sumghai

[WIP] Sum Dum Heavy Industries Service Module System (Stockalike)

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Progress Report, 20 June 2014

Modelled and animated the floatation collar:

Fig 19 - (WIP) SDHI Heat Shield Floatation Collar

One of my pet peeves with spacecraft splashdowns in general is that the stock buoyancy in KSP is a bit...off - specifically, this causes the Mk1-2 Pod to be partially submerged whilst supposedly floating in the water, and often causing it to settle on its side or even upside down. Crew egress also becomes complicated especially if the hatch is submerged.

The Apollo spacecraft would have used floatation collars, which were manually attached by swimmers from the recovery team once the capsule was located by helicopter; since Kerbals in KSP may have to wait for quite some time before said recovery team arrives, it made sense to directly integrate the collars into the heat shield assembly itself - these collars would then automatically inflate themselves on splashdown.

Originally, I had a really nice mesh deformation animation from Blender's Shape Keys that realistically depicted the inflation of the collar, which was compatible with Unity's BlendShapes; however, KSP didn't like BlendShapes, and so I settled with a less accurate but good enough representation using simple scaling changes. I also added animated colliders, so that Kerbals that egress the capsule can actually stand and walk on them while awaiting rescue without getting wet, as demonstrated in the video.

A few months back, stupid_chris wrote a small plugin that would cause the floatation collar to only trigger when the spacecraft splashed down (and not for terrestrial landings), and I helped test a number of iterations of said code. He's still trying to make it more robust and to add proper buoyancy handling.

I think I've done as much as I can for the V2.0 - I should probably get on with some other projects while I'm waiting for Chris to finish off his bits and pieces...

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Without any "floatation balls" on the nose, do you think there could be any issues with the capsule going nose down during the inflation of the floatation collar?

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Without any "floatation balls" on the nose, do you think there could be any issues with the capsule going nose down during the inflation of the floatation collar?

Personally, I'd love to include floatation balls for the sake of completeness, and a simple MODEL{} node patch would be sufficient to add the balls to the docking ports without re-exporting the latter. However, the use of RealChutes means that by default, the pod will always be oriented nose-up, such that the instant it hits the water, it is probable that stupid_chris's hypothetical floater module would take over almost immediately and keep the pod upright.

Once I get my hands on the floater plugin, I'll test it out under a variety of conditions, and see whether floatation balls would actually right inverted and submerged pods.

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What about making a MODEL{} resized copy of the floatation ring also appear at the top of the capsule in the interim?

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What about making a MODEL{} resized copy of the floatation ring also appear at the top of the capsule in the interim?

It's not hard to make proper floatation ball models and animate them - it's simply a matter of whether they would be necessary when I actually get to test stupid_chris's plugin.

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I think a pat yourself on the back is deserved, sumghai; these updates (and your mods) are outstanding.

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Can't wait for all those nice changes . The flotation ring will go well with those made by dtobi if you won't add your own flotation balls

Edited by DasBananenbrot

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Can't wait for all those nice changes . The flotation ring will go well with those made by dtobi if you won't add your own flotation balls

Yes, dtobi has spoken to me about those already. I'm looking into those right now.

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Progress Report, 3 July 2014

Quite a few behind-the-scenes tweaks and fixes, none of which are worthy of screenshots / videos:

- As of V1.9, the Service Module and Avionics Ring parts sometimes survives high speed impacts from rockets undergoing rapid unplanned disassembly, as the models lacked colliders in the heatshield ring area. Adding segmented colliders permits proper collision detection without interfering with CM / SM separation.

- Since the Avionics Ring is essentially a truncated Service Module without the propulsion compartment, they naturally share the same textures. As such, both parts have been consolidated into the Service Module folder.

- In conjunction with the adjustments made to the FusTek IACBM docking light intensities / range, both parachute-equipped docking ports similarly had their light intensities / ranges reduced.

- With ferram4's help, I've added a FAR compatibility patch for the Boost Protective Cover, allowing it to properly shield the pod during launch - the patch essentially adds a new entry to the FAR shielded part types "dictionary" (so that I don't resort to renaming the part with the downright silly and clumsy moniker "Boost Protective Cover Fairing"), but will require you to delete CustomFARPartClassification.cfg in order for the game to rebuild the aforementioned shielded part types list. I've tested this with FAR myself and haven't noticed any problems yet, although it would be greatly appreciated more people gave me feedback regarding the patch.

- Since stupid_chris has been far too busy lately, not much progress has been made on the floatation collar / umbilical animation; that being said...

- dtobi offered up his (currently WIP) Klockheed Martian Special Parts plugin as a contender for the floatation device functionality, and I experimented with it for a bit - I only tested the parts from his pack, since the PartModule lacks documentation that would have allowed testing with the SDHI heat shield float itself. The auto-inflate-on-splashdown seems to work okay, but the pod remained half-submerged even with high buoyancy values. I'll have to have a word with dtobi later this week.

