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[WIP][1.8.x] SSTULabs - Low Part Count Solutions (Orbiters, Landers, Lifters) - Dev Thread [11-18-18]


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7 hours ago, Shadowmage said:

Spent a bit of time over the weekend working through the back-log of issues from the tracker.  Mostly spent time trying to figure out why the shaders don't work in OpenGL on windows (but apparently works fine on OSX?  anyone using SSTU on a linux variant that could confirm if they work there?).

Honestly I'm stumped on the shaders.  They don't throw out any errors during compilation in Unity, or assignment in KSP.  They work fine in the Unity editor (when it is force-loaded in OpenGL mode).  However all three of my custom shaders fail to one degree or another when used in KSP in OpenGL mode -- the solar and recoloring/masked shader both render as black/no-lighting, while the icon shader renders some light-blue texture on everything.

But...at least that gives me a place to continue my investigations -- the icon shader renders -something-, so I can likely work back from there to see why/where things stop working correctly.

Sadly, the testing process is going to be long and painful as I cannot use the Unity editor for testing (which is where rapid-development testing stuff should logically be done); apparently there is some difference between the editor in OpenGL mode and KSP running in OpenGL mode.

And all this... is to fix some icon problems on OSX; which supposedly uses OpenGL, though strangely the OpenGL specific code I put in doesn't effect it (though does seem to effect OpenGL on windows?).  Ahh, such fun dealing with shaders and platform specific hackery when you don't have any platforms at hand to do testing on.

 

 

On to the actual progress -- made up the glow textures for the LM engines:

 

WaP9faH.png

Figured out some a nice procedural system for making the glow textures, including the noise and banding.... so will be applying that system to new glow textures in the future.  Quick, easy, looks good, and highly configurable for different glow texture outputs.  Basically it comes down to treating the red and green channels separately (using additive blending), which gives some very fine-grained control for the overall resulting combined output.

This finishes up the reworked LM engines, and they will definitely be available with the next full release (LMDE available in dev branch now if anyone wants to try it out, LMAE will be available in dev soon).

 

 

And also started working on the SC-D set of pods.  Going to -try- to work all three into a single part series (early career pods) (and going to try and share textures wherever possible).  Might as well give some options for early craft design.

VA = 1.875m (bot) x 1.25m (top)
TKS = 2.5m (bot) x 1.875m (top)
Gemini = 1.875m (bot) x 0.625m (top)
Gemini-SM = 2.5m (bot) x 1.875m (top)
Mercury = 1.25m (bot) x 0.625m (top)

 

3h1MVH1.png

They are all going to be labeled as SC-D for now, probably end up being SC-D-VA, SC-D-Gemini, and SC-D-Mercury for the full part/series names.  At some point in the future I'm going to rename/relabel/regroup all of the ShipCore parts into something a bit more organized (probably during the next major KSP update, 1.4, if it ever happens).

Obviously very early in the modeling stages, just getting the rough geometry laid out for now.  Not sure exactly how I'll be working through the parts (what order/etc)... but I'm sure I'll post more info as I get it figured out :)

Are you going to make engines for the Titan rockets? I can make a Redstone out of existing parts but not a Titan.

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On 06/07/2017 at 0:48 PM, TheKnave said:

I am having a very hard time trimming down my mods. Maybe some of you can help me.
I wont put in required plugins, utility mods like MechJeb, Kerbal Engineer and flags and such but here is my mod list. Just Part mods. Total I have 104 mods including plugins and utility mods.


Here are the mods I need help trimming. Things that SSTU already does. I want a career play through that is more SSTU focused.

Airline Kuisine
B9 Aerospace - I guess I need this if I ever want to make a real space plane
Configurable Containers
Cryogenic Engines - Never really used them but I like the idea
DMagic Science
Feline Rover
Ground Construction
Hangar
All USI Stuff
Kerbal Atomics
Atomic Age - Been looking around to see how well this works with Kerbal Atomics but I know thats not here.
Kerbal Foundries
KW Rocketry - This one I am considering removing but I do so love their models
Lithobrake Technologies - Havent really explored this mod yet. New addition
Malemute Rover
Mk2 Expansion
Mk3 Expansion
Modular Rocket System
All Near Future Tech
OctoSat
Phoenix Industries
SpaceY Heavy Lifters
Stock Alike Mining Expansion
SXT Continued - Beautiful parts but...I never really find a use for them
Universal Storage
Vens Stock Part Revamp - Technically not a part mod but still heavy resources

 

Basically rip out wverything you have left a comment on, and install opt if you want to play with fun spaceplanes...

3

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9 hours ago, TheKnave said:

Awesome work. Glad to see engines getting some attention. One of the only, if not the only issue, I have with SSTU is the engines. Its so hard to remember them. None of them really stand out. Even a simple name change would probably help immensely.

They have real engine names, read about some real rockets and you'll remember.

9 hours ago, TheKnave said:
Edited by tater
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13 hours ago, _Augustus_ said:

Are you going to make engines for the Titan rockets? I can make a Redstone out of existing parts but not a Titan.

