other parts of the aircraft, so they can be ready for initial release.

So far, I know about 6 or 7 hi-vis schemes and plenty of lo-vis, but they're fairly easy to do, so I didn't pay attention to them very much. J.

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Jiri

Well, as for the repaints in the "final" release, I have not decided yet... mainly beacause each texture set is quite big in size. Ideally, I'd like to release the package with at least a "hi-vis" and "lo-vis" scheme for each squadron which had the Tomcat...

Anyway, I would like to provide at least a lo-vis and and hi-vis scheme myself as a "template"...

FSXNavyPilot said...

Dino,
Any plans to provide a layered template (PSD or something) for paint artists?

Dino Cattaneo said...

@FSXNavyPilot

Hold habits die hard...and unfortunately I have a couple of decades of practice in computer drawings without using layers... so the best I could do would be clean, non layered textures. Which by the way won't be that different from the Last Flight schemes, which were purposely quite generic...

donald said...

Hey, maybe I´m just blinded by the awesome F14, but I can´t find a download link for the latest version, is there anyone?

Jiri said...

Hi Dino. I know everything is WIP, but I noticed a few things today.

Could you move external tanks UV to separate texture maybe? So both tanks could be painted from both sides independently. There are some paints that has something written on the outer side of the tanks, and for example Felix on the inner. I guess another 1024 texture is not gonna affect performance too much.

Second, I think the riveting on the side of the intakes is too much visible. Looking at photos, it appears very smooth and rivets are visible only from certain angles.

Last, I fail to see this on the tail: http://www.imagehosting.cz/images/batlee97.jpg

J.

Javier said...

The BEST F14 sound is from my old IRIS F14. I replaced Dino F14 with IRIS sound and its AMAZING.....so far the best sound I found...

Dino Cattaneo said...

@donald

The version in this post is not yet available for download - nor it will be for a couple of months at least. Older (and much worse) version can be found at flightsim.

@Jiri

Fuel tank textures - this is one thing I inherited from the professional mesh I've started from - I can change it... but to achieve the same look they would require 3 textures (diffusion, reflection and bump)...it may be diffuse only and then reuse the previous space for weapons (weapons texture is not yet done).

Engine intake riveting - you are right. That is indeed another thing I inherited from the original mesh... not a big thing, however. May be this can be fixed easily by reworking the diffuse texture.

Tail "stakes" - actually they should be there (modeled in 3D - not a texture)

@Javier
Yes, IRIS Tomcat has great sounds, although I believe these are for the TF-30 engines from the -A model. I've tested Petersen's F110 sounds (freeware from FS2004 - I have the authorization to use them)...and they are not bad. Actually in some situations they are really good, but in many situations they could be better. I am undecided between these and Aaron's package...both have their strong points...

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Jiri

By the way I've just replaced the monitor in my office...and the JPGs appear much more brown on this monitor, too.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MaxWaldorf said...

Hi Dino,

Have you ever thought about developping for DCS World ?

As you are developping Military planes I thought that could be interesting for you.

Wish you luck in your projects !

Jiri said...

@Dino: Well, 100 LCD's = 100 different colors. I have standard TFT TN and it's getting old, but as I said before, it looks good both in my simulator and photoshop. J.

Javier said...

IRIS F14 has that DEEP ,POWERFUL ROAR that says...
"IM AN F14TOMCAT".....

along with a great afterburner effect and PLEASE include an F14 that "KNEELS" when launching off a carrier..you update will be even better.....

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Javier

Well, yes, but I can't use that sound set...

As for the kneeling, this is not a feature supported properly by FSX (as far as I know). I have envisioned a way to make the whole model kneel (outer model only)...but I am not sure it works or screws up the launch animation. Basically, I will tie all the model (except the NLG) to an animation (either the launch bar or a custom one)which makes it rotate around the MLG tires contact points...that should do the visual gimmick.

Jose Luis Martin-Oar said...

Hi Dino,

Im currently working on a F-14D VC and I would like to discuss with you a few things...I'm not sure you got my email...or maybe you are not interested. In any case great work!! See PIC below...

http://i1116.photobucket.com/albums/k580/mykinge/F14D/2_zps078f7591.jpg

Dino Cattaneo said...

@Jose Luis Martin-Oar

Good day Jose, no - I have not received your email - you have probably sent it to "@libero.it" to which I have very limited access.
Please write to indiafoxtecho@gmail.com.

Your picture shows great modeling skills - and looks leally good.

I have not posted mine so far, as I had no time to complete the textures - at present, the front panel, the canopy and the ejection seats are complete - I am keeping the polycount as low as I can so that I will be able to model the RIO VC.