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[WIP][1.12.x] James Webb for Kerbal


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Welcome to the Release thread for James Webb for Kerbal!


James Webb For Kerbal 1.12.x "The Legend" Update

This has been tested with Textures Unlimited, Tarsier Space Technology, Tweakscale and Cacteye2 for version 1.12.x.


Recommended Mods:

Reflections by Textures Unlimited by @Shadowmage

Functional space telescope powered by Tarsier Space Technologies by @JPLRepo

Functional space telescope powered by Cacteye2 by @linuxgurugamer


DOWNLOAD 1.12.x:

Download lya77iI.png  


Old versions only:




Extract the contents of the GameData folder to your GameData folder. Structure should then read GameData\JamesWebb

I recommend taking a look at the component guides to get an idea of where the parts attach to the base structure. Please leave feedback, comments and suggestions and certainly some pictures!

Select from multiple "Control From Here" points to orient vehicle control based on launch or telescope configuration.

Update 1.12.x "The Legend"
Removed all dependency requirements
Re-size the entire main structure
Part is now considered a 3.75m part and not a 5m part (uses 2.5m decoupler)
Re-size side solar panels to fit new structure size
Re-create the entire sunshield and animation using bones to drop the Textures Unlimited (blend shapes animation loading) requirement
Adjusted the timings of the entire deployment animation to be more equivalent to the real deployment
Renamed the deployment animation action to "Open Aperture" to play nicely with Cacteye
Model is loaded as a .mu and not an smf
Re-texture entire main unit + solar panels
Scale-down the RCS thrusters size
Scale-down Main + Side antenna sizes
Fix location of all attachment points due to structure's change in size
Fix engine FX location
Various Textures Unlimited (optional) changes:
-Sunshield is now a flat texture
-The body is all wrinkled and looks like actual foil
-Secondary mirror is reflective
-Camera/Sensor is reflective
-Shiny flat sections on body ("flaps"/solar panel mounts)
Added 5 new TSST telescope targets in infrared taken from Spitzer
Added Cacteye compatibility (acts as the telescope part)
Update 1.9.x (1.10LTE)
Re-compile all parts on 1.10 part tools
Tested with 1.9.x Textures Unlimited and TSST and also tested on KSP 1.10.1
Hotfix 1.4.2
Fixed transform issue where "Control from here" node for swapping back to vertical view not working
Update 1.4
Rebuild and recompile for 1.4
Fixed base structure center point / origin
Reassembled and exported model with very slightly altered scale
Fixed center thrust point
Re-aligned all attachment nodes
Added 8x attachment points for the RCS thrusters
RCS Thrusters now have an attachment node
Fixed rear solar panel center point / origin
Reduced SAS power
Greatly increased SAS electricity cost to promote maneuver accuracy
*** Be sure to upgrade to the latest versions of Textures Unlimited and Tarsier Space Technology
Update 1.1
Increased zoom
Built-in TSST hard drive
Sunshield layers now "rise" into correct final locations
Telescope orientation can now be switched between
Engines / camera optics with multiple "control from here" options
Tweakscale compatibility
RCS thrusters 30% larger
And please upgrade to the new textures unlimited to fix random exploding fairings.


@CobaltWolf , @Shadowmage, @Beale, @steedcrugeon, @dboi88, @Stone Blue, @Fengist, @JadeOfMaar, @Nertea, @JPLRepo, @Angel-125 and all of the other devs who have
been incredibly helpful throughout this entire journey. It was 70 days in the making for James Webb for Kerbal 1.0.







Brushes by 'tech brush by DayZee by dariaDZ'


KottabosGames Review:


James Webb For Kerbal is License CC-BY-4.0





Edited by bcink
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Possibly relevant-- what you're doing seems at least a little bit similar to the animated antennas in this mod:


I'm not sure how relevant, myself, since I'm a noob at modeling.  But @steedcrugeon is the one who did the (really cool) models for that mod, so perhaps he may have some relevant advice for you?

Worth a try, anyway.  :)

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Hello @bcink no problem giving some pointers and by the by the JW1 antenna took it original styling queues from the James Webb but then I went away from it quite a bit. For the expanding heatsheild that folds out I point you in the direction of the JU1 antenna which uses 'scaling' to create the illusion of being a RF reflective fabric pulled out to the extremities of the framework (again this idea is borrowed from the James Webb telescope). The trick to make it look consistent as it come out is that fact that the X, Y axis and Z axis are actually scaled at different time ever so slightly to get the edges to follow the 'runners' in the framework.

