February update

As some people asks me if I have thrown the towel IĀ“m going to post a quick update to deny all those concerns šŸ˜‰

All the snapshots show the framerate. My workstationĀ“s specs are:
Intel Core Duo T8300@2.4Ghz
Quadro 3600 (similar to 8800) 512Mb.

This my FSX work version. I donĀ“t apply it any kind of tweak (nor bojote, nor bufferpools, nothing). I try to work as much as possible in a ā€œdefault enviromentā€.

Before to start I have to clear something up: the main goal of this project is to learn and improve my 3D modelling and (mainly) my texturing skills. So to me, itĀ“s a priority to experimenting and testing different methods instead of release it as soon as possible.

That is the reason because I did not post nothing in the last two months. My initial intention was to have now an alpha version, with all hangars textured, to make some performance tests. Sadly, as a noob in these subjects, I misjudged the difficult of the task.

As I said before, my curiosity to explore and learn new ways to achieve the quality that IĀ“m looking for has been the reason to this delay. And the main guilty is…. this mound:

As you can see the airportĀ“s main building/tower is over a little slope. The easy way would be to take away and put it over a flat terrain (as the others hangars are) or, as I made at the beginning, to create a very basic low poly model and fake it later with a high resolution texture. But the results were just crap.

Then I began to search for other ways to get better quality. One of them was the blenderĀ“s sculpting feature. IĀ“m not going into details (youtube could be your best source if you want to know more) but, briefly, with this feature I can create a high poly mesh with a lot of detail and then baked it to a ā€œfriendly fpsā€ low poly. A picture speaks a thousand words:

Not bad for a newbie šŸ˜‰

As you can imagine this method is not easy to learn nor something that you can achive only looking one or two tutorials but itĀ“s not the holy grial of 3D development. This is very common technique in videogame development. But it took me some nonstop journeys to get reasonable results to use it in FS (as any other mesh). BTW, the method itĀ“s very, very promising to get a very realistic textures for ground polys.

As I said before, you can find a lot of basic tutorials about sculpting in blender or any other similar software in youtube.

At the same time IĀ“ve been texturing and modeling other stuff. All the hangars are modeled and their basic shade is done (ambient occlusion layer) . IĀ“m still texturing but at low rate because right now IĀ“m searching new ways for improve the quality and, very important for me, the ā€œproductivityā€ generating them. I get older and itĀ“s very sad to discover that you are not so fast learning new stuff like in the past šŸ˜¦

Be aware: The next hangers are not textured, it only are shaded by a basic AO layer. I repeat: these images are WIP šŸ˜‰

So, the big question: when will I finish it? it will be done when itĀ“s done (I love that sentence XD). I really donĀ“t know. From now on I canĀ“t beĀ full timeĀ on this (I must pay bills and all that boring stuff šŸ˜‰ ). But, anyway the the plan would be once the hangars textures are finished I will release a close alpha to check the performance and in the meantime I will start to model some hangarĀ“s atrezzo, stactic aircrafts, fences, cars, P.O.I in the area (NavalcaneroĀ“s silo, Xandadu shopping center, BatresĀ“ Castle, some bull fighting ring) and, obviously… Ā”grass!

And what happend to Madrid Photoscenery??? Well I made some progress. All the southern Madrid is recolored (I tease you LECU and LEGT wonĀ“t be censored this time). But as I will have so little spare time and my ā€œmachineā€ spend a lot of time opening these so huge files (more than 2Gb per file) this is going take a while.

Anyway, as soon I get further progress I will post them here.