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Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:31 am
by lex_talionis
Those models are lovely! I especially like the veru chunky look of the engines - the idea that the crafts are small, fast, and little more than a cabin attached to a very big thruster.

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:27 am
by Simon B
Griff wrote:Wow Simon, those are much better than i was going to do! I love the detailed engines, i really wouldn't change them, normal maps are great for a lot of stuff, but it's also really great to have proper geometry in there too, and since as players were usually spend a lot of time looking at the back of npc ships trying to get them in our gunsights it's great to have some eyecandy there.
Yes I agree - its the barrel of the engine I have a thing about - the back end actually came out better than I expected since this was supposed to be a mock-up which took about 10mins.

My main beef is that the engine is about 650 triangles after tesselation. Those inset panels on the barrel could be done in the normalmap as well.
could you do a fer-de-lance like your new gecko & Mamba Simon? the one i made i really don't like but i've attempted it 3 times now and i don't think i'm going to get anything better made :(
Well sure - I kinda like your take on it there - turning it into more of a javelin than the classic flying-coffin. I take it there is something about the model?
Here's a 'Moray' design i'm picking away at
I thought i'd try and texture it a bit 'submarine' like, with port holes and stuff along that spine thing on the top. The 'Dark Wheel' mentions the Moray having lots of lights running along it, i imagine this looking like those deep sea jelly fish and whatnot, if i can manage it, i'll give this ship a shine like the viper, with maybe a bit of thargoid fresnel and lots of freaky thargoid running lights - what i am excited about trying to do is to make the 'hostile mode' really exciting to see, pulsing red lights and lots of flickery/fizzing electricity stuff running over the hull - hopefully Ahrumans active camo shader will work for this but i really wanted to save that for the griff_constrictor so i don't know.
It'll be good for practise - if you think the pirate version would go for intimidation and the med-boat switches its lights off and runs for it?

For the constrictor, you just make it hard to see.
Yep, the CobraIII shader is the base shader i always start using, it's the one that has all of Ahrumans example shader effects in it an d the Normal mapping, the other shaders in the griff ships are variations of it really
OK - I'll just copy that and focus on providing something tweakable ... I'd appreciate a rule of thumb for figuring out the channel values for the basic effects - especially the metal ones. You have a basic hull metal, a dull one, and a very shiny one.
There's a thread somewhere which goes though one of the shaders i've used line by line somewher on the boards, it's fairly recent too, i'll have a look through the forum to find it, they are easily adaptable to any oxp ship, but i've got a feeling that the bunging of texture maps into the alpha channel is putting people off using them, they open the textures to see what's going on and see nothing but some weird dots on a transparent surface, i should do more to document and explain them.
If I figure out a bunch of rules, I'll post a howto like the neolite one.
There's a really cool free image viewer called XnView (i think it's windows and mac only though) that's great for viewing texture with and without the alpha channel and lets you export Alphas seperately from the rgb channels too
xnview is non-free freeware. The license is pretty liberal as freeware goes - no source code and no commercial use or distribution. Hmmm - looks like it may be possible to get the source but the licence does not say what you can do with it.

There is a version for linux, according to the forums. We don't really need it. What I really want is the ability to use a custom mesh with the Gimps normalmap plugin... or some way of turning wavefront files into typhoon labs format.

Gimp will seperate the alphas too - and export as a greyscale image. I can also view images without the alpha. So there.

While I'm here - I also did an asp:

Also not too happy with it - giving a bunch of the small craft the same engine suggests scale and groups them - these are the newer fighters. Its just that the asp is the fastest thing there is so I should use a different engine model. The actual hull is not too bad - the boxy things on top are supposed to end up like the boxy bits in the cobra, so need more shape but you get the idea.

I noticed that part of your style is to have an explicit gun, so I've been putting them in and trying to copy the way you build them.

I was looking at your anaconda, I like how you have used a brushed rust with vertical panelling to create a sense of mass. I like the hull lights under a bit of a lip from the upper hull. I like the long narrow bit that runs over the top.

