Proposed Model for an Andolian Battlecruiser

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Proposed Model for an Andolian Battlecruiser

Postby Oblivion » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:59 am

Me again?!!!

:roll:

Ok. Textures are not so crappy but still a little hazy. Lost interest in it just this morning. So had to finish it up fast and offer it as a sacrifice to the VS pantheon of immortals. Hey, you don't need meat, do you? :D

First of all, the teasing:

A fly stuck on the screen:
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The Bridge
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The name:
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The Thrusters
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The Turret mounts
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Turret control tower
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Torpedo bays
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Turret platform 2A
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The pilot, busy playing VS. while his ship is being attacked.
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:lol:

Okay okay.

The obligatory mugshots:
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An approach on the side:
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And the full shots:
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Turrets (3 on each of the platforms on the rows on top and bottom) and big cannons (2 are meant to be mounted on the "chisel" platform)unmounted.
Ship named(for now) as the flagship Arjuna, a Hawking Class Battlecruiser.

will post links to evrythang here later.
Last edited by Oblivion on Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rockstar » Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:06 am

Oh yeah, oh yeah! That's a battlecruiser I damn like! Looks awesome... nice shape, nice choise of colors for the textures. Is there something to complain about... guess not, eh?! Oblivion, we all can be very happy to have you with us. You're doing a great job! I hope we'll see this big mama in the next release...
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Postby Oblivion » Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:12 am

Thanks! Thanks. It needs texture baking which I don't know how to do in 3dsmax. :)

It's still kind of fuzzy, the windows I eman, but that could be fixed. With enough encouragement I can do the hard task of making a glow map, which it really needs, to be a proper capship. :D
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Postby rockstar » Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:22 am

What ever there is to be done, I believe this one is really worth all the hours of fixing, frustration and desperation :D

For me this is definitly one of the best results I've seen here. Awesome... can't say this often enough.
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Postby Oblivion » Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:29 am

:D That puffs up my ego a lot. :) Thanks. Will work on getting it better then. Then I'll have to move on to new ideas, or I stagnate. :lol:

BTW: It has a total face count of ~18000. and about 10k vertices.
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Postby dandandaman » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:00 am

beautiful :-)
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:39 pm

Wow, that looks great!

This is the kind of texturing that I'd love to have for FFE/FE2 ships and large installations in Elite Strike.

For VS it may be a bit clean (and slightly cartoonish), but that seems to be your style for the most part, which is cool. Hard to really say without seeing it in-game.

I agree with rockstar, this is definitely worth the effort.

EDIT: BTW, I preffered the old "all-in-one" zip bundles. It's annoying to download and extract a zip archive for each individual file, and I have no idea what files I need.

For instance, what's the difference between "HawkingCompleteMap" and "ArjunaBlendMap"? They both say arjuna on them and are identical as far as I can tell.

Maybe just make two zips... mesh sources/extras and mesh presentation format. So, one with all the individual textures and the original model with original uv mappings, fancy stuff that we can't use like normal/bump maps, etc. The other one would have the game-ready model in whatever exported formats along with diffuse, specular, glow, and/or damage maps ready to use in-game.
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Postby charlieg » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:14 pm

That is excellent, your modelling skills improve with every new model. I would love to see that as a blip on my radar. Oh, the innuendo!
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Postby klauss » Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:46 pm

Damn.
I didn't expect that pro-look. Really.

Even the color scheme is great. I love this ship.

Kuddos - your best model ever.

This one must be punched into VS ASAP - I mean, ASAIIF(1).

You know what? The cleanness can be easily fixed by making texture variations. And a few bumpmaps too - I imagine this ship with a full texture set: diffuse, damagemap, normalmap, specmap, glowmap, and it rocks.

(1) - As Soon As It Is Finished.

I'm gonna download it right now, and try to have fun with it.
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Postby Halleck » Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:01 pm

Hehe, I am trying to put it into my local copy already. I'll post screenies if I get it to work.
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Postby Halleck » Sun Jun 04, 2006 2:20 am

Yay!

Image

I feel your pain now, Oblivion. This was a bit tricky to get in-game... I wound up having to import the obj into wings, re-orient the ship, and re-export as obj.

It's too bad that I had to do that, because your obj file has some icky tesselation. The 3ds is much cleaner, it's made mostly of quads. This model just is messier when it's all tris, like the obj.

Oh well. Importing the 3ds into blender/converting the 3ds didn't work very well. For some reason, the exported obj makes both wings and VS crash.

