Starting point for Paintkit

I'm sure this is a basic question but I can only find older posts about this and they didn't really answer what I need. So I am making a new post as I understand it's bad form to bump up a years old previous post. :)

I use Paint Shop Pro. Used it for years to paint cars for a popular racing sim. So I am familiar with layers. However I have never created a paintkit so I have no clue where to start. I am creating a plane using FSDS. Is there something I can have it export that will lay out the position of the parts in the paintkit? I'm sure there is some kind of orientation needed in order to get paint on the actual part you want. Unfortunately to this point I have only used existing paintkits.

Thanks for your help!

-Vance
 
This is where I'm at so far...……...
Hi Vance,

While I’ve used PSP since the Jasc days and I do model - I’ve never used FSDS...

Yeah - FSDS must have some functions inside the modeling software that allows you to select parts or faces - then “map” them to a specific piece of texture real estate... The more sophisticated modeling applications give you a ton of options and can even automatically assign many of the mappings for you (auto unwrap)... Mapping textures is one of the most tedious aspects of modeling - for me - but a very necessary evil that you need to insure you do well... It’s not something that is done quickly or easily... You need to plan out the design and layout of your texture sheets...

Draw Calls - are a pretty important topic related to mapping and something you may want to read up on - as the inefficient use of draw calls can detrimentally affect the performance of your model...

Regards,
Scott


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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tgibson

Resource contributor
To be honest, I use a very low tech approach. I am assuming that the images above already have the correct proportions - i.e. you did not stretch them to fit. if you did, you will need to make copies of those images and resize them so they are correct without reshaping them.

1. Decide how you want your parts mapped: side mapping (planar), cylindrical mapping, etc.
2. Create a 1024 x 1024 (or your desired texture size) blank texture in PSP. I would use a white background, since that's the background color of your images above.
3. Load the images you are using as backgrounds into PSP and select a part like the fuselage.
4. Copy that area and paste it as a new image. Resize that image to the size you want it to be on your blank texture you created in step 2. Make sure to maintain the original proportions.
5. Copy that image and paste it into your blank texture as a new layer called fuselage in this example. Move it into a logical location.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 (creating a new layer each time) with all other parts until you have all parts on the new texture.
7. Move all the parts around (layer by layer) until you have a logical format. Don't forget you will need left and right versions of your fuselage, etc. It's easiest if the parts are in "normal orientation - you can read the letting on the plane as usual.
8. Save this bitmap as a .PSP file to keep the layers.
9. Edit/Copy Merged and Paste as New Image.
10. Save this as a BMP file and use it to map your plane.
11. As things arise, edit the PSP version and then Copy Merged and Paste as New Layer over the BMP file to update it. (Paste as new Layer will drop the image in perfectly aligned.)

Hope this helps,
 
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Thanks guys! You both helped some lights come on.

1) It appears I need to be more particular about the images I use as backdrops. Since this is my first plane, I pretty much went into "practice" mode and used the first 3 view image I came across. I didn't stretch the images but I did scale them using wingspan and fuselage length. If they play a role in the paint kit, then I want them to be more accurate than a sketch.

2) I'm fairly confident that I can set up the blank PSP texture file. (I appreciate the step by step on that)

3) Mapping is my black hole right now. I've got to dig in and get a working knowledge of that topic.

4) I do have some parts that I JOINED individual parts to create. For example the current engine has a fan blade texture offset in the main engine body. That would be tough to map a part for. But maybe I don't have to map anything for that if it's part of the model.

At any rate, you have helped me take a step forward. Many thanks!!

-Vance

Here's a new image of the engine so you can see what I am referring to:
first_effort2.jpg
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
You have to get the mapping done before you can make a paint kit, but I’m afraid I know nothing about how to map in FSDS, sorry, and I wouldn’t try to incorporate the 3-views into one. You’ll see if you look at a typical paint kit that the image space is packed very tightly with mappings and as little blank space as possible is left - unlike the typical 3-view.
 
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My understanding was to use the 3 view to cut out parts and use them for positioning on the blank palette.

Is that correct?
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
Very crudely... but as you will find, that will result in much stretching of textures on the finished model. I wish I could point you to a mapping tutorial for FSDS but my own experience is in Gmax and 3dsMax only.

EDIT: in fact, just ignore the above. I found some posts from other former FSDS users and it’s better to just say I haven’t a clue. Sorry!
 
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n4gix

Resource contributor
I was going to suggest freeflightdesign.com but they seem to have gone "Poof!" and disappeared... :eek:
 
So I can assign textures from within FSDS. That's fairly simple really. You select a part, click on textures, select how you want to apply the texture - top, bottom, left, right, front, back or wrapper. You then add the texture you want to use and click ok on a couple of closing screens. Voila! The part is textured. FSDS sizes the texture to the part. But each texture is a separate file. I still can't make the mental connection of how to use a layered PSP file to accomplish this since I still don't have a mapped layout of the parts. I can texture the craft while creating the parts and then I come to a stand still. I don't see a way to do actual mapping to an external source. I have a paintkit from another developers A320 that I'm going to take a look at for tips.

