Monday, 29 October 2012

Project Start - ship design

Since the hand in of the project plan I started and finished conceptional work for the environment.

My 2d isn't as strong as my 3d and for me creating a  concept is much quicker and neater when done in 3d.

The first thing I did was spend a few minuets creating boxes in 3dsMax creating a layout of a ship, this included all the rooms I thought would be appropriate on a cargo ship with a small crew.

Here's an example of the initial layouts:

I moved and re scaled box's about in the scene for awhile until I created something I felt happy with.

From the first block models in max I recreated the layout in UDK out of bsp's so I was able to understand the size and space I had to play with in the interior.

This first rough design in UDK really helped me visualise the environment. From this simple bsp level with some default UDK textures and assets I realised that the ships layout wasn't feeling very much like a space ship at all but rather a large building interior.

This brought me back into 3ds max where I began to model another design this one a little less chunky. I imagined the ship to be longer with its cargo holds underneath and it all linked with one main corridor. I downsized the corridor and room heights as the intended final environment is not designed with comfort in mind but functionality and efficiency.

With a new design in mind I built it in udk again. This new layout has a larger cargo hold and smaller more compact rooms. To reach the cockpit there is a ladder which adds another layer onto the ship.

Doing this technique of modelling in 3ds Max then building in udk had proven to be very beneficial for the development of the environment. At this stage I had several chats with classmates and tutors with some of them questioning what the ship looked like. This was a issue I felt I should address.

During one of my discussions with a tutor we talked about how the ship looks externally and how it would be beneficial to the design for me to design this aspect before the interior as the design and space will influence the interior spaces and layout.

A poorly drawn and messy scribble is how the ships design developed from the video above to the final design in 3ds Max below.

The main change to the design was having the cargo carried in containers rather than a large hanger. I did this  for a few reasons.

First I wanted the cargo holds to be off limits, the reasoning for this was the ship I had envisioned was a relativity small crewed cargo ship that maybe was hired for cargo transportation. So I imagined them being more like lorries of today with detachable trailers. I also wanted the cargo to be somewhat of a mystery, why was this ship abandoned? where was it going? what was it carrying? maybe I could scatter information about the cargo around the ship or have a ruptured container spewing cargo into space?

The ship above still has a cargo room for supplies for the crew but it is considerably smaller than the other designs. As the video of the rough mock I put together from modular wall pieces will show.

This rough mock has a lot of geometry errors and holes in the world but it served well as a means of checking the layout and sizing of the ships interior.

order of the rooms:
Recreational area - this is where the crew can sit back and relax, it will contain a few chairs a TV and a small kitchen area.

at 00:8 the camera enters the crew quarters - this is where the beds will be situated, the room will also be split and will have a shower and small bathroom fitted.

00:20 this is the engineering and maintenance room
00:25 this is the cargo hold for the crews supplies, the ceiling is higher than most of the other rooms.
00:40 finally the bridge of the ship. From seeing the scale in first person I raised the ceiling by about half a person and the length of the room by another wall section.
Once I was happy with the scale and look of the ship I started my next step, to create some thumbnails for the wall designs.

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