View Full Version : CG PFlow Driven Space Battle - Any Help Appreciated

04 April 2005, 01:44 AM
-The Background Story-

---I've always liked space battles in movies of any sort so I decided one day to just play around a bit. Because of PFlow and it's greatness, animating much of this has been easier than expected. This has always been more like a side project to me that i've been able to put a bit of time in lately. I'm happy with what I have now and I feel like it's enough to be able to show to CGtalk as example of what i'm doing with this.

-The Story-

---There aren't any names for the two sides battling in this scene. It originally started out as a ship bombarding a planet surface, a shot i managed to include in a Goverment class ad that we did. I decided to add to it by adding Offense and Defense. To this day that is how i refer to the ships because I never intended to make much of it. However, as I worked on it, I decided this shot has some good potential and figured others might want to pitch in and help.

-The Plan-

---The idea here is to create a Space Battle that, aside from the ship models themselves, is totally driven by 3ds Max's particle system PFlow. Nearly everything except for the ships themselves will be PFlow generated and driven (a big plus for the scene): Explosions, lasers, muzzle flashes, debris, the fighter ships battles etc.

Originally, this was just a nice big artillery type of scene showing the battlecruisers and battleships pounding away at each other. However I decided to make this a different kind of project. The PFDSB, as it is abbreviated, is a two way project now.

One part involves developing the engine/system that powers the the AI for the fighter ships in the scene. They will be completely autonomous and PFlow-Driven. After the technology is mostly finished, anyone will be able to pit two teams of ships against each other and watch them fight it out.

The second part of this project involves applying the technology to our own ships and adding capital ships and, in short, making our own space battle scene, as both a fun thing to do, and to show off the technology behind the fighter AI.

Below are some screenshots of, first, the Defensive Battlecruiser and, second, the Offfensive Battleship as well as a couple shots of the shot as it looks so far. There are also more of the same images plus a couple more small screenshots from the project on my website. See the Elysium 3d link in my signature.

-Want to help?-

---If you are interested in helping out, knowledge of PFlow isn't necessary. I need artists who can provide FX work that can be translated over through PFlow, texture artists for the ships if needed, Concept Artists, and finally lighting helpers who could help lighting the scene in space so parts of it don't seem so dark... Knowledge of PFlow is expected, of course, if you're interested in helping out with the aforementioned scripting with PFlow for the fighters etc.

Important: We are in most need of Concept Artists so we can further the modelling aspect of this project. For the moment, I have only drawn one picture of a ship which, can do, but we need talented Concept Artists who can expand on our original design style (see pictures below) and give us some more ideas for ships to model.

We also need some scripters who are willing to work with me and help build the AI Engine behind the fighter ships.


-Project Leader

-Team Positions

-Concept Art-

-Modeling Team-
the best



Needed: Concept Artists & Scripters

Note: I'll be updating this post with screenshots (new or updated) as we work on project. So keep checking this post every once in awhile to see some of the updates of the project.

- Last Update for this thread post - 6.29.05
- Rewrote, organized, and colorized this post for ease of view and to give people a better idea what this is all about.

04 April 2005, 03:29 AM
How much experience with pflow would be required?

04 April 2005, 03:35 AM
I guess that depends on what you can do. I'd like one or two guys who are familiar with MAXScript so they can implement some scripts in PFlow that could control the flights etc of the fighters and their behaviors (avoiding capital ships, shooting at them, flying around them etc)... For the most part though, I can handle most everything in PFlow except for scripts... Although i'm not 100% familiar with it. A lot of those yellow diamond ones i'm unfamiliar with except for collision, spawn etc...

If you are interested, what would you like to do?

04 April 2005, 05:19 AM
I'm interested, mainly in the pflow area, since I suck at modeling and texturing, but I'm not sure how much help I can be: haven't messed with pflow in a few months. I'm not experienced at maxscript either (although I am planning to learn more, especially about particles). Hm, hehe, looks like I wouldn't be too much help right now; but i think the project is cool. Don't know if you can still use me on the project.

04 April 2005, 07:41 PM
I'm sure I could figure you in somewhere. What areas do you have the most experience in?

04 April 2005, 10:19 PM
I guess that would be modeling, although I've never modeled a spaceship.

04 April 2005, 01:30 AM
Well I suppose I could slap you on helping detail the Defense battleship (Yellow Engines). I basically carved out a simple model and then put Greeble on it. It looks good for the time being, but i'd like more detail for it. Think you could have a go? PM me or find me on AIM if i don't see you and i'll give you the scene file.

05 May 2005, 09:33 PM
Alright, I just thought I'd post a small update here.

Working on scripting the fighters all in PFlow has begun. The only thing I have working so far is that the ships can sort of chase each other (Using Keep Apart operators) and the attacking ships (on a test basis for the moment) have "viewcones" (see below image). It doesn't work yet, but when an opponent ship is inside of the 'viewcone' of a ship, the ship will then fire.

05 May 2005, 09:46 PM
Nice progress on the particles (think the view cone should be a bit wider). Too bad a simple if statement can't get it to work. Been meaning to change the turrets on the hammerhead-like ship, but it's crunch time on the M&S challenge. Once I change them I'll post the progress, most likely in less then a week.

05 May 2005, 05:11 AM
Ok, here is another small update. I'm trying to get the hammerhead-like ship a bit more armed. So far it has 20 turrets (ten on top and ten on the bottom) and two tri-cannons on the top. I also added docking bays. Looking for a more fitting turret design, although if I don't find anything, they may stay as they are. I'm probably going to add a few more (smaller) guns onto the main body of ship. Might be too many guns, but got to try out a few things (I incrementally save anyways).

