HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Forum dedicated to Microsoft FS2004 - "A Century of Flight".

HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:41 pm

Learning to design these skies has been and is most challenging for me. Have been staying after it though, starting from scratch several times, making progress lately.

Am not flying the heavies all that often though once in a while I like to get high. Virtually, that is. Oh, an occasional small sipping glass of precious spirits from the Isles of Skye and Islay but that's it. :-) As with the greatly over-saturated FS9 default sky textures as well as most, not all, of the many available addon textures, both freeware and payware, I've never been satisfied with the way the sim displays the atmosphere up at airliner flight levels. Hence, had decided to do something about that as well. In this, FSX/P3D does a better job of rendering. Here's what has been done here thus far for good ole' FS2004...


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Speaking of the Isle of Skye, there she be down there. Flying the good ole' AFG Caravelle @ FL350 over Scotland.




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One of the few other 'liners being flown here: Mr. Erick Cantu's Lockheed L-1011-100 Tristar, also captured from FL350. Said to be an only 95% completed plane. Will take Erick's 95% over 95% of other's 100%. Got a soft spot for the Tristar, as I got to fly on a Delta L-1011 during a night flight from LAX to KIND back in 1979. Was glued to a window throughout the early morning hours listening to the resonance of those 3 Rolls Royce RB.211-22B engines working together. Wonderful sounds.



At this point, my best guess is that these "HighFlyer Skies for FS2004" (2 sets of them together) will be uploaded to Simviation within the next 10 days or so.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby Bofredrik » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:08 pm

FS2004 (ACOF) - Misc.
FS2004 Daytime Sky Textures
[ Download | View ]

Name: usakosky.zip
Size: 148,104 Date: 08-11-2003 Downloads: 8,180


FS2004 Daytime Sky Textures v1.01. A simple set of replacement textures for FS2004 daytime sky especially appropriate color scheme for high altitude flight. Also it contains contrast (tone) data for clouds, scenery and aircraft sutable for such high alt cruise. By Usako Omoto.

Thanks for your post BUT this is aleady fixed with this textures.

From you now.com... 8-)
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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:26 pm

Bofredrik wrote:Thanks for your post BUT this is aleady fixed with this textures.


In other words, in your opinion there should not be more than one alternative?
Would it be too much trouble for you to post where those files are available, please?
Have already dilligently searched the FS2004/misc. files at Simviation more than once
and the files you list have never been noticed. Am confident they are not at Simviation.
Seems to me I tried them 15 years ago and personally was not satisfied with them...
and thusly, undeterred: Am pressing on regardless whether you are interested or not.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:32 am

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The following are screenshots of the 2nd set that has been worked on since my last post...


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The Caravelle @ FL350 once again...





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...and afterwards, taking the L-1011 aloft out of Boise, Idaho. The sky looks reasonably good down low...






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...and more appropriate @ FL350, in my opinion. Am getting there.




Next, a post full of insights coming up...

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:24 am

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After finishing up my design work for today a little researching found the files that Bofredrik posted about above (at AvSim's files library). Upon inspecting them several things are standing out. When in my photo program, IrfanView, and selecting the "paint" dialog one can then view each pixel of the 32 x 32 bitmaps. Each and every one of those bitmaps from those files Bofredrik mentioned have the following peculiarity that I've never seen in any other FS sky bitmap of the thousands seen over the course of nearly a decade designing my own FS skies. The question mark points to the 2nd horizontal layer down of 32 pixels in this "noon" bitmap. It's like another dimmer set of reflecting "settings" pixels (each of those top row different-colored pixels affect different things in the sims displaying):

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Next, one of my "noon" bitmaps, unfinished...

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...which is structured normally like the many others I've ever seen. Am having no clue why all the others in that package are that way. Seems in error, in my opinion.




Next, on to one of the complex bitmaps, "presunset2", again with the "paint" dialog open, also an unfinished one. Am simply using the shot to help illustrate the complexity:

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Then, when the "paint" dialog is closed, the bitmap displaying blends smoothly, only without the squiggly, curvy lines due to this .jpg conversion from the .png original.
If you'll squint your eyes at it then you'll see the blending process much better:

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This is what you get in that other package...

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...and the following is only half of what you'll be getting in the upcoming "HighFlyers Skies for FS2004" package,...

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Image

...each bitmap thoroughly and systematically designed from the tops down to the bottoms, pixel by pixel. That's 143,360 pixels for just one full sky set as in "Serene Skies".



Hope this gives you more insight into the work that is being done here now.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby Bofredrik » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:50 am

No: This is on flightsim.com.

I do not think that what you do is wrong.
Do what you want to do.
I just say that this old textures is still very good.
OK, it is sometimes an advantage with alternatives.
But 56 types of soap in the supermarket will not get you cleaner... :lol:
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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:42 am

Bofredrik wrote:I just say that this old textures is still very good.

Respectfully- No, Bofredrik, that is not what you "just say". What you say is:

Bofredrik wrote:Thanks for your post BUT this is aleady fixed with this textures.

