Making Good Graphics

I have trouble creating ship graphics and making them look good. My ships are often just polygons superglued together with incredibly complex textures to hide how otherwise simple they are, but for normal, human-like ships, mine just don't cut it.

Does anyone have any tips as to how they they make good looking ship graphics from scratch? (None of that wimpy take-EV-or-EVO-ships-and-give-them-new-paint-jobs stuff, now... ;))

Zacha K
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In GWII I have quite a few 'recycled' graphics, some might tell you its a little more than just a 'paint job' ๐Ÿ˜‰

I find that most new ships people used in expander plugs look NOTHING like the ships that were part of the government. And its quite a challange to make them look exactly like the graphics of their government.

Such as the Emalgha, they have a VERY bad 256 conversion, and I tried making a new ship and fighter bay graphic using Infini-D... IMPOSSIBLE. To make it match that exact pattern would be impossible.. nearly.

What I did on some of them, is go in and change them pixel by pixel... if you saw some of what I did, you might think coping is alot more challanging than making something brand new....

There are new graphics too... ๐Ÿ˜„

Oh, I should have my graphic test done my tonight or tomorrow.. I'll post if I do...

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Hmmm... a lot of the technique in making "good" graphics depends on your own tastes and what program you are using, but I'll do what I can to help.

I find that sketching on paper first is a good way to create an initial design. When working on a computer, I tend to become perfectionistical (? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) right off the bat, which is not helpful for getting an initial "feel" for the ship (or outfit) in progress. The result of course depends on your personal preference; myself, I like sleek, streamlined designs rather than more boxy "realistic" ones like, say, the Millenium Falconลฝย™ล 

Once I have a pretty good idea of what I'm trying to make, I start modeling it, using only simple solid-colored textures at first. This part really depends on your use of the capabilities of the software - extruding, lathing, skinning, booleans, organic modeling, etc. Although it's pretty hard to make a ship out of nothing but primitives, most "fancy modeling" isn't really necessary; a few extruded fins or Boolean operations can do wonders for an otherwise simple design. (If you've played Secession, all of the new ships and outfits in there are composed almost entirely of extruded shapes and ellipsoids - no organic modeling or other complexities)

Only after I have the shape essentially finalized do I really worry about textures. This again depends greatly on the program used, but it's usually not too difficult. For "high-tech" streamlined ships like the Strands or in Secession, all that is really needed for good looks is the right surface properties (diffuse,specular, etc) and maybe a bump map; "low-tech" ships may require more complex textures to look right.

Hope I've helped...



PS: re the quote about the trouble matching existing ships - it's true. Why do you think I decided to create a new govt altogether? ๐Ÿ™‚

(This message has been edited by Glenn (edited 02-04-2000).)

If you want advice for graphics, talk to ShadeOfBlue or Fatalin.tycho. When it comes to graphics, they work wonders. Shade in particular has done a few graphics for me, and they rock the house.



UE Crusader wrote:
**If you want advice for graphics, talk to ShadeOfBlue or Fatalin.tycho. When it comes to graphics, they work wonders. Shade in particular has done a few graphics for me, and they rock the house.

I go by Onyx now, formerly fatalin.tycho. It's good to be recognized, though.

Anyhow, making good ship graphics can certainly be a challenging task (duh), but it depends on what you want it to look like. As was said before, making "high-tech" streamlined ships requires less effort on textures, but it can demand some pretty tough skin-type modelling. The more "low-tech", aged/battlescarred/improvised ships don't always need a lot of really good shape modelling, but usually have twice or three times as many actual objects to them.

Also, you'll want to make the ships appropriate for the size graphic they're intended for. For example, you'll probably want a really detailed, fully though-out model for scenes, a little but less detailed model for the shipyard and comm graphics, and a much simpler model for the sprite (depending on the size, of course). This is one of those things that I don't follow myself, though. I like to make one version for all, as it saves time.

If there's anything else in particular you need to know, don't hesitate to ask.

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(formerly fatalin.tycho)

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