05 May 2005, 05:33 AM
It's looking better. Yeah, it might be interesting having these ships be like mega-cruisers or something, with a lot of turrets. For the moment, the defensive ships are outnumbered 3 to 4. But we can change the ratio since this'll be bigger than I anticipated. I'm looking forward to future updates! Next time you see me online, shoot me a version of that scene file you've got. I'd like to perform some tests on it.

05 May 2005, 09:35 AM
hey Tom I`am sorry for not showing any updates but tomorrow I will show you one
(sorry for being late because of the exams)

05 May 2005, 01:26 PM
hi this my fighter ship
I know it needs alot of working but what do you think is it good enough to work more on it

05 May 2005, 10:26 PM
It's neat looking, tony, but it looks too alien and doesn't quite fit any of the original two ship designs (battleship and battlecruiser). I finally got a small bit of time in to draw a fighter design. This is what I came up with. Feel free to edit it as you like, but try to keep the general shape of it. This would be the fighter for the defensive ships.

05 May 2005, 06:16 AM
Nice ships the best, but it does look a bit alien. Maybe one critique on Cryptite's ship design: the "wings" could be shorter beign that this is space, and even if it is interplanetary, shorter wings are faster and go better with the hammer head design:P . Ignore it if you want.

05 May 2005, 06:26 AM
Good point, ace. I'd redraw it to show shorter wings, but I think it's pretty easy to visualize them shorter...

05 May 2005, 08:36 AM
hey ace4016 please call me Tony (and add me to your messenger tom got my e-mail)
I`am little confused here what will I do?? change it or make a the tom`s drawing??

05 May 2005, 08:52 AM
I think you base the model on Tom's drawing, and maybe create it with shorter wings. I'm guessing you could add a bit if you feel the model would benefit from it. Added you on msn messenger:thumbsup: . If you want mine just click the blue guy to the left under my avatar and info.

05 May 2005, 08:23 AM again this is the ship that tom draw (I know it still need some working)

05 May 2005, 02:11 AM
Nice start Tony. Maybe some parts could be seperate pieces instead of one mesh, although that's all up to you. Keep it up.

05 May 2005, 04:46 AM
Yeah, that's looking good tony. I'd agree with ace on this one. Try an make the wings and things a bit separate rather than one big mesh. And make the bottoms and tops a little less curvy, if you see what i mean. They look too meshsmoothed (to us, of course they do).

Doing great though, look forward to some more updates..

On my note, unfortunately, my motherboard came for my new computer DOA (Dead on Arrival) and I've had to send it back to get a replacement so i'm still SOL as far as working on the scripting for the fighters.

Thanks you guys!

05 May 2005, 10:49 AM
okay wait for the last updates

05 May 2005, 06:50 AM
One question: is the defense ship suppose to be a purely for space? Just asking for placement (don't want too much at the bottom if it can land). Hopefully I'll havea n update by tuesday, I'm taking tomorrow to fully plan a gun design to fill up the rest of the space on the defense ship (maybe even missile bays?). Shouldn't take me too long after I settle on a design to model. BTW, Cryptite, would you mind a bit of a "complexed" design for the guns? I'm asking because of the possible difficulty in rigging (that's what I meant by "complexed"). Might show a sketch or 2 before I start modeling.

05 May 2005, 09:44 AM
hi everyone forgive me I`am going to be little late on this update
bec of the exams but don`t worry it will be done ;)
and I have forgotten what is the parts that you want to be separated :rolleyes:

and james (from my opinion) I see that it is better to be good looking guns and also
not that "complexe":cool:

05 May 2005, 05:02 PM
I imagine it can land. So maybe just leave the tri-turrets on the top of it for that reason. As far as a more complex gun; i'd like to see what you've got in mind first. I wouldn't mind a cool looking complex gun to try to rig, but i'm curious what you're thinking first.

Tony, its no rush, I just graduated from my school a couple of days ago so i'm finally out of school for the summer.

05 May 2005, 07:52 AM
Took me a while to create a design, but I created one (although I can't draw). The gun isn't complex at all really...well the one that came out on paper (which I will show later today). Couldn't get it scanned. Not 100% satisfied, but I'll sleep on it. Can't really find a good description for the actual guns, but the part that holds the guns will be connected to the base at on end, and the other will be connected to a hydralic piston to move the gun up and down while the base rotates. Hope pistons won't be hard to rig and maybe a recoil system? Don't know if you want missile launchers but gills on a hammer head gave me an idea for them if you want missile launchers :P .

And congrats on graduating, you most likely won't miss high school:D .

05 May 2005, 09:49 AM
thanks tom
and james I will die if Ididn`t see the gun tomorrow:scream:
Tom you want The wings to be separated from the body(only the wings)

05 May 2005, 04:50 PM
Separate the guns, the wings, the cockpit, and the engines in the back. If you don't know what I mean, i've modelled an example for the cockpit below. Also, I envision the guns as looking like the below picture, rather than sticking out on top. Sorry, the overhead drawing doesn't really show what I meant. Here you go though. Notice the guns are more embedded. And as far as what ace and I mean by separation, it doesn't look like the ship is one curvy mesh that's blended together, but made of different parts like below. Hope this helps!

05 May 2005, 09:16 PM
My concepts never come out the way I want them to on paper (plus I can't draw). Being that none of the other weapons have barrels, I tried keeping the energy rail type thing for the guns.

