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Experimented some more with the hull of the hab wheel. This version is pretty high resolution, coming in at 5,000,000 polygons. Some things are working, some things aren't. The cloth look is sort of there, but it looks more like thick rubber. Throws the scale off. I mocked this up using soft body simulation, which I'm still a n00b at. I learned a lot and I have some ideas I want to try tomorrow. I'll post back with more soon. How long have ago did I start designing this? 6 months? Gah...I've got to stop doing look dev :D

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I had an epiphany today regarding soft body simulation. I tried draping pieces of cloth in small sections across the hull, and the detail level skyrocketed. That's a good thing, because now the mesh has the correct scale of deformation. This ought to make a decent normal map considering how close it is to the original low poly model. Only question is will this still look good with stock models. I think if the textures are simple it might work. If not I could try this again with a slightly more cartoonish scale. Regardless, I know I'm going to put cloth to good use in the IVAs :wink:

Edited by Bonus Eventus

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to look good with stock, change the blue for an old yellow or a stock grey and just add some hazzard stripe somewere. Kerbals like hazzard stripe! :D ...realy beautiful btw. good job, I can't wait to try this!:wink:

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Reworked the low poly habitat hull after my cloth experiments. I felt it needed some more geometry (roundness) to convey the softer quality of the fabric material. Had the idea to add cupola module style windows to the hab airlocks. I also started the rigging process, finding a novel way to procedurally animate the 12 pistons and 3 telescopic arms based on distance to a target locator, so now they all sync when the hull extends.

Taking a break from centrifuge design, I returned to the DA-42 capsule and fixed some weird bugs with the IVA, did a couple of touch ups to the exterior texture, and began working on the IVA control panel. I originally wanted to use RPM for the controls, but after doing several tests I'm pessimistic about about how much lag I experienced as well as several crashes. Also, I almost think RPM is too expansive for what I had envisioned—more of a modern day SpaceX style touch display with a few analog controls.

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Writing an internal module which can manipulate an external part isn't that difficult, I've already done so many times on the road to completing ModuleCentrifuge, however mapping button clicks to action groups,or throttle controls, or what have you might be tougher than it looks. I spent most of today coding a simple internal module that would map a camera feed to a screen, but it looks like there's a lot of things squad does with cameras that I'm not aware of. Just by instantiating a single camera component at runtime I caused the game to go into an infinite loop after the kraken took over my main cam hurling my pov into deep space, lol. Maybe RPM is the way to go after all...

Edited by Bonus Eventus

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10 hours ago, SpaceMouse said:

Cupola's at the ends is a rather interesting choice! I like it!

Yeah, we'll see, I'm trying design windows in such a way that players will get the best, most desired view possible.

So, about RPM... I tried some different settings and read up a bit about KSP performance issues in general. What I found out was, that (unlike what I had thought) KSP is mostly reliant on CPU cycles and not the GPU. I had thought the lag I was experiencing was do to a billion draw calls to render all of the screens. However, I was wrong. I switched some KSP settings around, reduced my screen resolution, closed some background apps, etc. The performance was greatly increased without the cost of a large difference in appearance or gameplay. With that RPM was very playable, and I almost landed on the mun in one go without leaving IVA, almost, didn't quite know where some things were in the ALCOR capsule. I made a sprite sheet for an open source font I plan to use to make RPM pages with a font called Roboto. It's a monospaced font (each letter occupies an equal space) which has a nice modern aesthetic. There's also a condensed version which I think could work well as a display font.

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I was looking around for UI inspiration and remembered I liked the look of the avionics in the film The Martian.

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I think the above is very do-able. I'll need to do some more experiments to know for sure though.

 

Edited by Bonus Eventus

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On 19-1-2017 at 5:36 AM, Bonus Eventus said:

Rough design of 5M habitat inspired by mars direct. Still playing around with the paneling. Not crazy about setting the windows over those reinforced panels. I like the top and bottom caps, the trim and the doors. RCS doesn't feel integrated enough. Needs some more details like handles, ladders, and lights.

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Finally an inline part than can  serve as a command center

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I feel like I'm getting there. A diffuse texture will improve the look of it. I want to try another cloth layer multiplied onto this one later tonight.

 

UPDATE: Did a quick diffuse pass which came out simple but good, I don't want people staring at the wheel hull anyways, haha. I dampened the normal map some and added a second layer based on the diffuse pass. It's subtle, but I feel like it gives it some extra depth, and it gets the idea across that it's a composite material. Trying to get this centrifuge to fit inside of a 5m part envelope is near impossible. I ran into a bunch of problems early on because of it. I knew this was going to be a "hero" part early on and I wanted the animation to be something unique to highlight that. I thought having all these sections unfold in a "smooth ballet of technology" would be pretty neat. It's been a pain in my butt though...

