AlphaMensae

[1.7.x/1.8.x] Modular Launch Pads v2.0.6: Beyond launch clamps: Create a whole launch facility with mix-and-match parts [29 Nov 2019]

Recommended Posts

More revisions to the Small General Service Tower, just some detail additions, and I made the arm mount rail wider.

I've also retitled the General Launch Plates to Flat Launch Bases, as they're no longer the "minimalist" style, and I'm going to be adding a true launch plates,  extremely low-profile (0.1m at minimum height) clamps (with various switchable sizes) that will be nothing more than a mounting pad for the general hold downs and towers. It will be more suitable for minimalist. First one will be a circular one, with square and rectangle versions to follow. They'll be intended for times when a minimalist style of just hold-downs with or without a tower is more suitable.

oNnzrtD.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Added the new separate Medium General Modular Service Tower to the AlphaDev branch on the GitHub.

Pic showing some of the optional side panels and full top variant:

wV4tkF3.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AlphaMensae Any chance of a blue and/or light blue color variant for the soyuz launch stand? It would be cool to have the ability to do Kourou and Plesetsk/Vostochny style pads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DJ Reonic said:

@AlphaMensae Any chance of a blue and/or light blue color variant for the soyuz launch stand? It would be cool to have the ability to do Kourou and Plesetsk/Vostochny style pads.

Yeah, I could do that, it will just take a while before I can get to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, AlphaMensae said:

Yeah, I could do that, it will just take a while before I can get to it.

Of course. Whenever it is convenient for you. Thanks for an a amazing mod so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'm already revising the new separate general service towers. :D 

I looked at what I was doing and saw that adding all sorts of new separately-UV'ed meshes resulted in like 7 or 8 different materials in Unity. Also, I didn't remove some new faces resulting from splitting existing UV'ed objects, and that created some extra materials as well.  

So I'm now re-UV-Mapping most of the objects in the tower sections (all but the beams and pipes) as one combined object, consolidating all the separate materials into one. At the same time I'm redoing how the side panels are configured...realized it was pretty silly to have the front panel duplicated 4 times, as it is used in the front, front-back, 3 side and 4 side variants; same with the other side types that were used more than once.  Now there are only the three basic panel types--front, back and the side pair--and the B9 switcher chooses among them for the 5 variants.  This ought to make the .mu smaller. :D 

I also took the opportunity to revise the small tower, as a silly error long ago resulted in the horizontal beams being double-stacked between sections. Now it hs been fixed and the sections stack seamlessly with no doubling.

Also, I'm going to add a fourth tower size: Extra Large (X-Large). Seeing the large tower being doubled for the Titan III/IV, the X-Large tower will be a one-part wide tower, with the Titan III tower's cross-braces (the alternating single brace instead of an 'X' type).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revised (again) Small General Service Tower is done and now on the AlphaDev branch. The .mu file size got cut in half. :D 

EVQDfS6.png

frd6HPF.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I revised the Small General Service Tower yet again! :D 

This time it was about reducing the size of the .mu file, though I did fix a mesh error with the section pipes. I reduced the .mu size by another 2 full MB, just by doing something so stupidly simple I can't believe I never did it this way from the start. For some reason, I remained locked on the idea of each tower section height variant (1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, etc.) being a completely separate mesh object, probably because it was a pretty straightforward approach. Except it requires a lot of duplication of some tower sections, namely the basic core 2.5m 1x section, which is used in the 1x, 2x, 4x and 8x variants. In short, each taller tower section variant duplicates the shorter one before it. So, I just removed the duplicate sections and only kept the unique ones. Now each height variant taller than the 1x core is assembled from multiple Unity objects in B9PartSwitch, which turns on teh required section objects.

There might be a slight performance hit doing it this way, as multiple objects need to be drawn, but it's only a few objects at most, and the huge file size reductions are well worth it. This new method will now be used for all modular towers (and maybe the non-modular towers too), including the Saturn and Shuttle towers when I get to them, as they're going to get more detail in them.

The newly-revised Small Tower is now on the AlphaDev branch. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another heads-up notice!

I've been doing a lot of rethinking about the heavy mesh integreation I've done with the modular towers (both General and Saturn) and other parts (like the swing arms), and I've decided to do a major course reversal and revert back to separate tower sections and sizes for everything. While all the integration cut down on the parts loaded, the big downside is that it made the .mu files really large, even massive in size. As the parts start to get more detailed, the integrated ones will get even larger, to the point where it just doesn't make sense, for example, that a 2.5m tower section has all the other heights (some quite tall) in it, even if they are disabled.

