Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Thinking about improving the Artwork in Vega Strike, or making your own Mod? Submit your question and ideas in this forum.

Moderator: pyramid

Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:03 am

Hi, I'm really interested in 3D, and spaceships in particular, as I go on about at annoyingly long length in my blog. http://starbrightillustrations.com/blog/
I can't actually play Vega Strike (graphics card issues) but I would like to make some stuff for it. That'll be almost as much fun for a spaceship nerd lik me :P
I found a spaceship on the wiki that had no details and was listed as open (The Duelist) and sat down to come up with some ideas.
I thought luxurious sleek design. Lots of firepower facing forward.
I'm in the very early stages of design...
Image
and I would really appreciate all the help I can get.

Links to info on the Hunter's Guild.
Logos.
Ideas on whether this shape of spaceship fits for this group of space outlaws.
How many polygons am I allowed to play with?
Etc Etc.

It'll a be a learning curve for me, I've never attempted anything quite so complex before.
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Share On:

Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Digg Digg

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:11 am

Welcome, starbright!

The first feedback you'd need would be in regards to UTCS canon, and I'm not qualified to provide it.

Just wanted to give some other types of feedback as early as possible, to save you time.
I'm officially the Art Technical Director, or some such title, can't remember now.

In the past, this project has been very lenient about some things; but won't be in the future, primarily
with respect to thrusters. Ship models need to show thrusters for up/down, sideways, and rotational
maneuvering; NOT just thrusters pointing towards the back. At the very least, there should be visible
retro-thrusters, for braking. Here I added them to the current Llama:
http://wcjunction.com/temp_images/llama/shot22.jpg
It should be obvious from looking at the ship where fuel and cargo are contained. There should be
obvious hatches for cargo and for crew.
By "fuel" I mean not just Helium3 for fusion, but more importantly, for propellant: The stuff that is
thrown out "the back" of the ship to produce forward thrust. The mass ratio of fuel + propellant
to the rest of the mass of the ship should be at least 1:1, and up to 4:1.
There should also be large areas of external surface devoted to radiators to get rid of excess heat.
In other words, ships shouldn't just "look pretty", but make some sort of sense. This is NOT currently
the case, though, --most of our ships are fanciful crap; but going forward we want more sense.
Your ship looks aerodynamic. Does that mean that it can fly down an atmosphere and land? If so, it
would need to be MORE aerodynamic. Otherwise it might be best to make it LESS aerodynamic, so
as to not step on the doggy doo of cheap sci-fi; --i.e. space-ships that look aerodynamic for NO
reason.
Additionally, we want details that help people tell the scale (size) of a ship. You can't put trees,
cows, or houses on them, so a good way is to have windows, EVA hatches, hand-holds in strategic
locations, etceteras.
http://wcpedia.com/dw/lib/exe/fetch.php ... e%3Acutter
http://wcpedia.com/dw/lib/exe/fetch.php ... e%3Acutter
http://wcpedia.com/dw/lib/exe/fetch.php ... e%3Acutter
http://wcpedia.com/dw/lib/exe/fetch.php ... e%3Acutter

Number two: What tool are you using? I hope NOT Wings3D... If so, abandon it immediately. That's
a dead end. Using Wings damages the minds of modelers almost permanently; they rarely recover.
Getting good at 3D modeling takes years, and you sound like you're pretty new at it. I can tell from
the fact that your mesh is set to flat-shading. First thing you want to do is set to smooth shading,
and only mark sharp edges that are meant to look sharp. Takes a few minutes, so your saying it's
an early stage of design is no excuse. Secondly, it looks like the model is about 300 polygons or so.
This is TOO early in design to even appreciate; and one picture is about 4 too few to tell even the
general shape of the thing.
Your mesh seems to show triangles. If you were an experienced modeler you'd know NOT to show
triangles. Meshes should be made of quads; --exclusively, if at all possible. Triangles are problems.
It is practically impossible to work with a mesh made of triangles. they are also not friendly to
sub-surface, and tend to cause shading problems with the bakes. Avoid triangles like the plague.
This mesh of a work in progress for a carrier is almost all quads, for example:

http://wcjunction.com/temp_images/lexington/shot13.jpg
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0858#20858