A few texturing notes:
Your light bakings are wierd. It makes the model appear to be lit from one side. I think you want global illumination instead of source lighting to do radiosity baking.
Also, there's no reason to make a specular map if it's just going to be totally matte. There are space-saving common textures in VS for this, like black.png. You only need 1 black pixel to have a totally dark specmap.
Finally, you seem to have neglected making a glowmap even though you had glow textures.
This is easy enough to fix, though. If you generate a glowmap I can just add a line to the MTL and re-convert. Or, you could do it if you want. I'll send over my dummy csv unit if you want to convert/test this yourself in-game.
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Postby Oblivion » Sun Jun 04, 2006 4:12 am

:shock: The first ship I made to see inside a universe.
Me very happy everyone really happy. UV unwrapping was tiresome, you can see where I got tired, the maps are slipshod or just plain gray and blue. Now I know you like it, I think I'm set on improving it a bit more, deleting extra inside vertices and stuff. But I'm keeping the un-unified meshes in case we go modular with ships and stuff. I even got plans for the sections:
Image

Here you can see where polygons overlap, and there are a lot of vertices that are useless inside. Have to delete that manually.
Image
The face count and vertex count are on the properties window.

@Halleck - All you really need to have a copy is the Arjuna Diffuse map, or the meshes themselves (3ds has its own textures). The Textures.zip contains all the maps, yet unrendered to texture. I offered them because it could be useful to someone. :)

Sorry, if it was a tad too many. The other maps are just there because I don't know what to make of them.

There are some important questions which I'll ask later.
For VS it may be a bit clean (and slightly cartoonish), but that seems to be your style for the most part, which is cool. Hard to really say without seeing it in-game.


It is cartoonish. Don't worry, I won't get insulted. :) I loved Gundam Seed, ever seen it? There are ships there too. And I think subconsciously, that is how I really want to see ships. Colorful. Greebles hidden in startegic parts (peeking through between panels, etc.) that uber-techno look. admittedly I can't stiull get it to look the way I want it to. Truthfully, I'm tired of grays and silvers for ships. As if none of the pilots ever bothered to paint their ships. :lol: But if that's VS-law then I'll have to learn how to make shiny ships too.

Maybe just make two zips... mesh sources/extras and mesh presentation format.


affirmative.

You know what? The cleanness can be easily fixed by making texture variations. And a few bumpmaps too - I imagine this ship with a full texture set: diffuse, damagemap, normalmap, specmap, glowmap, and it rocks.


La problema: I dont' really know how. With the blender/wings-3dsmax barrier, I can't ask questions and tips. Please please give me a rundown of how you make specmaps, normals, etc. Even if it's in wings or blender. I can probably find the equivalents in 3dsmax. But as of now, I've been racking my brains trying to learn how those work and are made with the engine, which is not really a vacation, as I am not yet that competent when it comes to coding and software in general. :( But I will be. mind you. :lol:

I'm gonna download it right now, and try to have fun with it.


Hehe, I am trying to put it into my local copy already. I'll post screenies if I get it to work.


Can I get a demo of how you got it ingame Halleck?.. please :wink:

Your light bakings are wierd. It makes the model appear to be lit from one side. I think you want global illumination instead of source lighting to do radiosity baking.


That's it!!! :D That's what I've been asking for in the last few days. Just info like that. It's not baked. The completemap is just rendered from ambient light. I'll try to see how I can get global lighting with 3dsmax. tnx.

Also, there's no reason to make a specular map if it's just going to be totally matte. There are space-saving common textures in VS for this, like black.png. You only need 1 black pixel to have a totally dark specmap.
Finally, you seem to have neglected making a glowmap even though you had glow textures.


Again, I didn't know that. I didn't even really get how specmaps work when I read the wiki articles.

Finally, you seem to have neglected making a glowmap even though you had glow textures.


How does glowmap work? I was still unsure how, so I didn't use em. When shadowed, the lighter areas continue to be unaffected, or is it that the lighter areas emit light themselves? And are bumpmaps not supported? How are bumps emulated ingame? with texture baking?

Or, you could do it if you want. I'll send over my dummy csv unit if you want to convert/test this yourself in-game.


Please, with step-by-step instructions if you can. I promise I'll never ask again once I get how it works.

It's too bad that I had to do that, because your obj file has some icky tesselation. The 3ds is much cleaner, it's made mostly of quads. This model just is messier when it's all tris, like the obj.

Oh well. Importing the 3ds into blender/converting the 3ds didn't work very well. For some reason, the exported obj makes both wings and VS crash.


