Results 1 to 23 of 23

Thread: Custom Bomber Cards - Discussions

  1. #1

    Default Custom Bomber Cards - Discussions

    For those interested in making custom bomber cards for planes, produced or yet to be, a few suggestions.

    I try to find a decent plan-view line drawing somewhere. Depending on the plane card you wish to create, this can be nearly impossible. You could draw your own, but that would add to the work, and is a time investment you need to balance against the end product. However, if you are determined to have a card, it is sometimes the only way.

    There are many resources for line drawings, a few I use are:

    Wikipedia. This is hit or miss, but they sometimes have svg (Vector) drawings. These are infinitely scaleable, and usually nicely detailed. A recent example is the Lockheed Hudson:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lockheed_A-29_Hudson_Lines.jpg 
Views:	134 
Size:	42.8 KB 
ID:	286715

    Others:
    Richard.Ferriere.free.fr - Plans 3-vues/ 3-view drawings
    Virtual Aircraft Museum
    Drawingdatabase.com - AirCraft Blueprints

    This bomber has a nose arc and a dorsal turret. It also has a twin tail. If you check existing bombers, the Ares 'North American B-25 Mitchell' is a great template to use to start your new card:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WGS302B-Card B-25C.jpg 
Views:	134 
Size:	113.1 KB 
ID:	286716

    If you are thinking of later versions of the Hudson, the ventral gun position was fixed, rear-firing, so the 360 degree arc on the B-25 won't work, but there are other bombers you can use for reference.

    I also refer to the Unofficial Stats Committee files for planes to get the stats right, and the firing arcs. However, the Unofficial Stats Committee and I don't always agree on what the arcs should be. I will defer to them when I can't find any other references, but when I do, I go with the historical references, preferably the aircraft manufacturers' documentation. I have found errors in historical intelligence assessments that were later proved to be erroneous. Check and recheck sources and documents for this. For the Hudson Mk I, the USC File for Gunnery Arcs is in error. It is missing the fixed nose guns, and the ventral position wasn't introduced until the Mk III.

    More to follow...
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-02-2020 at 12:42.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  2. #2

    Default

    I did up an RAF Hudson for the example, using an image I found online:

    Source image:


    From: https://vdocuments.mx - Lockheed Hudson Mk I to Mk VI

    And I turned it into this:


    I used Adobe Photoshop, but GIMP can be used for a lot less expense.

    The above image is many, many layers:
    - a background layer for the card, South England (from Google Earth)
    - The Plane:
    - a base layer of Dark Green
    - the next is Dark Earth camo
    - the next is canopies
    - the de-icing boots on the leading edges of the wings
    - two groups of elipses form the Roundels
    - a layer for the aircraft lines (with an adjustment layer for more line darkening and contrast)
    - then two layers of shading (fuselage and wings, then individual parts like the tail, dorsal turret, engine cowlings, wing depressions)
    - last plane layer is the highlights
    - The Firing arcs:
    - triangle 1 with red stroke and white fill at 10% opacity
    - triangle 1 with red stroke only at 100% opacity
    - arc 1 in red
    - red octagon
    - white number 1 in text
    - red elipse for number 2 dorsal turret ring
    - red octagon
    - white number 2 in text
    - white octagon with red stroke
    - red number 2 in text

    That makes up the above image. Lots more stuff for the stats boxes on the sides...
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-04-2020 at 10:11.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for showing us the details involved in producing a new card. It's always fascinating to me to get a glimpse of what is involved in the research, and how it is applied in the creation process. Very helpful information.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks Mike. I personally find the removal of the background from the one-line drawing to be the most time consuming and critical part of the job. That usually takes me an entire evening.

    Once I have it largely cleaned up, I throw down the base layer. This highlights the spots that I missed when removing the background. They show up as white dots, of course. I use a combination of the background eraser, magic wand, and finally a pixel eraser to get those last irritating dots that I left behind.

    You once mentioned using a blend mode to do this. I haven’t had any luck with that at all. Can you describe the process you use for deleting backgrounds?

    Thanks!

