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"Phoenix" (former Sputnik)

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Gernot66
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the Falcon is apart from a few added vertices the exact geometry except that i turned almost everything to a bezier surface. it worked well was quite easy done and the result is amazing if you guess that it's build from a handfull of points.


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Gernot66
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the success with the falcon and because it was so easy done i started to rebuild the hawk/kestrel in the same manner but it turned out that it needed special effort (many new points and a geomtry split into several parts in ffe) to reach something which isn't as good as the falcon (imho).


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Gernot66
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Gernot66
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the profile of the falcon wing is quasi wrong (it's anyway wrong), when i used the points as in this image the profile of the resulting bezier surfaces showed a larger surface for the underside of the wing. of course this i changed for my conversion and there isn't much difference in the result except that now the top surface is larger.
to reach the needed points for the bezier quad i just added one (per iteration) at the front of the wings profile in exact the height of the next point (those which form the wings profile in the original) due to that this nice wing shape was created.


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Gernot66
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yes the Falcon is straight green in FFE - but it uses the "cobra" texture in FE2.
there are many differences in skin use between them because of that i started to blend what is FE2 FFE and my own impression of it many of the teytures i used at start i didn't use anymore and almost all ships use now own skins instead of many several textures it's foremost better for my dynamic skin selection.

a substitute


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Gernot66
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half 'n half

the hawk/kestrel is build from i guess 6 different parts; hawk fuselage, hawk wing, hawk recess, hawk fin, kestrel mid-section, kestrel engines to make it possible in FEE to reu-se the hawk for the kestrel. it gave me a lot of troubles keeping this idea to build two ships from one because due to the slghtly different shape i couldn't use except for the wings itself the same texture twice.

i know i rebuilded it already for FFED3D but this time i redesigned the wings and apart from being thin like a razorblade they look much better as the geometry i used for my first model even if the previous "ffed3d hawk/ketrel" are else more detailed and such but the wings surface is better now and i guess i will re-use it. the difference is mainly that even for the ffed3d version even when it was build with blender i used a quick snapshot of a lua scripted geometry for the wings bezier shape, it's much easier and better made in with the lmr as modelling engine (for pre-modelling) as if i had to create a bezier shape in blender, at least i feel i can't reach the same so well. this first bezier shape was a flat and a triangle to close the surface like the original is designed knowing that due to the divisions it will result in a very smooth and unlike the "flat" command result in a proper shaded surface. but it's not as smooth as the new one which is rebuild using a bezier quad surface, it doesn't needs the triangle to close and smoothly slides into the fuselage. the only thing which worries me now a little is that it is this thin. if i lift it i lose the exact shape (while even if it's not to see i changed the fuselage a little and splitted the top from the bottom section to add an extra bezier not to have a sharp edge between top and bottom, you can't see it but you would if this 4mm wouldn't be there and it would be sharp and not rounded).
on the other hand in FFE (and as well any other similar game) and in pioneer you can't make good use of a Hawk or a Kestrel, i guess they are only men't as agressors because you can hardly fit a 1MW pulse laser and very often they are unequipped due to this lack of space in FE2/FFE (like in FE2 the Falcon which has a little more cargo space, the Hawk and Kestrel didn't exist there i guess).

In FE2 the Falcon is the typical enerving unarmed ship which follows you everywhere, but sometimes it's equipped with a 5MW pulse laser and then you have to take some care your shields can vanish quite fast.

to the Hawk and Kestrel i can't tell so much i played FFE but by far not as much as FE2 except that 9 tons cargo space are far to less drive, gun, and well choose autopilot or scanner or radar mapper or atmospheric shielding or ecm but you can only have three of them.

however, how it turned out i fell a little in love with the Falcon, mostly because it was surprising how well it worked out by using the few points the original ship has. the tip could be less pointed but else it's a cool somekind of retro supersonic jet looking space ship (missile shaped vessel ;))

i don't like the tail of the Hawk to be honest, somehow it destroys the else nicely shaped aircraft.
i have an impression everytime i work with the FFE geometry that some of the ships aren't designed by the same hand. from my POV a FE2 Falcon looks different to a FFE Hawk, not because they are two different type of aircrafts, it's how they are designed. How a Gyr is designed i.e. with all it's sloppyness, sticked together like the Hawk or Kestrel while the old ships was made like from one cast.

somehow the Falcon underscores this because it was like it would have planned to be made from bezier shapes while for the Hawk i had to redisgn many parts and still...

i digged out the script for the merlin and after noticing why i stopped the progress i layed it on ice, i must find a solution for the flapping wings so that they look still close to the original (i won't move the vertices and simply stretch the geometry).

i noticed i lost the script for the "Turner Class" that's sad.


