AT-28D-5

technoid

Well-known member
Looks real Good ... most cases, if it looks just good to you, it looks GREAT to me.
I do have a question for you. I was trying to make the painted areas on the USAF CS just a bit shiny as in the picture, but I'm coming up short. Tried _n and _s files of clear, black, white with both the Nomand naming and USAF naming plus changing the reflectivity factor in the Nomad colorschemes file ... but no effect. I'm missing something that's for sure. Need to know what ??????
The Gloss is controlled in the SPEC MAP ALPHA LAYER, the Whiter the color the glossier it is. But depending on the picture you're talking about RealFlight is limited on the "realness" looking of the gloss. So increase the value of the color of the part you want to make shinner in the alpha layer. The alpha layer is 8 bit color so the HEX value of any color can be from $000000 to $FFFFFF. So that's really 00 to FF for the Red, Green, and Blue colors.
 

PilotAt6

Well-known member
Technoid ... thanks for the info ... I'm thinking the spec map is the _s.tga file, but where does it reside and does it have the same name as the CS file? I tried pure white for the whole file, but nothing changed. I did this before, but I sure have a mental block today! Is there a good source for an explanation of the use of the _N and _S files. Have searched but not found.
 

technoid

Well-known member
Technoid ... thanks for the info ... I'm thinking the spec map is the _s.tga file, but where does it reside and does it have the same name as the CS file? I tried pure white for the whole file, but nothing changed. I did this before, but I sure have a mental block today! Is there a good source for an explanation of the use of the _N and _S files. Have searched but not found.
All the tga files are in the plane's directory or color scheme directory and use the same "base" name but the SPEC MAP ends with "_s.tga" and the NORMAL MAP ends with "_n.tga". Do you know how to use the ALPHA LAYER? Both the color scheme XX.tga and the spec map XX_s.tga have an ALPHA LAYER but "only" the ALPHA LAYER in the SPEC MAP (XX_s.tga) will change the GLOSS. I think there's a thread on the forum that talks about them but I don't know where it is but if I find it I'll post a link for you, but maybe one of the other guys knows where it is?
 

PilotAt6

Well-known member
The problem is exactly that ... I don't know how to access and use the ALPHA Layer. I remember now, that the only time I used this gloss technique is when you sent me a file for a color scheme I was working on. So you set up the file. I located a youtube video about the subject but have not watched it yet. That is what I'm missing.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
 

uncle twist

Well-known member
Pilot, When you load the CS .tga file in your paint program, be it gimp or whatever, you must retrieve/locate that file wherever it is, the _s.tga should listed with it, all you have to do is select it and load /open it in your paint program the same way you`d load the regular .tga, You should be able to have both of them loaded in paint program (if your desire) so you can switch between either one as you like.
 

PilotAt6

Well-known member
I may have been expecting too much. I tried pure white to black, green, red, purple .... if I squint real hard and use my imagination, I believe there is a slight shine. But it sure doesn't appear to be a 6 coat hand rubbed lacquer finish as seen on show cars. Nothing that even stands out that would suggest the work involved .... unless I've missed dealing with Mr. ALPHA Layer. In the _s.tga file there is only one layer, starts out somewhat see-thru and I color the items of interest ... nothing really changes that much.
I loaded a number of "stock" planes, and none shined, so I'm thinking that it is what it is ... RF or tga limited, or I'm the only one that likes shiny things such as show cars and clear coated gold leaf (24k).
 

technoid

Well-known member
I may have been expecting too much. I tried pure white to black, green, red, purple .... if I squint real hard and use my imagination, I believe there is a slight shine. But it sure doesn't appear to be a 6 coat hand rubbed lacquer finish as seen on show cars. Nothing that even stands out that would suggest the work involved .... unless I've missed dealing with Mr. ALPHA Layer. In the _s.tga file there is only one layer, starts out somewhat see-thru and I color the items of interest ... nothing really changes that much.
I loaded a number of "stock" planes, and none shined, so I'm thinking that it is what it is ... RF or tga limited, or I'm the only one that likes shiny things such as show cars and clear coated gold leaf (24k).
There should be two layers in the _s.tga file, the RGB layer which controls the strength of the color and the ALPHA layer which controls the gloss. Were did you get the _s.tga file you're talking about? From my beta?

Are you working on the TGA files in the planes directory under CustomModels? Or did you save a color scheme and working on them in the ColorSchemes directory? But yeah it's hard to get a super gloss color, you can get it pretty glossy if it's a silver color.
 

technoid

Well-known member
Technoid check your PM
Thanks for reminding me of the correct terminology for the alpha channel I usually say alpha layer because that's what the guy called it that taught me how to use the alpha channel. But that definitely could confuse someone.
 

technoid

Well-known member
There should be two layers in the _s.tga file, the RGB layer which controls the strength of the color and the ALPHA layer which controls the gloss. Were did you get the _s.tga file you're talking about? From my beta?

Are you working on the TGA files in the planes directory under CustomModels? Or did you save a color scheme and working on them in the ColorSchemes directory? But yeah it's hard to get a super gloss color, you can get it pretty glossy if it's a silver color.
@PilotAt6 When I talked about using the "ALPHA LAYER" to control the gloss in the SPEC MAP I should have used "ALPHA CHANNEL" because that's the correct terminology for it. So when I said "ALPHA LAYER" I really meant "ALPHA CHANNEL". Did the youtube video you mentioned clear that up for you? Sorry about using the wrong name I can see where that could cause confusion.