I'm not a concept artist :p . The bottom of the part that holds the guns would be nestled into the base, where it would be connected at the back of the bottom, and a hydralic piston (or two) at the front to rasie the gun up and down. ther ewould be a cyindler holding the prongs (?) and that cylinder would go into the holes you see. Not sure if the prongs of the gun are clear in that picture (I'm horrible at drawing in the perspective).

BTW, proportions are way off:D .

06 June 2005, 09:27 AM
thanks tom that really helps
and nice sketch james

06 June 2005, 05:57 PM
ace, since that picture is totally confusing, go ahead and model it and i should be able to have a better idea of how it works then :D.

06 June 2005, 11:31 PM
Ok, here it is:

Probably not the best angles. Still haven't added the piston(s) and the things that connects the back to the base. I'll have to work in wire frame mode for those though :P .

06 June 2005, 11:41 PM
Ah, I see what you mean now. That doesn't look too bad. Looking forward to seeing the final product of this one... I'm still confused about your pistons; but I shall see i guess.

06 June 2005, 09:24 AM
The piston:

I may make it so that there are two since the piston is kind of small (or just resize it). I have only one problem, the green part of the piston rotates on the z-axis(?...I forget which axis is which) which it is not suppose to since there is a cylinder in a hole to get it to rotate on the pink part....I'm bad at describing things. I used helpers and the lookat constraint, the guns are rotated up by a bone for now.

06 June 2005, 12:57 AM
Done except for one small problem with the rotation.

and the locations on the ship (they are only on top)

Now just needs a material; will you be doing the materials cryptite?

06 June 2005, 04:13 AM
Looks pretty cool. Might have to do some structural changes since it looks like the tri-turrets would tear throught the 4 guns in front if i had to shoot straight forward... see what I mean?

As far as texturing, I can do some texturing for the time being. I'm not that great at texturing but I can throw things together...

-Performed a 1st thread update (see post 1 of this thread)

06 June 2005, 10:27 AM
I`am sorry for being sooooo late but it is only two days left
and I will begin working
nice work james I like it

06 June 2005, 01:38 AM
Ace and I decided to extend both hangars into each other so now the Defense Battleship has one hangar that goes through the middle of the ship. So I did that, today, and modelled/textured the interior of the hangar. The lights probably aren't final as I don't really like them as they are now. In either case here' s a few glory shots of the of the new hangar interior and battleship:

PS. Anyone know how to make the raytraced, reflective material that is the floor of the hangar antialias? It sure isn't reflecting those lights above very prettily..

06 June 2005, 02:36 AM
Roomy:thumbsup: . Now I know where all those lights went. Don't know how to fix your problem with the reflections, I'll look around. The hangar is starting to remind me of the hangar in EPIII that Obi and Ani land in in the beginning of the movie. Can't wait to see it filled with fighters. Hope to see that fighter soon Tony.

06 June 2005, 09:11 AM
hi everyone finally I finished my exams and now I have a little update
what do you think ? is it fine ?
if it is fine I will leave it separated and continue the body waiting for
your opinion`s%20head.JPG

06 June 2005, 05:43 PM
Not bad, tony, but try an just keep away from using meshsmooth at all on the ship. I'll go ahead and give you you the scene file I had for the example I posted earlier, so you can work off of that. Try an achieve a clean, crisp, hard-edged ship without the meshsmoothed sides. For the gun holes, rather than building holes in manually, I just took two small cylinders and booleaned them into the front section, thereby creating the holes for the guns. It looked great imo. Here you go:

06 June 2005, 12:35 PM
o okay Tom as you wish:shrug: I will make it again:rolleyes:

06 June 2005, 08:54 AM
hi again I modelled it in two ways choose what you like

06 June 2005, 03:13 PM
Keep with the unmeshsmoothed one; otherwise the ship begins to look bubbly and somewhat cartoony. Looks better though. Interested in seeing what it looks like in the end, because the wings look a bit short and stubby at the moment... Maybe lengthen them a bit?

06 June 2005, 02:06 PM
okay mate wait for the updates

06 June 2005, 05:40 AM
I decided to move to Mental Ray to work on the reflective hangar floor. I decided to opt for a more blurred-reflection on the floor. I have to increase the samples more so it's more clean, that's why its a bit ugly now. Unfortunately, the render times aren't pretty... at all... Plus I was able to slap in a nice glare output (bloom around the lights). It's not much, but it's all I got...

I'll be heading out for about 4 or 5 days for college orientation, hopefully after I get back, my new motherboard will work on my new computer, then i'll be able to get back to scripting, and playing with a nice test script Bobo provided for me.. Cheers guys!

06 June 2005, 05:11 AM
that`s great work mate
here is my update I changed it as james told me

good luck with your college orientation

06 June 2005, 05:31 AM
Hey all.

Just letting you know I had a talk with Cryptite a little while ago, and I will be coming on board as assistant director on this project. I am also available to work on the musical score for this production. At the moment there is really not a lot I can do other than visualise and plan shots, which I plan to do.

Looking good everyone.


06 June 2005, 05:18 PM
Nice decision changing the floors Cryptite. Good luck at college orientation.

Looking better Tony:thumbsup: . Maybe you can scale then body along the z-axis (if your using max; y-axis if your not).

Nice to have you onboard ChirsBG.

06 June 2005, 08:14 PM
Ah, glad to have you post, Chris, I was beginning to wonder if you had already forgotten about us :P. Glad to have you on board again. It's coming along nicely, now, Tony. We might have to make some decisions about the cockpit since it looks rather goofy at the moment.

