Trying my hands on the Orion for you guys

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Trying my hands on the Orion for you guys

Postby elitewolverine » Tue May 06, 2008 9:41 pm

As this is my very first post here, (although not new to browsing the forums etc) i have decided to put my hands in and help. Especially after seeing the game get past more than a simple concept and up to where it is now.

Besides that i want to also say that im a avid battletech fan (although havent practiced boardgame in a few years do to life problems). But with those aside the niche to get back into the scene just keep itching at me.

Currently i dont have any pics of my current orion model for the game that i can share and say hey looky here is what i got so far (still in blockmodeling phase).

But to show some of my skill, and i hope skill to your liking, here is a link of a high poly battlemech im in the middle of designing before i picked up the orion for your project. here is my Maagnir (a custom mech i used for my board game days, although it never had name or physical form till recently) http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/3d-w ... d-yet.html

oh yea as well if anyone has reference pics for the orion that arent in the standard google search please do send me as many as many pics as you can find
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed May 07, 2008 12:50 am

sounds good, the Orion is a pretty rounded mech in places so you may want to take some liberties in redesigning, just to keep the polycount reasonable.
Aim for 1200 triangles (if you are mirroring, that's about 300 quads per side, so not really that detailed) and if there are any left over you can go up to maybe 1400 with some extra detailing or rounding out of the basic shapes.

I tend to use either a 6 sided shape for circular cross sections in the arms and legs (looks circular from a distance) or a 8 sided shape for the main body (will be bigger so needs more detail). You can use 5 or 7 sided shapes when blocking out for less obvious geometry, but it makes it hard to maintain front and rear polycount symmetry, which is essential later when trying to split the body sections.

Good luck, this was a mech I considered as it can be great when done well, but I passed it over because seemed to difficult to do a really good job. Check the mechwarrior 3 model for a nice example of how this thing can turn out.
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Postby elitewolverine » Wed May 07, 2008 1:49 am

thanks for the reply and suggestions. Kinda my first attempt at a low poly. and i dont really know how to tell my triangle count in blender. Currently its just a verticie and face count that is available (i know triangles are usually low than verticie count)...

but currently just working on it for a few im at ~1500 verticies....i kinda wanna go back and do the arms, mainly becuase the top section of a arm, ie upper right arm, is over 200 verticies alone, so just by the arms themselves the mech is 1000 verticies estimated because the lower arm uses the same quality in terms of roundness quality.

currently they are 16 verticie circles, and i know games usually use 8 (mw3 and mw4) but i was trying my hardest to get the most detail in the round surfaces and use textures on the flat surfaces...

i know the limit is 2000, but my aim is for about 1200-1300...

if you want me to post a pic of my current progress ill surely do that for any tips...

oh yea also since i know your one of the people that have modeled the mechs in this game...

the arms are supposed to have upper/lower/hand...but the orion doesnt have any hands in any of its configurations....ummm what do i do?
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Postby SandMan » Wed May 07, 2008 3:41 am

Just leave them off, a weapon mount will go there.
For Davion!
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Postby elitewolverine » Wed May 07, 2008 6:19 am

ok without much word fluff here is what the orion looks like with what i was able to do, added some detail while still managing to reduce the polys...

blender tells these counts as far as polygons
vericies: 1284
faces: 1166

as for the lighting its of course a render in terms of using ambient occlusion etc etc but it doesnt affect model details just the light/shadows...

ill take a crack at texturing, but i think somone might be better suited for that job than me especially since im working in blender and not 3dsmax (even though i have the program...i really should learn it)

let me know what you think

Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Wed May 07, 2008 10:34 am

well, it's definitely an Orion. :)

The shape is all there, just need to have some practice on reducing polygons.

Don't worry, low poly takes a lot to learn, but once you get the feel for it, it's not really difficult, rather, it's time consuming. You do a lot of reworking and sketching out of possible configurations.

One quad (blender uses quads by default) is two triangles, so your poly count is actually around 2300 triangles. You said that the circular shapes are 16 vertice circles, as I said, you should use 8 vertice circles in the body and any part of the model which is big and obvious, such as the right arm. On less obvious areas such as the upper arm, use 6 vertice circles. It'll cut your poly count down to almost nothing. For example your upper arm is 400 triangles, mine on the crockett is about 30.

You may find these two images helpful, these are mechs I've produced for the game, I'm showing the wire frame here so you can see how low detailed they are over all, with small areas of extra detail to define character...
Image
Image

I use blender too, as I found 3dsmax too difficult and expensive to learn. Blender on the other hand has plenty of free tutorials around for every aspect of design, modeling texturing, animating and whatever else you could need to use the program.

Texture unwrapping is actually really good in blender. I've heard some professionals use blender instead of max or maya simply for that task, returning to the commercial program when animating and performing other tasks.
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Postby elitewolverine » Wed May 07, 2008 6:24 pm

lol yea i know, when i first tried blender i didnt know it was going to be this easy/powerfull, over the last 3yrs ive been lucky enough to grab ahold of max/maya/lightwave for next to nothing thanks to friends and estate auctions but...i find theres little those things can do besides really really commercial stuff (things i wont be doing as a hobbie) that blender cant. Nor do they have their own built in game engine ;) (yes ive used it to create the simplest of games for my 4yr old that spends hours on them)

anyhow thanks for the wireframes they do help alot, especially since well as you can tell from my other work style, not really used to low poly :D, i think my lowest poly model was a stargate aerofighter and that was in 40k verticie count lol

so here is the new lower poly orion, i spent some time reworking the feet (had uneeded face/verticies) and the legs (again uneeded) as well as reducing the arms/joints to lower polys...

verticie: 877
faces: 800 (not all quads)

im happy with the result, of under 1600 triangles, i could probably go lower but i think that might hurt the quality....theres a few places i might try, but again think its the right blend for now...

