Thursday, November 1, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 9

Post-Halloween update? Mostly been adding the exterior armor plating every now and then over the summer. Certainly been time-consuming, but in the end a worthwhile endeavor. At least that's what I keep telling myself before I go back to making the ship fly under a full physics simulation. Easier to make a texture from a high polygon model than the reverse right?

Engine Vector Plates: June 24, 2018
Front-Port Side Armor Plates: June 25, 2018
Front-Port Side Armor Plates 2: June 27, 2018

Front Armor Plates: July 1, 2018

Starboard Armor Plates: July 3, 2018

Docking Port Armor Plates: July 6, 2018

Boarding Ramp Armor Plates: July 7, 2018

Engine Exhaust Section: July 8, 2018

Rear-Port Side Armor Plates: July 9, 2018
 For a majority of these plates, I've been modeling the 'clean' version without any of the holes cut out for lighting or mechanical access points. For some of them I actually did model in the cuts, but filled them in to 'punch out' later.

Completed dorsal armor plates: July 9, 2018

Rear landing gear / cargo ramp armor plates: July 10, 2018

Cargo ramp: July 11, 2018

Interior cargo ramp with a rough scale model of the Last Jedi escape pod: July 11, 2018

Decent time gap here. Found some inspiration after a busy and rough first half of the fall semester.

Mandible side and headlight details: October 28, 2018

Mandible maintenance hole details: October 30, 2018
The Last Jedi escape pod launcher test: October 30, 2018
This final Millennium Falcon image for this post features an attempt to place the escape pod as seen in The Last Jedi. Here I have it wedged in between the (non-canon?) aft cargo ramp and the starboard landing gear bay. As some eagle-eyed folks on the internet have noted since the Last Jedi was released, the location the escape pod pops out in the film does seem to conflict with that landing gear bay.

I'm not even bothering with how to resolve the interior of the escape pod room as seen in the film which Stinson Lenz covers in his blog at this time. Probably will finish up the exterior before I go back to that.

Lastly as an excuse to switch gears (slightly), here's the start of a new 3D model:

VCX-100 main body: November 1, 2018
The Corellian VCX-100 light freighter as seen in Star Wars: Rebels and Rogue One as 'The Ghost.' Also mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I've been grabbing reference material for this ship for a while since Rebels season 2? Finally got inspired to start since I recently found this screenshot of the 3D model used in Rogue One and also some tracks from the Rebels soundtrack is on my playlist when I tend to work on these models.

VCX-100, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing, Y-Wing, and Lambda Shuttle models all in scale: November 1, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 8

I teased that the next update would be a CAVE2 one. But given a busy semester, slow progress until I remembered May the 4th, 2018 was coming up. I released a short teaser trailer to highlight the project features to date - well most of them. I spent about 9 hours the night before setting up the 12 or so shots used for the video. Every shot I filmed that night was included in the video. I had 3 additional shots planned, but didn't get around to filming those.

A number of the shots were modeled after the teaser trailer for 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' and uses the music from that trailer by L'Orchestra Cinématique which is available on their YouTube channel.

Like almost all of my CAVE2 images or videos, I personally setup all the shots, the camera, and the lighting. I used a few versions of the CAVE2 application for the video. Some were existing demo versions with the music muted, others I was modifying the source project and making a new build for specific behaviors I wanted to capture or setting up the in-game camera at a specific location in case I needed to duplicate a shot.

The final hyperspace shot was the one that took the most takes because 1) the lighting was hard to get right and 2) I broke the app once and the star streaks were stuck in front of the cockpit. It was also the last shot of the night, so I was rather tired at that point.

I was a bit disappointed I didn't keep the scene used for the video in part 5.5 of this blog since I actually used the CAVE2 displays behind the camera to illuminate myself. There's also a fun part of that story where about a third of the displays and tracking cameras were down since we were replacing some of the screens at the time.

Although I do still have the scene file for the Star Wars 40th picture I did in 2017.

Since my last post, I've completed a first attempt at the flight stick controls for the Millennium Falcon as seen in all the films except Star Wars (A New Hope).

