Along with adding more detail and some higher resolution textures, there are a few things I think need attention.
The main issue I noticed is that the hull is all jagged and bent at some points, which leads to some weird shading effects, so this upgrade will mainly be about cleaning up that mess.
Apart from that I'm basically revoking the old philosophy of converting greeblies into texxtures. So the idea is to make anything that is 3D in textures into an actual 3D object, at least to some degree.
A THOUGHT: As this model is highly detailed (currently around 55k vertices) It might be too much for the game to handle after all. If this comes true, I may derive a medium detail version from it (still way more detailed than the old version, plus with all the fixes and reimaginations). This one I'd release along with the UHD version.
With Jeremy's updated S-Foils hook the model will come with working S-Foils. It will now open its wings after arriving from hyperspace and it'll close them, before jumping out.
- The model is 5 meters too short! Idea: Remodel the tip of the nose to have it protrude a bit from the model and get the missing 5 meters without having to rescale the whole thing.
- Deal with shading issues on the wings. Maybe remodel into 1 big plate but keep the inside ribs.
- Idea: Add further details to the hangar OPT, such as ceiling TIE racks.
Plans for Flightgroup colors:
Red: Standard Imperial gray
Gold: Crimson command - all crimson hull
Blue: New Republic: blue-ish markings? Battered?
Green: Old Republic, Open Circle fleet markings & red stripes, Battered?
- Reactor "claws"
- Rear sensor globe (or remove?)
- Finish Hangar interior
2020-03-29: Superstructure mapping complete
The superstructure's finally done as well. This was the biggest and most tedious part to map. Now there's only a few more tidbits left to map - stuff I can do in a day. Then I can finalize the textures and get the turrets working. There's a light at the end of the tunnel :D
2020-03-28: Bridge mapping complete
Gah this was an arduous task. Finally finished mapping the enteire bridge and tower section, doing so I did some model clean up, as there were a few faces missing or superfluous, while some had their normals flipped. With that out of the way, I'll move on to the superstructure which is the last major bit missing proper mapping, everything else is just peanuts and then it's off to finalizing the actual textures.
On a side note: Due to COVID-19 I'm on home office so I'm saving roughly 1.5 - 2 hours for commuting, time I can use to finally finishing this monster.
2020-03-21: Tractor Beams & hangar exterior
Finally got the tractor beam projectors mapped as well as the little claw-like things outside the main hangar bay. Meanwhile added a few more details to the trench textures and other things.
2020-03-01: Trench mapping complete
Phew! That was a treat. Finally completed properly mapping all the tiny bits of the trench details from front to back. Now to put the same amout of work into the superstructure ... yay -_-
Also remodeled some hangar bay details and finally got around to remodel the so far low-detail tractor beam projectors, which were placeholders, left over from Matt's never released ISD2.
Meanwhile work on the actual textures continues and they're starting to look way less blank as I progress.
2020-02-22: Various texture updates
It's probably not obvious from the images but the various texture details are slowly coming together. I've decided to scale down two fairly huge textures to be more in line with the rest of the ship. Makes texturing greeblies way easier, too XD
2020-02-19: Reactor Update
Reshaped the reactor bulb and recreated its textures, based off the old texture by Matt which I had been using on my older versions.
2020-02-17: Small update
Added some missing details to the trench bits between the wings. Those bits had been blank for long enough. Also started adding more details to the more basic textures.
2020-01-27: Some housekeeping
Did some more cleaning up and merging of individual textures. Most of the turrets are now mapped, only a few more bits and pieces that need mapping. After that I can get serious with the actual texturing.
I've had an idea to overhaul the main hull textures so they don't just cover one side with the other simply being mirrired, but instead have them cover the entire hull which allows for some nice asymetric details to be appllied such as decals, weathering and battle damage etc.
2020-01-18: Small update
Not much new atm. finally replaced the old Bridge observation station with an updated mesh and added mapping. Also did some reorganizing of textures to better adhere to the meshes they were apply to rather than being splashed all over the ship.
Currently still trying to figure out, why the NPC VSDs wouldn't close their Wings in hyperspace anymore. This did work before :(
2020-01-05: MORE GUNZ!
I've made some progress on overall mapping here and there, mostly done with thin edges now. Next I've added another 20-ish gun turrets to the model and removed some superfuous weaponSys-meshes, which I realized were too much.
Thanks to Jeremy's latest updates OPTech can now convey rotation coordinates when rotating of flipping a mesh which is EXTREMELY helpful when placing rotary turrets in odd angles. Trying this out I've given the main battery section a model overhaul and also increased the amount of turrets from 3 to 4 on either side. Looks way better now!
2020-01-02: Back on track
Right, been lazy long enough. Work on the mapping has recommenced. Currently adding more details to existing base textures. Still quite a bit of work to do in the details, but it'll get there eventually. I also started experimenting around with Flightgroup colors....
