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Author Topic: PG's skinning tips  (Read 231 times)

Offline Panther_Gunn

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PG's skinning tips
« on: July 04, 2019, 06:05:08 AM »
..... or, rather, my solicitation for assistance to help my poor skinning attempts to look more like they do in my head.

So, way back when, I had plenty of time on my hands, and I took a stab at a skin.  I eventually released it, and embarked on a variation on the same skin, but hit a roadblock in my vision, and the computer I had been working on was stolen before I could finish & release it.  Now, over a decade later, the minion has decided that daleks are cool, thanks to the Lego Batman movie.  He's insisted on watching the Peter Cushing Dr. Who movies multiple times, and given his interest, I decided to finally dive back in & try to finish my project of multiple color skins for the old dalek mesh.  And then I took another look at what I had actually released.....

ye gods, I can't believe my perfectionist tendencies put that out to the public with that many easily fixable things left undone.  My only thought is that I just wanted to call it done & get it out before it drove me nuts.  So, obviously I had to fix all these things so I had a solid base to move forward from.  And then I need to fix that thing.  And that one there.  And that one.  And I can make this part look better by doing this.  And I should be able to make that part work by doing this other thing....etc.

Fastforward four months, and I'm finally at a similar point as I was for that second skin - the gun.  This has given me more angst and heartburn than any other part of the skin (and that's saying a lot).  This is what it's supposed to look like:  http://www.projectdalek.co.uk/mainsite/images/autopsy/autopsy_gun03.jpg

This is what I originally released:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The obvious problem is how to represent the empty space on a solid, movable object.  I could have just left it like this and just called it good, but that goes back to the original problem -- on some of the color schemes the gun is silver, but on at least as many, it's black.  I doubt the mesh has a reflec or glow layer enabled, and portraying black on black is not something in my skillset.

Then I attempted to come up with something that worked better, and could theoretically be able to work in black also.  This is what I ended up with:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I am ...... unconvinced, to say the least.  I definitely do not feel like I've captured the perspective on the diagonal ones, but I'm not sure how to proceed, or if it's just something that's beyond my meager skills.  I also don't feel like I've properly evoked a tubular shape behind the "flanges", but again I'm not sure how to fix it.

So, this is my tale of woe.  I would appreciate any tips, hints, or input, but try to keep it simple for my simple skills.  I can release it with a cleaned up version of the plain black & silver version, if I can't make the newer version work, but it's obviously not my preference.
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Offline daglob

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 03:45:07 PM »
I don't know if adding a bump map would help, but it might. Tommy has a tutorial on his site, and I keep meaning to try and try it. The Nvidia plug in that will save files in .dds in Photoshop will generate something that will do as a bump map.

Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 08:41:49 PM »
It looks like you may also want to make sure that the Mesh is Alpha Enabled and has the Stencil Mask (I think) set up as well. If you can tell me where you got the Mesh from, or send it my way, I would be glad to check it out for you.

Offline spydermann93

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 09:13:49 PM »
Yeah, giving it an AlphaProperty in NifSkope should do the trick.

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2019, 03:27:21 PM »
It's Loopy Wolf's old dalek mesh.  Since his site has been down for quite a while, and I'm not sure if it's been hosted anywhere else, I can just send it to you so you don't have to try to dig it out if you have it somewhere.  I haven't really worked with alphas before, so that should be interesting.
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2019, 08:19:38 PM »
I just checked, Loopy Wolf is not on NifSkope Permissions List, so I don't feel right messing with his Meshes.

However, Detourne_Me has a pretty good Dalek that you might want to check out.

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/zrcb90e5nk6cb/Blender_Imports#zrcb90e5nk6cb

Look in the "Other" Section, and if you don't see it, just refresh your screen.

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2019, 11:32:31 PM »
It did occur to me at some point after I had replied that Loopy disappeared before we started gathering permission in an organized fashion, but I didn't think to check the list.  No worries, I wouldn't expect you to make any changes to anything that wasn't on the list.

I had looked at DM's mesh before I started back down this road, and unfortunately for me it looks like his mesh is for  :ffvstr:, and I'm currently only set up to run  :ff:.
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Offline Tomato

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2019, 12:06:03 AM »
The mesh is for  :ff: , the issue is the keyframes being  :ffvstr: only.

Offline daglob

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 12:30:04 AM »
I'm also trying to use Blender and Nifscope  to scope it to a FF1 mesh. I'm thinking since it is an import anyway, I might be able to do that.


Later:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/yyxjix3h26yp2g4/dalek_2.zip/file

I don't know if it will work or not; I can't load the first game at present to try it out, and the keyframes are limited. I added a weapon point, and don't know if it works either. If it doesn't, then it should still be a FF1 compatible mesh, and someone better than I may be able to fix it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 04:09:52 AM by daglob »

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 12:40:03 AM »
Thanks for converting that mesh, daglob.  I got a chance to try it in the game today, and it shows up, no texture display issues.  The mesh appears to be about human size, but it seems to take up space 2-4 times it's size (targeting things next to them with the mouse was tricky, stun stars circle at twice the height above it's head, melee attacks against it could be done at twice the distance away, etc).  If the keyframes had any animations at all I couldn't tell, either in game or in ctool (although, daleks don't need much, maybe just something when they get ko'd).

Unfortunately for me, I was looking for the more classic look, and this mesh, as sweet as it is, is from the new series & look.  I think I'll end up just releasing the updated silver one with a cleaned up version of the silver & black gun.

Thanks for the interest, y'all.  If anyone has any other suggestions or good ideas, feel free to post 'em.  Given the speed at which I work, there's probably plenty of time before I finish.
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Offline daglob

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 12:44:18 AM »
That's okay; it was an experiment. I'm glad it worked as well as it did.

Maybe if we can find an old one...

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2019, 09:44:37 PM »
.... well, booger.

I finished the skin the best I could, and decided to make sure it worked properly in-game before packaging it up & posting it.  I don't think I ever created a character with the mesh before.  It's huge, twice the size it should be.  If I'd known that I wouldn't have bothered.  Unless someone has a normal-sized mesh that Loopy made, I'd say this ends my brief foray into skinning.  And all the other Dalek plans I had.  yay me.
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Offline daglob

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2019, 01:54:06 AM »
Loopy did two Daleks. Give me a minute...

Offline daglob

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2019, 02:10:39 AM »
http://www.mediafire.com/folder/zocom11ljyx73/For%20Panther%20Gun

The "smaller Dalek" is in this folder. It is supposed to be the equivalent of 1.5 meters tall. I also put v2 of that previous scope in there. I can't run it in game; would you check to see if I fixed the bounding box?

Offline Panther_Gunn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2019, 11:59:51 PM »
daglob to the rescue, once again!  The smaller version is indeed the one I needed.  The keyframes that came with it, however, don't work so well.  The keframes (or, keyframe, since there's only one) that came with the one I had works better; the head pops off quite a bit higher, and takes longer to hit the ground, but it is what it is.  I swear I originally had the right sized one, but I don't remember if I hadn't properly backed it up anywhere and had to re-find it, or if what I had saved was the wrong one.  Regardless, it's been packaged up & posted.



I also took the opportunity to check out the updated version of the new mesh -- it's still acting like it's bigger than it should be.
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Offline Cyber Burn

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Re: PG's skinning tips
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2019, 04:21:33 PM »
Looks great PG!  :thumbup: