Coinciding with a long phase of working on something else* has been a long phase of figuring out where The Dawn Star’s 3D art will come from. And what it will look like. And how it will be made to look like that. I intend to keep the basic Captain Forever silhouettes and simply extend those ideas into the third dimension, then add extra detail. My original plan was to manually greeble the models, as shown in the command module here:


The problem was, that didn’t result in very much surface detail and grew increasingly complex as I added more detail. Manual modeling just didn’t seem feasible, especially since I have almost no experience with it.

This week I’ve looked into kitbashing, which might yield much better results. The idea there is to take many little pieces from other models and cut and arrange them to make new ones. This can be a very fast and effective way to greeble a model, so should work quite well here. It can also result in highly unoptimised models, which are slow to render and generally unusable in a game. However, since I’m pre-rendering all of my models into sprite sheets I don’t need to worry about that much at all. Hooray!

My next step is to figure out what software to use. I’ve had a lot of success using Sketchup for simple models, but it gets unwieldy as I add detail. 3D Coat on the other hand seems to work well for blatting on techno-greeble-chunks but hasn’t been useful at all for fine detail. So, my new plan is to build very simple and precise outlines in Sketchup and then detail and texture them in 3D Coat. Wish me luck!

<3 Farbs * Adding co-op to the Card Hunter campaign, which will hopefully be finished soon.

7 Comments » for Shapes, Textures, Colours, Pipelines
  1. Chris K says:

    Luck is being wished for you by me.

    You should use Milkshape 3D.

    That’s a lie, disregard that advice.

  2. Notdoppler says:

    You’re back, yay!
    I got something interesting to tell you on the forums, if you are interested?

  3. Capt. Williams says:

    He lives! I’m glad to see a lot of work done after the silence.

  4. Farbs says:

    > I got something interesting to tell you on the forums, if you are interested?
    Tell me here!

  5. Uzguz says:

    Good to see the vision behind the new look starting to take shape.

    A quick question about the new designs: How will power levels be conveyed? The Captain Forever aesthetic makes them extremely self-evident, allowing a ship’s strength to be assessed very quickly. I get that painting the whole component green or red mightn’t work well with the new look, but whatever replaces it needs to be (at least almost) equally obvious. Will most of the greebles be tinted? Or will there be an entirely new system that doesn’t rely on colour?

    (attn. pedants: yes I can see the green bars)

  6. Chris K says:

    I s’pose he could add colored lights to them (different from the flashing operating lights). That plus the little stripes of color in this screenshot might be enough to make it clear what was what.

  7. orinn says:

    Woo an update.
    I happen to teach sketchup, its a great program.

    As for detailed work in Sketchup, this artist “ixlrxi” constantly proves there are no limits.
    even has a couple youtube videos of him working that I learned from.

    Point is, anything can me modeled in Sketchup, if your having trouble with a piece I can help, just email me. Willing to try and build a piece for you too.