Cheers guys!

06 June 2005, 03:31 PM
welcome chris
james ok (I`am using max)
and tom I`am all ears to your decisions

06 June 2005, 01:34 AM
Maybe make the body itself a bit wider. Kinda looks like the head is disproportionally big compared to the rest of it. I'm thinking of having this fighter's wings retractable. If either of you has seen The Chronicles of Riddick, there's a ship on Helion Prime that closely resembles what i'm looking for here. I will be returning home tomorrow afternoon, and then i'll post a screenshot of it so you know what i'm talking about. Cheers guys!

06 June 2005, 07:26 AM
waiting for you tom

06 June 2005, 08:36 PM
Alright, tony. Here you go.

06 June 2005, 08:45 AM
you want the wing to be like that

06 June 2005, 03:45 PM
Well similar, yes. Notice how in my drawing the wings both curve down and taper a bit. They might need to be a bit shorter or higher up on the body for them to retract.

I can draw another picture of the wings if you'd like? Or, I can take a stab at them in the scene file if you want.

06 June 2005, 02:06 PM
well I will try to make it but having a sketch will be nice:cool:

06 June 2005, 10:13 PM
Well, I have in my head what i'm looking for; so here's what we'll do. Tony, just go ahead an finish modeling the bottom (engine area) of the plane as best you can. When you're done with that, give me the scene file and I'll make finishing touches on it and do the wings. I tried to draw the folding wings today, but both suck at drawing, and have a hard time visualizing it in 2d. So, i'll finish it up.

Meanwhile, we could use a concept artist or two to start drawing up some ideas for the offense fighter ship...

06 June 2005, 12:35 PM
Ok I will send you the scene file tomorrow

06 June 2005, 07:08 AM
Ok, time for a small Engine update. Which reminds me, we need to come up with a name for this space battle engine... ;)... Anyway.

While waiting for a bit of help on a problem that keeps me only having one fighter fighting at a time; i've expanded on what I had since the Viewcones update. The scene is expanded to have a red ship (a bit hard to see in the picture) that is attacking the blue ships. Thanks to the viewcone script, The ships can follow each other -crudely for the time being- using the Find Target operators. The red ship has a sort of invisible cone that it uses to determine it's "view radius" of the other ship. When an enemy ship is in the radius, it fires and boom. I have set up two different "death animations". I don't know how to do it yet, but I will have the system randomize the death animations when a ship blows up. I'm using the Ship spins out of control, while on fire and eventually explodes animation right now because it's the most fun. Once I figure out the problem i'm having, I should be able to have whole teams of ships attacking each other and the basis of the engine will be complete. From there on we'll improve upon the engine, adding ship banking while turning, and better understanding of the ships as to what they're doing. Here's a small screenie of what I have so far.

06 June 2005, 11:14 AM
is there a job for me?:bounce:

06 June 2005, 05:35 PM
dodo3d: I'm sure there's probably a job for everyone! ;) Anyway, I checked out some of your threads and it looks like modeling is where your focus is. If i'm correct on this, then we could use you whereever you'd like to be used. We have modifications and improvements that can always be made on either of the offense/defense ships. Also, we have that fighter ship that needs finishing. Since i've gotten back to the AI scripting of the technology, I haven't been able to focus much time on the fighter model, so if you would like to take a stab at that, you can find me online or email me ( and i'll send you the scene file. I've upgraded to max 7, so if you have that you can open it. Otherwise, I think I could probably export the ship itself to .3ds format and you should be able to access it. Glad to have you on board!

06 June 2005, 11:20 PM
I've decided to give an update on the PFlow AI technology every once in awhile that will provide a bulleted list of changes/additions/improvements/WIP's that are added to the engine. This way everyone viewing this thread can see how the engine is coming along. The updates are few this go around, but there are many more on the way!

-PFlow Space Battle Engine (Not Yet Named) v.0.1-

Updates - 6.28.05

Keep Apart Operators added to the ship groups to, as the operator name says, keep the ships from interpenetrating each other
Bullet firing is being tied into a new spawn operator (WIP) to adjust the bullet firing speeds etc.
3 different death animations created. System will choose between the 3 at random when a ship gets killed. Soon to be implemented.

06 June 2005, 06:02 AM
Sounds cool. Just letting you know I am keeping an eye (well, two actually) on the topic. Obviously the project isn't ready for me to come in just yet, but when it is I will be here. Good luck everyone.


06 June 2005, 12:31 PM
ok I had send u a mail...
waiting for ur respond

06 June 2005, 01:31 PM
hi guys, good work, especially with the scripting :)
I would like to participate since I need to improve my mecha modeling skills, but I donŽt know how much time I have to spare at the moment :(
IŽll keep in touch if I get some free time(and if you need some more help)! if not, keep up the good work!

06 June 2005, 05:32 PM
-ChrisBG: Yeah, its early for you; but i'm glad your still around. Watching this unfold should be nothing short of pulse pounding on your end ;).

-dodo3d: Got it, and replied. You have the defense fighter model on your hands now.

-bedlam: We won't turn you down; I can always relate to not having enough time for stuff. So just feel free to watch and pitch in whenever you can spare some time. Just let us know.

-Situational Report-
It has come to our attention that we are really in need of Concept Artists before we can continue much further in the modeling aspect of this project. If you're interested and a willing Concept Artists we would love to have you! Until then, the scripting of the engine can continue, and we can always fall back and improve on our current ship designs, but we really need some sketches before trying to tackle new ships.

