Modding Picture of the Day

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Alpha Centauri
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by Alpha Centauri » Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:42 am

I love both of those skins (assuming that the dark tarka is a skin).

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R2dical
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by R2dical » Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:25 pm

I got my grubby paws on 3ds Max 2013 recently which inspired some playing around with the features as well as delving into the MaxScript stuff, with some interesting results. Anyway I put together an automated script, out of interest really, that can batch convert SOTS models into Hi Poly versions using the TurboSmooth modifier in max. The results have been really good I think, but I seriously doubt the dated mars engine could handle this multifold increase in vertex count :(

Image
Side-by-side render of original and new with stock textures. In game the high poly model also looks much better due to more lighting calculations.

Its between 4x and 6x the vertex count on the most "conservative" setting, never mind the higher res textures they would need. Does look nice though :)

So maybe an exercise worth keeping in mind for mods for other games using SOTS models or a SOTS II conversion or if prime ever goes open source...

Alpha Centauri
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by Alpha Centauri » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:46 am

Very, very cool!

Yeah, here's hoping for sots prime open source.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:05 am

Did you actually try them out in a big combat? Remember that we now have much faster computers than in 2006...

It would be all kinds of awesome if SotS1 could get this kind of graphic upgrade!

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R2dical
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by R2dical » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:29 pm

Alpha Centauri wrote:Very, very cool!

Yeah, here's hoping for sots prime open source.
That would be awesome indeed, there are so few open source 4x games and sots would be the first commercial one to go OS AFAIK. But from the few brief discussions had over the years I guess problems with licensing and such at least...

BlueTemplar wrote:Remember that we now have much faster computers than in 2006...
Obvious of course, but not that simple...For example sots is not designed with multi-threading capability and so cannot take advantage of the now common multi-core setups but must rely on raw speed of one core which has not increased as significantly. Also it seems the mars engine does quite a bit of geometry grunt work before passing the objects to the render/shader pipeline (poly level targeting, vertex based lighting model, collision geometry, etc), which means a bottleneck in the CPU side code will slow things down irrespective of a powerful GPU.

That said I did run a few tests today with these models, a late game CR/DN liir v liir combat ran fine with no slowdown, most of the CR ships were the Hi Poly versions :) So may be possible and the code design is flexible enough after all...or a bottleneck threshold not reached yet...

But yeah it does look goooood! With all my other mods in the works don't have time for this right now, but maybe after those have matured...or if someone else wants to pursue this I will happily share the scripts :)

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by BlueTemplar » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:49 pm

R2dical wrote:That said I did run a few tests today with these models, a late game CR/DN liir v liir combat ran fine with no slowdown, most of the CR ships were the Hi Poly versions :)

:awesome:

I've never used 3ds Max, so I don't think I'm going to volunteer for this, but didn't you say that you had a way to batch convert the models? If you don't have to convert one model after another by hand it should be quite fast, shouldn't it? Or is the conversion not perfect and you still have to adjust things manually after that?

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R2dical
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by R2dical » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:00 pm

Yeah looked pretty cool, Ill take some in game shots next time I run the test :)

BlueTemplar wrote:Or is the conversion not perfect and you still have to adjust things manually after that?
This, kinda...

While it can do batch convert (of all .x in a directory for example), there are a few different ways to "increase the quality" of the models each working best with a certain style of original. Like the current TurboSmooth setup works nice for the "organic" curves and cylindrical shapes of Lirr (and Hiver somewhat), but looks kinda strange on the "boxy" human ships. A different approach (like Tessellation + Greebling maybe) would look much nicer. Also, there are usually some "artifacts" on each model which need manual fixing, but most of the time are minor (the 3 liir sections in the shot were not tweaked).

So I'd say it would be a good test to batch convert a whole race's models, eg Liir, for a starting point. These could be tested for viability, also there is quite a bit of headroom like say 4x original poly count to as high as you want pretty much. If it works ok then fine tune the process, develop specialist ones for the different races and manually tweak each model if needed. There is also other cool stuff you can do like displacement mapping and greebling which both create detail where there was none.

Quite a large project I think but much less than manual remodel of even 1 race :) Just one I do not have room for right now. Maybe after the next round of updates for my other stuff comes out I will post a batch of Liir for tests, at least the scripts should be posted I think ;)

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balti knights
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by balti knights » Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:48 pm

photobucket gone..
Last edited by balti knights on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke.

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balti knights
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by balti knights » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:09 pm

photobucket gone..
Last edited by balti knights on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke.

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marshb
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by marshb » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:23 pm

Oh Man, those are awesome! :awesome:
Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

Orison of Sonmi-451

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balti knights
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Re: Modding Picture of the Day

Post by balti knights » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:22 pm

Image

cold out here....
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke.

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