Skin the cockpit

For those working on art content.

Postby Tylinol » Wed May 10, 2006 5:45 pm

That especially bugs me about starships. Shouldn't the bridge be in the dead center, protecting the commander and everything, rather than
sitting right there asking to be fried by a galactic laser beam?

I guess it's more of a game mechanic in BT, that "lucky shot" thing.

I'll be working on the cockpit image to your specs, and cutting a hole in the center so thep layer can see the cursor.
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Postby AndrewOsis1 » Wed May 10, 2006 8:29 pm

Hehe go play steel battlaion derk thats exactly how it looks,you start up and close a cockpit hatch which is armored,and cameras give you your only few,only downside is they made it a little grainy to simulate the camera.
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Postby Hana Yuriko » Thu May 11, 2006 12:24 am

There are some 'mech designs in BT that have an enclosed cockpit, and design rules for torso mounted cockpits.

Both the Reseen and Unseen versions of the Stinger, Wasp, and Phoenix Hawk have a cockpit below the head of the 'mech (although not considered torso mounted). The head itself carries all of the advanced electronics equipment.
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Postby Tylinol » Thu May 11, 2006 2:27 am

Here's the latest mockup, I got the hole WAY in the wring place and it's
still a bit off center, there are a bunch of fancy button that you can't see because they're covered up by the hud. i should have a final png with transparency soon. The hud looks good with that cockpit IMO.

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Postby ghostbear_g » Sat Oct 14, 2006 9:11 am

adamsderk wrote:Greetings,

To me it always seemed silly to have a cockpit exposed to the outside world. I always figured the cockpit should be buried behind tons of armor and external cameras would feed you information.

Thanks.


What happens if your power is lost or the sensors are destroyed? You can No longer see. A good ole' fashioned window still allows knowledge of the outside world despite and sensor jamms or other problems.
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Postby adamsderk » Sat Oct 14, 2006 8:34 pm

GBG,

True, but it wouldn't be a huge feature like the MadCat/TimberWolf, it would be a small slit like the Abrams tank.

Thanks.
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Postby Kishkumen » Sun Oct 15, 2006 1:06 am

The Abrams and other tanks use glass prisms as periscopes. So there's not even a direct path through to the tanker's head. I figure the few 'mechs with a totally synthetic cockpit probably have a periscope or two as backup.

Of course, if you're out of power you probably want to leave the 'mech. it doesn't do you any good to see someone lining up on your crippled machine if you can't do anything about it.

Cockpit art has some advantages. One, it feels more like you're in the 'mech. If the screens and displays are parented to the cockpit mesh then the whole cockpit can shake with every hit or bounce a bit with every step which adds to the atmosphere.

With just three or four standard layouts with skins associated to each 'mech we could have every 'mech with a unique cockpit.

The problem is when looking left, right, or down. It would look really odd if the cockpit swung down with your view. If it stayed in the same place you'd have to look left and take your eyes off your instruments (unless we assume the HUD is helmet-mounted and always stays in the center of your view).
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Postby Punk » Sun Oct 15, 2006 11:34 am

adamsderk wrote:GBG,

True, but it wouldn't be a huge feature like the MadCat/TimberWolf, it would be a small slit like the Abrams tank.

Thanks.


Ok, then why do ALL of our other military craft have cockpits? Our current fighters and VTOLs have sensors that are almost as complexe as BT 'Mechs, yet they still have huge cockpits with huge windows. We have yet to impliment some of the fluff senor packages that 'Mechs have, ie sizmic, but we could. And most aircraft don't get taken down from cockpit hits, almost 99 % of the time it's damage to the craft and not the pilot getting shot that kills them.

'Mechs would have some sort of cockpit glass, not just a tiny slit. Look at anything currently being developed by anyone in the world, they all have cockpits almost just like the Cat/MadCat.
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Postby adamsderk » Sun Oct 15, 2006 3:17 pm

Punk,

You are comparing vehicles with 6 degrees of freedom (aircraft) to ones with 4 degrees of freedom (tanks and surface vehicles). Mechs are walking tanks. While they do "jump", they don't normally have 6 DoF.

One could also bring into the debate that fact that in another 1000 years, our technology would get at least a little better. We already have remotely operated vehicles with the controller using viewscreens only.

However, all of this really doesn't matter as BT has never claimed to be realistic. There is wide variety in what they have created which leaves it open for everyone to have what they want. :)

Thanks.
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Postby fennec » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:56 pm

Our current fighters and VTOLs have sensors that are almost as complexe as BT 'Mechs, yet they still have huge cockpits with huge windows.

For many reasons. Aircraft, unlike tanks, do not boast high level of armor protection, and can have large windows without detriment. Aircraft require better visibility, as objects can approach from any direction, and the aircraft can assume any attitude.

Mechs are more like tanks in their armored nature, and from the poor configuration of the windows on most of the mechs, it's obvious that visbility isn't a factor.

The 'cockpit glass' of armored vehicles in the world are usually vision blocks, periscopes, or electronic optics. They perform the same function as windows, yet do not expose the crew to direct fire.

Not to mention that the more modern vehicles look really cool with their view systems. Much cooler than the WW2 bomber-esque style of many of the BT mechs.


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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:55 pm

I had a go at making a 3d style cockpit, it's only about 500 polys so it shouldn't be to much of a drain on resources.

I'm not sure how it would be implemented, I just wanted to make it ans see if it can be used. I plan on using it for another project anyway, so if it's no use for this at least I didn't waste my time. :)

I decided that all cockpits in battle tech fall in to one of four groups, Vehicles (which are of varied appearance) The open glass canopy (like the battlemaster or Mackie but also perhaps the shaowcat or vulture), the Rounded metal frame cockpit (like in a airplane the biggest user being the Madcat) and finally the armoured slit style (like the atlas, gargoyle or whatever, mostly those where the player looks out through the mech's "eyes").

So I've made a cockpit with two add ons, which can change it's shape away from the standard "open" configuration.

Here's what they look like;

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And here's a potential view from the cockpit. Different parts of the cockpit could be animated very slightly to give a subtle appearance of being in a machine. I don't know if the MDFs could be positioned so that they fit over the Screens I've included. It'd look great if they could.

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Postby adamsderk » Sun Aug 26, 2007 8:05 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

I'd be happy to give it a try. Send over the files.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:05 pm

I Need to clean it up a little, I'll try and get it done today after work.

Now my workflow is optimist it's pretty quick to make something like this, so I may remake it from scratch, there are quite few things I'd like to change.

Best to get it right before you start working on it so you don't have to change anything later...

what I want to do;
Clump the view screens closer together and integrate them more in to the central section. Add some more details, more buttons closer together... Optimize the mesh. I think I could drop down to closer to 3 or 4 hundred triangles without losing too much detail.

I'll probably send both versions, maybe the big bulky version could be used for the Assault mechs.
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Postby adamsderk » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:14 am

Smoking_Mirror,

Sounds good. Remember that the texture is the most important in a cockpit. Be sure to use at least 1024x1024.

Thanks.
Last edited by adamsderk on Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:13 pm

OK,
I've modeled a second cockpit.
Tomorrow I'll Skin it and then send you both.
I want to redo the texture for the first one, I want to set both of them up like a mech texture with Faction specific camo and some decals.

The second one will be more fragile looking than the first.
Maybe the first set up can be used for Inner sphere mechs and the second could be for star league and clan mechs.
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