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Author Topic: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (sedan/police care WiP, 31 July))  (Read 13112 times)

Offline Sandro

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2012, 03:36:18 pm »
OK, Blender is breaking my head. I'm sure it's powerful, but the UI is as opaque as hell. "Complexity purely for the sake of complexity" is the phrase that comes to mind.

IMHO it doesn't -- it just relies on user knowing all the shortcuts; actually, almost every function can be accessed with a key combo. So download and print Blender cheatsheet :)

Does it really have a limit of four sides/edges per face? That seems like a crazy random limit to impose and a wonderful way to uselessly drive up the number of surfaces on a model...

Triangles or quads only, as headdie said. Note that quads are really supposed to be used as NURBS, so if you want a smooth shape, you can do a NURBS-based model and then triangulate it to precision you want. Also, there are many tools for them, including smoothing, stitching etc.

Also, Blender natively supports multiresolution, so you can have both the low-poly mesh for exporting and the high-poly for normalmap and ambience occlusion map baking. You can create initial (without additional detail) high-poly from low poly by "subdivide" tool.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 03:10:25 am »
Looks promising, and good level of detail in the construction. It might be nice to see what it looks like with the body sitting a bit higher off the ground.

I haven't set the axles up yet, so lowering the wheel centres relative to the body will be easy. I'll bump ground clearance up a bit, stick a plane under the model and post a screenshot later tonight.

Quote
One trick you can do later for better performance: Make the wheel a separate model with a separate skin. Then we can link them up in the map editor.

I was wondering about that, and that also means the separate wheels can be re-used by other models entirely - trucks and such. I'll set it up that way in the final export version.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2012, 05:44:15 am »
From the front corner, looking up at the driver's side door from roughly ground level. This is with perspective turned on in Blender; just for size reference, that tall stick is six feet tall, and the wheels on this beast are three feet high.


...and from the rear left corner, a nice view of the rear door, rear bumper and roof.


I've tweaked the "eyebrow" that protects the windscreen, adjusted various things, added wheel attachments (the thing lacks "axles" in the strict sense; I figure each wheel is independently electrically powered and there's fuel cells in the floorboards or similar. You can see the underside is fully surfaced, just in case some enterprising map builder wants to crash one or blow it onto it's roof.

The whole project is currently around 630 faces, which includes half a dozen random cubes and such used for scale and the two visible wheels, both of which are 32-segment cylinders. That puts the body of the Hummer-replacement at around 400 faces or so. Each wheel is likely to be around 80-100 faces modelled (need to experiment to see how far below the current 32-seg cylinders I can go and still have round wheels!) which will put a complete vehicle at 700-900 faces, very roughly. Does that seem workable in-game?

Anyone know if you can coax Blender into giving you a face count of just one mesh or component?

Finally, this thing needs a name! Calling it "replacement Hummer" might be accurate but it's boring. Naming suggestions, please!


Offline H-Hour

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2012, 10:00:11 am »
Looks good. 1,000 sounds reasonable for a vehicle like this. Keep the wheels round. It's not too expensive and the wheels are always one of those things that stand out almost immediately if they are too blocky.

I would tend to go for a generic naming scheme: Tactical Vehicle or something like that, but feel free to get creative.

Offline homunculus

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2012, 09:49:46 am »
how would you drive that car when it has been raining, i wonder?
i mean, with the front wheel open above, there would be muddy water all over everything.

Offline Crystan

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2012, 10:04:03 am »
i mean, with the front wheel open above, there would be muddy water all over everything.
A special alloy that prevents muddy water (and other stuff like that) to cover the car and was invented around the year 2050. Problem solved... :P

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2012, 09:57:17 am »
how would you drive that car when it has been raining, i wonder?
i mean, with the front wheel open above, there would be muddy water all over everything.

 :D Actually, it's not totally clear from the screenshots I've posted so far, but the rear of the front wheel well is actually sloped inward, with the top a good bit further forward than the lower edge of that face. That should keep debris - and tire spray - off the windscreen! Although I do like Crystan's water-repelling alloy idea.

Here's a better Blender screenshot of the front end of the beast. Because I haven't had any inspiration for a better name, and because it is descriptive, let's run with H-Hour's idea of "Tactical Vehicle".