SO.. I was NOT talking about making a new "layer" called "Alpha" I was talking about using the "Alpha Channel".

HEY.. ASJ why don't you jump in here and explain it too you'll probably do a better job than me. I can use it but I tend to explain stuff wrong.
 

technoid

Well-known member
@PilotAt6 I also did a flaky job of explaining the bit pattern usage. The normal color scheme TGA and the SPEC MAP TGA are 32 bit and the bit pattern usage is this if I understand it correctly.

FIRST 8 BITS - RED COLOR
SECOND 8 BITS - GREEN COLOR
THIRD 8 BITS - BLUE COLOR
FOURTH 8 BITS - ALPHA CHANNEL

So the last eight bits controls the TRANSPARENCY in the normal color scheme TGA and controls the GLOSS in the SPEC MAP TGA. A bit more on transparency. The creator must apply a specific name to the material assigned to a part to allow it's transparency to be controlled in the ALPHA CHANNEL of the normal color scheme TGA. But that's not something a normal user can change it's applied when the plane is modeled. I just bring it up so you know that not every part can have it's transparency adjusted. For instance for this plane I only setup the Canopy to have it's transparency adjusted. Again ASJ clear up anything I explained wrong.
 

asj5547

Well-known member
Technoid you explained the process clearly.
Here are a couple of screenshots from photoshop showing the layers/channels panel.
First pic is the Alpha, second is RGB.
 

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  • Spec map Alpha.jpg
    Spec map Alpha.jpg
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  • Spec map RGB.jpg
    Spec map RGB.jpg
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PilotAt6

Well-known member
What I did was re-download your beta and overwrote the files then used the _s.tga file in that directory and the original CS to play with. The directory is Custom Models sub folder TA-28D-5 Nomad.
When I open the _s.tga file, only one layer is present. I'm using Corel Paintshop Pro. I have an option for opening a "Mask" from the "ALPHA" channel , if I open that , the display shows a "Group" with two layers listed in it. The mask layer shows blank when selected but the layer icon looks like the "spec map Alpha.jpg" that asj posted. I don't see anything listing channels ....
I'll need to investigate further and/or try using the "gimp".
Thanks
 

technoid

Well-known member
What I did was re-download your beta and overwrote the files then used the _s.tga file in that directory and the original CS to play with. The directory is Custom Models sub folder TA-28D-5 Nomad.
When I open the _s.tga file, only one layer is present. I'm using Corel Paintshop Pro. I have an option for opening a "Mask" from the "ALPHA" channel , if I open that , the display shows a "Group" with two layers listed in it. The mask layer shows blank when selected but the layer icon looks like the "spec map Alpha.jpg" that asj posted. I don't see anything listing channels ....
I'll need to investigate further and/or try using the "gimp".
Thanks
I don't know what terminology Paint Shop Pro uses they might "not" call it the Alpha Channel it could easily be called a mask because technically in programming that's the way it would be used, a mask that defines "per pixel" what operation to do on the image. (like transparency in the normal tga or gloss in the s_tga) So if you can edit the "mask" and it looks like the spec map in my _s.tga then try making one side of the fuselage "all white" and see if it makes that side glossy. But be sure to save both the normal tga and spec map tga as 32 bits so the alpha channel will be saved. A 24 bit tga can't have an alpha channel or mask paint shop pro might call it.
 

technoid

Well-known member
Okay I've been tweaking on the panel lines quite a bit and thought I'd upload a color scheme so you can take a look at it. So if you download it please let me know any comments you have, all are welcome. I'll add rivets to it later but right now I think I'm going to start working on the camo color scheme so I can see the 28D looking the way it should. I did resize and move a few things and removed some too so it's not the same as the pictures I uploaded before. I definitely like it better now.

AT-28D-5 Nomad 33.jpg
 

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  • AT-28D-5 Panel Lines_CS.RFX
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technoid

Well-known member
@PilotAt6 I thought I'd let you know what I did to the panel lines to make them show up better. If you copy the AT-28D-5 Nomad_n.tga file to your planes directory it will use the normal map panel lines like mine with one "exception". To make the panel lines show up better I do one extra thing in the standard color scheme tga. I created a new layer with "black" panel lines in the standard color scheme tga on top of the other layers and set the "opacity of that layer to 35%" which lightens the black but darkens the inside of the panel lines so they show up better. So if you use my normal map the panel lines will be there but not as dark.

I make the panel lines in the standard color scheme tga "black" so I can use the "opacity" setting to darken or lighten the effect they have.
 

PilotAt6

Well-known member
Technoid ... thanks for the info on the panel lines. Your results look good. One thing I like is the cowling seems to have recessed lines forming panels. Is that done in the _n.tga file or another technique.
Still learning after all these years ... !
 

technoid

Well-known member
Technoid ... thanks for the info on the panel lines. Your results look good. One thing I like is the cowling seems to have recessed lines forming panels. Is that done in the _n.tga file or another technique.
Still learning after all these years ... !
Thanks I'm glad you like it. Yes all the lines you see are done in the normal map (_n.tga).
 

asj5547

Well-known member
@PilotAt6 I downloaded the free trial version of Paintshop Pro and attempted to create a gloss effect in the spec map, wow! what a confusing program, I finally made an Alpha channel but could not paint it, my advise is use Gimp or Photoshop.
 
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