W.A.S.P.V. - work in progress...

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W.A.S.P.V. - work in progress...

Post by harkonnen » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:15 pm

Warzone Airborne Security Patrol Vehicle.

Unbelievable, I've actually spent a ridiculous amount of time getting decent textures onto the two meshes for the gear assembly housing and front grille...like two hours a night for a week now tiling and placing home-made bitmaps. Just nuts to even get that front grille to finally look decent. Had some fun with editing alpha channels for different levels of reflectivity. I've sort of cheated on this set of textures so far...they're not conventionally placed mapped images...I just slap my bitmap onto a material in gmax and then manipulate the hell out of it, then further refine the way it appears with tiling, offsetting, mirroring, etc, in gmax, and with alpha images in 'DXTBMP'.
There will be a few more areas on this model where I can get a way with not mapping and UVW unwrapping in gmax, but then I have to do it right and create some texture templates. Still lots of animation issues to resolve, and a bit of model tweaking, then a bit of a learning curve regarding layering techniques for a realistic and paintable model. Slow going though, when you're a picky hack like me. Ah well, there's not much on T.V. anyway, so it's a great hobby. (obsession..shhhh :roll: ) :lol:
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Post by mel wilson » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:22 pm

Looks real cool Hark........... nice job.

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Post by harkonnen » Fri Oct 19, 2007 6:01 pm

Thanks Mel, now that I have these few meshes textured I can move on to something else fun. I sort of have to learn some bitmap layering next, I think, as I want to have a fully textured wing assembly all done in gmax in order to clone and have my right wing complete upon mirroring. Just a bunch of animation and texturing issues now and the front guns look like crap, so I'll be gettin' 'er done over the coming weeks.
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Post by mel wilson » Fri Oct 19, 2007 8:07 pm

Be interested to see the finished product..... :lol:


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Post by harkonnen » Sat Oct 20, 2007 3:27 am

It's sure going to be different. So many tweaks to tweak it's not even funny. Should be good fun when it's done, though. And if it looks like I can see in my head when I'm done, it should be a winner. Flight dynamics are almost poifect, may need to lower the stall speed even further if possible.
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Post by harkonnen » Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:02 pm

Well, I just keep at it, bit by bit as I go through my weekend. Took some time on Sat. and today and got the primary wing top and bottom textures done. (There's two wings on each side.) The textures for the secondary wing top and bottom only have the base texture with rivets done, no weathering yet...I'll chip away at those during the week. I got crafty and modelled each rivet into the wings in 'Anim8or' and took screenshots of all the wing tops and bottoms...and played with adding the panel lines, indents and weathering in 'Pixia' and 'PhotoShop'. If this works out right, I'll have these two images as an overlay layer to go on top of markings and decals etc., and when the layers are merged the whole wing with the paint scheme should look pretty realistic.
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BIGWINGBOTTOMgtc4good.ex.jpg
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Post by harkonnen » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:05 am

Right on...wasted a sunny afternoon and lovely balmy evening finishing up the secondary wing textures. It's good to have these done...I've been dying to start texturing the wings so I can be done and venture into the clone/mirror gmax animations mess. Gotta get the wings and jets moving properly and get on with weapons texturing and animation. Holy crap, gotta do those spinning jet fans too. Got those textures done, just need to make and place the 'spinning' disks that imitate the turbines. God I hope this bloody thing looks decent and all the animations are do-able after all is said and done...it's got potential to be really really cool....I just hope I can pull it all off without compromise. I wade into these big-assed, big-idea projects like a blind goof and then realize I've created 80 hours work for myself. 8O 8O :twisted: :roll: :lol: :lol: Probably good that I get into posting this crap...it keeps me motivated to actually try and get it finished and out there. :roll:

Yeah, I know, the small wing textures are a bit dark, especially the small wing bottom one...but if I need to I can set the opacity of the image a little less when I figure out this layer stuff for sure. :)
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SMALLWINGBTTMgtc4good.ex.jpg
SMALLWINGTOPgtc4good.ex.jpg
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Post by rd » Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:12 am

I actually like it, that you post them up.

