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Messages - Psawhn

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Artwork / Re: Hyperion
« on: January 17, 2009, 09:20:04 pm »
Here are my source colour textures (4096^2 in dimension) and the modified texture. The modification was a very fast job - sitters can probably integrate the textures/colours better using whatever design process he uses, whereas I had to somehow modified the resultant .bmp file.

Design / Re: about the aircrafts.
« on: January 17, 2009, 07:00:35 pm »
You are right in that, realistically, they are a poor choice for modern aircraft. Their agility advantages do not outweigh the structural and stealth disadvantages, particularly because modern combat is focused on the missile.

They offer better maneuverability at all speeds, but their advantages are most pronounced at high angles of attack and transonic speeds - areas where more conventional wings suffer from very poor airflow. At supersonic speeds the greater potential of forward wings are wasted because conventional wings offer enough maneuverability without as many structural concerns.

I'm trying to say that without consideration for stealth (UFOs use gravitic detection), and with much better materials (80 years of materials science, plus the usage of alien materials), forward-swept wings become a viable alternative - especially considering that the Dragon is a high-altitude, high-performance dogfighter replacing the Stiletto.

Design / Re: about the aircrafts.
« on: January 17, 2009, 02:01:25 am »
you can use any material you want, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a wrong, innefective shape.

If I make a cube-shaped ship with alien materials, will that make it good ship? No.

So why bother with a wing shape that is difficult to implement, makes the plane unstable and simply doesn't work, when you have a dozen other shapes that would work far better. Not to mention that the dragon has a a really strange design front, that looks like it would create as much wind resistance as a house.
If I try to make a car out of tin foil, does that mean all cars are a bad design?

A forward-swept wing is a very effective shape, allowing for much higher maneuverability at all speeds, from high-alpha at near-stall, or transonic speeds. The inherent instability is a good characteristic in a fighter plane - it allows for greater agility. As long as you have a computer between the control surfaces and the pilot, it becomes a machine that will almost do whatever he thinks of.

It's not an inherently bad design, just a different one. It's a case of F1 racer versus NASCAR, not cube vs. airfoil.

Its primary disadvantage is its advantage: at high speeds it creates forces that want to twist the wing right off. This is why today's composite materials make a forward-swept wing merely impractical, not just impossible. Furthermore, fighter combat today is centered around the missile, not the cannon, so speed, altitude, and stealth are the primary components with the aim of getting a missile kill without being killed by a missile. A forward-swept wing doesn't degrade any of those components, but it adds an engineering challenge that could be done without. That's what things like the X-29 and the Su-47 have shown engineers: "It works, but for what we want it's too much trouble."

But for a close-in knife fight, in the successor of the Stiletto, a forward-swept wing is a very strong design. Alien materials would mitigate the engineering problem of a forward wing, and radar stealth is not as strong a consideration. I actually believe that if modern air combat were centered on gunfights, not missiles, we'd see a lot more forward-wing fighter planes.

I will agree with you, though, that the fuselage is not an ideal aerodynamic design. Using three prongs is likely to yield poorer performance than 'filling' them in.

On the topic of names: I thought of a few more, named after blades: Sabre, Sai, Shiv (being the first hybrid aircraft), Scimitar, Saif, Sappara, and Shamshir. Looking at the Shamshir, I like how the shamshir has an unconventional shape, reminding me a lot of the Dragon.

Artwork / Re: World maps
« on: January 16, 2009, 05:18:58 am »
An interesting tutorial for photoshop and worldbuilding can be found here: in case anyone is interested.

Artwork / Re: Hyperion
« on: January 16, 2009, 05:12:28 am »
I hadn't thought about that, actually. D'oh.

Attached is a very quick and dirty recolouring job. I actually imported the two layers from my source stingray file. I also removed the rudders completely, but I didn't fix their shadows on the texture.
There's a subtle change in brightness between the photos, which is the only difference.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Artwork / Re: Hyperion
« on: January 16, 2009, 02:07:23 am »
Could you show a glimpse of what it would look like with a main base color closer to that of the Stingray?
I'm curious to see how a closer visual similarity to the Stingray would look.

Another idea I have is to do something with the vertical stabilizers. How would the model look if they're moved to the engines, or even eliminated altogether? (Design changes pending BTAxis' or Winter's Veto. ;) )

Of course if it's too much trouble (or you're away on vacation) don't worry about it. :)

Other than that, it's great work as usual!

Artwork / Re: Hyperion
« on: December 27, 2008, 05:06:51 am »
Funnily enough, I was toying with a similar design to that - sort of Firefly-esque, but smaller, and also with a more curved and organic body like the Stingray.

