Defiance's Eyecandy Thread

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Apologies, Defiance, but while I see a lot of good effort has gone into that Orca, and while I'm very happy indeed to see someone finally try modelling the Nephilim ships... I think this attempt is not looking good at all.

It seems to me that you've taken what, in WCP, was a technological restriction, and made it into a design feature. The poly limits in WCP weren't exactly generous, and reducing a circular shape to seven faces was pretty much necessary in the game. It certainly wasn't intended, however - any time you see the high-poly Nephilim models show up in cutscenes, they're much more well-rounded. Furthermore, the ships in the game are clearly textured in such a way as to mask the angles, rather than highlight them. Your model, on the other hand, takes that heptagon concept as a design feature, and your model is clearly designed to emphasise the angles rather than conceal them. You actually have gaps between the "plates" on the hull to further emphasise these edges.

Equally, when we see WCP's cutscene models, you can see (like in the Hydra image posted above) that superstructures generally flow smoothly out of the hull as if growing out of it, while in your case, the superstructures (especially the forward "arms") give the impression of being glued on top.

The outcome, while looking nice and polished, simply doesn't fit in with what we know of the Nephilim. While the game had us constantly asking the question "wait, do they build these things... or grow them?", your model unequivocally tells us that these ships are indeed built rather than grown, and merely have been given a somewhat organic look.

I would suggest you go back to WCP, particularly the DVD edition, and just watch through all the videos that show us high-poly Nephilim models. And remember, where WCP was limited to about 1500 polys for the entire capship, you could easily have ten times as many, and still be well under any restrictions imposed by any game that you might want to pop this into.

But, this needs to be repeated again - it is great that you're trying the Nephilim ships! I don't recall anybody else doing that before.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
@Quarto Well, they can't all be winners I suppose. However I have to respectfully disagree on a few points. Firstly, my impression of Neph ships is that they are partially grown but are also partly mechanical. I seem to recall them being described multiple times as bio-mechanical; my thought is that they are grown into a constructed shell of sorts.

All the concept art has similar plating especially the Orca; and the Barracuda concept is nothing but angles - although the in game model of it looked kind of like something you find in a dog park. :) Though the larger the ship the less angular and plated it becomes.

Orca1.jpg

Secondly - and only because it made me chuckle a bit. the comment about the light plasma guns (or arms) as being glued on, the first model actually had them modeled as separate objects and were then grafted back onto the hull model, wherein this version they were actually extruded from the base mesh itself. Though the arms on the concept drawing are much skinnier than the in-game variants on the model which is what I was sort of going for.

I do appreciate the feedback and to be fair, it came out a bit more angular than I would've preferred but hey, that's why I'm doing this; I like constructive criticism and the encouragement. I'll see about taking another stab at it with a base-64 N-gon and see what that comes up with. Although my guess is that after subsurfing the model to smooth the edges the polycount will skyrocket - and I'm not certain that a 15 year old engine like Fs2 Open could handle a 150K+ poly ship without serious frame rate issues, especially on lower-end systems; not to mention a mission with two in the same scene. I could be wrong though, the docs on the Hardlight Wiki give a max poly count for a ship like an Orca at 14 - 18K but it could be out of date.

Fighters/Bombers - Less than 6000 Polygons
Cruisers/Freighters - 6000-12000 Polygons
Corvettes - 14000-18000 Polygons
Destroyers - 20000-24000 Polygons
Juggernauts - 24000 Polygons upwards

I have the Prophecy DVD version so I'll go back and look but I don't recall there being an rendered version of the Orca anywhere. Kraken and Hydra certainly, even in the "Midway charges the alien fleet" scene, I think it was just a couple of hydras but I could be mistaken.
 
It seems like the Nephilim places emphasis on forward mounted guns judging by that render and seeing in many aspects they are more advanced than Confed I imagine them to do serious damage more so than the anti-matter cannons found in WC2-4. Shame that we never saw capital ship to capital ship combat except for a couple missions in Secret Ops and even then it was pretty lame. Love to see those babies in action though.

