Author Topic: Modular Construction Kit (Release 1.2 Now Available)  (Read 23629 times)

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Offline Black Wolf

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Modular Construction Kit (Release 1.2 Now Available)
[EDIT2] - RELEASE 1.2 NOW AVAILABLE, INCLUDES TURRET, DISH, BIODOMES ETC. - Go HERE

So I made a little drydock thing for a Fenris.




And then I thought... "That needs more girders." So I added them.




Essentially, this is a very simple, first pass at a system for creating modular, drydock type shapes around ships, most particularly for ships that are just ridiculously small inside the Ganymede or Polaris (i.e. cruisers and below). At this point it's limited to 5 and 11 cell lengths and single cell joiner pieces, and, as a result, to 90 degree bends. But adding new pieces to allow for 45 degree angles (or whatever angle, really) should be relatively simple. Obviously, they all dock together quite nicely since the lengths are all standardized (Each bar is 1m/1m/8m - a single cube is 10x10x10). The intention is to give FREDders another tool for adding to the atmosphere of a mission, more of the real world stuff that Freespace sorely lacks.

Obviously, it's not going to work so well for something destroyer sized (even corvettes, at this point, will be dicey because of the number of individual pieces required (going up to 21 cell girders would be more logical there, which is a very simple propsition)), but for its nieche I think it works pretty well. I'd like some feedback from people who try it out, any suggestions for new pieces in particular.

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« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 09:44:30 am by Black Wolf »
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I like this sort of thing, nice work :)
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Offline Nohiki

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Very practical  :yes: A tube corridor inside might be nice so humans can move there without a spacesuit though :) then maybe attach point to crew quarters module and stuff. Keep up the good work!
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Offline Black Wolf

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A tube in the central part of the girders isn't really practical given the way they connect together - the single cell connector pieces would need to be oriented correctly, and you'd need separate models for t junctions, 4 way junctions, straight through, ninety degree turns etc. etc. Very complex. Attaching little mini installations to the side though is as easy as pie - well, as easy as making the pofs anyway. I have a few ideas about how to make them work, but I'll need to spend some time experimenting.
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Good stuff, Black Wolf. I once had an idea for making a ship construction yard, with converted cargo containers with windows acting as porta-cabins, like those you might see on construction sites, linked together by cables/tubes to allow crews to move between them. Not sure how 'realistic' that would be in space, though. I also thought that it'd be cool to model one of the construction ships/robots that you see in the Colossus cutscene to go with it. Maybe I'll get around to that if I get more Blender experience.

 

Offline Col. Fishguts

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Very cool :yes:

Now, for it to be practical to act as a drydock, it would need something like a crane/robotic arm attached to the girders that would actually do stuff.
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Offline Snail

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Or one of the repair bots from the Colossus cutscene!

 
A tube in the central part of the girders isn't really practical given the way they connect together - the single cell connector pieces would need to be oriented correctly, and you'd need separate models for t junctions, 4 way junctions, straight through, ninety degree turns etc. etc. Very complex. Attaching little mini installations to the side though is as easy as pie - well, as easy as making the pofs anyway. I have a few ideas about how to make them work, but I'll need to spend some time experimenting.

You could build a simple connector cube with 6 closed hatches on it, and the girder outside. That would allow making modular stuff without getting too complicated. A 90 degree turn would require connecting a cube with 2 elements at a 90 degree angle, an extension would require connecting the cube with 2 girders on the opposite sides, etc. all the way up to a 6 way 'hub' connection, where the cube would have a girder attached to every hatch.

Also- a crew quarter module would be nice (best with a dockpoint or docking bay for a transport, and another dockpoint with a hatch (same standard one as the cubes and girders) to allow connecting it to the other parts of the modular system), and some sections with the inner pipes for people/machines, but without the girder. These could be placed so that they connect the ouside dock thingy with the ship inside, similar to what the pipes on the Ganymede do.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Or one of the repair bots from the Colossus cutscene!

I am in the process of making one of those...

But I would find this incredibly useful if it had  a few longer pieces for something corvette sized.

Really cool!
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Offline Nohiki

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It would also make good makeshift instalation given the quarters and dockpoint modules.
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Offline z64555

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A modular base could be made using a similar method... such as connecting various transport tube types together to link up landing pads,  power generators, processing plants, etc.

