Monday, July 10, 2017

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 4

New post after over a year! Focusing on other projects like Enterprise, research work, being lazy on writing posts, Breath of the Wild, Mass Effect Andromeda, etc.

Hoping this summer to get back into it.

Baked Lighting Test: June 12, 2016
Playing around with Unity's baked lighting system. Apparently one of the last screenshots before I shifted projects last year.


Star Wars 40th Anniversary: May 24, 2017
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original cinema opening of Star Wars, updated the Death Star hanger model to use the emergency lighting as seen on the season 1 finale of Star Wars: Rebels and added a Darth Vader model in homage to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Also felt this was a fitting time to finally take a CAVE2 picture with my Kenobi "Redeemer" lightsaber which was a gift to myself for completing the PhD qualifying exam last year.


During May and June I did a significant amount of work rewriting the space flight mechanics and starfighter AI. Once those were completed, I finally did a push to implement important UI elements such as head-up-displays, targeting systems, and a radar.

TIE Fighter Play Test: July 2, 2017
Since Rogue One and season 3 of Star Wars:Rebels had come out since I last worked on the TIE fighter, there was much more reference material for the cockpit displays.


X-Wing Play Test: July 4, 2017
Just a quick port of the new TIE fighter UI components into the old x-wing cockpit.


Exterior and Boarding Ramp Overhaul: July 10, 2017
In early July, I started work on adding more exterior details to the Millennium Falcon - specifically the armor plating. However the current state of the model has enough inaccuracies, that I started overhauling most of the exterior components.

This work is based off the production plans of the Millennium Falcon from Empire Strikes Back acquired from Star Wars: The Blueprints.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 3

Revised cockpit: May 20, 2016

Right on the heels of a rather hectic semester, including passing the PhD qualifying exam, I present version 2 of the Millennium Falcon cockpit. Most of the modifications are based on the earlier CAVE2 virtual reality tests which exposed some scaling issues with the model as well as experience gained by modeling such a detailed space with angled panels.

Opposed to the original model where the cockpit walls were modeled at that angle, the new version are actually separate panels rotated into that position. This made it much easier to place switches, buttons, and lights using the panel's local coordinates.

Also since the original model I've found two major reference sources that have vastly improved the detail in this model:

  • Joshua Maruska's Millennium Falcon model
    • Used his cockpit walls as scale and detail reference
    • Also for the captain and nav seats.
    • My Nav seats used his as a reference as the originals had far too many polygons for my use.
    • The Captain's seats are currently his. Haven't decided if I'll model my own or keep them
  • StarWars.com The Force Awakens 360 Panoramas
    • These have been immensely helpful for getting the details of the cockpit and especially the main cockpit console

Completed side wall panels: May 23, 2016

Cockpit console: May 26, 2016


In a change of pace from 3D modeling, I worked on finishing the turret interaction I had started on in January and implement the wand controls so that I could test this in CAVE2. As a testament to the development of the CAVE2 Simulator most of the interaction was tested using the simulator augmented with a Kinect for hand and head tracking. This translated to directly running on CAVE2 without any sensitivity adjustment to the controls.

This was one of two CAVE2 Unity demos using a new version of my cluster sync code. Details and probably a video in the next update.

Cockpit console: June 4, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 2

For this modeling project, I'm continuing to use the Blender Project Timer extension to keep track of how many hours I've actively spent modeling this thing - although I won't be able to track the time spend working with the model in Unity.

AG-2G quad laser cannon: Jan 3, 2016
Passenger ramp door: Jan 3, 2016

Putting the pieces together: Jan 4, 2016

I suppose I'll also mention I typically have my Star Wars soundtracks on loop while I'm modeling. If I really want to be inspired, I'll be sure to jump to either 'Follow Me' or 'The Falcon' tracks from The Force Awakens.

Finishing up the starboard panels: Jan 8, 2016
Detailing up the starboard panels: Jan 9, 2016
Replacing the previously mirrored textures on the port side: Jan. 9, 2016
Millennium Falcon Cockpit after 33 hours: Jan. 9, 2016
Entrance corridor lighting test: Jan 9, 2016
Turret ladder: Jan 10, 2016

Landing Gears: Jan 10, 2016

Passenger Lounge: Jan 10, 2016
With the addition of the passenger lounge, I'm really beginning to tackle the usual challenges of modeling the Millennium Falcon - the interior sets are too large to fit in the exterior ship model. At least with the original film Enterprise I didn't have to worry about that too much (The one exception being the Klingon bridge from The Motion Picture redressed to be the Enterprise torpedo bay). Although the 2009 Star Trek monstrosity of a starship is worse mess in terms of scaling.

Passenger boarding ramp: Jan 10, 2016
The boarding ramp is still a bit of a mess. The ramp is steeper than it should be, but if I made it any more level, I wouldn't be able to fit the corridor around the turret column.

Nearly complete cockpit wall detail - 42 hours: Jan 12, 2016
Starting the dashboard: Jan 13, 2016
Control levers: Jan 13, 2016

By this point I was having some doubts of how I was modeling the dashboard. Unlike the cockpit and exterior shape, I was having difficulty finding the dimensions of the console. After some visual testing in CAVE2, I eventually found an existing accurate 1:1 scale model of the dashboard which was commonly used for physical 1:1 scale replicas of the Millennium Falcon cockpit.

