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 Post subject: Stargate
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:17 am 
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As I recently told Slugger, I got the urge to redo his Stargate project as an SG1 style project. This is a bit more complicated as the SG1 Stargate has a spinning inner ring whereas the SGA Stargate has light up constellations.

I've already started to redo the Stargate itself. Most of the work I've done is with the textures but I also remodeled the ring itself to have a much lower polygon count without sacrificing the detail of the ring. The Chevrons are the same mesh Slugger used as I haven't remade them yet, they just have a new texture. The textures were made off of closeup shots of a chunk of the ring that was sold at auction after the show ended. I still need to do the inner ring but that'll require a decent amount of texture work.

Image
Here's the whole ring, the lights look pretty awesome if I may say so.

Image
Here's a closeup of the front of the ring. The inner ring with the symbols will go in the area of the poorly textured circle.

Image
Here's the back of the ring. It's not seen as often as the front in the show and rarely shown very close. This was also lifted off of photos of a section of the ring sold at auction.

EDIT:
Image
Ok, so I modified Slugger's Chevrons instead of remodeled them. I still have to do some smoothing work on them, but I decreased their polygon count. I also thinned the ring itself as Slugger's was rather thick and I also added in the slight indentation to the front of the ring (It's thicker at the top than the bottom, having a wedge shape). I also did the inner ring, which required me to make 5 textures to get all the glyphs on there.

Image
Closeup of the glyphs. I think they came out alright.

Image
I also made it so the lower part of the 7th Chevron was separate so it could be lowered and raised when a Chevron is locked. Making this thing dial with a DHD will be ASA hell. :sick: But I'm up for a challenge.

EDIT 2:
Welp, the easy part's done. :lol:

Image

It actually looks pretty good in game...

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:57 pm 
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That gate looks fantastic! If this is just a rough version I can't wait to see the final.

Concerning functionality, after I released the SG_preview level I started tinkering around with another Stargate level. I attempted to streamline and make modular the scripting for the gate. Among other things, this level featured three stargates with explorable destinations. I'm pretty sure you can figure out what I did with the Atlantis gate and apply it accordingly.

I also started experimenting with how to operate a Milky Way. The approach I was considering was to rely more on Tres's physics engine than the ASA engine. I was imagining detaching the inner ring from the gate so it could freely spin, and then using various impulse scripts to push the inner ring around. Attached to each chevron would be a unique (invisible) mesh that would serve as the chevron's ID (a location trigger at the 7th chevron would track the progress). I had gotten as far as testing the feasibility of this with an oversized engine fan mesh from the Lab; from what I can recall it was working and looked promising.

Then, as to be expected, Windows stopped booting up. I'm pretty sure that the harddrive itself is fine, it's just that Windows started throwing a fit. I never got around to extracting the files, and I'm not sure where my backups are (figures). Next time my parents come down to my apartment I am going to have them bring that computer so I can attempt to recover the files off of it.

Just food for thought, hppav. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Slugger wrote:
Concerning functionality, after I released the SG_preview level I started tinkering around with another Stargate level. I attempted to streamline and make modular the scripting for the gate. Among other things, this level featured three stargates with explorable destinations. I'm pretty sure you can figure out what I did with the Atlantis gate and apply it accordingly.


There's a lot of triggers, I see, lol. The Milky Way gate should use less triggers due to the fact that the only textures that would have to change are the 7 Chevrons.

Slugger wrote:
I also started experimenting with how to operate a Milky Way. The approach I was considering was to rely more on Tres's physics engine than the ASA engine. I was imagining detaching the inner ring from the gate so it could freely spin, and then using various impulse scripts to push the inner ring around. Attached to each chevron would be a unique (invisible) mesh that would serve as the chevron's ID (a location trigger at the 7th chevron would track the progress). I had gotten as far as testing the feasibility of this with an oversized engine fan mesh from the Lab; from what I can recall it was working and looked promising.


Hmm. So... kind of like a combination of TC~Isle's flying Pteranodons and the throw switches in PV / Primer handle in hppavTest, with invisible CEntityAttached objects for each of the symbols (Since physics $ objects have a limit, but I don't think CEntityAttached does as far as we know)...? Figuring out how to script that will be an interesting endeavor. :lol: Always best to learn the hard way ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:37 pm 
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hppav wrote:
Hmm. So... kind of like a combination of TC~Isle's flying Pteranodons and the throw switches in PV / Primer handle in hppavTest, with invisible CEntityAttached objects for each of the symbols (Since physics $ objects have a limit, but I don't think CEntityAttached does as far as we know)...? Figuring out how to script that will be an interesting endeavor. :lol: Always best to learn the hard way ;)


Yes, CEntityAttached. And you're right, the MW gate should require much less scripting since it doesn't have nearly as many animations. You might as well just import the DHD directly, save you some scripting headaches. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:46 pm 
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Still have no idea what stargate is. . . :P

I think I have a DVD somewhere, we'll see.

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:57 am 
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Have you considered using animated textures to simulate the ring rotation instead? It would be easier to do...

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:10 am 
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Well, there's the Stargate movie which stars Kurt Russell... Then there's the Stargate SG-1 TV show (starring Richard Dean Anderson who played Macgyver) which is only slightly like the movie but lasted 10 seasons and is the basis for my Stargate project. There's also Stargate Atlantis, upon which Slugger's original level was based, which was a spinoff of SG-1. Then there's SGU, which most Stargate fans hated and only lasted 2 seasons before being canned (I never saw it, so I can't comment). There's also a series of Stargate SG-1 movies as well.

