I've built the nametag as a mesh object (somewhat painstakingly; I'll detail it below) and am quite attached to the idea of it popping up when the detail box range is triggered. don't you think that will be awesome to have that name and registry number just sticking up out of the plates while sittig a few meters away in a Mk 2?
I had planned something similar
for the distance name-tag. A 2 face rectangle floating about 0.25 units off the surface with the name tagged on. Possibly a higher resolution texture (512x128 or such; All white with Alpha for transparency... or like that. Lowest resource cost for the dimentions and transparency.)
If there is a way that the name tag mesh could be 'attached' to the ship so that the mesh could be specified for each instance of a ship in a mission/level (I have never med this FRED character, so I don't know what's what
), that would certainly be optimial.
I'm just really
diggin' on the modeled name. I'll be unhappy if it has to go.
3ds Max 8 basic.
, and on the subject of an old question that I never answered in the Thanatos thread.
To make the plates, I usually build the base meshes with the eventual plating in mind. I lay edges along plate separation lines and what not. Once the base mesh is finished (or up to the point that it has the important shape information) I send it off by itself to a new scene. Copy it as a frozen REFERENCE mesh and hide it away. Then I lay all the other cuts I need into the cloned mesh. This can be quite a few, because while I made the mesh with the paneling in mind, at some points it would have been wasteful to add an extra line (and 16 polies or what-not along with it). I usually need to 'study' shots of the studio mesh to ge the paneling right anyway.
On a side note, the paneling on the pegasus is beautiful, mathematically. I suppose Jose Perez must be as obsessive about his meshes as I am, because it seems that when I translate from reference to mesh, the measurements are always neat or logical. Rarely do I see haphazard or sketchy. I know I'm being vague, sorry.
Anyway. Once I have the edges cut to define the plating, I select groups of plates (not touching) and inset or bevel them by a number (which has varied, but settled at 2 units for now), detach them from the mesh, and hide them (to keep the scene manageable).
I do this for all the plates I need until the original mesh is a skeletonish looking husk. I might delete that mesh or keep ahold of it for a bit in case I need ot recut a plate.
I then simply attack and clean up the inset/beveled plates and then bevel/extrude them (beveling with a positive extrusion of 2 units and an outward bevel of 1 unit). I then clean THAT up, because certain of the panels get twitchy because of edit poly mode and some vertices with inverse normals. (If anyone knows a way to flip a vertex normal in 3dsmax, help a man out please. I cannot find a function to do that aywhere... only flip face normals)
Of course then I just Xref the panel mesh into the original scene (which should line up perfectly if you had the foresight to put/leave your REFERENCE mesh at the same coordinates as it is in the base mesh.
The Xref isn't totally necessary, but It helps me keep things clear in my head. Once the model is finished (or needs to be exported) I'll make the Xreffed objects unique to the scene and get the ehole thing sorted.
Now... was that a garbled mess, or did you get that? I have a way of explaining things that only the insane seem to get.
To Everyone Else