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WxTech

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New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« on: April 04, 2016, 07:38:07 AM »

New PBP-1 Gun Sight for Early- to Mid-War Russian Fighters

At long last, I think I can call this one ready. If in my transfer of files I've omitted anything, or if some odd thing crops up, please let me know.









Get it here:

https://www.mediafire.com/download/1s06af5s8o318sb/00_PBP-1_gunsight_RU-fighters.7z
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WxTech

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 07:44:35 AM »

Readme file contents...

New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters.

By WxTech.
April 4, 2016.


Stock fighters current to 4.08/4.09 are addressed, except the BI-1 and BI-6. Subsequent cockpits which might have appeared in later game versions, and for which this sight is desired to add, will require the tender ministrations of another modder. ;) Incorporating my sight should pose no problem for anyone familiar with hier.him and *.msh file structure.

If any 'special' handling is requied for installation of this mod into other than basic mod-activated games (e.g., C.U.P?), this will require the attentions of someone who can do this. Again, I'm a Neanderthal still plodding along with version 4.08.

This has turned out to be my most labour intensive gun sight project yet, occupying at least 200 hours. In part because of the number of cockpit folders. In part because of the variation in methodology of sight incorporation by the original modelers. In good part because of my never-ending tweaking of this and that. Thankfully some planes shared identical--or nearly so--meshes which quickened work flow.

The sight featured here is the PBP-1, sometimes referred to as the PBP-1a (??), which was installed in planes built to 1943, and seemingly into '44. Later planes were equipped with the PBP-1b, as represented in the stock La-7, for example. I have no real idea of the transition dates, and am using the existing stock sights as my guide here.

I have created two basic configuration pairs:
- An earlier rounded reflector and a later rectangular reflector.
- An earlier 'cubic' crash pad and a later cylindrical crash pad.

This 2X2 matrix results in 4 sight variations for the user to select from if my choice is deemed unsatisfactory. These meshes are to be found in the [Extras] folder, each within its own dedicated folder. To use, simply copy/paste to the plane's cockpit folder. It's OK to overwrite because the [extras] folder is the 'archive' for all file variations.

==========

Another choice I offer has to do with the color of the paint job; green or black. In the [LaGG-3series4] cockpit folder are two sight textures:

PBP-1_green.tga
PBP-1_black.tga

To set your desired color, edit the PBP-1.mat file in the relevant cockpit folder by altering this:

  TextureName ../LaGG-3series4/PBP-1_green.tga

to this:

  TextureName ../LaGG-3series4/PBP-1_black.tga

or vice versa.

Note that the LaGG-3series4's location for its sight texture in the .mat file omits "../LaGG-3series4/", for the .mat and .tga are in the same folder. Only when a .tga to be read resides in a different folder to that of the .mat is it required to supply the full directory path.

==========

For some planes I had to add polygons to the existing sight support (e.g., the I-185). For a number of others I had to make up the 'platform' upon which sits the sight, it being not modeled originally due to being hidden by the crash pad prior to the days of 6DOF. I kept this support extremely simple, like those few already present; it's largely hidden from view most of the time anyway. I just couldn't bear having the sight floating in the air, seemingly unsupported.

==========

In many instances I had to remove a plane's sight from another mesh, due to my insistence upon having the gun sight as its own self-contained object. For this reason--and others!--there will be conflict with any other mods that have their own altered versions of these same meshes. If you have other cockpit mods for the same plane(s), check in particular for the presence in those mods of:

- hier.him
- Body.msh (all have view hooks altered, and some have had mesh data altered.)
- mainframe.msh (no changes by me other than view hooks, and so are essentially stock--for 4.08, at any rate.)
- Front.msh (sights removed)

These files concern multiple cockpit elements. Where any such fileduplication occurs, it might be best to copy my changes to the other and delete/disable mine, or otherwise ensure that the other file is the first one read by the game.