Gives me dreams of what I want to do to it. :twisted: :twisted:

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Post by mel wilson » Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:23 am

Hark......... Does this thing sting ?, and is it possible for it to fly the Atlantic ?, if so, may be an idea to use smaller tanks. Thank you. :lol:

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:22 pm

Well, when you finally do get your hands on this bugger, and press 'Shift+W', you'll see that she has plenty of sting. As for flying the Atlantic....Uh, I dunno...why do you ask me all the hard questions, I'm just a hack wannabe developer that couldn't develop an accurate real-world plane under threat of death??! :lol: :lol: LOL, all kidding aside bud, the W.A.S.P.V is meant to be a shorter distance, fast-scramble ground-support vehicle. Our men and women in Kandahar are subject to all manner of guerrilla warfare, especially from roadside Improvised Explosive Devices. Typical helicopters would be great as a security patrol instrument to minimize chances for planting these IED's but they become an irresistible target themselves for the rocket-launcher scoundrels that lurk in the surrounding terrain. HARK AEROSPACE was comissioned to design and build a light, fast, armoured STOL vehicle with sophisticated surveillance electronics that could zoom across the desert and mountain terrain or slow down to almost a standstill hover as needed. At this point in time, as the first prototype is being refined and constructed, HARK AEROSPACE has beautifully implemented all military requirements except one.
Seems that all the specs are do-able...EXCEPT...the small size of the jet engines (and respectively the aircraft itself), and small wing-surface area dictate that decent armouring is impossible with conventional materials on this craft, it's just too heavy for proper flight if it's protected to spec. Over the coming weeks and months, extensive testing of various composite materials for an armoured but still light defensive aircraft will be conducted. Several materials look promising....it needs to be done right, as there is no sense having another vulnerable target out there, no matter how light, fast or deadly.

...And to answer your question properly, I fly everything with 'Unlimited Fuel' checked..most of the FS (fantasy) aircraft I have collected would chew up all the fuel on start-up! But this thing, in reality, should be able to go out for an hour of Combat Air Patrol, or a little longer if just going from A to B.

To all the real military types and respected veterans that may frequent these forums...please take my military ramblings with a grain of salt...I only have a faint idea of what I'm talking about and this stuff is presented for entertainment purposes only. :wink: :roll:
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Post by mel wilson » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:33 pm

I just dont want this thing to get over the pond and poke me one up the butt when my back's turned.............. :lol:

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:01 pm

LOL, more like you get halfway across the desert and then realize that you miscalculated fuel use and now need your buddies to come extract you from an unfriendly situation. :lol:
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Post by mel wilson » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:03 pm

Seriously Hark......... it's looking good !

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:47 pm

Thanks Mel..if one person has as much fun flying it as I'm having making it...it's all worthwhile!
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Post by harkonnen » Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:04 am

Well, I've been looking at these wing textures over and over since getting them done, and I'm realizing that I like the small, secondary wing textures better than the ones that will be going on the large, main wings that were the first two maps posted up there. Those main wings are too light now for my liking....I prefer the smallwing textures as they are fuller and more metallic looking as well. The two lighter textures for the top and bottom of the bigwing have original textures that are fuller and better looking...the original bitmap with just the bare metal and rivets. I guess I can use that as the background layer, then have the 'decal/logo' layer on top of that, then have this panel line/indents/highlights/weathering layer go over that. Then if I have to I can also use the same technique on the darker, smallwing...have a darker underlayer, or background, put the lettering/logos on top of that and then slap another layer of weathering/surface detail over that. I love the concept of layering, it has potential to add realism as some dirt and soot streaks can go over the actual paint scheme & logos, etc. 'ACES' did a nice job of 'paintchipping' on the default Corsair in FS2002. You could spend days just weathering and paintchipping the surfaces of your aircraft...or of course you could get a life. .....NAHHH! :lol: :lol: :roll:
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Post by harkonnen » Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:48 am