Oh and defiance sorry about drafting you mate, hopefully we can see your nephilim babies do some work on confed soon.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Oh and defiance sorry about drafting you mate, hopefully we can see your nephilim babies do some work on confed soon.
No need to apologize, I'm enjoying it. :)

Also as to the Neph emphasis on large pointy guns. I was toying with the idea of using the beam weapon engine in FS for Nephilim cap ship combat rather than using the standard "energy bolt" guns that Confed would use. It's a bit of a departure, since the times we see the Nephilim fire the ship killer gun it's a giant green plasma blob. But the smaller guns on the Orca and Hydra might well fire a beam rather than a bolt. Would also illustrate some of the technological differences.
 
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Has there any been any size estimates on the Nephilim ships? From Secret Ops we know the Plunkett which is cruiser by the time of prophecy is 1,200 metres. The murphy size is unknown but it is roughly the same size as the Orca and I believe the Hydra is bigger if not the same size as the plunkett. The Tiamat from prophecy seems to require a single massive wormhole to jump out and that wormhole is big, if I would have to guess way bigger than the Kilrathi dreadnought but I am so sure. The one thing that disappoints me is that Wing Commander never continued past Secret Ops so we never what else jump out of the wormholes, so thats an avenue of thought that could be followed. If I recall correctly the forces in Prophecy were just a scouting force so I imagine even more terrible things that could be fought.

On Confed I believe we barely saw a glimpse of the ship classes in Prophecy and if the Plunkett which dwarfs many pre-WC5 ships is considered a cruiser, imagine what a confed dreadnought would look like. Also wondering if confed would move away from the flowing box design for the carriers in that time.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Most of the WCP ship sizes are known unofficially from the dev documentation files. These files are not published material, so theoretically somebody in the future could choose to revise these numbers, but... yeah, seriously, that's not gonna happen.

Here's a link to an online version of the document listing all the Nephilim fighter and capship data:
https://www.wcnews.com/articles/shipsalien.shtml

...And here's just the actual sizes, taken from this thread:
Code:
F-110A Wasp class Interceptor - 11.66 meters
F-106 Piranha class Scout Fighter - 12.5 meters
F/A-105 Tigershark class Multi-Role Fighter - 13.66 meters
F-108 Panther class Space Superiority Fighter (Class A) - 15.33 meters
F-109 Vampire class Space Superiority Fighter (Class B) - 18.33 meters
VF-2 Squid class Interceptor - 21/17 meters
CF-3fd Remora class Interceptor - 21 meters
SK-3a Lamprey class Shield Killer - 21 meters
CF-1a Stingray class Interceptor/Cap Ship Interdiction - 24 meters
CF-2b Skate class Interceptor/Anti-Bomber - 24 meters
CF-2t Skate class Interceptor/Torpedo Launcher - 24 meters
CF-2m Skate class Interceptor/Miner - 24 meters
FA-6a Moray class Fighter - 24 meters
SF-8a Manta class Heavy Fighter - 26 meters
SF-9a Devil Ray class Space Superiority Fighter - 26 meters
TB-81 Shrike class Torpedo Bomber (Class B) - 28 meters
KF-100 Dralthi class Fighter - 31 meters
F-103 Excalibur class Heavy Fighter/Low-Altitude Atmospheric Fighter - 32 meters
SR-51 Seahawk class AEW/AWACS - 33.33m
F-66 Thunderbolt VII class Heavy Fighter - 34 meters
CF-3fd Ray Node Cluster class Interceptor Cluster - 34 meters
Vaktoth class Heavy Fighter - 36 meters
TB-80 Devestator class Torpedo Bomber (Class A) - 36 meters
SAR-23 Condor class Rescue/Refuel/Shuttle - 48 meters
Hercules class Marline LC/Shuttle - 65 meters
Corvette - 110 meters
FF-4a class Barracuda - 130 meters
T-1 Triton class Transport - 230 meters
C-9 Pelican class Transport - 490 meters
Murphy class Destroyer - 589 meters
DD-4 Orca class Destroyer - 600 meters
CA-2 Hydra/Marlin class Cruiser - 750 meters
Hades class Quick Strike Cruiser - 750 meters
CV-5 Leviathan class Carrier - 960 meters
SSK-1 Kraken class Cap Ship Killer - 1,200 meters
Plunkett class Heavy Artillery Cruiser - 1,200 meters
Vesuvius class Heavy Carrier - 1,600 meters
Midway class Heavy Carrier - 1,830 meters
DN-6 Tiamat class Dreadnought - 3,200 metres
The one thing I would ignore from this data are the code designations of the Nephilim ships. Those are really just silly, and there's no reason ever to invoke them.
 