Sitters' other antimatter-powered aircraft, the Dragon and Starchaser, have both had more angular bodies than the Stingray. I think a rounded body for the Raptor would work very well and help it feel like it and the Stingray share development and represent the epitome of Phalanx' research into UFO technologies. I think that also calls for alien-material blue in the textures, as well as those depressions/extrusions and green glowies.\

I do have some additional irks with the design, in addition to what Winter says. (Of course, I hasten to add, he's the art lead and not me. ;) )\
Having the entire cargo area drop down has a number of disadvantages for a combat transport. Engineering-wise, it puts a considerable amount of complexity into the design. The hoisting mechanism, whether it be fluid or electrically powered, concentrates a lot of the stresses into a few vulnerable points. In addition to the extra fragility, it adds weight, and while extra mass is fatal for any spacecraft, it is ironically an even stronger concern for human-built antimatter powered spacecraft. Extra weight translates to an increase in fuel consumption, and antimatter is too valuable to waste needlessly.

There are a few combat-related reasons why an elevating platform is a poorer choice than simple doors or ramps. It takes longer to deploy and retract than a simple door. It physically moves the entire squad, potentially causing disorientation in the vital time of deployment to a hostile LZ. It also provides much less cover - the only cover is the two fins to the side, leaving the entire squad vulnerable to fire. Not only that, but it exposes the lower parts of their bodies first, and only when the entire soldier is exposed to fire does he get a chance to see the battlefield. He must also wait for the platform to be lowered far enough that he can jump out, because the craft can not fly with the cargo bay open lest the winds sweep across the entire crew, and the stresses of maneuvering will be focused on the hinges and supports.

Of course, that's nitpicking at this stage - the general shape and ideas of the ship I like very much. I'm just, well, nitpicky. :) A lowering platform is a cool idea, but I don't think it's practical in the least for a combat transport. (Things become a different matter if it's more of a civilian or tactical transport - in that case, the loading advantages of a lowering platform outweigh the disadvantages I've given above.)

Artwork / Re: Textures
« on: December 22, 2008, 08:59:26 pm »
Can you include things like the wood grain and the roughness of the canvas into the normal map, too? I think just including the basic geometry really underutilizes the power of bump mapping (and the ultimate goal is to eventually have a large set of high quality textures).

Artwork / Re: Needed: background image for campaign victory message
« on: December 21, 2008, 11:03:28 pm »
I tweaked the engine trails. I didn't like that big ball that was overlapping the model.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Artwork / Re: Needed: background image for campaign victory message
« on: December 21, 2008, 09:26:28 pm »
No problem. :)

Slight blur, cropped, and colored darker and a slight sepia tone. How's this so far?

[attachment deleted by admin]

Artwork / Re: Alien Wormhole Device
« on: December 21, 2008, 08:39:09 pm »
If I can recreate the lighting setup then I can bake the lights on to the model in Blender. That way, even though it's just lit by one colour value and has no shadows, it would effectively appear like it does.

I had the model split up anyways for organizational purposes, too. It also needs to be split across multiple levels because it's too tall. I just don't want to see a bunch of duplication of work, is all. ;)

Textures are limited to one image per .md2 model, right? There's that, too - I have to split it up anyways for texturing.

Artwork / Re: Alien Wormhole Device
« on: December 21, 2008, 04:12:44 am »
Ah, never mind. I got it in my head that this one was from the Carrier UFO.

Artwork / Re: Needed: background image for campaign victory message
« on: December 21, 2008, 02:55:32 am »
The sun is simple in a different direction. ;) If it were visible in the shot, then we would be seeing the shaded side of the ships.

It's not the atmosphere that blocks the stars, but the fact that the Earth and ships are just too bright and obscure the stars. In fact, in real life even photos taken by Cassini of Saturn and its moons have too little exposure to see stars (except when the photograph is overexposed).
We're just used to seeing stars in every space-themed piece of artwork we see. ;) (That, and artistically it's boring to have nothing but black as the background.)

Edit: Slight tweaking. I think it's nearing completion.
As far as text goes - the bottom left corner is very light, and there's nothing but black in the top right.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Artwork / Re: Alien Wormhole Device
« on: December 21, 2008, 02:00:44 am »
I'm worried about the hassle trying to recreate the meshes and align the textures and stuff in GTKRadiant. Wouldn't it just be easier to make the solid brushes invisible, and have the md2 be what the player sees?

Artwork / Re: Needed: background image for campaign victory message
« on: December 21, 2008, 12:26:10 am »
The top one isn't really for the campaign victory screen. I just thought it was funny to do while I was setting it up. :)

Here's something which probably looks good. (I don't know anymore - when you stare at these things long enough you forget how to judge them. ;)) Opinions?

[attachment deleted by admin]

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