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dak21 View Post
    Thanks Mike. I personally find the removal of the background from the one-line drawing to be the most time consuming and critical part of the job. That usually takes me an entire evening.

    Once I have it largely cleaned up, I throw down the base layer. This highlights the spots that I missed when removing the background. They show up as white dots, of course. I use a combination of the background eraser, magic wand, and finally a pixel eraser to get those last irritating dots that I left behind.

    You once mentioned using a blend mode to do this. I haven’t had any luck with that at all. Can you describe the process you use for deleting backgrounds?

    Thanks!
    If you are using Adobe Photoshop, right click on the layer holding the drawing and select 'Blending Options'. Then on the window that appears, use the "Normal" 'Blend Mode'. At the bottom of the window, there are two sliders. "Blend If:" 'Grey', and adjust the 'This Layer' White slider (the little inverted triangly thing) to about 200 (or into the grey part of the slider). This should remove all the white and near white pixels. Depending on how crisp and white your image is, this will be good enough. If there is a lot of grey, not so much. I tend to put a background burnt orange layer under the drawing layer to check for grey fade-outs in the line drawing.

    If the line drawing has a lot of greys, I add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer (set to affect only the drawing layer), and play with the Brightness (sliding it down as dark as possible), and taking the Contrast as high as possible. This may require some adjustment of the Blending Mode slider, as the Brightness/Contrast will affect the Grey scale of your drawing, and will throw in a bunch of unwanted pixels. Muck with this a bit, but consider not getting this perfect. You might have to settle for some grey lines, to get the panel lines and some areas of the outline to show at all. But, if this happens, you are not finished. Save the drawing with the transparent background and faded lines, anyway. Save as a '.png', with a transparent background.

    Open the line drawing in Photoshop, again, for your work file, but add that Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to the line drawing layer. Try cranking down the Brightness and upping the Contrast again. This time, all the grey lines should go black, without any background interferance, because you alreayd cleared that out on the first save. Now, use the magic wand to select the outside area of the line drawing, and make a mask for the first color layer. Start filling your base color, with the line layer over top. You get what I get. Add layers between the Line layer and the base color layer for camo, canopies, trim colors, roundels, special unit or individual plane markings, etc...

    PS: Sometimes, I need to put a mask on the line drawing, and hide lines or unwanted parts of the drawing. This is the 'non-destructive' editing I was taught at the college, and is great for detail work. The mask is editable, and the original line drawing layer is untouched. You can go back and forth with the mask, adding or hiding as needed. I used this process to do different versions of some plane templates, with a few extra hand-added lines for things like the nose and waist gun position on the B-17E version of my cards. I couldn't find a really good "E", but great, and high def versions of the "G". I masked the nose and waist areas, and put in lines from a crappy, low-rez drawing, but ended up with something that looked very good.

    Modified B-17E, using the below B-17G Drawing:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B-17E_LinesV1.jpg 
Views:	130 
Size:	49.1 KB 
ID:	286750
    The nose and waist gun positions are different, and match the right version of plane.

    The original B-17G drawing, with the multi-gunned nose and staggered waist gun positions:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	B-17G_LinesV2.jpg 
Views:	131 
Size:	50.7 KB 
ID:	286751
    There is a slight difference in the above drawing, in that I left the De-icing Boots on the leading edges of the B-17G drawing.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-02-2020 at 22:56.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  6. #6

    Default

    Hmmm... Went back and looked at the B-17 drawings to show the process. The original was a mess, with too much pixelation and grey.

    This first view is of the original B-17G drawing, with the orange background, using a 'standard' 200 setting, and a fully altered Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Blending.jpg 
Views:	128 
Size:	62.9 KB 
ID:	286752
    If you right click and view this image, and zoom in, you will see a lot of grey around the lines. If you save the black line drawing (without the orange), you will get a fuzzy line drawing. If you bring this version into another session, and attempt the Brightness/Contrast trick, the lines will get big and messy, not just a bit fuzzy.

