Crab; Complete!

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Crab; Complete!

Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 26, 2007 6:41 am

Image

Here is the Crab, it's a star league design based on an all energy weapon configuration. Maintenance is easy and the mech is fast and well armed. It can stay in the field for extended periods with little repair or rearmament.

It is popular with the Draconis Combine. They would make it their standard mech if they had the production facilities.

Here are the files;

http://www.mediafire.com/?3w0hbbzanx2
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Postby Hana Yuriko » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:11 am

Where's the little dish that goes on top?
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 26, 2007 2:34 pm

It seemed like a lot of extra polys for a small detail. I didn't bother. :)

Instead I added some extra detail in the form of a couple of Heat vents and I also decided to put the Cockpit up on top too.

I think it keeps the overall look of the crab without getting too detailed.

The final model is only 1144 faces without the weapons.

Most comercial cames of this type use varying levels of detail in the models depending on the distance from the viewer. So that in Mechwarrior 4 for example the models range from 3000-4000 polys when they are right in front of you to just a few hundred when they are far away and not being observed.

BTS uses only one detail level at all ranges as far as I can tell so the mechs have to be pretty low detail in order for it to run at a good speed.

Later on adding multiple levels of detail may allow an improvement in performance, and in turn allow more processor hungry additions such as part based collision detection instead of model based. (so you can actually aim for the head when in close combat for example).

One of the reason many of the Mechwarrior 4 mechs were redesigned was to allow smooth transition between the various levels of detail. One good example is the Vulture, whose skinny quad lazers were replaced with two big omni pods. You can actually see the pods change shape at longer ranges, from two rectangular boxes to the hexagonal pods.
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Postby adamsderk » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:41 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

The model looks great.

Torque does use multiple LOD, however, organizing them for the number of models and the wide variety of modeling skills involved, I dropped to a single LOD. If you want to give multiple LOD a try, you can and I'll get it in the game.

The switching between LOD should be done at a distance (measured in pixels) where the change is not noticeable. Your description is of bad distance changes.

Thanks.
Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:59 pm

I'll take a look at how difficult it'll be to produce a special extra low poly version of each of the mechs I've done.

I'd like to try it, as it would be another professional skill worth knowing.

In Blender it's not to difficult to add extra detail (edge loops) or remove them, though only when dealing with quads. Once you get down to triangles, it becomes much more difficult.

In future I'll organize the models for LOD from the start. Perhaps three levels would be good;

Low level- @600-700 triangles
Mid level- @1200-1500 triangles
High Level- @ 1900-2000 triangles

That way, as you are only getting the high detail version at close ranges, you could go all the way up to 2000 or maybe above.
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Postby adamsderk » Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:18 am

Smoking_Mirror,

Sounds good.

Thanks.
Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:31 am

I had a go at mesh simplification this morning before work ( I start at 10 AM but I get up around 7, so it gives me time to do stuff before, like watch a movie or exercise).

I found it very easy to alter the Lancelot to a low poly version. But only to a certain extent.

The normal version of the Lancelot is 1400 triangles with the body cut for BTS. I can cut that down to 1000 with very little drop in quality, i.e. it still looks like the same mech from a distance.

Getting it below 1000 triangles would mean making a whole new mesh, But if it had the same proportions and objects I guess that wouldn't cause problems.

So for the next mech I'm going to try and build a special Low poly version, maybe 5 or 6 hundred triangles and UV map it on to the same map as used by the full version which I'll try to make around 1500 to 2000 triangles. I'll cut that version down to about 1000 triangles through removing Edge loops which should leave three versions.

For the mechs I've finished already I can probably only make two versions, the normal version at about 1400 triangles and a special simple version at about 1000.

To create low detail versions of existing mechs from the game and map them on to existing UV maps should be pretty easy, though as usual, a little time consuming.

If you can send me an existing mesh and texture I can write up a tutorial on it so someone with more time can have a go. I like the banshee if you have it.
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Postby adamsderk » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:44 pm

Smoking_Mirror,

When you get to really low poly counts, it really doesn't look anything like the object. But it doesn't need to. Remember the really low poly count may only be 5 pixels high. It doesn't take many polys to give enough information to make that image. At some point, the model will be about 12 boxes (literally). The important part is that the texture mapping is sort of close.

I wouldn't want to give out the Banshee model without the artist's permission. You can contact TerratoX1 to get it from him, or he can give his approval here and I can send it to you.

Thanks.
Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Tue Aug 28, 2007 11:11 am

The problem with very low detail meshes is not the shape but the interaction of shapes. It's pretty easy to make a simplified mesh and the UV map will provide all the detail, but the objects need to meet up properly otherwise even at small scale it'll look awful.

I'll have a go at something later.
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Postby Matti » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:07 pm

It looks like ready to go. When do we see it in BTS? :)
You know what they say, don't you? About how us MechWarriors are the modern knights errant, how warfare has become civilized now that we have to abide by conventions and rules of war. Don't believe it.

MekWars
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Sat Sep 01, 2007 2:17 pm

Well, these are just the meshes. They still need to be rigged for animation and then put n the game by Derk.

I think I'm giving him enough material to keep busy for months to come. I'd like to be able to do the animations too, but aparently the blender exporter doesn't work so well. I found a more recent version which maybe will do the trick, but I've yet to try it.
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