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Author Topic: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks  (Read 3816 times)

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Strawkalling

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2021, 02:27:17 PM »

WxTech, Thanks for the simple, clear, concise answer! I really like flying the various Finnish aircraft and missions, so this will be a great addition and will see frequent use!  ;D

Strawkalling
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marcost

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2021, 01:13:37 AM »

Thanks for the fix!
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oldschoolie

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2021, 05:51:32 AM »

I cannot thank WxTech highly enough for all the wonderful improvements to so many cockpits. Absolutely great work.
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Fulmen

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2021, 09:22:15 AM »

I've played IL-2 since 2005 and as a Finnish military history buff with a soft spot for WW2 combat aviation, the Brewster B-239 is by far my most flown aircraft in the game. I just tested your mod and it's a massive improvement to flying the aircraft. I wasn't at all happy with how BAT had changed the POV to be unrealistically high in the cockpit. Also looking around with TrackIR in the aircraft is now much smoother and more natural than before. I'm very pleased with your changes. I do however have an improvement for you, and a question.

Firstly, there's another Brewster B-239 cockpit mod out there that uses considerably better-looking, higher resolution textures. I recommend updating your mod with those. I don't remember who made it, and I'm fairly certain the original links to the mod are dead, but I have it on my PC and I uploaded it for you here: https://www.mediafire.com/file/3wqnxrplv354c35/0_F2A+.zip/file

I slapped the texture files from it onto your mod on my installation and everything seems to be working fine.

Secondly, do you have any plans to fix the RPM gauge? At even moderately high power settings/speeds it goes to 2,500 where it caps out and becomes completely useless. In reality the B-239 with its R-1820-G5 engine flew at noticeably lower RPMs, see the following ratings:



Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TzvY9V9Lk1tC40T0HMb0gXwmANSEMqSF/view?usp=sharing, page 17.



Source: http://www.enginehistory.org/Piston/Wright/C-WSpecsAfter1930.pdf, page 7.






Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FmTeM659MQsU0nJzkIulwXbkidFitxQ5/view?usp=sharing, p. 23, 24, 35, 36.

Either the RPM gauge is completely screwed up, or the aircraft is capable of maintaining too high RPMs for too long. My understanding of it is that it's a question of both, but that most of the blame lies with the RPM gauge.

There's actually also a lot of other issues with how the aircraft is modelled in the game, though to no fault of modders. As far as I know the plane is not as agile as it was IRL; it's especially too prone to stalling. This becomes very noticeable in tight turns.

There are numerous mistakes with the in-game cockpit, like buttons in the wrong places, instruments that are wrong or missing entirely, like the missing air intake temperature gauge on the left-hand instrument panel and the hydraulic system pressure gauge on the right-hand instrument panel, both of which were present in the actual B-239s, as well as missing radio equipment, bomb controls (B-239s didn't carry bombs, but had the controls for them in the cockpit) and various other switches and knobs, etc. The flaps status is also erroneously inverted, while curiously the gear status indicator is correct. As far as I can tell the in-game fuel mixture, propeller pitch and supercharger controls are all mixed up as well: in-game prop. pitch = RL fuel mixture, in-game fuel mixture = RL supercharger and what may be supposedly the in-game supercharger = RL prop. pitch. The tail wheel locking switch positions are also reversed in the B-239 as opposed to the Allied Buffaloes added later in Pacific Fighters, and judging by the cockpit of BW-372, the last surviving B-239, the position is wrong in the in-game B-239s and correct in the Allied Buffaloes. In general a lot of these mistakes aren't present in the Allied Buffalo models, but the devs never went back to fix them in the B-239. It'd also be nice if the canopy could be opened and closed like on the Allied Buffaloes.

You can take a look at what remains of BW-372's cockpit through this link. It's straight down the left corridor from the camera's starting position.

http://ilmavoimamuseo.fi/virtualmuseum/

Anyway, this turned into a bit of a rant, but I just wanted to point out some of the things wrong with the plane in the game. I by no means expect modders to fix all of them. What you've done so far is already really nice and I'm looking forward to starting a new Finnish Brewster campaign with your changes.
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2021, 01:36:57 PM »

Thanks for the heads up!

