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Problems with thumbnails in steam version


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#1 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 23:00

Being a new user, while learning how to adjust & fly the A/C, thought I would dress up the old war horse with a couple of custom skins. I have the steam version.

Did not want to clutter up the folders with the large packs until I learn the folder structure better.

 

D/L a few skins from the historical skins poll above. None of the D/L'd 300x100 pixel [.jpeg] thumbnails will display with a mouse over.

Research this forum revealed these have to be converted to [.dds] format.

Considering both the paint file & thumbnail file have the exact same filename & location, conversion is not an option.

 

I read the Skins Thumbnails by JG1_Vonrd_J10. In it Panthercules states:

They are stored in the various plane type folders (in a Skins subfolder) in the Rise of Flight\data\swf\planes folder structure

 

In the steam version there isn't any folder structure for the planes in the SWF folder.

The plane folders are located in Rise of Flight 2.0\data\graphics\Skins\planes folder structure.

As a matter of fact there aren't even any default graphic files for any of the aircraft in the planes folders.

 

These are the skins that were D/L'd:

1. AD5_J29_ClausZ

2. S13_2Lt-Luke

3. S13_GuynemerS504

plus a couple of Nieuports. With the Albatros plane all of the files failed to display.

 

Converting the file is not a problem.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, as to how the files should be named or as to where to place the files for them to display properly, it would be greatly appreciated.


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#2 Panthercules

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 01:39

Sorry - I don't have or use the Steam version so I can't say anything about how the file/folder structure may be different.  However, this is the first post I've seen indicating that Steam users are having problems seeing the preview picture/thumbnails, so it seems a bit unlikely that the folder structures are really that different or I would think somebody else would have mentioned the various JSGME-ready skin packages not working (since those packages are structured just like the non-Steam version).

 

Normally, the Rise of Flight 2.0\data\graphics\Skins\<plane-types> folder structure would be where you would put/find the skin files themselves.  When you try putting those skin files you downloaded in that Rise of Flight 2.0\data\graphics\Skins\<plane-types> folder structure do they show up as usable/selectable in the game?  (assuming that you have mods on mode checked, of course).  If so, at least that much of the folder structure seems to be consistent between Steam and non-Steam versions (except non-Steam version generally doesn't have the "2.0" after "Rise of Flight" - not sure why Steam version does that).

 

In the non-Steam version, the preview pictures are contained in the Rise of Flight\data\swf\planes\<plane-types>\Skins folders - if there really isn't the same folder structure in the Steam version maybe you could post screenshot(s) of your folder structure - might help to try to figure out what's going on.  Also, maybe someone else who uses the Steam version could provide some more insight into the issue.


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#3 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 03:53

Thx for the response.

 

The skins themselves display without any problem in the RoF 2.0 folder structure.  I do understand that the .jpg files are the wrong format.  The were converted using XnView.

 

I created a folder structure you referenced in the " Skins Thumbnails " post on 4/28/14.

 

 

For example, the preview pics for the Albatros D.Va can be found in Rise of Flight\data\swf\planes\Albatros D.Va\Skins

and tried placing the thumbnails in the " Skins " folder specified.  Didn't seem to work.  Unknown what [ .dds ] format it was converted to by XnView.

 

I read your other post, " How to Convert PSD & JPG to DDS? ".  explaining in more detail the differences between the [ .dds ] formats of the thumbnail & skin files.

 

This is the steam version of the folder structure referencing the quote above:  D:\Steam\steamapps\common\Rise of Flight 2.0\data\swf\url … No other folders In swf directory.

 

Will try the conversion process this time thru PS with the DXT 1 format using the folder structure in your quote.

 

Will let you know how I made out.....


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#4 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 05:01

Resized & converted the jpg to the proper dds format.  Created the file structure under the swf directory.   Placed the files in the skins folder.  Will not display the thumbnails.

 

Tried moving the files up to the plane folder with the same results.

 

Hopefully, one of the other members  with the steam version will see this post and have an answer.....

