[WIP] Classics

Discussion and information relevant to creating special missions, new ships, skins etc.

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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 13, 2014 8:57 am

Back on-topic for a minute, I was just looking at Ranthe's post here on Amah's custom player ships thread which has shown up an issue with the new default textures, namely that you can't just open them up in a graphics program and tweak them.
It was always my intension to release the Gold (high resolution) Classic Ships with 'regular' textures and emission maps (plus a combined normal and specular map) which will allow easy modification by the user. There are other technical reasons for this as well, but that is besides the point here.
However, it was my intention to release the Lite set in the same format as the default set i.e. a combined texture and alpha channel emission map. This was to keep the file sizes small, but does mean that they would not be easily customisable.
I could just as easily release the Lite set with separate texture and emission maps and although this would mean the overall Textures file would be slightly larger, I think that the benefits of it being user accessible outweigh this.
As the Lite set is intended for low-end computers and consoles like the Pandora where download/file sizes might be an issue, I'm looking for some feedback as to what you want and would find most useful for you. Is a slightly smaller download file more important, or is user access more desirable? Please let me have your thoughts.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by spud42 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 5:40 am

in my case i use the lite set on my Acer netbook because of insufficient graphics grunt not because of file size. i personally dont think that file size would be an issue. i agree being user accessible is better. my only question is do you want users to mod them? and how many actually will mod them? compared to the work required to make them accessible?
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:13 am

spud42 wrote:...my only question is do you want users to mod them? and how many actually will mod them? compared to the work required to make them accessible?
I can't know how many users will want to mod them, but I am certainly happy for people to do so, and indeed would encourage it.
I actually got into doing all this in the first place because I wanted to personalise my player ship, and although I am no artist and I'd never even opened GIMP before, I decided my ship would look cooler with a decal on it, so I thought I'd have a tinker. And look where that lead!
Also, producing the graphics files in this format (separate diffuse and emission maps) is no more work than producing a single combined image file, but does have advantages. As well as making them easy to mod, it does mean that they will get full-colour emissions instead of greyscale, which is clearly a good thing.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Diziet Sma » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:29 am

Smivs wrote:As well as making them easy to mod, it does mean that they will get full-colour emissions instead of greyscale, which is clearly a good thing.
I'd say you've just answered your own question.. :wink:
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Tricky » Sun Dec 14, 2014 8:52 am

What you could do is create a mod pack with the models, textures and config files with a list of steps that the modder needs to follow.

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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Amah » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:27 am

Hi Smivs,

had the same thoughts after I had written the quick and dirty instructions howto retexture the player cobra3 in the skinner's den using GIMP, RGBA decomposing and such and hacking together an example with a combined diffuse/emission a while back.

I made up my mind it's not something you can expect from someone who don't use PS or GIMP or work with RGBAs on a regular base. (after all I had my troubles with it at first, too and only got going after Captain Solo was so kind to help me with Griff's textures and I knew about RGBAs, layers and such). I was thinking on a script(python/bash etc) using imagemagic to automate skin creation but I compromised on a diffuse texture and a emission map, so for skinning you have both RGB pngs and some more complex layered GIMP template files. You only need a RGB capable paint program.

Yes, combined textures do have their benefits in terms of file size, smaller memory footprint, less cluttering (so better maintainance but that could just be me ;-), but I think split textures and emission maps have their benefits too, like, as you stated, the coloured emissions and much easier handling for skinning. Indexed RGBs with reduced colour numbers could be a way out of the file and memory size dilemma. E.g. the clean anaconda skin I did for ocpc has as combined RGBA about 1.6 MiB, as two RGBs 1.4+0.07 MiB, as two Indexed/greyscale 0.8 MiB+0.035 MiB.

just some thoughts,

hope the fairy lights are working again ;-)
Last edited by Amah on Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:39 am

@ Dizzie :D Yup!

