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Shaostoul Corporation: Engineering Division & Learning Center

Discussion in 'Released and WIP Mods' started by Shaostoul, May 20, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

    Messages:
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  2. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  3. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    Tips, Tricks, & Info
    Important Links
    Textures
    You may be asking yourself, "What are all these different textures and what do they do?" well, look no further! I hope to explain in a simple sort of fashion what the different textures actually are.

    The following available textures types are CM, NG, ADD, and ALPHAMASK. When you're assigning textures to your model, make sure you always have the CM, NG, and ADD textures assigned; if you don't, your model will most likely experience some sort of display error and not look how you actually want it to.

    Textures need to be made in the power of 2 in terms of dimensions, meaning that your texture should be something along the lines of 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048, and so forth. It is also advisable that you work with one texture size, meaning if a model is made up of multiple textures and one of the textures is 2048x2048, all of the textures assigned to that model should be 2048x2048.

    If your model is magenta/pink, then you've messed up in the assigning process and your model can't find your textures. This should be a simple error in the file path or the file name, double-check where they're supposed to be and what they're supposed to be named and you should resolve your issue.

    CM: Color/Metalness
    Red, Green, Blue: Color is exactly what it sounds like; this is the color you see in-game, on the block; it is what gives your texture all of its pretty colors. The color here directly corresponds to colors you see in-game, minus extra effects like Metalness or Gloss. If your model is going to be recolorable, it is suggested the section that is recolorable be in Gray-scale or Black & White.

    Alpha: Metalness is kind of weird, as it produces some varied results. Typically you'll use black for non-metals like stone and wood, and white for metals. However, you can mess extensively with this to get things to look just right. Some metals, alloys, or plastic may even use some variant of gray to achieve their effect.

    NG: Normal/Gloss
    Red, Green, Blue: Normal is sort of like 'imaginary' mesh. A normal map can make sections of mesh appear raised or indented without actually physically affecting the mesh. A well done normal map can save a lot of polygon count when adding find details, such as a gash in metal, rivets, or raised lettering. The vanilla armor is a very good example of a well made normal mesh.

    Alpha: Gloss is pretty much how it sounds, you take a matte or flat paint job, slap some clear coat paint on there and now your paint is nice and shiny, like a brand new car! A really high gloss level is even reflective and can add some awesome effects, just be careful to not over do it. You could use high gloss/low metalness for stuff such as plastics and high gloss/high metalness for something like chrome.

    ADD: Additive
    Red: Ambient Occlusion is in gray-scale, since it is only one layer and is essentially artificial shadows. It can add a lot of fine detail to an object, such as shadows around keyboard keys, shading around a persons eyes/nose, and shadow to crevices that shouldn't be bright lit. This texture should by default be WHITE if you're not messing with it, if it is BLACK you will most likely have a very dark model in game.
    Green: Emissiveness is in gray-scale, since it is only one layer and will add a glow effect to your texture. This glow effect will not actually illuminate stuff around it. The usual purpose of the emissive layer is to add glow to terminal screens or light bars indicating whether a block is running or not. This can range from BLACK with no emissiveness, to WHITE with a very bright glow. I personally suggest around 50% gray for something that's not too harsh on the eyes in dark environments.
    Blue: Is not used
    Alpha: Recolorability
    is in gray-scale, since it is only one layer and will determine what is recolorable. It is suggested to pair recolorability with a gray-scale section of the CM. If the texture is BLACK, there is no recolorability. If the texture is WHITE, it has full recolorability. If it is GRAY, instead of being red, your recolored section will most likely appear more of a light pink.

    ALPHAMASK: Alpha masked
    Red, Green, Blue: Alphamask is gray-scale but, it uses all 3 layers of RGB, instead of just one, like the ADD texture, and this texture is a way of adding details to objects and hiding mesh, without it being a transparent material similar to that of glass. Whatever section of the texture is BLACK is transparent and whatever section is WHITE is opaque. You can fade sections using transitional gray areas. Alphamask would primarily be used to add decals, such as lettering, rivets, or icons to blocks OR it could be used to design foliage, such as leaves and grass. In my experience you do not want to generate mipmaps when saving an alphamask texture as the details will quickly fade away from LOD changing handled at the texture level, instead of the block level.
    Alpha: Is not used

    If you'd like to view the KeenSWH official documentation on textures go here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
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  4. Lowfyr Trainee Engineer

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    14
    These Blocks Looking great, think they help a lot with my Gearbox buildings. Will try them out later today ;-)

    I´m just missing a Block slightly lower than normal Blocks, same amount the Motors are higher to compensate for that, and a Block slightly higher to do so in the other direction.
    For my Weapon construction some kind of ball bearing block would be great, something the Torpedos could slide over easier ;-) but no idea if this is possible for now.


