I’ve spent the past couple days having fun. I figured, before I get any farther on this, I need to decide what I’m going to do with the materials. I started out by trying to UV map it. Ha. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky. For those who do, you understand my pain. Obviously, traditional “flat” maps are out, this thing has too many curvy lines. So, I started looking at unwrapping.
Lightwave comes with an unwrapper, but it sucks. It creates way too many parts and you wind up with a FUBAR mess. So, I found out about a plugin on the Lightwave forums. I downloaded that and it works great. However, it was creating the map for the main hull as one big blob-shaped thing. I could define edges by selecting them, but that part has 224,254 edges. No way in hell was I driving myself nuts doing that. I could also split it up by surface. Great, except that it was one surface. Yes, I can make it multiple surfaces, but it has over 100,000 polygons. (just for the main hull) So, I went back to my pre-sub patched version. It’s only 826 polygons. So, I went around and made that into a few different surfaces. Then I re-sub patched it. Unfortunately, I also had to redo the paneling. Though, that’s not that bad because I decided I wasn’t 100% happy with my first panels anyway. So, that’s all redone. Then I unwrapped it again.
After unwrapping it, I found out two things: 1. (most important) Lightwave will only export the generated texture to a .eps file that GIMP can’t import. There’s another plugin I could try, but it’s only 32 bit and I use 64 bit Lightwave. And, I don’t have money for any of Adobe’s overpriced software, so that’s out. 2. I don’t really feel like making a bunch of textures on the “sheet” it generates anyway. Since the model has no straight lines, neither would the textures.
So, after all of that, I finally decided I’m just not going to texture it. I decided, since I had to split the damn thing into different materials anyway, I’d just go with a four color scheme with reflections. The colors I chose were eggshell white, robin’s egg blue, cobalt blue and chrome. After doing that, I decided I didn’t like the robin’s egg blue and cobalt blue together, so I changed the robin’s egg blue to sky blue. I like the way it came out, so I’m keeping it. I figure, if I decide to add some grime, (the jury is still out on that) I can add it with some procedural textures with transparency. For the markings, I can do some small textures and apply them like decals. Also, I may do some stripes and whatnot by selecting faces and changing the material on them. I figure that’s faster than textures, it won’t go to crap if you get too close and I’ll have no issues with it following the crazy hull lines.
So, here it is with the new paneling and some colors.