The answer would range between 'maybe' and 'no, never' depending on what engine it is, and what the stats are.

As you included neither bits of information, I'm going to go ahead and say 'Nope, not doing it'.

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Hah, I have patched the LR87-LH2 into my game based on a rescaled J2 model. It has half the thrust of the J2 and would fit in nicely between the RL10 and J2. Dunno about another kerolox engine though, that range is well covered now.

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1 hour ago, Shadowmage said:

The answer would range between 'maybe' and 'no, never' depending on what engine it is, and what the stats are.

As you included neither bits of information, I'm going to go ahead and say 'Nope, not doing it'.

I meant the LR87, oops.

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16 hours ago, blowfish said:

Huh, I guess making a KSP-sized gemini isn't easy.  The capsule and service module are 90 and 120 inches wide respectively, which would translate to roughly 1.5m and 2m at 64% scaling, but neither of those are standard sizes.

Yeah, Gemini won't be 64% scale, and especially the VA will even have some... changes... compared to the real article to make it line up with KSP sizing.  At least with Gemini and Mercury the angles of the capsules/SMs should be very close, but for VA its all out-of-whack in order to allow for a useable top 1.25m node (could ditch the top node/use non-standard sizing, but that renders the capsule much less useful for general use).

Gemini ends up being much larger than 64% scale, closer to 82% scale if my math is correct.  (90in = 2.286m;  1.875m / 2.286m = ~0.82% scale).  Probably for the best anyway, no way to fit 2 kerbals in a 1.5m pod... (and doubt it is doable even with 1.875m).

Mercury is very close to 64% -- 1.25/1.89 = ~0.66% scale.

VA is close for the bottom diameter (1.875 / 2.79 = ~0.67% scale), but the top diameter is way off (much larger than it should be).

 

2 hours ago, _Augustus_ said:

I meant the LR87, oops.

Ahh, yeah, that PITA.

Probably not going to be doing that engine; certainly not anytime in the near future.  The stats end up being far too close to the RD-108 and H1 engines, but with lower ISP; so basically it would be a ton of effort, for not much added function.

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Yeah, the goal is not making wasted effort. Without a need for long storage, or less chance of a failed start, it's cons without a balance.

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14 minutes ago, Shadowmage said:

Yeah, Gemini won't be 64% scale, and especially the VA will even have some... changes... compared to the real article to make it line up with KSP sizing.  At least with Gemini and Mercury the angles of the capsules/SMs should be very close, but for VA its all out-of-whack in order to allow for a useable top 1.25m node (could ditch the top node/use non-standard sizing, but that renders the capsule much less useful for general use).

Gemini ends up being much larger than 64% scale, closer to 82% scale if my math is correct.  (90in = 2.286m;  1.875m / 2.286m = ~0.82% scale).  Probably for the best anyway, no way to fit 2 kerbals in a 1.5m pod... (and doubt it is doable even with 1.875m).

Mercury is very close to 64% -- 1.25/1.89 = ~0.66% scale.

VA is close for the bottom diameter (1.875 / 2.79 = ~0.67% scale), but the top diameter is way off (much larger than it should be).

Well for what it's worth, I have no objection to non-standard sizes, but others might.

And I've heard claims that it's possible to put two kerbals in a 1.25m pod, but I haven't tried it myself.

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19 hours ago, tater said:

@Shadowmage, I'm in Milwaukee til tomorrow morning, then I'm in San Francisco til the end of the week, when I get back I can test whatever on OS X for you.

No worries, whenever you can test it works for me :)   I've updated the github issue with a link to a new OSX shader pack; the instructions are further up in the issue ticket if you need them (or just pm me).

 

17 hours ago, Space Kadet said:

[video link]

Nice video :)  I LOL'd pretty hard when you got to the shuttle; literally woke my roomate up with the laughter.  Designing those things to be flyable is not simple, even when the parts go together easily.

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9 hours ago, Jimbodiah said:

Hah, I have patched the LR87-LH2 into my game based on a rescaled J2 model. It has half the thrust of the J2 and would fit in nicely between the RL10 and J2. Dunno about another kerolox engine though, that range is well covered now.

Except the Production LR-87-LH2 was supposed to be 2 or 4 bells and actually MORE powerful than J-2.   J-2 just one due to less moving parts.  Full up LR-87LH2 was to be scale-able to the launcher.  The TEST article is what you see stats for on astronautix and Wikipedia was a SINGLE bell configuration designed to replace the similar LR-91 on a Titan LDC upper stage.    Saturn used, LR-87LH2 would have had >= ISP to initial J-2, MOAR thrust and MOAR parts... NASA chose simple instead of efficient....

That being said, I have used parts from another mod to make my own single and twin bell version.  And if they ever release their LDC Titan (3.125m kerbal scale.)   I will have a TRI, QUAD or QUINT bell for Saturn-NOVA type missions.