Also, coming up with a ship model can take a day or two, but adding details (greebles) can take a
week, UV-unwrapping has to be done manually, and may take well over a week of work, and then
texturing may take as much time as all the previous stages, including all the bakes, such as normal-
-map, ambient occlusion, plus material definitions, etceteras. Yep; that's what it takes to make
ships look realistic, as opposed to having them wear colorful pajamas, like many of them do now.
And after all that there's the work of adding LOD's (progressively simplified meshes), converting to
game mesh format (bfxm), and setting up all kinds of data in units.csv, such as mass, moment of
inertia, pilot location, locations of thrusters and weapon mounts, etceteras. TONS of work.
EDIT: Thought I'd clarify: Most newbie modellers that come here; specially Wings users; who have
no idea about modeling for games, they want to model a ship in one day, and then have their
tools vomit some automatic UV unwrap (good for nothing), on top of it they have multiple little
meshes, each with its own texture; and after all that, they expect someone else to do the texture
work and integration... UV unwrap is tedious work, has to be done by hand, and there are many
rules to follow for it to work. The entire ship must use a single UV map; --single texture set. And
you are expected to do your own texturing and integration work. Contributing just a 3D model is
wasting your time; nobody will finish the work for you. Heck, we have experienced modelers here
that don't even WANT to learn to model and unwrap ships properly; who insist on having multiple
texture sets, and using projection textures, like when modeling for gallery art. Game modeling
is very demanding, and trying to get artists to do things right is like trying to push cable through
a pipe... Dozens upon dozens of their models are simply sitting there, because they won't learn
the integration work, and when I try to integrate them, I find horrible meshes and horrible UV
unwraps, and when I try to fix their crap, I can't, because the meshes are triangulated, and the
unwraps are automatic, and lack proper seams, and lack proper marking of sharp edges...
Huge waste of time.

So...
Typically you're talking about a month of work for a small fighter; --two for a carrier or station.
Working fast, that is.
3D modeling is not a casual pass-time; it's a dedicated passion or obsession; and you either got it
our you don't; and most people don't, and they come here and post some pictures for a while, and
then they go away and never finish what they started. Save yourself the trouble, if it rings true
for you.
I'd be willing to tutor you at the beginning, if you're serious; but I use Blender3D, and it's the only
tool I know well enough to help you with. It's free, and it's the ONLY free tool for 3D work that
one can recommend. So, unless you have 3D Studio or Maya or some expensive, professional tool
you're attached to, I'd recommend you go get Blender right now and start going through the
tutorials.
And, needless to say, I'd hate to tutor you only to see you move on once you've learned enough.
Such thing has happened before, and it's not funny.
We'd typically work together in a model at the beginning, as sometimes it's easier to just fix a
problem with a mesh than to explain how to fix it.
Or, if you prefer you could start working with existing models, fixing them up, re-unwrapping
them and re-texturing, to become familiar with the process. (And we NEED fixing of existing
art MUCH MORE than we need new models; so this would be the best course for you AND the
best course for this project.)

As for your question on how many polygons:

For a small fighter, 5,000 quads would be really good.
For a corvette-size ship, 15,000 quads
For a carrier, say 50,000 quads
For a space station, up to 150,000 quads

(Note: A while ago, after having heard this, some newbie modeler with a big ego and Wings3D
simply applied Smooth to his ridiculously simple mesh, as to push up the number of polygons...
When I say 5000 quads I mean 5000 painstakingly modeled quads; --i.e. Real detail.
In fact, we expect meshes to be well optimized: There should be a minimum of interpenetrating
geometry, NO hidden, invisible polygons AT ALL, and polygon density in curved surfaces should
only increase in the vecinity of curved folds; not tile flat areas for no reason. So, the figures
above are guidelines for poly count AFTER optimization of the mesh. You'd probably start with
about double the poly count, for a fully tesselated mesh, and eventually get rid of about half
the polies by manual simplification (merging vertexes).)
Tesselation optimized example (about 6000 quads):
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0319#20319
Unwrap work:
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0000#20000
Bumpmap work in progress:
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0557#20557
Deciding materials:
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0747#20747
(This ship is for a WC-based mod that uses the vegastrike engine; not for UTCS.)

If the numbers seem high to you, it won't surprise me: Most people cling on to obsolete notions
that geometry is expensive, but textures are cheap. The situation has changed completely over
the past 15 years. Hardware geometry pipes can pump polygons at blindingly fast rates, whereas
textures remain up against the wall of memory bandwidth.
For a small fighter, texture size would preferably be 512 x 512. For a carrier, 2048 x 2048. And
space stations may use several submeshes with separate texture sets.
Normalmaps can be twice the size of the other textures, though, which increases the perception
of detail for all the other textures at a low over-all cost.
Finally, our engine supports "detail textures", which are small tiling textures that add "noise" or
other patterns to your textures, at sub-texel resolution, which helps hide pixelation and also
increases the perception of detail, but are yet to be used by any models.

Your ship reminds me a bit of the Hammer, which is not in game yet, but will be, soon.
http://wcjunction.com/temp_images/toad/toad_08.jpg
Though, it's not a stellar example of a ship making a whole lot of sense; but at least it has retro
thrusters, and some scale reference details.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:08 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:Welcome, starbright!


