cineboxandrew

Rack Mount Spcecraft Parts [Dev thread]

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I decided to start a thread to document the work on my Rack mount spacecraft parts concept. the rack mount units would be usable for making probes, or inside avionics bays in larger spacecraft. I plan to add parts for smartparts and KOS as well

 

4U Fuel Tanks:

fOTvsec.pngtSADnIj.jpg

These reuse existing textures for the tanks themselves to lower memory usage

 

Probe core and SAS:

mFLOrzX.pngKsKlXl3.png

A little PCB model I'll find a use for eventually:

KOginBo.png

 

To follow development on Github: https://github.com/drewcassidy/KSP-Rack-Mount

Edited by cineboxandrew
add github link

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Heh, there goes the part count... Nah, seriously, I like those fuel tanks. Not sure though about the probe core and SAS. They look like server casings. If you put those on a probe, who's gonna flip the switches? IMHO, you could keep the rack approach, but loose those switches and dials and replace them with some glowy lights and/or status displays? Not like anyone is looking at them, but maybe a satellite inspection would require them?

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Satellite inspection and ground calibration is exactly right (hence the PID knobs on the SAS module). And these could also be used in crewed ships in avionics bays, where the knobs would be useful. I could get rid of them but I really wanted the parts to be diverse and interesting to look at.

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I think I will add some status lights, and maybe change the knob on the probe core, make it look more like an adjustment than a pilot control

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Would it make sense to have some serial connectors for programming or something like that in stead in stead of the knobs? Or maybe use a style of knob that can not be adjusted by accident. Like a recessed one that adjusts with a flat screwdriver? They do look good as they are though.

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A modder after my own greeble-laden heart :)

Excited to see where you take this!

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This looks awesome!  Will complement Universal Storage very nicely!

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3 hours ago, neistridlar said:

Would it make sense to have some serial connectors for programming or something like that in stead in stead of the knobs? Or maybe use a style of knob that can not be adjusted by accident. Like a recessed one that adjusts with a flat screwdriver? They do look good as they are though.

I was thinking of the lower tech parts as being fully analog instruments, so a programming connector wouldnt make much sense. Trimpots would work but I dont think they would look as good

 

I'm wondering if the textures on the faceplates are too low resolution? I'm using 3mm/pixel but since the parts are so small the text still looks pretty blurry

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34 minutes ago, cineboxandrew said:

I'm wondering if the textures on the faceplates are too low resolution? I'm using 3mm/pixel but since the parts are so small the text still looks pretty blurry

The standard that we've typically been using is 200px/m for most parts, I often jump to 300px/m for tiny stuff which I suppose is what you're using... It's a trade off to make at this point. You could increase the resolution, but run the risk of making things look noticeably out of place next to other parts with lower texel density. Personally I think they are perfectly legible at present.

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Yeah these are definitely pretty small parts (the faceplates are 600mm wide). The labels on the fuel tanks I know are way too high resolution right now, they were one of the first things I didnt know where to aim for resolution-wise

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1 hour ago, cineboxandrew said:

Yeah these are definitely pretty small parts (the faceplates are 600mm wide). The labels on the fuel tanks I know are way too high resolution right now, they were one of the first things I didnt know where to aim for resolution-wise

Yeah they felt a little crisp. It really comes down to the author's choice, though it's worth remembering that chasing fine detail also requires correspondingly high resolution texture sheets and performance is always (unfortunately!) something that must be kept in mind. The question, IMO, is 'how much time will the player spend zoomed in enough to read it?'. I imagine not more than a small fraction of the time these parts are being used - the VAB for instance simply won't zoom in that far, most probes are zoomed out to fit within the screen... If I understand right the face plates are 200 px across. How much time do you imagine players will spend with more than 1/5 their screen (Y axis) being taken up with the faceplate? Something of an inverse example, but I often let my larger rockets slip below 200 px/m to reduce the texture overhead, and because quite frankly the player will usually be zoomed fairly far out.

I have to ask, and I feel comfortable saying I'm probably not the only one, but could/will the probe component of this represent a spiritual successor to Boxsat?

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6 hours ago, cineboxandrew said:

Yes its a bit of a successor to Boxsat, but I want to do more bodies than just the 4U box.

Oh man that's awesome. :D:D

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Had a midterm today, but quickly through together a faceplate texture for a battery module

 

batteryRack.png

 

I've found it easier to make the faceplates by drawing them in photoshop first, then adding actual models to the details afterward

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Holy Moly! These are great! Keep up the fantastic work

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On 4/28/2018 at 2:08 AM, cineboxandrew said:

Had a midterm today, but quickly through together a faceplate texture for a battery module

I've found it easier to make the faceplates by drawing them in photoshop first, then adding actual models to the details afterward

Yeah, the bolt heads could actually probably just be done with normals too. Not that you need to worry about polygons that much in KSP.

On 4/29/2018 at 1:12 AM, cineboxandrew said:

Internals for the battery and probe modules

You actually could maybe get away with a few more polygons on the black knob if you wanted to make it smoother. Also, check the yellow on your batteries if you're going for stockalike (I assume you are, looks like it!) - the one on the stock batteries is less orange I think. Best to just find a good patch of it on one of the bigger battery textures and sample the color.

This is still looking awesome. I love how functional everything looks - not just identical faceplates with only a different symbol or anything. You might want to look into hand drawing additional grayscale height maps to turn into normals. No need to bake from high poly or anything, just make a duplicate sheet. For example, on the SAS module that dark gray plate's layer can just be copied and adjusted to be recessed slightly.

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4 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

You actually could maybe get away with a few more polygons on the black knob if you wanted to make it smoother. Also, check the yellow on your batteries if you're going for stockalike (I assume you are, looks like it!) - the one on the stock batteries is less orange I think. Best to just find a good patch of it on one of the bigger battery textures and sample the color.

 

The yellow is sampled from the stock texture, so it should be a match. It probably just looks off because these screenshots are from Blender. I'm probably going to move some of the knobs around a bit since I think I dont actually want pro/retrograde SAS on the basic probe core.

I thought the probe core was missing something so I added a folded-dipole antenna. (I made sure the 750Mhz label is correct for the dimensions of the antenna :).) I also modeled the fuel cell module and made the texture for the computer core. The inside of the fuel cell feels a bit simple and "things in a box" to me but im at 1500 tris and I dont know if I should add piping.

MCmF23M.pngO9I7Uhi.pngCPzvawp.png

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15 hours ago, CobaltWolf said:

Yeah, the bolt heads could actually probably just be done with normals too. Not that you need to worry about polygons that much in KSP.

 

10 hours ago, cineboxandrew said:

The yellow is sampled from the stock texture, so it should be a match. It probably just looks off because these screenshots are from Blender. I'm probably going to move some of the knobs around a bit since I think I dont actually want pro/retrograde SAS on the basic probe core.

I thought the probe core was missing something so I added a folded-dipole antenna. (I made sure the 750Mhz label is correct for the dimensions of the antenna :).) I also modeled the fuel cell module and made the texture for the computer core. The inside of the fuel cell feels a bit simple and "things in a box" to me but im at 1500 tris and I dont know if I should add piping.

1500 tris is nothing to worry about. Like Cobalt said, (and through my experience, I'm very guilty of it) KSP can handle a lot of mesh detail with very little performance impact. The biggest thing to watch out for is overly large texture maps (you're golden, so no worries there), and draw calls (that only start to balloon with animated parts using multiple unity materials). Those things will bottleneck a GPU and cause the game to choke before anything else does :)

 

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