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Iceblade

Admiral
Are the Excalibur and T-bolt models we see in SO really that much larger than the WCP fighters? They seemed rather small to me...then again the bombers don't feel that much larger than the fighters even though they are twice the length.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
No need to apologize, I'm enjoying it. :)

Also as to the Neph emphasis on large pointy guns. I was toying with the idea of using the beam weapon engine in FS for Nephilim cap ship combat rather than using the standard "energy bolt" guns that Confed would use. It's a bit of a departure, since the times we see the Nephilim fire the ship killer gun it's a giant green plasma blob. But the smaller guns on the Orca and Hydra might well fire a beam rather than a bolt. Would also illustrate some of the technological differences.
Well, that could also be set up in the WC mod, for example.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Reposting some of the final renders of the Vindicator. Of all the UBW ships, this one is my favorite. The Banshee is a close second, but the Vindicator's lines are vaguely reminiscent of an F-4 Phantom, big, chunky, and in the hands of the right pilot, downright deadly.

Vindicator_Final_04.png Vindicator_Final_05.png Vindicator_Final_07.png
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Very nice indeed! The Vindicator is one of my favourites also. It's ironic that we didn't have it in Unknown Enemy, not even just playable in the simulator. I don't really remember if there was even any reason for this, but it's certainly unfortunate.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Indeed.... It's not like there was an issue with reusing wc 4 models either since both the banshee and avenger are used.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Heh, and now I'll have to think about how to balance it. This thing has almost as many torpedoes as a Longbow. The Kilrathi would really not like it coming...
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Indeed.... It's not like there was an issue with reusing wc 4 models either since both the banshee and avenger are used.
That's correct. I think it's because of the random way that we added ships. Early on in the new version of UE (remember, there was a radically different UE back in 1999), we decided that the core of fighters would be the Scimitar, and that there'd really be very little else. We later added the Epee because it was cool, and the Banshee... well, I don't know why. The Avenger got added because we realised we need some kind of bomber/shuttle for the search & rescue sequence. Then the Ferret came in because by that point, Eder had started Standoff and made an awesome Ferret. And the Bearcat was added... probably because we wanted it visible in the winning endgame. So, you can see that there was never really any conscious choice to re-create the Border Worlds arsenal, and there was no real structure or thought to the way ships were being added. I suppose initially one thing that may have guided us towards the Scimitar was the fact that the WC4 ships had already been converted into WCP/SO, and it didn't feel like adding them would bring anything new to the table. It's hard to say, after fifteen years (!).
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Heh, and now I'll have to think about how to balance it. This thing has almost as many torpedoes as a Longbow. The Kilrathi would really not like it coming...
Maybe make the torpedo carrying variant an (expensive) upgrade? Make the stock Vin a good medium fighter and then the player can opt to buy a strike package version if they want. Alternatively you could make the Vin an early tech-tree bomber and the Avenger would be a later ship? Just my two cents.
 
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