Hard Light Productions Forums

Diaspora => Developer Blog => Topic started by: DaBrain on April 13, 2010, 03:30:43 pm

Title: 2010-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: DaBrain on April 13, 2010, 03:30:43 pm
(http://i41.tinypic.com/309n51e.jpg)

It has been quite a while since the last entry. I won't be able to show you something new, but made some adjustments to the Bolitho and 'finalized' it a while ago. Even thou that ship was already in the game, the debris meshes were missing and there were a couple of other things I was able to improve.

I know there are quite a few developers around here who might be interested in how the models for Diaspora are made. I won't go into detail, so it won't be boring.
You also get a first look at the Bolitho debris mesh.


You can always PM me if you have any further questions.

(Each picture can be viewed at the actual size.)


Concept:
(http://i40.tinypic.com/o8i64h.jpg)


Step 1: Creating the basic shape of the ship. No detailing yet. I started out with the front part.
(http://i41.tinypic.com/2mgwnpw.jpg)

Step 2: Creating the basic shape for the engine part.
(http://i43.tinypic.com/2guf5lj.jpg)

Step 3: Adding the more noticable details. I'm starting the this detail, because I'm working with a concept sketch and not accurate CAD data. Proportions of details often become a problem, especially when the concepts from different perspectives do not match up each other. In order to maintain the original look of the concept, I decide which details are visually more important than others. Some details can be scaled up or down and nobody will notice it.
(http://i41.tinypic.com/10qfl6w.jpg)

Step 4: Now I started adding the plates to the primary hull. It's a secondary detail, so it had to wait until this point. i also tried out the wings on the engine and how they might look when the mesh is complete.
(http://i42.tinypic.com/15ck8sp.jpg)

Step 5: I added some more details and some quickly made turrets for a preview of the ship. I wasn't too fond of the wings of the engines and the side-mounted turrets looked too heavy.
(http://i42.tinypic.com/e0sw1i.jpg)

Step 6: I removed the side-mounted turrets and our concept artist gave me a good idea for the new wings on the engine. I also added better turrets to the top and the bottom. This version of the mesh is almost complete.
(http://i39.tinypic.com/2qj9012.jpg)

Step 7: I completely replaced all turrets and added new side-mounted turrets that looked a lot less heavy and therefore more believable on a ship of this size. I also started mapping the model, which is the process of unwrapping a 3d surface onto a 2d space. It's pretty much like unfolding a paper model until it's just  flat sheet of paper again. The parts with the checkers are already mapped parts. The checker map helps seeing distortions in the mapping.
(http://i42.tinypic.com/zm14zd.jpg)


Step 8: I mapped a larger part of the surface of the ship. You probably notice that the checkers have different sizes. That's because I do the final scaling at the end when I move the them into the texture square. The 2d texture map is a square, so all parts of the mapped surface need to fit into the square. The more space of the texture can be used, the sharper the final texture will look on the model.
(http://i43.tinypic.com/30wvyts.jpg)


Step 9: The mapping is almost complete. You can see the smaller mesh details in this picture. They separate meshes that are just sticked into the main mesh.
(http://i44.tinypic.com/3fn94.jpg)

Step 10: Now that the mapping is complete. The texturing work can begin. Again Is started with the most noticable details. From here on I had some come up with my own ideas for the texture, as the concept mainly focused on the mesh.
(http://i44.tinypic.com/ohkbht.jpg)

Step 11: The texture for the fron part is almost complete. I added smaller details as well as a lot of dirt to it. Dirt makes a texture more believable. Some battle damage from previous battles can also help to make a ship look more realistic. It's easy to overdo it though. Too much dirt easily messes up your whole texture.
(http://i39.tinypic.com/2gvlyq8.jpg)