    In this version, I have brought the 'Blend If' slider down to the halfway position, and this has eliminated a lot of the grey artifacts. Saving this version would be much better, and if you brought it into another session, trying the Brightness/Contrast on this version, the lines might be a bit sharper.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	BlendingGreyGone.jpg 
Views:	128 
Size:	63.2 KB 
ID:	286753

    If I recall correctly, I ended up taking this drawing into Illustrator and doing an ImageTrace on it. That rendered all the black lines into vectors, making a very crisp image in Photoshop. It was the only way I could do this at the time. Using Illustrator was also the way I modified this particular plane for the B-17E model, although I have done less extensive mods in Photoshop using the above described method.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  7. #7

    Default

    This shows the layers I use for most drawings. I grab a suitable color drawing, this one was complete with shadows and highlights.

    Looking on the right side of the image, you can see the layers. The very bottom is my orange contrast layer for checking shading and highlights, as well as ensuring I have all the plane colors completely filled.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CamoLayer.jpg 
Views:	126 
Size:	59.9 KB 
ID:	286754
    The 'bg2' layer is the color reference drawing. I have sized and warped it to fit the line drawing I'm using. It isn't a perfect fit, but close enough.
    The next layer up is the full plane colored in RAF Dark Green. It is currently hidden, so that I can see the reference below, and work on the Dark Earth color.
    The layer above that is the canopies, for which I use patches of feathered strips of color from dark grey to white, drawn down the fuselage and matching the direction I plan to use for shading and highlights. They are covered by a mask, and only the parts I want showing are revealed in this layer. See Post #19 below for details.
    The De-icing boots are the next layers in a group, for which I used black rectangles custom fitted using the 'Direct Select Tool'.
    The next two groups are the RAF Roundels, with three different colored elipses.
    Then, the Line Drawing and adjustment layers.
    Above that are actually three layers, with the base 'Shading' layer. This is the fuselage, the wings and empanage. Most of the shading is done on this layer. The tail and engines were done separately, especially the tail, as that lets me work on the effect for one side of the tail, but using a feathered brush is messy. Lots of shading ends up on the wrong side of the tail. No problem. I just cut the offending overage away sharply down the center of the rudder and tail, where it would be a sharp shadow edge. Because it is on its own layer, I don't have to worry about trimming away any shadows I have done on the horizontal stabs. I did the engine cowlings separately on this layer as well, because I wanted the details. I added in a bit of shading on the outer wing depressions, because my reference drawing had them. Easy to "paint in" and clean up with an Eraser Tool, without affecting the wing shading. Oh, and I added extra shading to the turret and bubble canopies on this layer, too. Shading and Highlighting example in Post #18 below.

    Not shown is the highlight layer, with the bright areas across the wings and tail, as well as points on the engine cowling and nacelles.

    And, that is just the plane part of a card...
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 06-01-2020 at 20:13.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  8. #8

    Default

    I tried to mess with blending modes last night and found that Photoshop Elements does not have the advanced blending mode controls. It seems I’m stuck using the background eraser and magic wand for now. It works well, but is very time consuming. I think I will start using your technique of placing the one line over an obvious background color. That will give me a lot more visibility on how it’s going while I’m actually cleaning it up. That will speed things up. I can’t see spending the big money on the high end versions of Photoshop for that alone. For the most part, I hardly scratch the surface of the functions that Elements has.

    I also recently started using sharpness adjustments to clean up the image. That helps a lot.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dak21 View Post
    I tried to mess with blending modes last night and found that Photoshop Elements does not have the advanced blending mode controls. It seems Iím stuck using the background eraser and magic wand for now. It works well, but is very time consuming. I think I will start using your technique of placing the one line over an obvious background color. That will give me a lot more visibility on how itís going while Iím actually cleaning it up. That will speed things up. I canít see spending the big money on the high end versions of Photoshop for that alone. For the most part, I hardly scratch the surface of the functions that Elements has.