2019-11-13: Guns! Lots of guns
OOoooookay, so... remember when I said I was thinking of assigning each weapon hardpoint to a dedicated turret mesh? Myeeeah about that .... I checked the original TG model and did some number crunshing: It has 57 weapon hardpoints on each side, so make that double at 114 in total.
Now for this remake, I added about 15 twin-barelled rotary turrets and a pair of quad box turrets, Substracting those I'm left with some 76 weapon hardpoints to go - 38 if I make every turret mesh a twin-barelled one which I wasn't planning on. Next, even if I merge all the major hull parts together there's still another 16-18 meshes that need to stay separate for their special hitzones, such as engines, reactor, bridge, shield generators, etc. Plus another 12 WeaponSys meshes. These have no hardpoints, however destroying them all will make the ship stop firing alltogether.
Right now I've added 30 singular turret meshes all over the model - 10 each for top, trench and bottom. That's 60 once I'm mirroring everything. If this doesn't work, I'll have to merge the smaller turrets together.
One last thing I'm considering is is that the TG original only had EmpireLaser hardpoints although I think the actual weapons are set in the exe, not sure tho. I'm wondering if I could reduce the number of required hardpoints by making them stronger ....
I've found out that I've got about 10 meshes to use for the small turrets. I'm currently trying out with grouping them up, seems to work fine so far.
2019-10-27: Some minor updates
Suffered a cold last week so progress slowed down a bit. Did some more maping over the weekend, working on the hinges inbetween the wings as well as the antennas ato the bridge.
On a side note, Jeremy has updated his hangar hook, which now allows to alter the trajectory of the shuttle, including a downward arc. With this established I'll be moving the corrent position of the player craft to the side to make space to include the shuttle. Now let's just hope it doesn't slam its wings into the outer wall when launching....
2019-10-14: Hangar update
I ported over some texture from my Imperial Hangar to use in the VSD hangar. Looks very nice already, although the background texture used for the rest of it, is somewhat blurry, need to sharpen that one up a bit.
Back from vacation.
I mostly finished with mapping the thin edges. Unlike with the v1 I added a few lights to them, placing those carefully in appropriate places(unlike spamming them all over the place like I did with my various standalone SDs. I used the old rim textures that date back to Matt's ISD and expanded on them, creating more variations.
Next I started working on the weapons. So far I only worked on the main dorsal batteries to get those working.
All in all, there's currently a few issues here that need ironing out:
- Although set to RotGunTurret and with rotation axes set properly(I hope), they won't rotate ... consulting with Bman on this.
- Second, they seem to ignore the rest of the ship, i.e. firing through the wings, main hull etc., which is tactically advantageous for the ship but sort-of kills immersion. I'm sorting that out eventually.
2019-10-02: Texutre updates
Started mapping the multiple edge faces for the trench and superstructure. This is arguably one of the more tedious parts of the process as it pertains a lot of map-multiplying and stitching. I'm including some additional lights to some of these bits - not too much just a bit to accentuate.
2019-09-25: Even more updates
[DONE] Improve trench details between the wings.
Replaced the trench details between the wings as I had planned. Next I added some details - especially window lights - to numerous textures to start giving the thing some more depth. One ingame test later and I'm totally in love with this thing!
2019-09-25: Lots of texture updates
Got quite a bit of mapping done today. Most of the engine section, the wings, the central gunnery station as well as hangar are now mapped with texture primitives which I can fill with details later. It's beginning to look like something :D
2019-09-24: Various model updates
[DONE] Add some more details to bridge.
[DONE] Improve engine section model.
As mentioned before I'm thinking of assigning every laser hardpoint to a physical, visible turret mesh. Taking some inspiration from a recent rendering from the XWingVM facebook page I modeled a small turret mesh taht could be spammed all over the hull :). Along with that I made the aforementioned fixes to the engine section and added some missing details to the bridge module.
Also refined the rotating wings using Jeremy's new S-Foils editor.
2019-09-22: Hangar Update
[DONE] Redesign hangar interior layout.
[DONE] Remodel hangar ribs to line up with ext. projectors - or vice versa
Finally got around to remodel the hangar section. I've moved away from the old style and went for the typical imperial look with those trademark 'pillars' on either side. I've also decided to close up one of two smaller forward hangar openings for simplicity and so I could go all out detail on the large rear one.
While workin on this I realized the hangar ceiling derived from the old model wasn't high enough to fit the Lambda-class Shuttle, which is a supposed to be a mainstay on imperial ships. In the end I had to almost double the hangar ceiling height and add some more detail so it doesn't look too stretched.
I've also decided to close up one of two smaller forward hangar openings for simplicity and modeled the other so a connection between was hinted but not actually there.
I've imported the new hangar along with a few prototype textures. I'm also considering remodelling my original Imperial Hangar to match an actual ISD hangar in size.
2019-09-07: Update on engine section
All the engine nozzles are complete with mapping and engine glow. With that done, I started mapping the actual engine section on the main body, where I noticed some modelling errors and weird angles. I may need to remodel part of that section.