So all the towers now will be composed of discrete sections, but it won't be like 8 parts for each tower. The general towers (including the special ones like the Atlas V and Delta II) and crew elevatoes will share a common multi-base part (one for the service towers, one for the crew elevators), and there will only be a maximum number of 3 tower height sections (2 for the Small and Mini towers), plus a top section with toggleable railings and antenna mast(s). The general crew elevators will become modulart like this as well.

There will however be some single-piece complete towers for the special types, but they will only have one height, sized for the BDB rockets they were designed for. The Mercury crew elevator will have two heights, one for the Redstone and one for the Atlas. This is all about reducing the .mu size, and thus RAM usage. If you want a different height, then use one of the modular crew elevators or the modular version of the special towers.

The strongback towers will have a reduced number of height variants, again to reduce the .mu size and to optimize their construction.

The Saturn-Shuttle towers won't have a separate crew access section anymore, instead some of the cross-braces and beams for the 1x and 2x sections will be toggleable on/off, and a separate crew access floor can be attached into the section, moved up and down with the offset gizmo instead of an animation deploy limit.

I'm also going to sub-divide the stock custom category more, splitting up the General division into more parts as well. 

Right now, the newly modularized Small Service Tower is just about done. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, the new modular section Small and Medium Service Towers are done and on the AlphaDeb branch of the GitHub. The part name for the older single-part modular versions has been retained by the 10m tower section, so craft files will load, but will look a bit weird ;) 

bHOsHQC.png

Screenshot shows the new modular tower multi-base in the two current sizes, small and medium.

I decided to limit the medium size tower to only 2 core sections, 2.5m and 10m, like the small tower. I may add a 20m section for the large and X-large towers.

Also, with a bit of reworking in Unity, I added some more side panel configurations.

The top section has the railings on by default, but they can be turned off if desired. The antenna mast is also a toggle option, and when off there is an attach node on the roof; when the mast is on, that node is turned off. The mast(s) does/do have separate full-length colliders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new separate modular section Large General Service Tower parts are done (finally!) and on the AlphaDev branch of the GitHub.

bVpkuWH.png

 

I decided to just stick with the 2.5m and 10m section height setup for the Large (and coming X-Large) tower, as a taller one wouldn't really do much part-saving but would mean a large-size .mu gets loaded.

One thing I'm going to do with the Saturn tower sections is to make the arm mount rail switchable between the normal side position and a center position so the general swing arm can be used with the Saturn/Shuttle towers.

Another idea I had is to make the crew floor for the Saturn-Shuttle towers a part of the crew arm itself, this would mean one less part and the arm and tower floor would always be aligned with each other. :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it be possible to make a bicolor version like the new Pad 39A tower? So black panels and white (or light grey) edges? And a white lightning mast?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, infinite_monkey said:

Would it be possible to make a bicolor version like the new Pad 39A tower? So black panels and white (or light grey) edges? And a white lightning mast?

Yes, but will have to wait until I do the full rebuild for the Saturn part, the current UV Mapping and texture setup doesn't allow for that style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2018 at 4:29 PM, AlphaMensae said:
  • Craft files go into your saves/xxxx/Ships/VAB
  • Subassemblies go into your saves/xxxx/Subassemblies folder.

Hey, I think I've done something wrong in the installation (and I suspect it may have to do with this). I can't seem to find any of the Saturn towers anywhere... I'm not sure I understand what is meant by these two installation steps. 

KSP 1.6.1, RP-1 and all that. 

Edited by Calvin_Maclure
added game version details

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

Hey, I think I've done something wrong in the installation (and I suspect it may have to do with this). I can't seem to find any of the Saturn towers anywhere... I'm not sure I understand what is meant by these two installation steps. 

KSP 1.6.1, RP-1 and all that. 

Those are craft files (with various mod rockets) and subassemblies (with no rocket) for some of the launch base combos. The craft files require the associated mod, given in the file name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More changes to the new modular general service towers:

I've scrapped the multi-base part idea, and instead made the base frames for each size tower a separate part as well. The multi-base was starting to get large, and the new Extra-Large tower base would have more than doubled the size of it. So that idea is now dumped, and new separate bases for the towers are in place.

The tower tops have been reduced to just the roof plate, with the toggleable railings and antenna mast(s). I just realized that making the top a whole section was just more silly duplication, and so got rid of the section mesh. The tops are a lot smaller in file size now. :) This also meant that I had to remove the top node from them, as the plates are just 8cm thick, and the top node was causing interference with the bottom node.