I've just fixed the Tachometer in the cockpit class. Download the full archive again.

The stock gauge code was formerly scaled to peak at 2,000RPM and 360 degrees of rotation. That is, the needle would hit a hard stop when the needle was pointing straight up upon the RPM reaching 2,000, and moving no further. Moreover, this place on the dial corresponds to 2,500 RPM, so it was doubly wrong.

The code now reflects the gauge scaling, where the RPM reading peaks at 3,500RPM at 1.5 rotations (540 degrees, where the needle points straight down.) Not that it'll ever get this high.  ;)

At least there is now internal consistency, where the game's RPM value is reflected by the gauge.

As for some of the other problems, some will not be so quick a fix. And some might involve the flight model, which area I've not ventured into. I don't anticipate tackling any of your other wish list items anytime soon, as other higher priority projects are on the front burners. This RPM thing was a dead easy and fast thing to rectify.
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2021, 01:45:28 PM »

Fulmen,
I forgot to mention this. I downloaded the cockpit repaint you pointed to. Other than a relatively small number generally small differences, the textures are essentially identical to those I already supplied with my 'pit.
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Repetier_71

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2021, 03:45:52 PM »

Big thanks to WXTech for your job. For a few days I have been sitting over textures, I will bring a few changes and will drop here.
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Fulmen

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2021, 04:58:41 PM »

Thanks for the heads up!

I've just fixed the Tachometer in the cockpit class. Download the full archive again.

The stock gauge code was formerly scaled to peak at 2,000RPM and 360 degrees of rotation. That is, the needle would hit a hard stop when the needle was pointing straight up upon the RPM reaching 2,000, and moving no further. Moreover, this place on the dial corresponds to 2,500 RPM, so it was doubly wrong.

The code now reflects the gauge scaling, where the RPM reading peaks at 3,500RPM at 1.5 rotations (540 degrees, where the needle points straight down.) Not that it'll ever get this high.  ;)

At least there is now internal consistency, where the game's RPM value is reflected by the gauge.

As for some of the other problems, some will not be so quick a fix. And some might involve the flight model, which area I've not ventured into. I don't anticipate tackling any of your other wish list items anytime soon, as other higher priority projects are on the front burners. This RPM thing was a dead easy and fast thing to rectify.

Really great stuff man, thanks a lot! The broken tachometer (forgot the proper name for it :D) was one of the more glaring issues with the aircraft that had been bugging me for quite a while.

Fulmen,
I forgot to mention this. I downloaded the cockpit repaint you pointed to. Other than a relatively small number generally small differences, the textures are essentially identical to those I already supplied with my 'pit.

Here I disagree: the textures I linked are substantially higher in quality. Here are a few comparisons. I recommend enlarging the images by clicking on them.







The only thing I kind of prefer in the lower resolution cockpit are some of the text plates (and the rudder pedals actually; the ones in the B-239 were entirely smooth-surfaced as far as I've seen), as they're more in line with looking like the real ones. I experimented with removing F2ATitles.mat & .tga and F2Atitles1.mat & .tga and this is what it looks like.



There's also a texture anomaly with the turn-and-slip indicator from the higher resolution cockpit that I've highlighted that should be removed, which I might do myself if I learn how. Maybe I'll fix the pedals and flaps position indicator as well.



This with just F2ATitles removed. I think I might prefer the first configuration with both files removed.

The problem with using these parts of the lower resolution cockpit is that when zooming in the text is noticeably garbled, where as that does not happen in the higher resolution mod. Not sure which configuration I'll go with, but I'll definitely be using the higher resolution textures for the rest of the cockpit.

By the way a little off-topic, but which programs do you use to refurbish the cockpits in the game and fix things like adjusting the pilot's default POV? I noticed you've worked on quite a few other planes as well.