    Greetings.

    lofwyr
     
  5. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    Well in the mixup there is a half-block, is that the sort of thing you mean? As for bearings for sliding things, wheels work great. They're resistant to damage and if you put them on a rotor, you can make them roll or just leave them to freely spin.

    I'd need a better idea of what you mean exactly.
     
  6. Rhayvin Trainee Engineer

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    35
    Just to throw it out their the resilience of a block is determined by the components used to make it so as it stands your blocks are weaker than light plate.
     
  7. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    Thank you for confirming that. I wasn't sure.

    I'll up all of their component requirements and get a new version uploaded ASAP.

    *edit*
    I've got some errands to run. Hopefully I'll get them finished with 6 hours, but could be as late as 12 hours from now if I decide to wrap up the other models I'm working on.
     
  8. Lowfyr Trainee Engineer

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    14
    Just tryed to measure it ingame. Each rotor is 1 block + 1/10 Block, or something close to this. I´m loocking for a block with the same height as the rotor, so 11/10 of standart size in one direction. On the other hand a 9/10 Block would be nice, that way it will be possible to slide a 1 block piston through a 1 Block hole in a wall.

    Edit: The ball gering is just easyer if u want to encapsul your piston completly. With Rotors and wheels you just get 2 sides per block.
     
  9. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    Could you make a rough drawing of what it is you're wanting? Without visual aid, it's kind of hard to picture.
     
  10. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    I think what they are wanting is a Block that if added to a Rotor would equal 2 Blocks instead of 2.1 Blocks. Basically a Block that is 9/10 the height of the current one.

    Basically they want the ability to get boom arms and such to be a little more compact. So if a normal block was 10x10x10 you would shave it till it was 10x10x9.
     
  11. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    @JTMC93

    Well, it would be able to be put on the piston directly if it went further out than that first block, but it could be considered the "end-cap block" for it.

    So let me ask this in a plain simple fashion...

    You want a cube block. Like the normal armor block, but instead of a full 10/10, you want it to be 9/10 tall. That's it? No slopes, no corner blocks, just that block? If so, I can prioritize that sort of block. Possibly even get it in with this next mod update.

    *edit*
    @Everyone, would you prefer that the blocks be a solid color for now, instead of the current texture? If someone makes me a basic _me texture and _ns texture that is 1024x1024 with some 'grit' to it so it's just not a solid color like the engines, I'll swap out all of the textures I currently have for that. Just try to make it so it looks decent regardless of the angle the UV might be. Blender doesn't do UV's very intuitively.
     
  12. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    303
    That is what they seem to want. Honestly I only use Rotors for Wheels and doors. Though having a block like that might make me reconsider using them in a Boom Arm for my Mining Factory.
     
  13. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    I might actually have to make it 8/10 instead of 9/10, as I don't think it'll work if it's perfectly flush. We'll see when I get around to it. I don't know if I'll make my dead-line of before I go to bed, but I can certainly try. At least the cube block will be easy enough to make.

    *edit*

    Alright, I've got the small/large block stuff figured out and I've trimmed down the file size significantly thanks to some testing and the way I have my armor blocks made. I'm going to make that 8/10 armor block and.... I think a rounded edge corner for that convex rounded edge block I have... annnnnd.... I think I'll take a stab at the door thing I've been thinking of and the engines.
     
  14. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    *bump*
    New version release, see original post for link to download.

    Changes:

    All blocks have received a small ship variant.
    All blocks have had their resources to build tweaked.
    -up to 20 steel plates for armor, from 10
    -up to 10 steel plates and large tubes for bumpers, from 6/4
    -all small block armor uses 1 steel plate, like vanilla blocks
    -all small bumpers use 2 steel plates and 2 large tubes
    All blocks (most just small blocks) have received proper collision meshes
    Extraneous textures were removed to lower file size until other textures are made.
    File structure was changed to accomodate small and large blocks.

    *edit*
    new block is the 8/10 height cube... it works
     
  15. Ralirashi Apprentice Engineer

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    306
    Do those blocks have custom collision models? As in is the round block actually round, or just looks round? If I make a circle out of those rounded blocks, will it act as a wheel, or rather as a square?
     
  16. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    All models come with proper collision meshs. If it's a convex shape, the collision mesh is exact to the models appearance. If it's a concave shape, there is some more to it, but I get them as exact as I can.
     
