Richard Luycx (aka Ricardo) regularly delights flight-simmers with his superb repaints and screenshots. Here he talks about how a classical influence can supercharge your work.
Welcome Richard! Where are you from? What did you study? Where does this talent for detail come from?
Hi, Jarn. I am a 54 year-old Belgian, currently a civil servant in a public administration. Though I haven’t practiced that profession in a long time, my background is that of a draftsman, so I’ve always been attracted to drawing, painting and handicrafts. Talking about attraction, 22 years ago I married a young, sexy painter who couldn’t cook. Nowadays she’s a little bit less sexy, but a certified Cordon Bleu cook, and our house is filled with her beautiful paintings.
Aviation has always fascinated me as well. I’ve been building plastic scale models for 40 years now, participated in contests, built them for friends. This in turn led me to unforgettable experiences: a friend of mine took me soaring for two summers; another time I found myself onboard the Belgian Red Devils’ Fouga Magister; then on a Belgian Air Force C130 Hercules, then I did aerobatics in a Stampe SV4… Can’t complain. 🙂
My flight simulation journey began with FS2002. I tried my hand at repaints with FS2004 when I bought PhotoShop Elements. I learned how to make repaints by reading whatever tutorials I found on the Net. Friends in the forums encouraged me to publish them, and so on. Then I began doing FSX liveries too. I recently got me PhotoShop CS6 which allows me more precise control over my work.
Screenshots from venerable FS9:
You seem to have a fondness for Carenado. What is it that attracts you to create liveries for this particular developer’s products?
I do liveries for Carenado models because I often fly with their planes. The guys at Carenado also offer a very simple paintkit without all those layers which can intimidate beginners (although now, with experience, I don’t necessarily consider this as an advantage). I also fell in love with BayTower’s Vans RV7; I truly enjoy creating liveries for this model, the paintkit is an example for developers. In sum, Carenado aircraft and BT’s RV7 are my main source of inspiration.
Do you ever do custom jobs?
Sometimes simmers may ask me to make them a custom repaint. If it’s about a decoration which I don’t like much, or one which I wouldn’t ever fly myself I have to decline, because creating a texture takes time and effort, and I have a pretty long waiting list. Moreover my work is free, of course.
You’re a heck of a screenshooter too. Do you photograph in the real world? Any interesting links to see more of your work?
Flying with liveries you yourself created adds an additional pleasure to flight simulation. And yes, in addition to repaints I also like to take screenshots. I do not have a particular training in photography, but I know some elementary principles which derive from painting, and that my wife is always sharing with me.
Screenies from (venerable) FSX:
I have also learned enormously from observing the work of others, and by reading tips and tricks found here and there. What I like is to create an atmosphere that highlights the subject or a detail, and to play with light.
If you want to see some of my screenies, I publish them in two forums: Pilote-Virtuel.com, in Captures d’écran & Vidéos de simulation under the name Ricardo. And in OZx, in Community Screenshots under the name RichardLouis. I have also published some tutorials (in French) on making liveries, on a little French forum called Le Rêve Virtuel.
Any words of advice for those who have never dared to create a livery, and might be contemplating trying?
I find it easier to make fictitious repaints rather than real ones, but that is up to you. Difficulty depends on the paint scheme you wish to attempt, and the quality of the paintit. Paintkits may come often split into several parts which require connections. If the connections don’t match, I just change the paint scheme. But for a real-world aircraft livery, the repaint MUST look exactly like the original; that’s why I have a great admiration for repainters (like Jankees for example) who go for the real deal.
I would advise those who’d like to try their hand at creating repaints to follow some of the great tutorials found online until the process becomes familiar and is fully understood. My tools are DXTBmp (free) and PhotoShop (commercial). Texture files found in the FSX folders are not directly readable by a graphics program, so DXTBmp makes the conversion back and forth between FSX and Photoshop.
Thanks once more for your amazing work, Richard.
Thank you for your interest in my work, Jarn.