1.) I think for the purposes of the article it would be better to reference all works to a default aircraft. Most sites have paint kits for the default aircraft.
2.) I agree with Arno.
I also think the article should mention what programs are out there, both free and commercial, that can be used for repainting aircraft textures as well as the various texture formats that may be used as well as alpha channels and how to create them.
Painting Aircraft, Exporting to .DDS, Loading in Prepar3d Or FSX
I just spent a few days figuring this process out.
- SimObject of Aircraft to repaint, either from PD3 or FSX or you can download from a purchase very easily from Flight1 or http://www.carenado.com.
- Paint program, I suggest either Photoshop or Gimp (all work happens here)
- ImageTool (converts to appropriate 32 bit and exports out to .dds)
Fist step, be sure you have a .dds pluggin for photoshop, this will enable you to view and open the .dds file you want to paint. Search for a Blank Texture for the plane you want to work on.
Open up the .dds file. Here is a AWESOME tutorial on painting and texturizing using adjustment layers to get the dazzling paint job: http://iblueyonder.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/no-layered-paint-kit-no-problem/
Second step, save as .tga 24 bit (Targa files save out Alpha Channel, which is required for your .dds file and simulator program). NOTE: be sure to save your Photoshop or gimp file with all the layers in tact,a s you will go back to make adjustments in the future.....ALWAYS save your working files.
Third Step, open up ImageTool, import your newly saved .tga. click the Image drop down/format/32 bit. (if this .dds is not saved as 32 bit, the simulator will not recognize mapping and your plane will just be a black blob...this is an important step)
Final Step, save as .dds in the SimObjects/Airplanes folder
This process took me time to figure out, going through tutorials and forums. THANK YOU everyone who shared your process, as there is no way I could have figured this out without your shares!