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Fleet Invasion wip


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#1 PopaR

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:17 AM

I've been running an RPG off and on, but I wanted to give it a little more punch. I've had AM for a while but haven't really had a project this involved. It will be a series of shorts showing events that have happened in the game and covering some out of game background.
The setting is an alternate present sci-fi, so it has some unique points at its core but it also borrows heavily from current culture.
My first animation is going to be a med bay, depicting the start of the game. I've nearly finished one of the props, and I'm working on rigging a character right now. mostly for the experience since I'll have a few characters that won't be able to use a standard rig.

Here's a demo of the Critical Care Module:

can't seem to get the tags to work, here's a direct link:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=jYCGsKdUTpc

I need to animate the lights in the module and add a nanite gel to the interior, then I need to create an exit action.

Edited by PopaR, 15 October 2013 - 09:24 AM.


#2 Simon Edmondson

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 04:04 AM

I tried to view your video but it flagged the message "This video is unavailable ' regards simon
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#3 robcat2075

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 05:37 AM

I get "An error occurred" but I shall look forward to seeing it when it is working.

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#4 PopaR

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:09 AM

I've been getting the error too, so I added the link under the video, that should jump to youtube. Looks like the player isn't getting the file data passed to it. Could be a side effect of the google/m$ war.

Edited by PopaR, 15 October 2013 - 09:23 AM.


#5 robcat2075

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:18 AM

That's an interesting see-through screen effect on that. How did you do that?

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#6 PopaR

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:54 AM

that clip was done under v12, I accidentally overwrote my choreography.
But I'm using perspex as the material for the 'glass', the clear sections are modeled with an inner and outer surface. I've also turned off radiosity (though I was getting a similar effect with it turned on)
The rest of the model uses the ipod material, so that may be influencing it a bit.

Just changed the ipod colors to red & did a quick render and that did not affect the shading in the clear sections, so it's one of the attributes in the perspex material doing it

I have a v12 model of it here:
http://nanoether.deviantart.com/

I just discovered one of the doors isn't acting as it's supposed to, so I'll be fixing and updating the file sometime this week

Edited by PopaR, 15 October 2013 - 10:06 AM.


#7 PopaR

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:45 AM

Still working on assets

Trying to get the "that's not a moon" space station done. Figured out why trying to bake the texture was crashing AM, too many patches, and it was baking all of the materials. So even though I hid the cloud layer and other parts, it was still baking those surfaces. Created a new model & copied part of the model over to test, got a good bake, but it didn't bake displacement, and the image files are not edit friendly.

So, next step is to remodel the surface. I really don't need the density anymore. I was using the splines to check placement of surface details I had added. Just some simple lathing, but I have to make sure everything lines up.

I think I will try to ramp up the "bump" value and see if that gives me a decent bump map.



#8 PopaR

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:02 AM

Changing bump did not create a bump map, so I have moved on to the other option, figuring out the exported maps. This is what I have found out about maps created by the Bake Surface function.

 

The surface being baked is a partial sphere with the Planet material applied.

The model was created with the N-S poles aligned to the Y-axis.

The surface is 4 patches high, forming 4 rings; each ring has 16 patches for a total of 64 patches.

The maps created is an array of maps in an 8×8 pattern.

For reference, the top row is 1 and the bottom is 8. Each row is numbered from left to right from 1 to 8.

The maps in rows 1, 3, 5, and 7 are in one hemisphere and those in 2, 4, 6, and 8 are in the other.

The maps in 1-1, 3-1, 5-1, and 7-1 are in the -x, -z quad, with a spline along the x-axis (z=0). The next set (2) are counter-clockwise when looking from above, and proceeds around the model. When set 8 is reached, it continues in rows 2, 4, 6, and 8.

The maps in 1-1, 3-1, 5-1, and 7-1 are flipped horizontally while the remainder of the maps have been flipped horizontally and rotated 90 degrees clockwise.

The function exports the following maps: ambiance intensity, bump, color, reflectivity, specular intensity, specular size, and transparency.

 

Next I will try this on a "planet" that has its poles aligned to the z-axis, as the x-z plane is the plane AM flattens models in, and see what happens.



#9 PopaR

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 07:27 AM

Playing with the Planet material combiner, here is some info: (Looks like I will have to isolate some of these to see what they really do)

Feature Size is how large the features are.

This is not keyed to how large the model or patches are, so a "physically" large model will need larger values to get actual land masses and not a whole mess of tiny islands. The number of patches has no bearing on the calculations, in fact my station renders the same surface with 64 patches as it did with hundreds.

Polar Distance is what the ice caps cover. It is the distance from the equator in cm, a value of 0 turns this off.

It appears to be along the surface, not the y-axis. It really should have been an angular measure, as the icecap would depend on how the planet rotates in relation to its orbit; a percentage would heve worked too. As a reference, if you set your PD = to the planets radius you get about a 31 degree coverage.

