Author Topic: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet  (Read 7899 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

(WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Hello folks, been a while. I am not sure if this is the best place to post this but it's Blue Planet related!

Many eons ago I released one of my few toys to the FSO community to play with, my old HEF Blizzard. It was the best thing I've made at the time, a real work of art, sweat, and love. You can imagine how proud I was when it became the UEF Lao Tze of Blue Planet  :D. As happy as I was, for a very long time since it was added... I was honestly a bit unhappy because my Blizzard never matched BP's aesthetic, not to mention BP stands at the front of FSO's public image as one of the best community projects on an open source engine. A few months ago I decided to not only make something for my future as a portfolio piece, but a gift to the love I have for FSO and the hard work you guys have done for Blue Planet. It is not complete, nowhere near but after over a month and dozens of hours of work I feel it's ready to be presentable. I present thee the UEF Acala A1, the replacement for the Lao Tze.


Disclaimer: The TechLab details are placeholders for now. It's not balanced currently!

Warning! Fan Lore below!

As read above, the Acala is inspired by the F-22, F-35, and F-14 fighters. The idea being that the Acala is a fighter designed with the most exquisite and finest technology at the time, made to defeat virtually any threats especially at extreme range.... during a time of peace and calm before the arrival of the Terran Expeditionary Fleet. Not seeing a role or use that other frames can fill in (aside from E-WAR/AWACS), the UEF Elders and high positioned advisors canned the Acala within the infancy of overall production. However the sheer power and flexibility of the Acala proved enticing to the White Guard who requisitioned several of the ill-fated Acala into Lao Tze fighters, featuring a unique frontal cannon and the latest electronic equipment.

When war came to Sol, Admiral Calder utilized the Acala in his typical fearsome aggressive tactics, bundling a screen of Acala fighters with Uriel Gunships and Durga Bombers to make a lethal fighting fist of strike craft. The Acala would use their extremely powerful radar to flash a target, disrupt their sensors, and fire off salvos of Grimler missiles all the while providing an ECM screen to their escorts. This proved so deadly that the GTVA deployed heavy counter-tactics against the Acala, deploying Aurora fighters to snuff out the Acala and their ECM, providing AWACs to other fighters to light up Firebrands with swarms of Trebuchet missiles. In the end, Calder lost two dozen in total destruction and another dozen too severely damaged to return to the fight. Admiral Byrne subsequently recalled all Acala fighters to 1st fleet to be used for defensive actions and the occasional escort or raid. A handful remain in the hands of Admiral Netreba and 2nd Fleet.


End Lore!

Quote
Teal Deer: The Acala is badass, so badass it wasn't meant for the universe. 3rd Fleet used it to kick ass on the GTVA, the GTVA returned to kick ass back and scared Byrne to recall the fighter. Some are still in 2nd fleet.

The Acala is a true to the word 'Heavy Fighter'. It's not as bigass huge and monstrously powerful as the Uriel and Izra'il but it's got a bigger bite than the Kentaroi and shares the same max speed with the Uhlan. It's not as agile as the smaller fighters but it's got good durability and firepower. It also can mount 2 jackhammers and a whole crapload of Grimler missiles. The jewel of the design is the massive nose mounted cannon. I even modeled the barrel extends a huge length down the belly of the craft. The weakness of the Acala in the face of the GTVA is that it has a rather large profile though not nearly as massive as you'd think. It probably won't handle well against enemy craft that feature 10+ primary banks in a clustered position, rather the Acala should engage at range to whittle the enemy away and if it is forced to dogfight.... use that massive cannon which has good effectiveness against shields and hull.

The overall plan is that aside from the fact a variant of this will replace the Lao Tze in my modification to BP, the A1 and B1 variants will appear in some of WiH's standard campaign missions as AI units and maybe be playable in some if it doesn't screw with the gameplay loop. Example: During the raid of the GTD Meridian, Byrne will deploy a grand total of ONE Acala A1 and one Acala B1 in the mission to screen Epsilon or Beta wing. They will also appear in the defense of Rheza Station in the grand show of TWO A1's coming to your aid. Lastly the Acala may be playable during Delenda Est if it doesn't interfere with how the mission is supposed to be played.

Conclusions

There's still a lot to do here even without implementation, granted at this early stage it makes for a good time for feedback and suggestions. The overall design is too far in to change at this point and I hope you all find it appealing and fits into BP's aesthetic universe, but there might be room for change. I'm currently working on the high-poly model for normal map projection. The model currently stands at 850,000 triangles though that's mostly due to the turbo-smoothing. Once I am satisfied I have most of the important details for the high-poly normal mapping, I'll project it onto a low poly, game optimized model. From there I'll hand paint on the panel plating and rivets, every other form of needed details too tedious to model.

Once Normal Mapping is done... well... we come to the very reason why I'm such a tryhard on this model. I have to texture it and I suck at texturing. This will be something for me to improve my skill with and will probably take a while. Still it is my end goal to provide a quality piece of art to mod into BP.

I look forward to future progress updates with you all.

EDIT:
I posted this at 1:30am my time, so I apologize for any missing or cut info... I was simply tired XD.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 12:14:06 am by Vengence »
I have created a masterpiece.

 

Offline Hellstryker

  • waffles
  • 210
    • Skype
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Well.. this is cool.

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Very cool design. I especially like the gimballed optics and radome.

 

Offline T-Man

  • 210
  • I came... I saw... I had a cuppa!
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Looks stunning so far Vengeance. I love the little touches like the hatch on top and as OneOneThree said the modelled radar equipment, and like the quality-over-quantity concept behind the ship (adds a sense of realism to ships with a lot of features). Nice job also coming up with such a different-feeling design while still (by the looks of it) keeping to the weapon layout of the original Lao Tze. Congrats :yes:.
CAUTION: Rabid Imagination!

self-confessed UEF fanboy.

