Comet 4 - Seats

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Crew Seats — Comet Cockpit Read More...
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Comet C Mk.4 C (RAF) Navigator's Station

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Navigator's station in Comet C Mk.4 Cs of RAF Transport Command. Read More...
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Comet 4B / 4C Navigator's Station

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Navigator's station for the Comet 4B (BEA). Read More...
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Comet 4 - Sextant Mount

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Smiths Periscopic Sextant Mount Mk. 1F (updated) Read More...
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Comet 4 - BOAC Navigator's Station - Update

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Modelling complete: Flight Navigator's Station: Comet 4 (BOAC). Read More...
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Comet 4 - BOAC Navigator's Station

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Progress: Flight Navigator's Station: Comet 4 (BOAC). Read More...
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RAF Type H Oxygen Mask


RAF Type H Oxygen Mask (1945-1989) Read More...
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Comet 4 / 4B / 4C - Radio Rack


More detail and greater historical accuracy for the radio rack. Read More...
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Comet 4 / 4B / 4C - Flight Engineer's Panel


Improved level of detail around the flight engineer's station and radio rack. Read More...
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Comet 4 / 4B / 4C - Overhead Panel


Changes to the nose cone have prompted greater, and more detailed, changes inside the cockpit. Read More...
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Comet 4c - Continuous Refinement

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Fig. 1: Showing deliberate hard seams in the fuselage, following the lines of lap joints on the real Comet.

This shows progress on various cosmetic fronts. Considerable work has gone into refining the exterior model. Deliberate seams have been created on the fuselage to try to break up an otherwise perfect tube, and to represent the lap joints on the real Comet. I tried normal maps, but my view is still that the texture resolution is not high enough to show them subtly enough.

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Fig. 2: Revised passenger windows and “glass” texture.

As part of the fuselage changes, the area around the windows — around all apertures — has been reworked to reduce the “stress” lines caused by too many edges converging on the same vertex. The result is smoother, with fewer false kinks. The glass has also been made “more glassy”, looking more apparently reflective during the day, but more transparent at night.

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Fig. 3: Improved panel lighting

Changes continue in the cockpit, with greater smoothness around the triangular windows (DV windows) by giving them more texture area and baking shadows at very much higher resolution (8192x8192) than the final texture size (2048x2048). There is also a greater sense of daylight washing across the pilots panels from the side windows.

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Fig. 4: Improved cockpit lighting

Lighting in the rest of the cockpit has been improved in the same way, baking at higher resolution to produce a smoother result. Blender 2.65 had new toys to play with as well, with more realistic ambience, where shadows had been pitch black before.

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Fig. 5: Greater panel detail

The instrument panels can not have dirt effects or scratches in their current form, because I have rationed their texture space severely, in order to keep the VRAM usage as low as possible. Anyway, I like the model to look new and ex-works, rather than old and clapped out. However, even to my eye, it looked a bit too plain. Adding screw heads around each instrument was “cheap” in terms of VRAM, but has made a huge difference to realism.


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Fig. 6: Note the improved lighting effects from the glare-shield flood lamps and reading lamps.

Further improvements to lighting included re-jigging of the glare-shield flood lamps for each of the pilots panels, with less of a hot spot at the top of the panel, and more light washing further down the panel. Also, spot lamps have been modelled on the side window visor and on the side panels next to each pilot, and their light baked onto the textures. The effect is most obvious on the co-pilot’s flight card, below the brake pressure gauges on the right hand side.

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Fig. 7: Improvements to the cockpit quilted lining.

None of these improvements were absolutely vital, but adding the new periscopic sextant required me to re-organise the texture maps, which in turn required the whole cockpit to be re-baked, and so I took the opportunity to make other improvements at the same time. The quilted lining around the cockpit has been completely re-made, making it appear to sag a little more between the pop-fasteners, plus a lamp, and the escape hatch and periscope mount.

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Fig. 8: More detail in the passenger cabin. The rather surprising colours are for Mexicana, thanks to Bob Hood, who sent photographs from the restoration of the real XA-NAR at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. He said they really are bright, vivid, almost garish.

I’ve added more detail to the passenger cabin: a newly-discovered photograph of the interior of a real Comet made me realise that the curtains across each window should be in two parts. There are also curtains across each partition (very simply drawn, and hanging straight to minimise polygons, as seen in the RAF VIP version).

