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[Progress Update] In The Beginning

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Trivial Psychic:
I've run into a bit of a stumbling-block in terms of testing.... I can't currently test my missions.  Basically, the fire button on my Thrustmaster T.16000M is malfunctioning.  It's been giving my trouble on-and-off for the past 6 months, but lately its been firing once out of every 20 or so pulls.  I'm considering doing some surgery to see if I can correct the problem, but I also have a contingency plan ready to implement to purchase a new one by the end of the month.

In the meantime however, I'm working on related art projects.  Yesterday I used the included templates to create nameplate maps for a half-a-dozen ships.  I plan on ultimately creating one for every Nova-class in the campaign, unfortunately there is no template for Hyperion or Olympus class.  I'll need to pace myself however, as my method is a little hard on the wrist.  It's a pity none of the TBP ships have modeled nameplates like the current FS2 ships, but the mod doesn't have the crew it used to.

I suppose, once I'm done I can turn my attention towards the loading screens.

Trivial Psychic:
Well, I've ordered my replacement T.16000M.  I should have it by this coming Monday.  In the meantime, I've gone through and created nameplates for every Nova class in the campaign, but I've come up with a further idea.  Using the skills and software I acquired creating the nameplates, (rudimentary though they are), I got the idea to make some further visual enhancements.  There are more than a dozen Hyperion cruisers in the game that are under pirate control, so I've decided to give them distinctive paint schemes to differentiate them from the EA ships, and even from each other.  I've been using Google search to find some appropriate images and superimposing them on the maps.  This should occupy my time until the new stick arrives.

0rph3u5:
What have you done to combat the issue that the maps on the Hyperion are mirrored? (you can see it with the EA logo)

The Nova and Omega were specifically edited to avoid that problem with the nameplates. - that why you see a mirrored space on the Nova_01 and Omega_01 textures

Trivial Psychic:
I'm not using nameplates for the Pirate vessels, just hull art, so mirroring is irrelevant.  That said, there is a certain amount of trial and error, as it's hard to ascertain when sections of a map are used elsewhere.  Regardless, I've managed to give 2 ships some custom makeovers.  All of the pirate vessels have key Hyperion maps changed to black & white, to eliminate the EF blue stripes, and recolored the bridge light to red.  I did find that I was losing considerable image quality when I added my art, so I decided to try something.  I took the original Hyperion maps that I needed, doubled their side, and use a sharpening tool in Paint.net to get rid (somewhat) of the blurring, and then put my art images on top.  I'm not completely happy with the results, but it is an improvement.

Trivial Psychic:
Well, my replacement Thrustmaster came in Thrusday, 4 days ahead of the estimated delivery date and only two days after I ordered it.  Regardless, I didn't have a change to test it out until last night, and everything checks out.  To quote Miguel Ferrer from Hot Shots Part Deux, "I can KILL again!  You've given me a reason to LIVE!"  Anyway, I also learned that when you decide to change the color of a ship's maps, you also have to change the corresponding shinemaps as well.  I just did used the original Hyperion shinemaps and switched them to black & white, but I'd like to have my new decals with their proper shine color.  Is a simple way of creating new shinemaps to just darken down the base map?

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