Unfortunately from my little knowledge there would be some restrictions on animating the telescope, with that in mind I have put some thoughts together:

From what I recall of how the James Webb deploys, if I was doing the Heatsheild I would actually 'cheat' the animation quite a bit, for starters when stowed its folded in half yes? I would use two separate objects in the model, these would be a slice in half version of a third object which would be the entire heatsheild. This third one would be the one I'd scale, it would be scaled down into the main part, out of sight when it's all folded up. As the heatsheild animation begins the two half heatsheilds would fold down to become flat (these two halves appears as a single piece by and overlapping join at their respective edges or the middle of the heatsheild). When it was flat I would then have the third 'one-peice' heatsheild scale up to its size and make the arms following the scaling heatsheild (at the point the one-piece heatsheild becomes bigger than the two halves I would use one frame to scale down the two out of sight). To finish the effect (and a more advanced part of animating that I'm not particularly practiced with) the initial texture mapping for the stowed and unfolding heatshield would use a ruffled Normal Map, But there would be a duplicate od this part of the texture (on the same texture map) with a smooth normal map. Towards the end of the unfurling animation, as the heatsheild is drawn to its maximum stretch the texture that is mapped would change from the ruffled normal mapped area to the smooth normal mapped area, creating the illusion of being pulled taught.

Using blender how familiar are you with animating in general? Take a look at animating with constraints as it may be relevant here. Its all a learning curve, I still have yet to understand how 'bones' work in blender :D

Also one of my key mistakes on so many early modules was that when adding 'Key Frames' to my animations I did so across all axis. This is bad practice, only Key Frame the axis that you need to affect, for stance if moving something in the X and Y axis don't set a key frame on the Z axis (it will come back to haunt you later on in the animation when you don't expect it).

I hope that what I have said isn't all gobbledygook and If you have any questions just ask!

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Thanks so much for the info @steedcrugeon!!! I only have some small experience Animating in Blender. Mostly the simple stuff (select frame, change object in some fashion, rewind and play it. I will do some research on constraints and this should probably get me going a bit more. The logic sounds right on par with the method you suggested using multiple parts. I'll give this a go and touch base when more questions arise :) Thanks again!!!

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Learned about and created pivot points as well as constraints and parenting objects together (see video).


Is it mandatory to have constraints configured? Copying the objects / animations of side A telescopic piston to side B telescopic piston was a nightmare and I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do in the Dope sheet. I ended up just recreating the location movements with the exact same measurements on both sides... Created what I presume will be layer 1 of the heat shield. It's pretty geometric but, I feel like this is probably the way its going to end up looking?




Edited by bcink
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No constraints are not mandatory, I use them fairly rarely in my parts but when I do use them it tends to be limited to 'Damped Track'. I tend to use parenting a lot and careful placement of the objects 'origin' around whatever pivot point it may have, if there is to be one.

Having looked at the model and deployment animation above I'd actually turn the heatsheild into one piece (using a bit of artistic license) and instead have a series of very thin 'guide wires' attached from the heatsheild storage area so that after the arms/frame was deployed, the single heatshiled would scale up (in the X and Y axis) to fit the arms/frame but the tips of it would appear as though being pulled out on the 'guide wires'. That way you have a less difficult unwrapping process but also should eliminate any apparent 'Z-fighting'.

All that said, for your first mod this is some pretty Stirling work, you gotten your head round a new tool and I'm looking forward to its progress.

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Learned about shape keys and implemented this using them:


It works, I guess. While figuring that all out and doing it with this method I am confident the idea of manipulating one large shape will be the way to go. I also feel like I need a few more vertices in this thing to get it to fold up properly, soo probably a total do-over of this to follow...

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Alright I feel a lot better about this now:


I'm having trouble getting the plane (heat shield) to fold up to the same timing along with the long and short beams even though they stop / start at the same frames..... Could anyone offer some idea to remedy this? @steedcrugeon perhaps? 


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Heat shield expansion and layers completed. More modeling to the base. Rear folding solar panel next. As soon as I figure out how exactly the center will be constructed, the actual fitting together of the main structure / batwings - I can proceed down that road.


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Tackling the process of UV unwrapping has been interesting. It also took roughly 11 hours so far due to an obscene amount of small pieces... it's messy... I've been given some tips and will continue to progress.



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As the learning process goes, I had to go back and edit the model quite a bit.... deleting unseen faces, aligning vertices much more properly, and reducing poly count significantly by fixing various cylinders as well as the conclusion of dividing this into more parts. Specifically, the rear solar panel as well as the 4x side radiators, the side antenna, as well as the antenna on the other side (not yet modelled) will be separate parts.

This will be a much better option all around with the added bonus of flexibility for random stuff.

Work has started again on the new UV map for texturing. I have been given more tips and advice and more progress is still happening.

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17 hours ago, steedcrugeon said:

From what have seen you've come along with Blender more in the past week than I have since I started modding!

He certainly knows more about it than I do*, and I've been using Blender for damn near 15 years.

*Can model (more or less, although my meshes are VERY heavy - my modeling isn't for gaming - one of my models is over 7 million polys, and still rising**), can animate (sort of... nothing real complex like he's doing for this mod), and can add materials to polys.

Can't UV or texture to save my life.

**That would be the ship in my avatar.  Doesn't look like it needs that much, but there's some detail that can't be seen, and the model is getting updated with much more detailed... details.

Edited by MaxxQ
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