Most of you are probably aware that last saturday I have published the Alitalia livery for the default XP10 B747-400. But not everyone knows that just today I've made two important corrections, but, as usual, first things first.
It's been a long time since I have thought of making a real livery, but I had not found a suitable plane. So when I've updated my X-Plane 10 to Beta4 I've noticed that in the B747-400 file there was a paint kit. So I remembered that Alitalia had a B747 too, even if the version in the fleet was older than the -400 one (for the record, it was a B747-200).
I've had a lot of difficulties while approaching this repaint, first of all the “paint” file within the B744 are in .DDS extension; secondly, there is the original NML file too, but it would have show in transparency the original United logo.
So I first looked for a DDS converter; this tool is useful because there weren't textures for the interior of the aircraft in the paint kit. So with the converter I managed to select, open and convert the DDS files into PSD extension, in order to work on them with Photoshop.
The DDS or “Direct Draw Surface” allows (if I'm not mistaken) to use the VRAM of our video card at its best, basically it gives a good representation of our texture according to how much VRAM we are using; in a nutshell, we see way better our livery when the texture will be placed on our plane.
Personally I've figured it out as a photographic “raw” file, in which there are all the informations that we need but the file adapts according to our graphic card and let us see our texture as best as possible. (If you have understood it better than me, or if you have a better example, feel free to let me know it).
Once that I've found the converter the repaint work has been more or less very similar to my older works.
After having finished the building-up process of the textures I've tested my work on X-Plane, I've took some screenshot and I've posted it on the .org. A few hours later a reader told me that there was a problem involving the beacon lights: when the beacon light lighted up in red the fuselage, engines appeared too much coloured.
After a careful analysis I've noticed that for the beacon's “flash” the plan was loading two textures; this had bad consequences on the Frame Rate too.
I Tought that, because the texture “LIT” is not “painted”, I could let X-Plane upload the one from the United livery... and all went well! Moreover, because I'm a demanding person, I've inserted the NML texture which allows you to show the parts in relief.
Now the livery is completely finished, and it's available for download at this url. It's true, you never stop learning.
ALMOST FOGETTING, livery is available here.
I-LAIR and Salvatore