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Old March 2nd, 2010, 03:57 PM   #1
Punisher454
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Default My colonial shuttle model update

I have resumed work on My shuttle model after a year of inactivity.

I found some better source images and decided to start fixing some of the biggest problem areas.
I have rebuilt the passenger cabin and windows, and reshaped the forward half of the fuselage. Added details to the forward top section and details the the front side.
I had the windows really far off before, they are quite a bit more accurate now, although deliberately not exactly as the studio model.
I still need to build the bottom details and re-work the landing gear.
The interior needs major re-construction to fit the new hull and windows.

I estimate that I'm at about the 50% finished point for modeling. I plan to upload this with a basic "clay render" material applied before I attempt to texture it (maybe somebody will beat me to it ).

I am knowingly deviating away from the studio model in many areas to keep the polygon count under control as well as make it a usable asset in a relatime 3D engine (currently I prefer Crysis). The old version of the shuttle model was working fine in Crysis, and I still had the ability to have several instances of the shuttle model in close proximity without and real degradation in frame rates.
In these test images you'll note that the right side of the model is much less complete than the left side.
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File Type: jpg colonial_shuttle_wip_01.jpg (331.5 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg colonial_shuttle_wip_02.jpg (188.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg colonial_shuttle_wip_03.jpg (318.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

great work nice to see more of this design
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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Did a little more to the shuttle model.

I have shortened the back of the fuselage a bit, built new landing gear, and redone most of the hull paneling.
The next big task is the rear, where the loading ramp should be. My old version had a very basic rear cargo door like what you'd see on a cargo plane. I'm going to try to incorporate some of the features of the studio model into a working rear cargo door/ramp next.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

that΄s so very cool. is the object there where the hatch is located to represent a character. ??
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Old March 9th, 2010, 03:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

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Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
that΄s so very cool. is the object there where the hatch is located to represent a character. ??
Exacly, IIRC thats a 1.7m tall box.
Perhaps I'll render a basic human charatcer model with the Shuttle soon for a better sense of scale.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Is this in lightwave ??
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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

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Is this in lightwave ??
3dsmax 2010. The renders are using the default scanline renderer. When I get closer to done I'll switch to MentalRay.

I tried lightwave a few years ago, but the interface was really awkward for me. I initially learned on max4 and then did 2 years at art school on Maya, but never learned LW. Since almost evrything I do is aimed at importing into game engines (Currently Cryengine 2 is my preference) I would basically be forced to use Max anyhow. Ninety percent of the time the only model import/export plugins provided with a game engine SDK will be Max. That suits me fine, since Max is my favorite anyhow. But it does present extra challenges to LW and Maya users. It is interesting though that the Doom3 engine(AKA IDtech4) could run LWO files in native format.
To get models into Cryengine2(Crysis) from Lightwave you can use OBJ or Collada and then use SDK plugins for the free version of XSI as a toolpath(with several limitations though).

Modeling for Game engines requires a bit of a different aproach than you use for normal rendering. You play a constant balancing act between Polygon counts and visual detail. Also triangles vs quads is sometimes less of an issue since many game engines use all tri's anyhow. Luckily , more powerful CPU's and Graphics cards are allowing higher and higher polycounts all the time. Also Normal mapping is making a HUGE difference too. I can bake a multimillion poly normalmap to a 12,000 poly character and you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. This shuttle for example will (eventually) have 3-4 LOD (Level Of Detail) models all with normal maps, and possibly parallax occlusion mapping too.

It surprises me that nobody is doing any Machinima fanfic for BSG.
Hmm... Perhaps some usable assets would help to inspire somebody.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

I agree with your approach to designing game meshes. I did a lot of meshes for Homeworld 1, but gave up on Homeworld 2 due to the fact that Maya was the tool of choice of the game designers. Too bad you're not using Lightwave. I would love to use your mesh in my animations. Conversion is such a PIA.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

I totally intent to release this so that people can use it if they want, and however they want(non-commercial of course).

What parts of the conversion give you the most trouble?
Perhaps I can do something now to make it easier later. Since LW is so very popular here and over at foundation too.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

would love to have a look at it .. but I use Lightwave .. but I am enjoying your building of the shuttle
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Finally added the side hatch, the vents below the windows and adjusted a few more things.
My design for the door is defiantly different from the studio model but is much closer to the set piece they used. Of course that facade was something like 1/3 scale which is why the actors had to duck down walking through the door. This door should be tall enough to allow a Centurion to walk through without ducking down.
I think I'll have to design in some kind of fold-out steps, since you wouldnt always have a ground crew with a set of stairs to board or disembark wherever the shuttle lands.
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File Type: jpg colonial_shuttle_wip_09.jpg (311.8 KB, 10 views)
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Old March 9th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Very nice mesh from all angles.
Models out of MAX since around v.2009 have done not to bad an export to obj.
Earlier versions were always more than a bit messy on export.
When you are ready release if it would be possible to save as an obj or as an earlier version of MAX it should not be too be bad at all.
With the mesh looking so good I think it would be more than worth the effort to port.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 03:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Mikala is right on its is worth the effort. I would like to see it some day in a BSG animation film
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Your model is beautiful! I will definitely use it in my animations with your permission. I also plan to release my battlestar mesh on this website once complete if the community wants it. I was playing around with Taranis' landing bay mesh and would like to use your shuttle for such scenes.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