Water primarily affects the elevation of the water. Not sure whether it is a percentage of the amplitude, but it is easiest to treat it as such.

The best range seems to fall between 20 and 80; below 20 is barren and over 80 is waterworld. This does affect vegetation and snowcap generation.

Bump Strength is surface roughness, as a percent, as is standard in AM

Ice is a percentage of coverage to the equator. It has 2 big effects, adding ice to snowcaps and ice to icecaps. A value of 0 turns it off.

Frequency Factor is similar to roughness, it appears to be the underlying surface that is modified by roughness, amplitude, and octaves.

Amplitude Factor is a percentage. Appears to act like roughness or frequency factor.

Octaves alters the waves generated by Frequency and Amplitude

Noise Factor adds chaos to some of the other generators, it is most noticable in Polar Distance and Ice.

Seed is used to generate the terrain and allows the terrain to be generated in the same way with a certain selection of settings.

Offset is a percent, looks like it shifts the median up and down, affecting terrain generation.

Mottle Size affects how fine or coarse the generated color map is

Higher numbers mean larger clumps means coarser, lower is opposite

Mottle Magnitude ?? it is a percentage

Depth Noise another percentage, uses the terrain that is underwater to affect the shading of the water.

Max Depth caps the values for water depth?

Snow the last percentage. Affects snow coverage, works in conjunction with Polar Distance and Ice to provide coverage

 

The material does not generate a displacement map, and in most cases I would agree that it would be overkill, and I may just go with bump maps after I block my shots.

Wish it had a seasonal adjustment, thought that was what snow was going to do, but no. A seasonal would shift the north and south hemispheres in opposition, with the middle being spring/fall, one end would have summer in the north and winter in the south, the oppositer end would swap the seasons. This can be done manually, actually, if you seperate your north and south hemispheres and apply a copy of the materials to each, you can shift your snow/ice coverage and move your icecap towards the equator.

 

Now to bake it.



#10 PopaR

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 07:36 AM

Bad news, the material did not rotate. But that is alright, this is about how the bake works. And it does not help anything. It does verify that each patch gets its own map in the file though.

 

Well, now that I know more, off to tweak my model.



#11 PopaR

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 07:51 AM

Forgot, there are settings in the material shortcut that can be edited to rotate the material.

 

So, here is what happened with a model that is 4 patches high and 8 around

 

The map file is eight units across, like before, but the first patch is not the top. heck, the entire first column is flipped vertically in relation to the model. And I was wrong, there may be four strips that were generated running around the model, but the seperation has been moved into the equatrial patches.

 

So, the function assumes a n-s orientation, and it is best to work with that, even with the flipped & rotated sections.



#12 PopaR

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Posted 04 April 2016 - 07:59 PM

So, how does one go about intelligently creating a planetary surface with the Planet modifier?
The way I'm going to do it from now on is this:

first, set Polar Distance to equal the radius, and set Ice and Snow to 5. all of these will get tweaked later.

The actual basic land mass generation is governed by Feature Size and Seed. Looking a bit deeper into Feature Size, it is the rough size of a land mass when water is set to 50. which is why you get lots of little islands when you have a low value on a large model. so, if you have a model that is 10m (1000cm) in radius and you want 4 or 5 main land masses, you need to start with Feature Sizes around 1570 (2×1000×3.1417=6283.4, 6283.4÷4=1570.8). Note that when two features are generated too close to each other, they combine together. The Seed alters how the generator creates the features,its relationship to the terrain being generated probably requires a deep understanding of fractals and their generation. Seed does have a range limited from 0 to 16384 inclusive. So, get your rough Feature Size to where you want it, then play with the seeds until you find an arraingement of landmasses you like. don't worry too much about mountains and such, we'll adjust them shortly.

Next we play with Frequency, Amplitude, and Octaves. I gave the impression that I don't understand these things, but I do, at least when it comes to RF waves. Freqency is the distance between peeks or between troughs, or a complete cycle of the wave. Amplitude is how high above & how low under 0 the wave goes. Octaves are used in music and each octave is twice the value of the octave before it and half of the octave after it. So, the more octaves you have, the more variability in frequency you should get. So, according to the current thoughts on planet formation and aging, a young or geologically active planet should have tall jagged mountains, so high values should be used. An old or geologically inactive planet should have soft weathered mountains that aren't very high, so use low values. You can use Bump Strength to further tweak how strong or weak the terrain is. Offset will shift the average height generated up or down, with 50 being centered. This has a few uses, but its effects are similar to altering the water level. Any changes beyond this need to be done on baked texture maps.

Now for final tweaks: Polar Distance, Water, Ice, Snow, Depth Noise, and Water Depth. I start with the water, the value shifts the water level up and down, and there are a number of other calculations going on that adjust moisture related features, such as snowcaps and vegetation. Sins I am working ob water, I adjust its appearance. Depth Noise and Water Depth add the appearance of shallow and deep water. A little science here: light from the sun strikes the ocean, part of this light is reflected off, but some of it penetrates and reflects off of things that are underwater, such as the seabed, some of this light gets trapped while some of it makes its way back to the surface and is effectively emitted. But, the light can only penetrate so far before it looses all of its energy, there are two zones that receive light, the sunlight zone (surface to 200m), and the twilight zone (200m to 1000m), light does not penetrate any further. So, any water deeper then 200m is not going to reflect much light back, and anything deeper then 1km is not going to reflect any. It can be argued that if the ocean was pure water, with nothing in suspension or solution, that light could penetrate further, which is why we can adjust these settings. Water Depth sets where light has nothing to reflect from (on earth, this would be a little past the 200m mark). Depth Noise is how clearly the seabed is reflected out (the composition of the water causes light to scatter, which is why the depth adds noise).
On to the other side of water. I like to start with the Polar Distance, and I start with the planets axial tilt, this is in relationship to the planets orbital plane (assuming a simple system with one, maybe two suns). The main cause is the axial tilt, but even a planet with no tilt will have icecaps (if it has enough moisture), distance from a source of external heat (light) can do this (you can think of Europa as being one giant icecap). Since planets with a tilt also have seasonal shifts, we are looking for the average, which is easy: it is the Axial Tilt. Getting to what we need is a bit more work: ((90-Axial Tilt)÷90)×((Radius×PI)÷2). What we are doing is finding out how far the edge of the icecap is from the equator, as a percent (we could convert to rads, or use trig, but why), next we need to know how far it is from equator to pole, since its 1/4 the circumference (2×PI×r), we need the circumference divided by 4, finally, multiplying them together gives us the distance. If your planet is closer to its sun, you should increase the distance, and decrease it if its further. Ice and snow I adjust to suit my taste.
If you are going to show seasonal progression, create a north and south hemisphere and set each to have the material, and make all of the values match. This will be your spring and fall/autumn settings, When a hemisphere is in winter, the Polar Distance should be decreased slightly, and the Ice & Snow adjusted to suit deep winter snowfall & freeze, for summer the opposite should be done. And the hemispheres should be set as opposites (summer in north its winter in south; winter in north its summer in south).

The only two settings I have not covered are Mottle Size and Mottle Magnitude. These determine the size and strength of vegetation coverage. I generally leave them as is & do any changes on the baked maps.

#13 Rodney

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 02:22 AM

Thanks for the exploration of the Planet material.

I was using it the other day and trying to make some sense of it myself.  (not very successully!)

 

Theoretically...

This might be a little unrelated to your posting but the main thing I can think of is to make sure you give yourself enough scale on your model to take advantage of the Planet material.

While you can scale the material to allow for smaller models at some point you run afoul of the resolution of your screen.

 

Thanks again for the write up on specifics.  Much appreciated.   :)

 

 

Added:  If you don't have a video screen capture software like OpenBroadcast I highly recommend it (especially the studio version as it appears to be more fully featured).  Not just because you can share what you have here but because there is surely coming a day when you want to remember what you learned with Planet material settings and find you've forgotten and must explore it all again.


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#14 PopaR

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Posted 05 April 2016 - 01:40 PM

Yeah, I'll probably want to do that.

Anyways...
Just sat down and decided to figure out what the optimal planet size & scale were being targeted by the modifier.
This is not hard, since it is designed to give you an Earth-like planet.
The secret lies in Polar Distance. It is set for 22cm, so assuming the axial tilt is around 30 degrees, 1/4 the cicumference is 33cm, full circumference is 132, using the formula to find the circumference we get a radius of about 21cm.
Now for scale, Earth has a radius of about 6371km, so the scale factor is roughly 300km to 1cm, or 30,000,000 to 1.
A reasonable scale for dealing with planetary systems.

 

For reference, one AU (average distance between Earth & Sun) is about 150,000,000,000km, so 1AU would be 500,000cm or 5000m at that scale



#15 PopaR

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 01:57 PM

Mars and Earth are about 56,000,000km apart at thier closest. In scale that would be 190,000cm, or 1900m. (fudged the numbers to get rid of trailing 6s)

For Earth & Venus, the distance is about 24,000,000km. In scale, that is 80,000cm, or 800m.

In both cases, the closest passing distances were used, but they are often further away.



#16 PopaR

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 02:27 PM

I think this is the last major concern for planet building: the habitability zone (AKA, the goldilocks zone). A good article, with a graph based on solar mass can be found here: http://science.howst...ther-earth1.htm

 

Generally, unless I was going to feature an eclipse, as long as the sun looks far away it is probably OK in most instances. In those instances where your distance does not give you the correct, or the desired results, some trickery can be used, like negative lights, changing out the type of light, etc.



#17 PopaR

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 02:08 PM

added a render of the station and one of the ships to my deviant: http://nanoether.deviantart.com/

#18 robcat2075

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 06:17 PM

I would recommend beveled edges on the space ship but I know that's a challenging task. :)


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