In my ongoing efforts to create a series of challenging enemy space ships for the player, I’ve started on another new enemy craft. This post shows the progress made on the enemy ship so far.
First, in Blender, I began by modeling the basic shape of the Heavy Fighter space ship.
The basic overall shape of the Heavy Fighter starts to take form with the addition of the wings and cockpit.
The filters and engines within the lower wings are added as well as the front wings and side grills of the ship.
Next up, the weapons are added to the wings. Four in total. They’ll be laser canons and present a good challenge for the protagonist.
At this point, I went through a process named UV mapping. Basically, its where you take your 3D model and “unwrap” it piece by piece so that you end up with a 2D image that covers the entire 3D space of the object. Without doing that there would be no way to apply any textures to the model accurately. After the UV mapping was complete, I proceeded to create the texturing, bumpmaps, and reflectance channels in Photoshop.
The UV unwrapping process is compete. UV Unwrapping is where you ‘convert’ the 3D model into a 2D surface so that the model can then be textured.
The textures. Top left is the bumpmap layer which will be applied over the model. Dark areas represent lower parts whereas the lighter areas will appear to be higher on the model. Bumpmaps don’t generate actual mesh but rather create the appearance of depth during the realtime render. The image at the top right is the texture that will be the ‘skin’ of the model. The image at the bottom is the specular layer. Basically anything that is dark will reflect less light on the model whereas areas that are brighter will reflect more light.
Now it’s time to drop it into Unity3D and apply the textures, bumpmaps and reflectance layers to the model.
Now that the model has been finished in Blender, I drop the model into Unity3D. There are no textures at this time.
This image looks similar to the previous one, however the bumpmap layer has been added. Doing bumpmaps as apposed to modeling it within the 3D mesh lets me save on polygon and triangle count, thereby saving processing resources on realtime rendering.
The texturing and the gloss layers are added to the skin of the model. The ship looks a lot more realistic with the textures and bumpmaps added.
The model is more or less done. I will still need to program it’s artificial intelligence and weapons, flight paths and animation sequence before its of any challenge to the player.