:oops: my fault. I read a forum discussion while searching for .obj exporters for 3dsmax and they recommeded exporting in tris. Quad is better? If it is then I'll export in quads from now on. I'll refine the mesh a bit more, to lessen polygon count a bit more.

For my questions:
1. Can the thrusters become actual thrusters? The attitude control I mean. The ship is designed for long range sniping/heavy assault.

Thin profile makes it harder to hit from in front/back, and from top/bottom . side and top/bottom thrusters make for quick turning. As well as quick swoop down to level of enemy capship and unleash torpedo hell, then rise up again beyond torpedo bays of enemy ships.
hmm. just thoughts of how it could be.

2.Would it be better if there are multiple submeshes? because the original model is VERY subdivided. I can't decide.

3. Would it be possible to make damage meshes? I mean if you got hit pretty hard in the thrusters, you don't just get a few black spots but you'll actually have no more thrusters at all. Just a twisted mess of metal. Can that be possible? It would be very nice for stations and capships.

4.The docking abys are meant to be animated. I planned to hollow it out and cap it with sliding doors. But I'm not sure how to do that.

5.Do submeshes do damage to each other when they collide/merge with another submesh? For example if I wish to make a turret, should I try to hollow out the parts in the base where the guns would rotate? Or is it okay, if they overlap? I ask this because I wouldn't turrets to explode all by themselves from rubbing their bases too much. :lol:
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Postby klauss » Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:06 am

Oblivion wrote:Here you can see where polygons overlap, and there are a lot of vertices that are useless inside. Have to delete that manually.

Unless it's a real lot of polygons, don't worry. In fact, it sometimes is counterproductive to do that, because it makes the mesh harder to process (ie - for stencil shadows, or automatic LOD generation). I'd say... unless you save a few K polys, don't worry.

You know what? The cleanness can be easily fixed by making texture variations. And a few bumpmaps too - I imagine this ship with a full texture set: diffuse, damagemap, normalmap, specmap, glowmap, and it rocks.


La problema: I dont' really know how. With the blender/wings-3dsmax barrier, I can't ask questions and tips. Please please give me a rundown of how you make specmaps, normals, etc. Even if it's in wings or blender. I can probably find the equivalents in 3dsmax. But as of now, I've been racking my brains trying to learn how those work and are made with the engine, which is not really a vacation, as I am not yet that competent when it comes to coding and software in general. :( But I will be. mind you. :lol: [/quote]

1) El problema. It's ok... no big deal.
2) Specmaps:
I usually start with the diffuse map, to use it as a guide. I convert it to grayscale, play with brightness/contrast to make it really contrasty and just leave the "features", and then start manually toying with it. For one, I divide (using masks) the thing into "panelling units", and randomly apply a brightness offset to each unit. The idea is to add information related to the diffuse map but not redundant. Of course, for each "panelling unit", I try to imagine how specular the material would be.
I'll try to make a specmap for this ship later, and document each step.
But lets see how specmaps work: You do know how specularity works in MAX materials... don't you? Well, specmaps specify these same parameters, but on a per-pixel rate. For instance... if you give a material a white specular color (usually the best when using specmaps), then the color of the specmap acts as the specularity color in MAX materials - it's the color of specular reflections. So... if you want something to be less reflective, you darken the texture in that area (a darker color reduces specular reflections). In the Ogre version, with shaders, you can also specify the specular exponent. How? You have many ways, but the preferred would be with the alpha channel. If you add an opacity channel to the specmap, then where the map is transparent it will have exponent 0, and when it is opaque, it will have exponent 255. In-between, you have the in-betweens (like 50% opacity is exponent 128). That's it, basically. In fact, there are further complications and refinements, but I would be confusing you - the previous explains the generalities pretty well, the rest is there just for higher efficienty. Like, sometimes (actually most of the time), specular exponent is quite linked to specular intensity, so there's a shader that derives the exponent from the texture's intensity. Technicalities - that way, we reduce memory consumption by 25%, since instead of 4 bytes per texel, only 3 are needed. Anyway, the current engine only supports the color stuff. It ignores alpha. Hence, I recommend specmaps be provided with alpha, since they'll work just the same in the current engine, and will look much better in the new with the alpha-coded exponent.

Oblivion wrote:How does glowmap work? I was still unsure how, so I didn't use em. When shadowed, the lighter areas continue to be unaffected, or is it that the lighter areas emit light themselves? And are bumpmaps not supported? How are bumps emulated ingame? with texture baking?