==========

Body.msh and MainFrame.msh are included firstly because they contain the viewpoint hooks. This data appears at the top of the file, and controls the location of the virtual pilot's eye. The two elements I've adjusted:

- CAMERA (sets the 'normal', back-in-the-seat view)
- CAMERAAIM (sets the leaning forward 'gun sight' view, typically toggled via the SHF-F1 keys.)

The original data have been 'REM'd out' with "//" characters, and my altered lines follow. I often include notation on the sense in which the X, Y, Z values (the last 3 on a line, defined in meters) change when increased. "F/B" for forward/back, "L/R" for left/right, and "U/D" for up/down. The notations showing the amount of change I've applied are usually in centimeters, but some may be in millimeters.

The values here are those which work well for my particular head tracking set up. You may wish to tweak further to your own taste...

==========

Here are the plane cockpits for which body.msh has had alterations beyond the view hooks, and/or for which Front.msh has had the sight elements removed:

- LaGG-3series4
- LaGG-3series66
- MiG-3
- MiG-3U(beta)
- Yak-1
- Yak-1(Fairing)
- Yak-7
- Yak-9
- Yak-9D
- Yak-9T

In all instances where alterations have been made, notation at the appropriate places in the files should make clear what's been changed.

==========

The cockpits for which the GunsightBase.msh or GS_Support.msh file has been worked on:

- I-185M-71
- I-185M82
- La-5
- LaGG-3series4
- LaGG-3series66

==========

Some stock sight reflectors in the game have their edge surfaces given a fully opaque texture, while others are rather transparent. As best I can determine, the earlier rounded reflectors tended to be given a coating (of paint, or some such) which was opaque, whereas later rectangular reflector edges seemed to not have been so treated generally.

I've been wrestling with the issue of edge treatment for the rectangular reflectors. The overlapping of more than two surfaces (due to the angled bevels) poses problems of realism which I cannot solve to my satisfaction. When setting sufficient partial opacity like the real thing, the odd appearance of the overlapping surfaces looks just too jarring for my tastes. Only when these surfaces are made quite unrealistically 'see-through' does the overlap oddity become not so detracting. But such diaphanous surfaces, which have to be made more like the see-through face of the reflector, is a non starter for me.

Furthermore, with partial transparency there is the matter of inconsistent behavior of these surfaces where they overlie other surfaces of the sight or cockpit. Where one should not see through, one does, or where there should be partial transparency there is instead full opacity. Very aggravating.

And so I've elected to make the reflector edges on the rectangular reflector opaque, like the rounded version. To my eyes this really is a more pleasing representation than the unrealistically transparent surfaces one must otherwise make. And besides, any 'non-opaqued' edge surfaces in reality would have been so diffusely scattering (due to a non-optical finish) and/or distorting as to be essentially opaque as regards their seeing through. It would avail little to leave those surfaces untreated. Indeed, there would be a greater chance for distracting, view-impairing reflections. In other words, If I were the manufacturer of such a reflector plate, I would opaque it with black or otherwise dark paint (or some such).

==========

A reticle is supplied which I took from another cockpit mod, and further altered. The RU plane reticles, unlike those for all other planes, have been presented as just 1/4 of the full pattern, this quadrant being built up as the full pattern in RETICLE.msh.

I've made the graphic into the full pattern so that it's treated exactly like all other reticles in the game. I also made the tick marks shorter, based on photos of the real thing. And I treated it so as to give the impression of significant brightness variation due to non-uniform illumination of the sizeable reticle (at the focus of the collimator) by the lamp/condenser.

To suggest the less-than-perfect collimating lens performance over the wide angle covered by the large reticle, I've added a hint of lateral chromatic aberration, which shows as a blue fringing on the outer ring particularly.

==========

In the vein of my Tipo B sight for Italian fighters, I added a texture to represent the reflected image of the collimator off the reflector. This reflection is visible only when the Sun is located in the plane's upper hemisphere, being strongest when the Sun is shining straight 'down' into the sight. As you maneuver you will see the reflection intensity vary continuously as determined by the local zenith angle of the Sun (the zenith being straight up and out the cockpit, over the pilot's head).

