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Pioneer City Buildings Modeling

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fluffyfreak
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potsmoke66 wrote:
apart from "looking cool" there is a static problem, this will last even in xx century, physics never change.

i can model anything in 3d, even a a flying city like metropolis, but is that realistic? could such ever be made? (a little at least).

i don't like "in 40th century..." because i don't think so.

certain things can never be solved, and even if some crazy people believe that antigravity is possible and that some might have invented it already in the '40s, makes me laugh.

Some latitude needs to be given with this approach though.

We must remember that we have ships travelling through hyperspace across many light years in mere days using only a single tonne of hydrogen as fuel πŸ˜‰

Suddenly anti-gravity (especially in limited use) seems quite reasonable.

Plus for some "floating" building it could be explained as use of superconductors if they were hovering above a base object, that can already be done in a limited fashion - perhaps one a thousand building to show-off.

Arcologies are quite likely, some Japanese skyscrapers are getting close to qualifying already! They're amazing things.

I personally think that hollowed asteroids being spun to simulate gravity would be the most populous and frequent of all living places by 3200, throughout the solar system and in most others.

People might always find living on planets desirable but it's also very fuel intensive and raw material resources are hard to acquire.

Just a thought, I can see my post-Orbital project already being adding asteroids and inhabited ones at that!


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fluffyfreak
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Vlastan wrote:
Yeah, those ships are also work in progress πŸ˜‰

I hope to get back working as soon as possible

What do you use for modelling and texturing Vlastan?

I've been trying to learn Blender (I can already use 3DS MAX ok and Maya a little due to my day job) but am finding it's interface to be utterly impenetrable/incomprehensible!


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Potsmoke66
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i'm not vlastan, but i don't mind...

"i can't get warm with blenders interface"

a very common statement of a blender nube πŸ˜‰

i felt the same and i guess most of blender users to when they first started the program.

blender is in such a way user configurable that it's almost confusing.

but i'm pretty sure after a while you get it and never will miss it.

i use it since almost 2 years now, stupid me still 4.9, but that makes no difference to the resulting model.

i found then a very nicely pre-set blender version, which introduced blender very good to me.

(personally i like blender 10x better as MAX, but that's my choice)

unfortunately ira krakow's blender forum is closed since quite a while, he's a very kind person and can explain things very well.

perhaps you can still reach him on the official blender forum.

http://blenderartists.org/forum/

anyway his comprehensive tutorials are still on youtube

http://www.youtube.com/user/irakrakow


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fluffyfreak
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potsmoke66 wrote:
"i can't get warm with blenders interface"

a very common statement of a blender nube πŸ˜‰

It's so true I am a n00b with Blender, everytime I think I'm making progress I'm just getting more confused!

I've used MAX for years now, at Uni', in my job supporting artists with exporters or just doing bits myself to avoid bothering them etc. So I know my way around, and Maya isn't actually all that different. Blender is just utterly bizarre to someone who's used ANY other modelling program before. I've found myself wishing for Imagine 3.0 back on the Amiga πŸ˜€


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Vlastan
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fluffyfreak wrote:
Vlastan wrote:
Yeah, those ships are also work in progress πŸ˜‰

I hope to get back working as soon as possible

What do you use for modelling and texturing Vlastan?

I've been trying to learn Blender (I can already use 3DS MAX ok and Maya a little due to my day job) but am finding it's interface to be utterly impenetrable/incomprehensible!

3DSMAX πŸ™‚


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Potsmoke66
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yet another "amihead" in our community...

true it has cost me a lot of time to, though i'm not only a low poly modeler also a low budget modeler, max was out of reach. to be true, i used a hack for about half a year (before i moved here), but such isn't nice and most of all not recommended when you publish your work.

i started out with cars, some years ago, the progs i used was mainly "carCAD" and "z-modeler", after that i had a longer pause from modeling because i had no computer, no web, no nothing at all, sometimes even nothing to eat (but lots of tea and sugar) and was smoking stubs. nah, not quite true i had a computer as far as you can tell a old siemens notebook a computer.

well at least you can use it to knock someone down... πŸ˜†

but CG, ha, impossible to do with that. i was lucky to play frontier and i played it through and through then. that was when i made the tremendous "wormhole route database".

blender was like a alien planet to me

still i'm not very experienced with it, i would say. since i use it mainly in the same manner, certain things are still a riddle to me.

what is most confusing for you of blenders interface?

to me it was the fact that it starts with a single window, i used to model on three windows and a 3d view, now there comes this default setting one screen, ok "easy" to solve and as i recon later other programs do start even only with a single window.

