New artist, Mech Previews

For those working on art content.

Postby adamsderk » Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:59 am

Smoking_Mirror,

I am 'so' collecting aerospace. Just make sure you break it into the parts for aerospace, not Mechs.

I want to have aerospace in the battle level too, but their speeds will be an issue that I have to figure out.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:34 am

I've been using a differnt scale of armour plates on the vehicles and Aerotech, because the heavy detailed "dense" look of the mechs doesn't look right. Aerotech and Vehicles are both supposed to have different types of armour from mechs anyhow, so i think it works out OK.

I was thinking about planes today and how you could get them to work. It's not an easy question.

I thought about using torso twist (view) direction + forward thrust to inform direction of travel, so that if you twist the torso left or right, the plane turns and if you tilt up or down it climbs or descends. That way you can key the animations directly to the torso twist animations. so that if you twist left, the craft rolls to the left and it begins to turn. You'd have to reset to forward ( zero degrees) twist to go straight.

The problem of minimum speed is that you need a kind of gravity drag. The problem is that gravity drag is based partly on thrust, but also on aerodynamics. Otherwise if the gravity constant is 5 and you are applying a thrust of 5 (50% thrust) straight up in the air you'd be able to hang motionless in the air. However, an airplane which is motionless has all the air lift of a brick. Thrust alone would have to be much higher to counteract gravity.

You need an equation which results in either speed or thrust of zero resulting in a fatal loss of altitude. Both a sufficient thrust and velocity are required to maintain a level altitutde. You also need to take in to account VTOL, VSTOL and STOL craft too, which can enter a mode where they have lower top speed, but require only thrust to mainatain altitude.

This all gets quite complicated as it requires you to check the craft's velocity at any give time to see if it should be losing altitude. Perhaps as Battletech aerotech often have no real aerodynamic qualities we could asume that in the future vectored thrust is a part of all designs, and whilst not allowing VTOL (vertical take off and landing) it is enough to allow thrust alone to keep a plane in the air. Already some modern planes are beginning to have this ability, such as the SU37 super flanker which by performing the so called "Cobra Maneuver" can stand on it's tail for a short period of time during skilled flight. In BTS there would be a "cap" on up or down torso tilt (perhaps no more than 45 degrees) making the whole speed vs thrust question pretty much academic.

So using a more simple equation you'd need to reduce altitude by a GDF (gravity drag factor) which would be reduced itself by the plane's current thrust. So that at low thrust the plane falls out of the sky, and at higher thrust the plane can climb or descend by "torso tilting" up or down. Perhaps this would be well applied to Helicopters too, and later to ground effect vehicles such as those featured in TRO 3075 (which are a mixture of Hovercraft and VTOL aircraft). Helicopters, ground effect vehicles and VTOL would have a very low gravity drag factor, perhaps almost none, so they could stay airborne even at "zero" forward thrust. Some planes would have higher or lower GDF to allow for better movement profiles in lighter planes. Also torso twist speed could be used to factor better or worse maneuverability. Helicopters and some VTOL craft can actually use negative thrust to fly backwards!

If handled well I think Aerotech could be a very fun and vital addition to BTS. The thing is to make sure it's not just "mechs with wings" and that Aerotech has it's own mechanics.
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Postby Duuvian » Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:57 am

Maybe the aerospace could have an option of being A.I. controlled and have the player be the gunner in multi-person aircraft. The trick would be to keep the ac2 warrior's AI from going in close.
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Postby Gorthaur » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:30 am

these are awesome, what software do you model with?
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Feb 01, 2009 3:57 pm

I use blender for the models and then Mapzone for the textures with the gimp to put them together.

It's all open source free software, so anyone can use it to get the same result. (with practice)

I'm back In England at the moment, I saved all my models and textures on to a DVD though (4gigs of stuff somehow) so I can upload them later.
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