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Gernot66
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pardon me 🙂

the special thing about the hawk/kestrel are the many parts it's made from and that i had to respect flipping over x axis, different position and due to that different texture coordinates for the same geometry. the wing is build over x axis and flipped for the use, either it follows the points clockwise or counter clockwise i kept this idea and thus my parts are all functions to respect the varying use. in general all parts are mirrored in this way for the Hawk except for the fuselage which is obviousely only used once (ok one could design a third ship from the parts using two fuselages why not?) one geometry multiple use and flipping by simply changing the winding order that's quite clever. but well if one snoops int the objects and won't know the exact use of certain parts he will wonder about the Kestrel mid-section, a part made of 6 points? what the heck should that be good for?


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Gernot66
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just some pictures
eaglelrfffe
eaglelrflmr

eaglmk2ffe
eaglemk2lmr

eaglemk3ffe
eaglemk3lmr

cobra1ffe
cobra1lmr

merry what?
x-mess


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Gernot66
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looks like i have a good reason to re-post my screenshots 😉
(or probably to start a new thread? this new kind of blog style, all in one page is somewhat annyoing as more as i post as longer you have to wait until all is loaded from on a certain limit it get's uncomfortable, also i was guessing about a own section for "phoenix" but it's still to early for this, not before i compiled my own).

here's a slight update to the cobby, this is the first time i tried to wash out the texture i never used this idea because usually the variable material in pioneer is far to saturated for such but since the FE2 palette i use is mostly metallic grey with a scent of a color i gave it a try and it ended out well.
if it uses a dark green blue or red it won't look that good this is what i labelled as "tan" the skin is already orange (or what is left of the orange brown texture).


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Gernot66
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ahh.. finally but unfortunately the pictures vanished in a mysterious way in the meantime, lol and no critics to the admins here it's not your fault.

i stumbled over this here:

it didn't looks exactly like a lockheed sr-71 it looks exactly like the Kestrel (or vice versa).


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Marcel
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That's by Roger Dean. He actually glued a bird's skull onto a plastic model of an SR-71, then drew it. I had that model kit as a child, but I didn't put a bird's head on it.
I think those tiny ships only make sense as police ships. They wouldn't need a hyperdrive.
I'd love to see the pictures sometime! 😀


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Geraldine
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Oooh I recognise that album cover! Budgie was a great group back in the day!


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Gernot66
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more like fruit flies which follow you everywhere.

i was listening the album on yt, couldn't remember it well but i guess someone posted this already long ago?

it's agreat rock album.

---

yes, i would like to SEE them to 😉

so here's something to see
(ok i will pack the wip of ffe ships to a mod them are already 18 ships do far for an exclusive use with Pioneer alpha31 or Phoenix)


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Gernot66
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https://photos.app.goo.gl/ReS6SnCsd4Vw5Qw99


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Gernot66
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a lot more to see,

link to the album on google photos https://photos.app.goo.gl/ReS6SnCsd4Vw5Qw99

a city skyline from far


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Gernot66
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You liked to see more, here's more.

First a short preview on the "FFE ships mod", it contains 18 ffe ships (21) and replaces almost all ships of a common phoenix installation, only a few static ships are left for compatibility.
I decided to replace the ships because else they get simply to many in my opinion, it's no big thing to re-enable them because they are simply disabled by a blank ship specs file, if this blank file is removed from the mod the ship is re-enabled.
due to that as long as you use different ship sets the savegames are of course not interchangeable between the modded and default installation, but this is already the case if you add a ship and remove it later.

You start with a shuttle or a lifter in the modded version this might make the game very hard at start, i haven't tried it yet with the ffe ships.

But until i worked out something better the game is to return to sol and the idea is to start with a interplanetary shuttle and make a career until you can afford to get "home" at all.

To start at sol is not only stupid it's a bad place to make money with such a miserable ship, the distances between the stations are to short to make good profit.
but it's recently the default starting position i.e. to examine a model or whatever else fun purpose like cosmic billard.

