Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The AH-1, my biggest project to date

The AH-1 in Vray

This model is by far the biggest project I have ever taken on.  In retrospect, it may have been a little too big!  There were many challenges relating to reference and the level of accuracy I wanted.  Eventually, I was able to get an actual combat pilot to give me some additional reference and pointers.

I made a bunch of alphas for different kind of screws and bolts, and had to experiment a great deal to get the right texture for all of the various  materials.  This model is a simulator type 'hero' model, with a fully detailed interior for both crew stations.  In the game it has as many working dials as I could make.  Operation Arrowhead isn't a flight sim so there are a few unused ones.  The model is almost entirely hand painted with some photo reference / grunge textures used to make the matte paint look more scuffed up.

The dash of the pilot's 'work station'.  You can see a little of the
condensation streaks I put on the windows.

The gunner's 'work station'.

The in-game asset has ten visual LODs, including two 'pilot view' ones, four shadow volumes, and several other hit locations.  The Real Virtuality engine allowed me to apply different materials to different locations of the LOD that interacts with the ballistic and damage simulations, so the various armour plates, engines, transmission, rotors, etc all have different abilities to stop or deflect different kinds of bullets.  Additionally, the engine, transmission, tail rotor, systems, and turret may each be damaged or destroyed with different effects for each.

The first resolution LOD of this model has 10k points and 10k faces.  It has 15 sections with its various proxies, and flare textures.  The exterior of the model has 2 textures, one for the fuselage, and one for everything else, and the interior has 4 to keep the text legible.

It is difficult to characterize the work and fiddly detail went into this project and its various features, don't feel shy to ask questions about it.  More shots are available on my Picasa Album.  Be sure to check out the descriptions :)  All of the shots in the album are from the game engine model viewer that comes with the community tools, so it is more or less how it looks in game.


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