Maybe I should move on to Gmax. The only thing there is, the website you have to register on scares me. :)
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
I have never used FSDS 3.5, but if the texturing is similar to FSDS 2 then it's pretty easy to use a single large texture with all the parts on it. See below for an image of this box.

1. Select part, click on textures, choose a direction (left, right, etc.).
2. In this dialog box, there are 4 numbers at the upper right. These numbers determine the pixel position of the top and left edges, and the vertical and horizontal size of the mapping box..
3. Start by determining the top and left edges, the top two numbers. In the bitmap display at the upper left, you will see the display of the mapping box change as you increase the top and left numbers - it will get smaller. Once you have the top and left edges of the mapping box aligned with the part you wish to map, then begin decreasing the numbers in the vertical and horizontal size boxes until the bottom and right edges are now defining the total area of that part's mapping.
4. Click OK to get out and Done!

Here is a very simple example from FSDS2, hopefully FSDS3.5 is similar. This is an airstairs texture (256 x 256 pixels, for AI aircraft), with different parts of the stairs textured on different parts of the bitmap. The upper left area is for the oval sides up at the top of the stairs. We'll map that part here.

In the example below the top and left edges of the mapping are set 6 pixels in from the top and left edges of the bitmap. The horizontal size is 115 pixels wide, while the vertical size is 109 pixels tall. If I were mapping a different part of the stairs, I would move the mapping box over to where that part is mapped on the bitmap.

One important limitation in FSDS (AFAIK) is that part mapping cannot be rotated - you cannot have a fuselage area that is rotated vertically - it must be horizontal. It can be backwards if you like (although I hate that); you use the Invert X and Invert Y checkboxes for that.

Finally, if you have a large bitmap and the small display in the upper left is hard to see, you can use the Zoom box to make it large so you can be more accurate in your mapping. The small image display in the lower right tells you where you are on the entire bitmap.

fsds_texturing.jpg


Hope this helps,
 

hairyspin

Resource contributor
Maybe I should move on to Gmax. The only thing there is, the website you have to register on scares me. :)
That’s scary? Not half as scary as first learning Gmax (or 3ds Max, or Blender) for the first time! Be afraid, be very afraid..... :rotfl:
 
OK, I think the light came on. I can make a layered palette now. And it will be pretty easy. FSDS also has a Make Texture Template button. So far my plane consists of ALL tubes. So I was using the WRAPPED option. When I tried to create a template, it didn't look anything like the part. Stepping through Tom's latest post, it hit me that it was creating a wrap template. So I went back and chose just the right side to be textured. Then I created a texture template and there it was. The right side of the fuselage along with instructions to use it in a paint program as a guide. I'm guessing that in creating the template, FSDS also will map it to the correct part. I've got to play with that and see. I also want to create a template for the right and left sides to see what I get. Once again your help and patience has helped me move forward. Thanks to ALL!

(And I'm not that afraid of turbosquid.com...………………...well maybe a little. I didn't see many planes there. Just a bunch of Sci-Fi stuff.) :laughing:
 

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(And I'm not that afraid of turbosquid.com...………………...well maybe a little. I didn't see many planes there. Just a bunch of Sci-Fi stuff.) :laughing:
That's because Gmax & especially 3DS Max can be used for creating much more than 3D aircraft models, infact, when modelling aircraft only a small part of the softwares capabilities are used.
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
Hi,

No, creating a texture template only creates the BMP file, nothing else. You then need to use them just like I described above, instead of the 3-view drawings - the templates will be more accurate. But you still have to construct the big bitmap containing all the various texture templates you create (1 per layer), and then map each part to its correct location on the big bitmap.
 

tgibson

Resource contributor
While texturing in GMAX is a little more flexible (you can rotate mapping), it really doesn't do much more for you than FSDS in this particular case. There are other programs like Lithunwrap that can do more, but I've never used them.
 
Hi,

No, creating a texture template only creates the BMP file, nothing else. You then need to use them just like I described above, instead of the 3-view drawings - the templates will be more accurate. But you still have to construct the big bitmap containing all the various texture templates you create (1 per layer), and then map each part to its correct location on the big bitmap.
Yeah, I figured that out. Little by little its making more sense to me. It dawned on me that every texture folder for the base craft has BMP files with the same name. That way once the parts are mapped in FSDS the texture for the parts can be found no matter what the livery is. I've successfully tested that and gotten the fuselage textured. I do have DXTbmp so I can convert the BMP file to DDS.

I also took a look at the FAIB A320 paint kit. I was very impressed with the work those guys put into that one. I sure have a long way to go but I'm really enjoying it so far.
 
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