On the final note, I have redone the 1st thread again to incorporate our now growing team of artists and needs. Thanks guys!

07 July 2005, 06:11 AM
Not much been goin on in this thread, but there has been background work that's been constantly going on. On my end, i've reached a few impasses in the scripting of the engine that i've been so far unable to break through given i'm still a beginniner at MAXscript. Graphically, however, I've been slapping on some graphics for the simulations of the fights just to see what one might look like without the dots and circles and triangles representing everything. Here's a couple pics. The two are frames from one of the explosions (PFlow, mind you) for when ships are hit.

07 July 2005, 06:24 AM
If you need any help with music, I could help too. You can hear some of my music at :

If you need some additional scoring Chris, I could help you.


07 July 2005, 06:54 AM
-filmcomposer I read up on your site and listened to some of your music and i'm very impressed! Great stuff you've got on there. I even noticed you did some work for Dastoli Digital. I happen to have seen several films of theirs they've advertised for on

We'd be glad to have you. If you'd like to start working on the project a little now I can give you a kind of idea what music i picture for this scene. I'm really into drum sequences. They're often found in japanese movies (such as the relatively new Jet Li movie Hero). I'm thinking of mostly a drum set for the battle sequences with anything else cool you can expand on. You're the creative muses here guys so i'll let you muse away! Glad to have you on board.

07 July 2005, 06:58 AM
Hey sean. I haven't talked to you in a while. Welcome aboard.

Indeed your music is very good and it will be great to have you on the team.


07 July 2005, 08:19 AM
hi everyone and welcome for the new members
this my latest update
(still under const)

07 July 2005, 06:20 PM
Not bad tony, you'll have to make some changes to it so it'll both look closer to the design of the defense ships as well as keeping it away from the concept your working off of. Keep it up though.

On another note I'd like to officially welcome filmcomposer to our project who will be helping write the music along ChrisBG, and our first Concept Artist, Tenebrious. Welcome to the project guys!

07 July 2005, 05:42 AM
welcome guys
and I will do like what u said tom

07 July 2005, 07:43 AM
hi again this is my latest updates


07 July 2005, 07:41 PM
I like what you've done with the engines there, Tony. Keep it up.

It seems the project is finally starting to pick up some more members. I'd like to welcome virtualmic to the program who will be working on the AI Engine alongside myself. Now instea of flailing around by myself in maxscript, I can flail with someone else ;).

07 July 2005, 03:20 PM

Yup.. I am very much here... :D


07 July 2005, 09:59 AM
welcome virtualmic :twisted:

okay Tom what is the next stage should I texture it or is there another changes ??

07 July 2005, 02:05 PM
the best: There are still alot of changes and additions that need to be made to the ship, yet. At the moment, aside from the engines, the ship looks pretty much exactly like the concept you were working off of. We need to change it more so that it looks somewhat closer to the original design style of the battleship. We also need more details on it because its still very low-poly. The ship still needs guns, and more detailed engines... Keep working on it though!

07 July 2005, 03:18 PM
I know that it looks very close
I said I will texture it because the texture is going to give it the look of our ship
what do u think ??

07 July 2005, 08:18 PM
Hey cryptite, sorry I havent had any updates of the offfensive ship. I started working on it a few nights ago, have to get creative with the weapons because of the design of the ship (very few flt surfaces). I have embedded forward cannons on it already, but i did it with booleans and you know how messy that can get so I have to clean it up before showing. I'll try to get more weapons on it and show an update asap.

07 July 2005, 06:34 AM
ace : waiting for your updates :thumbsup:
Cryptite : what do u think of it now :twisted:

07 July 2005, 06:40 AM
I can see the similarities between that ship and the offensive ship; looks great:thumbsup: . I better get some updates up now.

07 July 2005, 07:38 AM
the best: Yep, looking nice. I figure since you've opted to make the front the part with the ring, we might need to take that out and add something else in to make it look like an actual front. Tenebrious, our concept artist, is apparently having some internet problems, but when he gets back online, i'll see if i can't get him to get up a couple more complex sketches of both the fighter ships we're working on. Then we'll be able to get it really started. Keep up the good work!

ace: Yeah, you better! :D

08 August 2005, 01:53 AM
Update!!! The missile bays will most likely change (sorry for the unimaginative missile bay):

08 August 2005, 02:44 PM
cool missles james I like it keep it up :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 06:38 PM
Looking good ace. Like we discussed we need to figure out what to do with the missiles; the big missile boxes sticking out the side are just no good ;). I'm still trying to think about how they should look; i'll keep you updated.

08 August 2005, 08:52 PM
looks like everything is on the right track for you guys :) keep it up!

08 August 2005, 12:08 AM
Nice progress guys :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 11:19 AM
blz & softdistortion
thanks for passing

08 August 2005, 10:59 AM
Are you still in need of a concept designer? To be honest, a lot of the models look cool, but they are lacking in design. I believe that I will be able to bring something to the table in the form of documentative sketches and renderings that can be translated by the modellers. I tackle all aspects of concept design. Characters, environments, vehicles and props you name it, I do it...please email me for examples of my work.

08 August 2005, 12:30 PM
Eric Chiang it`s great to have you with us and yeah we really need a concept artist:bounce:
(Tom is the leader so he will talk to you....I guess:shrug: )

08 August 2005, 03:00 PM
Eric: I couldn't agree with you more. Since we didn't have a concept artist at the beginning, I was left to just model what came to mind, and, because i'm a particle FX guy, modeling isn't one of my strong points so the models were only mediocre. As the best said, yes, we are in need of a good concept artist. I have emailed you asking for examples of your work. We look forward to working with you!


