New artist, Mech Previews

For those working on art content.

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:31 am

One of the problems with Quadmechs is that they often have a strange number of joints in the legs.

Normal nechs have an upper leg, lower leg and foot (with toes). The Xanthos has upper leg, middle leg, lower leg and foot (with toes).

In the above version I've taken the step of making the foot and lower leg one piece. That allows for the middle leg to take the place of the lower leg.

However, I have included a flexible knee joint in the basic exporter design (which is there to help with mechs which have an offset between the upper and lower legs, such as the crab), which could be extended to serve the place of the middle leg.

It doesn't really matter how many bones there are, because the IK soloution will work out the best and realistic movement for the leg, even if it had 100 bones.

How do other people feel about the 3075 mechs being included? I want the Xanthos in at least, Later I plan on making the Goliath and I want it to seem like the Goliath is actually an upgrade of an existing design.

Having the others in would help to bulk out the early campaign, during the starleague, exodus and clan evoloution sections.

I want the early sections to be well rounded out and filled with great looking mechs so that later upon finding this great game, other people might get around to making the dozens of later designs from 3055 onwards (which I'm not going to make). ^-^

EDIT:

I found this site detailing some of the battledroid minatures from the early history of battle tech. It's inspired me to definatley do the crossbow, gladiator, firebee and battleaxe from the tro 3075 as these are all mechs (in a different design configuration) which showed up in the origins of the battletech franchise. Check out the demolisher tank from the same site, command and conquer style tracks (of course a decade or so before C&C came out), looks nice.

I'm still not keen on the unseen designs, but I do like the names and the history. So I'll be using the updated 3075 images, rather than the old battledroid minis for reference.
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Postby adamsderk » Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:41 am

Smoking_Mirror,

My recommendation is to use the joints that are in the model. That's why there are three different biped animations. The Mechs with strange configurations are an opportunity to add some individual flavor to the animations. I wouldn't want to do custom animations for each unit, but a few of them are nice.

And I want all the Mechs that I can get spec sheets for.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:35 am

I've been working on a selection of mechs for the later time period. I don't want to do a whole load, but I would like to add SOME mechs so the player can upgrade towards the end of the campaign.

Here's the ones I've been working on at the moment...

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I'm also working on the linebacker and later plan on doing SOME of the following;

Wardog
Lineholder
raven

Black lanner
Shadowcat
Kingfisher

Avatar
Raptor
Sunder

This gives a good mix of clan upgrades, and some inner sphere omni mechs. I've tried to find some IS mechs which can be used by all factions but many are faction specific.

When it omes to the later game, the IS player can find many upgrades of the 3039 mechs, such as the Atlas-K which feature upgraded weapons and systems.

If the Clan player needs cheaper downgraded equipment they can use the IIC variants of the standard IS mechs. I don't feel the visual difference between the standard IS versions and the IIC versions require a whole new model at this stage. The two versions are relativly close, and although it would be ideal to have the IIC versions (they do look cooler after all) I'm certainly not going to waste time on them.

With a clan paint scheme and upgraded clan equipment it will be obvious the difference on the battlefield between an IS clint and a IIC clint. If and when a specific IIC model is created it can replace the IS placeholder.

The mechs which I have chosen to include from the later game have all been chosen for good reasons, such as the fact that the sunder is a IS assault OMni, or that the Cerberus is available to all IS factions so makes a good choice for final Assault upgrade.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:14 am

Atually, I've decided not to go for the Avatar or Raptor. I've just finished modeling the Sunder, which is a Draconis Omni mech, I'd rather pick Omnis from other factions instead of producing two more DC mechs.

So I thought, the Menshen for Capellans, the Perseus (Omni Orion) for the Free worlds league, and maybe the Templar for the Lyrans...

Actally does anyone know of a better choice for Omni mech for Lyrans and Federated suns? The Templar comes quite late and I'd rather not make another Assault Omni, but I think it's the only fed suns choice for Omnimech Tech.

I like the Menshen, and the Omni Orion looks good, apart from the dorky leg weapons mounts.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:38 am

Maybe I'm going to make the Omni firstarter for the Lyrans and Fed Suns.

Here's the latest design, the Shadow cat;

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Postby adamsderk » Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:39 am

Smoking_Mirror,

Ooo, one of my favorite. I'm planning on building my pod based on this design.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:35 am

Yeah, strangely the Shadow cat has become one of the big icons of battletech. Probably because of it's use in the various mechwarrior games.