Flight sticks: March 27, 2018
Based on several sources online, the flight yokes were originally from 1940s Vickers Viscount airliners and mounted backwards to serve as the Millennium Falcon's flight stick - though Solo might be the first time on screen that these flight sticks will be seen actually used in flying the Millennium Falcon opposed to just being held. The Solo teaser also showed the silver handbrake(?) lever on the center console being used - another first I believe. The Force Awakens made more use of the black throttle(?) controls on the top of the console.

Landing Gear Doors: May 2, 2018
Continuing to fill out the exterior details, I've modeled and animated the landing gear doors. The original three main landing gears use a similar two door approach. The two front landing gears added for Empire Strikes Back have a wider door that folds when deployed. This is based on some of the closeup shots in Echo Base.

One of the cancelled shots for the May the 4th video would have had a shot of the Millennium Falcon coming in for a landing with the fully animated doors and gears as it made its approach. Maybe for the best since I haven't modeling the cargo lift yet and the gaping hole visible in the above image.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 7

The past few weeks have been dedicated to modeling a basic interior and as much exterior detail as possible for an upcoming update to the CAVE2 demo.

Cockpit door: January 21, 2018
Redesigned and baked lit passenger lounge: January 21, 2018
Armor plating detail: February 5, 2018
Turret armor: February 8, 2018
First draft flight stick: February 10, 2018

Armor plating: February 11, 2018

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 6

Nothing like winter break and a new Star Wars movie to inspire development on this project. Spent a decent amount to time trying to narrow down the end-goal of this whole thing. Flight simulator? Interactive walkthrough?

I reviewed some older Star Wars games like X-Wing Allaince and SWG: Jump to Lightspeed as a template for how I wanted the experience to feel - with the added challenge of trying to add a virtual reality spin to the interaction.

Started writing some mission manager scripts to generate scenarios similar to SWG's space duty mission (destroy and escort). Fighters now have a notion of primary mission targets (in this case the Rebel corvette) and secondary objectives like fighter groups (i.e. the player) and X-Wing Alliance style duty roles to prioritize: Superiority (fighters first, then primary target) or Strike (Primary target first, fighters second).

Revised X-Wing cockpit and more AI duty behaviors: January 10, 2018

But as I've found in the past, just working on the 3D modeling is plenty fun!

Working on the front armor plating: December 20-23, 2017

In my last update, I started texture mapping the interior. But after a while I got annoyed with how I modeled the meshes a year ago. So I ended up remodeling much of the interior trying to keep the sections more universal and modular than I had previously done.

Revised, textured, and baked lighting: January 19, 2018

Planning out the cockpit corridor: January 20, 2018
Another motivation for the complete redesign of the interior is that I had previously scaled the exterior to 31 meters long (latest canon length for the Millennium Falcon is 34 to 35 meters).

I probably did that to reduce the boarding ramp angle into the corridor so that the exterior boarding ramp can still have a 20 degree incline and still have the interior corridors low enough in height so that the floor plane can be above the bottom gun turret. But that caused other restrictions on how tall/wide the interiors could be.

I managed to get the angle at the top of the boarding ramp to under a 35 degree incline (which allows my Unity character controller to go up the ramp without sliding down). As a result, the overall corridor radius is smaller than the film set and slightly compressed in some places. Also the gun turret is readily visible from the corridor as the floor is just above the back wall of the gunner's area. I would have liked to have the corridor vertically centered on the turret tunnel, but the entry ramp would be unrealistically steep.

Spacing compromises: January 21, 2018
Reworked lighting and cockpit corridor: January 21, 2018
As a tribute to how much I improved over the years, I think the new corridors look much better than the old ones and took me a weekend to do rather than a few weeks. Key modeling tidbits I picked up since was better use of shared meshes, modeling pipes, and overall experience with dealing with curved and angled corridors.

Also on the interaction side, been working on VR style flight controls using a wand. This of course requires an actual flight stick model. Partially inspired by the mid-season finale of Star Wars: Rebels Rebel Assault - where there are a number of shots of the cockpit of T-65 X-Wings. The flight stick concept art is also prominently shown in the Rebel Recon video for the episode.

X-Wing flight stick: January 13, 2018
I had previously modeled the controls of the Millennium Falcon's gun turrets and I'm now working on making those actually usable with the Oculus touch controllers.