"easy"? i guess it's the most asked question on blender forums, how can i split the screen, further and i don't know if this stays in 5.x it takes some time to get comfortable with shurtcuts to control most and to reach some over pulldown menu is sometimes quite complicated. terms used vary sometimes to other programs.

i was looking for i don't know how long for a way to smooth a model or split edges. more precisely i was looking for something like crease or similar.

even this is a often asked q, while if you get used to it, you will find, "hey that's quite simple and logical".

also the fact that every tutorial and i don't know what is packed to the default setup wasn't helpful at all. i didn't like to make a gingerbread man, MAN!

after a while i slimmed all and have only two scenes left now, suitable only for pioneer. a modeling scene and a texture uv scene, that's all i need for pioneer.

but did you checked some of ira's tutorials?

i guess there is also a introduction into blender 5.4

one thing i found from the start on easier to handle compared to max are animations (at least to me).

but i guess it depends on what you have worked before. because animations was a complete new field for me (and didn't i get quite a specialist in it now?)

on the other hand, it has made me laugh sometimes to see what basic errors can be made even by more experienced modelers as i am.

animations, that's the point, i found blender really much better to animate a model.

my first steps in space ship design i made for FFED3D, well maybe my models are crappy or ugly.

but i can't stand a flipping around landing gear when there is a proper solution to that.

but i guess this is sometimes disregarded even when you use blender (has nothing to do with the software you use).

really i found it funny to use 20'000 frames.

FFE's animations are almost like pioneer, in fact for FFE (not d3d) it's the same, they are dynamic no matrix translate stuff.

a animation for FFE needs only a starting frame and a ending frame as long as you don't change speed or direction and as long as the animation should be linear.

the rest get's handled by good ol' FFE.

but some continousely used to evade the flipping landing gear anims with that, but it will, NO it has to persist, it's a problem of matrix4x4 animations in general, i guess.

because if a part get's mirrored (reasonably often used for landing gears) the orientation of the part get's mirrored to, logically.

now in the CAD software everything get's handled and corrected by the intelligent softs we have nowadays and you can't se no fault.

but if exported all correctional data is lost and the part will be moved depending on the animation keys and more important depending on the models orientation/matrix.

there we have the salad, a uniform transform matrix for the model but the orientation of the mirrored part is wrong.

now the game or MV will continousely try to follow the matrix given by the keys but on the other hand it always reverts to the parts own orientation.

result the part starts to flip between the two matrices.

it's not easy to get rid of the orientation, because it get's stored dynamical in the cad so you can revert this everytime you like.

imo the best solution is simply to export a mirrored part and reimport it, now the parts orientation is world aligned 100%.

another way to keep orientation

never mirror a part (object), duplicate and mirror only the mesh in edit mode and split the parts later on, both parts must have now the same orientation.

any other will work in the CAD, but not on a exported matrix4x4 animation.

oh yes, also often asked

how to determine pivots in blender

ok first they are not named pivot points here, they are simply axes.

and i must say another plus for blender, i found it complicate to handle the pivots in max. to set a parts center in blender is a sneeze.

i guess i have two very basic tutorials made myself once, using blender for ffed3d (erm, while some still thought then, directx meshes from blender can't be used for ffed3d).

i had really to jump over some hurdles to make it possible.

the export script has some leaks, it exports some not allowed characters, when they appear in the model it can't get loaded by ffed3d.

"easy", there is a character replacement in the script, edit it and everything is fine.

actually a run a very special ffed3d exporter that also let's start animations at key0 instead of blenders default key1 (that's im portant for i.e. a scanner animation, because ffe starts at key0).

less harming is that the models are ascii, but you can use (microsofts old directx) MeshViewer to convert proper betwen txt, bin and compressed bin.

i guess i lost my trail a bit


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Vlastan
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I'm operative again and i will continue the work very soon.

In the meantime here are updated textures for the actual buildings (alpha15)

newbuilding.png

glowmap.png

Copy paste and replace the 2 pngs in \pioneer-alpha15\data\models\buildings\vlastan


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Vlastan
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I recently replaced my ram but then my video card just died... that's unfair!

I'll had to wait a bit and buy a new one...

Btw here are another building texture, this time i spent some time to tweak and fix the lighting effect of the windows (it had some problems like the glow map being mirrored vertically so that the windows didn't match the actual windows on the base texture)

Here they are:


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robn
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Vlastan wrote:
I'm operative again and i will continue the work very soon.