    I also recently started using sharpness adjustments to clean up the image. That helps a lot.
    Dave,
    My Better Half has a trial version of Photoshop Elements on her computer, so I tried that out. You can do something similar.

    www.photokaboom.com - Photoshop Elements: Blending Modes Introduction
    www.photokaboom.com - Photoshop Elements: Blending Modes - Darken Blending Mode

    Because you want the dark lines, and nothing else, you could use the 'Layer' Blending Mode. Change 'Normal' to 'Darken', and then adjust the 'Opacity' until the white disappears. This is actually the reverse for which you are supposed to be using 'Darken', as you want to get rid of dark spots. However, for our purposes, it should leave just the dark lines, and make the rest transparent! This should work for you.

    Here is my trial:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Annotation 2020-05-04 095840.jpg 
Views:	114 
Size:	71.6 KB 
ID:	286844
    This was a standard 3-view png, with an underlayer of solid orange. Using 'Darken', and setting Opacity to 80-ish %, I got rid of all the white pixels. Then, I added a 'Brightness/Contrast' adjustment layer, linked to the drawing layer (so the Brightness/Contrast layer only affects the drawing layer), I set the Brightness to as low as possible, and the Contrast to as high as possible, to get nice dark lines. If you save this without the Orange layer visible, you will have a nice transparent line drawing. You could continue to add layers in this project, and do all your coloring here, too, if you wanted. Just reorient the drawing and crop it to the top view.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  10. #10

    Default

    Very, very interesting mike. I’ll try it out on the cards I have on deck for this weekend.This will be a huge timesaver for me!

  11. #11

    Default

    Hey Mike,

    I gave this a try last night on a Ki-30 drawing. I set the line drawing down, and then placed a solid layer under it. As soon as I changed the Blend Mode to Darken, the layer became transparent immediately without any opacity adjustment. When I hide the color layer, there still appears to be all the white pixels left behind. As a trial, I tried dropping the unpainted version onto a card, and it was not transparent. I feel like I am missing something!

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dak21 View Post
    Hey Mike,

    I gave this a try last night on a Ki-30 drawing. I set the line drawing down, and then placed a solid layer under it. As soon as I changed the Blend Mode to Darken, the layer became transparent immediately without any opacity adjustment. When I hide the color layer, there still appears to be all the white pixels left behind. As a trial, I tried dropping the unpainted version onto a card, and it was not transparent. I feel like I am missing something!
    Hmmm... Not understanding what Photoshop Elements is doing.

    I started with the B-26 image, and did the transparency thing in Elements. But when I save it, it is not transparent.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Martin_B-26_Marauder_Elements.jpg 
Views:	85 
Size:	61.3 KB 
ID:	287504

    However, if you put a color background on it, it saves the line layer as transparent, with the new color behind it.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Martin_B-26_Marauder_Elements1.jpg 
Views:	84 
Size:	63.3 KB 
ID:	287503

    So, you can start with a transparent empty image, import the line drawing and blend/adjust that layer.
    Use the Magic Wand select tool to get the outline of the plane, and then use a Layer Mask to hide the selection on an empty layer. Use the masked layer to add the colors to the plane:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Martin_B-26_Marauder_Elements4.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	62.0 KB 
ID:	287502

    You will note that Elements added a white background to the saved image. Not a problem, if you are using a card background layer, I would suspect. Worth a try?

    PS: A very quick and dirty attempt:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WW2 Fighter Douglas Devastator Card Elements.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	68.5 KB 
ID:	287509

    Original Wings of War background image, using a Douglas Devastator line drawing (not a particularly good one, either).

    Placed and sized the line drawing, used the Magic Wand to select the top-down view, and brushed out all the other parts with a mask. Blended this layer using the "Darken" mode, to about 80%.

    Made a new empty layer, copied the mask to the new layer, and painted in the blue color. Touched up the mask on the color layer, as it wasn't covering everything nicely.

    Added the Brightness/Contrast Adjustment Layer to the Line Drawing layer, cranking down the Brightness to 0, and upping the contrast to 100. Had to fiddle a bit with the settings and the Opacity on the Line layer to get some of the corrigations on the wings to look OK.

    Not the best work, but a proof of concept that the technique is usable.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-12-2020 at 13:52.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  13. #13

    Default

    This plane has been a quadry for a while. How to do justice to the geodesic design in a line drawing?