 

Will try posting for a solution in the steam forum tomorrow......


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#5 J2_SteveF

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:14

There is no difference to the steam version and the Webstore versions of the game.

Skins in RoF are installed by the official skin packs. There is a file in the graphics.gtp that defines what skins the game officially supports. Whenever a skinpack is released the game is also updated with the latest skins. 

 

The polls are there so Panther can collate the approved skins and send them to Ic/777 to include in the game

It doesn't mean you can't install individual aircraft from the polls, provided you use the correct folder structure destinations and that you convert the preview to the correct .dds format. But if you venture online only official skins will ever be seen or even be selectable.

 

I cant remember the exact format in terms of DXT and mipmap, it's been a while since I last played with the previews. IIRC the image is also resized and stretched before conversion to .dds. Check the file sizes and dimensions of the existing previews. Play with the outputs on your previews until you get a match.

 

IMO opinion though, you would be best off installing the skin packs. They don't impact game performance. The only real issue with using the skin packs is the space required. All the packs weigh in at around 70-80Gb. Nearly every skin in the polls that got voted up are in the packs already, with preview. Personally I would only go to the effort to prepare a preview is when I add my own custom skins for use in mods on. 

 

If it's just particular skins you want Panther has many stacked posts in the Skin forum. One of them has a link to a doc with all the skin pack planes and what pack they can be found in. That way you can find the planes you like and download just the packs you need. 

 

In summary RoF does not do skins like other flight sims. It is not a simple case of dropping a skin into a folder. Skins in RoF were never meant to be managed that way.

As has been outlined above you can manage your skins manually, and many do, myself included. There are some awful user personal skins in the packs that just hurt my eyes and over the years I have deleted those from my game. But on the whole the game uses predefined skin packs released by 1c/777 using skins submitted in the polls.

 

I would recommend, providing you have the space, that you start by installing a few skin packs and then start playing with skins.


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#6 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 08:26

Steve, thank you for the info that the file structure remains the same in both versions.

 

I went thru Panthers' posts, listed in my second post and followed his directions. Resized the jpeg to 512x128 px.  Convert to Dxt 1 - 4bpp w/ mipmaps DDS format. Created the folder structure [ Rise of Flight 2.0\data\swf\planes\Albatros D.Va\Skins\ *.*  -  Placed the "AD5_J29_clausz.dds" thumbnail file in the skins folder.  Doubled checked that there weren't any typos.  The thumbnail graphic of the plane would not be displayed.

 

During the mouse over of the Albatros default skin, I would see a black background, a graphic of the plane and some descriptive text.  With the above named file listed, I would get the black background, the descriptive text, but no airplane graphic during the mouse over.

 

My only question becomes;  Is there a name change when the thumbnail file is incorporated into the skin pack?  I did notice in one of the posts that there were a number of thumbnail pictures, possibly default, with numbers under them like a filename listing.  Could this be a possibility???

 

At least now I know, I am headed in the right direction, just have to find out what I am not seeing...…


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#7 J2_SteveF

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 13:36

Had a quick look myself and saved down a .dds for swf preview.
Resized it to 512x128 and saved in DXT 1 no mipmaps

Tested OK in game.

I've attached the .dds

Attached Files


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#8 Panthercules

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 21:03

If you don't already have the plane types folders in your swf folder structure (perhaps because you haven't installed any of the official/approved skin packs, which would generally add those plane type folders for you), you have to make sure you use the proper folder names (they do NOT always match the ones used for the plane type folders, for some reason known only to the early devs).

 

The screenshot below depicts all the relevant folders for the preview pictures with their proper names:

 

Attached File  RoF - swf plane type folders.jpg   139.34KB   0 downloads


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#9 Panthercules

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Posted 30 June 2018 - 21:06

My only question becomes;  Is there a name change when the thumbnail file is incorporated into the skin pack?  I did notice in one of the posts that there were a number of thumbnail pictures, possibly default, with numbers under them like a filename listing.  Could this be a possibility???

