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baijuncheng

Modding: Where do I start?

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I want to start making my own parts for the game. Are there any good tutorials or anything available? I want to start off simple, maybe a fuel tank or something, and then progress to more complicated stuff. I can't use Google, I'm in China and the internet is turd.

I'd also like to know if there are any guidelines anywhere regarding polycounts for the different types of part. And how to make normal maps without making a high-poly version of a model and rendering one.

Thank you for any assistance. Oh yeah, I'm new here. Hello.

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This thread collects most of what you should need to know: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/25013-Compilation-of-modding-information-links-for-0-19-20-21-22-23-Last-update-24th-Jan.

It covers pretty much all of the basics on modelling, texturing, importing into KSP and setting up config files. The modelling and texturing subforum has more information and more specific questions: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/forums/14-Modelling-and-Texturing-Discussion

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Well, I have made a basic fuel tank with a horrible texture for testing and a CFG stolen from stock parts. I import it into Unity and everything looks fine, it's oriented correctly and everything. When I put it in the game, it is on its side.

How are people scaling their parts? It seems like guesswork at the moment.

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this covers all the basics on part size and generic animation

on orientation you want the root object, the one that has Part Tools attached, to have 0,0,0 Pos and Rot. and 1,1,1 Scale.

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Appreciate the reply, but YouTube is banned here so I can't watch the video. Seems to be case all over. A site is either banned, or the site pulls assets from another banned site making me unable to load it. I hate it.

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Appreciate the reply, but YouTube is banned here so I can't watch the video. Seems to be case all over. A site is either banned, or the site pulls assets from another banned site making me unable to load it. I hate it.

for scale this is what I learned so far.

KSP rescales everything by 1.25 default. you can force different scale factor with the line "rescaleFactor = 1.0", 1:1 or "= 2.0" double size; " = 0.5" half size. etc.

in your modelling app set system unit to meters and display to generic without any unit; in Unity, set model import scale factor to "1"

keeps the numbers the same and remember KSP's rescaleFactor setting and you should be alright.

Animation wise you want Unity 4.2.2 for best support for legacy animation tools. in newer Unity versions legacy components are no longer supported and things start to break.

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As for polycounts - here is a rule of thumb: Every polygon, is one polygon too much.

Given how slow unity is, and given that this is a game where players will spam models en masse, you're no longer in the year 2014 - more like 2004 (EDIT: and some might even argue that 1998 would be a better estimate). Squad might give a damn about videoram, and waste texturememory for no reason left and right, but even they realize the polycount problem: When they redesigned the VAB, they went as far as removing faces the player couldn't see - so for example, ladders at the walls only have faces in one direction - that's how bad it is.

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So I have sorted the orientation thing out, but scaling is proving to be a nuisance. I am using 3DS Max, can anybody tell me how I should set the units up? If I set the system:display units 1:1, the model is far too small to work with due to clipping when zooming in. Anything other than that means the part is huge when imported into the game.

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triangle count is not as big a problem as you expect. Some one on the forums had a 900k+ part in KSP without any appreciable frame rate drop. I had a 250k+ character running on a 2 year old Android phone without frame rate issues.

Stay under 5k triangles is good for most parts; pods and IVAs 10k is no problem. Textures are more memory and drawcall intensive, share as much as possible with the MODEL{} nodes.

First and Biggest cause of slow-down are the physics calculations. There's nothing you can do for that with mesh and textures. Next are collision meshes, use as few as possible, and use Unity's primitive colliders whenever possible. Large textures can cause memory spikes that may crash the game in 32bit.

I use max as well, I set system unit to 1 meter; display to generic units. set my viewport near clip to as low as possible. That's enough for anything in KSP unless you are making parts that are in the centimeter to millimeter range, shouldn't be a need for that at all. But in worst case, scale it up, do all the modeling work, reset it back to 100% scale before export. Make sure the import scale factor in Unity is set to 1 from default. that will eliminate a layer of unnecessary complication.

To simplify things for myself I always model 1:1, 1.25m in Max is 1.25m in KSP, etc; and force the rescaleFactor to 1 in the part config file.

Normal maps follow standard procedure. in max you set up a projection modifier on the game-mesh and point it to the high res mesh. from there you can bake out the Normal, AO, and Diffuse maps with Render to Texture dialogue. KSP has shaders that will take advantage of Normal, Diffuse+Alpha. Alpha controls Specular value or Transparency depending on the shader. Emissive shader will read RGB values from a texture for self-illumination value and color.

Edited by nli2work

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