Enter the Art pipeline… 3/3

July 13, 2016 - General
Enter the Art pipeline… 3/3

Hello and welcome back to the final overview part of the art pipeline. It’s time for our technical artist to wrap up the story :)

Vedran Hafizadic: After the model is finished, it’s time to polish it up.
To do so, we’re going to add a few particles to bring the 3D model to life. A few lamps, some fumes and some smoke can change the whole look of the model. The first thing that I do before I start adding particles is take a close look at the whole model to get a better feel for where the least amount of particles can make the most impact. The reason is to circumvent overload, also in my experience, too many particles can look awful and be tiring on one’s eyes. A big part of prepping for the particle add is to know the size of the ship. The reason being that every ship has turret slots which are placed all around the ship, so we don’t want to place particles on the turret spots. After we get a good feel of the ship, we can move on to particles. Pick which ones you think would fit best. For the Valkyrie model (an outlaw/outerlands ship) I’m going to go with yellow and red lamps, and just to make the engines on the wings look functional, I’m adding a small refraction effect.

After I’ve selected a fitting particle I need to find the coordinates on the ship. The easiest way to do this is by using a turret or one of the particles, and just positioning it on the model where you want to place the rest of the particles. Put the correct coordinates in the .asb file and you are ready to move to the next step.
If you haven’t adjusted you particles by now, it’s time to do that. I usually enter different particle lifetimes, depending on the size of the model. For the smaller models, the lifetime should be lower to get a flash effect. The reasoning behind that is to make a small model more noticeable in space. An important part of adjusting the particles is also the resizing of the particle to fit the scaling of the model. Selecting your patch so it fits the theme is one of the more fun parts because here you meddle with all sorts of shiny effects and that gives you a lot of freedom and opportunity to experiment. When the particles are finished, the last thing to do is to set the thruster model on the engines. It’s the same process as adding particles. You just have to add the model to the .asb file and find the coordinates the same way as was done before. Sometimes, not all engines are the same scale, so you have to make multiple models of the same engine to adjust to the scale, fitting the engine.
An important part of adjusting the thrust is to add the engine trails and the max length of the thrust in the .shp file, because without it, the thrust won’t work. After you get the thrust, the last step before finishing the model is to adjust the brightness of the thrust from all three points of view (x,y,z). Once the thrust is set and the visuals are done, it’s time to do the balancing of the models’ hull and the placing of the turrets.

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