Slightly unexpected anniversary post
A year has passed since my first attempt to mod WOFF graphics: http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/3879254
Prior to that I found which settings are needed to enable SSAO in NVidia Inspector, but that attempt to edit shaders.xml was my first real mod for WOFF, even if mostly unsuccessful.
I still clearly remember how I was staying awake till 4 AM for a couple of days, experimenting and drawing charts for math functions in Excel trying to find a good combination of fixed shaders to get more contrast for aircraft lighting. I had very limited understanding of DirectX rendering back then - I did some shader mods for ROF, knew a bit of theory and that's it.
At the same time people were looking for a way to use SweetFX which required DirectX 9 to work and I also hoped that it will improve the lighting. There was a ENB converter which didn't work for CFS3/WOFF and I decided that I could try to make my own, which at least would have allowed SweetFX to work and at best allowed to replace fixed function graphics with real shaders.
It was kind of overly optimistic, given that I had no idea where to start and haven't programmed in C++ for about 10 years (I'm 29 now so it is really a lot!
Luckily I found a good project to learn from - Morrowind Graphics Extender - which is open source and basically does the same thing - takes DX8 game and enhances it to use DX9 features.
So it took me less than a week to put together a simplest DX9 wrapper and the rest is in this thread. I never expected it to go this far. However inspired by the Red Baron game I wanted to work on a WWI flight sim since I was in school and this project is probably the closest I can get to that dream.
I have plans for new features in the upcoming year, we'll see how it will turn out