Strike Suit Zero
 
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aldo_14 May 21, 2013 @ 3:25pm
Polygon count guide for ship models?
I'm going to be travelling very soon on a laptop with 3ds max but no Steam / XedMod. Meaning that I won't be able to get the editor working in time to look at the game assets themselves.

That given, I'd like to do a little modelling while I have free time - is there a rough guide available as to the general polygon count (and, I suppose, texture resolution) of ship models, particularly fighters?
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Medivh May 21, 2013 @ 5:05pm 
I'd also like to know this.
Bside 1 May 22, 2013 @ 3:37am 
Hi there.

Small ships such as fighters/bombers are very simple. You will want to create a base mesh and set of LOD (Level of detail) meshes which are rendered at further distances from the player camera. If it's a playable ship then it gets more polys and more texture memory than a non-playable ship purely because they will be closer to the camera most of the time.

Strikesuits = 15k Triangles. (I would recommend this kind of count for any playable ship).
Non-playable small ship = ~3k Triangles. (Lower with LODs)

Playable ships in SSZ get 3 x 1024x1024 maps. (Colour/normal/specular)
Non-playable ships get less as small ships tend to zoom past very quickly and are rarely large on screen. Colour and normal maps are 512 x 512 and spec gets a 256 x 256. If it's very small like a drone that would be reduced to 256 colour/normal and 128 spec.

Capital ships are a bit more complex as they have more destruction going on. There are four things to think about when budgeting polys for a capital ship. The base mesh cost, the LODs, the damaged sections and the wreck. Some parts of the capital ships have wrecked meshes that replace the undamaged meshes when a weak point is taken out. As you can see these push up the cost quite a lot and are so are also given LODs.

Here are some example numbers:

Colonial Frigate:

Base Mesh = 25k Triangles.
Base Mesh Fully Damaged = 45k Triangles (All weak points taken out, gets lower with LODs)
Base Mesh Fully Wrecked = 55k Triangles (Gets lower with LODs)
LOD0 = 25k Triangles. (Undamaged)
LOD1 = 15.5k Triangles. (Undamaged)
LOD2 = 6.5k Triangles (Undamaged)

Texturing over 1 kilometer of in game space (as many capital ships require) on a single map does not yield an acceptable resolution with textures of the sizes we can afford to use. For this reason we use a number of tileable materials to texture the capital ships. For the Colonial ships we use the following materials:

Over Panels = 3 x 2048 x 1024 maps and 1 x 512 x 512 (colour/normal/spec and decal)
Over Panels Coloured = 3 x 2048 x 1024 maps (colour/normal/spec)
Under Panels = 3 x 2048 x 1024 maps (colour/normal/spec)
Energy Colour = 1 x 4x4 map (colour)

In addition to the these materials we also have a wreck material which uses 3 x 512 x 512 maps (colour/normal/spec).

Hope that helps!

Dan

aldo_14 May 22, 2013 @ 4:26am 
That's brilliant, thanks. Are there any sample source models available for the more complicated ships, to understand any sub-object hierarchy within the model (i.e. as you'd need to setup in a max scene before exporting) itself?

Apologies if this is already covered in XedMod content; I've not been able to get that up and running yet.
Bside 1 May 22, 2013 @ 9:35am 
We actually used Maya to make the majority of the art in SSZ (All of it was exported from Maya). It's a fairly straight forward process. Here's how it works:

1. Design your ship. (Consider where will be destructible, the engines for example).
2. Build and texture the healthy ship.
3. From your healthy ship separate the sections that will be mesh swapped for beat up meshes (In our example of the engines I would separate the engines from the main hull).
4. Duplicate the destructible component (the engine) and use it as a guide for building your damaged version.
5. LOD both the healthy and damaged component. (We create LOD groups in Maya and set the distances at which meshes swap on the groups).
6. Create a separate collision mesh quite closely enveloping each destructible component as well as one for the rest of the ship (make sure not to overlap between the two).
7. Export the collision.
8. Export all the meshes.
Apex 3 May 22, 2013 @ 9:58am 
Originally posted by aldo_14:
That's brilliant, thanks. Are there any sample source models available for the more complicated ships, to understand any sub-object hierarchy within the model (i.e. as you'd need to setup in a max scene before exporting) itself?

Apologies if this is already covered in XedMod content; I've not been able to get that up and running yet.

Hi aldo_14

What are you aiming to achieve? Are you intending to model some fighters or capital ships as well?

Capital ships can be a little tricky to set up, I will need to write a guide for that but I will write it sooner rather than later if this is your intention.

Remember there is the wiki: http://www.bornreadygames.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

If there is anything unclear or missing just ask and we will update it.
ayub May 24, 2013 @ 7:08am 
interessante
Gamma38 May 30, 2013 @ 6:14am 
Thank you for posting this information. This will make it easier for me when making new models. btw, what was the setup for buildings?
aldo_14 Jun 6, 2013 @ 1:39pm 
Originally posted by Apex:
Originally posted by aldo_14:
That's brilliant, thanks. Are there any sample source models available for the more complicated ships, to understand any sub-object hierarchy within the model (i.e. as you'd need to setup in a max scene before exporting) itself?

Apologies if this is already covered in XedMod content; I've not been able to get that up and running yet.

Hi aldo_14

What are you aiming to achieve? Are you intending to model some fighters or capital ships as well?

Capital ships can be a little tricky to set up, I will need to write a guide for that but I will write it sooner rather than later if this is your intention.

Remember there is the wiki: http://www.bornreadygames.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

If there is anything unclear or missing just ask and we will update it.

Both (fighters and capships); but the primary interest to me is the 'suits and how the animation aspects would be set up, both in terms of the animation itself and any submodel/hierarchy type settings.

I used to be fairly active within the Freespace 2 community a few years back, so I have a bit of experience with some of the artistic aspects at the very least.
Sanocon Aug 18 @ 2:06am 
Originally posted by Bside:
Strikesuits = 15k Triangles.

Really?, how can they be that detailed? I made a player ship thats only around 9K polygons.
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