Or, if you prefer you could start working with existing models, fixing them up, re-unwrapping
them and re-texturing, to become familiar with the process. (And we NEED fixing of existing
art MUCH MORE than we need new models; so this would be the best course for you AND the
best course for this project.)



Thanks for the quick reply! :P
I would be totally into helping on fixing existing stuff!!

What you said in your post and it is very detailed and interesting, this is exactly the sort of thing I'm after.
I'm using Blender (I love it).
It's good to get your feedback on 3DWings because I was considering investigating it, but now I guess I'll give it a miss and stick with Blender.

So just send me one of these models that needs work, or tell me where to download it, give me some hints on how it needs to be improved, and I'll get going. ASAP

Once again, thanks for the serious and encouraging reply!!
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:09 pm

I was hoping against hope that my post wouldn't discourage you. Glad to hear it hasn't! :D
Glad to hear you're using Blender, too!

Alright, so let's plan this out:
Picking a model for you to work on is the easiest job in the world: ALL models need to be
worked on. They are a DISASTER; every one of them that I've looked at, anyways.
Now, there's a models repository you'll want to svn out.
Let me see where it is...
Here:
Code: Select all
http://vegastrike.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/vegastrike/trunk/masters


And let me do a little research, to pick and choose something.
In the meantime, read this simple tutorial on smooth groups, if you're not familiar with
the term:
http://www.katsbits.com/htm/tutorials/d ... groups.htm
In Blender, you no longer need to manually separate geometry to make a smooth group;
you set up the Edge Split attribute, click on From Edges Marked Sharp, and then just
mark edges sharp that should look sharp.
Then read some of the the modeling tutorials I've written, with particular emphasis on
solid bevels and the unwrapping process.
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/HowTo:Bevel
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/HowTo:Weld
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/HowTo:Unwrap
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/ ... in_Blender
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/ ... rapBlender
And the new unwrap method, not yet tutorialized:
http://wcjunction.com/phpBB2/viewtopic. ... 0000#20000
About texturing:
http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/ ... cTexturing

Also read a bit about Cinemut and LaGrande, which don't really exist yet, but will soon:
http://wcpedia.com/dw/doku.php/wc_info/ ... ro_cinemut
http://wcpedia.com/dw/doku.php/wc_info/ ... o_lagrande
And about the baking process:
http://wcpedia.com/dw/doku.php/wc_info/ ... _prt_bakes
http://wcpedia.com/dw/doku.php/wc_info/ ... norm_bakes

I know that's a lot of links, but it will give you a quick familiarization with where we're
at, and what's going on; and when you look at the current meshes you'll understand exactly
what needs to be fixed and why.
Essentially, all models need to be reviewed in regards to the following items:
  • We should have .blend files for them all; right now we got them for none, basically.
  • Interpenetrating geometries need to be trimmed; sometimes welded
  • All hidden surfaces should be removed
  • Smooth groups need to be joined together, and blender's method used (mark sharp + edge split attr.)
  • Triangles should be joined into quads (much of it manually)
  • Meshes have to be made sub-surf-friendly (creasing, etceteras) for smoothing normalmap generation
  • Adding retro- and maneuvering thrusters, and radiators, hatches, etceteras.
  • Adding cockpits, pilot, greebles and details
  • All models need to be re-unwrapped from scratch, to avoid overlapping islands, leave room between islands, etc.
  • Producing simplified meshes (LOD's)
  • Bakes need to be made (ambient occlusion, binormals and normalmap only, at the beginning; later tangent and PRT's)
  • Materials have to be assigned and baked, to get the texturing started
  • New textures produced.
A ton of work; so we should start with the simplest models.

Meantime I'll look for a model to start with.
And I'll set up an svn repository of my own, for remodeling work, so we can work together
at the beginning; --as I can't give you commit at the vegastrike svn server; but I can set up
our own repo in the wcjunction server.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:00 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:I know that's a lot of links, but it will give you a quick familiarization with where we're
at, and what's going on


Don't worry, I need some bedtime reading and I want to do this stuff right.
When you talk about svn, is that "Apache Subversion" your talking about? It was the first hit I got when I Googled svn. I have Filezilla, and I have used it for setting up websites and maintenance, is this similar?

Can't wait to get my hands on that first model! :D
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:46 am

Yep; svn = Subversion.
I use filezilla too, for other things; but subversion is a complete different animal; far beyond an upload/download tool.
In my mod, PU, we use subversion as the standard tool for download, to reduce bandwidth, among other reasons.
If you're in Windows, you want to get Tortoise SVN, a visual tool for svn that integrates with the OS (works from context
menus). You have to be careful when installing tortoise to follow their instructions exactly. When they say you should
close all other applications, be sure to do so. I once had a badly installed Tortoise because of that, and it's not pretty.
If you're in Linux, you're best using svn from the command line.
To check out (download) masters, simply
Code: Select all
$ cd ~/
$ mkdir svn
cd svn
$ mkdir vs
cd vs
$ svn co http://vegastrike.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/vegastrike/trunk/masters

Then, if you had commit access to masters, if you changed something about one or more ships or stations, you could
Code: Select all
svn ci

which will commit your changes to the repo.
The next day, you're about to start work again, but first thing you do is
Code: Select all
svn up

and that will update your files, if I did any changes overnight.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby Boaal » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:04 pm

Just a note - I know while modelling you should never use triangles, but doesn't the model have to be converted to triangles at the end of the process? I've only ever known game engines that handle tri's and not quads...
The Twitching Pattern - http://www.last.fm/music/The+Twitching+Pattern
Have a listen.
Boaal
Hunter
Hunter
 
Posts: 93
Topics: 12
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:23 pm

Boaal wrote:Just a note - I know while modelling you should never use triangles, but doesn't the model have to be converted to triangles at the end of the process? I've only ever known game engines that handle tri's and not quads...

Good question; long answer:
Yes and no. Yes, in that INTERNALLY gpu's work with triangles; but no, in the sense that if you send a mesh of quads to the gpu, the quads are split into triangles on-the-fly (I believe by the driver, but it might be by hardware, not sure).

The longer part of the answer involves a mystery, and it's that, theoretically, you should have to triangulate the mesh before export. Why? For consistency. You see, what we do (or at least, so far, I do) is to create a high quaity mesh (typically around 1 million polygons) of every ship, using Katmul Clark subdivision, and I use it to bake a "corrective normalmap", to make models shade more smoothly than they would using just hardware normal interpolation. And I do this using XNormal, feeding it my fine mesh I just mentioned, and my normal mesh using quads.
The (theoretical) gottcha with that is that the software used (XNormal in this case) will subdivide those quads into triangles. But if the gpu (or the driver) would split the quads differently (there are two ways to split any quad), the result would be disastrous.
But I say this problem is "theoretical" because I haven't encountered it with real models. It seems that the algorithm used by XNormal and the run-time quad splitters is the same, because I haven't seen visible diagonals in finished models.
So, it's a bit of a mystery to me what's going on, but the practical answer is that we don't need to triangulate.

(And if we did, we'd have to do it off a copy of the quad mesh, because once you triangulate a mesh you basically can't work with it ever again except by manually re-quaddifying it; so a triangulated version of the mesh would be a temporary thing. There's also an option in the Blender .obj exporter to triangulate quads on export; but I never use it.)
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby klauss » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:08 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:It seems that the algorithm used by XNormal and the run-time quad splitters is the same, because I haven't seen visible diagonals in finished models.
So, it's a bit of a mystery to me what's going on, but the practical answer is that we don't need to triangulate.

Perhaps it's because the OpenGL standard defines very clearly and without ambiguity how to tesselate quad strips.
Of course XNormal could pick any way, but they probably picked the OpenGL way because following standards is good.
Oíd mortales, el grito sagrado...
Call me "Menes, lord of Cats"
Wing Commander Universe
User avatar
klauss
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 7243
Topics: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:40 am
Location: LS87, Buenos Aires, República Argentina

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:19 am

Yeah, this crossed my mind. I'm not sure how a tesselation policy could be formulated, but there must be a way, since you're probably right.
But even more confusing is the fact that, should there be such an established policy, you would think Blender would have adopted it; but
if you highlight all and Ctrl-T in Blender you get horrible tesselation. 80% of the time if I Ctrl-T a quad, I have to manually flip the diagonal
because Blender chooses the absolute worst possible way to tesselate a quad, almost all the time.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby klauss » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:20 pm

A policy doesn't give you good results, only consistent results, which is all XNormal needs.
Oíd mortales, el grito sagrado...
Call me "Menes, lord of Cats"
Wing Commander Universe
User avatar
klauss
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 7243
Topics: 55
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:40 am
Location: LS87, Buenos Aires, República Argentina

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby Boaal » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:48 pm

Strange, I work a bit in Unity, and I accidentally exported a quads mesh, but it didn't show up. iI was technically there in game, but the mesh wasn't loadable. No tri-on-the-fly for me. is that just something in Vegastrike? I figure you're probably using far larger poly counts though - most of the models don't actually need animation or complex anyway, not like 'organic' stuff (not organic modelling, like the difference between a spaceship and humanoid).
The Twitching Pattern - http://www.last.fm/music/The+Twitching+Pattern
Have a listen.
Boaal
Hunter
Hunter
 
Posts: 93
Topics: 12
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Apr 22, 2010 5:38 pm

klauss wrote:A policy doesn't give you good results, only consistent results, which is all XNormal needs.

True, I should have expressed my thoughts better: Thing is, IF the automatic triangulation along the GL pipe did as bad a job
as Blender's Ctrl-T does, it WOULD show no matter how much normalmap correction there may be. I'm too lazy right now to
fire up Blender, take screenshots of what I mean, upload them and link them, so let me describe it for you: Assume you have
a quad on the xy plane looking like an arrow from the z axis, and the inner point of the arrow slightly raised, say:
p1 = -3, 0, 0
p2 = 0, 3, 0
p3 = 0, -3, 0
and now,
p4 = -0.1, 0, 0.01
Blender's Ctrl-T will almost always put a diagonal across from p2 to p3, making a sharp crease, and leaving the p2,p3,p4
triangle with a normal pointing down, instead of doing the more logical thing of putting a diagonal from p1 to p4.
There's just no way this could be happening in the OpenGL pipeline and not be a visible disaster; and there's no way any
amount of normal correction via normalmap bake that could correct for that.
But I still think your theory is very probably correct, and that Blender's Ctrl-T is just buggy or wasn't coded with any
conventions in mind.

Boaal wrote:Strange, I work a bit in Unity, and I accidentally exported a quads mesh, but it didn't show up. iI was technically there in game, but the mesh wasn't loadable. No tri-on-the-fly for me. is that just something in Vegastrike? I figure you're probably using far larger poly counts though - most of the models don't actually need animation or complex anyway, not like 'organic' stuff (not organic modelling, like the difference between a spaceship and humanoid).

That sounds very strange. My immediate guess is that the mesh not showing up was due to some other problem, unrelated to its being made of quads.
When did you try this?
There's been some bug fixes in mesher recently.

EDIT:
Ah, wait a minute; didn't know what "Unity" was; just googled it up and it seems to be an iPhone 3D game development platform?
Maybe their 3D pipeline requires triangulation (either Unitiy's or iPhone's requirement).
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:40 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:Now, there's a models repository you'll want to svn out.
Let me see where it is...
Here:
Code: Select all
http://vegastrike.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/vegastrike/trunk/masters




OK, it took a little while to work out what all this svn malarkey was about, but I think I've got it now. I've added RabbitVCS to my Ubuntu setup and it got hold of a lot of interesting files from that repository.
The masters/units/vessels directory appealed to me immediately, with a lot of nice spaceships in it. Different formats it looks like, some with blend files, some without, is that right?

Is there a likely candidate in this directory for me to try to start cleaning up?

It's very interesting stuff, and I'm keen to get to grips with it and start learning from it.

Edit, after looking about a bit more, the Patterson blend looks like a candidate for clan up to me. What do you think?
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:45 am

starbright wrote:
chuck_starchaser wrote:Now, there's a models repository you'll want to svn out.
Let me see where it is...
Here:
Code: Select all
http://vegastrike.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/vegastrike/trunk/masters




OK, it took a little while to work out what all this svn malarkey was about, but I think I've got it now. I've added RabbitVCS to my Ubuntu setup and it got hold of a lot of interesting files from that repository.

Cool!

The masters/units/vessels directory appealed to me immediately, with a lot of nice spaceships in it. Different formats it looks like, some with blend files, some without, is that right?
Where you see .blend files, I think that with very few, if any, exceptions are the ones that I've worked on or that I started working on. Have a look at them, by all means.
Some models have NO mesh file at all in masters; and you'd have to get the mesh from the /data (game) folder tree.
Others have a .bfxm mesh that is simply a copy of the mesh in /data.
To convert a .bfxm mesh to a .blend file, follow these steps:
  • install mesher (build from svn sources, then copy the mesher binary to usr/bin
  • in the unit's folder, for say "bigship", type
    Code: Select all
    mesher bigship.bfxm bigship.obj boc
  • start Blender, go to File - Import - Wavefront (.OBJ), and in the dialog box set the buttons like,
    • Smooth Groups = ON
    • Ngons as Fgons = OFF
    • Lines as Edges = OFF
    • Separate Objects by... Material (Maybe Object, maybe none; but usually Material)
    • Keep Vert Order = OFF (sometimes ON, but typically OFF)
    • -X90 = ON
    • Clamp Scale = 0 (zero)
    • Poly Groups = OFF
    • Image Search = OFF
  • Find the mesh (usually layer 2, may have to zoom in or out to see it)
  • Save As bigship.blend

Is there a likely candidate in this directory for me to try to start cleaning up?

It's very interesting stuff, and I'm keen to get to grips with it and start learning from it.

Sorry, I haven't started looking yet; tonight for sure.

Edit, after looking about a bit more, the Patterson blend looks like a candidate for clan up to me. What do you think?

Let me see....
I stand corrected about .blend files in Masters; I never worked on this one; --probably Fendorin's.

That's a very simple ship, but it needs a lot of work, anyhow. It doesn't even have a UV unwrap; and it has multiple meshes...
Ahh, I get it; this is probably a work in progress. If you look in the game folder units/vessels it's just not there.
Not sure what the story is. Anybody here knows?
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:43 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:Sorry, I haven't started looking yet; tonight for sure.



No problem, let me know as soon as :D
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:33 pm

Okay, looking now. This is going to take a couple of hours at least, tho...
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:29 pm

I'd say a good start could be the Convolution.
The main problem with the convolution is the convoluted mystery of how the texture is applied, given that it doesn't seem to have
a UV unwrap, and no textures, no materials...
As well as how is it possible that the blend file shows 45000 polygons, but the .bfxm file is only 8.7 k size. 5 polygons per byte?
All of which leads me to believe that the Convolution in masters/sources is not the same Convolution currently in-game.
Anybody has any info on it?

Or, we could redo the Anaxidamus; but it's complete garbage; like 80 polygons! And I think it's supposed to be a capital ship, so
it should be more like 80,000 polygons. So, forget it.

Or, much better than Anaxidamus would be the Robin, because it's a small fighter. The current mesh is 144 polygons. I wouldn't
call it "garbage", in the sense that at least the general shape is pretty nice, considering how low-poly it is; but it needs a total
re-doing given how coarse the mesh is.

I've converted the bfxm meshes of the Anaxidamus and Robin to .blend, and committed them to the masters repository.
r12768
So, svn up, and have a look.
The blend file for the Convolution is under masters/units/vessels/Convolution/sources; and there's some stuff in layers 1 and 2,
but I think the final ship is in layer 3. But there's no unwrap, etceteras.
What worries me about the Convolution is that there are features in it that I don't know what they represent.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:46 pm

I just had a look at a few more ships:

Gleaner: Beautiful ship; but it's a large cargo vessel; we should spend a whole month adding detail to it.

Franklin: This is also a fighter, like Robin; very low detail, though; needs a complete re-doing, pretty much.

Diligence: This could be the best choice of a ship to start. Depends on how big or small it is supposed to be.
The mesh is ultra-low poly; will require a lot of imagination to make it more interesting; but it's a simple
concept, nothing too fancy, pretty boxy.

The knight is definitely the easiest to fix. It's also a fighter, and very low poly, but it has one overwhelming
advantage: Its UV-unwrap is non-overlapping. I tried baking an ambient occlusion for it, and it works.
There's already a .blend file in Knight/sources.

Added .blend files for gleaner, franklin and diligence. r12771
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby Deus Siddis » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:27 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:I'd say a good start could be the Convolution.
The main problem with the convolution is the convoluted mystery of how the texture is applied, given that it doesn't seem to have
a UV unwrap, and no textures, no materials...
As well as how is it possible that the blend file shows 45000 polygons, but the .bfxm file is only 8.7 k size. 5 polygons per byte?
All of which leads me to believe that the Convolution in masters/sources is not the same Convolution currently in-game.
Anybody has any info on it?


You are correct, the model in masters is a newer model that never even got to the UV stage. The one in game currently is too low detail to try to salvage.

What worries me about the Convolution is that there are features in it that I don't know what they represent.


From the Convolution wiki page "The Convolution class has a single, large energy weapon operating at a fixed angle off of forward thrust designed with strafing runs in mind."

It is built around a weapon system fixed at a cockeyed angle?! This ship design is a disaster, total re-concept needed, IMO.


Have a look at its sister ship the Determinant though, that model is detailed, and I think fendorin did a diffuse texture for it someplace.
Deus Siddis
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 1362
Topics: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:42 am

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:56 am

Deus Siddis wrote:...the model in masters is a newer model that never even got to the UV stage. The one in game currently is too low detail to try to salvage.
Okeydok; so maybe we should finish off the job.

What worries me about the Convolution is that there are features in it that I don't know what they represent.

From the Convolution wiki page "The Convolution class has a single, large energy weapon operating at a fixed angle off of forward thrust designed with strafing runs in mind."
It is built around a weapon system fixed at a cockeyed angle?!
This ship design is a disaster, total re-concept needed, IMO.
I take it you don't like the concept. It does make a bit of sense to me, in the sense that most ships having weapons pointing forward have to fly straight into enemy fire to aim; and steerable weapons must necessarily be weaker, as mounts with axles and bushings ought to be more delicate than fixed ones. A heavy weapon at an angle makes for a highly specialized craft, no question; but possibly quite effective at what it does.

Have a look at its sister ship the Determinant though, that model is detailed, and I think fendorin did a diffuse texture for it someplace.
Holy, Flying Mackerel! A non-interpenetrating solids model! A non-overlapping UV unwrap! A baked ambient occlusion! Too good to be true; must have been a mistake... :D
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:59 am

Thanks for your hard work, it's interesting to hear your thoughts on these vessels!
Looking at the models:-

The Convolution
A very elegant design, I like it.
IT looks like there are notes and feedback in the Blend, is this model under construction?
Blender went a bit strange for me when I loaded this file, it has an invisible camera that I can't select and I cant divide the screen into more than one window. I wonder why? Probably just set up for a different workflow than I'm used to.

The Anaxidamus
A powerful fast looking design, and Blender was behaving a little more for me. I managed to do a render. It looks like it needs a lot of work stitching all those separate planes together though.
Here I just grabbed a stabilizer, or maybe radiator, and it came right off.

The Robin
It's a very nice model, but it looks an awful lot like a MIG or perhaps an F18. It looks more like an atmospheric fighter to me. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but I like spaceships.

The Gleaner
I agree with you about it being too big. It'll take forever for a noob like me to get something this big done right.

The Franklin
This spaceship I like. I like it very much. It has the substantial body of a vessel with some reaction mass to burn. The mesh seems to be pretty much in one piece too, apart from a few greebles, and a cockpit.

The Diligence
An interesting design, I like it as much as the Franklin. It is unusual and blocky but it has possibilities.
The Knight
A very interesting and sci-fi design. Another great choice, another one that I like.

It was a difficult choice, but if I may, I'd like to have a crack at the Franklin.
I've also been working on my own spaceship. The one that started this thread off. I thought you might like to see some renders of where I'm at.
It is still very much a work in progress, needs proper materials, it only has engine nozzles pointing forward, so can only go in reverse etc,

Image

and from above

Image
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:35 am

starbright wrote:Thanks for your hard work, it's interesting to hear your thoughts on these vessels!
Looking at the models:-

The Convolution
A very elegant design, I like it.
IT looks like there are notes and feedback in the Blend, is this model under construction?
Blender went a bit strange for me when I loaded this file, it has an invisible camera that I can't select and I cant divide the screen into more than one window. I wonder why? Probably just set up for a different workflow than I'm used to.
Hahaha, I had the same problem: The screen is already divided, but one of the subwindows maximized; just hit Ctrl-[UP-arrow] or Ctrl-[DOWN-arrow].

The Anaxidamus
A powerful fast looking design, and Blender was behaving a little more for me. I managed to do a render. It looks like it needs a lot of work stitching all those separate planes together though.
Exactly.
Here I just grabbed a stabilizer, or maybe radiator, and it came right off.
Would indeed need a lot of welding.

The Robin
It's a very nice model, but it looks an awful lot like a MIG or perhaps an F18. It looks more like an atmospheric fighter to me. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but I like spaceships.
Same here.

The Gleaner
I agree with you about it being too big. It'll take forever for a noob like me to get something this big done right.
Yep; TONS of work.

The Franklin
This spaceship I like. I like it very much. It has the substantial body of a vessel with some reaction mass to burn. The mesh seems to be pretty much in one piece too, apart from a few greebles, and a cockpit.

The Diligence
An interesting design, I like it as much as the Franklin. It is unusual and blocky but it has possibilities.

The Knight
A very interesting and sci-fi design. Another great choice, another one that I like.

It was a difficult choice, but if I may, I'd like to have a crack at the Franklin.
Good choice.

I've also been working on my own spaceship. The one that started this thread off. I thought you might like to see some renders of where I'm at.
It is still very much a work in progress, needs proper materials, it only has engine nozzles pointing forward, so can only go in reverse etc,

I still can't tell much from only two pictures; it seems nice...

So, the Franklin's UV layout is a jumble of UV islands piling up on top of each other, i.e.: it's for the birds, so no point trying to preserve anything about the texturing or texture layout; so might as well work on the mesh without regards for the existing UV data, which is a relief.
I'll have to set up a new repository on wcjunction for us to work in, and I have some things to do first, today; I'll be back in the afternoon sometime.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby starbright » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:00 am

I found these Franklin stats on a forum while Googling. http://forums.joltonline.com/archive/index.php/t-575288.html

Franklin Diplomatic Craft

1,000,000 credits

Note: Despite it's impressive stats, the Franklin should not be used for combat unless strictly necessary.

Model: Milspec Variant (Modified)
Mass: 199 metric tons
Hold Volume: 300 cubic meters
Fuel Capacity: 47.91 Metric Tons of Lithium-6
Weapons: 8 forward, 1 back

Turning Response: 4.365 radians/second^2
Fore Acceleration: 20.40 gravities
Aft Acceleration: 11.22 gravities
Orthogonal Acceleration: 5.1 gravities
Forward acceleration with overthrust: 20.41 gravities

Tracking Range: 300,000 km
Tracking Cone: 3.14 Radians
Assisted Targeting Cone: 3.14 Radians
Missile Locking Cone: 0.00 Radians

Energy Recharge Rate: 2,500 MJ/s
Weapon Capacitor bank storage: 60,000 MJ
Warp Capacitor bank storage: 270,833 MJ

SPEC Drive: Yes

Reactor nominal replenish time: 5.16 seconds
Reactor recharge slowdown caused by shield maintenance: 4.92%

Are they correct? Is this vessel a 200 ton diplomatic craft with a bit of bite (9 guns)?

---EDIT---

I found a WIKI listing http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/Vessel:Franklin but it says 40 tons. Both agree that it is a diplomatic craft though.

edit.. 200 tons is this size or bigger -> Image

40 tons seems too small to me.
I design spaceships. Take a look! http://starbrightillustrations.com
User avatar
starbright
Merchant
Merchant
 
Posts: 52
Topics: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:18 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Duelist Heavy Fighter, Hunter's Guild (I'm having a go!)

Postby chuck_starchaser » Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:41 am

starbright wrote:I found these Franklin stats on a forum while Googling. http://forums.joltonline.com/archive/index.php/t-575288.html
I wasn't aware of this website. But besides its being a third party --i.e. "unofficial", and possibilities --er... likelihood-- of their stats missing some updates to our stats, keep in mind that our stats are due for a MAJOR review in the not too distant future. Accelerations, foremost, will come down drastically, by about a factor of ten; and lateral accelerations, and maneuverability, will result from ad-hoc (but rigorous) analysis of the meshes for the purposes of establishing tensor of inertia, --an the possibilities of thrust in various directions given thruster sizes and positions in the model. Additionally, hull space will be roughly computed, I fancy right this moment, with a view to establishing fuel + propellant + cargo capacity. Fuel + propellant capacity needs to be as much, in units of mass, as the rest of the ship; --or more... up to 3.9 times the mass of the rest of the ship, including cargo mass. Long story.

Franklin Diplomatic Craft

1,000,000 credits

Note: Despite it's impressive stats, the Franklin should not be used for combat unless strictly necessary.

Model: Milspec Variant (Modified)
Mass: 199 metric tons
Hold Volume: 300 cubic meters
Fuel Capacity: 47.91 Metric Tons of Lithium-6
Weapons: 8 forward, 1 back

Turning Response: 4.365 radians/second^2
Fore Acceleration: 20.40 gravities
Aft Acceleration: 11.22 gravities
Orthogonal Acceleration: 5.1 gravities
Forward acceleration with overthrust: 20.41 gravities

Tracking Range: 300,000 km
Tracking Cone: 3.14 Radians
Assisted Targeting Cone: 3.14 Radians
Missile Locking Cone: 0.00 Radians

Energy Recharge Rate: 2,500 MJ/s
Weapon Capacitor bank storage: 60,000 MJ
Warp Capacitor bank storage: 270,833 MJ

SPEC Drive: Yes

Reactor nominal replenish time: 5.16 seconds
Reactor recharge slowdown caused by shield maintenance: 4.92%

Are they correct? Is this vessel a 200 ton diplomatic craft with a bit of bite (9 guns)?

---EDIT---

I found a WIKI listing http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net/wiki/Vessel:Franklin but it says 40 tons. Both agree that it is a diplomatic craft though.

edit.. 200 tons is this size or bigger -> Image
Well, tonnage is tonnage; NOT a "size" or a volume. If you were to find a 200 tons aircraft, it would be much bigger than that ship, for example.
On the other hand, given the need of spacecraft to have a 1:1 to 4:1 ratio of propellant to paylod mass, chances are that a 200 ton spacecraft would be smaller than that ship (higher specific weight or density).
But we have a one order of magnitude question to answer; maybe someone here knows... When we speak of tons of our ships in the stats, are we talking about their weight (on Earth)?, or are we talking about units of 1000 kilogram-mass (9.8 tonnes of weight on Earth each)?

40 tons seems too small to me.
Indeed. If it was 40 tons Earth-weight, in particular, that would be about 30 tons propellant and 10 tons payload. There'd be no space for a portable toilet.
User avatar
chuck_starchaser
Elite
Elite
 
Posts: 8014
Topics: 195
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:03 pm
Location: Montreal


Next

Return to Content Vetting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron