Just started working on a new mod for Jane's F-18.
Look at the following shots to get the idea of where I'm going:
Original Jane's F-18:
(Notice the lack of dithering in the sky and mist)
And here is the same shot with a 32-bit render, smooth gradient sky and mist:
Notice here the MPCD reflection and the sea:
And with the 32-bit mod, smooth reflection and sea:
You will notice some color-banding still, but that's due to 8bit textures... more on this later.
The mod is far from ready to be distributed, there is still a LOT of work to do, but it looks VERY promising.
Right now, I can load the game fine, start a flight and fly without any issues, but I'm getting crashes to desktop when switching from the sim to the GUI (exiting a flight).
I think I know how to fix this now so I need to try a few things and do some debugging.
The mod is actually a directdraw proxy DLL that intercepts that dd calls from the sim. It will require a small EXE patch to inject the name of the proxy DLL as well.
No need for trial and error configuration "a la directx tweaker/glide wrapper" here. It's only a matter of adding 2 files to your game directory and that's it.
I'll let you all know when I have a version stable enough to be tested, but please be patient, I have very little time to work on this.
I'll post updates here when available.
Oh by the way, there still will be some color banding even with this mod, due to the fact that the sim uses 8-bit textures. Ok, don't hold your breath on this just yet, but there might be a way, using the same technique described above (proxy DLL/dd call spying) to use 32-bit textures, but this is complicated... but could be possible!
32-bit textures could mean photo-realistic cockpit by the way
but as I said, we're lightyears from that now, let's concentrate on the 32-bit render mod first.
JANE'S NOT DEAD YET!