  17. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    Hmm... Wonder if I could use your round blocks to help build the SSV Normandy...
     
  18. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    You probably could. I'm also making new blocks every day (maybe not uploading them right away). I have a convex rounded corner block coming to accompany the convex round edge block. I also have some new engines on the way as soon as I can figure out the no flame issue. I also have some new landing gear on the way and a prototype idea using a 'door'.

    annnnnd

    I think that wraps up the next version.

    *edit*

    I also take requests. Like the 8/10 height cube. I switched to working on that as it was being requested. Got it publically available probably a hour after the request.
     
  19. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    Well what I seem to need is a way to get a soft curve on the exterior.

    When I actually can get the Game back on my computer I will try them out.
     
  20. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    I imagine you mean is a long rounded edge of some various proportions, but I think that'd be a bad idea, as curves take up a lot of precious block inventory space. Especially since I'm trying to keep all armor blocks 1x1x1 in size, but be able to replication something like a 2 long or 3 long slant.

    Sadly, for the Normandy, I think it's going to end up a lot blockier looking than Mass Effect.

    Curves/round things are still the enemy of video games. Infinitely more so for games based around voxel building.
     
  21. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    Yes they are. Though with the scale I am using it would be achievable, or should be, using the curved, pipe shapes, and the slanted pieces.
     
  22. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    See what you come up with currently, with what I have available. If you need a longer slant, I can work on that. I don't I should go any longer than 4 at the absolute most... unless I make them single blocks, instead of the 1x1x1 multiple component pieces.
     
  23. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    If I was to extend your slanted pieces as far as I could how many does it take to get the full slant up to 1 Block high?

    2 or 3?
     
  24. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    Currently I only have a 2 long slant. Like the ramp more or less. If it were a 5 long slant, it'd take 5 blocks and 5 places in the G menu. If it were 10, it'd take 10 blocks and 10 places in the G menu, assuming we go with the 1x1x1 block size method. IF I were to instead take say the 10 block long slant, cut it at the half mark, so a half block could fit there, it might be more feasible.


    *edit*
    Status update regarding custom thrusters. I can't find anything anywhere of how to add the flame to the thrusters. So, I guess I shall just get the thrusters made, even though they're missing the flames.

    Next block to fight with is... landing gear.
     
  25. DofD Apprentice Engineer

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    Some new generators would be neat :p
    Not allways the same 3x3 grid
    How about a longer engine fe 2x4 or even 1x6
    If you understand what i mean?

    Cheers and tanks for your effort ^^
     
  26. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    I'll keep it in mind. For now I'm needing (wanting) to just get the normal engine sizes done. It's kind of disappointing that I can't find out why custom thrusters can't have flames. I can't see anything that I could be missing. It might be because I was trying to figure it out for about 6 hours, but yeah...

    It's on the agenda, just keep an eye out. I'll probably work on them after I get these series of blocks done that I've been wanting to make.
     
  27. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    I was just wondering what the slant was so I could plan it out. Either way Armour is greater than a Ramp.

    Maybe watch Sage's Video where he retextured the generic thrusters? And I honestly like the new texture for the vanilla thrusters.

    But I think we could do with a new reactor.

    Ninja Edit: Darth_Biomech might know. IIRC his Titan Thruster has an effect. Though I might be wrong...
     
  28. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    2,609
    What do you mean, what the slant was? Do you mean (look at the picture on the OP) the two blocks on the bottom row (large blocks), left side, just after the 8/10 height block? Those two blocks make the 2 block long slant comparable to the ramp.

    I believe it's something more... I don't think any of the actual custom thrusters possess the flame animation. If the Titan Thruster I think you're referring to, is indeed the one with the flame, I believe it is just a reskin. Much like Sage's video of the reskin for small thrusters for large ships so they look like Dead Space Markers.

    In which regards do you mean a new reactor? Like a step between the small and large? or something larger?

    Also, it'll be a while before I have the next version uploaded, sorry... I'm doing reorganizing of the mod to meet the new trend of the "mods folder" and today/tomorrow are proving to be quite full/busy days. I'm actually about to head out the door for about 2 or so hours.
     
  29. JTMC93 Apprentice Engineer

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    Well a Step in between would be handy as well though I think what a lot of people want is a reactor that is in the same format as a Refinery. But there is a way to do it via the code but I can't remember the exact lines you have to add. I thought Sage's video might show the code but I am not sure.
     
  30. Shaostoul Senior Engineer

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    It's better to make a new model. It's almost easier to make a new model and everything, instead of potentially fighting with naming convention issues. I'll see about a 'medium reactor' eventually.
     
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