Step 12: Now the textures for the ship are complete. The only thing left to do are the specular normal and glow maps.
Specular maps define how the ship surface reacts to direct illumation. In the shader Dispoara uses, it also defines how relective the different parts of the ship are.
Normal maps simulate normals on a surface on a per-pixel basis. Normally a flat stufface has only one normal. Normal maps can be used to make a flat surface look more complex than it actually is, so you don't have to use many polygons in order to get the same effect.
Glow maps pretty much do what their name tell you. They glow in the dark.
(http://i41.tinypic.com/2h4e13b.jpg)

Step 13: Now that the mapping and textures are complete it is time to work on the lods.
Lods or Level of Detail meshes have only one purpose. Making the job of your graphics card easier.
The last step in the 3d pipeline is the rasterization in which all the graphics are turned into pixels so you can see them on your monitor.
Before that the size of a model on the screen doesn't matter for your graphics card. Even when a model will end up as one pixel on your screen, all the polygons it has will have to be rendered.
Lods are simplified models that replace the more complex original model. Depending on the distance one of them will used.
(http://i44.tinypic.com/16jlzle.jpg)

Step 14: Then I designed the engine exhaust effects. It's a simple mesh with an animated texture. Nothing special, but it looks pretty good.
(http://i42.tinypic.com/e6yvcx.jpg)

Step 15: In the end I also create a debris mesh, which will be used when the ship has been destroyed. It actaully has multiple parts which will drift through space separatly. This is just the initial position for the parts.
(http://i40.tinypic.com/fmj8go.jpg)

Step 16: The model is complete! It's time to see how it looks like with shaders, so we can imagine how the ship will look like in the game with all the maps that we have created.
(http://i40.tinypic.com/2hewkr5.jpg)

Bottom of the engine:
(http://i41.tinypic.com/poda8.jpg)

Bottom of the nose:
(http://i44.tinypic.com/34dsxls.jpg)

Bottom of the nose with no light (to illustrate the effect of glow maps):
(http://i40.tinypic.com/35kpffa.jpg)

Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 14, 2010, 12:48:00 pm
oohhhh, pretty pretty ship. Heeeey, you hid another gun under the nose? hadn't noticed that before.

Looking good DaBrain! :D
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Locutus of Borg on April 14, 2010, 02:50:57 pm
 :jaw:
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: boewolf on April 14, 2010, 07:11:10 pm
With those side mounted turrets.  Are they malty or single part turrets?
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: FUBAR-BDHR on April 14, 2010, 07:23:45 pm
Malty?  Yea a lot of beer goes into them so Malty would be a good term. :P

But yea they are multi-part. 

Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Rodo on April 14, 2010, 09:24:46 pm
I'll say a phrase I haven't said in a while now.

When I grow up, I wanna be like you!  ;)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: FraktuRe on April 15, 2010, 03:22:14 am
I've always loved the Bolitho. Amazing to see her come together with lots of pics :)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: m!m on April 15, 2010, 06:09:20 am
 :jaw:  :jaw:  :jaw:
Words cannot describe the awesomeness of this model and this whole game!
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: StarSlayer on April 15, 2010, 08:18:48 am
I'll say a phrase I haven't said in a while now.

When I grow up, I wanna be like you!  ;)


The "How to grow up and be DaB" Developer Diary will be coming out later down the line.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: DaBrain on April 15, 2010, 09:00:56 am
:lol:

Wait until they find out what I do for a living. ;)


By the way, I wouldn't have come up with a concept like that I think. Slayer's style is just awesome. Whenever he posts a concept I instatly want to model it.

The best design I was able to come up with at the time was this thing:
(http://i44.tinypic.com/qqp9tu.png)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 15, 2010, 10:14:13 am
thats a pretty mean looking ship!
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Richard on April 16, 2010, 05:38:28 am
Awesome work.
For this little ship it's very retty.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Fish on April 16, 2010, 10:44:39 pm
Nice work! :) Very impressed by the amount of care taken to make something of high quality.