Now, for the Tipo B treatment, where maximal realism was striven for, I placed the reflection at the correct distance beyond the reflector. This was inspired by the large collimating lens and 'oversize' reflector on that sight, for which a realistic reticle mask size was also used and correctly located (at the same place as the reflection.) But this necessitated the creation of a second reticle mask so that the reflection could not be seen beyond the bounds of the reflector when using 6DOF.

For the PBP-1 sight the collimator is small and the reflector is not at all 'oversized.' And so I elected to use a reticle mask that's larger than the collimator aperture and thereby use more of the reflector's area, as a concession to game play (but this is still not so bad as the stock treatment!) . And I decided to not place the reflection at the correct distance on the far side of the reflector, but instead nearer to the reflector so that it not be seen with typical 6DOF viewpoint range when not also using a second reticle mask.

This reflection was made as nearly vertical as possible, before the top portion would be seen to fall outside the reflector's edge with significant virtual pilot head movement. I feel this is a fairly decent compromise, with head movement showing some translation of the reflection across the reflector, and without it appearing to be simply 'painted' upon the reflefctor at a 45 degree angle (as is done for those small number of stock sights which do represent reflection of the collimator.)

You can alter the intensity of this reflection as follows. In the file lens_refl.mat, locate the line:

  ColorScale 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.3

The last value (0.3 here) is the opacity. Make it 0.0 for complete invisibility, or 1.0 for maximum intensity.

==========

Armored glass see-through surfaces, for both the front and rear plates when present, has been given a new treatment I decided to try. Until now, a single texture has been used. But this results in a significant difference in intensity of effect based on the direction of the light source when lighting ambience is in effect for the texture's visibility.

To reduce this difference, I've 'cloned' the glass surface and assigned reversed normals. These two overlapping textures, with opposing lighting behavour, halves the difference in lighting variation. Not a perfect solution, but a significant improvement!

Either pricel.mat/.tga, or GlassArmorFace.mat/.tga, defines the armored glass see-through face.

Generally, Glass_Bron.mat/.tga defines the edge texture and its characteristics. For the front armored plates I've assigned different textures to the inside and outside edge surfaces, to suggest that the glass is enclosed in a supporting frame of sorts, or at least opaqued with paint on the outside.

==========

All canopy glazing for all planes has had the polygon surface normals reversed in sign, which makes the 'dirt' more prominent in the up-Sun direction, as is found in nature. Scattering of light by small particles is more efficient in the forward direction, as when said particles are in the general direction of the light source.

If one has a new texture that represents the *reflection* of the cockpit internals (as opposed to the dirt' texture here), such a scheme of reversed normals is still valid. This is because the surfaces inside the cockpit which face the Sun (and hence are more brightly illuminated) necessarily reflect off the canopy surface in also the direction of the light source.

And so there is good reason to retain this 'new' scheme for glazing surface normals.

These changes to canopy glass generally involve Glass.msh, or more rarely Body.msh

If you wish to not use my 'dirt' texture, delete or disable (with a minus sign at the front of the file name) glass.mat and glass.tga. This will revert to the stock treatment, or use that for any other mod you may have installed and which handles canopy glass.

Note that whenever you add a new file, or force the game to read another file in a folder different from that containing a file just deleted, you must quit and re-start the game.

==========

Almost all .tga texture images reside in the cockpit folder [LaGG-3series4]; other planes using the same textures read them from here. (A small number of textures not common to all or many planes are located in a couple of other cockpit folders.) If you wish, you can certainly place copies of .tga's used by a plane in that plane's cockpit folder. Then you would edit the related .mat file so that the location pointed to is no longer the [LaGG-3series4] folder, but is instead the current folder the .tga resides in.

For example. The La-5 reads the PBP-1_green.tga from the [LaGG-3series4] folder. If you were to place a copy of PBP-1_green in the cockpit folder, [La-5], for the the La-5's PBP-1.mat file this line:

  TextureName ../LaGG-3series4/PBP-1.tga

would be changed to read:

  TextureName PBP-1.tga

This would certainly be required if you edited the .tga so as to make it different from any other PBP-1.tga(s).

