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I'm going to start out this review by saying this is a nicely-built first model that deserves a look from all of you. That way when I point out everything I would fix, y'all might see it as friendly advice to the author rather than a crucification of his work, which it isn't.
So let me get right down to that. Most people here know I dislike sabers that get all their looks from a shader (in terms of texture). This is one of those models. It consists of three small images, two of which are basically flat colors with no shape to them. Then a glassy/shiny shader is put over the top to make it look good. That's all good and fine, but it doesn't really speak to the author's talents -- more credit goes to the game in making the hilt look good than to the author, and I like to think/hope that's not what mod authors are looking for.
So here's what I would change to make this an all-around better hilt. Firstly, I'd take more than 5 minutes texturing it. In fact when I model, I spend about an hour on the model and 2-3 hours on the texture (as an example). Way more effort should go into the texture, on average, because that's really what makes the model. Especially for this engine, because when it comes to models, less is more.
That brings me to my next point. Here's a little question for all of you to think about: if you have a cylinder, and it's not going to pinch in at the top or bottom, why add extra edges in the middle? There's no reason to, other than to stress the engine. When you have a button, or any cylindrical section that is just a plain ol' cylinder with no rounding at the top or bottom, you don't need any segments! Take 'em out! They're wasting space, and will only serve to stress out lower-end computers. We could be practical and admit that it probably won't make much of a difference, but one of the steps to becoming a good modeler is learning to be efficient. When you can only use what you need, you'll know you're becoming very skilled.
To summarize, I'd say it's a far better first hilt than a lot I've seen, with plenty of potential for improvement. As a first dive into modeling software, many of the errors seen are very much expected, easily fixed, and if they are fixed the next time this author submits a model, I will feel all warm and fuzzy inside because that means I get to welcome a new serious modeler to the community. ;)
Note: 8-sided cylinders are plenty adequate for Jedi Academy. Just make sure you have your smoothing groups set!
//Fullmetal's Lightsaber //Author: Fullmetal //Version: 1.0 //release date: 3.16.2007 //MSN/Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org I was going for an abstract saber shape while retaining the elegance and simplicity that a lightsaber represents. The model is mine as is the concept. There are no new sounds (mabey in a later release) The textures are mine and the shaders are my own adaptations of the glass shaders to dull the color while retaining a certain shine to it. This is my first model let alone saber hilt. I have other works in progress that I hope to release soon. I hope you enjoy! I am not aware of any bugs, if you find any please contact me via msn or e-mail. In order to use this saber hilt extract the pk3 file to your base folder. Special Thanks to ^whoracle¿fanbill for helping me with my shader files and for being an all around great guy. Thanks to Virtue for answering the question that sparked my inspiration. Shout out to the entire JKA:CTF community! Long live PUGS etc! THIS MODIFICATION IS NOT MADE, DISTRIBUTED, OR SUPPORTED BY ACTIVISION, RAVEN, OR LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC. ELEMENTS TM & © LUCASARTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY LLC AND/OR ITS LICENSORS
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