Hardly you will meet an enemy and you're lucky if not.
Reconaissance missions often spawn a enemy ship close to you, just rough land your ship to destroy the offender if he's on your heels.
You can evade a persuer in interstellar travel mostly.
Take care that scout missions don't end in a different faction as the one you signed the contract, you can't complete them (probably i will change this to the vice versa, interstellar scout missions will always lead to a different faction and then to the "home faction" to score, even if that faction is probably 100 sectors far from you, and not to any system in any faction to any system in any faction).

you can make a life as postillion, that's safe, easy and somwhat lucrative. in the very beginning this will be your choice because you can't make profit with interplanetary cargo runs and can't afford a ship with a hyperspace drive. the interplanetray taxi runs i still haven't wrote. save up your little profit and buy as soon as possible a radar mapper to sign to interplanetary scout mission, they won't make you rich quicker but you will be bored of the postal runs.

i have no idea yet how this works out with the ip shuttle or lifter, fuel reserves are low and consumption high i guess, maneuverability of the starting ships is weak, cargo capacity equals to zero which means not much extra fuel - but as i elaborated it's sometimes not wise to last your cargo capacity out, you will need more fuel to carry the extra fuel as it will help you to travel faster or longer, you will have to find a useful mediacre load but you will need extra fuel.

at the very beginning without the autopilot this can be a grave, you won't have enough fuel to overshoot your target.


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Gernot66
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here's the link to the fitting phoenix version including all the nice new buildings.

Phoenix 0.0.5


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Gernot66
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and that's the "ffe ships" mod
FFE Ships

the space stations are still incomplete, i'm sorry, but i was frustrated and needed a break from the problems i had with the gate animation for the sealed ground station and the orbiter needs to be made overall it's still bare boned.

it's possible to use "big crappy" if you overhaul it somewhat or you can try if one of the early sgm models works, what was content of pioneer31 should work even if i don't like to see them in phoenix for whatever reason. the last "solid" mesh is the pilot and even this is in work to be replaced. i know there is no real good reason not to use wavefront or collada instead of the lmr but the idea is to use scripts only.

it limits the modelling and forces a unique style.
it forces a interested one to deal with the lmr and the limitations/possibilities.
it forces you to pick up pencil and paper,
it strains your brains (all of them).

---

i nearly forgot
the "ffe ship mod" will add the music from FFE overhauled by Mike Cook. (for the proper atmosphere)
they're nicely done and some are really good to listen to.


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Geraldine
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Oooh, more old school FE2 goodness! I could never say no to that! Great work Gernot! 🙂


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Marcel
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Yeah! This stuff is looking really good!


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Gernot66
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grazie cinquecento

perhaps when i finished the ffe set i will convert them to sgm models, but this will be a leftover from the versions for FFED3D, once i've converted them it's easy to export the same model as either direct-x mesh or collada, there is just a small scale problem but this i can solve in the mesh, either i scale the .x meshes down or the collada up (FFED3D is ten times smaller, it's in fact in decimeters instead of meters). the idea is to use them as quick replacement models to fill the missing ships in FFED3D of course for this i wouldn't have to model all ships, but i like to have them for Phoenix/Pioneer as well. They will be in this simple state for Pioneer and will be model by model upgraded for FFED3D, at least this was my intention.

in this manner i can fill FFED3D quite quick with the missing shipmodels and work on them later on.
also once finished they will leave a unified look in FFED3D when you use only my models.
all will have multiple textures and the labels and sub-models will fit mostly because i kept the exact dimensions, slight differences could be fixed in the source (or perhaps using the models .ini, it would be great to reposition labels, guns, thrusters, if they don't fit to the model. it can be done in the source but it won't be flexible). however the models are even in this close to the originals, most thruster positions are exact like ffe. some reverse thrusters i added but that's no problem, they are aftewards just unused.

i know it's more then just unusual to script a model and to use the mesh as starting point, but i feel i get closer to the original in this way (+/- 0.00000001 meter) and it offers me the possibility to work with the beziers exactly (or almost exactly) like they was used for ffe. anyway you search for a different solution if you script as if you use a cad software.

recently the scale is inconsistent like in FFE, but once i finished them i can scale them for Pioneer to something more comprehensible as a constrictor which is almost double in size to the ASP explorer.
the problem is that FFE only doubles scaling divisiors, you get a table like this
.002
.004
.008
.016
.032
.064
.128
.256
.512
1.024
...
that means you can scale only twice up or half down something inbetween isn't possible for ffe.
since the values are integer numbers they had to find something which works.
another example might be the "moray" it is altered for "GLFFE aniso" (in the script) but i didn't think twice in size is proper, it's larger as the cobra mk3 in this way.
the viper mk2 is to small for the capacity and so on.

but i'm free in pioneer to use any scaleing.