    How is this for an attempt:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Vickers_Wellington_Ic_Work.jpg 
Views:	82 
Size:	43.9 KB 
ID:	287533

    Wellington Mk Ic (sort of).
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  14. #14

    Default

    Yet another try, with highly detailed shading and highlighting, rather than the grid:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Vickers_Wellington_Ic_WorkShading60.jpg 
Views:	67 
Size:	43.0 KB 
ID:	287594

    This is adding two layers: one for the shading of the geodesic pattern; the second for the highlighting. This required individual shading of each grid, then erasing the overage. I couldn't even cheat and do a copy and flip for the opposite wings, because the light direction had to be from the same side. The highlighting was also done individually, but as I was only touching up the "rise" in the front-center of each grid, I only had to lightly brush inside each grid. The black had to go to the edge, so there was a lot of overage on each grid, requiring individual painting, and clean-up. I had to start on one side, and work across the wing in the direction of the shadows, so that I could cleanly erase each edge, without erasing the neighboring grid.

    And I realized I hadn't put the overall Highlight layer on the first drawing, either. I didn't leave the gridlines on this image, as the shadows did all the work for the grid pattern.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-16-2020 at 12:49.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  15. #15

    Default

    Three layers of color for this version:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Vickers_Wellington_Ic_CoastalCommand60.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	41.3 KB 
ID:	287595

    On base color of off-white, one of Extra Dark Sea Grey and one of Dark Slate Grey. All the shading, highlighting, lines and trim are the same.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  16. #16

    Default

    I looked and looked, but couldn't find any images or information on where the two waist guns were located on the Mk Ic. So, I guessed:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WGS-Wellington-311Sqn-42Sept_Card.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	81.6 KB 
ID:	287652

    This is 311 (Czecheslovakia) Sqn, after they had moved to Talbenny, Wales, and just after they painted their Mk Ic Wimpies the Coastal Command scheme (September 1942).

    PS: Layers for this card:

    Playing Card Elements, including: Index at the top/center; Dark arrow at the bottom/center; and Blue Center and Tailing dots.

    Left Stats Box: Aircraft Type; Unit/Crew; Damage numbers; Damage Icon; Maneuver letters; Maneuver Icon; Engine number; Engine Icon; Roundel (and adjustment layers), and in this case, a Scan of the Left Stats Box edited to remove any original information.

    Right Stats Box: Target Icon (three elipses); Range Icons; Arabic numerals as required; Octagons as required; Groups for the Firing Arcs and Ranges (individual letter for damage type; stroked elipse for the color of the damage type, arranged for each arc and range as needed), and a group for the Boxes and lines to create the Right Stats Box.

    Upper Firing Arcs: these are on top of the plane image and include groups for each arc: A Red dot (with white stroke) for the individual arc; Arabic numeral for the number of the Firing arc; Octagon for the arc (stroked or solid, depending on the type of mounting); an Elipse to show the extent of the arc; a Polygon overlay with stroke lines showing the extremes of the arc in red (this is at full opacity); the same Polygon repeated, but with a fill color, and opacity taken down to 10-ish percent for 'highlighting' the area covered (adjusted for the background image, and other overlapping arcs). There are as many groups as needed for each individual arc on a given plane.

    Note: If there are Ventral arcs, there are separate groups here for the Gold dots, Arabic numerals and Octogons, but not usually the actual arcs.

    The aircraft image, sized and positioned in the center of the card.

    Under-plane Firing Arcs: as above, but for Ventral arcs, in Gold, if there are any.

    The Background for the card (same layer as for the Management card).
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-18-2020 at 11:32.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  17. #17

    Default

    This plane, depending on source, can have a crew of six or more. Depending on convention, Ares supposedly doesn't always show all crew, if they are not in 'combat', or 'game mechanics', positions. I could have left off the Bombadier, but I wanted to show that, in this plane, the nose gunner and the bombadier are two crew members, not one. The crew listing also doesn't show that the waist gunner was double crewed, either. If you have an "Emergency Gunner" skill for the Bombadier, you could man the second waist gun, but not during a bombing run. Choices...

