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Author Topic: IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.6.1 (13-August-2017)  (Read 33643 times)

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whistler

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IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.6.1 (13-August-2017)
« on: July 14, 2015, 11:13:49 AM »

IL-2 Random Skies Mod v2.6.1 (13-August-2017)

Every IL-2 map comes with its own sky - ALWAYS the same sky for that map.
No matter if it is summer or winter, Monday or Thursday, day or night... ALWAYS the same sky.
You run a campaign on the same map across days, months or years and you ALWAYS get to see the same sky.

How is that for realism?

The Random Skies Mod randomly changes the high-sky in all maps with the wonderful sky textures created by tbauchot and vpmedia at SAS. The mod works by replacing the sky texture files before launching the game. The weather system such as mist, clouds and storms remains the same, but you will get to see a different (random) sky each time you run IL-2.

Random Skies requires a Mod Activator (the mod is optimized for the SAS ModAct Activator) and new sky textures that must be downloaded separately (a textures pack is available).



False positive AV alert/blocking (Keep calm and read on)

The launcher has been completely written by me and compiled with AutoIt, a great and powerful scripting language. As with all powerful languages there comes a downside: virus creation by those with malicious intent. Since every AutoIt-based exe is basically the same exe, false positives run rampant across all kinds of antivirus engines.

I guarantee this mod has been developed and shared with the best intentions and I would never include any code that does not serve the purpose advertised. Up until this day there are zero user reports of any issue of any kind. If the launcher gets blocked by your antivirus, you will have to add the executable to your AV Exclusion List / Whitelist / Safe Zone to unblock it. If for whatever reason you cannot or do not want to use the executable, an alternative solution is provided in the Readme.txt

The Mod does not connect to Internet and it does not change any Windows settings. SAS~Storebror: has proven on reply #21 that what I initially shared was not harmful in any way. You can take my word for it or go somewhere else. Download this Mod only from official locations.


:: What's new in v2.X? ::

It all started with a simple batch file that had to be manually executed before running IL-2. A basic Launcher was introduced in v1.0 to 'humanize' the script and since then, the executable has been vastly improved to become an all-purpose universal IL-2 Launcher.
  • None shall be left behind! - Added compatibility all the way back to 4.09, including UP2, UP3, DBW, DBW 1916, HSFX, C.U.P., UltraSpain, DGen Pack... Random Skies is now compatible with all Modact versions and with the all-time greatest Super Packs, including of course VP Modpack and B.A.T.

  • Random awesomeness - Random Skies now comes with - no more and no less than - a hundred awesome images taken by tbauchot. They have been edited, resized and cropped and all 100 take as little as 1mb. Every time you run the launcher you will get to see a gorgeous pic and what's more, you can customize your game with your own images and - why not - create packs and share them with the community!

  • The Top Menu - The top menu now replaces the previous context menu. All the most common IL-2 actions and options are now at your fingertips! The top menu provides direct access to the most common IL-2 files and actions. The different options should be self explanatory and there is plenty of information online if you are new to IL-2.

  • The Dropdown list - v2.2 introduced a combobox that will be enabled only when the launcher detects more than one mods folder. Use the dropdown list to quickly switch between modules or game types without having to run the IL-2 Selector (you still have to run the IL-2 Selector to play the 'Stock Game' type). The Launcher reads the data from the SAS ModAct il2fb.ini and it changes one single key: the game type selected. The dropdown list has been carefully designed to mimic the IL-2 Selector behavior. If you have any issues, 99% chances you messed with the il2fb.ini file. Backup your il2fb.ini before editing it. UP3 users please check the Readme.txt

  • Multiple Profiles - (New in v2.5) Modular installs such as B.A.T. use the 'Users' folder to store information about your pilots, controls, settings, campaigns progress and other details. The Launcher implements a Profile Manager that allows you to have dedicated profiles for each module/era/game-type. You can now have as many pilots as you like for each different module and you will never lose progress of any campaign again!

    v2.5 Packs a bunch of cool updates and new features. See the v2.5 release post for full details.

  • Shuffle Music - v2.6 :: DJ Edition :: Random Menu themes, Take-off, In-flight & Crash tracks and Radio broadcasts. Check the v2.6 release post.

- Make sure to check the included Readme.txt for a description of all features -




Full change log:

Code: [Select]
v0.1 (12-Jul-2015)
- Initial release

v0.2 (15-Jul-2015)
- Confirmed working in 4.13 ModAct 6
- Confirmed working in all windows versions (as long as you have write rights to the folders)
- Added a new launcher to satisfy all tastes: "Random skies and Launch IL-2 Selector.bat"
- Included the default Il-2 icon for your convenience

v0.3 (16-Jul-2015)
- Added CloudsNoise files. This should (hopefully) fix issues with Slovakia maps

v0.3b (16-Jul-2015)
- Added the right CloudsNoise file. Thanks tbauchot!

v0.4 (17-Jul-2015)
- Compatible with C.U.P.!!

v1.0 (23-Jul-2015)
- Introducing the new launcher!!

v1.0a (26-Jul-2015)
- The last texture name used is saved to the "Files/last.txt" for your convenience. I like this sky! which one is it?
- Now you can use custom Noise files

v1.0b (24-Jan-2016)
- Added a new context menu. Right clink anywhere to access new options

v1.0c (30-Jan-2016)
- Added a new context menu option: Reset QMB last.quick. Use it when QMB
 freezes.

v1.0d (24-Oct-2016)
- Added a status bar to inform the current active module, useful for modular installs (CUP, UP, DBW...)
- Reset QMB last.quick moved to the main window

v2.0 (12-Nov-2016)
- Introducing the improved launcher
- Context menu replaced with a new top menu with more options
- Random awesomeness - launcher images!
- Added compatibility all the way back to 4.09

v2.0a (25-Nov-2016)
- Top menu reorganized, minor corrections and improvements, SAS Instant log compatibility, conf.ini backup option...
- Launcher images can now be organized in folders (jpg/jpeg only)
- Game version is now detected and displayed on the status bar
- Added compatibility with UP 2.01

v2.1 (02-Jan-2017)
- Files/QuickLaunch.bat is now included (if you do not want to use the executable, use this one)
- Launcher images folders can be disabled with a minus (-folder). Some tbauchot launcher images replaced with better ones
- New 'Load conf.ini' menu entry. Any custom conf*.ini will be detected.
- Console log and Instant log menu shortcuts reworked to allow any file name and extension. More logs added to the menu.
- Top menu reorganized (again). Improved Folders and Config menus and wider back up options.
- Added compatibility with B.A.T.

v2.1b (03-Feb-2017)
- Added Launcher compatibility with 4.13.3m

v2.2 (09-Mar-2017)
- New combobox: switch between mod folders from the launcher
- The randomizer will now work from any modded folder
- Added forced deletion of read-only texture/noise files
- Catapults.ini can have different locations - removed from the menu
- Minor fixes and enhancements

v2.5 (25-05-2017)
- Added 4.13.4 Launcher detection
- Compatible with DGen Pack (#DGen mod folder, tested on v2.0.1)
- Compatible with UltraSpain 2017 (#USP mod folder)
- New Screenshots shortcut entry in the top menu
- New Skin Management entries in the top menu
- Sky textures can be disabled with a minus character (-texture.tga)
- Launcher images (as well as folders since v2.1) can be disabled with a minus character (-image.jpg). Launcher images folder reorganized.
- "Random" option no longer selects textures from the Custom folder
- Test and Stock (plus Noise) Sky textures included in the Custom folder.
- The mod now only copies textures to the mod selected.
- Introducing the Sky Timer (see details in the Readme)
- Included Extended Compatibility (see details in the Readme)
- Implemented Auto.bat (see instructions in the Readme)
- Multiple User Profiles (check details in the Readme)

v2.5.1 (27-05-2017)
- Added Single/Multi profile images to increase awareness of the feature. (Original icons made by Madebyoliver from www.flaticon.com)

v2.6 (16-07-2017)
- Included Auto.bat image to increase awareness of the feature. (Original icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com)
- QMB Quicks/.last.quick deletion implemented in the executable. Batch file 'Files/QMB_Fix.bat' no longer needed.
- Added DGen logs detection.
- New 'Shuffle Music' options in the Tools menu.

v2.6.1 (13-08-2017)
- Official compatibility with B.A.T. v3 (#DOF3 #TGA3 #WAW3 #JTW3)
- Included two extra custom textures: ClearSkies.tga & HazySkies.tga


:: The Sky Randomizer::

At the heart of the mod resides the Sky Randomizer (make sure you download and install the sky textures pack) Each time you run the Launcher a random sky texture is copied to your *mods* folder(s). If you do not run the executable, next time you run IL-2 the engine will use the last sky that was copied the last time you run the mod. If you want to have different skies each time you run the game, you must run the Launcher first, otherwise you will always have the same sky.

You do not have to use the executable if you do not want to, magic takes place in the "Random Skies\Files\Random.bat" batch file. You can manually run this file and get a random sky the same. I provided for your convenience the file "Random Skies\Files\QuickLaunch.bat" that you can use instead of the executable. It is set by default to change the skies and run IL-2, but you can instruct it to run the IL-2 Selector instead. Open the batch file with a text editor to see possible options. Create a shortcut of the batch file to your Desktop and run IL-2 from there.