- I'll ask around (again) regarding the play-umbilical-animation-on-decouple feature.

NOTE: All of my progress / patches / updates are uploaded directly to GitHub wherever possible. If you're very adventurous and don't mind digging through GitHub repos to piece together files, you can try out many of these features before the official v2.0 release.

https://github.com/sumghai/SDHI_ServiceModuleSystem

Edited by sumghai

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The flotation collar is pretty interesting. Could be useful for those water landings on Laythe when the Kerbals need to get out and swim.

Maybe include some folding kayaks as well? :D

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After playing with the parts, may I suggest simply adding a flag for the umbilical cord port on the Mk. 1-2? I have hacked and slashed together KPRC's textures for the stock parts, and would rather not have to give them up. They match quite nicely with the FUSTEK aesthetics.

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After playing with the parts, may I suggest simply adding a flag for the umbilical cord port on the Mk. 1-2? I have hacked and slashed together KPRC's textures for the stock parts, and would rather not have to give them up. They match quite nicely with the FUSTEK aesthetics.

Actually, come to think of it, I should probably make a independent umbilical socket / cord port model that gets welded to the stock Mk1-2, which would leave the original pod texture untouched so that other add-ons such as KPRC can modify it independently. Would this work?

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Yep! Excellent idea. Although I think you're better off welding it to the decoupler, so when you decouple the SM, the umbilical detaches.

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Yep! Excellent idea. Although I think you're better off welding it to the decoupler, so when you decouple the SM, the umbilical detaches.

- The Service Module / Avionics Ring has the umbilical itself that will detach on decoupling using a modified/extended version of ModuleDecouple

- The Mk1-2 Pod will have a corresponding umbilical socket that will have to remain with the pod itself; my plan is to use an MM patch to weld this to the stock Mk1-2 model whilst leaving the latter's textures unchanged.


Actually, there's another idea for the umbilical I'm going to explore over the next few days...

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- The Service Module / Avionics Ring has the umbilical itself that will detach on decoupling using a modified/extended version of ModuleDecouple

- The Mk1-2 Pod will have a corresponding umbilical socket that will have to remain with the pod itself; my plan is to use an MM patch to weld this to the stock Mk1-2 model whilst leaving the latter's textures unchanged.


Actually, there's another idea for the umbilical I'm going to explore over the next few days...

will this affect those of us who use other stock retexturing mods such as KSPRC, stock re-texture project, and others?

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will this affect those of us who use other stock retexturing mods such as KSPRC, stock re-texture project, and others?

If you had read the preceding posts, you would have noted that my plans were initiated specifically in response to this issue. :mad:

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If you had read the preceding posts, you would have noted that my plans were initiated specifically in response to this issue. :mad:

Ah dang it, i apologize for jumping the gun again Rahh, sorry sumghai

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Progress Report, 9 July 2014

Given (valid) concerns about SDHI overriding alternative texture packs on the Mk1-2 Pod in order to add the umbilical port decal, I decided to look into this further.

My first experiment involved ModuleJettisonDecoupler, which didn't work at all since the "anchor" mesh is for the bit that's left behind on the main decoupler part, and not the bit that will be left on the pod. Derp.

Instead, I decided to make the umbilical port a separate model that would be added to the stock Mk1-2 Pod via MODEL{} node calls, while leaving the pod itself (relatively) untouched as to allow texture replacement packs such as KSPRC to do their thing. This port is toggleable only in the VAB/SPH, so that you can add it if you're using the SDHI SMS, and take it out if you don't need it.

ksp_sdhi_sms_umbilical_wip_9_july_2014_by_sumghai-d7pumj3.png

Fig 20 - (WIP) SDHI SMS Umbilical (4)

Next Up:

- Lunch (I'm utterly famished at the time of posting!)

- Further experiments with dtobi's floatation module

- Umbilical animate-on-decouple

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I took a look at everything today, and they work as intended.

Excellent!

By the way, folks, image #3 from sharpspoonful's album depicts a neat little surprise - the ability to assign a mission flag on the Boost Protective Cover. I felt it was a very minor feature, so I didn't really want to make a progress report out of it.

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wait are you a tester or did sumghai post a new link somewhere that seems to be invisible to me?

The answer is thirteen posts above yours:

NOTE: All of my progress / patches / updates are uploaded directly to GitHub wherever possible. If you're very adventurous and don't mind digging through GitHub repos to piece together files, you can try out many of these features before the official v2.0 release.

https://github.com/sumghai/SDHI_ServiceModuleSystem

Edited by sumghai

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We're all testers! :D

Indeed - that's the precise reason I'm hosting my main repo and download on GitHub, for people to freely compare latest stable releases with dev WIPs.

I personally have nothing but good things to say about also hosting my official releases on CurseForge, but I simply do the latter as a matter of (excuse the pun) courtesy for the official add-on repository.

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