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

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:21 pm

Tried another 4 or 5 exports with 'elevator' (left and right) dummy cubes, linked in different ways....lunchbag letdown so far, nothing but strangeness and dysfunctional animations. My method here is sound, but the way the 'aileron' dummy cubes are already linked to the actual 'flaps' animated parts is somehow now severely limiting how and what I'm able to link the 'elevator' dummy cubes to. :roll: (Like that makes any sense to the casual reader!) Put it this way, I'm not diving into writing .XML animation code for this pig because I'm too lazy to learn it, and now I'm lost when it comes to gmax linking methods for a second dummy part....soooo...I dunno....crap.
:evil:
Well, a few more linking games and then maybe I can look at animating something else to suggest some sort of elevator movement, the tail end of the W.A.S.P.V. is segmented after all...could be possibilities there. Hmmm, I also modeled in rotatable joins between each of the three main body parts; head, mid-body and tail-end. Lots of possibilities for animations still exist, jeez, if I wanted to get fancy I could try for some rudder movement with these joins even. Don't know how adventurous I want to get here, this project's already taking a loooong time and I don't always do well when I get too bogged down on any one aspect. Updates to come, got a few more days off over New Year's and may see progress.
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Post by harkonnen » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:57 am

O.K., this thread just hit 1000 views.....do I get a donut or something?

:?

8O

OMG, I suppose I better just get busy and start wrapping up the remaining work on this thing, eh? That's a lot of yapping & a lot of viewing. Holy crap.

This is fun.

The W.A.S.P.V. is fun. You'll see. :wink:
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Post by mel wilson » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:33 pm

Ice Cream is the only thing on offer Hark, and RD has to authorise that !

2000 views, and you get a shot of JD. 8)

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Post by harkonnen » Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:29 pm

If this thing hits 2000 views, a certain somebody is taking way too long, and yapping way too much! :lol:
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Post by rd » Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:55 pm

At least the yip-yapping is entertaining, and actually very informational.

The more I read, the happier I am, it's you, and not me. :twisted: :twisted:

RD

PS: 2 Gallons of ice cream, any flavor, is hereby authorized for Hark.
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Post by SU37Berkut » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:01 pm

Lol Hark, Mel, and last, but certainly not least, RD!
sorry RD, you posted last.

I agree with RD about it being entertaining and informational Hark.
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Post by harkonnen » Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:05 pm

...and it certainly is fun watching a W.I.P. thread bloom into such a pig. The absolute best part is just after I've uploaded the finished package and know that my next post will be "Go try it out!" :wink: *Gets all goosebumpy* :lol: 8) 8)
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Post by harkonnen » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:14 am

Hiya...not really an update, I haven't done squat. Well, I did look long and hard at trying to add suspension to the landing gear. I kill myself, should have been done right when I animated the one gear-leg that I copied 5 times in gmax. Big D'oh! there...now it would just be a nightmare to try and animate 6 legs for suspension. Not only that but 'scale errors' have been killing me on my landing gear sets lately. Gmax won't export a decent animation with a scale error, but when you select the offending parts and reset the scale (which is the proper fix for this anomoly), the animations go awry and require re-animating.
Oh, I did set up a folder with all the wing textures in it, along with the templates, and colour-coded reference screenshots of all four wings, top and bottom. Now I need to take some time and match up the wireframes in gmax to the bitmaps with the UVW editor.
I have at least three bitmaps for each wing, top and bottom - a clean wing with just metal shine and rivets, that plus panel lines and detail, and another with the weathering all on it. They're not proper layers for aircraft repaints as each subsequent bitmap is a composite of the previous layer plus the current bitmap. Oh alright, ...I know it's no fun reading all this stuff if I don't get working on it and actually finish it. :roll: :lol: :D :wink:

Hmmm..as far as gear suspension goes, it's doubtful I can pull it off without way more grief than I can get interested in, here's hoping that once the contact points are refined that it lands onto the runway with some grace and realism anyway. :roll:

I do have a free weekend now, and only 3 projects on the go :lol: so maybe I can tackle these waspwings, they have promising textures and a neat shape.