The whole passenger compartment fights to justify expenditure in polygons. It’s the sort of thing that is only looked at occasionally, therefore everything must be modelled as crudely as I can get away with. However, I decided that the seat backs were too plain, and modelled tables and magazine pockets.

Apart from a tweaks to lighting intensity (or any necessary bug-fixes — I have spotted a few ragged edges even while collecting screen shots for this post) this really is the last of the cosmetic work on the Comet. All effort now is going into writing a plugin to enable more of the cockpit to function properly. More on that soon …

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GMM-P (07/04/2013)
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Comet 4c - Periscopic Sextant

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Periscopic Sextant in place ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Interior Finished!


The Comet interior is now finished, daylight and lit, from tip to tail ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Rolling Displays (Tumbler Displays)


Animated rolling tumblers have been introduced with a 5% gain in FPS ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Polytext - Overhead Panel


The Overhead Panel has been updated to include greater use of polytext and improved radio animation ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Navigator's Station


Navigator’s Station complete ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Engineer's Station


The flight engineer’s station is done, which really breaks the back of the work left to do ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Seats


The seats have been extensively revised ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Control Column


The control columns, with texture baking ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Rudder Pedals


The rudder pedals, with texture baking ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Pedestal


The pedestal, with texture baking and some use of polytext ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking - Overhead Panels


The overhead panel, with texture baking and dynamic lighting ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Texture Baking


Improving the light and shade in the cockpit using texture baking ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Optimisation, Speed Check and 3D Lighting



Optimisation, speed check, and 3D panel lighting ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Instruments



New, high-resolution instruments for the 3D cockpit ... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Navigator's Station



The navigator’s station has been completely remodelled for X-Plane 9. Read More...
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Comet 4c - Flight Engineer's Station (update)


X-Plane 9 Upgrade - Flight Engineer’s Station

Every control on panels J-N has been labelled. Much of this area uses plain colour swatches, with maximum resolution going to the text, so that it’s crisp, clear and legible (above). I’ve also modelled the radio rack. Snaking cables require a terrifying amount of polygons, so the rack is a simplified version of the original, but it still looks purposeful.



At the back of the radio rack, I’ve finished the closure panels and added the fire extinguisher and retaining bracket.




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GMM-P (27/06/2009)
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Comet 4c - Flight Engineer's Station (update)



X-Plane 9 - The final panel is in place. Read More...
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Comet 4c - Flight Engineer's Station (update)



X-Plane 9 - Two more panels have been added to the flight engineer’s station. Read More...
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Comet 4c - Flight Engineer's Station (update)



X-Plane 9 - New panels have been installed at the flight engineer’s station; work required to make it ‘live’. Read More...
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Comet 4c - X-Plane 9 (update)



X-Plane 9 - Greater cockpit detail Read More...
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Comet 4c - X-Plane 9

Finally, after much cajoling by friends, I decided to upgrade the entire project to X-Plane 9.
Work began on March 22. Read More...
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Comet 4 Cockpit - 3D



Final improvements for the 3D panel ... Read More...
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Comet 4 Cockpit - 2D



Final improvements for the 2D panel ... Read More...
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Comet 4 Overhead Panels

The last two weeks have been spent on the overhead panels ... Read More...
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Comet 4 Cockpit (continued)

A U-turn on my decision not to introduce the Comet with a 3D cockpit. Maybe it’s not so difficult after all ... Read More...
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Comet 4 Control Columns

And now, something to steer with ... Read More...
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Comet 4 Seats

At last, the crew has somewhere to sit! Read More...
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Comet 4 Navigator's Station

The navigator’s station completes the rear of the cockpit. Read More...
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Comet 4 Engineer's Station

The Engineer’s Station structures are complete. Read More...
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Comet 4 Cockpit

The 2D, X-Plane 8 cockpit is ready for testing. Read More...
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Comet 4 Engine Panel

There’s a good sense of things coming together – at last! The engine panel is now complete. Read More...
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Comet 4 Pedestal

The central pedestal has been a big block of work. Read More...
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Comet 4 Instruments (updated)

Standard six, navigation and engine instruments are complete... Read More...
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Comet 4 Instruments

Progress on the 3D cockpit has got far enough (see below) to start adding instruments, and getting a feel of what it's like to use... Read More...
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Comet 4 Cockpit

Work begins on a 3D cockpit, to provide 2D screen-shots in the short-term, and a full 3D cockpit in the long term... Read More...
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Comet 4c - Flight Engineer's Station Complete



The Flight Engineer’s station is complete, with all gauges and switches in place. Read More...
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