In the meantime here are updated textures for the actual buildings (alpha15)

These are fantastic, but I'm having a little trouble seeing them on the side of a building πŸ˜‰


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Luomu
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Vlastan wrote:
Btw here are another building texture, this time i spent some time to tweak and fix the lighting effect of the windows (it had some problems like the glow map being mirrored vertically so that the windows didn't match the actual windows on the base texture)

Actually our .obj loader had all the texture coordinates upside down. I didn't notice until today. The fix will be merged soon I hope but many existing textures need to be flipped now πŸ™‚ Models where texture mapping was set in .lua are not affected


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Marcel
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Quote:
These are fantastic, but I'm having a little trouble seeing them on the side of a building

Hmmm... I don't know, you can't quite see the docking port on the hooker_station, but the cactus building might work in an alien species' city. πŸ˜‰


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Vlastan
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Sorry, i made a mess with my dropbox account files... I now fixed the file addresses 😳


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Marcel
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I agree. I passed through Portland and Seattle last week and was mentally comparing. The real skyscrapers look more sci-fi than the ones in the game. πŸ™‚


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Uruboros
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Secondo me gli edifici vanno più che bene, piccolo neo....

le città sono a forma di cerchio e non si diradano in periferia.

In my opinion, the buildings are just fine, small mole ....

cities are in the shape of a circle and not thin out in the suburbs.


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Vlastan
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I'm working right now on some new city buildings (bigger ones).

I have a problem with the one in the image. It takes away too much space for other buildings. Maybe it has something to do with bradius parameter in the lua script ?

pioneer%202012-02-28%2001-20-38-55.jpg


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ollobrain
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can the bradius parameter in the lua code be removed or expanded ?


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Vlastan
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Here is the update pack for city buildings : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9418121/vlastan.rar

Ectrackt the files in the data/models/buildings/vlastan folder.

Includes 3 new big buildings.


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Luomu
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Vlastan wrote:
Here is the update pack for city buildings : http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9418121/vlastan.rar

Ectrackt the files in the data/models/buildings/vlastan folder.

Includes 3 new big buildings.

If these are ready for review make a pull request or new issue on the tracker, then we can look at it.

The placement issue (empty space) can be also investigated when there is a test case. I am not very familiar with the building placement code but it seems that the bounding_radius parameter is not used for placement purposes.

If you feel like making more buildings, more small ones would be welcome. The building model selection code is not receiving much attention at this moment so there will still be skyscrapers everywhere. There will also be more accidents since starports are placed in the middle of the city and then surrounded by tall buildings πŸ™‚


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Potsmoke66
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vlastan, i guess you should think a bit about the scale of your buildings, is every floor between 2 and 3 meters? (any else might happen in "magnificent buildings", but not for something economic, except some industrial buildings for special purposes).

to me they look all oversized, not because the groundstation* rakes 100-200 meters out of the ground every building has to top that.

100 meters thats already a high building, think about that.

i won't say that such and many taller exists, but they are as well expression of a wasteful economy.

* guess of a ground flat airport type starport, it would result in quite different dimensions.

i would rather like to see the "basic groundstation" buried in the ground instead raking 100m out of the ground like giant box.

or something like i've once started, similar to frontiers hostile ground stations, which are buried to and only the hatch rakes out of the ground (in fact my version still rakes 100m out of the ground but due to the hexagonal shape it looks less bulky.

the same goes to the platform station types, they are extremely tall , mainly not to get covered by a occasional mountain(side) (mine is 100m exalted compared to the standard platform, only to get a good result on "mortons landing" (right?) even with only one landing pad (i changed the seed until i had the proper station with only one pad for a small city).


[/hr]

a real concrete jungle

i would do a suicide in this environment i guess, but i'm speaking only for myself of course.


[/hr]

a hint,

a building uses the space of it's collision mesh average dimensions (that's why the tall skyscraper uses so much space).

[attachment=1074:Bildschirmfoto 2012-02-28 um 17.27.24.png]

to place the buildings that close, i reduced the collision mesh to what is over a average surface (e.g. 0m).

of course lod1 is used exclusively here as collision mesh.

if you like to follow the idea of "building lots", a surrounding patch/base/ground must have no collision mesh, then it's possible to have (at least close to) a seamless tiling.

i guess i would start with a 100x100m patch and see how much space i can use up until the patches show no overlapping nor gaps between.

this will be then the size/relation between collision mesh and patch that must be kept.

unfortunately a few things will hinder all a bit,

the "lots" will have different heights depending on the terrain,

some spaces never get filled with buildings,

on lower detail level this will look a bit strange,

the lot or "tile" has no regular collision mesh, it's reduced to the building(s) which are placed on the lot, no big problem i guess, only that you can't hit (get hit by) this part.

large buildings appear less often, means the tiles shouldn't be very large, 50x50m perhaps for the (solid) building and a 150x150m tiling (that's only guessed), this will limit the height to (it would have to be evaluated how high).