I do however, have a simple project that's actually just about ready to kick out the door. For real. Honest. It's a skyskimmer...something you'd see on Star Trek, or StarWars, or similar future shows. Just a small, personal shuttle that I kept rather low poly by doing no interior model whatsoever. The windows are nice and reflective, and opaque, so I didn't need a pilot and cockpit. You know, one of those lazy-assed models where you get a Lear panel, no V.C., and no pilot to look at in 'Spot' view. :lol: :roll: Cool design though, with some neat landing gear animations, decent looking crap-ship textures and a kick ass super sci-fi engine cluster in the behind part. That tech-talk enough for ya? I'll throw up (not regurgitate :roll: ) a few shots in the open screenshot forum, bug RD for some permission for FX use, and kick it out the door. Really. No, honest. 'Kay, you'll see.. :lol:
It's not much, but it has a certain cool factor...I built it for me, for when I'm searching for shuttley-type spacecraft for FS9 to zoom into the lower altitudes from up at 75,000', like you were coming in from a space trip, or another planet. There's not much new like that getting uploaded for FS9 now. :cry:

Will update as I tackle this wasp stuff. :roll: :wink:

EDIT....Ewww - too many smilies. (OMG! I had to resist adding the rolling eyes right after this sentence...where can I get help?)
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Post by rd » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:37 am

I hear Betty Ford opened a new rehab center for those that are "freaking clueless to Flight Sims and Modelling".

I think she meant "overwhelmed".

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Post by harkonnen » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:57 pm

Yeah. Overwhelmed is a good word for this gmax-challenged hack! I think I stall a bit on a project when gmax refuses to co-operate. I get on a roll, especially when I'm at least three-quarters done, then - WHAM! - a bunch of scale errors and animation goofiness, or just my general lack of experience with UVW mapping, etc....kills the fun factor and I sort of wander into other projects to try and keep some momentum....keep the fun part of this happening while I figure out work-arounds. That's how this SkySkimmer got done, it was the 'go to' project for when I'd bogged down on the main project! Ah well, I'll have them all done soon, and at least those that are interested can see what I've been dreaming up and yapping about.
I actually need to re-install the FS9 gamepack for gmax and get my scenery exports working properly...I really miss doing scenery stuff now after all these 'flying machines'. :wink:
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Post by harkonnen » Sat Feb 09, 2008 9:12 pm

.......Been playing with the landing gear contact points for days now - I've gone full circle a few times from being stable on the runway with the model floating just slightly to crashing into the runway in all sorts of rude ways upon loading.
...FINALLY got it back to where the feet sit pretty accurately on the runway, now I just have to try and do something about the slight rocking back and forth...it looks like hell with no suspension to the gear-legs. Well, I'll just tweak it and play with it 'til I get it the best I can without having kittens and then I'll at least be one step closer to kicking this thing out the door. Geez, if it's not one thing it's another. Ah well, keeps me on my toes....and I didn't want all that brown hair...gray's just fine thanks. :lol:
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Post by FokkerDr1R » Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:33 am

Good Job Harkonnen,

Keep up the good work!

Fokker

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Post by harkonnen » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:22 am

Thanks for the encouragement Fokker...a few more things to figure out and she'll be done. :wink:
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Post by njbb1995 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:08 am

After spending hours reading the updates on the W.A.S.P.V (is that what its called?) I have offically decided...........


I cant wait to fly the plane (if you could call it that :wink: )
I am sure you will do a great job on this
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P.S you do deserve a donut for reaching 1000 hits :lol:

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Post by harkonnen » Mon Feb 11, 2008 8:54 am