Every time I refine one aspect of the model, something will inevitably require it to be changed so that this other thing can work. For example, I had to rework the animation a couple of times because the texturing was getting extremely distorted. When animating a model will almost always have some distortion in the texture, but this was way too much. I could have gotten around it by using a plain almost solid color texture, but then it would look rather boring and predictable. I've done a few tests already and I think the animation will work fine and have almost no distortion, the only thing is that so far the smallest payload I'm able to fit the whole thing in would be 10m. Haha, that's like double what I was shooting for. However, I'm trying something new, I'm redesigning the central hub to be as small as it can be. I found it was a bit of a bottleneck in terms of final diameter.  Still doubtful I can get it into a 5m envelope, but we'll see. Just thought I'd share a bit about why it's taking so long to finish the centrifuge. The second 15 meter centrifuge should be much easier.

 

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UPDATE: Felt the scale was off so I adjusted the frequency of straps and I added some masking to the normal map layers. Also added a specular map.

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Edited by Bonus Eventus

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2 hours ago, The-Doctor said:

Will RPM be a requirement?

No sir. There actually won't be any required mods other than Utilis my custom part modules library. 

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Maybe you should just accept the 10M, since we can make fairings that large if we open them properly 

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This is a quick screenshot of my rig assembly for the 30M centrifuge...

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...It's actually not the whole rig. Half of those pink inputs had to be connected manually. *cries

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I liked the look of the texture, so I went about finalizing it yesterday. I decided to use my texture as a guide in zbrush. Sculpting over the texture made placing the wrinkles in the right places much easier. It was a simple matter to bake the high resolution sculpt into the low resolution model. The specularity map was extracted from the resulting normal map using Crazy Bump. I then darkened some of the straps more than others to indicate different materials. This breaks up the surface shapes, adding more depth and visual interest while keeping groups of expandable sections unified and simple. Each expandable section has the exact same uv map. I'm able to get away with warping the uvs because of adding extra support loops. In this way I can use all of the texture uv space while keeping the actual texture size small. The final texture size is seen here at 512x512. If I want to, I can combine this texture later into a texture atlas (I probably will).

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I originally designed the centrifuge hull with the idea that internal cables and pistons would help deploy the hull. The long crane like arms were meant to help guide the couplers on each of the 6 sections during self-docking. Unfortunately, I could never quite make up my mind about the strength each arm would require. How much torque the arms were required to exert, really mattered to the design. In the last design I had come up with a way to remove several joints from the arms combining each set of 3 into a single piece with one axis, since the model is radially symmetrical on the 30 degree and 60 degree mark. I liked the look quite a bit, but it was preventing more compact animations as well as blocking the planned ingress hatches around the central hub (still yet to be added). I thought back to an older concept for the arms I was working on, where the arms didn't pivot from a central axis, but rather had independent axes arranged in a hexagonal pattern. I was worried at first as to whether I could justify the design without adding counterweights to each of the arms, but considering they're meant to aid in alignment and only add minimal support, I think the motor torque for each arm should be enough considering how much mass the central hub has. 

I decided ultimately against the cupola modules for windows going back to the old hub windows. The cupolas looked cool and everything, but they actually didn't offer the best views of the centrifuge, also they added a bunch of geometry, I decided would be better spent on the support arms. 

The rigging is nearly complete. all that's left is to attach the support arms to the hull sections, and the hull sections to the ingress rotors. I also need to add the massive motor that spins the centrifuge and the counterweight/counter-rotation section.

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prometheus_over_roche_world_by_diasparys-d63v3a5.png

I saw this great pic on another thread. It would be amazing if you designed a clear fold out shield like the one in this and the ISV Venture Star, that acts to protect against interstellar dust etc 

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8 hours ago, Bonus Eventus said:

I decided ultimately against the cupola modules for windows going back to the old hub windows. The cupolas looked cool and everything, but they actually didn't offer the best views of the centrifuge, also they added a bunch of geometry, I decided would be better spent on the support arms. 

I think you made the right choice. I find the same thing myself when modelling. You think "That looks way cool," then realize it isn't very practical; and often with KSP parts making it look practical often makes it feel and look more real.

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3 hours ago, The-Doctor said:

prometheus_over_roche_world_by_diasparys-d63v3a5.png

I saw this great pic on another thread. It would be amazing if you designed a clear fold out shield like the one in this and the ISV Venture Star, that acts to protect against interstellar dust etc 

That's an interesting shield design. For whatever reason, it hadn't occurred to me to use a triangular layout. There's a 50 M radiation shield that's planned, see this post: 

 

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@Bonus Eventus this shield design isn't triangular, I was suggesting one line this as well as an ISV Venture Star design. This shield is more octagonal? So say

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1M diameter liquid fuel tanks. These are 90% complete, I still have a couple more normal map things to do, have to resolve some slight seams.

Up next 2M, 3M, 4M, and 6M tanks. The inflatable tanks are in progress as well.

 

UPDATE: Felt it might be a good idea to work out both the smallest and largest tanks first, so I can make sure that scale remains consistent across types. 3VOh8nS.png?1

I've just started texturing the sides. This is just a normal map with and derived ambient occlusion from Crazy Bump. More decals and model details will be added (like a fuel line and pump).

Edited by Bonus Eventus

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