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Brother Justice's Dev Journal #1 - 24 Sep 2007

 
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Brother Justice
BFP Developer


Joined: 07 Feb 2006
Posts: 336

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Brother Justice's Dev Journal #1 - 24 Sep 2007 Reply with quote



BFP2 developer Brother Justice presents his very first development journal, demonstrating modeling with details and screenshots.

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Developer Journal

Hey guys! I have decided to write a few dev journals here to just help show the planning, creation, texturing and coding of one of the projects I've started here at BFP2. First, I would like to say I am not the best modeler, texture artist, or coder in the world, and I'm sure there are things that could be done differently. One of the items that we currently don't have in-game is the field cannon. We have a few different stationary cannons, the cannons that are part of the cannonade on the ships, and finally the falconet has made an appearance. So, to fill in the gap, I'm making a field cannon. This field cannon will be coded like a vehicle, so that you will be able to move it around the battlefield during gameplay -- much like that of BFP1.

Part 1: Research and Planning

So first things first, I need to do some research into the weapon itself. When modeling anything one of the best things to have available are some schematic photos showing the item in question. We want to make it look cool and have all the different accessories and all of the equipment that is associated with the item. We also want a lot of examples of different types and different manufactures, so that we can pick and choose what detail we want to add.

Here are some cool cannons with the detail around it, I'll likely use one of these or maybe a combination of designs.



Here is a nice chart comparing the calibers, sizes and lengths of some English cannons of the time. I know that I want to make a field cannon so I'll look in that column. They were available in the 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 pounder versions. I know that this is going to be a vehicle so I can make it big, but at the same time I want to be able to get it down the small streets and narrow paths that we have our current BFP2 maps. I like the 9 pounder, which isn't even 5 feet long, and thus the cannon with the carriage should be short enough to maneuver but also strong enough to do some damage and make it worth pushing around a map.



Here is a really cool-looking field cannon and I've decided to go with trying to make something close to this.



Now, I want to start with the carriage and the wheels, here are a few pics with this part isolated.





I like that first one as it shows a nice example of the ammo box that is placed on the carriage. I think that from just these few pictures I have something I can go with. Lets start modeling.


Part 2: Modeling The Wheels

Since wheels are not too hard, the first thing I'm going to do is create the basic objects involved. In the outer part of the wheel, I'm going to use a tube. Okay, so I'm making a tube, and this tube is going to have a lot of sides so that it looks nice and round.



OK -- that looks good, now I'm going to make the hub. Now, the hub will be in the center of the wheel and will hold the central axis as well as hold the spokes connecting to the outer wheel. This will be a bit more bulky and thicker than the outer wheel. This time I want this round and solid, so now I'm going to create a different basic object, a cylinder. Then I'm going to make the outside of the hub look round, just like the outer wheel. But I will use less faces.



Alright, there we go, now I'm going to make the spokes of this wheel. Looking at the photos I've decided that 12 spokes should do. Let's make the first spoke right now. I'm going to leave the other objects in view so that I get the size right. Let's make another cylinder, this time I will make it skinny and long.



It's not laying on the correct axis, so let's fix that real quick by selecting the rotate button and typing in 90 degrees in the correct axis to lay it down.



Now I'll just select the move tool and keeping the spoke selected I will move it into place.



Ahh, there we go, just 11 more spokes and we will have a wheel. But let's look at this spoke before we clone it and add more. I don't like how it's just so straight, not really looking natural. Let me look at the reference pics I collected at the beginning. Look at the pics and you can see that they are not the same width the whole way, instead they are a bit thicker on the ends, giving more support. Let me do that with my spoke. I'm going to use a modifier that 3DMax gives us to do it. I'm going to select my spoke and hide all the other objects. Then I'm going to select my spoke, and I'm going to turn this in to a modifiable object.



I will turn this into a editable polygon, then I will go to my modifier list and select the taper modifier. I will use the symmetry selection and give it a negative curve so the outsides are wider.



Nice, that's much better now, I'm going to collapse that modifier and look at it with the rest of our wheel. Yeah, that looks better now I think, this will look more like what we see in the photographs that we used for reference.



Now we need to make the rest of the spokes. 3DMax can do this easily for us. We can just use the array tool to do this -- what this will do is make clones of the spoke and put them in the correct line-up that we want for the model. I'm going to make a total of 12, and I'm going to array them 360 degrees around the correct axis. I also want them to be of set some.





Ah, now it looks like a wheel. I still want to do a bit of work on the hub, so now I'm going to select the hub and I'm going to turn this into an editable poly also. I'm going to use the poly select to pick the polys I want to pull out. Select the polygon right in the middle and then use the grow button to expand the selected polys. Pull them out to bring out the center portion of the hub at a few different layers.



Then use the extrude tool at for the last center ring for the axle. This with the texturing it will look like a spacer, with a washer type component and also the axle coming through in the middle.

There, that will look a lot more realistic, I think that this is good enough detail on the geometry for now. I will add some other small things later, but for now this looks good.

Let's now reveal the rest of our wheel and attach everything together so that it is one piece. Just select the outer wheel and rename it to wheel and then select the attach button and click all of the pieces, now it becomes one object.



One of the others things I did during the last step, I went to the edges of all the spokes that are sticking in the outer wheel and also into the hub, and I deleted those faces. These faces are never going to be seen, so to save polys and save the texturing time we delete them.

Nice wheel. Last thing I'm going to do with this is mirror the wheel so that I have two. I'll then connect them with a small axle. I will redo the axle later, I just want to see what I have so far.



OK -- not bad. In the next update I will make the carriage and the cannon. I hope this hasn't been too boring Smile


Last edited by Brother Justice on Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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RK-Mara
Beta Tester
Beta Tester


Joined: 01 Feb 2006
Posts: 1049
Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh, it's been a while since the last dev journal. Keep up the good work!
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Kuba_
Master Carpenter


Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 59
Location: Poland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice step by step tutorial mate Shocked Smile
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Black-Jo-Bailey
Bilge Rat


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good stuff Smile
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Kev4000
Beta Tester
Beta Tester


Joined: 10 Feb 2006
Posts: 195
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How 'bout a 48 pounder bronze siege cannon?
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Catbox
BFP Developer


Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 331

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great BJ... nice.... Smile
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elander
Post Captain


Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 664
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think its cool to see!
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BlackArrow
Land Lubber


Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't even imagine the hours spent creating everything that went into this mod. Waiting for the update Smile
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Keelbasa
BFP Developer


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you probably could imagine the hours spent... but it probably could also hurt your head thinking about it. Smile

needless to say, a lot of dedication has been spent for this mod. do me a favor and tell everyone about it - including your grandma; she could potentially have a heart attack and you could potentially have a nice inheritance. Innocent
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Sir. Tasty
Bilge Rat


Joined: 20 Aug 2007
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry a bit of a noobie question, is there a way to set max to use tris by default instead of having to do it yourself?
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