k_merse;5266951the gain in polygons doesn't match the loss of model quality if I lower the saucers poly count. It's already very low, the narcelles and the various pods, which use more polies.
I'd rather see more poly in the saucer than the pods or nacelles. I've taken numerous Galaxy/Nebula models out of the game because the saucer doesn't look right. Same with any Federation starship, really-- if the saucer looks jagged and it's supposed to look rounded, I'd rather go high-poly with lower-quality textures than the other way around.
Instead of further choping down they model an ruinng the lines add LODs to the ship. FahreS says it will work in milkshape
LODs would be great, but it would need a lot more work to make the lowerpoly versions of all models. And I don't even know how to attach LODs to nodes or export the whole thing to .SOD.
to attach i think you use the geomatry node the lod0->lod2 and attach the relevant mesh nodes to their lods but i could be wrong
h_geometry [ [ [--h_lod0 [ [ [ [--m_mesh1 [ [--m_mesh2 [ [--m_mesh3 [ [--h_lod1 [ [ [ [--m_mesh1a [ [--m_mesh2a [ [--m_mesh3a [ [--h_lod2 [ [ [--m_mesh1b [ [--m_mesh2b [ [--m_mesh3b [ [--h_lod3 [ [ [--m_mesh1c [ [--m_mesh2c [ [--m_mesh3c
This is how you set them up. Yes you will need to make lower poly versions for the other lods but lod2 and lod3 can be much more ruff. What I recomend is use this mesh for lod1. If you have a 3500 or 4000 polly backup use it for lod0. Make lod2 around 2200 and lod3 aroud 1100. Do both of these with the direct X mesh tools. At stock setings for max detail lod0 is seen out to 75m, lod1 out to 150m, lod2 out to 300,m and lod3 the rest of the time.
You shouldn't use too many lods though. i noticed that the distance between lod0 and lod1 decreases when the amount of lods increases.
Plus the DirectX mesh tools really screw up the mesh and textures. You are usually better off rebuilding parts of the model.
The DirectX mesh tools were used on some BSG ships released a while ago and I am re-building parts of them for Thunderfoot's MSFC BSG mod due for release at the end of this month.
I would recommend if you were to make lods, do re-builds of certain parts such as the nacelles for instance.
DirectX mesh tool is the fastest, but the worst way to lower a ships poly count. It's usually ugly, left holes, makes the ship asymmetrical etc. Of course it could be a good start and can give some tips to a new modeler how to reduce the poly count, but the best way is to rebuild the ship. It's slower, but the quality speaks for itself.
Back to the mod: I have a lot of models, so I wouldn't start it just now. First I'll finish all models, code the necessary files, make the mod playable and if the performance is not satisfactory, then I'll try these LODs :)
But if LODs are such good things, why doesn't anyone use them in mods?
It's update time again. Although the project went to Fleet Operations, it didn't stopped and I'm still thinking on a method to take it back to Armada II as well, although it will be released for FO first.
I finally finished most of the models, so I started to work on the ODFs and the techtree. I didn't counted it yet, but I'm starting to worry about the increased loading time. Only the Federation itself has ~120 separated ship ODF (without weapons) and I also would like to add FO's cool experience system which would multiple this number with 4 at least... I want to finally make something during the summer which is already playable so the beta testing could begin, so stay tuned ;)
K_Merse...I would launch the project initially without the experience system or warp in if you are considering that...I actually reincorporated the warp in into my TNG/DS9 mod and its awesome I can warp in Fed, Klingon and Romulan ships as well... also let me know what kinda weapons and such that you need...do you wanna make the weapons cannon or non cannon?