KNight's Custom Commander Adventure

Discussion in 'Backers Lounge (Read-only)' started by KNight, March 10, 2014.

  1. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Hey everyone! So as many of you are aware, work on the Custom Commanders for the 1K Kickstarter Backers has started. Fewer of you probably know I also backed at the 1K level a year and a half ago.

    Of course, me being me, I wouldn't be content just sitting on the sidelines while Uber does all the work, nooooo. I wanted to get involved! Luckily I have messed around with Commander Creation a bit, I've re-created the Original Pre-Viz Commander from scratch and did some 'refinement' on the Alpha Design as well.

    But designing my Own Commander is a bit different from all that. It's way more daunting actually, as "free" as you can be in designing your own thing, it can almost be too "free" too, trying to do too much can result in an unfocused design and clutter. In actuality, despite knowing I was gonna be doing/getting a Custom Commander, I haven't done all that much prep-work for it really. That changes now!

    Thanks to the guys at Uber I'm going to be sharing as much with you guys as possible about the process to get a bit of insight into the process, even if mine is a bit different to the other Custom Commanders. I will still need to go through all the same approvals and work within the same limits so it's still pretty similar.

    So gather round all, and join me on this crazy project! I'll be updating this first post with links to different "Phases"/"Parts" of the process and of course will be posting lots of progress pictures, WIPs and comments!

    Mike
    Last edited: March 10, 2014
  2. websterx01

    websterx01 Post Master General

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    Do you get to make custom armature/animations so that you don't have to use Uber's standard Comm base?
  3. cwarner7264

    cwarner7264 Moderator Alumni

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    I can answer that for him: nope.
  4. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    As detailed below, I am using the 'stock' Bipedal Rig, I am locked into the same restrictions like everyone else. That being said I do aim to push things as much as possible but we'll see, I might not need to depending on what I end up going with.


    So some basic filler, I am going with the Bipedal "Imperial" Rig as roughly shown below;

    [​IMG]

    You also need some basic concepts to go on. Now, this is where things get a bit tricky for me, see I've got a LOT of Mecha/Giant Robot related inspirations, lots of Anime, Games and even my own work. And it's really hard to cut it down to "manageable" amounts. Right out the gate I know I don't want to do a "Fan-art" type commander where it takes a majority of it's influence from a single design/theme which if anything makes it harder because I can't just pick a single thing and build off of that, gotta mix and match as it were. Knowing I'm going with the Bipedal Rig helps out a lot to, it cuts out a lot of things like trying to go for a Basilisk Commander or something yet there is still a lot of options.

    That is the kind of nice thing about 3D is that's its pretty easy to work out a bunch of basic "Block Models" to figure out basic ideas pretty quickly and they form a good ground work for moving forward with the design.

    So first thing I wanted to try is something along the lines of what you see in a lot of Armored Core Mechs. Big Upper Torsos, Big Shoulders and "inset" heads and the like.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Which also tied in nicely with something else I really like the design of, Arc Gurren Lagann;
    [​IMG]

    It shares many of the same features, Big Upper Torso, Big Shoulders and an "inset" head, but it also has some unique elements I wanted to try adding in as well like the "spine" that extends way above the head.

    I haven't done much in terms of an actual model yet(and actually looking back at what I HAD done makes me already wanting to make changes xD), but this at least acts as a good starting point for now.

    Mike
    corteks, doud and websterx01 like this.
  5. Dementiurge

    Dementiurge Post Master General

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    Are you making the Commander, or is uber?
    Where did that imperial base rig come from?
    Can you have custom headlights or weapons? ( :p )

    It might be easiest to sketch some profile concept art (Front, Side, Top) just to rough out ideas.
  6. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    I'm making it, that's kinda the point of the second paragraph in the first post! ;p

    I don't have the "proper" Rig yet, still waiting to get it from Uber, but I can see where the joints are based on teh game models so this;

    [​IMG]

    Is based on me using my big 'ole brain to extrapolate it. From my understanding it should be accurate, but I doubt I'll be working on any "final" meshes before I get the rig from Uber.

    Headlights I imagine I would be able to define, but how easy that is depends on the exact system Uber is using that honestly I just don't know of yet. For weapons I know I'm pretty much locked in to what everyone else gets, but I do want to know more about how the different types(of Uber Weapons at least) actually "function" before I decide what I'm going with.

    As for my concept process, what you suggest doesn't work for me, I have very little talent when it comes to pens and pencils(or tablets for that matter) and while I can do some super basic stuff it's not where near as efficient for me as actually throwing together block models, if you follow along I'm sure you'll see what I mean as I actually start doing some of that, but for my day off today I have other projects I'm focusing on right now.

    Mike
  7. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I don't know much about the 3D modelling, but headlights I do know! It's basically just a texture that is mapped onto the ground. At the moment every commander uses the same texture for that. The texture used is defined in the json in /pa/units/commanders/<commandername>/<commandername>.json. It contains the location of the texture, which is /pa/effects/textures/gobo/spotlight_gobo.papa, and the json also contains the colour of the headlight and some other stuff.
    headlights.png
  8. websterx01

    websterx01 Post Master General

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    I sense a headlight color mod sneaking along!
  9. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Then I guess it just comes down to pacing it in the right place on the mesh to line up.

    Mike
  10. superouman

    superouman Post Master General

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    Haha this is awesome. We could also use it to display esports team logos or differrenciate player's commanders In a team army game.
    lapsedpacifist likes this.
  11. cwarner7264

    cwarner7264 Moderator Alumni

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    But only at night.... ;)
  12. garatgh

    garatgh Active Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what do you plan to do with your extra "custom commander" keys once its done?
  13. Geers

    Geers Post Master General

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    Obviously he's going to give them to me. Because I'm awesome.
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  14. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Not entirely sure yet, I might get entirely tapped out just with BlackOps members.

    Mike
  15. emraldis

    emraldis Post Master General

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    It's too bad I didn't hear about the kickstarter earlier, I might have backed it for the option to get a comm that looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    Oh well, guess mods will have to do...
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  16. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Obviously its up to you- just a thought to you or any of the other custom commander holders, one of the keys would make an epic tourney prize... although I think a prize that special should be reserved for a big event (maybe the 1st prize for a Tourney to celebrate the official release of PA when it's done?).. I guess Uber could make some special commanders available like that as well...

    Edit: PS thanks for taking the time to talk us through the process! I do a fair bit of 3-D modelling and I can understand you're issue about finding inspiration- blank page syndrome is always hard to get past. I sometimes find it helps to break the concept down into discreet areas and sketch it out on paper first- draw up a load of different heads, shoulders, spines and so on and see what you like the look of?
    stuart98 likes this.
  17. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    Ugh my phone is causing double posts again. >.>

    Mike
  18. stevenrs11

    stevenrs11 Active Member

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    I see any pictures of white glint and I get all warm and fuzzy. Loved those bizarre, beautiful games.
  19. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    I'm more of an Aaliyah/Nobless Oblige type of guy myself! ;p

    Mike
  20. stevenrs11

    stevenrs11 Active Member

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    I cant wait to see all the custom commanders. Mine would look something like this, I think. If I was restricted to a biped. If not, then a hovering ball. Still a land unit, but more a or less a sphere with a big red eye.

    [​IMG]

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