EDIT: Also what is the purpose of the cockpit .tga files starting with a hyphen? And I suppose using the textures from the higher resolution mod can result in some weirdness when some of the damaged instrument .tga files are based on the lower resolution versions of the same instruments (sometimes with quite large differences in gauge displays)?
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WxTech

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2021, 01:15:56 AM »

Fulmen,
I thought you were referring to a more widespread, global difference in the cockpit texture resolution. I see now that you are concerned with those relatively small number of meaningful differences I found. The text placards were not so important to this non Finn  ;)  , and so the less sharp but stylistically nicer ones were better for me.

For texture work I use the free Photoshop CS2, available from Adobe. Of one could use GIMP. For maximum versatility, the graphics editor must be able to handle alpha channels, which are what provide the transparency cutouts present in some textures.

For editing meshes, I use Notepad, in conjunction with a spreadsheet when dealing with the 3D model. But for adjusting the POV, Notepad alone is all you need. Once you have the relevant mesh extracted and converted to ASCII (if originally in binary.)

If you open Body.msh  in Notepad, near the top you'll see the view hooks section,  with an entry for the 'normal' POV called CAMERA, and another entry for the 'gunsight view' called CAMERAAIM. For each, the first 9 numbers are the transformation matrix. The last three are what concerns us, for these are the X, Y and Z values that locate the POV. There is no global standard for all cockpits as to which axis corresponds to the fore-aft, L-R and up-down directions. I usually try changes, 9ne at a time, of about 0.2m to see how the POV has shifted, then refine things once the axis orientations are known. I typically add a coded entry to record this. The 6 letters being F and B, U and D, and L and R. You can divine their meaning. These indicate, in order, the direction the POV moves when the relevant number increases in value. And the units are meters.

Any file having a preceding "-" is rendered as ignored by the game. It's usually an alternate, or an original first used, then supplanted by another. If you like a "-" named file, remove the preceding "-" in its name and rename or delete the now unwanted file.

Occasionally I might let slip through a file having a preceding "-" character, but also with some other characters added at the end. For example, -Body_original.msh, or some such. Just removing the "-" will not render it readable, for the file name still differs from that expected.

I first flew Il-2 in 2004. After a few years of using mods, I started down the modding path in 2014  by fiddling with mods I got and wanted to improve upon. For a while this was confined to tweaking textures and effects files. Then soon enough I desperately wanted a better N-2 gunsight for the Wildcat and P-40E. I figured out how meshes work by studying a very simple one for a building. Then I got to making a new sight from scratch using a spreadsheet to construct a whole new 3D model, and made new textures, and figured out the surface normal business for lighting, and laboriously mapped the textures to the model. A grueling process, but eminently satisfying.

I suspect you might be about to jump into modding, even if on a more restricted level. It's great fun to solve problems yourself.
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SAS~vampire_pilot

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2021, 03:13:12 AM »

a text editor is where the downfall starts ;)

Quote
Any file having a preceding "-" is rendered as ignored by the game. It's usually an alternate, or an original first used, then supplanted by another. If you like a "-" named file, remove the preceding "-" in its name and rename or delete the now unwanted file.

That is true for hashed class files but that this is a general rule for any file, mesh or mat or tga, is news to me.
You can call them what you want as long as your are consistent with the him  (not sure if a - is an allowed character in general though, like % or / or ; )

WxTech

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2021, 03:38:37 AM »

I just noticed that the old stock VSI, calibrated linearly to +/-20 m/s and the correct one, has been replaced as new stock in BAT, anyway, by the US modeled texture, which has a 2-stage scaling to +/-6,000 fpm. The cockpit class code still has the (correct) +/-20 m/s scaling on this gauge. And so I just made a new texture to suit (based on the old original, but jazzed up slightly to overcome the horrible plainness.)

I'll see if anything else crops up by way of an easy fix before I pump out another update. But I'll let you know here when I do.
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cestode

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Re: WxTech's F2A-1 (B-239) Cockpit Tweaks
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2021, 05:42:52 PM »

Thank you so much for fixing the tachometer. I'm pretty new to this game and am slowly learning CEM. I was really getting frustrated trying to manage the RPMs for this plane and assumed that I was reading the gauge wrong.
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