"BUT"... the great disqualifier. Shouted in all caps as well. What that says, whether intentional or not,
is that there is no need for my work to continue because it has already done previously. Capisce?

Bofredrik wrote:OK, it is sometimes an advantage with alternatives.
But 56 types of soap in the supermarket will not get you cleaner.

True that, though am confident that you have a favorite soap after trying many different ones, do you not?


What you have plainly posted in red and some bold words on your blog's front page...

Image


...is exactly what I'm striving to do, Bofredrik: Better. There's still a lot of room for improvement regarding my sky textures work. Am sharing them freely as well as in hopes that perhaps several others may enjoy making use of them. After finishing these next sets, my plans for sky textures include going through each and every one of the 10 Serene Skies sets again to apply what has been additionally learned during these past 20 days since uploading them to Simviation, beginning to improve them for an eventual Version 2. So then, as for your advice on your website, thank you. I am.

Will add, respectfully as well, that there's more than a simple language barrier at work here. A little suggestion for you, Bofredrik, after reading all of your posts here. It's free and costs you nothing: Please stop your troll-like posting and think about what you're doing. Respect is something to use or lose. If you cannot or will not then my suggestion is that you avoid my posts here, and I will accord you the same priviledge.

That is all I have to say.
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akoyeh
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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby Bofredrik » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:20 am

Walking on eggshell it seems...
My first FS did i buy in 1991.
I am actually not a very good FS flyer.
I am still having problems with landing a C172 in FS9.
I have not made anything like you do, only my
screenshots. If anyone think they can do better,
show me. Some can do better than me. Or not.
I do not care. I see anyone doing the same as equal.
This is not a competition with a jury. Some plays chess,
football or go to a RC-field.. I do not. I do this. And have
enough knowledge and right to give my opinions. FIN!
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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:41 pm

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Flying around the Nebraska panhandle today, taking the Ilyushin Il-18 in for a landing on rwy 23 @ KBFF, Scottsbluff.
Sunset in the shots is just as it was here in real life this evening. This has happened a lot over the past few months of design work.


Image

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Most panhandle Sunrises and Sunsets are not hugely dramatic though there are those times when they happen. The majority are very calm and pastoral.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:15 pm

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Sunsetting time of the other of the two sets, a skosh more intense than the other. Dancing with clouds after descending, having checked the tweaked high altitude textures...


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...while flying Jan Visser & Rob Young's Section8F F-86 Sabre along the Colorado Rocky Mountains' Front Range, a fine flight in FS2004 ACOF.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby Bofredrik » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:21 am

I have now nr 2 of your textures and it is fine.
I like to have version with a darker color when you are on higher altitude.
That is just my personal choice.
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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:26 am

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Thank you Bo for the good words. Will be happy to share these 2 new sky sets soon. The Ukrainians helped me out testing recently, flying out of Odessa then up to FL350 again...

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These are the most challenging sets for me to design so far, as they need to look good down low in the atmosphere as well as look believable while flying at altitude.

Compromises are being made, trying to balance everything and also apply a few more things learned in just this past week. Am aiming to get them finished and uploaded by the end of this weekend, though it may take longer. Will do my best.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:51 pm

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Getting close with these sets now after today's work. One small, balanced level deeper and we're there, compromising texture lumosities for down low for higher altitudes.



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Climbing from Amsterdam (South Africa) in Erick Cantu's Kittyhawk Boeing 737-200.




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Then back up to FL350. Much better, in my estimation. It's beginning to look like flying at 35,000 feet altitude.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:51 pm

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The HighFlyer Skies for FS2004 have been uploaded to Simviation and should be available shortly: https://simviation.com/1/browse-FS2004-31-0


Had previously stated there would be just 2 sets. There are now 3 sets, each of different intensities as well as beautiful Sunrises and Sunsets.
Here are several shots illustrating the deepest & darkest set, number 3 (hope you will enjoy it, Bo, it was designed for your preference).


Flying Milton Shupe's great Howard 500 (redone as well as skinned by Ted "TuFun" Wolfgang) in Nepal...



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Looks a little on the dark side down low but not all that badly.




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Still climbing at FL300, almost up to the cirrus clouds.




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And at FL350, the altitude my design work has been striving to better represent in the sim.

The Howard 500 doesn't like it up here, it was a slugfest past FL320 but we eventually made it.
The aircraft in real life is actually certified for 35,000 feet, believe it or not.

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Re: HighFlyer Skies for FS2004

Postby akoyeh » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:37 am

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They're up and posted now. Am wanting to thank the salwart FS2004 enthusiasts who are giving the various sets of my designed sky textures a tryout these several weeks. They're far from perfect, but hey: Look who made them. :-) Perfection will not be an accomplishment of mine during this lifetime.

Have come to learn so much about the way the sim displays its sky textures, planning to apply the knowledge gained by creating even more realistic skies as well as going back through all 4 downloads to improve them, though for now these are a start. It matters not how fast we go, it's that we go.


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______________________________________________________ Many happy Sunrises to you all. ______________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________ Respectfully, _______________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________ David_____________________________


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