Thanks for the interest Njbb, yeah, it's called the WASPV, and she's a handful to develop. Probably be a cakewalk for the experienced folks, but this amateur, wannabe, hack newbie gets mired in these grand fantasy projects with big animation ideas, etc. - and then realizes that lack of planning ahead has created six times more work than is necessary! Will I learn? Probably a little. I literally stumble through some of these projects, just managing through trial and error to make things work or look half decent. I've got the points set now the best I've had them yet, but I'm not happy yet.....these VTOL aircraft sit light on the runway and I'm not experienced enough to make them settle down on the tarmac through the points data in the .cfg file. Plus I'm working with skidders, or 'feet'....rather than wheels for landing gear and what would normally look like a bit of tire compression ends up looking like skid pads disappearing into the asphalt when the craft rocks beyond the suspension motion. Setting the compression and max/static ratio and the damping ratio with those three sets of numbers can be like playing the lottery. Then if you change one set too much the gear point's location itself will be sitting higher or lower and you need to adjust it with the 'Z' coordinate setting.
Geez...see what happens when you encourage me? I get long winded and digressive. No donuts for me until this monster is out the door!! (Do Not Feed The Amateur Developer!) :D :wink:
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Post by harkonnen » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:12 am

I've got these points the best way they can be without going crazy. There's finally enough resistance to crashing if you land a wee bit hard, I added some slight, very simple suspension animation to the very top part of the gear assembly, where the casings meet the underbody...and it helped a bit with the rocking. She doesn't rock too badly now with harder landings or heavy braking. I've gone through at least 150 number combinations trying to configure these gear-points and I think finally they are at 'my best'. *Sigh* :D Once she settles down after motion, she sits properly on pavement. She was a bit overpowered too....now I've reduced thrust a bit and there's virtually no forward-creep on the ground, and the VTOL action is a little nicer as well....I'm happy to have gotten back to this project this weekend after wrapping up that Zkimmer...I had grown weary of these gear points, and a little tired of the WASP to be honest - having flown it for months straight getting animations right. Now after being away from it for a few weeks it has it's shine back for me....it really is a neat craft - inspired by imagination and realized without too much compromise. Some bitmap tweaking to do and then I need to get this thing out there, I want to do 15 other thing to this bird (bug) but it's not fun if it takes forever...I want to kick it out soon! The WASP lives - Woohoo!
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Post by SU37Berkut » Mon Feb 11, 2008 1:01 pm

Great job on the legs Hark! :D
That thing looks scary! 8O

Can't wait!
SU37Berkut

Hmmm.. I wonder what would happen if I fed the ameteur?
*tosses in a donut and runs for his life* :lol:
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Post by harkonnen » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:20 pm

Thanks SU37, the legs look pretty creepy as they retract and fold up close to the body too, ugh! (So it has the desired effect - wait 'til the terrorist scum in Afghanistan get a load of this thing bearing down on them.) :twisted:

No donuts, no ice cream! I've got to shed this winter fat as it is. Hmmm, I wonder if more time sitting in front of the computer screen would help? :roll: :lol:
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Post by mel wilson » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:39 pm

Those legs had to modled by GS, nothing else comes close, now that is scary ! :lol:

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Post by njbb1995 » Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:51 am

No donuts for me until this monster is out the door!! (Do Not Feed The Amateur Developer!)
:D :D :D BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
its funny because its true :D :D
heheheh
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Post by harkonnen » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:58 am

HA! Hiya Mel, I didn't quite know what you meant when you referred to G.S. and legs..then I got it! Yes, that photo of Groundsquirrel sporting the neon-pink shorts is burned into my brain too! (Not in a good way either! :cry: )
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Post by rd » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:20 am

Shorts???? The man ...... Oh, Nevermind.

At least the WASP doesn't have hairy legs, as someone else I know.....



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they were...

Post by groundsquirrel » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:28 pm

They were FUSCIA! and the hair is to distinguish us from air force pukes...
Gravity ... it's an Earth thing.

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Post by harkonnen » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:46 pm

...So much for resting with the contact points. I've got 2 alternate .cfg files now, and a third in the sim that seems to be about the best yet, went in on a whim and configured a bit more last night. Still not happy with the gear points but they seem reasonable, who wants to get too mired down going 'round in circles playing with numbers, geesh - it's just not fun after 200 edits.

She's full of flaws, but so much fun - I'll just keep plugging away 'til this mess seems releasable. They must be getting tired of me buzzing over their heads down here in Barbados where all the flight testing is going on.

