Misc Artwork for the Flight Demo

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Hey, guys! So, here's what's going on. We've got a pretty in-depth list of stuff we need to do for the flight demo. I have mentioned previously that I was going to move on to background art, and menu items. These have both been done ( mostly, still have the main menu background left), but there's not really anything interesting to show. Since that's the case, we've moved on to the next bits that need doing.
So firstly, we've come up with a basic display for the nav map. The colors, orientation and layout are not final. This is more to show the relevent information - in the final, most all of these will draw directly from the WC1 nav map.

Secondly, one of the major things on that list is that all the ships need to have another once-over. Now that we have the stations that we're happy with we need to bring all the other ships and weapons up to that level. I've attached the previews of the Scimitar, Tarsus, and Valiant.

The Valiant isn't going to be in the demo at this time, but I did need to nail the rusted, old, surplus look that the landriech fighters and ships had. If you look back through the project's history, these ships are the ones I've had the most trouble getting right. We pretty much desperately need to nail this look, before we can move on. Here's an old example - back when we were stupidly trying to make the Landriech a "Mini Confederation". I like the new stuff far, far more.
I'm not completely happy or finished with them, so any and all feedback would be appreciated greatly.
Although these ship models look less "nice" than their counterparts from wallpaper pictures once to be found on www.hedfiles.net it gives me very good feeling about it. It's great to know, that the demo is firmly closing to its release date, thanks to your effort and time spent on the project!

As for yet there's not much I can say/suggest concerning the shown models -- only that it would be fine, if any model shown would have three pics: one from the straight front, on from upper side -- like on tar06.jpg -- and one from bottom side like on tar05.jpg. I.e. I miss Valiant's front view picture.

Thanks anyway and give us more art as work continuest -- those already posted were great and really felt like actualWC Pioneer actual game :).
You mean these?
I'm not sure if you can see the difference, but these new textures are much, much, much improved from the ones used in those loading screens.
As a better example - the textures on this model:
were the ones used on that tarsus in the first loading screen. Compare that to:
and you can see the improvement.
And make no mistake, the demo is still a long ways off. We're attempting to get as much of the artwork required for it finished as possible - but that's really the only aspect that we can speed up. Unless I drive to Kansas and kidnap Joel.....Nah.
I'm going to formally say it - I will will most likely not have a release for you by Christmas. It's going to take a while. Just settle in, and enjoy the ride.
Last edited by a moderator:
Hmmm, looks great!

I suspect the reason why Plasteel likes the loading screens better is because you aren't using any AA in the new screenshots.
From what I remember of old and used aircraft at the airports, the way you tell something is not in its prime is by the black carbon streaks you see at the points that cause the most friction.

I would say, for example, due to the low maintinence of cap ships, the areas near the back blast of the engines would be far more carbon scorched, especially the engine blast shields. Also, due to a lack of proper maintinence facilities, the rare off color metal plate on the hull would signify that work had been done on the craft, but the end goal was functionality, not asthetics.

There are 4 things that separate backwaters from hubs.

- Appearance - Backwater places tend to let things collect dust, build up dirt, and generally not care if something isn't painted up nice and in tangent with the color theme of everything around it
- Disrepair/Upkeep - If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Eroded edges, dents, haphazardly patched hull breeches, eh, as long as I can hit it with a hammer and it doesn't fall apart, it'll fly.
- Functionality - Do all of those engines work? How about those turrets and guns?
- Communication - Yes, when someone messeges the craft, a backwater man will typically hate life and/or generally not give a crap, and let you know about it. That and the communication barrier might impair the exchange of information (ie static).

It's not just about the paint job, so to speak, other things we might be observing are going to tell us if what we're looking at is in the middle of bustling activity, or way out and behind the times.
So, A question - Are these shots a bit too dark? I see that the frontpage thumbnails have been brightened up considerably. If it's a problem, just let me know, and I'll start brightening them up on my end. As for the news, I've pretty much finished up the Tarsus, nothing much changed from the one I posted above - I just got rid of some of the little red lights. I'm still working on the Scimitar - there's a bunch of little details that look like they're missing. After those, I'll be working on the Bandit Pirate fighter - getting it as beat up as possible.
Might I make a suggestion? Will the pirate fighters have special paint jobs for each group? It would be neat to see pirate fighters with wild paint jobs.

Beside that, these are truely beautiful ships. The Scimitar has never looked better!
Fatcat: Yes, we already have special paintjobs for the pirate fighters - although we don't know how much variation there will be amongst the fighters. There will at least be some.
That's pretty much where I'm going to leave the Scimitar. I got rid of the stupid red glowie things on the Acceleration absorbers (I'm pretty sure they have no basis in the actual games, and looked like they were from a toaster!) and added a bit more detail and polish overall. I like how it looks, and I'm moving on to the Pirate fighter.
Okay - and now here's where I got with the Pirate fighter. The only major changes mesh-wise, are the slightly longer engine, and I've moved the guns inward from the pods on the wings to be nestled just under and behind the cockpit. I figure this looks much less awkward and unbalanced, and will make dodging the fire much more difficult.
I know you guys would love to submit a few ideas for a pirate color scheme - here's your chance!
Here's a template:
Don't go too absurd, but any and all paintovers will be appreciated. We're only going to use 3 for the flight demo, so we'll choose them randomly.
Here it is with a quickly-thrown-together firery texture!


  • pir01.jpg
    63.9 KB · Views: 435
  • pir02.jpg
    74.7 KB · Views: 399
  • pir03.jpg
    67.5 KB · Views: 354
  • pir04.jpg
    71 KB · Views: 373
  • pir05.jpg
    63.3 KB · Views: 341
Gotta say guys. I hope Pioneer plays as great as it looks, because it looks totally gorgeous. I love the detail on the ships and the lightening and everything. Keep up the good work :D

As a non-moddler and a non-programmer that knows practically nothing about either. Is the detail level down to high poly models and textures? Or does the engine have something to do with it as well? I just cant understand how they looks so great! :D
I'd like to see some space camoflage -- not necessarily here, but somewhere, someday. A black fighter with geometric stars painted all over it, or a ship with red and pink swatches all over it for hiding in a nebula. Basically, port various WW2 environmental camoflage schemes into logical space equivalents -- the WC equivalent of blue Hellcats or spotted dotted Focke Wulfs.
Well that would only make sense with the nebula unless you have some sort of anti-sensors technology.

Nebulas in themselves are "anti-sensor", in a manner of speaking. In WC3, one of the mission briefs in the Caliban series mentions that nebulas mess with sensors, IIRC.
I have wondered the same myself... Why don't they ever pain space fighter in a way that would make them harder to spot visually? We know that at least one WC weapon is based on Image Recognition. :)
And what of the identity of those sleek pirate ships? Have you come up with some ideas to create new insignia's for each pirate clan? Depending on how many clans/party you want to include.
Well that would only make sense with the nebula unless you have some sort of anti-sensors technology.

There's certainly a precedence in the Wing Commander universe -- there's fighters with "ground camo" and "stealth camo" in the novels... and then there must be a reason things like WC2's Broadswords are painted green.
So, A question - Are these shots a bit too dark? I see that the frontpage thumbnails have been brightened up considerably. If it's a problem, just let me know, and I'll start brightening them up on my end.

Yeah, some of them were too dark. I just brightened the thumbnails, because those were especially hard to see.
What I was referring to was that you'd still be picked up by sensors unless you were in a nebula or you had some way to block sensors.