After hours of work through a loooot of tutorials, starting from scratch, and thanks to this and this, i have the pride of being the creator of the ugliest ship in the game
I use Xsi softimage mod tool and gimp and I created this model to review the whole process before modeling and texturing more ambitious ships.
The tutorials i used are good but quite short so i have a few questions for those who have experience in modeling and kind enough to answer me.
First : shaping. I made some progress in modeling but there is still something i don't know how to do. From a square or a rectangular shape, how do you make a perfectly rounded shape. From a cube for example : starting with the four sides, i want two flat surfaces joined and a rounded surface with the two others. How do you do that ?
And, by the way, what are hard edges ? Are they useful for SOASE modeling ?
Second : UV mapping. I modeled a more intricate ship than my first shot : (pics here and here) but i have a hard time to map it.
From what i have learnt, to make a UV map, you start by creating clusters to subdivide your ships in smaller, easier to map parts. For my ships, the engines and the wings. Then you use a planar projection and start ripping your model apart in the texture editor of softimage, using subprojections when it is needed.
I find it difficult with a lot of overlapping and so on. Do you have some tips and tricks i could use ? I also read about something about using islands or disconnecting polygons through seams. I even read about softwares like UV mapper and roadkill (more info here and here) and i was wondering if it could be useful or if any of you was using these tools (even if i don't see how import the UV map in softimage once the mapping is done).
An other question : when i mapped my ship for texturing, i stamp the UV and then close all to use Gimp, making data maps and so on. When i created the phong and add textures, i had a bad suprise : my -cl.dds file didn't use the UV map i made : the UV map was gone although i stamped it and asked for using it as base material. I couldn't fix this : i had to make the UV map again. so, do you know how to import or link an UV map for a texture or how to save your UV map once the mapping is done ?
Ok, UV mapping, check. Now, tangent. What is this ? I made a tangent map but i didn't understand what it does.
Now, about Gimp. When i try to open a .dds file made by Ironclad, i get this (here, it is the TEC carrier cap). is it normal ?
Finally, about the null points. I made a mistake and my test ship moves sideways (i know how to fix this, rotate the ship in xsi and so on).
But i make a null point oriented in the front of the ship for my weapon and my ships fire sideways ! (see first pic : my ship are shooting without aligning my weapon point with their target. They should be facing the target, not attacking its by their side, shouldn't they ?
And, finally, how to adjust the size of the engine exhaust ?
Thank you for reading until there !