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Piper J3 Cub [released]

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Piper J3 Cub [released]

Postby karla » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:08 pm

I have started work re-modelling the existing Piper J3 Cub. An accurate drawing of the Cub is being used with kind permission from http://www.toni-clark.com/Default.htm for the orthogonal views in Blender.

I aim to re-model the fuselage, main wing, elevators - well everything including the interior. I will also add much extra detail gleaned from all the pix one can download from the net these days. I don't expect to make many changes to the .xml files apart from the odd strobe light, animated pilot's head and start-up smoke. The model is being used with the blessing of its creator David Megginson.

I have posted a work-in -progress report on the Blender Artists forum http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=177903 - which also helps publicize the existence of FlightGear.
Last edited by karla on Thu May 06, 2010 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby yourgod » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:35 pm

Good idea.. I had posted some questions I had on there and did some plugs for FG in that process, but I haven't posted my DC-8 model in the WIP section yet..

I should do that!


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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:43 pm

Modelling is progressing well with everything being either modelled from scratch or modified quite drastically. No criticism of the original which is quite simple but, but a decade ago detail had to be kept to a minimum so that the old computers could deal with it. So plenty of detail being added - with one eye on the vertex count. Looks like a pilot with animated head may be possible, start-up smoke is being built-in, hopefully main wheel articulation will work and strobe light is on its way. No pic this time (board attachment quota has been reached).
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:15 pm

Another post on Blender Artists Forum - even though there is no interest there (and very little here too). Anyway, so long as a few enjoy the aircraft when its finished it'll be worthwhile.

Copy from Blender Forum:

"Fuselage was almost fully redone to fit more with the real structure. Wings started and canvas sags introduced; it looks like too many vertices were created and maybe a re-modelling may be necessary to make the plane more flyable in FlightGear.

No real strategy is being followed, a part is chosen and concentrated on for a couple of hours then - as a break - another part is selected for modelling. Each part has been reworked at least once as one gets more familiar with the aircraft and assimilates all the information from the various drawings and photographs.

There don't appear to be any really complex shapes to model; it just takes time."
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby gooneybird » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:06 pm

Great, I'm looking forward to this, It's my type of plane :)

I would not worry about the canvas sags It only adds to the file size, they can done with the texture files quite easily.
I tried doing some liveries for the old version but had no luck with it, hopefully I'll have more luck with this one.
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby SkyWlf77 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:45 pm

Awesome, Karla! I very much look forward to this aircraft being redone as single-prop aircraft are my personal preference :)

These are links to pictures of the only real-life J3 Cubs with non-yellow liveries that I could find (for anyone wanting to do realistic liveries for this aircraft):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/d/dc/20090607150809!Piper_Cub_G%C3%B3raszka.JPG

http://www.felthorpe.net/images/Piper%20Cub.png

http://www.guidomedia.com/allflying/2008af/pipercub1959.jpg

http://www.ace-aviation.co.nz/htdocs/home/images/piper-cub.jpg

http://www.alpinenz.com/aviation/planes/tn/Piper-Cub-big.jpg (My personal favorite)

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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:35 am

Thanks chaps.

Reasonable amount of progress has been made; see http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthr ... ost1577103.

I've also roamed around some of the existing .xml files to try and understand FG mechanics better. Making slight modifications to instruments to try and enhance visual realism; modelling and texturing of the cockpit interior will be important because many people spend a lot of time there. Just started work on two 2048 pixel square texture maps (livery); I may have to create my own UV layout instead of using the current textures as guides. I'll try and remember to make a paint kit to broaden the appeal of this bird. (Modelling EGKK Gatwick has been a big distraction lately; should learn to prioritize).
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby Gijs » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:50 am

Very nice progress Karla! Much, much better than the current Cub :)
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby HHS » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:29 pm

Up, up and away
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby hovkid » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:47 pm

Awesome! I love this plane, and would also love to see it improved, your model looks good so far! :)

In real life this is my favourite private plane.

It would be awesome if you could put lots of detail around the engine area, like this image from FSX.

FSX Image - Payware Piper J3 Cub
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:03 pm

It looks like the modelling is just about completed with just one or two odd fixes to be done here and there. There is quite a bit of detail and hence a large number of vertices in this model - but the model has less than the 747 and F-14 which are flown on modern PCs. Most other jobs have been completed also such as .xml file changes and pilot notes. The major hurdle at present is the creation of a uv map for the livery. I've followed some of the web guides and can do uv unwraps and manipulate them to give a reasonable layout but find that Blender requires all the meshes to be joined in order to give an integrated uv map - and this freezes all the moving parts. There's a way round this I know and I'll keep trying 'till I understand how it works. I've also accidentally done something to the FDM which makes the aircraft move backwards when the engine is idling, so I'll have to fix that. So, its probably going to be next month before I can offer up the 'plane.

link to image (EDIT 23Jun10: link to image removed to save space on webhost - but others are still available)
Last edited by karla on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:40 pm

Modelling almost complete: I'm at the 20%-of-the-effort on the last-1%-of-the-project stage of the project. Quite a lot of recent activity has been on texturing the model and there is much Blender-Gimp-FS-Blender iteration. I'm planning to release the new Piper J-3 Cub early in April. I don't yet know how to do this, perhaps someone could advise me.

I've worked out how to handle Blender uv maps a little better and want to pass on my knowledge.

How To Create A Single UV Map for Multiple Objects in Blender

1. Manipulate and edit each object as desired in Blender.
2. UV unwrap each object in turn using Unwrap or Smart Projections as you wish (Edit Mode/Mesh UV Unwrap).
You can treat each object separately at this stage and uv unwrap in any way that you wish - seams, smart, projection etc. You can 'park' some of the uv images outside the uv square to help with the organization later.
3. In Object Mode, select all objects (A).
4. Join all the ojects into one single mesh (Ctrl-J).
5. in Edit mode select all the vertices in the large joined mesh (A).
6. The UV Editor window will show all the objects' uv maps combined into one square.
7. If you got it wrong and the uv images overlap or fit badly you can manipulate the uv maps as you wish (LMB/Ctrl-L to select linked UVs; Grab and Size as you want).
Changes to the uv maps here won't change the model.
8. If you want to improve the unwrapping or add or take away any objects use the seParate key - followed by All Loose Parts to re-obtain the previously joined objects.
9. You can then repeat (1) to (8) as many times as you wish, making changes as you go along.
10. You saved your work as you progressed didn't you?
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby Gijs » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:15 pm

karla wrote:Quite a lot of recent activity has been on texturing the model

Why don't we see that on the screenshots? :D
The model looks really nice, but it is usually the textures that make it look splendid (or horrid).
I'm planning to release the new Piper J-3 Cub early in April. I don't yet know how to do this, perhaps someone could advise me.

Just package your Aircraft/cub/ directory into a zip file, upload it somewhere and share the link through the forum. At the same time, send that link to the devel-list, so someone can commit it to CVS (the developer/upcoming version of FlightGear).
I've worked out how to handle Blender uv maps a little better and want to pass on my knowledge.

Nice! Wiki article worthy?!
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby karla » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:47 am

Last furlong .........
Textures almost completed, animations and fine modelling still under way. It should be ready soon .........
Here's some shots taken over Bristol today.

(EDIT 23Jun10: link to image removed to save space on webhost - but others are still available)
Last edited by karla on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Piper J3 Cub

Postby Pensacola.be » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:13 am

Looking good!
Excellent work
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