All the updated parts are now on the AlphaDev branch of the GitHub.

Also, the new Extra-Large tower is almost done! I'm not quite sure how tall to make the second tower section, as just the 2.5m section is pretty big by itself. The taller section may be only 7.5m in height.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2019 at 10:25 PM, AlphaMensae said:

Those are craft files (with various mod rockets) and subassemblies (with no rocket) for some of the launch base combos. The craft files require the associated mod, given in the file name.

Ah ok. So does that have anything to do with my not seeing any of the later launch pads at all?? Would you need any logs to help?

Thanks,

CM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

Ah ok. So does that have anything to do with my not seeing any of the later launch pads at all?? Would you need any logs to help?

Thanks,

 

Now I understand...most of the parts are in my custom tech tree nodes, with only a few in the start node. There is a basic RO patch in the latest release (2.0.5) that does move everything to the start node. I didn't make it, just got it from the RO Discord server. :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new Extra-Large General Modular Service Tower is done and on the AlphaDev branch!

TzZcN6W.png

5jGy0gL.png

laIMROw.png

I was able to keep a 10m height for the second core part, it wasn't that bad of a file size. :) 

The other General Modular Service Tower parts have been revised as well, this was mostly under-the-hood stuff, as I finally figured out how to use the Outliner window in Wings to merge different materials into one.  :D 

The stock custom category has also been split into two more sub-categories, Service Towers and Crew Elevators, with Launch Bases being the other General sub-cat.

The custom tech tree .cfg has been revised as well, now th Soyuz Launch Base node is in the Saturn and Shuttle pad column, and all nodes are directly connected to the start now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/8/2019 at 8:07 AM, AlphaMensae said:

Now I understand...most of the parts are in my custom tech tree nodes, with only a few in the start node. There is a basic RO patch in the latest release (2.0.5) that does move everything to the start node. I didn't make it, just got it from the RO Discord server. :)

 

Ok, this is odd cause I looked again and again through those nodes and could not find anything... I must have done something wrong in the install, but I really don't know what.

Here's the link to my logs, if this helps at all: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkrbiavx1c3g8u0/AABvgUGRlOCNWEzt5vZUNJ_4a?dl=0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Calvin_Maclure said:

Ok, this is odd cause I looked again and again through those nodes and could not find anything... I must have done something wrong in the install, but I really don't know what.

Here's the link to my logs, if this helps at all: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fkrbiavx1c3g8u0/AABvgUGRlOCNWEzt5vZUNJ_4a?dl=0

The parts seem to be loaded ok.

All I can say is to try with just a stock install with just Modular Launch Pads, B9PS, Animated Decouplers and, if desired, CommunityCategory Kit installed.

Modular Launch Pads wasn't designed for RP-0/1, and I have no idea what it or RO itself is doing to the parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revised Flat Launch Bases are now on the AlphaDev branch of the GitHub, as well as revised General Launch Base .cfg files.

Main change with the flat bases was the replacement of the railings and ladders with the new setup introduced with the general launch bases, resulting in a major .mu size reduction. Also did some material consolidation and some detail tweaks.

Two more colors for the railings and ladders were added too, they are the medium and light gray colors. The general launch bases also have these options now.

Whpr1Av.png

 

I've also decided to go back to having the Soyuz Launch Base be a counterpart to the Saturn and Shuttle bases, and remove all the integrated stuff, including the clamp arms. It's just too big to be a launch stand, and anything that could properly utilize it (like, say, a Soyux rocket :D ) wouldn't fit on the tier 1 launch pad anyway (I had to some "massaging" to get the Tantares "Sputnik" launcher in the v2 trailer to fit on the tier 1 launch pad). Not to mention that since I made separate versions of all the Soyuz Base arms, the integrated ones in the base is just more needless duplication. Moving the Soyuz Launch Base tech tree node back with the Saturn and Shuttle launchers was the first step in this process.

The clamp arms though will have surface-attach added to them, so they can be used with all the launch bases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, cameronisher3 said:

what is the best soyuz mod for use with the soyuz launch base?

Tantares and TantaresLV, as I used the older 1.25m parts for fitting tests, but the alternate 1.875m and 1.5m versions will work too, using the taller variants of the service gantry and fuel arms. 

Raidernick's Soyuz FG in his Soviet Rockets will fit in the base and the clamp arms as-is (I've tried it out) if it is lowered by a good amount, but I think the gantry and fuel arms arms are too short. Would be better to rescale the Soyuz Launch base parts larger by the same amount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.