Consequence Interceptor Concept

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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:49 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:But that'll never be enough on its own. I can't help you make the game look more consistent unless you can convince the VS community to amend the wiki and game design so that it calls for a sane amount of content. Not 200 ships and however many bases and other things, but maybe ~50. Otherwise count on many more fragments piling up in the attempt to meet this quota.

You're forgetting you, travists, tbeholder and a few other regulars are the community nowadays.
You have the power.
Discuss it. Use it.

Deus Siddis wrote:I think you are mixing up concept with implementation. The derivative concept is 'correct', it is official. It went through official channels and was approved. The same goes for all the new unadorned craft concepts. The model is just terribly implemented from a technical standpoint.

Honestly, IMHO, the derivative is one of the best models technically speaking.
It has properly baked normal maps, ambient occlusion, a decent amount of detail, everything.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:30 pm

Fighter: Light, Med, heavy
Light fighter would be your interceptor
Medium would be "fighter"
Heavy would be assault

Bomber: LMH
Similar break down specializing in attacking cap ships. Little in game presence now. Could be one type

Cruiser: LMH
So we trim this to a single instance

Cap-Ship: LMH
Are there not size/mass/load outs giving cap ships a range of classes?

Transport: LMH
dodo, mule, ox need I say more?


Still count 10 or 11, 20 per faction, 60 total.


It's a wide wide galaxy, don't cut back to far. But ten finished ships is better than fifty half finished ones. This deserves wider input than it has now, but goods, ships, upgrades, bases there is a recurring theme: press on and never reach an end point, or cut back and expand again from there?
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby TBeholder » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:38 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Now I do see the problem, but I am afraid you have it backwards. You need to change those weapon mount stats in units.csv so that they match the trilateral derivative model.
Did you read the part where such thing would not work even if they did perfectly fit stats? :roll:
Deus Siddis wrote: Do not try to hack away at the model geometry so that it looks like the old obsolete stats in units.csv. That is counterproductive because the trilateral model design was approved as canon; canon that matches the new determinant, convolution and lemma models as well.
So if you want to make the current derivative consistent (though throwing it out until a better model comes along might be preferable), then in units.csv give it four medium missile hardpoints and one heavy gun hardpoint. Problem solved.
Well, of course. Were these part of an emerging theme in line with a concept, i'd put the question this way.
But since it's a random modification approach, even according to yourself, it already raises an obvious question of its own: ...and do that every time to each ship every time it's changed at random? :lol: So, you just pick a random name you like and say - "let's change it to a bomber!" And then your enthusiasm about it wanes and you point at a new new shiny model - "No, look, here's a new and better one - let's change it to an interceptor! And change half a dozen others!". Is that productive? At least, approach you profess appears to resemble a graffity board (to put it mildly). You wonder why i look at it like a horse at fire? That's why.
Deus Siddis wrote:I understand you concern about the game looking like a mish-mosh. My strategy for combating the problem is for one artist to do a whole faction at once and by himself, that's what I was going to do for the Purists.
And what are the rest of whole-faction counterparts of Derivative?
Deus Siddis wrote:I think you are mixing up concept with implementation. The derivative concept is 'correct', it is official. It went through official channels and was approved. The same goes for all the new unadorned craft concepts. The model is just terribly implemented from a technical standpoint.
Even if successfully implemented, does this involve changing the faction's concept? In VS, will Unadorned this way end up with a flying orchard and Shapers with more tricked out versions of the current Admonisher? I thought it's obvious, but it isn't anymore.
Above you insist on throwing concepts away and changing at random to something unrelated, to fit with artsy bumps on a model that don't fit into simulator either way. I think you're mixing up concept with implementation, if random implementation comes first and the concept should fit into it...
Deus Siddis wrote:The model detail is still just as important as the texture detail, at least when you consider the costs on system resources. Applying higher and higher res textures to the same old model is foolish and inefficient except as a temporary upgrade.
Yes, the model is important. But how to "improve" a barrel model? Add the Menacing Spikes and colored bands on top? :)
Model-wise, armored hulls simply don't need a lot of external features even if they aren't atmospheric.
With engine improvement ships most likely are going to be shattered into submodels, with more features removed from them into separate parts, just like it was done with weapon models.
Deus Siddis wrote:I can't see any definite difference between the design style you are describing and the latest renders of the consequence.
The first one from Cockroach sort of fits into the style, but it's too much like improved version of Admonisher to be considered for something else.
This yours doesn't. It has angly wings and pods too, but on this "common" part ends.
It got giant handles, extra bumps and whistles, what looks like an airbus cabin, etc. It does not look like a scary mix of obviously reused hull parts and simple structural elements (I consider Plowshare especially brilliant example of this sort of awfulness: 1x shuttle top + 1x huge box). It's licked and clean with those bevels. Though maybe with more details and less Lego™ bumps i'd see it differently; if so, this means preview misses important details that would save time for us all.
Also, once again, it has mount models built in. <sigh>
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Hicks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:44 am

klauss wrote:
Deus Siddis wrote:I think you are mixing up concept with implementation. The derivative concept is 'correct', it is official. It went through official channels and was approved. The same goes for all the new unadorned craft concepts. The model is just terribly implemented from a technical standpoint.

Honestly, IMHO, the derivative is one of the best models technically speaking.
It has properly baked normal maps, ambient occlusion, a decent amount of detail, everything.


IMHO, it, the derivative, as well as almost every ship, just doesn't have the metallic shine that you would expect on a spacecraft. I know that they probably aren't all made of metal, some are composites, but its something that most people would expect, as there isn't much detail in the textures.

And i have to say, it is a general trend of VS, thats there is lots of things half done, rather then a few things really well done.
I have been trying to redo some of the graphics, but so far i have failed miserably. Been rework things in terms of the solar systems, from earth out, hence why i did the new save game from earth.
Since we are getting the planetary flight added, one of the first places i would imagine to be mapped in detail would be earth. It would be nice if we could rework our sol to the point that someone could spend the first few hours flying about, from a location on one planet, to a location on another, as well as have 10 or more stations orbiting half the planets, plus bases on the moon. At the moment, the background looks horrible, most the stars on it look large then the sun, i even have trouble spoting the moon from earth.
It is a good game, and its always getting new content, its just the old content gets forgotten about.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:39 pm

TBeholder wrote:Did you read the part where such thing would not work even if they did perfectly fit stats? :roll:


The question is not did I read what you said, but did I understand what you said. You said something about removing missiles and somethings called "U-Profiles". The rest is anybody's guess.

Well, of course. Were these part of an emerging theme in line with a concept, i'd put the question this way.
But since it's a random modification approach, even according to yourself, it already raises an obvious question of its own: ...and do that every time to each ship every time it's changed at random? :lol: So, you just pick a random name you like and say - "let's change it to a bomber!" And then your enthusiasm about it wanes and you point at a new new shiny model - "No, look, here's a new and better one - let's change it to an interceptor! And change half a dozen others!". Is that productive? At least, approach you profess appears to resemble a graffity board (to put it mildly). You wonder why i look at it like a horse at fire? That's why.


I don't know what the hell you are talking about, but no I did not propose any of those random independent changes and so none of that is according to myself. All changes I propose or do is part of a larger picture with reasons behind it. The Consequence always was and still is an interceptor. The Derivative always was and is an interceptor. I have not yet ever tried to change the roles for these ships or others I was less involved in.

And what are the rest of whole-faction counterparts of Derivative?


The Determinant, Convolution and Lemma. They all have redesigns in a similar style and partially or fully complete models that may or may not yet have been committed.

Even if successfully implemented, does this involve changing the faction's concept? In VS, will Unadorned this way end up with a flying orchard and Shapers with more tricked out versions of the current Admonisher? I thought it's obvious, but it isn't anymore.


The decision to "change the unadorned concept" by which I guess you mean replace the old blocky models with much more detailed models of a different design, was not mine and was made many years ago. Its a product of the "old VS" with its old methods and decision making. I've learned from the past and that's why I propose perhaps seemingly radical changes.

Yes, the model is important. But how to "improve" a barrel model? Add the Menacing Spikes and colored bands on top? :)
Model-wise, armored hulls simply don't need a lot of external features even if they aren't atmospheric.


Well that's where I'm afraid you're wrong and unimaginative. Even if you look at armored vehicles, they have lots of small details and protrusions. In the past people around here called these things "greebles". Not having any of these at the highest level of detail makes a model look flat, unreal and small.

With engine improvement ships most likely are going to be shattered into submodels, with more features removed from them into separate parts, just like it was done with weapon models.

Also, once again, it has mount models built in. <sigh>


I'm happy to work with this new feature if it can be counted on happening and makes the game better. Mount models for weapons only is a step sidewise or backwards unless other upgradable ship components are similarly visibly modular and take damage and then get shot-out from well placed direct hits. Otherwise in my opinion, this is just more of that random eye candy you so despise and not a reflection of the simulation.

This yours doesn't. It has angly wings and pods too, but on this "common" part ends.
It got giant handles, extra bumps and whistles, what looks like an airbus cabin, etc. It does not look like a scary mix of obviously reused hull parts and simple structural elements (I consider Plowshare especially brilliant example of this sort of awfulness: 1x shuttle top + 1x huge box). It's licked and clean with those bevels. Though maybe with more details and less Lego™ bumps i'd see it differently; if so, this means preview misses important details that would save time for us all.


The handles should be to scale but if you mean they are too long or too many, then I might have to agree with you. The "airbus cabin" is in inherited from the old plowshare and admonisher models/concepts you love so much. The "bumps and whistles"are greebles, aka finer details, and I don't know anymore if that is something you want or don't want. On one hand you say you want flat smooth tank armor, but on the other you don't like the "clean beveled" look which is kind of what heavy armor looks like. You don't want extra bumps and details yet you want more details you now say.

As for the legos, those are retro/lateral/rcs thrusters, which hopefully the textures would make more obvious. Their number and arrangement might be changeable somehow to make them less lego-like but they need to be there for the graphics to reflect the simulation, as you seemed to be talking about earlier. All ships in VS make liberal use of retro and lateral thrusters in the physics simulation, which is something not reflected in the old Purists model and that needs to be fixed.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:52 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Mount models for weapons only is a step sidewise or backwards unless other upgradable ship components are similarly visibly modular and take damage and then get shot-out from well placed direct hits. Otherwise in my opinion, this is just more of that random eye candy you so despise and not a reflection of the simulation.


I would tend to agree. While weapons would be the most frequent and visible external upgrade, external cargo expansion should be represented. As should anything else on the outside of a ship: booster rockets, enhanced engine modules, hanger bay doors, armor patching robots, etc.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:09 pm

But how do you do those in a way that they fit all ships?
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:41 pm

klauss wrote:But how do you do those in a way that they fit all ships?


You would (again) need to have fewer ships altogether but you would also need limits on what kind of ships an upgrade can go on. Like Rlaan-Strike-Craft only or Aera-Siege-Craft only or Human-Transport-Light only. Thus you limit the number of possible combinations to something you can manage aesthetically and spatially.

travists wrote:I would tend to agree. While weapons would be the most frequent and visible external upgrade, external cargo expansion should be represented. As should anything else on the outside of a ship: booster rockets, enhanced engine modules, hanger bay doors, armor patching robots, etc.


Even reactor upgrades would be visible, albeit indirectly. The more power a reactor produces, the more waste heat it produces and thus the larger the radiator array you need on the outside of the ship to get rid of the heat.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Hicks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:19 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:But how do you do those in a way that they fit all ships?


You would (again) need to have fewer ships altogether but you would also need limits on what kind of ships an upgrade can go on. Like Rlaan-Strike-Craft only or Aera-Siege-Craft only or Human-Transport-Light only. Thus you limit the number of possible combinations to something you can manage aesthetically and spatially.

travists wrote:I would tend to agree. While weapons would be the most frequent and visible external upgrade, external cargo expansion should be represented. As should anything else on the outside of a ship: booster rockets, enhanced engine modules, hanger bay doors, armor patching robots, etc.


Even reactor upgrades would be visible, albeit indirectly. The more power a reactor produces, the more waste heat it produces and thus the larger the radiator array you need on the outside of the ship to get rid of the heat.


I think the best solution would be to have mount points on the ships for each type of upgrade, so a point where radar would be installed, point where heat sinks would go, and have different radar models and heat sink models that can be placed on the the mount points. The upgrade models can be shared between ships, so we won't need one for each ship.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby TBeholder » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:24 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
TBeholder wrote:Did you read the part where such thing would not work even if they did perfectly fit stats? :roll:
The question is not did I read what you said, but did I understand what you said. You said something about removing missiles and somethings called "U-Profiles". The rest is anybody's guess.
...and that's exactly what i meant above. Which part is hard to understand?
That connecting engines to the hull by U-shaped consoles looks like a weird idea?..
Deus Siddis wrote:I don't know what the hell you are talking about, but no I did not propose any of those random independent changes and so none of that is according to myself. All changes I propose or do is part of a larger picture with reasons behind it. The Consequence always was and still is an interceptor. The Derivative always was and is an interceptor. I have not yet ever tried to change the roles for these ships or others I was less involved in.
You wrote above that the fact at the moment you painted missiles on the model should be a necessary and enough reason to change the ship's game stats. And now it isn't.
As Rlaan chat tree says, "Are you of two minds,,,", etc.
Deus Siddis wrote:
And what are the rest of whole-faction counterparts of Derivative?
The Determinant, Convolution and Lemma. They all have redesigns in a similar style and partially or fully complete models that may or may not yet have been committed.
Exactly, "may or may not yet". So the net result is that now there's no common style at all. It was "changed" in one half-done model, then abandoned halfway like this. For how long?..
And it remains frozen, and you already ran away to something new. If there is any reason to assume that this one will ever be finished, as opposed to breaking the style in half once more, i just don't see it.
Deus Siddis wrote:Its a product of the "old VS" with its old methods and decision making. I've learned from the past and that's why I propose perhaps seemingly radical changes.
Which is unlike "seemingly radical changes" of that Derivative how?
Deus Siddis wrote:Even if you look at armored vehicles, they have lots of small details and protrusions. In the past people around here called these things "greebles". Not having any of these at the highest level of detail makes a model look flat, unreal and small.
I don't see how it contradicts the point "for most features, it either doesn't need more than a bumpmap, or will need a submodel or something like".
Deus Siddis wrote:
Also, once again, it has mount models built in. <sigh>
I'm happy to work with this new feature if it can be counted on happening and makes the game better.
New? data/meshes/mounts/: "Moved data directory!". Let's take a look into that old directory: (4 years, 4 months ago).
Deus Siddis wrote: Mount models for weapons only is a step sidewise or backwards unless other upgradable ship components are similarly visibly modular and take damage and then get shot-out from well placed direct hits. Otherwise in my opinion, this is just more of that random eye candy you so despise and not a reflection of the simulation.
...
Did you really just write that mount models set by the engine are "random eye candy and not a reflection of the simulation" as opposed to whatever stuff got painted at random into model and doesn't change?
Because visibly different external modules other than weapons and turrets weren't present on simulation side all that much. That's one of paths geting explored only now.
Deus Siddis wrote:
This yours doesn't. It has angly wings and pods too, but on this "common" part ends.
It got giant handles, extra bumps and whistles, what looks like an airbus cabin, etc. It does not look like a scary mix of obviously reused hull parts and simple structural elements (I consider Plowshare especially brilliant example of this sort of awfulness: 1x shuttle top + 1x huge box). It's licked and clean with those bevels. Though maybe with more details and less Lego™ bumps i'd see it differently; if so, this means preview misses important details that would save time for us all.
The handles should be to scale but if you mean they are too long or too many, then I might have to agree with you. The "airbus cabin" is in inherited from the old plowshare and admonisher models/concepts you love so much. The "bumps and whistles"are greebles, aka finer details, and I don't know anymore if that is something you want or don't want.
I want from a model in simulation to make some sense and fit with others in style - again, when this makes sense. The "airbus" doesn't, by the way.
Plowshare is a truck, so it can get away with gluing a shuttle to a box, but at least it doesn't look like it got a passenger cabin on top.
Deus Siddis wrote:As for the legos, those are retro/lateral/rcs thrusters, which hopefully the textures would make more obvious. Their number and arrangement might be changeable somehow to make them less lego-like but they need to be there for the graphics to reflect the simulation, as you seemed to be talking about earlier. All ships in VS make liberal use of retro and lateral thrusters in the physics simulation, which is something not reflected in the old Purists model and that needs to be fixed.
Well, yeah. I doubt any step between texture and submodel will do much good here, but why not. In this case, the preview is highly non-indicative.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:40 am

TBeholder wrote:I don't see how it contradicts the point "for most features, it either doesn't need more than a bumpmap, or will need a submodel or something like".


I used the term displacement map earlier/elsewhere. This is because in my experience (Poser 6) a bump map just causes shadows while displacement actually lifts or depresses the underlying mesh. Such advanced texturing techniques, if they can be used, would allow for detail as fine as the gaps between armor plates with only a moderate poly count. If you look back at old games like “Mech Warrior II” the rudiments are there, add good texturing, especially coupled by mesh displacement, and those models would work well enough even today. The questions are which takes less processing power to keep the frame rate up? And, what gives us the quicker development time so changes can be implemented quickly?
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:49 am

travists wrote:
TBeholder wrote:I don't see how it contradicts the point "for most features, it either doesn't need more than a bumpmap, or will need a submodel or something like".


I used the term displacement map earlier/elsewhere. This is because in my experience (Poser 6) a bump map just causes shadows while displacement actually lifts or depresses the underlying mesh. Such advanced texturing techniques, if they can be used, would allow for detail as fine as the gaps between armor plates with only a moderate poly count. If you look back at old games like “Mech Warrior II” the rudiments are there, add good texturing, especially coupled by mesh displacement, and those models would work well enough even today. The questions are which takes less processing power to keep the frame rate up? And, what gives us the quicker development time so changes can be implemented quickly?


You're wrong.

A bump map or, more precisely, a normalmap with a height channel, can be used with parallax occlusion shaders to apparently lift/depress the surface without actually generating any triangles.

Planet shaders do this, and it is somewhat visible on Earth, which has such height map channel.

Displacement maps take that to another level, using geometry and tesselation shaders (that VS doesn't support yet) to actually create extra triangles and actually lift/depress the surface. I don't think ships need it, not fighers, but may be very useful for stations and capships.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks for the more precise explanation!

It can be done and is being used. So why should ships have bolts and seams as part of the mesh, if only cap ships need the level of detail that displacement gives you? There seems to be some out there that want to be able to count the pilot's eyelashes if you get close enough. Great for visuals, but what does that do for less than the ultimate gamer machine?
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby TBeholder » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:46 am

klauss wrote:But how do you do those in a way that they fit all ships?
Should they fit all? Or even all human...
It would be hard to make something to fit both Clydesdale and a Progeny. But is it needed? No one expects parts beyond nuts/bolts/rubber pipes to be fully compatible between APCs, luxury cars and heavy trucks.
A "reasonable set of standards" is another matter, of course.
Hicks wrote: I think the best solution would be to have mount points on the ships for each type of upgrade, so a point where radar would be installed, point where heat sinks would go, and have different radar models and heat sink models that can be placed on the the mount points. The upgrade models can be shared between ships, so we won't need one for each ship.
That basically could be an expansion of the existing mount system (subunits are buggy enough to need some deeper overhaul), and the point of simulating damage to such devices properly (collision mesh, etc) is already considered...
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Deus Siddis » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:09 pm

TBeholder wrote: ...and that's exactly what i meant above. Which part is hard to understand?
That connecting engines to the hull by U-shaped consoles looks like a weird idea?..


I don't understand why you think you should be removing missile launchers after I was specifically ordered to put them on the mesh. I don't understand what the hell a "U-console" or "U-profile" is, I thought maybe you meant before something like "UV-profile" but now it sounds like you are talking about a geometry feature, which you don't like but I had to add to the mesh or else THIS PROJECT WOULD NOT ACCEPT IT. I had to follow the concept art on the wiki for the Derivative.

Have you even looked at the concept art on the wiki? Do you realize the old VS project leadership approved that concept and wouldn't accept any other model for the derivative unless it looked like that? So why don't you argue this point with them instead of coming after me as the whimsical artist acting alone to destroy your sense of faction consistency?

You wrote above that the fact at the moment you painted missiles on the model should be a necessary and enough reason to change the ship's game stats. And now it isn't.
As Rlaan chat tree says, "Are you of two minds,,,", etc.


Management told me NOT TO FOLLOW THE STATS but to FOLLOW THE CONCEPT in making the derivative model. They just never got around to fixing the stats apparently, but that wasn't my job, I was just a modeler at the time and didn't know how to set stats in the VS engine.

And now they are long gone. Do you realize you are arguing with me about a problem created by an extinct system of developers? How is that productive?

Exactly, "may or may not yet". So the net result is that now there's no common style at all. It was "changed" in one half-done model, then abandoned halfway like this. For how long?..

And it remains frozen, and you already ran away to something new. If there is any reason to assume that this one will ever be finished, as opposed to breaking the style in half once more, i just don't see it.


Like I said, I won't feel bad if folks want to chuck out the derivative model or make it a forsaken interceptor. In fact I'd prefer we junk the entire Unadorned faction, it is weakly defined and superfluous in every way. And most importantly we need less ships and factions.

Which is unlike "seemingly radical changes" of that Derivative how?


The consequence model is different from the derivative in that:

1) It is much more sophisticated-ly modeled, technically speaking. (Better modeling-for-shading, many more thoughtful fine details in both mesh and texture upon release.)
2) Part of an entire faction (Purist) redo by one artist (me) instead of four artists as was the case with Unadorned.
3) Everything is released at once when fully complete.
4) The derivative looks "chunky" but isn't supposed to, I fundamentally botched its aesthetics but have put more attention into this with the consequence.

I don't see how it contradicts the point "for most features, it either doesn't need more than a bumpmap, or will need a submodel or something like".


Bump mapping is flat and at many angles it looks it. It doesn't replace modeling, not even for greebles. It is just another tool in the toolbox, not the ultimate weapon. Good modelers use both small models and normal maps to create the feeling of fine details.

Did you really just write that mount models set by the engine are "random eye candy and not a reflection of the simulation" as opposed to whatever stuff got painted at random into model and doesn't change?


Yes and I explained in detail why. And now I'll go on to make a point even further. A great many ships, including all the Aera ones by design, mount weapons inside their hull or in pods where they are protected from enemy fire. This has the side effect of making the actual weapons essentially invisible from the outside and thus weapon changes are invisible. So we really don't need this feature, PU uses it and you can probably find the code in the engine for them and similar projects to use, but VS' artstyle is different unless we decide to change it.

The consequence has generic missile pods and a gun pod (a housing, perhaps armored, that contains a gun inside of it). So any changes to load out would not affect its outward visual appearance. Still, this can be changed if done so before UV work begins.

I want from a model in simulation to make some sense and fit with others in style - again, when this makes sense. The "airbus" doesn't, by the way.
Plowshare is a truck, so it can get away with gluing a shuttle to a box, but at least it doesn't look like it got a passenger cabin on top.


I am sorry that you can see more in common with an airbus than the admonisher or plowshare cockpits while I cannot. But I can't fix a problem I can't see. Maybe the EVA handles are giving you the impression of passenger windows because they are too uniform and on both sides; that might be a good fix.

Well, yeah. I doubt any step between texture and submodel will do much good here, but why not. In this case, the preview is highly non-indicative.


Try to imagine glow maps providing a cherenkov glow from the centers of those small cylinders on various sides of the ship. Then imagine strong thrust cones shooting out of them in coordinated fashion as the ship rolls and strafes. That's the ultimate planned effect when both the model and game engine thruster graphics code are complete.

Last I checked Lego blocks don't emit on command streams of dense and hot plasma as it may be dangerous to small children.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:20 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Management told me NOT TO FOLLOW THE STATS but to FOLLOW THE CONCEPT in making the derivative model. They just never got around to fixing the stats apparently, but that wasn't my job, I was just a modeler at the time and didn't know how to set stats in the VS engine.

Please add a ticket for it on the tracker (a task?), so we don't forget to fix them.
I agree, concept is the word, and stats have to follow concept, within game balance bounds.
I endorse fixing stats.

Deus Siddis wrote:Try to imagine glow maps providing a cherenkov glow from the centers of those small cylinders on various sides of the ship. Then imagine strong thrust cones shooting out of them in coordinated fashion as the ship rolls and strafes. That's the ultimate planned effect when both the model and game engine thruster graphics code are complete.

There's quite a lot of engine support for it.
All it needs is the proper metadata, and perhaps an extension or two to units.csv to house that metadata.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:23 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Maybe the EVA handles are giving you the impression of passenger windows because they are too uniform and on both sides; that might be a good fix.

Those greebles are way too high on polycount for their tininess.
I'd like to point out a technique to get these gribbles without wasting so many polygons: alpha-tested normal-mapped quads. They can create the look of a tube with very few polies, you'd only notice when looking pretty close.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Deus Siddis » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:56 pm

klauss wrote:Please add a ticket for it on the tracker (a task?), so we don't forget to fix them.
I agree, concept is the word, and stats have to follow concept, within game balance bounds.
I endorse fixing stats.


The derivative would would still need some serious work to fix it. Aesthetically weak modeling and texturing and overlapping UVs and a lack of greebles are hard to deal with serious issues.

And how the trilateral thruster arrays make the ship strafe in a quadrilateral fashion as the game physics use is a fundamental issue with the concept. This will surface when retro and lateral thruster animations are implemented (on this ship).

klauss wrote:There's quite a lot of engine support for it.
All it needs is the proper metadata, and perhaps an extension or two to units.csv to house that metadata.


To be complete the effect really should have ships modeled with actual visible thruster arrays built into them. Present models basically lack this. Another reason why we need a smaller set of models to manage.

klauss wrote:Those greebles are way too high on polycount for their tininess.
I'd like to point out a technique to get these gribbles without wasting so many polygons: alpha-tested normal-mapped quads. They can create the look of a tube with very few polies, you'd only notice when looking pretty close.


Didn't know VS supported alpha in textures. But anyway I think I'm going to remove them altogether in the future for a variety of reasons.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:33 pm

I understand the desire to modle every aspect of the ships. I question what that does to preformance though. Or is it decided to make VS only playable on a quadcore each running at 4Ghz 8GB main RAM and dual video cards each at 2GB RAM? After all, a game using movie quality modles would have truely killer graphics, but how many people could play it?
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Mon Jan 23, 2012 12:12 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Please add a ticket for it on the tracker (a task?), so we don't forget to fix them.
I agree, concept is the word, and stats have to follow concept, within game balance bounds.
I endorse fixing stats.


The derivative would would still need some serious work to fix it. Aesthetically weak modeling and texturing and overlapping UVs and a lack of greebles are hard to deal with serious issues.

The trouble of overlapping UVs is overstated a bit. They do make baking harder, impossible for PRT maps, but ambient occlusion can be managed as long as you reuse UVs with some sense. I've handled a few models like that for PGG a while ago. So, overlapping UVs are somewhat bad, but not the ultimate evil.

Deus Siddis wrote:And how the trilateral thruster arrays make the ship strafe in a quadrilateral fashion as the game physics use is a fundamental issue with the concept. This will surface when retro and lateral thruster animations are implemented (on this ship).

There's nothing impossible on the physics side. A navigational computer can easily coordinate the irregular thrusters to get the required thrust vectors. The Derivative does have retro thrusters quite prominent, and turning on all axis can be handled with coordinated action of lateral ones. The engine can right now show that, it was coded for the B5 mod which never prospered.

Deus Siddis wrote:To be complete the effect really should have ships modeled with actual visible thruster arrays built into them. Present models basically lack this. Another reason why we need a smaller set of models to manage.

Maneuvering thrusters don't need geometry. Look at the space shuttle. They're quite inconspicuous there. Maybe a hint of them in textures.

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:Those greebles are way too high on polycount for their tininess.
I'd like to point out a technique to get these gribbles without wasting so many polygons: alpha-tested normal-mapped quads. They can create the look of a tube with very few polies, you'd only notice when looking pretty close.


Didn't know VS supported alpha in textures. But anyway I think I'm going to remove them altogether in the future for a variety of reasons.

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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Gungnir » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:19 am

travists wrote:I understand the desire to modle every aspect of the ships. I question what that does to preformance though. Or is it decided to make VS only playable on a quadcore each running at 4Ghz 8GB main RAM and dual video cards each at 2GB RAM? After all, a game using movie quality modles would have truely killer graphics, but how many people could play it?


The models shouldn't be >1m faces as you imply, but 10k-20k would be very nice. VS isn't Crysis, but it would be awesome to have graphics that don't make one's eyes bleed (especially after playing modern AAA titles...). A huge part of this is shaders/textures (and even more so if/when tessellation support and other modern features are added), but even the best models in VS have room for improvement.

Also, it's much easier to scale back graphics for older hardware than it is to better them for new, so starting with something really good would be in our best interests moving forward.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Hicks » Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:14 am

If we can make the models as best as possible it would be great. And as Gungnir said, scale them back for low end computers. But you need a few lod levels for this, and i am not sure how many of the ships have them. The models and textures need an overhaul, when compared to even the average modern day game. Currently the game looks on par as something like freelancer.

If you want to attract more people to the game, both as players and artist/modellers, you need to make the game better looking. There are a few games coming out that have similar features to VS but with a much better graphics/models.

With the new ogre engine, and the great work log0 is doing on planetary flight, it would be a shame to see a craft in the game that looks like it came from minecraft. My suggestion would be when we switch to the new ogre engine, go through the ships, either upgrade them if they need it or maybe remove them.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby klauss » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:06 am

well, that's what concept art is for. It's a goal independent of technical issues, and that's why it must be the last word on the matter. If you have good concept art, any modeller can remodel any ship to meet the latest specs while still retaining artistic unity.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby travists » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:52 am

Gungnir wrote:The models shouldn't be >1m faces as you imply, but 10k-20k would be very nice. VS isn't Crysis, but it would be awesome to have graphics that don't make one's eyes bleed (especially after playing modern AAA titles...). A huge part of this is shaders/textures (and even more so if/when tessellation support and other modern features are added), but even the best models in VS have room for improvement.


It is not my intention to imply any specific size, just cautioning against overly complex models appearing in huge numbers.
VS wiki Model Guidelines wrote:Polygon/Vertex Count
  • Fighter: 15k triangles
  • Corvette: 30k tris
  • Cruiserer: 60k
  • Carrier: 120k
  • Space station: 250k

Theoretically, we should already be there "10-20k". I think the question to be asked is what ships do not meet the existing standard be fore we try to up the standards.

klauss wrote:Maneuvering thrusters don't need geometry. Look at the space shuttle. They're quite inconspicuous there. Maybe a hint of them in textures.
I was thinking this as well. Understated little holes in key points along the hull are sufficient. Far more important for the desired effect is placing the thrusters and turning them on than what the hardware looks like.
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Re: Consequence Interceptor Concept

Postby Deus Siddis » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:28 pm

klauss wrote:The trouble of overlapping UVs is overstated a bit. They do make baking harder, impossible for PRT maps, but ambient occlusion can be managed as long as you reuse UVs with some sense. I've handled a few models like that for PGG a while ago. So, overlapping UVs are somewhat bad, but not the ultimate evil.


Due to the asymmetry of the weapon placements on the derivative, its AO bake isn't really accurate and the situation would get worse with further greebling.

About when is PRT mapping going to become important?

klauss wrote:There's nothing impossible on the physics side. A navigational computer can easily coordinate the irregular thrusters to get the required thrust vectors. The Derivative does have retro thrusters quite prominent, and turning on all axis can be handled with coordinated action of lateral ones. The engine can right now show that, it was coded for the B5 mod which never prospered.


What I'm thinking about though is that the derivative doesn't have thrusters oriented to make it strafe directly left or right efficiently.

klauss wrote:Maneuvering thrusters don't need geometry. Look at the space shuttle. They're quite inconspicuous there. Maybe a hint of them in textures.


The difference is power. The shuttle's RCS output in miniscule. In VS lateral thrusters can push your craft from 0.1 to 10 gs left, right, up and down. The space shuttle can only push itself at 3gs going forward during liftoff with the help of hot burning liquid chemical rockets supplied by a massive disposable external fuel tank and two massive solid fuel boosters.

So if we go back to TB's theory of the graphics reflecting the simulation, maneuvering thrusters must be massive and thus at least somewhat prominent.

This also ties back into the discussion of weapon systems being externally differentiable, since maneuvering thrusters will tend to be as big as or bigger than guns, if you can hide and protect them inside a hull section the same should be possible with at least non-turreted weapons.
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