---

erm yes a small mistake i noticed.
the "Cobra MKII" has the wrong engine, it comes with a class 4 military drive instead a class 2 default drive.
that's because i forgot this when i altered the script from "turner" to "cobra".

the "Turner Class" is maybe to heavy, i already gave it less cargo as the original, but since the pioneer class4 military and the ffe class 4 military are anything as the same (the hiddeen class 4 in ffe is extremely strong) it would maybe wise to lower the cargo capacity for the turner even more.
it doesn't makes much sense to have 1000 tons cargo capacity for this ship.

future music, if i can achieve this i like to get the multiple drives back of which was said it was an accident, no this would definately make sense for the large carriers. you get nowhere to zero with a class 9 and more then 1000 tons. especially for pioneer this is a problem, 9 ly are enough in FE2 but in pioneer you get nowhere with that. nah it's already shit for FE2, if you don't use the wormhole bug you even get nowhere with a panther. of course it's not the ship of your choice but i guess all ships should be somewhat useful and not just because you won't use it it has only a range of a few crippled ly. why don't buy a bulk carrier? mostly because you can jump only one ly. i guess one would like to buy even such a ship and it should work or how get bulk carriers and LRCruiser to their target? i know they just lurk around as static ships but no one said that it must be this way or that it wouldn't be nice to at least once use a LRC. of course one can spawn the ship no matter if they have a hyperdrive.
but that's not the point, i think they should work no matter if ever used or not.

also this would open the possibility to allow i.e. a turner a second drive to use it as long range explorer as it was ment. it would allow to create crazy missions which you can only fulfill with a ship with multiple drives. get to the black hole in the centre of the galaxy, find a relict of an alien race on the other end of the galaxy, just as example.

there is one ship i don't know what i should do with the "Griffin Carrier" this ship looks so rotten ugly that i have no idea where i should start. also it's a stupid design, there is no comprehensible reason for this ship to look like that, with the two pods to small to hold anything useful. almost the whole space the ship uses is wasted. it's really a boring model, personally i also never used this ship, has anyone used it in FFE?

another one is the "Fer De Lance", never been part of FFE, but i found it in the overhauled colored manual (it's a montage) somehow i like to get this ship modelled but there are many other elite ships, dunno why it has exactly to be the Fer De Lance.


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Marcel
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I never used a Griffin Carrier. I think I'd be embarrassed to be seen in one. Maybe if you filled in the back area and turned it into a delta shape it would look ok.


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Gernot66
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you realy read all that, i'm impressed 😉

it's just a ugly carrier who cares.
we will see, i thought about to use bezier quads, certainly for the head and maybe the pods turn out well when they are oval in profile. still it will look clumsy and i'm not the only one who thinks it's an ugly ship, now then it is ugly.

also about the cluttered together models of FFE i've read today something very similar as i stated myself:
"Some ships in FFE seem slapped together at the last minute, the Gyr is one of them."

http://kelpie.dream-ware.co.uk/ships/gyr.htm

however i feel the conversion turned out well after some fixes, the ffe model doesn't fits on all edges and corners. the top is smaller as the bottom (you won't see this because of the normals and because it's single sided material) the cockpit is losely on top of the hull somewhat above it, and what you is to see as "belly" is a simple circle with no depth. it is lousy in fact, but works for ffe since you haven't resolution enough to see the leaks.

or the strange skeet cruiser, it's really weird and no man ever knows what the skeet is for, to be shot at i assume. kelpie assumed it's for artificial gravity - hmmm.... strange i imagined this, like a lift you will have some gravity when the skeet lifts but when it comes down you hang on the ceiling. not very useful imho. it needs to be overhauled if i'm in the mood. there is a small nearly not to notice error. but when you look at the bottom of the skeet cruiser you can see the bezier is nicely roundet, on the topside i made a mistake and didn't added the needed points thus the top side is slightly concave. it's really nearly not to notice because it gives the impression of being convex but when you know it you will see that the reflections are wrong for a convex surface. changing this means i have to work on the texture again because then the cockpit won't fit the same anymore and will be sunken in a little more, that's why i didn't fixed it and because it's hard to notice and because you will rarely use a skeet cruiser it's one of the decorative ships in ffe and has no advantages. or like kelpie stated you won't made it in a skeet long it's clumsy in battles.

it's very funny how the dudes describe the ships or their assumings they have, it brings some fantasy to the game i like that.