2019-09-05: Various updates
[DONE] Add damage model for shield generators (take from Executor)
I completed the shield generators, including a damaged stump for when the globe is destroyed. Further I made updates to the bridge textures and added some prototype maps to the wings and reactor.
2019-09-02: S-Foils Working
Made some marginal texture updates. The big news is that the S-Foils are now working properly on NPC ships (thanks to Jeremy). The VSD will now open its wings after arrivving from hyperspace and it'll close them, before jumping out. Here's a little sneak-peak :D
2019-09-02: Mapping updates, texture improvements
]DONE] Reduce diagonal panel lines on main hull texture
This week's been slow, fairly little time. Still with the weekend over, I got some stuff done. I've started mapping the major bits of the bridge module and added some more details to the hull textures. This is going to look pretty nifty. I added the old bridge textures as a faint layer to get a feeling of the various details. Don't worry, you won't be seeing much of those blurry things once I'm done.
I had to do some remodelling as I noticed some errors with the Shield Generators. While currently not shown, they will likely reappear in the next update.
2019-08-25: Various smaller updates, another ingame test
Working on various bits and pieces - turrets, shield generators, engines and the like - in separate OPZs so I can lateron import and copy/paste them easily. I also made some updates to the main body - superstructure and trench. Quick test ingame: running smoothly so far. :)
2019-08-19: Texture updates
Added a few more texture prototypes to the superstructures. Nothing too fancy, just to get the overall look done. The good thing is: With the VSD being a mostly symetrical ship, I only have to do one side and use the mirror/duplicate function in OPTech to have the other side creaetd for me. For the turrets and other objects it'll be a bit of copy-pasting but that, too, should go quickly.
On a side note, this is the first OPT I've created entirely using OPTech v2.x. Let's see how much time it saves me in comparison to v1.1
2019-08-18: OPTing commences
OK, imported the model into OPTech, created a first texture prototype: The Main Hull - It always starts with the main hull. Did I mention I'm incredibly happy I no longer have to cut big textures into pieces? :D
2019-08-18: Engine section complete
[DONE] Add details to engine sockets
Finally done with the engine section. The small hyper engines now not just stick out oddly of that block but are properly bracketed in a pile of machinery.
2019-08-16: Turrets overhaul
[DONE] Replace old weapons_sys dummies with something more fittingg
Completely overhauled the various turrets. Moving away from the Venator-style side turret I went for a shape closer to the classic ISD-1 turrets. I've also replaced those old circular weapon_sys dummies by something that better looks the part, basically derived from the shape of the turrets.
2019-08-15: Upper body completed.
I've made some more tweaks to the upper side of the main hull and started reworking the smaller turrets. Not completely happy with them but they're well on their way. Now all that needs to be done is the engine section, the hangar and that's about it.
2019-08-13: Superstructure completed.
[DONE] Finish details to superstructure
Finally done with the superstructure. Along with that I've made some minor alterations to details on the bridge module and and the central weapon emplacement.
2019-08-11: Various details added to bridge, shield generators & antenna redone
I've ever been kinda unhappy with how I had modeled the Shield generators. Thing is the originals were no perfectly round globes but a cluster of triangular plates arranged in a globe-like manner. I have therefore remodeled the globes to resemble that shape. Apart from that I added more greeblies to the bridge module and reshaped the "nose".
2019-08-08: Various details added to main hull, reactor and wings
[DONE] Move "ribs" to the wings' inside rather than outside.
[DONE] Add hinges & details to trench inbetween wings.
First: updates to reactor: Along with making the dome rounder I've also added the beams that are holding it. Next, I've added the little projectors lining the hangar bays as well as started to reshape the hangar interior. Also, as I mentioned before I've reshaped the wings, moving the "ribs" to the inside while keeping the outside more or less smooth. Next I've added details and details to the trench section between the wings. There are references where this section was actually housing something that looked like either escape pods ore LOTS of warhead ...
2019-08-05: Completely reshaped superstructure, added lots of details
Taking a closer look at the superstructure it was just as much a mess as the main body itself, all jagged and anything but flat. I've completely reshaped and re-aligned that part. And then, while I was at it, added lots and lots of greeblies to the superstructure walls to go in line with what I had done with the trenches.
2019-08-03: Added details to side trenches.
OK I've figured this thing needs more details. It wouldn't be a HD remake without some extra faces. Let's see how much we can cramp into this baby....
2019-07-29: Various model updates, corrections and additions.
The main body is where most of the surface incconsistencies lay. Not only were the surfaces not plain, the center line was shifted and jagged. All this led to some really weird shading. I completely rebuild the upper and lower main hull to build up from. Next I added some details to various bits of the super structures and, JUST FOR THE SAKE OF IT, tried out to have the wings open.
Sometime in 2017/2018: The beginning:
So I had this idea, Added first meager details to superstructure and bridge