 

Offline Commander Zane

  • 212
  • Spoot Knight of Anvils
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
That's one hell of a returning post. I like how it maintains the original profile while becoming a design of UEF aesthetic.

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Okay, I love the design, but there's a question I have: Why does the forward cockpit have a segmented canopy and the aft one a bubble one? I feel like mixing the two styles doesn't do the model any favours; it would probably look better if one style were chosen.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Okay, I love the design, but there's a question I have: Why does the forward cockpit have a segmented canopy and the aft one a bubble one? I feel like mixing the two styles doesn't do the model any favours; it would probably look better if one style were chosen.

Haha it came about from a mad idea I had when sketching to give it a unique look (asymmetry XD). In short the RIO has a nearly unobstructed view of everything, even looking to the side and below due to the bubble protruding a good bit. I read how in some F-14 deployments, the RIO would be called upon to guide and direct bombing operations of nearby fighters as they are the eye in the not so far sky, so I decided that similarly the Acala rear seater will be using its in the field perspective to guide and coordinate other fighters. Obviously it's just fluff but I decided to make it a bubble to give it the feel "This guy's job is to keep an eye out for everything" while the guy in the front is "Focus on flying" with the rigid canopy.

If it's a really big issue I can still fairly easily convert it to a segmented, it's one of those parts on the model in which I could change with reasonable ease. Heh, though is it really that big of an eyesore? Just asking ^^. And thanks everyone for the feedback, makes me so happy XD.
I have created a masterpiece.

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
  • 213
  • Nothing personal, just tech support.
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Well, if your canopy struts are big enough to actually obstruct vision, they're obviously stupid and bad (See also: Star Citizen cockpits).

That said, if that's your reasoning, then you also have to find a reason why the pilot doesn't need as much situational awareness as the RIO; I think it's better to not go down that route, as there is only madness at the end.

Unique looks are a good thing, but in this particular case, it just ends up indescribably weird to me. The original Blizzard, I feel, owes a lot to the Babylon 5 Thunderbolt with its long slender fuselage and segmented cockpit, those are design cues that I feel should be preserved.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline T-Man

  • 210
  • I came... I saw... I had a cuppa!
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Well, if your canopy struts are big enough to actually obstruct vision, they're obviously stupid and bad (See also: Star Citizen cockpits).

Could the RIO and/or pilot have AR/VR equipment (maybe helmet mounted) that fills in the obscured parts of their vision? If I recall right I heard once the F22 (or another new US aircraft) in real life is equipped with something similar for doing bombing runs? Would mean a wide cockpit would be less needed and the RIO could have 360-vision. FS fighters seem to have some good sensor systems so could imagine that tech being possible.
CAUTION: Rabid Imagination!

self-confessed UEF fanboy.

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Heh alrighty. I'll give it a go when I get back from this meeting. I've made some extra renders when I woke up to get a better view of the overall thing since I'm not about to fall over from sleep. Also that AR thing, I recall the F-35 having special underside cameras to facilitate that, I think I could add that to the mesh.

I have created a masterpiece.

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Update much, new segmented cockpits.  It looks rather like a Uriel now, though they could be from the same manufacturer all I can really say. Also you can now see the big f- gun. The big gun that's supposed to scare the living daylights out of other pilots.
I have created a masterpiece.

 

Offline Darius

  • Moderator
  • 211
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Such a gift indeed. Looks great!

Now that you've posted that homogenised cockpit glass pic, I'm curious to see what it would look like with both bubble canopies.

Let's venture further down this path of madness.

 

Offline Nyctaeus

  • The Slavic Engineer
  • 212
  • I made the largest .POF in the universe.
    • Minecraft
    • Exile
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
I want to see this as Blizzard replacement. Her design is astonishing and outstanding. Has much more UEF vibe :yes:
Exile | Shadow Genesis | Inferno | Series Resurrecta  | DA Profile | P3D Profile

Proud owner of NyctiShipyards. Remember - Nyx will fix it!

All of my assets including models, textures, skyboxes, effects may be used under standard CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Now that you've posted that homogenised cockpit glass pic, I'm curious to see what it would look like with both bubble canopies.

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline StarSlayer

  • 211
  • Men Kaeshi Do
    • Steam
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Now that you've posted that homogenized cockpit glass pic, I'm curious to see what it would look like with both bubble canopies.

Like a Dank Space Hind


Anyway, nice ship Vengence, she is a looker.
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Great, now I have a new nickname that I'll be using for this bird when I fly it, if you use the bubble canopies that is.

 

Offline Darius

  • Moderator
  • 211
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Like a Dank Space Hind

Yes exactly. Picture requested to identify level of Space Hindness.

 

Offline Droid803

  • Trusted poster of legit stuff
  • 213
  • /人 ◕ ‿‿ ◕ 人\ Do you want to be a Magical Girl?
    • Skype
    • Steam
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Hotdayum
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
Yes exactly. Picture requested to identify level of Space Hindness.

Well you asked for it. For Mudder Vrussia.


For some reason when importing BP models into 3DS Max they come out about half the size they should be as listed in tech entries. A bit of rescaling and snooping around and I get about this as the size comparison:

The Uriel is about 38m long including the pointy bits (I think), Acala is 32m long with pointy in order to properly fit the cockpit seats. The poor Uhlan is so tiny. Though keep in mind that these scales are potentially incorrect, I am honestly not sure why I'm getting these models in 3DS at a smaller unit scale than they should be.
I have created a masterpiece.

 
Re: (WIP) A Gift to Blue Planet
The poor Uhlan is so tiny.

poor Uhlan

idk, not getting shot to pieces by terpulses is an earthly bounty in my book
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.