==========

Here is the list of the 14 cockpit folders incorporating the new sight, arranged *more or less* chronologically by plane introduction date. I indicate as well the form of the reflector and crash pad, in that order, and the paint color. Feel free to alter to your taste!

For the reflector/crash pad: "R" is rounded/cylindrical; "S" is squared (or rectangular/cubic.)

MiG-3      R/S   green
LaGG-3series4   R/S   green
Yak-1(Fairing)   R/S   green
Yak-7      R/S   green
MiG-3U(beta)   S/S   black
Yak-1      S/S   green
LaGG-3series66   S/S   black
La-5      R/R   green
Yak-9      S/S   black
I-185M-71   R/S   black
I-185M82   R/S   black
La-5FN      S/R   black
Yak-9D      S/R   black
Yak-9T      S/R   black

==========
 


I hereby give permission for the free, unrestricted use of this work by any person or entity, for any purpose.

WxTech
April 4, 2016
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Knochenlutscher

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 09:07:28 AM »

Ahhh, yummi, tastes like some splendid work, I'm off to
try these gems
Kind Regards
Tobias
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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 09:32:55 AM »

Very nice work, TY!!
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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 09:45:15 AM »

WTX, please check MiG 3 folder and PBP-1.mat

[Layer0]
  TextureName ../LaGG-3series4/PBP-1.tga

was getting an Error, as no such Texture existed, changed it to black or green, guess that's what it should be.
Adapted it to work with latest MiG-3, Thanks Buddy, the rest works, trying myself the UB Cockpit

Tobias
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WxTech

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 10:26:02 AM »

Thanks, Tobias! I just knew I'd not squeak by without having forgotten to alter every file. This green/black scheme is something I'd just come up with only hours before uploading. It was OK on my own working copy; just left out in the folder I 'duplicated' for the mod pack.

And the color I've assigned for the MiG-3's sight is green (as noted at the bottom of the readme.)
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hguderian

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 11:21:53 AM »

Thank you WxTech!!

your gunsights are a must have!

Regards
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steven197106

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 11:24:16 AM »

WOW! , A true masterpiece of work :P
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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 12:54:03 PM »

Well done Wx! These sights look great!
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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 03:27:39 AM »

Dear Glenn,

may I propose to merge this excellent gunsights of yours with Jero's "Fix Cockpits" about Yak fighters? Those cockpits "cry out" for a rounding of their frames! ;)


[Yak-1_with_Jero_cockpit_and_my_reticle]

In addition, I would propose to add those four little "scores" to reticle, posed at 45°, 135°, 225° and 315° on outer circle:



Also, I believe that gunsight for all Yak fighters should be raised by 3 cm to match its historical position.

Last but not least, I think current reticle should be less glowing and more sharp.

Thank you for all,
GB
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WxTech

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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 04:38:49 AM »

Giuseppe,
I've not yet gotten round to obtaining most of the smoothed cockpits, but do plan to. Hopefully their links are still good.

It's been a while since doing this first round of new sight fitting, but I seem to remember in some instances at least of having to surgically excise sights from the general body mesh. (I could be confusing this with other planes, though.) This is a bit laborious with my spreadsheet scheme. All planes, from the start, should have been created so that the gun sights were discrete parts with dedicated hier.him entries; makes my job easier!

And canopies, including the fixed part up front, should always be their own discrete meshes, separate from each other and the general 'pit. For those who've made formerly fixed canopies into openable ones have had to go through the same kind of slicing apart of meshes.

My reticle does have the 45 degree outer ring tick marks, albeit not very prominent due to my having structured the reticle with a pronounced radial brightness gradient (to suggest stronger lamp illumination on axis.)

I'll have to at least remind myself of the basic tasks that were required in the first round.
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Re: New PBP-1 gun sight for early- to mid-war Russian fighters
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2020, 04:50:59 AM »

Glenn,

thanks for your attention. Indeed, Yak fighters do have gunsight in one piece with Front.msh and you did a successful surgical operation separating them from the body (without killing the patient! ;D ).

Cheers,
GB
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