Yes you will be able to use the completed shuttle model however you want. That is kinda the point of building it, is to see it used.
I'm very glad to hear that you are willing to release your Battlestar model when its finished.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 02:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

cool Battlestar and great to see the landing bay in there too

Punisher your shuttle looks fantastic .. If I ever do a fanfilm for BSG I will use it ..

and I would also love to have a look at your Galactica mesh ..
most likely I would run of a few renders ..
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

My overall plan is to create new "stock" cgi sequences to add to the classic John Dykstra shots that keeps getting reused over and over Then the fanfilm people here can simply go the shot library and pick out the ones they want to use to make up a new story! Your shuttle and other assets would greatly cut down the time I need to get all these meshes completed on my own and start rendering cgi shots. With the time I have available, just completing the battlestar at the current quality level will take over a year. I want to warn you and Taranis though, that my battlestar mesh will not be 100 percent original. I have been updating the look where necessary in awkward areas. People expect more from cgi films nowadays than back in the 1970's. I'm glad we are all working in the same direction I noticed my current landing bay pods are not yet accurate enough as compared to high res photos. The pods are the last area I will complete as I get better at modeling and can do a better job of it in the area most people want to see.

You and Taranis' work on the interior of the battlestar landing bay are fantastic! However, I do want to re-imagine the size of the battlestar landing bay from the original for my projects. This is in order to do a wide angle shot of the bay interior with hundreds of cgi colonial warrior's arrayed in formation and dozens of shuttles, fighters and other larger ships parked around a large expansive main flight deck ( I plan to bring back Caine in a future cgi shot). You might not agree with my views here. Also, I have created a larger fighter/bomber class ship codenamed "cobra" in keeping with the snake theme for BSG fighters that I have not shown yet. It was used in low poly form for game use in Homeworld 1. The launch tubes will have to be modified to accommodate the larger ship. I might model in movable guide rails and walls in the launch tubes to be visually interesting. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'll finish the battlestar mesh 1st and send it to you and Taranis for evaluation. Then we can discuss any mods that need to be done.
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Old March 11th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #18
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

cool work .. personally I think your should build the ship as you please and never mind the opinions of anyone. their not building it .. and make it render friendly for your own sake.

there are some parts of the Big G that are just space fillers and details .. better to forget these and used the saved poly count for the laser cannons etc
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Old March 11th, 2010, 03:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

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Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
cool work .. personally I think your should build the ship as you please and never mind the opinions of anyone. their not building it .. and make it render friendly for your own sake.

there are some parts of the Big G that are just space fillers and details .. better to forget these and used the saved poly count for the laser cannons etc
Absolutely, Your work is AWESOME, dont let anything interrupt it.
Your idea of some new stock CGI footage is great. It also seems like a really practical approach. Short sequences would not be an overwhelming project like a whole full length video production. That's basically how the original stuff was made anyhow.

As for the landing bay scene you described with many ships and people in a big wide shot goes, I predict that you may not have to scale it as large as you are expecting.
I had a whole bunch of scale comparison stuff done that I lost in my last HDD crash, and the rest is all mixed up and disorganized right now.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 01:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

the scale of the Galactica is over a mile long .. that is the scale supported by Glan Larson and the model builders and there is a website some where that give all sorts of options on the model scale.

I think i have a drawing some where showing a possible scale for the bay anyway ..
(after a little looking I found the drawing)



the Vipers are to scale as I remember it ..

also the original bay drawing is by westy and he did a calculation once that the landing bay deck is 13 feet below the launch tubes. using the mile long scale ..
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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #21
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

I have worked out a landing bay configuration, which is mostly similar to that one, except for the Viper hanger is above the landingbay area rather than below it. My reasoning for doing so is that I wanted the battlestars most valuable assets(Viper fighters) a little further away from the outer skin of the hull. There is a LOT of room in the upper half of the "flight pods" so I didnt see the need to try to squeeze such a critical area into such a small area.
I would expect that the landing deck would have very heavy ribs underneath. Also the bottom of the outer hull slopes upwards and the elevator shaft would be nearly touch the outer skin (and I would expect this to be a double hull design anyhow). So I put mine above rather than below.
I have some really crude 3d illustrations of the layout that I found yesterday. perhaps I'll post them in a new thread.