Turret testing: Jan 15, 2016
I took a break from modeling for a bit while I was mulling over the potential scaling issue with the interior cockpit. Using some of the same code from my previous starfighter tests, I also refined the targeting computer display which my X-Wing used.

Starboard docking port: Jan 22, 2016
There's been some debate over what these things on the side of the Falcon are. Typically listed as either docking ports or the escape pods. I went with docking ports for multiple reasons: 1) Several escape pods were jettisoned before the Falcon was captured by the Death Star in A New Hope and the exterior looks the same. 2) The Ghost in Star Wars: Rebels typically docks in space using similar looking attachments. 3) I managed to design the interior of the passenger ramp to work as a corridor to the docking port. 4) Later found out The Force Awakens Incredible Cross-Sections also labels them docking ports. Although the YT-1300 is known for its customization options so they could be either depending on the configuration.

Lounge progress: Jan 23, 2016

Rough mapping of the remaining interior space: Jan 23, 2016

More on the revision of the cockpit scaling in part 3.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

That's No Moon Part 3

Part 3 contains less new modeling and more testing in CAVE2. Some basic wand interaction was added to open some of the blast doors and extend the bridge across the chasm.

First test in CAVE2: Dec. 15, 2015

With The Force Awakens approaching, I pulled some of the models from my Stormtrooper shooting test and made a few photos for my Facebook cover photo and profile picture. Literally took these shots right before leaving for the Alder After Dark Side event. I also added multiple weapons selectable using the DPad - and E-11 Blaster Rifle, DL-44 Heavy Pistol, and my lightsaber.

DL-44 in action: Dec. 17, 2015


I wrote the lightsaber blade script in Unity years ago, but this might actually be the first time I'm wielding my lightsaber design in CAVE2 (a Kenobi/Katarn hybrid).

The lighting scheme used for the corridors in this shot was inspired by the season 1 finale of Star Wars Rebels 'Fires Across the Galaxy' where the Ghost crew boards an Imperial Star Destroyer temporarily disabled and running on emergency power.

I'm still working out synchronization issues in CAVE2 preventing me from making a proper video of this. Probably due to the tighter space than the test scene in the previously mentioned video, the stormtroopers get out of sync much faster in this environment.

I've run some smaller tests and showed that it is not the Nav Meshes de-synchronizing, but rather somewhere in the combat/aiming scripts. Sadly the most stable version of this game is the one where I disable strormtroopers shooting back. Just of one many things I hope I'll tackle by part 4 which may be delayed due to the semester kicking into gear.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Millennium Falcon 3D Model

Over the past few years of demoing my 1:1 scale of The Motion Picture/Wrath of Khan Starship Enterprise in EVL's CAVE2(TM), I've been ask more than a few times "what about the Millennium Falcon?"

Arguably X-Wing Alliance remains one of my favorite games because you spend part of the game as a young pilot working in a family business where you get to fly a more stock version of the YT-1300.

When Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed came out in 2004, you bet the first piloting profession I would take would be neutral pilot (Character was from Corellia, so naturally CorSec Squadron) because the YT-1300 was one of the Master Pilot ships.

Maiden flight of the Nevvere Eagle (2005)
SWG YT-1300 (2005)
Last flight of the Nevvere Eagle (Dec. 2011)
Antron Nevvere's final logout (2003-2011)
I've been tempted to write a post reflecting on SWG. Pulling these screenshots brought out a lot of memories. There was a forum post where player were discussing where their character's 'final resting place' would be. For my original character it was on his YT-1300. For my second (Jedi unlock) slot character which also was my final logout from Galaxies, it was the place I wandered aimlessly back in the day before vehicles and players had mapped the planets. Hoping for some clue to unlocking the mysteries of the Force (which ironically I do consider part of the downfall of SWG).

Elder Jedi Artius Nimoro's final moments at the Dantooine Jedi Temple Ruins (2005-2011)

Anyway, so 2015 rolls around and I've just seen The Force Awakens. The first moment in the film that got cheers in the audience (I think the largest cheer of the night), was the reveal of the Millennium Falcon on Jakku. I'll admit I was close to tears and simultaneously wincing seeing the Falcon's engines powering up followed by dragging along the desert. Still felt the same way watching it the second time a week later in IMAX.

So after that second viewing, during winter break:

The Beginning: Dec. 23, 2015

So like most of my previous modeling projects, there's plenty of screencaps, Google searches, blueprints, studio set diagrams, and other reference materials I'm using to build this.

Interior Corridors: Dec. 29, 2015

Cockpit Panels: Dec. 30, 2015
Rear Starboard Panels: Dec. 31, 2015
Starboard Panels: Jan. 2, 2016

Working on the cockpit panels was similar to the Enterprise bridge panels. however this time around I was modeling far more details where the Enterprise was more textured. Intention is to allow more flexibility when animating the lights in addition to just having more 3D meshes to see in CAVE2 (which Enterprise pre-dates).

More progress on the Falcon and That's No Moon Part 3 coming soon.