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Brianetta
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Gernot's right about the scale. On the textures, the windows themselves are a couple of metres high. There's absolutely nothing wrong with simply scaling the buildings down exactly as they are. Not only would they look more correctly to scale, but manual pilots wouldn't hit quite so many of them.

I suspect that the pilots in many of the ship models have over-active thyroid glands, because they're often giants, too.


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Potsmoke66
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to the pilots, they shouldn't be oversized, but if the eagle is doubled in size still the pilot will be to πŸ˜‰

there are models that can be easy scaled up or down, like the eye, it's got no reference for the size of the ship, but airplane like fighters have a size given by a reasonable size for such and the pilot you use, if scaled up the pilot must shrink, or the whole cockpit has to be resized to and so on.

it's difficult to find the proper scale for my first pilot (the scripted one with the jet helmet), that's true.

the still disregarded updated eagle i made (put on github as well), is a blend of, sized a little up compared to the FE2 eagle (17m width) new pilot with of course proper scale.

the newer pilot models (wavefront .obj) are sized proper, 1.80m is tall but ok (i started the model in a standing position to be sure to get the proper proportions. i havn't used any "template model", it's done freehanded).


[/hr]

back to buildings, i quickly made a example "lot" to show better what i'm thinking of

[attachment=1075:Bildschirmfoto 2012-02-28 um 18.54.27.png]

i guess it's now easy to imagine roads or parks on the lots, likewise we have them in FE2 or FFE.

really not bad...

[attachment=1076:Bildschirmfoto 2012-02-28 um 19.18.03.png]

as long as the buildings now use a similar space as this one in their baseline, the tiles will lay this kind shoulder to shoulder, the height can vary in a wider range.

there is the disadvantage that you can fly through the tiles (not the buildings) and possible small objects on them (i.e. a plant, a statue, or a animated small shuttle bus*?), in other words you will land on the ground under the surface of the tile.

but i guess most will be lucky to get between the buildings without a crash anyway.


[/hr]

based on two tests i made i can say, it's possible (easy) to start (not really launching, it could be a car as well) a shuttle on a given place in the city, let it follow a path and land somewhere else.

as long as this model has no collision mesh it could be placed together with the starport model and it won't hinder any else, of course it will happen that this shuttle will start and land sometimes in a unsuitable place.


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ollobrain
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On the subject of buildings are there any of the following ingame

Farm like buildings

Factories

Mining type of facilities

Things with smoke coming out the top

And roads


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Potsmoke66
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ollobrain wrote:
On the subject of buildings are there any of the following ingame

Farm like buildings

Factories

Mining type of facilities

Things with smoke coming out the top

And roads

erm "Things with smoke coming out the top" and "Factories" isn't that the same? πŸ˜‰

i like "Things with smoke coming out the top", or something else (toothpaste as example).

but this list works only for planets with a breathable atmosphere.

even roads, like a clever one stated, make not much sense on a low gravity moon.

apart from that "Things with smoke coming out the top" are a little overaged no?

except thermic powerplants (incl. nuclear and fusion if we are stupid enough to use only the thermal energy) produce a lot of smoke (in fact steam), i hope we can get rid of them sooner or later.

but, in general yes, where is heat or vice versa even cold there is steam, so a lot of "Things with smoke coming out the top".

sometimes i'm by myself a "Thing with smoke coming out the top" πŸ˜†


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Brianetta
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It would be nice to see smoke effects in the game (an atmospheric re-entry trail would get me all hot and excited). Perhaps it'll happen one day; until then, it's probably best not to try to fake it in a model.

Besides, we'll be using clean energy by 3200, surely?


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 Anonymous
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Brianetta wrote:
It would be nice to see smoke effects in the game (an atmospheric re-entry trail would get me all hot and excited). Perhaps it'll happen one day; until then, it's probably best not to try to fake it in a model.

Besides, we'll be using clean energy by 3200, surely?

Clean smokey vapor, please . The smoke effects are aesthethically worthy


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