Lighting nacelles and windows

Discussions of various Star Trek ships and mods for Homeworld

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Postby star blazers fan » Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:32 am

I've been playing around with some federation ships and while I can use HWSE to brighten the textures of the ships I can't seem to be able to make just the nacelles and windows standout like in SOA. How did you guys do that?
A tutorial would be great not just for me but for all us fans out there in trek land. :D
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Postby Pierce 2: The Sequel » Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:00 am

Well, basically, you have to retexture things so that anything you want self-illuminated is a completely separte texture from anything that you don't want self-illuminated... that will only take a couple of years' worth of training on a 3D program... ;)

This will be incredibly difficult, BTW, with the SFC ships you typically like to play with, SBF... the reason the windows show up so well on those is because they have illumination maps, which HW2 supports (although in a different way than SFC) but HW1 does not...

[size="1"][ 09. December 2004, 03:02 AM: Message edited by: Pierce 2: The Sequel ][/size]
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Postby TheStressPuppy » Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:28 am

Homeworld/Cat doesnt support illumination mapping at all. How we do it is we max out the diffuse, specular, and ambient on the model parts we want to glow themselves. which means in the case of warp glows, and deflectors they have to be meshed, and textured separately from the rest of the model. thats the easiest method, and its how relic did thier models

We cant duplicate the lighted windows on trek ships. we tried various methods but all have brought all our best machines to thier knees. 1 of 2 methods can be done but both are time consuming, and very ineffecient memory wise.

1st method is to mesh each lit window individually. no need to say that it will jack your poly counts up to astronomical levels, so thats out of the question. (its been tried before)

2nd method is to add polys under your mesh, max out their ambient diffuse, spec, then alpha layer your texture so the windows are transparent. this has been tried too with very little success. main problem is the alpha layers take up too much texture memory causing the infamous texture corruption, along with adding polys to your model. Plus some video cards have problems with HW's openGL, and the alpha layers wont work with those cards.

what some have done was darken their textures slightly, and used pure white on the windows. while its not the same as a having a lit window, its prolly the best you can do with the HW engine.
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Postby star blazers fan » Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:51 am

O.K. then, so what you are telling me is that all of the star trek ships in the game, including soa and the wounded, have dark textures for the body and really light textures for the nacelles and deflector dishes. Then you just jack up the ambient and difuse so they stand out?
What does Cpt. Pierce think on this subject since he just released in "the wounded" some new ships and some bright nacelles?
Just for the heck of it I will add an alpha layer on a 512 x 512 lif and see what happens. I will post the results if you like?
sfb

[size="1"][ 16. December 2004, 03:02 AM: Message edited by: star blazers fan ][/size]
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Postby Pierce 2: The Sequel » Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:08 am

Nacelle glows are a separate issue from windows. The ships that have nacelle glows do them in this fashion: the part that glows has to be an entirely separate texture. You can then use the Materials tab in HWSE to "self-illuminate" that ENTIRE texture. This technique obviously doesn't work for windows, because to make them all separate areas of the ship, taking separate textures, leads to the polycount problem that Stress alluded to.
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