@Tricky Yeah, the old Smivs'Shipset did come with a kit which allowed users to make a custom skin for the Cobra III, which is an idea I may carry forward. It would be a separate download to the Classic Ships OXZ though, as I think bundling it into the zipped OXZ download is a bit cryptic, and it probably should cover all the player-buyable ships next time. At least with straight forward textures it will be easy to add decals etc to ships in the Classic set (both Gold and Lite). I am in two minds as to whether to publish the .xcf files, as these are quite complex for these ships - for example the Python has over 40 layers and it may not be obvious to others what I have done, how they all work together or how to use them. To give an idea, just the hull finish uses five or six layers carefully blended to get that variably worn and patched up look.

I have several other ideas for supplements to the new set as well, such as extra versions of many of the ships for variety, and maybe one day even a Classic Stations set to revive and update the original stations and hermits, but I'm not sure if that would have the same appeal as the ships.

@ Amah We seem to be of one mind here. A simple RGB texture with separate emission map is certainly the most flexible way forward. Indexing does help a lot with file sizes (as does removing the (un-used) alpha channel) but indexing isn't so good for colour gradients like I've used on the Sidewinder most recently. I suspect some of these textures will end up indexed while others won't.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Amah » Sun Dec 14, 2014 12:39 pm

ninja'd I edited my post with filesize examples...
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by spud42 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:48 am

Smivs wrote:
spud42 wrote:...my only question is do you want users to mod them? and how many actually will mod them? compared to the work required to make them accessible?
I can't know how many users will want to mod them, but I am certainly happy for people to do so, and indeed would encourage it.
I actually got into doing all this in the first place because I wanted to personalise my player ship, and although I am no artist and I'd never even opened GIMP before, I decided my ship would look cooler with a decal on it, so I thought I'd have a tinker. And look where that lead!
Also, producing the graphics files in this format (separate diffuse and emission maps) is no more work than producing a single combined image file, but does have advantages. As well as making them easy to mod, it does mean that they will get full-colour emissions instead of greyscale, which is clearly a good thing.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:59 pm

The Transporter. These are the two 'core' variants, the standard one (top three images) and below is the Miner variant - both are almost identical designs to Giles' originals.

(Click for full size - 2000x1800px)
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p.s. @Redspear, those are the smallest engines :wink: :P
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Redspear » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:50 pm

Smivs wrote:p.s. @Redspear, those are the smallest engines :wink: :P
As if I'd comment on such a thing :wink:

Actually, in the case of the transporter, I think they look about right. Nice work 8)
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:03 pm

Like many of us, I took a bit of a break over Christmas/New Year, but am back in the paintshop now and making progress. The Viper is now mostly done.

As a reminder, the original Viper...
Image

The game has two variants specified in shipdata, the standard Viper ('police' role) and the Pursuit variant ('wingman' role), so I have done two textures for these. The Pursuit is the top left example with the yellow flashes, the standard is top right and a rear/underside view.
Having spent months perfecting the worn/patched-up paint look, I have not used it on these. I feel that Police vessels (based in the stations as they are) would be frequently and very well maintained so would have a much more presentable paint finish than the other ships, so these are quite pristine. Let me know what you think.

(Click for full-size - 2000 x 1260px)
Image

Next up is the Interceptor, which I expect will be similar (as per the original), then it will just be the two Worms to go, so nearly there. :)
Well, not quite as all will need a thorough revise and tweak before release, the coding is still all but un-touched and I haven't even really started on the 'Lite' set textures yet.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Norby » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:24 pm

Smivs wrote:Next up is the Interceptor, which I expect will be similar
I can imagine it with larger engines due to the higher speed.

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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Smivs » Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:07 pm

Norby wrote:
Smivs wrote:Next up is the Interceptor, which I expect will be similar
I can imagine it with larger engines due to the higher speed.
The Interceptor has always had three engines. A large central one and two smaller ones out near the corners. It is also bigger than the Viper, being some 10m longer and wider, and looks much more muscular.
It should look pretty good (I hope!). :)
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Re: [WIP] Classic Ships

Post by Amah » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:11 am

I like the Vipers, Smivs! It looks a bit you are planning additional to the wing flashers some on top of them as well?
Last edited by Amah on Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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