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	WGS-Wellington-311Sqn-42Sept_MgmtCard.jpg 
Views:	62 
Size:	96.8 KB 
ID:	287665

    PS: For this card:
    There are groups of layers for each crew position on the card, including (in order of layers, top to bottom): Crew position roman numeral; Black box; Crew (or Gunner) Icon; Translucent elipse behind the Crew Icon; Arabic numeral for gun positions; Octagon; and, Line from Icon to Octagon).

    There are layers for the Center Stats Box at the bottom: Plane Type; Unit/Crew; Roman numerals for Crew Positions; Black boxes; Arabic numerals for gun positions; Octagons; Roundel (with adjustment layer(s)); and, Scan of the Stats box (on this card, anyway) that has been edited to erase the original information.

    Then there is the background image overlayed on a rounded rectangle for the card base.

    Lots and lots of layers to make the Management Card.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 05-18-2020 at 11:01.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  18. #18

    Default

    Just a quick look at what shading does to an image:

    The basic color layers and line drawing:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Vickers_Wellington_Ic_Flat.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	42.4 KB 
ID:	287676
    This appears very flat and lifeless.

    All the Shading and Highlighting layers on an orange background (so you can see the highlights on something other than white):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Vickers_Wellington_Ic_Shading.jpg 
Views:	66 
Size:	23.4 KB 
ID:	287677

    Compare to the image in Post #14 above, and you see what the difference is between just the colors, and the 3D effect something as simple as dark and light areas add to a drawing. Much more life-like.

    PS: Note that the canopy layer is shaded by the colors used, as are the copper engine cowlings. They are separately created to have shadows and highlights with gradients.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  19. #19

    Default

    How I Do Canopies, now:

    First, I decide the direction the shadows and light will be indicated on the plane when finished. Usually, that is 45 degrees from the right, so the top right corner of a drawing. That determines which color of grey I pick, and the side I start from. Using a feathered brush (soft edges), I draw a line from the starting canopy on the nose and the farthest to the left of the left-most canopy. You should actually do this canopy by canopy, but this example was fast and dirty. I then draw another shade of less dark grey next to that, and slightly overlapping the first. On the third next lighter grey, I do a matching line on the "sun" side of the canopies. Now into the lightest grey, I do two more matching lines working toward the "middle" of the canopy(s). Finally, I put a full white line down the "middle" of the canopy(s), covering all the area I want filled. You can use more intermediate greys, and shift the pattern to better match the finished highlights on a given plane, if you wish. Also, you can consider doing each canopy separately.

    Base feathered grey lines:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_Work_CanopyRawUnlined.jpg 
Views:	42 
Size:	8.8 KB 
ID:	287976
    Note: At the top of the lines I put little color dots of the colors I used for each line. I also show the size and feathering on the White color, which was the brush I actually used for each of the grey lines above.

    What the canopy layer looks like with the plane lines (Martin B-10 aircraft in this example):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_Work_CanopyRaw.jpg 
Views:	44 
Size:	40.0 KB 
ID:	287975

    I used to do an erase of the canopies, but now I leave that layer as it is, and mask the layer to hide areas I don't want shown. This is called non-destructive editing, and it means I could use this canopy layer for many bombers, if I want. I would just change the mask to suit the particular plane. This mask is done with the hard-edge brush, as you want the fine, sharp edges for the glazing and lines.

    Mask for the canopy layer:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_Work_CanopyMask.jpg 
Views:	44 
Size:	29.8 KB 
ID:	287974

    Final drawing of the Martin B-10 with canopy:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_Work_Blank2.jpg 
Views:	46 
Size:	41.7 KB 
ID:	287977
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 06-01-2020 at 20:54.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  20. #20

    Default

    Great thread. Somehow I missed this before. Very helpful info Mike and Dave.

  21. #21

    Default

    VERY COOL! Thanks for sharing how some of the sausage is made.

