Rapier Redux

Chernikov

Spaceman
Looking great. Maybe give the top wings some "shoulders" to round out the bulky/aggressive Raptor feel?

Also, what program/technique are you using? I've never ended with anything near this but I've primarily stuck with vertex modeling keeping it in one contiguous wireframe... had some decent results with other methods but always hit something that wound up being a fatal flaw later into the project. Nothing on this scale, regardless.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Chernikov, I use Modo for modeling. It is fairly affordable and the free trial lasts a while so you can get a feel for it. Plus there are a million great, free video tutorials out there for it. It does a lot of modeling things very well, without getting into too great of detail, and also does 3d painting and texturing very easily. It's very intuitive and "stream of conciousness" based, very easy to learn.

It's not so great at animations, but I use another program for that.

I'll try and do some WIP images and take you guys through the process with the Raptor, if you're interested.

Right now, I'm just finalizing the shape. Texturing is the next step.
 

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Klavs81

Rear Admiral
And because you asked for it, the Rapier I, not going to use it, but I gave it a shot! I just like the lines of the II a lot better. To say nothing of the CF version from the movie *shudder*

There's a great CG shot of a Rapier I out there somewhere that was conceptual art for the moviefilm.
 

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Death Angel

Rear Admiral
Thanks for showing us the Rapier I - the engines look massive on this shot. But I assume they are the same size as on the Rapier II, right?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I love your work. But is there a reason, why you modeled the Rapier more as an Rapier II? You might have said that, but I just can't find the posting.
Klavs mentioned that the Rapier needed to be suitable for atmospheric flight - the original design with the down winglets would not be very stable aerodynamically. We can also assume that the WC1 Rapier was the prototype and we don't know how long it was before transitioning to how the WC2 spaceframe looked.
Just to clarify, both Rapiers in WC1 and WC2 are the Rapier II. We see the YF-44 prototype in the Gimle System and the full F-44A when Black Lion Squadron gets up to speed. By WC2, we fly the F-44G. The Rapier from the WC Movie is the CF-117 Rapier (I).
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
So THAT's how it worked, huh? I wondered about that. Good stuff, thanks.

Anyway, the Rapier will probably maintain her WC2/SWC look for now, I may be brave enough to try a WC1 Rapier in the future, but I think I'm retconning in my own little universe because I really like the WC2/SWC look!
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Panel Lines! Modo has the wonderful feature of 3D Painting, which allows me to very quickly add panel lines across complex surfaces as I rotate and view the model in 3D Space. Just like painting a real model, without the thumbprints!

Howard has previously covered the UV unwrapping process, but you can see how entire raptor is textured from a single image (8192X8192 allows for just about the right level of detail) There's a lot of wasted space on the UV Map, partially because I'm lazy, and partially because I wanted to come back in and include the Cockpit Texture maps in the same image, and they'll need some space to do that.

This is just a rough workup of where I want the panel lines to be. I will go back in in Photoshop later, which allows for precise placing of rivets, screws and other tiny details.
 

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Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
How do you handle precision detail on the UV maps? I was working on some 1024x1024s, and found that modo's inability to go past five decimal points on the offset was really a killer and meant a lot of wasted space and creative usage of overlapping (on something 8^2 times larger that'd be even worse). Am I missing something here?
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Bob, I've found that to be pretty frustrating also, so I do the initial skin and panel line paint job in a much larger texture, then shrink it down in Photoshop to a more manageable size. Most of the jaggies go away, and the texture looks a lot sharper.

I understand the newest version of Modo that just came out handles things a lot better, but so far I haven't invested in it.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Are you going to make the panel lines less heavy in photoshop? It looks fine from the front and lower views, but in that last image they look really heavy... kinda loses that sleek feeling...
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Not much progress, but the Raptors look pretty nasty when carrying Torpedos! I just love it when jets have a ton of ordanance hanging off the wings.

Still have a lot of weathering, and yes, reducing panel lines to do, but here's a quick pic.
 

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ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Just to clarify, both Rapiers in WC1 and WC2 are the Rapier II. We see the YF-44 prototype in the Gimle System and the full F-44A when Black Lion Squadron gets up to speed. By WC2, we fly the F-44G. The Rapier from the WC Movie is the CF-117 Rapier (I).
So THAT's how it worked, huh? I wondered about that. Good stuff, thanks.

Anyway, the Rapier will probably maintain her WC2/SWC look for now, I may be brave enough to try a WC1 Rapier in the future, but I think I'm retconning in my own little universe because I really like the WC2/SWC look!
Speaking of the SWC look, the Rapier Cavalier in WC Arena is formally the F-44X Rapier II. :) (Star Soldier, page 53)

And the models are looking great!
 

=Shadow=

Rear Admiral
Awesome!

If you don't mind me asking, could you make wallpapers like the Rapier one you made a while ago, but starring the new fighters? :)
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Klavs81 - these are beautiful, wish I had half the talent you do. Couldn't decide if the Hornet was my favourite or the Rapier, but this Raptor pips them both. Have you considered converting them for use within the vision engine? If these would fly and fight they'd be amongst the best looking working fighters ever.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
If not the vision engine then FSO (Freespace Open)... it handles more detail, supports normal maps etc. etc.
 

Klavs81

Rear Admiral
Thanks a lot you guys, I will be building some good desktop pics for you when time permits!

As for the various game engines out there, they're all great, but I'm going to keep my grubby mits on these for a while, before I decide on any kind of release. Who knows what the future will bring?

Here's a quick update on the Raptor, she's a lot dirtier now!
 

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