PBR Aircraft Conversion: Boeing B-50
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Thread: PBR Aircraft Conversion: Boeing B-50

  1. #1

    PBR Aircraft Conversion: Boeing B-50

    I thought I'd share a bit of video I did illustrating the feasibility of converting existing models to Prepar3Dv4.5 PBR. The process is pretty straight forward and produces amazing results.

    The chosen project was the Manfred Jahn Boeing B-50. I converted the model, added some modeling refinements, re-created the Photoshop textures including a full set of normal maps and metallic texture layers. For my project I aliased the Virtavia Boeing B-29 VC, creating a very enjoyable model. I cannot, of course, publish a model from another author, so please don't ask. If MJ and team were to decide to re-publish the model for PBR, my files would be a straight up plug in.

    Seeing as we all have quality time to reflect at home for the indefinite future, it might be worthwhile to explore the learning process for converting any existing model to PBR.

    It's well worth the investment...IMHO.

    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  2. #2
    Wow, great stuff, thank you!

    I'll definitely have a look at this, I have wanted for some time to get a grip on the process.

    Cheers,
    JP
    - Jens Peter "Penz" Pedersen

  3. #3
    on a separate note, which scenery is that ?

    no need to comment on the pbr, it speaks for itself and you summed it up nicely
    Matt
    FS Painter @ The Hangar

    AUSTRALIA

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jeansy View Post
    on a separate note, which scenery is that ?
    That scenery is my KRNO Reno Tahoe International Airport, specifically the Nevada ANG "High Rollers" base at that location. I know a USAF bomber is technically incorrect here, but I used a bit of creative license. lol
    This scenery is currently under re-construction...post data loss. It's also being updated to PBR.

    Note:All of my post data loss work will be upgraded to PBR during the re-construction process. That'll be fun.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  5. #5
    Wow, thanks so much for sharing this, Gordon!
    I'll study this a little because I have a few conversions on my back burner.


    Cheers,
    Mark
    My scenery development galleries:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/x0skkam7xu8zz8r/DFwnonB1nH

    Solomon 1943 V2 Open beta download: http://www.sim-outhouse.net/download...on-1943-V2.zip
    Solomon 1943 V2 update 2013-02-05 download: http://www.sim-outhouse.net/download...2013-02-05.zip


    Current Project: DHC-4 / C-7a Caribou by Tailored Radials
    Dev-Gallery at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/qjdtcoxeg...bAG-2V4Ja?dl=0

  6. #6
    That's great stuff Gordon. Is there any sort of "idiot's guide" on how to convert something to PBR?
    I've done a few conversions that I think would really look great with PBR.... but I haven't been able to wrap my head on how to go about it.
    Current System Specs :
    FSXA & P3Dv4 | Windows 10 Professional for Workstations (x64)
    Motherboard: Gigabit Z390 Aorus Ultra, LGA 1151, Intel based
    CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K @ 3.60GHz | RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4 3600
    GPU: ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980 Ti AMP! Extreme (6GB GDDR5)
    HD: 1TB SanDisk SSD Plus | PSU: KDM 750W ATX Power Supply

  7. #7
    That looks amazing and I like the paint job as well. Unfortunately I don't have time to play with stuff like this; essential employee. I wish I was at home, because there is so much that needs to be done around the house. Having said that, I know I'm fortunate in that I'm getting a paycheck right now, when many aren't.

    OK Manfred, get this update from GMan, so we can enjoy this! Also, I never thought about using the cockpit from the Alpha B-29 for this. Something to see if I can figure out this weekend.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by awstub View Post
    ...Is there any sort of "idiot's guide" on how to convert something to PBR?.
    If it were to be an "idiots guide", I'd be the perfect author.

    I've been mulling over a series of tutorials, based on the work I am doing on the Invaders, Tigercat and Jetstar. It would be logical to tape some of the sessions, narrate and edit into a comprehensive study series.
    I think the obvious place to start is a video on PBR materials creation in Photoshop/Gimp, modeling techniques in Gmax/3D Studio and how to use Arno's tools including ModelConverterX. Milton has done a full tutorial series covering basic modeling so perhaps a short walk through the current Prepar3D SDK covering PBR setups...with some tips and tricks would be an obvious starter.

