The YF-19: The HUD

I really, really had to pull myself to stop me from making a dad joke with the word HUD. First I thought of “Guess HUD?”, or “HUD let the dogs out? HUD! HUD!” and finally, after quickly contemplating “HUD’ve guessed it”, I luckily scrapped the ideas. But then just wrote them down anyway.


The HUD of a jet fighter is the epitome of awesome. Being a flight simulator fan myself, I have grown to appreciate the helpful info a pilot has in front of his eyes. So I wanted that level of usefulness and realism to be part of this rendition of the anime plane.


The rig itself wasn’t that difficult to conceive because I knew exactly what I wanted it to do: A vertical line would show the virtual horizon, so that means it had to stay upright if the plane rolled side to side, and point forward so when it pitched up and down it would rotate relative to it. But then, if the plane turned around it had to keep facing the front so you’d keep seeing it. So it was a follow rotation constraint. Then, the lower horizontal ring would display the compass, and it would always point to the world axis but rotate with the plane. So it was a tracked aim constraint. Finally, the roll ring would copy the virtual horizon on a different axis, so to stay still while the plane rolled, creating this effect:


I created a huge 6144×6144 texture map to allow very very small strands of numbers to lie there. Not sure it was the best way to go. I just wanted a way to have all the degree numbers in a single image, that could then be used as a transparency map.


Then, by adjusting here and there I rendered a couple of tests. Slowly getting to the arrangement I was looking for:


April 5 – HUD test

Too bright, too difficult to read and too small. So I tweaked a bit more.


April 6 – Virtual Horizon and overlayered screen indicators


The good ol’ comparison test again:


I think this is getting closer.

While at it, I realized it’s been a while without getting a new desktop wallpaper.



Here you go! A free wallpaper for you to thank you for following my adventures!






About Eduardo

I'm some dude with a huge love for animation and film. I've been working in TV animation for the past 6 years in New Zealand. I love dragons, pointy metal things that can cut dragons, and flight simulators.
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