08 August 2005, 02:06 AM
Eric emailed me earlier today with a sketch he did, trying to expand upon the style and complexity of the ship designs. Here's one involving the hammerhead (defense) team.

08 August 2005, 03:20 AM
Nice concept:thumbsup: . Looks a lot more advance then before. Looking forward to seeing any advancements on the concept.

08 August 2005, 06:58 AM
great concept Eric Chiang:thumbsup:
and Tom I want to model it (if u didn`t choose one to model it yet :bounce: ) ofcourse when it is finished

08 August 2005, 03:58 PM
the best: We're going to work with Eric to lock down a design we like, first, then when he finalizes that concept, i'll let you know when you can start modeling it.

08 August 2005, 10:56 PM
I probably won't have access to the internet for a little while, so I'll be out of contact for a few days if I don't. Just updating you guys.

08 August 2005, 09:18 PM
Hi Guys...sorry for the lack of updates. I had to make presentations this week. I spoke to Ryan Church and Iain McCaig yesterday. Im still exhausted. I will have to simplify the design of the hammerhead that i sketched because I know that it will be hard to model intricate lines. I need more feedback in terms of my sketch. What would you guys like to see happen with the design?

08 August 2005, 10:28 PM
The only thing I can think off to change upon with your initial sketch is to make it more industrial-like rather than more sea-creature-like. Of course, you can't tell much from a sketch since there is no color. I'll see if I can't find some similar pictures of industrial type ships we can reference from.

Heh, Ryan Church & Ian McCraig? Top concept artists there, how was that? Bet it was exciting! ;)

08 August 2005, 06:40 PM
Hi Nice job already.

If you still need some help for the modelling and texturing of a ship. Maybe i can talk with a friend and we will be able to do it on our freetime.

you can check my portofolio here, (not complete)

I am fan of scifi stuff so keep up the work :)

see you

08 August 2005, 08:18 PM
elraulito: We can always use the help. Once we get some more concept art from Eric and, hopefully, future concept artists, we'll need alot of help in the modeling department. We'd be glad to have you; your portfolio looks great.

PS. I can also speak some french. You can probably speak english better than I can speak french but I thought i'd let you know. Thanks for the help!

08 August 2005, 08:23 PM
great! i'm waiting to have news from you ;)

see you

08 August 2005, 09:37 AM
great to have you on board :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 11:34 PM
I'm back, incase anyone wanted to know.

08 August 2005, 03:11 AM
Welcome back. :D

08 August 2005, 05:08 AM
welcome back mate :bounce:

08 August 2005, 06:45 PM
Hello Cryptite,

long time no see (been rather busy on a lot of things), and great concept, would love to give a go at it...
and if there is anything else...


08 August 2005, 08:38 PM
Heeeeeey, SpooX! How ya been man? I've been pretty busy myself. I've gotten myself into college under a computer graphics major now! We'd be glad to have you. We're in a sort of limbo currently as we wait for Eric to pump out some more concept art for us... I'll keep in touch. You know where to find me, too ;)

09 September 2005, 08:28 AM
hey guys

id be happy to do some concepts for you if ya want
and i can model some stuff
not sure how much help i can be in the next few weeks though cos i have exams but i will help in my spare time

09 September 2005, 08:32 AM
We'd be glad to have you, dark-elf. Our first concept artist, eric, got busy with school and some freelance jobs so we've been without a concept artist for awhile. Any help you could provide, we'd gladly take. Thanks.

09 September 2005, 07:07 PM
welcome on board dark-elf2 :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:55 AM
probably wont be much help this week because i have a bunch of work to hand in for school but by tuesday next week i will be free to do some stuff for u.

heres my website for anyone who wants a look.
only just finished and uploaded it so it may have some bugs

09 September 2005, 11:27 AM
finally did some concepts for everyone
sorry it took so long
tell me what u think and give any ideas to how i can improve them

09 September 2005, 05:31 PM
I like the fighter, although the end of it could look more as if a propulsion system was there (tappered more?, i could be wrong about the suggestion though), the wings seem a bit wierd, and maybe the blasters could be sleeker to match the missile bays. If you need inspiration for space fighters, I've always liked some ship designs from Freespace 2 (love that game!), mainly the perseus inteceptor.

The carrier ship is a bit to bulky for my liking, but that's just me; maybe stretch it a bit on the horizontal, and possibly squash on the vertical? The upper propulsion system is cool, but from the top view could be much wider. The things off to the side attached to the cannons that point backwards seem weird in the top/bottom view, but alright in the side view. The foward cannon seems a bit intrusive in the design, perhaps a more intergrated design might be better. Just some suggestions, you could, by all means, ignore them.

Keep at it:thumbsup: .

09 September 2005, 01:40 AM
ok thanx

i will try some of that stuff and see if i can improve them

09 September 2005, 01:46 AM
on second thoughts i will do a quick model first so you can all see that 3d view.
then i will change it if it still doesnt look very good.

09 September 2005, 04:02 PM
cool sketches :thumbsup: (I likw the second sketch alot)
no crits (sorry I`am not good at drawing :bounce: lol)

09 September 2005, 10:20 PM
Awesome, I like how they look. Sorry about the delayed reply, for the first day you posted the pics I think freewebs was down or something, so I haven't been able to view them until now. Anyway, keep up the good work, I like the look of the 2nd fighter ship especially. Looking forward to the 3d concept model!

09 September 2005, 09:38 PM
hey cryptite...u still need more ppl to help? u got some sketches or something that need to be used in modeling? if not...i used to do real models of starships with my friend, so i have quite a few ideas.
i just don't do texturing, takes too much time to calibrate

09 September 2005, 08:31 PM
i got your support with the modeling

09 September 2005, 06:44 AM
ya i think the server im puting them on isnt the best so if it doesnt work just keep trying again or email me and i will send u the files.
ok sorry it took a while but i did a model of the battle ship
u guys can do what ever u want with it
its pretty low poly though( high for me but low for cryptite) LOL
its 13662 polys

heres some screen shots

and heres the max file(for max 7) if you dont have max or you have an earlier version just email me and i will give it to you in another format.

09 September 2005, 07:11 AM
and heres another concept for you guys
this one would be best as a small one person fighter
it has about 9 little gun things on it but no missles or any bomb dropping things, unless you want to add that on

i will try to get the other fighter modelled tonight

09 September 2005, 04:30 PM
Great Work. As for the quick model of the battleship, maybe one of our modelers can take what you've got and work on it from there. As for my input on it, i'd say make it a little less curvy and slightly more defined so that it has sharper edges. It can still retain the chamfer edges just not so much.

09 September 2005, 01:12 AM
ok well should i do that on the concepts or can the modellers figure that out?

and heres some shots of the first small fighter/bomber

and the max file and the mat file for the a bombs tweaked good
(dont think i saved them in the max file so you may need this unless u want to do your own textures)

as ussual if you need anything just send me an email

09 September 2005, 05:40 AM
I'd say do it on the concepts for now. Our first task is to narrow down final versions of concept art so we have final references for our modelers to use when they make the ships.

09 September 2005, 05:50 AM
great model I like it and also very powerfull concepts :thumbsup:

09 September 2005, 09:53 AM
Cryptite: u want high or low poly models? how many polygons approx

09 September 2005, 03:39 PM
I'd say high poly models for the capital ships so that we can get close to them. We can have slightly less poly models for the fighters because there will be lots of fighters flying around and we won't have to focus in on them quite as much. I'm not going to limit the poly count, i'll let you guys have the freedom of doing what you think is necessary. Look forward to seeing some work!

10 October 2005, 12:39 AM
sorry im taking so long with these concepts

im just having trouble making the carriers more blocky like
but ill keep playing with it
trying to fix some viruses on my computer atm so i cant post very often because of internet problems.

anyway ill keep trying

10 October 2005, 05:56 AM
No worries, man. Best to fix your computer first before worrying about us. We'll still be here ;)

10 October 2005, 08:17 AM
ya was just spyware
got a program to fix it all up
had 104 infected files
kind of sucks but its all fixed now

can anyone give me any more detailed changes on those concepts.
my main problem is that im haveing trouble making the larger ships less organic like while still keeping the detail.

the only way i can seem to do this is by changing the shape of the ship conciderably.
well i dont know
ill keep trying

all though i have exams in a few weeks so dont have heaps of time
ill do my best.

10 October 2005, 05:10 AM
Ouch, well, at least you got them cleaned up!

I'd say for the lattermost fighter concept, make it more curvy (if it's supposed to be on the offensive side), and instead of the big rockets, either turn them into smaller, more sleek missile bays or laser turret holes...

11 November 2005, 03:02 AM
Work on the engine is back underway as I've joined the ranks of beta-testers for Particle Flow Box #3. While this means that basically only I can work on the engine (unless subsequent PF gurus that are also box #3 testers join up), the good news is that I will have to do significantly less scripting and more standard work on the engine.

The engine which will no longer be called, the PFDSB AI Engine; shall now be called the AIPE engine. AIPE stands for Autonomous Intelligent Particle Engine and shall be the brains behind this project.

I'm thinking of looking into a different title, however, possibly just a noun or something rather than an acronym. Let me know if you guys have any suggestions on naming it.

Unfortunately I don't have any major engine updates yet as I'm still learning how to use box #3, but when I do, i'll be sure to post them here first.

11 November 2005, 03:44 AM
That's pretty cool. I think AIPE is a great anme because it can be pronounced "ape" :p . I like the name:thumbsup: . Wish I had time to play with particles and animation, schools been taking up a lot of my free time. Good luck on the engine, and if you ever need to just bounce off a few ideas to figure the engine out (talking it out really does help), I'm always available.

11 November 2005, 09:10 AM
good luck Tom :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 08:47 AM
hey everyone
hope your not getting bored of waiting for me
i only have 2 more exams to go then i can get back into the concepts
i have oe on wednes day and another the monday after and then on the 20th its my bday. hooray :buttrock: anyway hope you guys arent to bored and r getting lots of other work done.

11 November 2005, 06:32 PM
don`t care for us just study well &
Good luck with your exams :wise:
and happy birthday mate :beer:

11 November 2005, 09:13 AM
thanx for the oncouragement

well only one left now so shouldnt be to difficult
has anyone come up with any good ideas as to how i can make these ships look better
cos i really dont know what im doing
ill just have to look at some other stuff and try and get inspired
anyway cant wait to get back into it all :thumbsup:

11 November 2005, 11:05 PM
ok im done my exams now so hopefully i will have more time to work on some concepts
so what was i doing again
gotta fix the big battle ship thing and what other ships do we need
i guess i gotta do the ships for the other side as well hey?