Image
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Postby Hana Yuriko » Thu May 08, 2008 1:08 am

Is it me or does that thing on the torso look like the head of Optimus Prime?
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Postby elitewolverine » Mon May 12, 2008 8:54 pm

and for anyone interested. i decided to make my try at making a base grey texture for the orion...

i can manipulate them quite easily in blender but not photoshop, so someone here good at that can manipulate the base into however they want...

almost done, just the lower legs and feet to go...

Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Mon May 12, 2008 11:55 pm

Is it UV unwrapped? If you send me the model or host it somewhere I can run it through my texturing program and give it a nice professional finish.

The program is called Mapzone and it uses a procedural generation system, so you just need to set it up once (admittedly quite a task), and then it can be used again and again for each new mech.

I just mask off some areas on the UV map, basically splitting it in to different material zones and then feed that mask in to the program.

If you want I can use the Orion as part of a tutorial on how to use the program (with a basic texture generator thrown in). May take a week or two though.
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Postby elitewolverine » Tue May 13, 2008 12:30 am

yes it is, thats the texture on the mech...uv mapped to a .png

umm i dont know if your asking if i have a uv texture on it or if thats the "detailed version" of the model. Hope its a mixture of both lol...

this is the method i used:
like the legs are only going to use one texure ie "leg-texure" so i only have to have one picture for both of them...

so i duplicated the leg, with the new duplicate i added all the details that would be in a texture basically just panels, set no lights in the scene (just ambient occlusion for uniform lighting). Then put the new object in front of the camera, put it in orthorgraphic mode, set the resolution to 240x240, and rendered it and saved the file...

i then used photo shop to import and size them on a 1024x1024 texture.

there is 12 current pieces on the texture, with only the head left...

i also made sure not to erase the original 240x240's so that in a later time one could make a better resolution or manipulate each part by themselves or do whatever they wanted...

anyhow loaded up the main texture in blender, and since i did ortho pics i just had to do the same so side, front, back in blender, select some faces, unwrap from view and then size it to the piece on the texture...

hugely simple and fast in blender imo...

the longest part is modeling the details (20mins or less on each part ie leg arm) and then copy past into photoshop resize, save, 'reload' and select in blender....under 45minutes....the torso took the longest, but all in all about 2hrs of work to make the texure and map it...

but since i already have the base texture file as a .png....you are more than welcome to take that and manipulate it any way you want for faction colors etc etc, hell anyone here is welcome to do that...

now all i need is a way to export blender materials into a png format shoot then i would be set


p.s. just in case if anyone was like wtf did he just say here is a example pic of the lower part of the leg that was duplicated/exploded/detailed (thats the detailed model no texture applied)

and with the model to the left with the texture applied...looks darn close imo from the actual model....Now that pic is with ambient occlusion which is ray traced, and takes on average 15secs to render a single frame, but without it since the model has a texture on it, the textured version ends up looking better than the actual detailed model lol go figure....

Image
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Postby Smoking_Mirror » Tue May 13, 2008 10:37 am

Interesting method.

If it is UV unwrapped (i.e. seams added and then press 'u' to unwrap the polys on to a texture sheet) you should be able to bake the materials on to the UV map.

Just set p your lights and everything and then on the render tab switch the bake/animation tab to bake.

Set full render on the bake tab and let it do it's magic.

You will have to join all the objects together before doing this otherwise it will only bake one object at a time (the left leg for example).
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Postby elitewolverine » Thu May 15, 2008 3:04 am

i tried the bake thing but it came out abit weird for me and was actually tuffer because it unwraps every face onto a map, seperately, even if they are not together...

with mine i just hit orthographic for the camera, and then set up the view port to either front/side/top etc, and then align cam to view, size the ortho camera so that the detailed part i want is almost full size, and then hit render....save the output render to png...load it up into photoshop add it to a bigger main 1024x1024 texture size it up so that all the parts will fit...go back to blender, load up the image into the material, do the same view on the main model, just hit 'b' twice for selection method, unwrap from view, and then bam size it directly to the render result....because well they are the same view lol....

sounds like alot of steps but its alot of small steps, and actually very fast, because i dont have to worry about selecting what faces etc, its a view selection (with the exception of very angled faces and even then those are easy)...

this is the main texture file, notice no feet and some views missing because on parts that i thought didnt needs its own texture i re-used texture aspects from other parts to get the look i wanted...(mainly head and feet)...and i just noticed its a 512x512 picture, but thats ok cause all those indivudual parts are saved 240x240 so they can be used later for better graphics etc or textures etc remap would take under a hour imo...but it also lets you paint each part/section individually...

edit im working a texture method on the kodiak that would hopefully put the entire mech in one picture as if the mech was flattened out (kinda like a human face, but not texture wise, model wise, and it would be easy to do on a low poly model and very easy to manipulate as a seperate model all to together ie blow it up then model details in one view instead of 3d, its a idea and im seeing how it is versus the method im using for the warhammer right now...
Image
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Postby elitewolverine » Sun May 18, 2008 9:53 am

im pretty much done with the orion in terms of modeling...

if i need to redo the base texture i can...

where do i submit the model to be looked at/animated?

unless you want me to help with the animation as well...i dont mind, i just need a list of what animations you want/need, ie crouch, run, things like that...

i also have milkshape so anything i do in blender i can check in milkshape, and if not i can learn it decently fast...

so far the orion does export and import into milkshape with its current texture

oh yea if anything needs to be fixed, just send it back and ill fix it (dont want to make more work for you all)
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Postby adamsderk » Sun May 18, 2008 3:34 pm

elitewolverine,

Zip it up and email it to me. I'll take a look at it and let you know how it works.

Thanks.
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