Perhaps the Shadowcat is one of the best known mechs these days, behind the Madcat and Atlas.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Fri Oct 31, 2008 3:16 pm

I think this is perhaps my favorite mech so far. I'm really happy with how this one has come out, I'm really going to enjoy piloting this one.

The Sunder.

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I'll leave packing up the mech and doing all the work on the textures for now, This will probably be one of the first that I export to BTS.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:39 am

Finished the Linebacker, came out quite well in the end. I may make the Wardog, but probably the Raven and Menshen will be the last I make for a while.

I think the standard Firestarter, Orion and Blackjack can double up as the Omni versions for now. Again there's not a lot of difference between the regular design and the Omni version. I'd recommend using standard mechs to double for the Omnis and the IIC versions until someone finally gets time to make the extra models. That will give you more options in game, for the IS player to get more advanced mechs and for the clan player to get some cheap second line equipment. For example the clan blackhawk can also be used as the Blackhawk Ku.

Here's the linebacker;

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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:10 am

Next time I do a mech building spree I'll probably work on the Lineholder, Menshen, Wardog and Kingfisher. For now I'm taking a break to work on another project for a while. Need to get some more practice with animation.

Just finished the Raven, all these mechs weigh in at about 1000 triangles. They should work really fast in game, there's a lot you can do with an effective texture to add detail.

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Postby Veers » Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:46 am

Excellent work, more to look forward to piloting :)
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:10 am

Just a post to say that I've sorted out a problem with the baked textures which had been showing up to a lesser or greater extent. I'll post all the textures later along when I start exporting the mechs for the game.

The problem was with the normal maps I was generating. I was using Direct X normal maps which are inverted from Open GL normal maps. I had though to get around the problem by inverting the normal map, but it was only affecting the X axis, and not the Y axis. So there was still some inversion.

Found out today how to export true Open GL Normal maps, so future results should be a little better.

I also had a look at our competition today. I think most people will know about Assault tech, but here's a preview of the latest version;

Assault Tech Demo.

I think we need to focus on our strengths in order to offer something to compete with AT1. I think we have an advantage in the number of high quality mechs we can put in the game, We are going to have a lot of good quality terrain buildings, a good Mission and campaign system, and all of it running on much lower spec machines. (I can't actually run AT1 at all on my computer because of the graphics card.)

I think BTS will be the choice for Single player BT, whilst AT1 will be more of a deathmatch engine.
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Postby adamsderk » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:16 am

Smoking_Mirror,

Glad to hear about the breakthrough. It is always satisfying to find the missing piece of a puzzle.

I have Mektek staff authorization, so I have been keeping tabs on Sake's work. Sake and I have talked since we were both using 3dRad. We have very different focus. I am looking at creating Battletech, while he is creating an updated Mechwarrior 2. They have two very different audiences. Sake joined with Mektek because they have a similar focus, multi-player combat (as you mentioned). The have a limited set of Mechs, a limited timeframe, and static maps. Also as you mentioned, my focus is on single player with extensive timeframe, unlimited Mechs, and dynamic maps.

But most importantly, it isn't a competition; we both have a lot to provide to the community and each program will be better because of the other.

Thanks.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:16 am

I would like to see 3d cockpits in BTS though... :-)

The ones in AT1 look great.
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:28 am

Did some more vehicles this weekend.

The demolisher is based on the old "battledroids" version, which is described in the TRO as being the "original" demolisher.

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I've also done an aerospace fighter, as it's something I wanted for an animation and it also allows Derk to try and come up with some early aerospace integration in BTS. The Stats for the Angel interceptor can be found in TRO 3039, it's a cheap atmospheric fighter available in large numbers to every faction. Much less expensive than a true aerospace fighter the Angel is less than a third the cost of one of the cheapest aerotech fighters. There are two other generic fighters in TRO 3039 each being a little heavier and having more weapons. I thought about making an actual areospace fighter, but there are som many and each one is exclusive to a certain faction. I'd have to make about 5 just to cover the factions.

Not sure how you are going to get fighters to work in BTS, but I'll leave that up to you. Perhaps similar to choppers, but with a minimum speed? I've added landing gear as standard to avoid crashes.

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