Glowmaps are pasted on the screen additively. It's as if they emitted light. (though it won't affect other objects - it won't lit them, but the glowmapped object itself will look lit). Usually, you bake self-lighting in glowmaps (like the light coming from the engines, windows, and other lights that are always on).
Bumpmaps have to be converted to normalmaps (there are tools for that), and are only supported in the Ogre branch. But use them - you can bake them in the diffuse map for immediate use on the current engine, and keep the plain diffuse map and the normalmap for the future.

Oblivion wrote: :oops: my fault. I read a forum discussion while searching for .obj exporters for 3dsmax and they recommeded exporting in tris. Quad is better? If it is then I'll export in quads from now on. I'll refine the mesh a bit more, to lessen polygon count a bit more.

Triangles are better since they let you manually control tesselation (and make it symmetric where it has to be). But if you don't need that control, it's the same. And if the triangulation is messy, it's also undesirable. It's about control - if you need control over the triangulation of quads, then you must manually triangulate and tweak, before exporting. If you don't, don't triangulate, leave the quads. The engine already converts tris to quads (either directly - Ogre - or indirectly - current, it sends quads to GL, but GL transforms them to tris in the end).

Oblivion wrote:1. Can the thrusters become actual thrusters? The attitude control I mean. The ship is designed for long range sniping/heavy assault.

In Ogre - yes. I'm working to make maneuvering thrusters actually show up. In the current engine, no. I was going to do it, but I'd rather work on the Ogre port (to get it out faster). So... eventually yes, but not right now. Don't let that temporary limitation limit your creativity.

Oblivion wrote:2.Would it be better if there are multiple submeshes? because the original model is VERY subdivided. I can't decide.

If you think each submesh could LOD independently, then it would be good. If not, then not. It's best having a single submesh, because it translates to a single command sent to the GPU, which is faster.

Oblivion wrote:3. Would it be possible to make damage meshes? I mean if you got hit pretty hard in the thrusters, you don't just get a few black spots but you'll actually have no more thrusters at all. Just a twisted mess of metal. Can that be possible? It would be very nice for stations and capships.

Ogre port - yes. Current engine: no. But you can have modular ship designs which can get some parts of it blown out - Spiritplumber managed to do that in WCU with the current engine. That needs separate submeshes, of course, punched in like separate ships (the blowable parts would be subunits).

Oblivion wrote:4.The docking abys are meant to be animated. I planned to hollow it out and cap it with sliding doors. But I'm not sure how to do that.

Ogre - yes, but I'm not really sure what form it will take. Current: no.
I think it will be "skeletal animation", for which you'd have to learn how to create skeletons, assign vertices to bones, and that stuff. Don't sweat it, there's time for that.

Oblivion wrote:5.Do submeshes do damage to each other when they collide/merge with another submesh? For example if I wish to make a turret, should I try to hollow out the parts in the base where the guns would rotate? Or is it okay, if they overlap? I ask this because I wouldn't turrets to explode all by themselves from rubbing their bases too much. :lol:

Don't worry about that, it's configurable.
In general, they don't.
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Postby Halleck » Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:29 pm

Well, since the original model was mostly made of quads, it makes sense (to me) to export
with quads. Otherwise you probably get something like 50-100% extra polygons, and an
overall messy model. Wings seemed to have issues with the quad obj I made from the 3ds
though... maybe next model you can try exporting as both.

Oblivion wrote:Can I get a demo of how you got it ingame Halleck?.. please :wink:

Okay. Promise you've read HowTo:Add Ships first.

I tried a lot of different stuff, here's what wound up working.

1. Take the Hawking obj and import it into wings 3d.
2. Orient the ship facing forward along the z+ axis, scale it to fit the grid size, and re-center it. (Scaling
is not neccessary but can make things easier later on unless you're modelling to scale with the grid.)
3. Re-export as OBJ.
4. Make sure the MTL file says "map_Kd ArjunaDiffuseMap.jpg" and also make sure the
specular material properties (Ks) aren't crazy reflective.
5. Use a simple batch file to run mesher with input/output filenames and argument "obc".
6. Create a "hawking" folder in /units/ and drop hawking.bfxm and ArjunaDiffuseMap.jpg into it.
7. Open units.csv and copy the mule row to the bottom. Rename the unit to "hawking" and
make sure it points to the right directories and files (./hawking, hawking.bfxm, no shield
mesh.) Delete extraneous subunits and save. (Optional: get specific vertex coordinates from
the mesh and use them to place weapon mounts and cockpit/engine lights.)
8. Edit my mission file (quick.mission... one flight group only for fast loading) so I have
a hawking. Load vegastrike using quick.mission with a batch file.