I've had a heck of a time trying to get the textures for the jet fan blades onto the darn 'prop disks', as they're called....days of frustration with the textures looking beauty in gmax but showing up as black in FS9. :? Big-time lunchbag letdown. I was back and forth in max, the exporter - 'Middleman' and 'DXTBMP' about a hundred times easy, trying to fix my texture woes. Can't throw my hands in the air and walk away...this project's just started to come along. I've conquered some of the 'hard' stuff - got the top wing mapped and unwrapped decently, got all the wing parts (9 or 10) all textured just right. Been stalled on this friggin' jetfan thang for days now, determined to get them done and put to bed so I can keep texturing and animating the rest of the WASP. I've got a TON of work to do. Here's shots of the prop disk texture problem solved...finally, only by actually mapping AND 'UVW unwrapping' in gmax did the textures show up properly as DXT3 images of my lovely fan blades. The disks will be scaled to fit the engine nacelles, and the three disks will be merged, all occupying the same space. Only the appropriate, textured disk for each range of throttle is displayed by FS if this is done right, as you can see from the first three screenies...the displaced disks in FS9 at different throttle levels as engines are shut down. Thank God I solved this...it's been driving me nuts looking at 'black' textures on my jet disks for DAYS!! :roll: :lol: :twisted:
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Post by harkonnen » Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:59 pm

Woohoo, now the jetfans are all done and I can see how many gray hairs it takes to clone a textured, animated wing properly. Just the texture template pattern on the wings so far - I have some work to do on the actual textures.

EDIT: May tone down the reflectivity on the spinner cone a bit....this thing's not supposed to be all chromey. :roll:
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Post by harkonnen » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:28 pm

I've been putting off trying to clone/mirror the wing assembly...just been lazy about learning the tutorial for this. Not idle though, I've been playing with the cockpit glass and some of the interior details...the pilot is looking pretty decent, along with his seat and control pedestal. Now I'm looking at the best way to have the canopy move to allow pilot access. It's a bit goofy as I never set pivot points on the canopy pieces earlier. I'm finding that this pivot point XYZ restriction in max is a pain in the butt, and I'm slowly learning to set a 'workflow' in these projects....in other words I shoot myself in the foot often, creating more 'work' than may be necessary. Par for the course...I seem to learn most things the hard way. (Real life stuff, too.) D'oh! :roll: Well, just felt like rambling about my hobby...I'm off now to perfect (Ha ha, hopefully :roll: ) the canopy animation. Then more clone/mirror avoidance while I look at texturing and animating the weapons clusters. I really will have to get to reproducing my one wing assembly effectively though, getting that done will put a big scary job behind me so I can really feel that I've moved a lot closer to completing this very unique airbug, er...aircraft.
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Post by mel wilson » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:46 pm

Sounds like it's all coming together Hark......... Well Done, I look forward to these updates.

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Post by harkonnen » Sun Nov 04, 2007 3:47 pm

Thanks Mel, I post this stuff for two reasons...in hopes that it is somewhat interesting to see something unique as a work in progress, and to possibly inspire someone to look further into the possibilities of developing add-ons as a hobby. O.K., three reasons...I'm a bit of a show-off 8O :lol: :lol:

I was fooling myself when I said I should tone back the teaser shots...making this stuff and posting W.I.P. shots is a lot of FUN!

WOOHOO! The canopy animation went pretty well. I wanted to have both sides open separately, moving back and spreading out but the animation axis' were too bloody much...she looks good with the whole mess just swinging up and back. What a buzzzz...the first time I've had a canopy open. Yayyyy. :roll:
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Post by harkonnen » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:05 am

http://www.aerodynamika.com/cgi-bin/yab ... 1189452149

Right on...well if it's that easy to do an interior model then I might just try it this time, instead of releasing an aircraft without a Virtual Cockpit as many newbies do.

Geez, if that goes well I might just find the balls to try my hand at designing a simple panel for this thing as well! Might not be too hard if I just steal all the pertinent gauges from a default FS9 panel.
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Post by harkonnen » Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:41 pm

Well isn't that special.....I have a tutorial on how to mirror animated parts in gmax but have had no success yet in getting the waspwing assembly to mirror without massive modeling problems. My stuff is either inside out in FS9 or it doesn't animate properly. I've mucked up somehow when I modeled this wing assembly, hoping to finish all the linking and animating for one and then simply clone/mirror the wingset to the right side of the aircraft. Simple? NOT! I can't follow the tutorial that would solve my problems as a mistake by me in the modeling process results in one vertice from several parts being left behind when mirroring the parts across an axis, resulting in a stretched cone extruded from the surface. After much trial and error, I am attempting the unthinkable......bringing in my left wing assembly from 'Anim8or' and trying to match the exact position and animation of the already done right wing - from scratch. All the parts in the new set have to be renamed, linked properly, positioned to right-angles first in gmax to set animated rotation axis' (2 different axis' for the wing assembly movement.), re-animated, re-mapped and UVWunwrapped...and it all has to match a fairly complicated leftwing animation and now slightly canted position. So far I've only managed to get the rightwing assembly imported into my scene in gmax, and positioned at the right angle to start animating on the proper rotation axis'. About 5 previous attempts to match the animations has resulted in me making a mistake somewhere along the process, and starting over with the rightwing as you see it in the shot below. Going to chip away at it today as I have time today...trial and error may get me to a point where the positions and animations of both wingsets match closely enough for this picky hack to call it DONE! I'm restless to move onto other aspects of this buggy beast, there's so much work to do.

If I can't manage to replicate the leftwings animations to suit, there are other fixes that I can attempt, working again with the mirroring process...I'm learning a heck of a lot, I'll get it somehow...have to....too much time in this project to give up or let it lie too long! Crap, if all else fails I'll start the whole wing process again, doing things differently by importing both wings from 'Anim8or' and doing up all animations for both sides at once and not rely on cloning/mirroring at all. I hate it when a project slows down with niggling problems like this, but through this sometimes tedious, frustrating process I learn a bunch and am better prepared for the next project.
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Post by harkonnen » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:14 pm

OMG...I managed to pull it off I think. Followed a very careful procedure learned by 5 or 6 trial and error runs and got all the rightwing parts animated from scratch, and they are almost in perfect sync with the leftwing. Holy crap, I was sure this wouldn't work, but I kept going back in for another animation run, from start to finish and finally got 'er! Now I have to repeat all my texturing for the 10 or so wingset pieces, but what a relief to have two wings finally doing what they're suppose to in gmax...and they should look fine in the sim too...it was the mirroring operation that caused the parts to be inside out in the sim previously...the whole reason for this 'import and start from scratch' approach. DONE!! I'll spend a while getting this all textured up and move onto the twenty other things that need doing before I even get to final texturing, points, lights, packaging, etc.

EDIT: Haven't tried it in FS9 yet but am about to do an export test. If all is well then I know I'll spend the next while mapping and UVW unwrapping and texturing the wingset, just so it's out of my hair...it really will be a relief to finally have these wings done. :?
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Post by rd » Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:26 pm

Awesome Hark,

Can't wait to play with this one too. :D

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Post by harkonnen » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:49 pm

Thanks RD, I think you'll enjoy this one, it's obviously a very different aircraft. My export test went perfectly, and it's nice to see these wings working and showing up properly in FS9. 8O :D
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Post by mel wilson » Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:18 am

I wouldn't mine either, just gotta make sure I feed it the right food.

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:35 am

It runs on barrels of Jack Daniels. :wink:
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Post by mel wilson » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:39 am

I'm not sharing my Jack Daniels with anyone, or anythin.... not even a wasp.

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Post by rd » Mon Nov 12, 2007 5:44 am

Oh No Hark......

As with Mel, nothing is getting my Jack, unless it is me, and a few friends that will return the favor.

Jack Daniels is to honored, not burned.

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:17 am

Oh oh, I guess I better make it run on something not so popular eh? O.K...it'll run on the sweat of corrupt politicians and lawyers...no shortage there. :lol: Hang on...do they ever sweat? ...Oh yeah, just ask Conrad Black's team...*muah ha ha haaaaa.*
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