  • Light/Medium/Heavy: If you downloaded the texture pack you will have by default 18 Light sky textures, 54 Medium sky textures and 22 Heavy sky textures. A Sky texture will be randomly selected from one of these folders.

  • Random: A Sky texture will be randomly selected from the Light/Medium/Heavy texture folders.

  • Custom: Use the Custom folder to try new skies or to store your favourite textures.

    Tip: find the last texture used in "Random Skies\Files\last.txt"

    The Custom folder is also a good place to create and test new textures and later share them with the community. At some point texture creators may also want to use custom Noise files. If you add a noise tga file to the "Random Skies/Noise/" folder with the exact same name than texture, the mod will use that noise instead of the default "DefaultNoise.tga".

  • Default: All textures previously copied will be deleted and the game will use map's default sky textures.




:: Compatibility ::

Random Skies works fine in all maps in a clean ModAct install but be warned that it may conflict with any other mod that changes the sky textures. Users with heavily modded installs should be careful, Random skies may overwrite some custom non-default sky textures.

  • IL-2 4.09 + SAS Modact 2 - Fully compatible with the MODS folder.

    • Ultra Pack 2 (UP 2.01) - Fully compatible with the MODS folder (create the MODS folder if you do not have it and install Random Skies there).

  • IL-2 4.10 + SAS Modact 3 - Fully compatible with the #SAS folder.

    • Ultra Pack 3 (UP3 RC4) - Fully compatible with the #UP# folder (create the #UP# folder if you do not have it and install Random Skies there). Random Skies may impact online play... use at your own risk.

    • Dark Blue World (DBW 1.71) and DBW 1916 - Fully compatible with the #DBW and #DBW_1916 folders. The mod should also work fine with DBW expansion packs like The Spanish Civil War (SCW) and others.

  • IL-2 4.11 + SAS Modact 4 - Fully compatible with the #SAS folder.

  • IL-2 4.12 + SAS Modact 5 - Fully compatible with the #SAS folder.

    • B.A.T. - Fully compatible with the #DOF3, #JTW3, #TGA3 and #WAW3 folders (some mods must be active in JSGME, see install instructions below)

    • C.U.P. - Fully compatible with the #DOF, #JTW, #TGA and #WAW folders (some mods must be active in JSGME, check the Readme.txt)

    • VP Modpack - Fully compatible with the #SAS folder.

    • HSFX 7.0.3 - Fully compatible with the MODS folder (create the MODS folder if you do not have it and install Random Skies there). Random Skies may impact online play... use at your own risk.

    • UltraSpain 2017 - Fully compatible with the #USP folder.

  • IL-2 4.13 + SAS ModAct 6 - Fully compatible with the #SAS folder.

    • Dgen Pack (2.01) - Fully compatible with the #DGEN folder.


:: Downloads and Install instructions ::

1) Download the Random Skies Mod, unzip and move the folder "Random Skies" to your main *mods* folder (create and/or use the #SAS folder if unsure). Overwrite previous versions:

Now hosted at Mission4Today! Download latest version here:
http://www.mission4today.com/index.php?name=Downloads3&file=details&id=2357


2) Download the "TB+VP_Sky_Textures_Pack", unzip and move the folders "Noise" and "Textures" to the "Random Skies" folder.

Thierry (tbauchot) has been very enthusiastic and supportive during the development of this mod and he agreed to share a pack ready for this mod with his awesome textures!! vpmedia's Sky Textures are now also included in the Pack!

http://www.mediafire.com/download/mbxfoft8c6uwwwv/TB+VP_Sky_Textures_Pack.zip

Don't forget to thank tbauchot and vpmedia in their texture topics!

- tbauchot's New sky textures Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
- vpmedia's Sky textures


3) Run "IL-2 Random Skies Launcher.exe" found in "Random Skies".

Create a shortcut of the launcher to your desktop and you are good to go. The launcher comes with the default IL-2 icon but you may want to change it. Find more icons in SAS~Malone's IL-2 icon pack topic.

- About B.A.T. compatibility -

Make sure to enable in JSGME:
  • DEF-SKIES_#DOF3
  • DEF-SKIES_#JTW3
  • DEF-SKIES_#TGA3
  • DEF-SKIES_#WAW3
Install Random Skies in the "#SAS" folder, so you don't have to worry about it when updating B.A.T.


:: Uninstall instructions ::

Run the Random Skies Launcher, go to Help -> Uninstall Random Skies, and follow the instructions.