I hope to get this into game-usable form this weekend, before I go off camping for a week. Haven't had much time to work on the model this week, although I did start work on a (very, very rough!) draft mesh for a subcompact "city car" - currently it looks like a mutant cross between a Smartcar, a Fiat 500 and a golf cart, which is not a bad set of ancestors but the thing needs work before it sees the light of day! The Tactical Vehicle came together quite quickly, the subcompact... not so much.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2012, 10:58:18 am »
Right, having just stared at the front end of the thing a while longer while getting the screenshot above, I've rebuild the area immediately below the windscreen and where the hood joins the body. That pointy bit was bugging me, so now the centreline of the hood is one long line from windscreen down to the front bumper/ram assembly, with a sort of wedge shape off to the sides under the windscreen. It cleans up the lines of that part of the vehicle, I think.



That's the windscreen highlighted in orange; this screenshot also nicely shows off Blender's indispensable Mirror function - build half a vehicle, get a whole one!

I haven't yet installed a Blender md2 export script, but I've attached the Blender 2.62 .blend file for the Tactical Vehicle to this post, if anyone wants to have a look at it and provide feedback.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 11:04:18 am by Wirelizard »

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2012, 03:56:25 pm »
Looking good. My only thought would be that the windscreen should be a lot bigger. It would be very difficult to see very well out of that and situational awareness is pretty important for a light armoured vehicle like this.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (1st WiP pic, 23 July)
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2012, 09:00:33 am »
Looking good. My only thought would be that the windscreen should be a lot bigger. It would be very difficult to see very well out of that and situational awareness is pretty important for a light armoured vehicle like this.

Current vehicles (like the US Army's Stryker) are increasingly using cameras and screens to increase situational awareness without vulnerable windows; I've made the assumption that that trend will only continue, so giant windscreens aren't strictly necessary.  Once I unwrap the mesh and start painting, there will be a full set of windows down the sides and across the back, though.

The next vehicle has reached a shape I'm more-or-less happy with, or at least willing to share! It's a subcompact replacement, with obvious inspiration from the Smartcar and similar vehicles. It's nearly cubical, designed to get maximum volume on a a minimal footprint. Unlike the Tactical Vehicle, the wheels on this one are an integral part of the mesh, and it weighs in around 500 tris all up.



Something about the proportions and details is still bugging me, though. This one definitely hasn't come together as fast as the Tactical, despite being (in theory) a simpler design and more basic vehicle...

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (subcompact WiP, 30 July)
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2012, 10:15:18 am »
Cute. I like it.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (subcompact WiP, 30 July)
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2012, 12:52:40 am »
Glad you like it, something about the design is still bugging me, though! This might just be a case of being too caught up in my own creations and not realizing they're good enough, that sort of thing...

Anyway, I put the subcompact aside last night and this morning and began sketching out a truck cab mesh. This one has come together quickly, although it doesn't have a chassis or back end details yet. Currently weighing in at a mere 180 faces, too, although that's without wheels and with the back half still unbuilt.



Anyway, I'm off first thing Tuesday morning for a week holiday out of town, most of which time I'll be up a mountain well away from any computer or internet! After I get back I want to get the truck and subcompact finished, and get all three current vehicles painted and into usable game-ready form, hopefully before being distracted by the next design!

Still on the agenda: a sedan-type vehicle, for both civilian and police use, and a replacement for the most 80s-tastic vehicle currently in the game, that minivan!

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (truck cab WiP, 30 July)
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2012, 01:45:05 pm »
Speaking of sedans, something of a teaser before I head off to the mountains for a week:


The proportions are still too tall and chunky for a sedan, I think, although cab-forward designs like this (short hood, wheels well out toward the corners of the chassis) are never going to be as sleek-looking. I'm probably going to squash the whole thing down a bit, though, and might yet re-work the back end. Currently around 210 faces, with no wheels.

Possible light-bar for a police version of the mesh thrown on just to see what it looks like.

Feedback on all the meshes much appreciated, especially the truck and sedan as they're the least finished.

I'll have one or two days during my holiday time when I'll have computer access (or internet access via my phone) but can't promise to check in here, but will be back properly in about a week!
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 01:47:40 pm by Wirelizard »

Offline H-Hour

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (sedan/police care WiP, 31 July))
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2012, 08:29:59 pm »
Any progress lately.

Offline Wirelizard

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Re: Giving the 1980s their vehicles back (sedan/police care WiP, 31 July))
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2012, 06:54:17 am »
Not much, I'm afraid, I got back from holidays and the rest of August went past in a blur of work and other commitments!

My schedule looks saner going into this last week of August and into September, so I should be able to finish up the meshes and start unwrapping the UVs and skinning the vehicles.