Vision Engine Reaches New Graphical Heights with Glowing Emit Maps Update ID

DefianceIndustries has shared some exciting news about another amazing graphical upgrade developed by the community. Pedro and PopsiclePete have helped implement emit maps that will allow for proper glow effects in Prophecy and Secret Ops. This is a huge win for a game that's highlighted by dark spaceships adorned with eerie lights. There's also some great benefits for regular spaceships too. Coming soon to a Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack near you!
So...it isn't often we jaded MUP-pers get really excited over something, but this is one of those times. The dynamic graphical duo of Pedro and PopsiclePete have been hard at work performing dark magics and alchemy on the Open/GL patch and have given us a gift long sought after: Emit maps!

Up to this point we've had to be creative in how we do things like glowing windows and engines in the MUP. Kevin Caccamo 's awesome Wing Blender tools for Blender allow us to fake emitting surfaces by letting us use shadeless textures. But that means in things like capships we have to ensure that emitting surfaces are attached to other destroyable objects or fake it with a hidden CARGO chunk. Nephilim models were especially difficult because they aren't symmetrical. So we have to do really wacky stuff like use transparency functions on the windows and create a second "emit mesh" that lives just beneath the hull so when you view the model head -on the emitting mesh shows through the hull - and the emit mesh has to be attached as a destroyable chunk like CARGO so it can stop emitting once the ship dies. Because Vision inexplicably doesn't support destroyed base hull meshes or even texture swapping on a destroyed main object, some of this is still necessary. However for ships like corvettes and fighters, this is a huge win!

Why? a couple of reasons: 1) for some reason rounded objects like the engine on the barracuda (being one of the most obvious offenders) as well as the gun pods on the Nephilim fighters don't emit properly using the shadeless texture approach and 2) we are limited to selecting faces and creating shadeless materials for those faces - with proper emit mapping we can actually bake real glows onto the fighters and ships. Hangars can actually look like they're lit by the overhead lamps, hull around intakes can now properly render soft glows, etc. it will add a new level of visual enjoyment to the MUP.

Here are some new shots of everybody's favorite Maestro-killer - the Barracuda, using the new emit maps.


Recent Updates


Wing 4 Trailer Plan Gets the Attention of Billboard Magazine

Billboard is a trade magazine for the entertainment industry which reports on the production and marketing side of films, television shows, music and others. In 1996, that included the burgeoning CD-ROM industry. We've found an interesting story in the February 3rd, 1996 issue about the marketing plans for Wing Commander IV... (2018-10-20)

PC Games Reviews Wing Commander

German gaming magazine PC Games began covering the Wing Commander series when it launched in 1992, publishing a variety of articles and reviews. Today we've collected the latter, their detailed reviews of nine games running from Origin FX in 1993 to Wing Commander Prophecy in 1998. (2018-10-19)

DefianceIndustries Breeds Raptors

DefianceIndustries is still doing what he does best: creating and updating high quality models of clasic Wing Commander ship designs! Today he shares his Vindicator and Raptor...I started looking over some of my older stuff and found a few issues with my original Vindicator model. (2018-10-18)

Wing Commander Civics 101

The Templin Institute is a YouTube presentation with a neat gimmick: they offer documentaries about different fictional realities! This week they've premiered a new show called 'Audio Log' that presents the history of a fictional institution with a dramatic audio recording. And for the pilot episode they've chosen to talk about Wing Commander's Terran Confederation! (2018-10-17)

Get Ready, Get Net

The American release of Wing Commander IV for the Playstation included two manuals: a 'Battle Book' which includes detailed controls for the flying portion of the game and a 'New Officer's Handbook' which shows new players how to navigate the game and lists specifications for several flyable ships (the European releases of the game had a single combined manual.) For today's update, we're looking at the cover of the latter booklet which is a little more interesting than it might seem!The single most fascinating aspect of the New Officer's Handbook is that it introduces a small amount of lore in the form of the 'login text' which shows a new officer (not Blair as they are apparently an Ensign) logging into a Terran Confederation computer system. (2018-10-16)

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Current Poll

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Site Staff