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.

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