I think there is a small style thing that you may want to consider - basically, lowering the top at the back slightly, I'll show you what I mean:


I've fiddled more than that because I can't help myself - and this model is too long, but you see what I mean? If you lowered the back just a bit like this, the beast won't crash as it tries to dock and it will play tricks with the perspective on more angles to it looks huge-er.

Hmmmm... I think I've figured out the fdl.

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:14 pm
by Killer Wolf
damn, can#t wait to see some of these flitting about :-)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:30 pm
by lfnfan


Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:08 pm
by lex_talionis
Simon! Simon, Simon, Simon...

...could we have some larger piccies please?


Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:32 pm
by Simon B
Hey lex - have you looked at the fancy classics thread?
Anyway - these pics are of unfinished mockups so I don't feel like using the bandwidth on them. Whats there is enough to see what I'm getting at and critique it. You want to see lots and lots of spaceship pics = look at:

Speaking of critique - here's that fdl idea:


If you liked that anaconda, here's a boa in the same sty;e a;ongside it:


That is quite enough for one night - bed time :)

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:26 pm
by Griff
wow, awesome work again simon!
oo, that's a really cool idea about letting people specify their own decal, it'll work easier on the dizzy-all-in-1 version of the oxp, i'll pop a player-decal.png in it and get the player versions of the shaders to look at that for the decal, then players just swap that file for their own personal decal png when they want to customise their ship, prehaps we can have a decal thread or something for everyone to share their work

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:27 pm
by DaddyHoggy
Griff wrote:wow, awesome work again simon!
oo, that's a really cool idea about letting people specify their own decal, it'll work easier on the dizzy-all-in-1 version of the oxp, i'll pop a player-decal.png in it and get the player versions of the shaders to look at that for the decal, then players just swap that file for their own personal decal png when they want to customise their ship, prehaps we can have a decal thread or something for everyone to share their work

Very cool guys, very cool indeed.

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:35 am
by Simon B
Yeah - decals thread would be useful.
IIRC: the decal pics are b&w small and flat? It looks like youve been using a wingdigs font for yours - I see a heart, a snowflake, a biohazard - the oolite dingbats from the text would work well, the anarchy symbol would look good for a pirate, I used the dictatorship one for the neolite rattlecutter... the star got used for the military ships and vipers.

Custom fonts would be a good source. Cumberland fontworks has a wide range based on fantasy and sci fi - the sparks font has a babe pic which would look good on the fdl ferinstance. This is where I get my alien language fonts from and they are all free for non-commercial... but to be sure, I got the author to give an explicit, if informal, OK for use of his fonts in oolite :)

For the purposes of contributing to this project, and any others, I try to make sure that I am using licenced work. "free for personal use" is an example of a licence that is common, but too strict for me to consider using here ... it's not my personal use.

Thats that off my chest - no doubt there will be a further clarification from on high. Meantime, I'll start on the textures ... um, Griff? The more I know about your basic techniques the closer I'll get the look soonest... just saying.

I'll start some flat mockups, then go get that cobra oxp for testing. I also need to build the trunk on this machine ... I take it the source still has a script to make deb files?


Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 am
by Simon B
@Griff - shall I send you those big-ship models to look at? Skin them myself? Are you happy with your version of the anaconda so I can just ignore this one?

For that matter, I can make all the models available as wavefront files if anyone wants to have a fiddle.

No hurry - doing an fdl right now. I'll take lesons from that to the other craft.

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:14 am
by Griff
Hi Simon, I’ll grab a few of my texture files and uploaded them, they're in photoshops psd format but I’m sure gimp should be able to open them, they've got all the various elements saved in them as separate layers, eg diffuse is in 1 layer, specular in another, effects map red channel in another layer, the height map for the normal map plugin etc. As for how I paint them out it really is trial and error, I’ll post a screen grab of an oxp's work in progress folder so you can see how full it is of abandoned texture and model files, you will really think 'gee, this guy really has no clue'.

I always start by filling the texture map with a base colour because it's not a great idea to work on a white background if the ships isn't going to be white, then I just start copying and pasting various metal textures into the image, faffing about with the blending modes to see if anything nice happens, and if so I think just start drawing lines and things in to mark out the hull plating, maybe add the 'outerglow' effect to these lines, (but with blending set to normal, some noise added and coloured a muddy brown so that the effect doesn't add a glow but more of a blurry grime layer), then if it all looks OK, I’ll tweak colours and brightness/contrast levels for ages usually ending up with a muddy mess, then copy the whole thing into a new layer, desaturate it so it's greyscale and start using that for the specular map - using the dodge & burn tools and the brightness/contrast controls with selections so that the bits I want more shiny are brighter than the bits I want more dull (i always end up fixing specular and glows in the shader afterwards, it's just much quicker to add a multiplier to the final specular instensity float value and go back and re-edit the specular map, but sssh, don't let Ahruman know, what i'm doing not very clever and wastefull on the old GPU cycles. :wink:
Effects maps I usually paint out using 3 separate layers for red, green & blue (set the layer blend mode to 'screen'), and making sure I only paint with the relevant colour in those layers ( I find this easier to do than using colour channels). I’ll use the fill gradient tool with selections to create any heat fall off effects and blurry soft edge round brushes for engine glows etc, overlaying the red and blue layers to make a purple causes the shader to give a white engine glow - handy for really hot bits, well I think that's about it
^ Griff hard at work in the studio, OXP-ing and totally not watching 'I'm a celebrity, get me out of here'
Those ships you've done a really, really lovely Simon, you should totally do the whole set - the designs you're previewing are really inventive and full of great ideas, I'm going to still plug away at making a full set, though lord knows when it will get done at my glacial pace of working, besides I'm so boring I've got nothing else to do with my spare time and it's a nice harmless hobby making oxp ships, doing all the laser pew-pew and engine sounds when drawing them out

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:43 am
by Simon B
Thanks for that Griff ... here's the flat texture stage of that fer de lance you ordered...

567 triangles all up, between two models, so I'll combine them for just one wavefront file if poss (depend on how many textures I need.)

I am using some textures from filter forge here, since they provide spec and norm maps as well. After reviewing a load of other peoples spacecraft hull textures I started to get an idea for how to do it - so I could make a new one... discarded bits from other people are good too.

The final hull is supposed to end up shinier and more like the feel you did. On the above, the whiter areas are imagined to be higher and shinier, but its too random to fit in with the ones you did.

You do the plate boundaries by drawing lines? I was going to block in squares. I look forward to seeing the scraps - I can use them for building a more griff-like hull texture. I tend to be minimalist with the normalmaps so I have to push myself to get in the detail.

You realise that I have already done three complete sets?

Neolite is the major one using shaders, which I did as a feedback and discussion that sort of grew. The Navy just needs a bunch or thargoids/ons/orns whatever to be finished - and bugfixes (sigh).

I did a set of Maori themed ships in the Rangiwaka series that uses more primitive textures. There's a subset of them in the rangitoro and rangipiko oxps from my site. This had all the core ships redone with maori names and new models, as well as a bunch of new ships like the taniwha and tuatara.

Then before I first posted I had practised by reskinning all the ships in each oxp I had as well as the classics - all flat textures - which is where I got that knack for making a 2d texture look 3d.

I only but in here because you look like you are finally knuckling down and taking that dark futures look seriously ... the craft in this thread address the same concerns that the neolite series was supposed to, but going the other way.

The point of producing these models was to help speed the process for you. I have no more interest in a full personal set for a while now.

BTW: I suggest renaming the original griff krait and boa - they are great ships but just do not look the name. This way they can be in the same game as this lot without a clash of names?

Boa --> Griffin Class Cruiser?
Krait --> (hmmm) Totem class Fighter? Krait mkII? Though, if the krait here is just "krait" you'll get away with "griff krait" I guess :)

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:11 pm
by Selezen
I still say we should seriously consider the Griff ships or the Neolite series as official replacements for the basic ship set. They could be selected through the Options menu, maybe?

I just love all this stuff. Well done! fantastic work!! Gush!!!

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:46 pm
by Rxke
Selezen wrote:I still say we should seriously consider the Griff ships or the Neolite series as official replacements for the basic ship set. They could be selected through the Options menu, maybe?

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:18 pm
by Chaky
I don't see why not make them ADDITIONAL, insdtead of replacements. It would give it more diversity "out of the box".