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Gernot66
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this is the upcoming ASP, i started it already a couple of days ago before i linked the mod, today and yesterday i worked on the skin. the ships are to save time standartisized in many things, i.e. i repetively use the same methods to create the textures and partially even use the same images for them, likewise the rust pattern. textures are held simple to quicker texture the models even with the help of the mapper.

it leaks a little on the sides because i used only a top projection and noticed later that for the front sides a side projection would have been better. recently i won't change this but it will be changed for ffed3d and then i can use this changed texture as template.

a few words to the texturemapper, i decided to leave it like it is, i wasn't sure if i should add a second vector though you can project from any angle, but while i made the ships and the buildings it happened maybe twice that i needed such a projection, it's this rare that it makes no sense to change the function for a few occasions. in 95% of the cases a projection from either one side is enough. you can rotate it 90° and mirror it to fit to a texture that's enough for the most cases.

also i found out that the "divisor" vector won't be needed for the mapper, it's much better to calculate this in the variables for the mapper, i.e.:

local top = texmapper(v(-25,0,50),v(50/(347/1024),25,100/(883/1024)),v(0,1,0))
the division is to calculate the size in pixels the texture has compared to a full on the texture streched mesh.
models dimensions are x = 50, z = 100
texture space is 347 to 883 on a 1024x1024 texture.

one could scale up or down using the divisor but it isn't practical i found out, this is much better, you see what you calculate and to position shrink/stretch the texture you can work in meters, that's quite comfortable to estimate the position or slight corrections. (or calculate in pixels if you alter the division, adding a pixel will shrink the texture, one less will strech it by one pixel)
in general you can start with "half of" if a mesh is streched full on the texture the distance to centre is exactly half of the size of the mesh.

i could have wrote the mapper different so that it would be centered rightaway, but this isn't good if you use the mapper for "simple" texturing or the way i used it for some buildings, knowing where the default position is i created some textures in a way that you won't have to do nothing. if i centre all, well then all will be centered and not each projection will have a texturespace of its own. also it will be confusing if you use a skin/map because every projection will start in centre. default zero is lower left corner for lefthanded geometry and i kept this, half of the extension brings you to centre. if you also use the same division on the position vector you neither would have to care a lot about that, half of dimension will be centre.

sometimes i didn't used the mapper,
texture(v(-.5,.5,0),v(1/24,0,0),v(0,0,(1/15)/(1/24)))
will be the same as the result of
texmapper(v(-12,0,7.5),v(24,1,15),v(0,1,0))
in the same way you can divide to fit it to the texturespace.

it's just a little more comfortable to work with the mapper, bacause you won't have to mind about the exclusion. the strange thing is that top and side projections need to be divided in "Z" with the value of "X" while if you have a front projection you won't divide "Y" with "X" and just use each as it is.
also you have to move the values to other positions if you like to rotate a texture, this all you won't have to mind using the mapper.

(the "1" for dimension "y" is needed else the mapper fails to calculate because one value is missing, i can't change this i need this to be at least "1" because divisions with zero result in zero and zero means zero - no result. it's also bound to the fact that i used only one vector for the projection, the second vector i take from the dimensions)

to be honest without a cad, blender though, the uv mapping as picture is an export from blender.
the only ship i ever textured without any help from a cad is the rapier, for this ship i made back then a drawing on mm grided paper in the models dimensions and scanned this as template, the result wasn't that good. especially the bezier stuff failed completely.
well i didn't know how to draw beziers, to be honest.

and instead to make a master in drawing beziers i decided to simply use a cad for the projections.

if you examine the textures you can see that i used in the beginning full streched meshes i also didn't used maps this i changed later because of the multiple textures, it makes life easier but isn't really good because you strech the texture and above a certain value it starts to look ugly because of the mip-mapping, also it won't be in the proper relation, lines will be to thin or to thick.
and i found out that if you are once used to the mapper it won't play no big role if the mesh isn't fully streched on the texture the division with the texture space in pixels and full size in pixels works perfect.

assumed it's a quadric map, i.e. 2048x1024 pixels then you simply can double the dimension for "U" (mostly X in the model, Z if it ) instead to divide #/(1024/2048) assumed "x" is streched on 1024 pixels.


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Gernot66
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slight update, i wasn't satisfied with the stretched texture on the sides of the ASP, thus i changed that.


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