But... @Shadowmage  I am curious about Gemini.  Most "in update" mods that have Gemini have the Capsule being 0.625 to 1.5m, with the SM maxing out at 1.875m  Are you setting the capsule to max diameter of 1.875 to limit your sizes?  Titan RW to Kerbal Scale is just under 2 meters I think... (I am going by memory..)  others (FASA) that are in a maintenance mode only seem to be 2.5m   The reason I ask is because it matters if you want to later make a BIG-Gemini version (Big-G for short.)  Big-G would fit perfectly on the Apollo SM without any adapters (meaning in KSP scale it would be 2.5m base.)  

I have a LARGE collection of data on Titan/Gemini if needed and am willing to share.  Most of it is data I have just collected across the web to support other mods.   But I did find a link to diagrams of the BIG-G Paraglider setup....   

As Tater stated MOST of the LR-87 variants and MOST of the LR-91 variants were Hypergolic (either UDMH or AZ-50 with NTO.)   The -3 variants of both engines where RP-1/LOX.  And as Jimbodiah has alluded there WAS a Hydrolox Engine tested BEFORE The J-2....  

For Intents and purposes the LR-91 is just a single bell LR-87 with smaller pumps and a larger bell (those were the bulk of the changes between the two engine types.)  

 

Unrelated I have to say YES! a quality VA capsule!  I can't wait for that and TKS :) (Well actually I CAN wait but you get my meaning!)

 

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10 hours ago, Shadowmage said:

Nice video :)  I LOL'd pretty hard when you got to the shuttle; literally woke my roomate up with the laughter.  Designing those things to be flyable is not simple, even when the parts go together easily.

Yup, and remembering the fuel pipe gets me every time, but these parts do make it simpler. But my favourites are still the landers! They are great,

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11 hours ago, Pappystein said:

But... @Shadowmage  I am curious about Gemini.  Most "in update" mods that have Gemini have the Capsule being 0.625 to 1.5m, with the SM maxing out at 1.875m  Are you setting the capsule to max diameter of 1.875 to limit your sizes?  Titan RW to Kerbal Scale is just under 2 meters I think... (I am going by memory..)  others (FASA) that are in a maintenance mode only seem to be 2.5m   The reason I ask is because it matters if you want to later make a BIG-Gemini version (Big-G for short.)  Big-G would fit perfectly on the Apollo SM without any adapters (meaning in KSP scale it would be 2.5m base.)  

I'm am currently going with the 1.875m capsule / 2.5m SM to maintain compatibility with standard community sizing, and make it so that I don't have to make a crapton of useless adapters.  I hate adapters.  I hate adapters even more when they add part-count for no reason.   That is really the main reason for the sizing I have currently setup; maintain compatibility with other parts and allow for generic use of the parts/pods (a 1.5m pod would be useless to me without the much-hated adapters, or forcing the use of the SM).  The final reason being Kerbals and their giant heads (though this really doesn't matter without IVAs).

Sadly it means you still need a 2.5m rocket to launch the pod+SM, and at that point you would likely have already unlocked the 2.5m stock capsule.  Haven't quite figured out the balance aspect of it yet, need to take a good look at the tech tree.  Or not... mostly impossible to balance things on the stock tech tree anyway.

(these are all the reasons that I have previously not made Gemini parts -- they just don't fit into the game very well, either physically, or balance)

 

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So, as I'm working on more pods... which are generally conical with windows/etc cutout.... I'm back to figuring out how to fix shading caused by non-uniform meshes.  Anyone who has ever done a boolean cut into an object knows what I'm talking about.

Time to break out the python-fu (which is admittedly weak), and fix the silly normal problems once and for all.  Introducing ShadowNrm -- a vertex normal manipulation plugin for Blender (clone of YAVNE with much customization).  Probably won't ever be actually released...but at least I'll have the tool that I need :) 

NI7vY3i.png


A few other tools now exist that allow for manual editing of vertex normals.  The problem with most of them is that it is purely manual; you have to either already have a vert with a proper norm to copy from, or manually calculate what the normal would be for that vert (complex as all hell).

My new tool allows for simple specification of the normal 'slope' and will apply cylindrical/conical normals to selected vertices based on that input slope.  It fixes shading for cylinders and cones with a single button press.  What took me 4 hours yesterday to do by hand (calculating normals in a giant spreadsheet, applying each one manually to the vertex), is now just a single button click away.   It is very basic, with only one real input parameter -- the slope of the sidewall to simulate for the cylinder/cone.  The slope determines the Z contribution to the normal, while the vertex position determines the X/Y contribution to the normal.

Why write a vertex-normal manipulation tool that only works on cones and cylinders?  Because that is what I find I need the most in KSP modeling.  The existing tools work well enough for the cases of manipulating just a couple of verts, but fail when you need to do an entire mesh (blend4web, YAVNE).

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4 hours ago, Shadowmage said:

a 1.5m pod would be useless to me without the much-hated adapters

Not really. I run the BDB gemini which is 1.5m and do not need any adapters as all the sstu parts scale to 1.5m just fine; you just need to use the slider instead of having fixed steps with the arrow keys. But I am fine with either size as long as there is a cool 2-man pod :)   You could go completely rebel and do 1.75m :cool:

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