Tuesday, December 29, 2009

F-86 update

I'm traveling a lot these days, so not much time for Hangar work. Here's a screenshot of the progress on the F-86.


In this blog's "links widget" there is a link to openAE, a site worth visiting. (Hmm, back when I was in college that last sentence would have been gibberish.) The folks there are about to release the next version of OpenDatcom, which is a GUI interface for the U.S. Air Force's Digital DATCOM. DATCOM was created to aid in estimating the aerodynamic qualities of airplanes based on their geometry. This is very useful for making JSBSim configurations, however few people have been willing to deal with the user-unfriendliness of DATCOM. OpenDatcom may be the solution!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who would like to see how NORAD tracks Santa, the NORAD folks explain it here: NORAD Santa Tracking

Friday, December 18, 2009

PNG versus SGI

I have a new version of AC3D, which means I can now start using PNG textures, which compress to a smaller size than the SGI textures do. One thing that seems a bit disconcerting is that it takes forever for GIMP to compress the images, which leads one to wonder is the de-compression just as slow? Has anyone noticed a significant difference in load-time for models using PNG textures?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In a Sabre Mood

I'm in the process of converting Detlef Faber's F-86 into a later model F-86F-25, the type with wing fences and no slats. The texture will be the 512th FDS livery, aircraft number 52-5350, as mentioned in a previous post about the Wings Palette web site. To help you get into the mood too, here's a film of the 526th FBS getting their new F-86's!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Road block

I'm slowed down a bit, partly due to heavy workload, and partly because I just did an OS upgrade. Spent all day getting Slackware 13 installed and set up the way I like it. Of course my email address book won't import properly, so I have to recreate some of it. Prestes, could you send me an email please so I can add you to my contacts again?

Friday, December 11, 2009

iS4g Group

The iS4g Group is a group of aircraft modelers in Italy who have been making models for CFS2 and later versions of MSFS. They have a lot of models available at Sim-Outhouse (see link in side bar). The CFS2 models are usually convertible for FlightGear using the "threedconvert" utility. Like any such conversion from MDL to AC format, the next steps are:

1) Combine all objects into one object (I call it "fuselage")
2) Optimize the vertices and surfaces (removes duplicates)
3) Cut away surfaces into new objects for later texturing and animation
4) Prepare 3D cockpit by making cockpit sides and other inner surfaces
5) I make all surfaces one-sided, except for propeller disk
6) Convert textures to SGI format, then apply textures
7) Make animations file, add DavePack parts

That's a basic outline. I often redo the tires completely, and the canopies usually need a lot of work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Creative Commons license?

I visited Prestes Hangar to try out the T-27 model, which is based on the A-29B model from my hangar, which is in turn based on an AlphaSim Tucano model. One of the licenses used at the site is the Creative Commons license, which I've heard of but never looked in to. It seems very similar, if slightly more restrictive than the "Freeware/non-commercial" license I've been using. It has the benefit of being known, specific, and well documented, including having a nifty website to link to. Maybe I should just switch to the CC license? Anybody have experience with this license?

To be specific, Prestes Hangar uses the "by-nc-sa", or "Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike" version of the CC license, which seems most fitting for Dave's Hangar.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Aircraft skin resource

There's a great resource for aircraft skins here: http://wp.scn.ru/ . Lots of great texture ideas to be found!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Maachi C.205 Veltro

The Veltro is progressing and flyable. I just started looking for the author, Alessandro "Alex" Casadio, to get permission to release it in the hangar. It still needs a lot of work, but it sure is pretty already.