Ship Weapon Exit Points

Gun, Turret, Beam, Guided X, Y and Z

What is the best way to place the weapon points on a new starship.

How do you all do it?
Do you just kinda guess, then stick it in EVN, see how close you are, go back adjust it from there...
trial and error?


Do you put a graph over the sprite using Photoshop, and find the exact exit points to the nearest pixel?
If this is what you do, how do you account for the UpCompress and DownCompress?

Use ResEdit and NovaTools to do your shäns. Then these questions shall be answered 🙂

Spoiler: this is one very important area that MC has yet to surpass ResEdit. The NovaTools shän editior lets you place these points easily.. Up/down compress you'll have to mess with a while to understand- I'm not too sure what it does but it definately does something. Try starting with 110 75 110 75 and going from there.

Up/Down compression is a percentage. The game calculates the correct exit point coordinates as if it were top-down, then adds the Z coordinate to the current Y coordinate and multiplies it by either UpCompress/100 or DnCompress/100, depending on the orientation of the ship.

I finally had a chance to try out the Nova Tools editor everyone was talking about... never could figure out where the "editor" was until... I read the instructions slaps head

Thanks much guys, that is an amazing editor for placing weapon exit points.
Now I'm gonna have to update my plugin!

Naw... I'm working on importing the rest of the ships... wanna get the BIG plugin done first... or rather... next!

Has anybody been able to figure out how to figure out how upcompress and downcompress actually work?

All I've heard from everybody is: "Don't really know, just experiment"

But as I am trying to do so many ships, it would help if I knew how it reacts.
Especially since all the Starfleet ships have specific phaser arrays points, and it just looks too strange to have the phasers appear under the ship.
I have been able to try out and modify the points to be able to fit each of my ships, but I have not figured out exactly how each XYZ and compress affects the placement exactly. And the process is time consuming, and a little frustrating, especially if you are trying to configure a couple hundred ships!
So I am using one of my ships and taking screenshots of the process of trying to figure out how the exit points line up with each other and the ship using the compress settings.
I'll post my results here, and hopefully, it will help those in the future designing ship exit points.

Any tips/suggestions would be most welcome!

- Highway

Yes! These work best if your ships have not been rendered in perspective. They still work otherwise, just you can't make them perfect.

For a given angle Nova first calculates the x,y co-ordinates of the exit point using the x,y-offsets. Eg, if your ship is at 45° and your y-offset is 20 then the co-ordiantes of the point will be roughly 14,14. Next the compression values are used. The point is currently above the center (y-co-ordinate is positive) so the Up compressions are used. These values are the percentage to compress the co-ordinates by. Eg, if your y-compression is 50 then the co-ordinate will now be 14,7. Finally the z-offsets are added. Eg, if your z-offset is 8 the final co-ordinate will be 14,15.

Here's a simple method I do to set exit-points:

  1. Point ship at 0°. At this angle you can line up your X-Offsets, though perspective may screw this up slightly.
  2. Point ship at 90°. At this angle you can easily line up your Y-Offsets.
  3. Point ship back to 0°. Your Y-Offsets will be too far above where you want them to be so use UpCompressY to bring them down to the right points.
  4. Point ship at 180°. Now the Y-Offsets will be too far below so use DnCompressY to bring them up to the right points.
    If your point is only offset in two dimensions then it's a relatively simple process. If 3 then it gets tricky and involves a bit of trial and error.
    If your ship is not in perspective then your UpCompressY and DnCompressY will both be the same (and the same values would be used for all your ships) and X Compression will not be necessary. Otherwise you'll have to fiddle around a bit but now that you know how they work it should be easier.

This post has been edited by Guy : 29 April 2006 - 09:41 PM

WOW!!! Boy does that save me from trying to figure all that out on my own.

Thank you! thank you! thank you! Posted Image

No need to post a guide now, that pretty much says it all.
It worked very well!

It helps to know, when modelling, where the exit points are in 3D coordinates. Even if you can't reuse these directly in the shän, it will help you know what to put.

I don't have time now, but there must be a formula to take the (x, y, z) 3-space coordinates of an exit point and the angle and perspective rendered at and spit out the offset and compress values. Whoever gets it first wins five Q-Points.

Also, if you use something like upcompress (x, y) of (50, 150) and downcompress (x, y) of (150, 50), your exit points trace out a sombrero (with a couple of gaps on the brim.)

This post has been edited by Qaanol : 30 April 2006 - 08:09 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

Guy's tips have made it pretty quick in configuring the exit points.
The all worked wonderfully for my ships...
Preview is here: http://adventonegrap.../space/gallery/ (Intrepid Phaser)
You'll notice the Galaxy does not look right... YET, I just threw it in there and tested the Intrepid, so disregard that.
Although, as you said, it's not perfect, but for the Starfleet ships, the arrays are big enough to account for any slight misalignment.