[WIP] Classics

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

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

I thought I'd have a look at the Boa2 while munching my bowl of Meusli* this morning - it now has the correct colours and a tweaked normal map, and is looking rather nice I think.

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Edited to add:-
I thought I'd have another look at the Krait while stuffing my face with lunch* - it now also has the correct colours etc.

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* I'd better not go on a diet or I'll never get this project finished! :D
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

Keeping in mind it was the FerDeLance which really started this discussion/rethink I thought it might be an idea to apply some of this stuff to the Ferdy to see what happens. It is actually quite a good subject to tackle at this point as it is largely grey, un-painted metal, with very little paint.
I also decided to act on Redspear's comments about the original Elite (wireframe) version which seemed to have 'hollow' parts, so I have tried recessing the coloured areas a bit as well. It probably needs a bit of tidying up but I think it looks OK.

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Redspear »

Well, you have been busy :)

Firstly, the new metal texture is the kind of thing I was trying to get at by 'patchwork' and considering you say it's not finished I'd say it's already looking pretty good ;) I do think it suits the Krait more than the Boa at the moment though (the 'cloudy' areas look a little more seamless on the lighter krait body).

Fer-de-Lance... Yes. You knew I'd like this I suspect but yes, that looks much better to me :D

I was going to post this elsewhere but now that it's back on the menu...

I've been looking into some of the original elite models and it seems that a few of them were changed slightly for oolite. The asp has already been mentioned on these boards (it was turned upside down and stretched lengthways) but it seems that the FdL was another one. It was originally slightly less "block of chedder" and more stiletto. It was hard to find a picture that proves this but there's certainly evidence out there.

There are better photos but I'm having trouble uploading and so will just link to one of Griff's posts.

Perspective plays it's part but it's not the only image out there.

Image (pinched from the wiki...)

Perhaps it's just me but look at the proportions of the three triangles at the 'tail'. In the 'original' oolite model the points at either side (the widest parts of the ship) appear closer to the nose than they do in the elite model, making it appear less streamlined in the process. (I'll post some images for comparisons in the future but perhaps not in this thread).

So many seem to struggle with the FdL because it combines a distinctive reputaton with an uninspiring model. Perhaps a return to something closer to the original elite proportions would help.

Anyway, as ever I'm impressed by the amount of work going into these Smivs and definitely plan on downloading them when they're available 8)

Apologies for the semi derailment...
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Cody »

Redspear wrote:Apologies for the semi derailment...
To continue that, I went looking at Ian Bell's Elite site - specifically, the observer's guide to ships in service. Have all the pics been changed?
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Redspear »

Cody wrote:
Redspear wrote:Apologies for the semi derailment...
To continue that, I went looking at Ian Bell's Elite site - specifically, the observer's guide to ships in service. Have all the pics been changed?
I think I remember them all being like that, on his site at least.
Redspear wrote:(I'll post some images for comparisons in the future but perhaps not in this thread).
Oh well...

Image Image Image Image

The above are all from stuff packaged with the elite game.

I uploaded the oolite model into wings and had a quick play at modelling something closer to my current impression of the original (not quite accurate but hopefully illustrative).

Image The oolite model is on the right by the way :wink:
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Diziet Sma »

Redspear wrote:I've been looking into some of the original elite models and it seems that a few of them were changed slightly for oolite. The asp has already been mentioned on these boards (it was turned upside down and stretched lengthways) but it seems that the FdL was another one. It was originally slightly less "block of chedder" and more stiletto. It was hard to find a picture that proves this but there's certainly evidence out there.

There are better photos but I'm having trouble uploading and so will just link to one of Griff's posts.

Perspective plays it's part but it's not the only image out there.

Image (pinched from the wiki...)

Perhaps it's just me but look at the proportions of the three triangles at the 'tail'. In the 'original' oolite model the points at either side (the widest parts of the ship) appear closer to the nose than they do in the elite model, making it appear less streamlined in the process. (I'll post some images for comparisons in the future but perhaps not in this thread).

So many seem to struggle with the FdL because it combines a distinctive reputaton with an uninspiring model. Perhaps a return to something closer to the original elite proportions would help.
Agreed.. I first noticed that something was up with the FdL when I recently installed Duncan Barclay's excellent Elite Live Wallpaper on my Android phone.. the Ferdie in it looks so much better (IMO) than the Oolite version. The classic shape is hard to beat, as Redspear's pics demonstrate.

(BTW, the live wallpaper is also extremely light on resources, besides looking very cool)
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

Interesting stuff. The Oolite Ferdy is almost certainly not as cool as the original, and and has been suggested this does seem to be due to it being a bit 'fatter' with the 'waist' further forward.
However, for this attempt to update the original Oolite ships, the Oolite model will have to stay. The 'new' version of the texture seems to work well at least.

<Attempt to get the thread back on-topic>
As far as this project is concerned I am pretty confident now that the texturing method is decided, so I can press on. As you probably gathered by the speed I was producing examples over the last couple of days converting my existing work is a relatively quick process. This means that I can update the ships up to the Gecko in probably just a few days, so I am minded to leave them for now, and press on with the next tranche - the Mamba is next. Then, when they are all done I can update the earlier ones. This will also allow me to factor in any further changes - it would be annoying to re-do the first lot now, then have to go back to them yet again if I change anything else as I go along.