 

At least now I know, I am headed in the right direction, just have to find out what I am not seeing...…

 

Some of the skins (especially some of the official skins) have file names using numbers like that, but that doesn't matter.  The key thing is that the name of the preview picture file must be exactly the same as the name of the skin file itself.


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#10 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 00:34

I want to thank you both for the wealth of information provided.  This has given me a much clearer understanding of the file structure.  Especially the naming conventions & how they are applied to the folders & files.

 

The short of it was the folder name for the planes I was trying to use were wrong.  Copy & paste didn't work.  Corrected the names of the folders

 

I placed Steves' DDS plane graphic without the mipmaps in the Albatros folder.  In the Spad folder, I placed the DDS plane graphic with mipmaps created using Panthers' instructions.

Neither graphic would display.

 

The Albatros displayed a totally blank black rectangle.  The Spad displayed only some descriptive text of the plane & the pilots' name & rank in a slightly enlarged black rectangle..   Funny thing was there was descriptive text in the Albatros text file & nothing but commented out language specs in the Spad file.  Where did the pilots' name & rank come from????  More questions than answers.

 

So, having grown out of my masochistic ways last week, I took your sound advice & loaded in the official skinpack.  Problem solved. I'm sure I can find some skins that I will like. 

 

Thanks again........


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#11 Panthercules

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 15:12

Funny thing was there was descriptive text in the Albatros text file & nothing but commented out language specs in the Spad file.  Where did the pilots' name & rank come from???? 

 

What text files are you referring to?  The text file concept (with information about the plane and its pilot) is part of the skin submission process - those text files are not used individually but are part of the process the devs use to incorporate the approved skins into the game for use in mods off mode.  I'm curious as to why you may have been seeing textual info about the unapproved skins you were using - what text files were you using and where were you putting them in your folder structure?


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#12 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 01 July 2018 - 21:00

OK.  That explains the anomaly I observed, as those  text files were just part of the submission process. 

 

The descriptive text I was seeing was probably associated with the skin file ( S13_2Lt-Luke.dds ), after it was approved.  I'm assuming the text file was in one of the [ *.gtp ] files to assist with the historical accuracy?

 

Seems I am a glutton for punishment.  I experimented further using the Albatros skin & Steves thumbnail.  Every thing is now functioning properly. 

 

It was some error that I introduced with the manual process that was causing my problem that I was unable to identify.  The official skin pack cleared everything up.

 

Through further experimentation I observed, RoF accepts the thumbnail graphic both with & without mipmaps.

 

Now I can get back to learning how to fly without any interruptions...…


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#13 Panthercules

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 00:52

Glad you got it sorted.  As for the mipmap thing, RoF seems to be a bit spotty with respect to skins, and that may be one aspect of it.  For example, the official rule about skin naming limits file names to 17.3 characters, and only certain special characters are supposed to be used.  However, if you violate those rules the game sometimes will still use the skin OK, but other times will not, so it's best just to stick with the official rules/guidelines to help ensure maximum compatibility chances.


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#14 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 03:55

Thanx for the additional info.

 

If I decide to get in deeper, I'll read the rules first.  All I wanted to do at this time was dress up the old war horse.  Just did not want to sort thru all the skin packs.

 

Will be a while before I take it online, so there shouldn't be any problem.  Still have to sort out the control settings & functions.  At least I got the rudder cables repaired.

 

Plus there are manuals to study & practice, practice, practice.

 

 

Thanks again for all your help...…...


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#15 J2_SteveF

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 12:00

With all the skins installed you'll have a better experience in the included career or Pat Wilson Campaign generator.

 

Puts a little flesh on the bones when you can see what squadron/Jasta you are shooting at

.


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#16 OleGreyGhost

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Posted 02 July 2018 - 21:07

That will be a while yet.  Right now its just the basics,

 

For right now it will be working the kinks out of the controls with setting up the proper trim and conquering a safe landing. 

 

At least I'm not bouncing as high as when I first started...….


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