Haven't set the simple contact points for body parts yet, got so dragged down with gear points, but these points are easy.

Back soon with more drivel from Hark - the king of taking three paragraphs to say absolutely nothing.
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Post by njbb1995 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:20 am

Are you sure about that king of using three paragraphsto say absolutly nothing I could do that easily but I wont because It will be a waste of time space and possibly money. But otherwise keep up the good work Hark!!!
cheers
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Post by harkonnen » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:12 pm

Got all ambitious last night and went back into gmax and edited the UVW for the waspwings unwrap, then sorted out the wing textures (ridiculous: 4 wings - top and bottom textures for all four, as separate UVW edits...remember - I had to re-do the rightwings as another whole assembly, no mirroring and no simply reversing bitmaps.) Edited 4 bitmaps into two so the bigwing bottoms and tops were together on the same map and did the same for the smallwing textures. what a chore! I was determined not to go to bed last night until it was done, and I went to bed satisfied that it was the best job I could do. Looks pretty good this morning. There's a small band that rims the wings that takes no texture from the map but it looks alright anyway....and the textures rendered up nicely due to their size (1024 X 1024). I tried 3 or 4 times originally to map these wings for a perfectly clean UVW unwrap but gmax just laughed and did what it wanted. Fortunately with some careful point-editing in the UVW edit window in max I was able to get rid of some nasty image-repeating that occurred at certain triangle poly's. Still a few rogue triangles present but it's minimal, and is, once again, the best I can manage without having a friggin' anxiety attack. I don't think all the coffee and cigarettes help!
Anyway, getting these gear-points half decent and getting my textures onto the wings were the biggest hurdles I faced in the later stages of this beastly, buggy project - and I'm pretty darn happy that I've crossed these hurdles! O.K., I crawled around a few rather than jumping over them, but nobody saw. :twisted:

I may take a stab at the V.C. thing, but she's high poly as is, and I'm feeling mighty lazy lately...probably wrap this one up and let folks drop in their own panel or use the default aliased one....and taking another month(s) to figure out the V.C. will probably fry my feeble brain....so enjoy the clear screen view when in Virtual Cockpit view. Yeah, I know it's a cop-out and a rip-off, but hey - this is all in fun right...she's a blast to fly - very, VERY different, and pretty darn mean to look at and quite functional...definitely enough to keep you busy for a few flights. :wink:
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Post by njbb1995 » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:07 pm

I have a question would th WASPV win against a midair battle against RDs skyhawk :twisted: ?
just another usless question from me :roll:
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Post by rd » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:15 am

uh-oh.... I'm outta this one 8)

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Post by harkonnen » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:25 am

8O

Uh-oh.

To be honest, I'm not familiar with the real-world capabilities of the Skyhawk, but I'll tell you what I've got going on with the W.A.S.P.V.;

56 Hellfire-type air to ground rockets.
12 small air-to-air missiles.
The above weaponry is not present to the viewer until 'tailhook' is activated - I think it's called a 'clean' profile or something along those lines.
There are also two smaller guns in the Wasp's nose....not turret guns - you aim the aircraft.

Now, the kicker in air combat is that not only can I stop almost dead still from full-forward throttle in a matter of seconds and hover, but I can also spin her around 180 degrees in two seconds, at 500 knots. Literally. :wink:...It takes a little practice to counter insane rudder response with aileron flutters so you maintain a level attitude, but I can spin around and unleash before the other pilot has a chance to say "what the hell?"

If I saw one of these and it wasn't on my side of the fight, I'd be making myself scarce, on the ground or airborne.

EDIT: Other fighter aircraft may have a speed advantage though...this thing is not supersonic, it's a smaller craft and the two jet engines are smaller as well. I hope to install the absolute best state-of-the-art weapons targeting and guidance systems too...sometimes it's all about who locks on first, eh?
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of course...

Post by groundsquirrel » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:13 am

Of course, when your opponent goes flying by due to his "superior" speed, he is exposing his "heat sources" (all puns intended) :lol:
Gravity ... it's an Earth thing.

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