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Shump & Chunilna Creek - Alaska Backcountry Airstrips (FSX/P3D)

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
I feel like it was just a few months ago that I took a break from this project to begin learning MSFS. In reality, I guess it has been closer to 8 months. Man, how time flies..

It's time to put the pedal down (Push the throttle forward? Toggle the JATO??) and get this project wrapped up. Being as this will be a payware, I'm concerned with how sales will be, since MSFS has undoubtedly slowed down the market. However, I've put so much time into this project, whether it sells 10 copies or 200 copies, it's better than throwing it all away for nothing.

I spent all afternoon yesterday building, mapping, and texturing this model, while spending a few additional hours this afternoon doing some touchup work and baking it in Blender. I just need to create the additional texture maps, throw it all together in MCX, and then it's ready to be placed.

I have 1 more building model that I need to finish, then I will have completed all of the building models at both airstrips. I need to do an assessment, because I'm sure that there is still a fair bit of modeling work to be done, but model by model, I'm getting there.

More updates coming soon!
 

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christopherbritton

Resource contributor
I decided to spend this afternoon working on getting the above model placed in the sim. Yesterday evening I created a simple Propane Tank model for my libraries. I was able to get that finished up and placed today as well. Tomorrow, I'm going to work on getting the last airstrip cabin modeled, mapped, and (hopefully) textured.

I'll include a few shots of the models in P3Dv4. More to come! :)
 

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christopherbritton

Resource contributor
This weekend, I've put myself on lite duty, taking a bit of a break. Friday, I was able to finish the last building at the Chunilna Creek airstrip. Between yesterday and today, I tweaked a few things in the scenery and made another simple clutter model.

After wrapping up for today, I decided to record a flight into Chunilna Creek, as I hadn't done that yet. I originally flew from Talkeetna (PATK) direct, however Shadowplay decided to record the entire flight in 480p, so it was scrapped. For take 2, I decided to shorten the flight from Shump to Chunilna Creek. After 1 recorder foul up, I was able to throw together a simple video:


More updates coming soon!
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
I'm starting to work on the little details now. On Monday, I added another half dozen or so clutter models to the scenery. On Tuesday (I want to say "today", but it's after midnight here) I continued making tweaks to what I have done already, as well as started focusing more on SODE dynamics in the scenery, and some tweaks to my sound controller effect files.

Another idea I had while messing with the effects, was that the fire effect was missing a key element - sparks! So, of course, I had to take care of that while it was fresh on the mind. I think I'm going to make them a bit smaller, but it's a good start.

For today's preview, enjoy a nice 45 second fireside rest, taking in the backcountry ambient audio at sunrise.

Fun fact: The ambient critter sounds are all native to the region (Yes, I did that research).
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Sometimes you just have to go backwards, to go forwards. This last week, I began prepping to do the winter textures for the remaining scenery objects. However, reading through my notes, I remembered that there may have been some scaling issues with a couple of the models. Sure enough, I looked at two of them and the scale was off from my original model.

Since I would be merging in the model parts for icicles, I would need to make sure that the model dimensions matched exactly, or else the merge in MCX wouldn't match up. So, I decided to take a couple steps back and bring the building models back to just before importing into Blender.

So, basically I had to readjust all of the mappings and redo the AO. However, this isn't a bad thing, as on my last two models I switched to doing a full texture bake in Blender, instead of generating an AO and compositing it in Photoshop. So now, not only am I sure that the models are scaled correctly, but the textures are all rendered the same way.

Finally, I can start to get the winter textures done.
 

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christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Just got the first snowy building variant finished and placed in the sim. This is just a pathfinder model to see how my current workflow turns out. I'm pretty pleased with the results. I am going to go back and do a little more work on the model, but it's a good start.

Not a lot of daylight during the winter in Alaska, but I changed the time as best as I could in the sim to show off some detail.
 

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christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Snow textures for all of the airport buildings are complete. Now, I need to start on the snow textures for the buildings and objects included via my object libraries.

I'm pretty much at the stage of a project where you knock out 2 items from a list and then add 3 more new items to it, but we're still crawling for that light at the end of the tunnel.
 

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I love the snow textures, i can almost hear it crunching when walking over it.

If i may ask, what do you use for texturing ?
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
I love the snow textures, i can almost hear it crunching when walking over it.

If i may ask, what do you use for texturing ?
Thanks!
I just use the good ol' fashion way using layers in Photoshop. Most of my textures are from textures.com, then I just modify and layer them as needed.
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
It's been a while since the last update, so here's a quick summary of what's been going on:

I switched back to MSFS projects for a few weeks, and then took some time to work on migrating the website to a new host (It's Litespeed(s) faster now ;)), but have been back working on this project again for a few days now. There isn't any visual progress to share, as a lot of what I have been up to is background tasks. The last few days, I have been working on some tweaks to the imagery, removing artifacts/building footprints, redoing seasonal textures, improving watermasks, ect.

Hopefully I'll have some more visual progress to share soon, but until then, I gotta get all these boring tasks done. :)
 

christopherbritton

Resource contributor
Coming this summer!
Shump & Chunilna Creek Airstrip, Alaska for FSX & P3D


This week, I have really been focusing on taking care of the many small tasks I had left to work on. A lot of it has been based around improvements and optimizations to aerial imagery, and vector work; connecting/blending rivers and streams with default and ORBX terrain.

esd_shump_landscape_3.jpg


Working with a bit more of an improved optimization workflow, I was able to shave another 104 MB off of the aerial imagery included in the package. Winter textures have also been remade, along with multiple buildings and other artifacts removed from the imagery.

Moving forward, there are still a few clutter models to finish up, as well as some additional winter textures to create for said models. I also have a handful of small tasks that I still need to knock off of the list. After this, the project will move into in-house alpha testing, and then finally to closed beta.

Participation in the closed beta will be announced in the near future. This will likely be a small hand-picked team of 4-6 testers with varying systems, using the product across multiple versions of P3D and FSX. I'm still hashing out the details on how I want to do the signup process, but it will likely be by signup form on the website, just to keep things organized. The beta testing and reporting itself will be carried out over Discord (https://discord.gg/uW4tsj8p3k). However, as we get closer to that time, I'll provide more details.

This is likely the last major update until Alpha, but, until then, enjoy the latest batch of screenshots from just a bit ago: :)
 

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