    When I first read your post, Mike... I thought canopies... how nice... Mike is into pastries. Well, good for him!

  22. #22

    Default

    Beautiful detail on the canopies Mike.

    Your shadows also look very natural. Are you filling them with a gradient?

    How did you get the geodesic design on the wings? Looks amazing.

  23. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dak21 View Post
    Beautiful detail on the canopies Mike.

    Your shadows also look very natural. Are you filling them with a gradient?

    How did you get the geodesic design on the wings? Looks amazing.
    I probably should do videos of this stuff, I suspect.

    I use a large feathered brush, at 10% Opacity and 10% Flow. This leaves the barest hint of color on the layer, and with feathering, it would look a bit like a gradient.

    The first Shading layer is the wing leading edges (one pass), the wing trailing edges (one pass on the top of the flaps and ailerons, two passes on the bottom of the flaps), same on the horizontal stabs and lots of passes across the shadow side of the fuselage (I hid the mask for the below image, so you can see that I used the center of the feathered brush to run along the outer wing lines for the single pass):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_ShadingWhite.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	58.7 KB 
ID:	288146
    Note: If there is a contour for the nose and windshield, I try to show that in the shadow on the wing, or if there are turret bubbles. I do a lot of passes with a broad brush along the joint between the fuselage and the wing, with fewer passes further out. Along the side of the fuselage and up to the top of the fuselage I do the same, with one pass near the top, and more down the side. I taper this towards the tail, trying not to go over the horizontal stabs. They are treated separately, like the wings.

    The engine nacelles also get some shading, too. Carefully add this, and consider reducing the brush size as you go, to reduce the shadows as the nacelle blends into the upper surface of the wing. Also, use one pass with the small brush from the merge point out to the leading edge. Increase the brush size, and starting a bit further away from the merge point, add another stroke toward the leading edge. Change the size again, and the starting point, add another stroke. Do this until you get a similar shadow on the engine nacelle as for the fuselage, but only for the area beyond the leading edge, but not necessarily all the way to the front of the nacelle. I have had to take a feathered eraser to the work, also with the opacity and flow cranked down to 10-ish% to fix the look.

    This is the tail layer, with just the tail shadow. This lets me make a complete mess as I develop the shadow with many strokes, and thicken the shadow near the joint between the tail and the horizontal stab. Once I'm happy with where the shadow is, I use a destructive edit, and a rectangle cut across the tail to get rid of any overage on the 'sunny' side (there is usually a lot, as I start beyond the 'sunny' side and draw to beyond the horizontal stab). I apply the same outer edge mask to this layer to hide the shadow that extends beyond the outline of the plane:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_ShadingWhiteTail.jpg 
Views:	18 
Size:	58.4 KB 
ID:	288147

    The last image is of the Highlight layer, no lines, nor shadows, on an orange background for visibility. Again, using a broad, feathered brush, and with Opacity and Flow at 10-ish%, I apply highlights from the sun direction.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	b10-1_Highlights.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	9.2 KB 
ID:	288145
    This is the minimal amount of highlighting, really, compared to what I did with the Wellington. Just the tops of the wings, fuselage, horizontal stabs, and engine nacelles. The canopies are done separately, as above, and I could (should) cut out the highlights on the canopies, but I'm lazy.

    So, I don't use a gradient tool, but all the shading and highlighting ends up as gradients using this method. It is done specifically for each plane type. It also has to be tailored to the color schemes, as dark planes don't get the same type of treatment. Shadows and highlights on Nightfighters require some fiddling and adjusting. Sometimes just fine-tuning the opacity of the highlight layer can work, other times, a whole separate layer could be needed.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59



Similar Missions

  1. Custom Aircraft / Custom Cards?
    By Togo in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-25-2018, 20:32
  2. Custom Cards Help
    By DFTR in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-24-2011, 02:09
  3. Custom Cards
    By Happy in forum WGF: General Discussions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-17-2011, 08:27
  4. Custom Cards
    By Belis4rius in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 11-12-2010, 01:14
  5. Custom Cards?
    By rapier1642 in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-01-2009, 09:16

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •