Models - Chris Kuhn

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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:03 pm

Should I target it for version 0.5.4 do you think? Or v0.5.5?
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:07 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Should I target it for version 0.5.4 do you think? Or v0.5.5?


Try 0.5.4, we can move it if necessary
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:26 pm

Ticket added to tracker and road map.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby gonzo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:26 pm

New textures for the shuttle:
Image
http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/68063
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:00 pm

Now... isn't it a shame that it has no retro thrusters?

Wonder how hard would it be to add them...
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby gonzo » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:14 pm

Ah, them retro thrusters.
Probably not too much of a job but I can't do it.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby gonzo » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:35 pm

klauss wrote:Now... isn't it a shame that it has no retro thrusters?

Wonder how hard would it be to add them...

Maybe we could have a more relaxed version of Vegastrike that just pretended retro thrusters don't matter that much so we could add all those nice models from people that haven't understood the virtue of breaking. Canonical stuff is all fine but It's a bit swimming against the stream when we could be just riding along...
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:49 pm

Or maybe we should start caring that the artwork makes sense. Because that's VS's biggest problem: nothing makes much sense, everything's a collection of disparate assets put together.

Unity of style. That's worth more than many give it credit.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:47 pm

And beyond style even, design consistency communicates function.

If a ship only has powerful main thrusters, you know it is built around speed. If it has especially powerful vertical thrusters then you know it is built around maneuverability. If it is a long chain of unprotected components with mostly main and retro thrusters, you know it is a vulnerable space train.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby pheonixstorm » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:41 pm

If you look at the (now retired) space shuttle you will notice only the main rear thrusters are really visable. Other thrustters are hidden in the nose and not exposed as they were on early rockets. For some models it could just be a simple job of a slight modification of the texture to give the impression of recessed thrusters rather than having to add thrust nozzles/housing to a great many of them.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:27 am

Yes, but the shuttle was designed around the very uncommon situation in which it would always use atmospheric breaking, rather than reverse thrust.

And, lets not forget, if you watch NASA videos, maneuvers with the shuttle take hours. Not the least of reasons is, that it has very little thrust capacity for maneuvering, so they must be cautious, because they can't just slam on the breaks if something goes amiss.

In any case, the game doesn't need to depict everything with utter consistency, but it does need a minimum of consistency. Enough to show we've thought about the matter. That's enough to leave a player satisfied.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:50 pm

klauss wrote:In any case, the game doesn't need to depict everything with utter consistency,


It could and should be that consistent as discussed in pages 1-3 of this thread. But only if there is iron commitment to implementing a thoughtful and concise vision.

Thoughtful in the sense that there would be an extensive laundry list of style specifications (thrusters that produce this much thrust must be this big and have radiators that big, the EVA hatch must look like this and the cargo hatch must look like that, etc.) and technical features (normal mapping, 3D cockpits, no less than 10,000 tris for highest LoD or more than 1000 tris for smallest, etc.) that the models absolutely must have.

Concise in the sense that there must be a sane number of ships! Perhaps no more than 12 playable ships, which makes ~4 ships for each of the human, aera and rlaan species and with each such species subset of done by no more than one artist. And once an artist has finished a set, like all human aerospace craft, then all the preexisting human fighter and shuttle models get erased. Rinse and repeat this process until all playable ships are done. Then use the same process for the modular, reusable components that space stations and big capital ships will be arranged from.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby TBeholder » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:20 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:Concise in the sense that there must be a sane number of ships! Perhaps no more than 12 playable ships, which makes ~4 ships for each of the human, aera and rlaan species and with each such species subset of done by no more than one artist. And once an artist has finished a set, like all human aerospace craft, then all the preexisting human fighter and shuttle models get erased. Rinse and repeat this process until all playable ships are done.
A little non-sequitur. The limited choice of playable ships (which is sort of close already - you can play on a Quicksilver, but what's the point?) is one thing, total ship models present is entirely another - there are also whole not-really-playable classes. And more per faction than per species. The style is third and almost unrelated subject... they don't have to be too alike because they won't be designed by the same groups in-universe... unless you give all species socialism with centralised design & approval process. :lol:
That said? Consistent art styles are good, to a degree where it reflects common technologies. BTW, look at "Starmada: Fleet Ops" ships by J.Dugan - IMO a good example of "different styles within a common style".
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:13 pm

TBeholder wrote:there are also whole not-really-playable classes. And more per faction than per species.


That would all have to go. (Aside from the huge modular warships and transports.)

The style is third and almost unrelated subject... they don't have to be too alike because they won't be designed by the same groups in-universe... unless you give all species socialism with centralized design & approval process. :lol:


In today's world, we have many nations but most don't develop their own advanced technology, they buy it from one of the two or three most sophisticated producers in that field. Your average nation doesn't develop its own CPU or heavy lift rocket or air superiority fighter. It purchases them from someone who knows what the hell they are doing. So it is not unreasonable to expect much more of this design centralization in the distant future.

That said? Consistent art styles are good, to a degree where it reflects common technologies. BTW, look at "Starmada: Fleet Ops" ships by J.Dugan - IMO a good example of "different styles within a common style".


But notice the low quality of that example art; to have so many models done as you see there, by one artist as you see there, would require similar corner cutting in terms of quality. How many 3D modelers do you see around here these days who could and would make even a few consistent ships that use the current engine-supported graphical features?

We have to be realistic.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:26 pm

Well, I agree generally. Except I wouldn't require so stringent requirements regarding thrusters, but rather relative consistency. Ie: thrusters that have higher output should be proportionally bigger than their smaller counterparts, and adequate heat sinks.

Ie: that's what I was referring to with the level of consistency.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:34 pm

klauss wrote:Well, I agree generally. Except I wouldn't require so stringent requirements regarding thrusters, but rather relative consistency. Ie: thrusters that have higher output should be proportionally bigger than their smaller counterparts, and adequate heat sinks.


Relative consistency is fine initially but... after the first model is finalized you are either dealing with absolute consistency or you have to throw that work away.

To reduce the risk that we become locked into a style we don't like or end up throwing away good assets, I would recommend roughing out the models for one or two sets of ships before any cleanup or polish begins. So we could directly compare the shapes and proportions of, for example, human and aera aerospace craft to decide if they compare and contrast desirably. Once we like what we see, we base the hardened style rules around that and then work begins on bringing the models to completion.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:33 pm

That would require tons of concept art. Who's volunteering? ;)
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:34 pm

klauss wrote:That would require tons of concept art. Who's volunteering? ;)


Rough models aren't exactly concept art, they are the early stages of finished models, so they aren't wasted work. They are finished models minus the welding, optimization, polish, handmade UV mapping, handmade texturing or integration. So you can usually reshape them with much less effort lost. You saw some examples of these a while back.

Anyway I would be the volunteer; I am the only one left around to attempt it. But I would need commitments from this project. If I meet the style and quality goals we agree upon, then whatever subset of ships I complete must entirely replace the old content that filled the same roles. The old stuff has to go at that point with no more random or lower quality work allowed to replace it. Because I don't want to do however many hours of work just to add to the problem of low quality and/or eclectic content. It would have to mean an end to the low standards.

If I failed to produce the content or meet the new standards, the project would lose nothing and continue using the existing content and standards.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby pheonixstorm » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:51 pm

For the most part this could probably be tested best on Aera ships as the biggest seem to be the oldest. Though I ould suggest keeping the best of the older models rather than trashing all of them. Even if we cut down on the total number of ships types we ship have an issue with overall quality of models.

So, if you want to take on the Aera ships (which I don't *think* are playable anyway) Submit some concepts with at least one cockpit for a transport of fighter class. With a war going on I am sure some sub-factions (pirates, black market, smugglers) have repaired a few ships for reuse. Probably cargo ships, but perhaps smaller fighters as well.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:40 pm

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:That would require tons of concept art. Who's volunteering? ;)


Rough models aren't exactly concept art, they are the early stages of finished models, so they aren't wasted work. They are finished models minus the welding, optimization, polish, handmade UV mapping, handmade texturing or integration. So you can usually reshape them with much less effort lost. You saw some examples of these a while back.


Rough models can't replace concept art. Some people find drawing really natural to them, and they can draw amazing detail with little effort. That's the strength of concept art: illustrating in great detail what would take maybe months to flesh out in 3D.

Without it, you might (and it's just might) have that in your head, but noone else knows where you're headed. Concept art not only is good for documenting the final intent, but also for your own guidance: high quality models cannot be made without a clear view of the final target.

I'm no modeler, but this I've been told by professional modelers.

Deus Siddis wrote:Anyway I would be the volunteer; I am the only one left around to attempt it. But I would need commitments from this project. If I meet the style and quality goals we agree upon, then whatever subset of ships I complete must entirely replace the old content that filled the same roles. The old stuff has to go at that point with no more random or lower quality work allowed to replace it. Because I don't want to do however many hours of work just to add to the problem of low quality and/or eclectic content. It would have to mean an end to the low standards.

If I failed to produce the content or meet the new standards, the project would lose nothing and continue using the existing content and standards.


I would like to see concept art. But really, if you or anyone produces a fully consistent set of good quality, surely I'll commit to integrating it in-game. I've been saying consistency should be a top priority for ages, so how could I not commit to embracing a new consistent data set?

Etheral, though, was working on a station based on our new modularity requirements. We should check his progress on that, and the style he was going after. I think I had some WIP he sent me somewhere.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby TBeholder » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:12 am

klauss wrote:Well, I agree generally. Except I wouldn't require so stringent requirements regarding thrusters, but rather relative consistency. Ie: thrusters that have higher output should be proportionally bigger than their smaller counterparts, and adequate heat sinks.
True. This still allows a good leeway, though. To begin with, we'd have pure thrusters vs. reactor (main-) thrusters. Now, a thruster also both produces and removes heat (which may be more or less important depend on the rest of the ship), it may be more or less optimized to more save energy (and heat production) or propellant, use different sorts of propellant or fusion fuel. A reactor-thruster may produce extra energy and allow to change power output/thrust ratio... or just give stable output and use for generation what it doesn't vent into thrust. This all may differ with intended ship purpose and depend on capabilities and circumstances of the specific ship builders. All this is tied to its resulting force/size parameters.
There always are leeways.

Deus Siddis wrote:
The style is third and almost unrelated subject... they don't have to be too alike because they won't be designed by the same groups in-universe... unless you give all species socialism with centralized design & approval process. :lol:
In today's world, we have many nations but most don't develop their own advanced technology, they buy it from one of the two or three most sophisticated producers in that field. Your average nation doesn't develop its own CPU or heavy lift rocket or air superiority fighter. It purchases them from someone who knows what the hell they are doing. So it is not unreasonable to expect much more of this design centralization in the distant future.
Exactly. Many "nations", but not many truly independent factions, and with oligopolies spreading across even this much. Remember how it was when this wasn't so? ;)

Deus Siddis wrote:But notice the low quality of that example art; to have so many models done as you see there, by one artist as you see there, would require similar corner cutting in terms of quality.
It's somewhat schematic. But it's a part of the style, too. Does the job. Speaking of which... I am puzzled as to how "armor" and "detailed texture and bump-thingies" (other than reflecting a purely decorative paint job) can possibly be compatible.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:41 am

klauss wrote:Concept art not only is good for documenting the final intent, but also for your own guidance: high quality models cannot be made without a clear view of the final target.
I'm no modeler, but this I've been told by professional modelers.


I can see the wisdom in that, but I would be willing to bet some of my time and effort that a combination of real world examples, thoughtful design and reasonably modern content creation techniques can get the job done without hand drawn concepts.

klauss wrote:But really, if you or anyone produces a fully consistent set of good quality, surely I'll commit to integrating it in-game. I've been saying consistency should be a top priority for ages, so how could I not commit to embracing a new consistent data set?


It is a bigger commitment than just embracing new art. It is also deleting old art on a large scale and rewriting canon to match.

Lets say we have three new completed human fighter models, one for each combat role. They are all are of a new standard of quality and consistency. At that point, all the old human fighters get erased- the progeny, ancestor, derivative, determinant, convolution, gawain, lancelot, admonisher, pacifier, dostoyevsky, kierkegaard, goddard, robin, hyena, vendetta, etc. All content for these gone in versions from then on and deleted from living canon. Altogether perhaps as many as 24 planned and (poorly) implemented ships replaced by only 3.

Then the same thing happens to human shuttles, with maybe 12 ships replaced by 2.

Etheral, though, was working on a station based on our new modularity requirements. We should check his progress on that, and the style he was going after. I think I had some WIP he sent me somewhere.


Alright send me the WIP (or post it to the forum), I'll take a look.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby klauss » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:48 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
klauss wrote:But really, if you or anyone produces a fully consistent set of good quality, surely I'll commit to integrating it in-game. I've been saying consistency should be a top priority for ages, so how could I not commit to embracing a new consistent data set?


It is a bigger commitment than just embracing new art. It is also deleting old art on a large scale and rewriting canon to match.


Yes, that part is the hardest. I cannot commit to rewriting canon, I'm not involved in canon. But if an existing model gets replaced by a better one, yes, old ones get deleted.

Some existing models it'd be a shame to delete, as they're rather iconic. Especially the ones in the splash screens (unless we're also replacing those). This should be discussed at least briefly.

But in essence, yes, the idea was to replace dozens of low-quality models with a handful of high-quality ones. So deleting comes with the package.

Deus Siddis wrote:
Etheral, though, was working on a station based on our new modularity requirements. We should check his progress on that, and the style he was going after. I think I had some WIP he sent me somewhere.


Alright send me the WIP (or post it to the forum), I'll take a look.


I'll dig around
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:30 pm

klauss wrote:Some existing models it'd be a shame to delete, as they're rather iconic. Especially the ones in the splash screens (unless we're also replacing those). This should be discussed at least briefly.


The models in the splash screens are some of the most outdated. Editing splash screens is also a small task relative to good quality 3D graphics. Plus the screens themselves are far too low resolution for today's monitors.

But in essence, yes, the idea was to replace dozens of low-quality models with a handful of high-quality ones. So deleting comes with the package.


By the way, what would you say about deleting some of the more eclectic or low quality models immediately and reshuffling the better looking existing models around a tighter game balance? It would be a preliminary improvement that could be ready in time for the next release or just beyond it.
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Re: Models - Chris Kuhn

Postby TBeholder » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:35 pm

What "game balance"? It's a joke. All completely haphazard. Including missile weirdness and cannon warheads not breaking even with the energy used to hurl them downrange (take a look at Reaper and Razor stats). And all ships have MoI of one-meter-wide trash can stuffed with their mass or something close.
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