    The whole process is quite basic. If you have access to the Gmax or 3D Studio originals it is extremely easy because all of the animations are available. The rest is basic Photoshop work and getting a grasp on PBR materials, which are pretty easy once you understand the concept.

    To encapsulate the entire process:
    Important, these models are for personal enjoyment only, not for publication without author consent.


    I begin by exporting the existing model from MCX to the "Old" 3DS format.

    The mesh is imported to 3DStudio, I re-align all of the pivot points, then animations need to be re-done/modified/improved to suit. This is about a two day project for average models.

    The original texture sheets work fine, unless I want to add details or mods like normal mapping. The new PBR texture libraries are created, specifically the gloss/metallic texture layers, then applied. The model remembers the original UVW mapping making this process fairly simple. Models that are accompanied with a paint kit make the process even more painless.

    Once the animations are coded, visibility tags added etc. I export the model out to Prepar3Dv4 DirectX format. I use Bill Leamings work flow, basically using a "Send To" Windows command to process the model through the Prepar3D SDK.

    The model is ready to drop into the sim. That's it, the model is now full PBR and ready for fine tuning/tweaking etc. This is usually centered around gloss/metallic factors to bring the reflectiveity and shine up or down to accurate representation, or the occasional animation adjustments. For my own use, I like to create "restored" or museum appearing skins, along with service skins as they would appeared in real world. PBR opens up an entire new world when it comes to rendering realistic metal and paint surfaces. Normal mapping takes on a whole new level of rendering realism in PBR.



    Currently, the bulk of my work time is dedicated to be-building my database bit by bit, and projects in the queue. There is however ample time to do the video tutorial work, it is even therapeutic after working for hours and hours on mesh and code. I think the entire series would be extremely beneficial to everyone, or at least to those interested.

    Like I said before, the current situation has everyone looking for constructive ways to use their time...or for drinking/watching Netflix. I don't drink and I despise Idiocracy TV, so the dev work is a natural.

    BTW, the video above was a quickie. I did six PBR skins total for the Superfortress, and I also converted Manfreds C-97 Stratofreighter/tanker series to full PBR including seven skins and comprehensive normal mapping. Full video of the entire series will follow.

    On a personal note:
    Everyone hang in there, beef up the immune system and buckle up for some turbulence. I'll do my best on my end to keep the distractions coming, maybe we can all get smarter if we use our time right.

    Best,
    Gordon
    Last edited by gman5250; April 3rd, 2020 at 12:25.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  9. #9
    Looks like we recive nice update, am I right?
    Webmaster of yoyosims.pl.

    Win 10 64, i9 9900k, RTX 2080 Ti 11Gb, RAM32Gb Corsair Vengeance LED OC@3200MHz, 3xSSD+2xSSD M.2 NVMe, Predator XB271HU res.2560x1440 27'' G-sync, Sound Blaster Z + 5.1, TrackIR 5, TH Warthog, Throtlle Quadrant CH, MFG Rudder, Go Flight GF-P8, Saitek: Pro Flight Radio Panel, Pro Flight Switch Panel, Pro Flight Multi Panel, FiP and BiP, iPad2 for maps [P3Dv5, DCS, RoF, Condor, IL-2 CoD/BoX, FC] VR HP Reverb v2

  10. #10
    wow, that sure looks nice!
    Manfred, talk to this man!
    You can find most of my repaints in the library here on the outhouse

  11. #11
    Man, those in-flight shots are amazing, Gordon. I like the added rivets and they show up beautifully in PBR.

    You all may know that I tried to strike up a deal with Virtavia re using the B-29 VC, or offering the external B-50 as an aftersale bonus, but nothing came of it. Ditto in fact with A2A's Stratocruiser/tanker. As Jack Lemmon famously put it, that's how it crumbled, cookiewise. Maybe we should try again?

    Quote Originally Posted by jankees View Post
    wow, that sure looks nice!
    Manfred, talk to this man!
    Will do, will do.

    --Manfred

  12. #12
    Update:

    Manfred and I have talked and we agree that the PBR update will be made available.

    I have already had success creating and testing the first PBR conversion using Manfred's original source files. You can expect HD Prepar3Dv4 PBR models of the Boeing B-50, B-50D, WB50-D Stratofortress and C-97G, EC-97G, HC97G, KC97G, KC97L, YC97A Stratofreighters with the same variant options that were released for FSX. All will be PBR compatible, upgraded with re-mastered 4K skins and enhanced to take full advantage of P3Dv4.5 64bit. This work should go fairly quickly, it is a matter of re-publishing the existing models using the PBR libraries I had previously created. It won't be a long drawn out process.

    Also, the skins I created for the new version, including the enhanced normal maps will be released in 2K for FSX users who only want the cosmetic improvements.

    One note:
    The VC will be Manfred's original, not the aliased Virtavia version you see in my video. Anyone who has purchased a license for the Virtavia B-29 will have the option to alias that VC to the new PBR B-50 if they choose to do so.

    This will be our small contribution to those sequestered during the plandemic.

    Screen shot: B-50 and C-97 PBR Conversions from Manfred Jahn source files.






    Last edited by gman5250; April 5th, 2020 at 10:08.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by gman5250 View Post
    That scenery is my KRNO Reno Tahoe International Airport, specifically the Nevada ANG "High Rollers" base at that location. I know a USAF bomber is technically incorrect here, but I used a bit of creative license. lol
    This scenery is currently under re-construction...post data loss. It's also being updated to PBR.

    Note:All of my post data loss work will be upgraded to PBR during the re-construction process. That'll be fun.
    nice work, it looked nicely done when you panned around the AC in the video
    Matt
    FS Painter @ The Hangar

    AUSTRALIA

  14. #14

    Boeing B-50

    Fantastic looks , really like it , so good

  15. #15
    Brilliant!
    You can find most of my repaints in the library here on the outhouse

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jankees View Post
    Brilliant!
    There will be a paint kit too.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  17. #17
    Gordon, thank you so much for (1) sharing your knowledge, and (2) your efforts here! And Manfred, thanks for allowing Gordon to share this! Can't wait to see this in the virtual skies.

  18. #18
    Thanks guys! I'm looking forward to their release, whenever it happens. Not rushing.

  19. #19
    Update:

    OK, so I had a go at P3Dv5 and it appears that for the time being, the new shaders break my metallic skins. LM said they fixed the night time metalics from rendering black, but in V5 my daytime skins rendered wayyyyyy too dark. I spent a few days trying to resolve the anomally, but it looks like an issue with shaders.

    So....for the time being.
    My re-mastered PBR B-50 and C-97 models will be good for P3Dv4 and v4.5.
    The updated skins/normal maps etc. will be good for FSX.

    As of this posting, all of the models are converted and currently being tested in P3Dv4.5. Everything is working as Manfred originally built into the models, so I'm working on triple checking all of the functions, mouse activated click spots, texturing details and other bits that are associated with a re-mastering of a sophisticated model.

    I'm down to the very tiny details at this stage, mostly texture related bits, so I'll be sending the beta to Manfred for his perusal. If we agree that the model is airworthy, I think we will be able to release the entire set very shortly.

    Expect some video shortly...I'll post those links up here.

    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  20. #20
    Great work. Ive been working on updating old models with PBR and bringing them back to life. It does wonders


  21. #21
    Hi Gordon,

    When you say "3D Studio" do you mean 3DS Max?

    Video tutorials are welcome but written instructions are also good...

    You made a start on this by posting a long reply above... but how about a PDF, or a dedicated webpage somewhere, or a Wiki page (e.g. at FSDeveloper)? The latter two can readily be updated (the change to PBR with P3D5 is an example of the need for this) and the latter can also be edited by others based on new insights and experiences... (conversely reshooting videos is needed each time an update comes along)

    Just my 2c/2p

    Andy


    i7-8086K OC @ 5GHz, 64 Gb RAM, GTX 1080ti 11Gb
    Win10 Pro 64-bit, Oculus Rift CV1

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by gman5250 View Post
    Update:
    OK, so I had a go at P3Dv5 and it appears that for the time being, the new shaders break my metallic skins. LM said they fixed the night time metalics from rendering black, but in V5 my daytime skins rendered wayyyyyy too dark. I spent a few days trying to resolve the anomally, but it looks like an issue with shaders.
    Hi Gordon,
    Check this http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforum...BR-skins-in-v5 , I noticed the same problem. Its confirmed info about issue of shader? Not different option for saved files?
    Webmaster of yoyosims.pl.

    Win 10 64, i9 9900k, RTX 2080 Ti 11Gb, RAM32Gb Corsair Vengeance LED OC@3200MHz, 3xSSD+2xSSD M.2 NVMe, Predator XB271HU res.2560x1440 27'' G-sync, Sound Blaster Z + 5.1, TrackIR 5, TH Warthog, Throtlle Quadrant CH, MFG Rudder, Go Flight GF-P8, Saitek: Pro Flight Radio Panel, Pro Flight Switch Panel, Pro Flight Multi Panel, FiP and BiP, iPad2 for maps [P3Dv5, DCS, RoF, Condor, IL-2 CoD/BoX, FC] VR HP Reverb v2

  23. #23
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  24. #24
    OK...so briefly, I think the P3Dv5 birds will be an entirely different animal...thus a second release. No problem, just a bit more time.
    In the meantime...the V4.5 models are essentially ready for the "show".

    Here's the pre-flight primer...more coming daily...seeing as we're all sitting home watching oil futures.

    BTW, answering the above. I'm using 3DS Max 2015 and occasionally Gmax.

    And...BTW...everyone should thank Manfred for trusting a lunatic like me with such a magnificent piece of work. I'm good with Pro Bono in this economy.


    Enjoy...it's kind of relaxing and pretty. lol
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.
    Thomas Jefferson

    Intel Core i9-9900K Coffee Lake | Cooler MasterAir Maker 8 CPU Thermal Cooler | ASUS ROG Strix Z390-E LGA 1151 | CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 288-Pin DDR4/3200 | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB | SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series M.2 1TB SSD | Mushkin Chronos 240GB 2.5 SSD | WD Black 2TB 7200 RPM |WD Black 5TB 7200 RPM | CORSAIR HX Series HX1200 PSU | Windows 10 HP 64-bit

  25. #25
    I thank you both for amazing aircraft. Most of my flying is done in aircraft created by great home developers, not because of price, but because of the attention to detail that is put into some of them.
    Gman, here are some lights I added to the C-97 if you want to try them out. Looks great at night on the tarmac. First 6 on cabin light sw. then added taxi light sw. last tied in to nav lights. Sorry, I don't know if all of these are default lights or not.

    light.9=10, 20.0, -2.5, 4, fx_shockwave_vclight_l // Side Cargo Interior Light
    light.10=10, 20.0, 2.5, 4, fx_shockwave_vclight_l // Side Cargo Interior Light
    light.11=10, -50.0, 0.0, 6, fx_TRB_dyn_Flood_w_Alcove_down //Rear Cargo Ramp Light
    light.12=10, 20.0, -3.3, -3.5, fx_shockwave_vclight_l // Crew Stair Light
    light.13=10, 20.0, -3.3, -4.3, fx_shockwave_vclight_l // Crew Stair Light
    light.14=10, 20.0, 7, 8, fx_TRB_dyn_Flood_w_Alcove_down // Side Cargo/Stair Light
    Light.15 =6, 40, 0.0, 1, fx_c130_landing // Center Taxi Light
    light.16 =3, 39.80, 0.0, 3.3, fx_navredpc // Front Nose Light

    Can't wait for the updates on these two.

    OTNick

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