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[WIP][1.3] Modular Pod Extensions


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Absolutely love the idea of these, particular the element of merging into the existing capsules in angle as well as style - something that existing mods hadn't managed. that difference in angle always left them feeling disjointed to my eye.

Several details of this have left me wanting to comment so far, hopefully, this will be taken as constructive criticism: 
I'm inclined to agree with a previous comment that the textures are quite pixellated. They're fine for a WIP test version with a nice small footprint, but I'd like to hope that the finished versions will be crisper. Artistically, I find some of the panels to be over-weathered too, to the extent that they contrast a little with the stock textures - that's just a case of pulling back the intensity of the wear layers if you're working on a master image for that. 

the bigger issue with texture design is placements - the "pipeline" text texture area shares the same space as the mission/agency flag, which can result in two text areas fighting to be applied to the same area, making it look messy. I'm inclined to suggest that the mission flag be moved to a different location, and ideally, I'd like to see that pipeline text made much more subtle - in fact in general, while I like the terms of use text as an idea, I feel that the texture design is excessively cluttered at the moment. There is a quality to understatement which is currently missing. Small flashes of detail work - covering everything simply leaves the eye unable to settle on any one area. 


Likewise, I'd agree with the previous comment about ladder placement. I would much rather see a staggered, indented ladder panel of dark rounded rectangles aligned with the existing ladder for the stock module, than modelled ladder handles over the hatch as currently made. That primary design change would make the  graphic design tie in much tighter to the existing model, and make it look much more complimentary. In a similar vein, I would suggest either enlarging the border texture surrounding the hatchways slightly or even better, in a future remodel, alter the hatch size very slightly, and taper the hatch edge indent slightly to mirror the slightly trapezoidal form of the stock hatchway, then add a second hazard warning strip texture in yellow and black to the right side of the hatch, to mirror that of the stock capsule doorway, with its paired strips. Those three details combined would serve effectively to tie the graphic design of the two modules together very strongly.  

I'm not entirely taken with the exterior models and textures for the general crew and the science module being absolutely identical. Further along the line, I'd love to see greater degrees of difference in there. An ambitious part in my brain cant help think that the science module needs something a little similar to the K&K Planetary Lab model, a "deploy" animation and model which opens a panel to reveal a telescope, for instance, or very different window layouts to make it a different appearance. That, of course, is something for the future, without it sliding into feature creep. 

(And while its possibly outside of the remit of the mod, since we're talking of matching graphic design, I'll just add, I'd also love to see a 1.25m to .675m conical element to tie into the design style like this module too: a one-kerbal cockpit that closely matches the 3-kerbal mk1-2 cockpit design in colouration and graphic design (a "mk2-1 cockpit" perhaps?), unlike the stock mk1 command pod with its black "Gemini" look to it. The second part I'd love to see in 1.25 to .675 is a conical, tapered parachute fairing that would seamlessly fit onto the stock capsule fitting.)   

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two wee images to explain some of what I was saying yesterday: 

http://imgur.com/KEUaF44

shows the "pipeline" text and how it overlaps the flag decal. nice and simple overlay error there.

the other image is a bit of a speculative doodle. I wrote about the possibility of altering some of the design style to closer mirror the existing model, particularly the ladder arrangement, and doorway style, plus a lighter weathering pass that ties the texture into the original stock ones a little more. in particular, I've altered the size of the hatch, to be more in keeping with the styles you see on other stock capsules, and while I've copied theporthole and locking mechanism details from the original design, I've added in two indents to echo the X shape pattern on the stock capsule hatch.   I've followed those general style notes here to create a mock-up of how that could work to tie the designs together into a cohesive whole: 

http://imgur.com/FTuyq4l

Hopefully, you'll agree the result looks  lot closer in appearance, a those are of some use to you in ideas of what might be possible.  



 

Edited by Suzerain
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5 hours ago, Suzerain said:

two wee images to explain some of what I was saying yesterday: 

http://imgur.com/KEUaF44

shows the "pipeline" text and how it overlaps the flag decal. nice and simple overlay error there.

the other image is a bit of a speculative doodle. I wrote about the possibility of altering some of the design style to closer mirror the existing model, particularly the ladder arrangement, and doorway style, plus a lighter weathering pass that ties the texture into the original stock ones a little more. in particular, I've altered the size of the hatch, to be more in keeping with the styles you see on other stock capsules, and while I've copied theporthole and locking mechanism details from the original design, I've added in two indents to echo the X shape pattern on the stock capsule hatch.   I've followed those general style notes here to create a mock-up of how that could work to tie the designs together into a cohesive whole: 

http://imgur.com/FTuyq4l

Hopefully, you'll agree the result looks  lot closer in appearance, a those are of some use to you in ideas of what might be possible.  



 

I'm not sold on the Pipeline logo, but it was always meant to go under the logo.  It does peek out from the logos with transparency though.  So it should (if it makes it back to the revised unwrap) be a lot fainter/less obvious.  I should have made it clearer that A: I knew full well what you were talking about, and B: It was intentional, but very much under review.  Might have saved one small upload to imgur, which I guess is a small price for misunderstanding.  :-)

Regarding the weathering "enthusiasm".  That was always going to get redone.  But somewhere in the middle of doing it, I managed to get a section onto the wrong layer, so I couldn't fade it out as effectively without stuffing up other parts.  I was going to duplicate that layer, and erase bits on each to properly segregate components, but considering I'm re-unwrapping, I'm just redoing from scratch anyway.  The colours (well, the mostly grey) were stolen directly off an export of the Mk1-2pod, but due to that weathering it never matched.