The thing that affects the landing bay scale most is if the person building the exterior battlestar model goes with the short nose or long nose. Assuming 1 mile length, a short nose galactica will have a larger landing bay than a long nose design. I think a long nose galactica looks better, but will be a lot harder to fit the launch tubes.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 09:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

double post. edited out.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:59 AM   #23
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

The Shuttle project is far from dead, but I have to put it on hold while I sort out a few technical issues regarding its use in the game engine. I have a 65,000 (or so) vertex limit per model. The final shuttle will be several times that so I am looking at different ways of attaching compound objects in the game editor.
What I figure out on that from t will determine modeling methods used on the rest of the shuttle.
I should still be able to upload an external model within a month or so. The shuttle interior model will take a bit longer, but I'll upload that also when its ready.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:26 AM   #24
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

sorry to hear about the hold up Punisher .. I know how it feel when a project cannot move forward .
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Old May 12th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #25
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

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Originally Posted by Punisher454 View Post
The Shuttle project is far from dead, but I have to put it on hold while I sort out a few technical issues regarding its use in the game engine. I have a 65,000 (or so) vertex limit per model. The final shuttle will be several times that so I am looking at different ways of attaching compound objects in the game editor.
What I figure out on that from t will determine modeling methods used on the rest of the shuttle.
I should still be able to upload an external model within a month or so. The shuttle interior model will take a bit longer, but I'll upload that also when its ready.
I'm using Doga L3 for modelling so I only know how to count in polygons. do you know how the vertice's count when converting one to the other?

I love this shuttle design btw. It looks a right beauty.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #26
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I'm using Doga L3 for modelling so I only know how to count in polygons. do you know how the vertice's count when converting one to the other?

I love this shuttle design btw. It looks a right beauty.
Thanks.
I used to always just watch the count in polygons, but more recently I have focused primarily on the vertex count. The reason for that is that apparently the Cryengine2 (Crysis) that I am building these models for use in has a limit of about 65,000 verticies per object. The polycount will vary somewhat from the vertex count based on your topology and whether you have a lot of quads or tri's.
The colonial pistol I'm working on at the moment has about 1300 polys and very nearly the same number of verticies (a couple hundred difference).

Think of it this way,
You make a cube with all quads. You have 6 polys and 8 verticies. now the same cube with all tri's will be 12 poly's and 8 verticies.
Generally you should always try to build in quads, not for polycount reasons but because of smoothing issues.
The game engine I am working with dosent really get bogged down by high polycounts, its texture memory that is the performance killer.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #27
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

yeah I am always watching the polys . When I start my Galactica (make some head way into that now in fact) I will be trying to keep the poly count as low as I can .

one of the things I try to do is removing surfaces that are not going to be seen
.. Lightwave still see them and renders it,, it a pain but it helps

Thats what i find anyway

recently I helped to convert a model and it had tons of unseen polys surface render time was like 20 plus minutes ..... after a few weeks of altering it and even adding a hanger render time for me was 4 minutes .. saving a lot of time for animation
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #28
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Default Re: My colonial shuttle model update

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yeah I am always watching the polys . When I start my Galactica (make some head way into that now in fact) I will be trying to keep the poly count as low as I can .

one of the things I try to do is removing surfaces that are not going to be seen
.. Lightwave still see them and renders it,, it a pain but it helps

Thats what i find anyway

recently I helped to convert a model and it had tons of unseen polys surface render time was like 20 plus minutes ..... after a few weeks of altering it and even adding a hanger render time for me was 4 minutes .. saving a lot of time for animation
Its a whole lot easier to remove hidden geometry while you are building than it is to go back and clean it up. I download a lot of models and like to examine the building techniques used. I am frequently horrified to see so much hidden geometry or many thousands of polys that are smaller than one render pixel (I see that a lot!).
Lately I've been trying to adjust my modeling style to make objects easier to unwrap and flatten for better UV mapping.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #29
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Its a whole lot easier to remove hidden geometry while you are building than it is to go back and clean it up. I download a lot of models and like to examine the building techniques used. I am frequently horrified to see so much hidden geometry or many thousands of polys that are smaller than one render pixel (I see that a lot!).
Lately I've been trying to adjust my modeling style to make objects easier to unwrap and flatten for better UV mapping.
yeah its difficult ... its take me days some times weeks before I am happy .. but I have time

at the moment I am preplaning 2 new models

1 Millennium Falcon

2 Classic Galactica

both optimize (I hope) for animations
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #30
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Yeah. I try to remodel where possible but as doga is 'lego' modelling its really difficult to deal with.
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