11 November 2005, 04:28 AM
ok heres another concept for u guys to admire or point at and laugh. lol
was going for the organic fishy type feel
dont know if it'll work cos its probably gonna be to high poly but good fun to model for all u modeller peoples.
anyway hope u like it
crit if y want. :thumbsup:

12 December 2005, 09:30 AM
hey ok well because not everyone thought that one looked spacey enough i died it down a little

once again please crit

12 December 2005, 04:53 PM
It's definitely getting better. I'd say give it some sort of wings so that turns and banking wouldn't appear so difficult. The current design leads to a sort of one-way motion; or, at least, in my mind it does. Keep it up!

12 December 2005, 07:19 PM
At the moment, it looks like it can only go up and down, and because of the engines at the tail, turn very slowly. Also there is know way to bank (if up/down was y, left/right was x and z was inot/out of the ship, there is no way to rotate about the z, limiting manuverability). I think what you need are main thrusters, whos purpose is to propel foward, then, somewhere near the cockpit like where those thrusters already are, I would make a thruster array of 8 thrusters, 1 that moves up, 1 moves down, 1 moves left, 1 moves down, 2 allow positive z rotation, and 2 allow negative z rotation (if the axis of xyz is the same as above). The onces that provide z rotation would be smaller and be on opposite ends ( one at top left and one at bottom right for the position z rotation; and vice versa for the negative z rotation). You can also make them rotatable. Hehe, wanted to be an aerospace engineer once:P . With the current design, thrusters near the tail wouldn't allow for an efficient steering, only propulsion. Also, might want to watch out for that thing hanging down infront of the top thruster's exhaust. The newer deisgn looks more mechanical, less organic; I sort of liked the cage thing near the cockpit from the previous version. Also, the cockpit from the top view doesnt seem to match the side view in thickness; would the cockpit, from the top view, would have tapered down a bit more at the front tip. Hehe, if it's a purely space vehicle, wings would be there for asthetics, but if it hits an atmosphere, you'll want atleast some small wings to save on the energy needed to keep from crashing since you most likely would be affected by a lot of gravity. Keep it up, it's improving:thumbsup: .

12 December 2005, 07:43 PM
Yeah, so basically, he said what I meant in probably the most complex way ever.... :beer:

12 December 2005, 12:35 AM

ya ok

i just cos its in space it wouldnt really need wings or super sharp turning as they wouldnt really work in space anyway because theres no atmosphere.

but ya ill try adding some wings or something and some weapons cos i forgot to add them before.

12 December 2005, 02:42 AM
Yeah, so basically, he said what I meant in probably the most complex way ever.... :beer:

hehe, habit.

The thruster array was designed for space:P , flaps work better in atmospheres. And if it's a fighter, super sharp turns are what you want;) . I'm just nit picking, don't mind me:) .

12 December 2005, 05:08 AM
I'd go with the assumption that it is able to fly in the atmosphere, that way you can have a reason to slap some wings on there ;).

12 December 2005, 12:34 AM
ok what do u think of this one.
kind of completely differant from the original design but looks cool
only thing is that maybe the turning etc will still not be very good

12 December 2005, 04:38 AM
I like it but as I see the push is for forward :D only you need to make it up too :bounce: (I think :rolleyes: )

12 December 2005, 05:22 AM
ya all the side jets can be angled to compensate for gravity or to help it turn better
also the back one can be tilted in any direction. The only thing its really missing is counter thrusters to slow it down.

02 February 2006, 05:24 AM
Hey guys. I know this project hasn't really moved along very much lately, and the problem is, as the leader, i've been really busy with projects and school and that has kept me from coordinating efforts on this project. So i'm afraid to say, that i'm just going to let this project fade away for the time being. This has always been a personal project of mine and I shouldn't really have let it become a cooperative project as early as it was.

Perhaps when I find the time to work on the engine more and get a stable build of it out, i'll re-open this project with the team and make something of it, but, for now, thanks for all the work you've contributed, guys. I have kept it all and we'll very likely be using it when this project gets reactivated in the future.


02 February 2006, 08:57 AM
really sad to hear this but it was nice to work with you Tom I hope u could work on this soon :bounce:

08 August 2006, 01:05 PM
Not much been goin on in this thread, but there has been background work that's been constantly going on. On my end, i've reached a few impasses in the scripting of the engine that i've been so far unable to break through given i'm still a beginniner at MAXscript. Graphically, however, I've been slapping on some graphics for the simulations of the fights just to see what one might look like without the dots and circles and triangles representing everything. Here's a couple pics. The two are frames from one of the explosions (PFlow, mind you) for when ships are hit.

Cryptite can you give me little tutorial about this explosion? i'm using Pflow too, but not so good like u, just some information or skrinshot with script.
thank you.
Good Luck!

Crazy Max
12 December 2006, 02:11 AM
I hope this project does not die... :sad:
I have a fighter model that I am almost finished that could be used.

12 December 2006, 04:30 AM
Sorry I didn't catch the last two replies until now.

@Greatto: The explosion was a rough one done with the help of the Afterburn ( plugin for 3ds max. If you search around the max forums you should find the Afterburn thread and Particle Flow thread; both of which should be able to help you create way better explosions than that one.

@Crazy Max: I wish it hadn't but I have neither the time nor know-how to get back into this project anytime soon. I assure you that if I work on it anytime in the future I'll get back to this thread and let everybody know about it. Other than that, that model is fantastic. Keep up the good work on that ground!

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