At any rate, good stuff Wolf.  :yes:
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Offline Droid803

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Cool, but I think it needs a few more "interesting bits".
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Offline Solatar

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This could easily (if modelers have the inclination) have the potential to become a sort of "modular standard" for this size of stuff.  Powerplants, sentry guns, living spaces, etc. could all be made to fit into these kinds of things.

I've been using Polaris pylons shrunk 1/6 in PCS2 for this application (Fenris cruiser, actually), but these are miles better. :yes:  So far, I've been really liking your 'extra' models.  They have a utilitarian aesthetic that blends in perfectly, and unobtrusively, with canon FS stuff.

Plus: Docking > Placing things manually in FRED.

 

Offline headdie

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Cool, but I think it needs a few more "interesting bits".

+1

A section with some kind of generic storage pods (though docking cargo containers would work)
Docking section for repair/construction craft
Small habitation/command section
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 01:42:52 pm by headdie »
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Offline mjn.mixael

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You guys are so needy... Can't you be creative with the girders + pylons, cargo containers and all the other junk we have lying around the forums? Why do you have to insist that this guy create you a whole modular installation just because he handed out a set of girders?
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Offline Solatar

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You guys are so needy... Can't you be creative with the girders + pylons, cargo containers and all the other junk we have lying around the forums? Why do you have to insist that this guy create you a whole modular installation just because he handed out a set of girders?

I think people are just seeing the world of possibilities opened up by completed modular station stuff and are just getting excited.  Plus, Blackwolf said it was a first pass at it, so he basically opened the field (whether intentionally or not) for people to come in and start asking for their favorite feature. :)


 

Offline Solatar

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Terran-Vasudan War reinforcement/recon wing (for jumping through nodes).



Sorry for the double post; these things are just sexy.  You're about half-way to giving me K'Nex or Legos in FRED.

 

Offline Nuke

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this is pretty clever. if you keep things square, with fixed girder lengths in multiples of unit length, and unit length being the size of your typical hub (the distance between 2 adjacent dock points of your basic 6-way hub). modules could be designed with linkups that match girder length+2 (for hubs and t-pieces).  to expand beyond square is where things get tricky.

say you want a cross-ways girder as part of a square frame and say 1 unit = 10 meters and distance between the center of the hubs is 100m x 100m (or 10 units). provided there is space for an angular dockpoint (say one of the orthagonal docs rotated 45 degrees about the intersecting axis) that doesnt clip with the other docks. the distance between the dock center and the dock is 0.5units, and in this case it would be about 5 meters with a 90 meter (or 9 units) girder (the whole frame would actually be 110x110m, given the extra 0.5units). the distance between kitty corner hub centers would be sqrt(10x10+10x10) or 14.14214 units -0.5-0.5 for the distance between the dock and the hub center. so this would require a girder 13.14214 units long. what you could do is add the extra 0.14214 to the hubs instead so you can have an integer-length girder. you would only need to extrude the dock face of the diagonals by 0.14214*0.5 units.

getting even more 3dimensional, say you have a cube built with 2 of those frames connected by 9-unit girders (gonna use cell units from here out). now the distance between top right hub on the back frame and the bottom left hub on the back frame is sqrt(10*10+10*10+10*10), or 17.32052 units. we can do the same thing as last time and take up the excess 0.32052 space at the hub and use a 17 unit girder. at this point we kinda hit a problem though. say we want to use 5-unit girders, now the distance between the same 2 modules is sqrt(5*5+5*5+5*5) or 8.66025, and if you wanted to use a 7 unit girder you now need to take up 0.66025*0.5 (beyond the 0.5 needed) at the hub.

essentially what your creating is a virtual lego set. if you have used lego for as long as i have you grow to respect the engineering behind the system. my point is that this is something that would require more engineering that graphics design. if you come up with a decent set of design rules then you need not model the whole thing yourself. if you make the standards for the system up front and well documented, providing guidelines to follow for people wanting to create new parts that mesh well with the existing system, then you would have a very powerful way to build whatever kind of installation you want with with only a small library of parts.
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Offline z64555

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Forgive my ignorance, but could you please illustrate?  :nervous:

Edit: Ohhh ok, your talking about diagonals?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2011, 10:53:47 pm by z64555 »
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Offline IronBeer

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Really cool development- we may soon start seeing bitz that can be modular with this system of girders. Not to mention the potential of "destructible terrain", as it were, for installations.

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