=====================================================

See you in the (random) skies! ;)
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 12-July-2015 v0.1
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 11:31:40 AM »

Nice :)
Well done and thanks for sharing this mod!

Best regards - Mike
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Korrigan

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 12-July-2015 v0.1
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 12:42:57 PM »

I appreciate if people can confirm this works in Vista/7/8
Works perfectly in W7, modact 5.3. A very clever mod, thank you very much Whistler !
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SAS~Poltava

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 12-July-2015 v0.1
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 12:53:16 PM »

An excellent idea! Thanks!  :)
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tbauchot

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 12-July-2015 v0.1
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 12:46:58 PM »

Hi whistler,

Thank you very much, very good work !  ;)

It works for me on W7 pro 64, modact 5.3

However allows me to make a little remark about CloudsNoise.tga files :
Some maps use specific files that are not in agreement with my "skytextures".tga or VP's one, etc... and the visuals results are not very good.

For example on Slovakia_summer and winter and some over one... :


Also I did some tests :
1: I made several copies of your mod.
2: I have renamed them (for example : TB_New_Skies_Textures_S , for summer skies...)
3: I created shortcuts that I renamed (for example : Random skies.bat_S - Raccourci, Random skies and Launch_S IL-2.bat - Raccourci )
4: I then put in these copies, specific sky textures.
5 : I am able to launch random Winter, summer, spring, heavy, light, etc... skies, according to the map, the missions, etc...

I also noticed that it was possible to make a return on the desktop, change a sky with the command :"Random skies.bat"  and continue a campaign with a new sky ! Very funny !  ;D
Tested with Dgen and QMB... however, it is necessary to quickly load a QMB mission using another map before getting changes on the previous map. But, no need to restart the game.

Regarding CUP , I have not yet installed it !
But Monty seems to have some projects :
http://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php/topic,46010.msg517483.html#msg517483


See you in the (random) skies !  ;)
Best regards, Thierry.



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whistler

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 15-July-2015 v0.2
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 01:25:29 PM »

v0.2 is up. Just some minor changes.

Thanks for confirming it works in Win7! I just tested it in 4.13 ModAct 6 and of course it also works.

Hey tbauchot, CloudsNoise.tga files is something I have yet to understand... I found you included more than one noise file in your awesome texture packs, but I don't know how they impact the final sky rendering... I just was satisfied the way it worked :)

This is a simple idea that can be expanded. Now that we know this can be done, it is a matter of organising the files (clouds and noise) in the best possible way and maybe... you want to create a mega random sky pack!!?? Feel free to do what you want with all this!!

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 16-July-2015 v0.3
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2015, 01:39:23 AM »

v0.3 is up. Added CloudsNoise files. This should (hopefully) fix issues with Slovakia maps.
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tbauchot

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 16-July-2015 v0.3
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2015, 05:53:42 AM »

Hi, Dear Whistler .

Thank you very much for this very quick update !   :)

However the CloudsNoise file TGA is not the good one !  ;)

We must use the one called : "CloudsNoise003.tga" and in the download it is the one called : "CloudsNoise005.tga"
This last one is used only for one of my sky and this sky work very well with the file : "CloudsNoise003.tga" also !
( Too, this "CloudsNoise003.tga" is the same than the CloudsNoise.tga file used by VP.)

Sorry for all this, I should have to send to you before a personal message to enlighten you a little better !  :-[

thank you again for this wonderful utility , Mr Whistler.bat(man)  :D

Thierry.

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whistler

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 16-July-2015 v0.3b
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2015, 10:04:18 AM »

v0.3b is up. Added the right CloudsNoise file. Thanks tbauchot!!!

Sounds good the idea of choosing winter/summer skies or more/less dramatic clouds. On the other hand I like simple things and what I like most about the way it is now is that in rea life you cannot select the skies you want... let's see where this goes!!
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SAS~Malone

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 16-July-2015 v0.3b
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2015, 01:33:35 AM »

great mod, thanks for your efforts, mate!  ;)
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whistler

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 17-July v0.4 (CUP Ready!)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2015, 02:23:54 AM »

v0.4 is up. Compatible with CUP !!

Please report any problems. I certainly cannot test all maps and different configurations! Thank you.
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Korrigan

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Re: Random TB_New_Skies_Textures 17-July v0.4 (CUP Ready!)
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2015, 07:52:39 AM »

Nice update, Whistler !
If you wish, you can add this line to your script:
Code: [Select]
copy "%folder%\%name%" "%destfolder%\Clouds267.tga"for VKG Grand Canyon map.
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