Essentially what it's about is that the polytheistic gods of the past were aliens who enslaved humanity and built the pyramids. The Stargate was a device used to get from planet to planet by establishing a wormhole using 6 constellations as reference points and a point of origin (these are the 7 chevrons. There's an 8th that dials out to another galaxy and a 9th that apparently dials to ships, if what I've heard of SGU is right). The triangle with the circle above it that takes the place of the second A in the new Stargate logos is Earth's point of origin symbol. The stargates were built by an even more ancient race of beings known as the Ancients (fitting, eh?). After an uprising on earth, the Stargate here was buried in Giza until it was discovered in 1928 and taken to a government facility where it was eventually activated by a research team which included Dr. Daniel Jackson. (Most of this is in the movie, except the movie seems to indicate that the sun-god Ra built the stargates, mainly because the story was completely redone for SG-1).

Here's a clip where Teal'c, who is a Jaffa who was enslaved on another world and became the First Prime of Apophis, has recently allied himself with SG-1 and tries to find out more about Earth via the TV:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-a1CO1wv-8[/youtube]

Quote:
Have you considered using animated textures to simulate the ring rotation instead? It would be easier to do...


The symbol ring is made with 5 textures, there's 39 glyphs. I would have to make a new series of textures where each glyph aligned with the top. That's 195 textures... Then to make it look like it's rotating rather than just changing symbols, you would have to have half-glyph alignments, adding 195 more textures on top of that.

I'd rather not spent my time making 400 textures if I can solve the problem and make it rotate smoother by scripting :P

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:20 am 
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hppav wrote:
The symbol ring is made with 5 textures, there's 39 glyphs. I would have to make a new series of textures where each glyph aligned with the top. That's 195 textures... Then to make it look like it's rotating rather than just changing symbols, you would have to have half-glyph alignments, adding 195 more textures on top of that.

I'd rather not spent my time making 400 textures if I can solve the problem and make it rotate smoother by scripting :P

Make the symbol ring with 39 textures instead (or divide it into 39 pieces), and that takes care of that problem, leaving you with only 78 needed textures including the half-glyph alignments...

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:51 pm 
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Well, the Stargate is a tube with 27 segments (3 segments between each Chevron). Draco had modeled Slugger's SGA gate to have the same number of sides as there are glyphs on the SGA gate, 36 (with the dividers between glyphs being modeled on both sides of the ring).

My goal is to keep the Stargate itself as low poly as possible without compromising the look so the engine won't refuse to render the Ka-woosh once I remodel those segments, which are also WAY over poly. The poly counts of the models are probably the reason for all the crashes the level had when it was released.

Anyway, I forgot the top light lifts away when the bottom part of the top Chevron lowers in the activation sequence (It has been years since I actually saw the show last)

The movie gate dialing. In the movie the top Chevron is different looking and each Chevron "opens" and "closes" on their respective symbols. The inner ring rotates clockwise for the first three, then counter clockwise for the last three, then clockwise again for the seventh.:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vShFK0rIGV4&feature=related[/youtube]

And here's the show gate dialing. In the show the glyphs line up with the top Chevron. The ring spins clockwise to the first glyph, then counter-clockwise to the second glyph... alternating until it reaches the 7th.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NKRQtjxLB8[/youtube]

That alternating is going to make this a bit more complicated than I thought, I completely forgot that it did that.

And here's the clip that plays when they travel in the earlier seasons [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZKbyygV4SI&feature=related[/youtube]

It was later trimmed down and then later still remade completely. Of course it makes no sense considering that the team is nothing more than just a bunch of particles as they pass through the wormhole, but still cool nonetheless.

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:12 pm 
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You might be able to get away with the wormhole traveling effect with a SMK animation, although I'm with you on its usefulness: an interesting effect for us TV viewers, but relative to the travelers the trip is instantaneous (or .03 seconds or whatever figure Carter quoted in the episode where all the alternate realities teams kept flooding into SGC).

And I never really paid that much attention to the gate when it was dialing, but I always assumed that it didn't necessarily alternate clockwise/counterclockwise but moved into whatever direction was quickest for a glyph to reach the 7th chevron (not that it helps your scripting anything ;)).

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:00 pm 
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I'd still go with the animated textures...

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:04 pm 
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machf wrote:
I'd still go with the animated textures...


But how would you deal with all the combinations when players randomly push glyphs on the DHD or incorrectly enter an address? If you had a rotating model you'd just give it a push and then stop it when the correct glyph reaches the 7th chevron.

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:54 pm 
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You plan to use a location trigger to stop the ring? With intangible (and I guess, invisible) CEntityAttached objects for each of the glyphs? It's simpler to use animated textures, you only need to know the starting frame for the animation sequence and the ending one... and you only have two animation sequences, "clockwise" and "counterclockwise".

The only problem I see with animated textures is the limit of 32... but I think there's also a limit for the number of attached objects an object can have. And/or for the magnets, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:05 pm 
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I know a lot of you guys are sticklers for accuracy down to the minute details, but I feel like you could forget somethings and alleviate some of the hassle for yourself. I'm not a huge stargate buff, I would be very satisfied with it just spinning one direction :)


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 Post subject: Re: Stargate
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:02 pm 
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machf wrote:
The only problem I see with animated textures is the limit of 32... but I think there's also a limit for the number of attached objects an object can have. And/or for the magnets, too.


Would it not be possible to split the stargate into multiple objects?

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