Sunday, March 16, 2014

2001 Discovery

I want to include 2001's Discovery in my game.

Once a week I am stuck at Starbucks for 3 hours, so I always model something. This will be my task for the week.

At least I was able to get a model into blender. It was (of course) way too large for import into UDK:

The normals were flipped, it is missing sections and the model needed scaled down but it was a great starting place.

My first task was to model the front of the ship with a lower resolution sphere. The trick was to line up parts and cut out the areas by hand. I could have used boolean but I like the challege of doing this manually. I did give up and do boolean on the top/bottom circles because that would have taken forever.

Just before using boolean on top

finished front

Lets do a size comparison of just the front:

That is a 10.6 x reduction. It may not look as pretty but a bit of UV mapping will solve that.

I have started to build the rest of the ship. I don't expect that to be as hard. I can borrow some of the low poly areas from the original like this:

For that I dropped the back plane and merged a lot of vertexes to keep only the important stuff.

Here is my progress up to now:

Upon reflection, I have too may verts on the back area. I will need to redo that.

As time permits I keep coming back to this model to complete it. I am close. I am working on the engine. I thought I'd show an example of the clean up I'm doing.

My focus is always 2 things:
1. cleaner meshes (no stray edges)
2. fewer faces

In this example I have:
1. removed the thin strips around the base of the fuselage.
2. removed the small cylinders
3. added missing faces to the large cylinders
4. removed the extra edges in anticipation of creating 1 face in the middle hexagon.
5. pull the tail end away from fuselage so I could remove extra faces from the back

I am going to bail on creating a nice texture for this model. It won't look nearly as nice but I imagine it could easily take 8-16 hours to do it right and I don't have the time for that.


I knew I'd get hit with this before I was done. Even though I have cleaned things up, I haven't removed enough polys. This is what happens when you mesh is too big:

When your mesh is too large, UDK only accepts so many polys. Anything after that is lost and you get this weird look. I need to go back and reduce details of certain places I ignored, like these dishes.

I did a lot of work on the dishes and reduced the verts for the model enough to get it into UDK. I am not done with the model or the lighting but this is a first crack at lighting to see how it looked:

I think this is a wrap. Just going to add it to the game on slow looping animation and we're good:

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