And viola! Done. :D

If you would like any of my files for reference or convenience, just ask.

BTW, This is just to get the model in-game with a dummy unit for testing.
If you want to fully set it up as a buyable game unit, you'll have to tailor its stats in
units.csv and add an entry for it in master_part_list.csv.
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Postby klauss » Mon Jun 05, 2006 8:33 am

Errata:

klauss wrote:The engine already converts tris to quads (either directly - Ogre - or indirectly - current, it sends quads to GL, but GL transforms them to tris in the end).


Should say: "quads to tris".
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Postby jackS » Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:27 pm

klauss wrote:Errata:

klauss wrote:The engine already converts tris to quads (either directly - Ogre - or indirectly - current, it sends quads to GL, but GL transforms them to tris in the end).


Should say: "quads to tris".


Query - does Ogre do anything with respect to tristrips/trifans ?
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Postby klauss » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:25 pm

Ogre has some "automatic reorganization" facilities to abstract out such optimizations. It's part of the conversion process in mesher.

Basically, from an interface standpoint, it's as easy as calling Mesh::optimise(), though internally what it does is reorgnanize things to optimize cache locality, which is the only optimization you get from strips and fans.

Ogre supports triangle strips and fans, but they're not worth it, after a lot of benchmarking, since Ogre has had proper implementation of vertex buffer objects for a while. VBOs already take advantage of vertex reuse (arbitrary reuse, as opposed to the specifically-patterned reuse in strips and fans), so you get little benefits from stripification/fanification. In fact, sometimes it's counterproductive, since you may be forced into having three batches: arbitrary triangles, triangle strips, triangle fans (you can't mix them in a single batch), increasing batch count and decreasing average triangle count per batch (which goes against good GPU usage, as it may overload the driver and cause CPU overload - the CPU works too much, and can't keep sending commands to the GPU at a high enough speed).

So... yes, Ogre takes care of that. And no, it doesn't do triangle strips, though it can. Most of the time, it's not worth it. IIRC, I tested that on the TNT (the difference between strips and no strips). Since it's a driver issue, rather than a hardware issue, it's all about modern drivers and not modern hardware - so I guess it's a safe bet (to bet in favor of VBOs rather than strips).

EDIT: Wait... mesher support for that might be a tad incomplete. I think I forgot to optimize the index buffers. Woops - sorry. I'll fix it ASAP.
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Postby Oblivion » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:59 am

:P Thanks a lot.

I hope that emoticon shows enough gratitude on its tiny face.

If not: :D :D :D :D

there! a bunch of em.

I've got the glowmaps done. Still clueless as to bumpmapping. And radiosity still seems out of my grasping hands. arggh. :D But with these new info, I'll see what I can do. :D

So here's how the retexturinga nd glowmapping is going for the Hawking. Sorry for the incomplete main hull. It's still not completely out of the shipyards. lol

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

And this is my new christmas tree:
Image
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Postby Kangaroo » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:40 am

Maybe it's me, but I think the textures make the surface look plastic. Perhaps you should try adding some motion blur to some places on the texture, some more noise on another place or little bit of canavas on some other place - I mean - try avoiding having the same metal tile on every surface.

Otherwise, simply beautiful. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Postby Oblivion » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:58 am

Maybe it's me, but I think the textures make the surface look plastic.


:D Yup, it does look plasticky, even to me. I'm sorry it's too late to change that now. But with next ships, I'll amke sure, bump maps and whatnot will make my ships be less plain as the Hawking is now. :D
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Postby Kangaroo » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:02 am

Then can you please email me the textures? I think I could be able to tweak them; if not, neverthless I would gain an invaluable experience (500 points :) )
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Postby Zeog » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:10 am

Kangaroo22 wrote:Then can you please email me the textures?

Oblivion posted links to model and textures in the third post of this thread. There you'll probably find what you need.
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Postby Kangaroo » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:35 am

Hmm. I wonder how come I didn't see them before. Anyways, thanks Zeog :oops:
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Postby Oblivion » Sat Jun 17, 2006 1:02 am

@kangaroo. The textures posted are of the first version, not with the most recent screenshots. I'll post the new textures when I finish the rework of the ship. :wink:

EDIT: Why is this in the CONTENT DEV? I dinna move it! :x arrkhhh :D
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