Once the textures are all actually finished, I will have two tasks. Firstly the textures for the 'Lite' set will need to be produced. I will wait untill the 'Gold' textures are finished before I start these, as I am still optimistic about the possibility of re-using much of the material, which will make the whole thing quicker and easier.
I also need to look at the coding. I have been sorting out shipdata as I go along, so the ships I have done have things like exhausts, materials, sub-entities and views code already available. As there will be Addition and Replace versions, there will need to be two editions with different shipdata.plists, but using the Templates will keep these simple, and hopefully quick to compile.
As I will probably do the code before starting on the Lite set textures, there will be the option of releasing the Gold set first and then the Lite set later. I had hoped to go for a simultaneous release, however, so we'll have to wait and see. I'll decide nearer the time.
Timescale? <shrugs> I'm not rushing this, so if all goes well it might be ready before Christmas/New Year but no promises.

Now, sort of going back to the Ferdy indirectly, some other thoughts I have had regarding this project. Plug-ins! Supplementary OXZs that can be added to the main one.
When thinking about these plugins I hadn't considered this at all, but an 'Elite Ships' plug-in is an obvious one, with re-modelled Asp and Fer De Lance. Just the two ships replacing the Oolite ones (the other ships are all close enough I think), modelled as closely to the original wireframes as I can make them based on the pictures and info available, and using this information to design some textures to suit the rest of the set. What do you think?
The ideas I had considered were (as requested elsewhere) a custom player Cobra III plug-in. Similar to the files included in Smivs'Shipset, this would allow users to produce a custom skin for their own Cobra III. This would be available as an OXP (not OXZ) as it will need opening to allow the user to 'make' it, and the OXP format is much more user-friendly for this type of thing.
The other plug-in OXZ I was considering is an 'Extra Versions' one. Smivs'Shipset has many more varieties of the standard ships (separate miner and shuttle versions of the Adder for example) and as I know many of you like variety, I thought that this idea could be carried over into the Classic set system. I don't want to add these to the main OXZ though, as they are not original (Giles') designs, so these would most likely be based heavily on the old shipset textures which after a re-make will fit-in very nicely with the Gold style. So this would be a parallel OXZ which works alongside the main Shipset adding the extra versions. There are some tempting possibilities here, using some of the new roles ships can have in v1.80.x. How grungy would a pirate Anaconda be?
I have done no work at all towards any of these - they are just ideas at the moment. So they will not be available for some time, but will also not interfere with the progress on the main sets.
One thing is for sure - I'm not going to find myself getting bored with nothing to do for a while! :D
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Diziet Sma »

Smivs wrote:Now, sort of going back to the Ferdy indirectly, some other thoughts I have had regarding this project. Plug-ins! Supplementary OXZs that can be added to the main one.
When thinking about these plugins I hadn't considered this at all, but an 'Elite Ships' plug-in is an obvious one, with re-modelled Asp and Fer De Lance. Just the two ships replacing the Oolite ones (the other ships are all close enough I think), modelled as closely to the original wireframes as I can make them based on the pictures and info available, and using this information to design some textures to suit the rest of the set. What do you think?
A most interesting idea indeed.. I like it.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Diziet Sma »

Location: Everywhere, since I became a pan-dimensional mega-being.
Congratulations! That must have been hard work.. :mrgreen: :lol:
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

Diziet Sma wrote:
Location: Everywhere, since I became a pan-dimensional mega-being.
Congratulations! That must have been hard work.. :mrgreen: :lol:
Well no, actually it was an accident. I only meant to make some toast...
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Ranthe »

Smivs wrote:
Diziet Sma wrote:
Location: Everywhere, since I became a pan-dimensional mega-being.
Congratulations! That must have been hard work.. :mrgreen: :lol:
Well no, actually it was an accident. I only meant to make some toast...
At least it wasn't anything to do with a particle accelerator, a liquid lunch and a pair of rubber bands... 8)
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

What with having the Smivslets under my roots for a week at half term and having a backlog of DIY and chores around the ship to do, this project has had to take a back seat for a couple of weeks, but finally I have been able to press on.
The two Mamba variants are now underway, with the first one just about finished. The original Mamba:-

Image

...and my take on it.

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Image

Image

Not much changed as you can see, the main visual differences being the red coachlines which I added just to perk it up a bit, and a more sophisticated skull-and-crossbones logo. The second variant should be along soon as it shares much of the same basic texture detailing.
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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Diziet Sma »

Lookin' good!
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by spara »

You gotta love these. IMHO these should be the default shipset as they are very close to the originals, but still look very up to date. Great job.

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Re: [WIP] Classic Shipsets

Post by Smivs »

Again, thanks for all the kind words. TBH when I started this project I really did question whether it would be worth the effort, as the old ships seemed to be almost universally unloved and I did worry that there would simply be no demand for this Set. As I have said before, to me Elite/Oolite is these ship, and although in their original form they were just too 'Yesterday' to stay, I saw potential there to make them into something special. It's nice to know that I am not their only fan, and that there will be a place for them in many parallel Ooniverses beyond my own.

These would not be suitable as the default set, though. Not only are the files far too big (the texture files for the Cobra III alone weigh in at a hefty 5.4MB and consist of three 2048x2048px images) and although technically non-shader, they do require simple shaders for the normal and specular mapping.
The Lite set (which will be the equivalent to the default set) will be tiny in comparison and will be suitable for any computer, but will lose some of the detailing and features as a consequence.
You've got me thinking that at this point it might be worth a brief distraction from working on the Gold set to finish one or two of the Lite set versions, as TBH even I don't know exactly how good or not they will end up looking.
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