On that door.  For (probably OCD reasons) I kinda hate the offset door on the stock pod.  I really wanted to get this door rotated around to directly opposite the "front" windows.  But, I'd also like to have kerbals able to progress down a ladder path from the stock pod.  Which leads to a quandary.  At the moment I'm working with two ladders, which if fine when you have the two pods stacked sitting flat on the launch pad for testing parts.  Not so good if you needed to move a kerbal via EVA between (not sure if this is even a thing).  Current plan is looking like;

eyPQqvv.png

One thing I totally agree on, is the door design needs to get more stockish.  I think I'll keep the larger size door.  Where possible, crew parts with airlocks always have small portholes to check for obstructions.  Hatches not as much.  They're usually opened from the outside by ground crew after all.  But we won't talk about KSP's use of hatches.  :-D  But, the window needs to be smaller (damn, that's cut through the door), and the look should change so the inset turning handle sits in the middle with the reinforcing cross shape out to the corners.

I've only just noticed that the lines through the diagonal warning on the stock pod are actually grab handles.  Which will be why it looks so different in game than flattened out.

Anyway, at this point I think I'm going to actually remove my door features in Blender.  The edge is inset, the window is cut and the handle space is inset as well.  The window needs to be redone, and the rest are probably polygons the game didn't need.

 

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0.3 is being released slowly via Spacedock.   

Spacedock has been having some fairly serious speed issues recently since they lost some servers. You should be able to download (really slowly).

Current status: I've updated a few UV maps, and matched the textures to them.  None are actually done, but they're more done than before.  I was going to link images, but imgur appears down.  So, spacedock > imgur and guess who has a bigger budget.  :-)

I added a manufacturer, Podular Systems (thanks @Nothalogh) which might assist in picking out the parts.

Config files are still very much incomplete, and mostly still copies of the donor configs.

I'm not completely sold on the unwrapping of the fuel module.  It's basically me messing with extreme re-use of texture areas.  But it limits options for detail, as it would be copied around the part too much.  So I'll probably change that at some stage.  Which is why it's mostly just blocked in colours for now.

 

Imgur album of parts; imgur.com/a/hDTQS

 

I've started work on a cargo unit.  It'll basically be like the stock inline short mini cargo things, but conical.  And I'm thinking about how I'll do deviations for the Science lab (from the crew quarters) and the monopropellant tank (from the dual fuel tank).  Because I would like those to look different eventually.

Edited by TiktaalikDreaming
imgur back!
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On 10/29/2016 at 5:16 AM, TiktaalikDreaming said:

And now that I uploaded a new version I have the normals mostly worked out.

There's a couple of edge lines I might just toss or rearrange to avoid some edges.  And I made the ladder texture layer too faint.

Xyd6JMq.png

...You made the hatch reinforcement indentations in the shape of a K?

And I'm the first person to notice? :D

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Podular Mechanics sounds pretty good.  :-)

OK, gotta do that going to work thing again, so progress update.
Cargo podular is now functional, but not complete.  Every time I do a cargo pod I forget and have to experiment again on certain questions; can I duplicate animated parts in Unity (no), do I need colliders on doors (yes), etc.

Ao7HuTg.png

7VB933w.png

So, anyway, the doors open and close, but because they have no colliders, all they do is conceal.  So next step is adding colliders, verifying function, then unwrapping and texturing.

Can't quite fit a rover in the height though.  :-(  So, I'll definitely need some double story cargo holds.

 

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4 hours ago, lodestar said:

That would be great with a truncated aerospike engine doubling as a heatshield. I think KSPX or RLA Stockalike had one like that, but it was 2.5m and doesn't scale well.

I was going to do an engine until I noticed the poodle works quite nicely.  It's by no means an integrated heatshield though.  I'm personally a bit dubious about heat shields with engines in them unless there's a door or engine cover type arrangement.  And re-entry heatshields work best as a single blunt surface.  I'll consider.  If you check out the NAR MEM, there's one solution, but the re-entry atmo effects from Mars are significantly less than an Earth type body.  And, it requires building a craft around that capability.  I'll check how they did it in KSPX or RLA SA.

And, a truncated aerospike makes perfect sense.  But, I'd just like to take a moment to wonder why I always end up modding truncated aerospike engines.

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4 hours ago, TiktaalikDreaming said:

I was going to do an engine until I noticed the poodle works quite nicely.  It's by no means an integrated heatshield though.  I'm personally a bit dubious about heat shields with engines in them unless there's a door or engine cover type arrangement.  And re-entry heatshields work best as a single blunt surface.  I'll consider.  If you check out the NAR MEM, there's one solution, but the re-entry atmo effects from Mars are significantly less than an Earth type body.  And, it requires building a craft around that capability.  I'll check how they did it in KSPX or RLA SA.

And, a truncated aerospike makes perfect sense.  But, I'd just like to take a moment to wonder why I always end up modding truncated aerospike engines.

 

Well... this is what I'm talking about:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/surfaceorbit.php#plugnozzle

Or this:

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/surfaceorbit.php#rombus

And the bottom left engine here is the one from RLA-SA I mentioned. Obviously, the nozzles are much larger on this one, but it's the same idea.

 

hqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by lodestar
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