Does the ship have any docking/landing capability with shuttles, fighters, etc?
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: StarSlayer on April 16, 2010, 11:31:03 pm
The design called for her toting a pair of Raptors on external dock ports, though I'm not sure if that eventually made it in.  These would be used for boarding actions for customs checks, SAR, Recon etc.  In peace time Bolitho corvettes would be handling a wide variety of missions many similar to modern day Coast Guard.  Hence the anti smuggling action taking place in the original concept art.

Here is a much more up to date concept version that the Bolitho you see above is modeled on:

(http://i733.photobucket.com/albums/ww332/50stone/SFM%20Sketches/Bolitho20Bottom.jpg)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Fish on April 17, 2010, 04:29:12 am
In peace time Bolitho corvettes would be handling a wide variety of missions many similar to modern day Coast Guard.  Hence the anti smuggling action taking place in the original concept art.

Ah, so that's why there's a Firefly in the first drawing :p
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 17, 2010, 07:09:23 am
The Firefly is a canon ship in the BSG universe anyway :)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: FraktuRe on April 17, 2010, 07:40:52 am
Amusingly, the GDI Kodiak has been in ALMOST every single episode of BSG ever, from the mini to the finale.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 17, 2010, 09:51:38 am
The design called for her toting a pair of Raptors on external dock ports, though I'm not sure if that eventually made it in.

Well, from the shots above, it looks like there's space to put Raptors onto the side of the ship in the same place they're shown on the concept drawing.

Also, isn't this design one of the concept arts from waaaay back for BTRL?
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: StarSlayer on April 17, 2010, 10:03:05 am
The design called for her toting a pair of Raptors on external dock ports, though I'm not sure if that eventually made it in.

Well, from the shots above, it looks like there's space to put Raptors onto the side of the ship in the same place they're shown on the concept drawing.

Also, isn't this design one of the concept arts from waaaay back for BTRL?

Yes, though so is the Sobek class.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Angreifer on April 17, 2010, 10:36:46 am
That is one sexy beast. Excuse me if this has been answered somewhere else, but what's her crew complement roughly?
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: karajorma on April 17, 2010, 09:35:58 pm
We haven't decided on all the elements of the fluff yet so I don't think we have an official figure yet. We'll have to take a look at what Pegasus and Galactica have and try to take a guess from there. :)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Aardwolf on April 18, 2010, 04:02:37 pm
We haven't decided on all the elements of the fluff yet so I don't think we have an official figure yet.

I'll have to remember where this was posted once fanboys start fighting over subtext and whatnot.   :yes:
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: kodiakus on April 19, 2010, 09:10:14 pm
The ship looks like it'd be very cramped inside. Can't be too many crew members, I'd guess somewhere around 40 at most.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: HaloBuff on April 19, 2010, 10:19:22 pm
In peace time Bolitho corvettes would be handling a wide variety of missions many similar to modern day Coast Guard.  Hence the anti smuggling action taking place in the original concept art.

Ah, so that's why there's a Firefly in the first drawing :p

So would the Constitution class starship from that reasoning ;)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: karajorma on April 20, 2010, 12:52:36 am
The ship looks like it'd be very cramped inside. Can't be too many crew members, I'd guess somewhere around 40 at most.

O RLY? :p

That 747 is the correct size. Although the shape didn't change much the Bolitho did get significantly bigger during development. But even at its original size it was still a fairly big ship.

NB. Ignore the quality, FPS etc of the screenshots. They were taken on a debug build so they won't look that pretty. :)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 20, 2010, 04:55:26 am
So, theres now a 747 in the fleet? :P
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: karajorma on April 20, 2010, 05:02:34 am
Fire up the Cheddite Projector!


/me is a big fan of Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers (http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2006/07/review-star-smashers-of-the-galaxy-rangers-by-harry-harrison/).
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: newman on April 20, 2010, 05:31:28 am
One thing to consider when fanwan.. thinking about the bolitho's crew complement in relation to a galactica sized battlestar is, the size difference alone isn't too good a guideline. A Galactica-type battlestar comes with two flight pods, 40 launch tubes each. That's 80 vipers carried at a bare minimum. Allowing for the fact that each flight pod is about twice as long as a Nimitz class carrier which can carry 90 planes each almost double the size of a viper, I think it's safe to assume a Galactica type battlestar would normally carry more then double the amount of vipers then she has tubes for. At any rate, apart from having pilots for all those vipers and raptors, a ship like that would also need officers to operate the tubes, officers to direct landings, deck hands to maintain all those ships, loadout and refueling operators etc. In short, a whole frakload of jobs the Bolitho simply would have no need for, so I'd expect her crew complement to be lower then what comes out as proportionally smaller to Galactica. If I had to guess I'd say she'd have a similar crew complement to a ww2 destroyer.. Anyway that's my amount of fanwanking for the day covered :P
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Richard on April 20, 2010, 12:42:04 pm
WTF a 747 in the game? x'D
Good modification ^^
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: The E on April 20, 2010, 02:24:50 pm
747s in FreeSpace? Must be just another day, I guess. Good thing there are no shivans on that plane.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Wolfy on April 20, 2010, 03:12:39 pm
747s in FreeSpace? Must be just another day, I guess. Good thing there are no shivans on that plane.

There's not really any volcanic ash over Europe, the goverments are obviously concerned about a possible Shivan assault on all aircraft :P

As for judgeing the number of crew on the Bolitho: somewhere between 1 and an infinate amount of people are on it :)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Locutus of Borg on April 20, 2010, 04:54:06 pm
music is my aeroplane
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: headdie on April 20, 2010, 05:04:53 pm
e no shivans on that plane.

someone should really do something on that
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: karajorma on April 20, 2010, 06:02:23 pm
I happen to have a 747 model in the model format Diaspora uses sitting around on my HD just so that I can do size comparisons with a real world object.

I can't remember who made and released it originally. It's not from JAD3 as it's much older.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: kodiakus on April 21, 2010, 01:05:17 am
A better reference would be to have the Raptors docked on the sides, like they were in the concept art. My judgment was based off of the size comparison between the raptors docked on the sides and the Bolitho itself. You really must have upped the size of the Bolitho a bit, because that 747 could fit 8.25 raptors inside of it lengthwise. The concept art was about 12 raptors in length, that bolitho looks about... 24 raptors in length, using the boeing as a reference as best as I can eye it. So, perhaps 200-300 crew? It all depends on what's inside though. Everything from armor to boxes of soap takes up space. you could easily fit a thousand if it were a transport. I'd love to design interior schematics for it, now that you have me thinking.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: FreespacePilot2010 on May 10, 2010, 09:44:29 pm
Ive been gone for a while lately so its nice to finally see some updates!

Karajorma is obviously a scientologist. Xenu has upgraded his DC-8s to 747s! LOL just kidding.

Seriously though nice work on the Bolitho. I hope I can get to blowing it up soon!
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Ace on May 10, 2010, 11:24:59 pm
Well who else would The One True God(tm) be?
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: newman on May 11, 2010, 03:13:24 am
(http://i40.tinypic.com/xqdu00.jpg)
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Thaeris on May 11, 2010, 01:43:20 pm
Think that chap even knows what those DIPs are supposed to do?

 :P
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: newman on May 11, 2010, 03:19:05 pm
Think that chap even knows what those DIPs are supposed to do?

 :P

They do what Xenu says they do.
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: FreespacePilot2010 on May 11, 2010, 04:49:17 pm
Karajormas pic of the 747 in space made me think of this.

(http://DC8s.jpg)

This was the highest quality pic I could find. Sorry the quality is so low.


[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: 10-04-14 - Development of the Bolitho model
Post by: Aardwolf on May 11, 2010, 06:15:39 pm
Well who else would The One True God(tm) be?

Behemecoatyl?