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 Post subject: Rethinking MTM2 truck making
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 9:42 pm 
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<a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZBBV7gW82nnWvIf4VxcSDw"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_CapNPuhxgzI/SQ5aIv5eUII/AAAAAAAABm4/csMhLs_-3oM/s800/windowchevy1.jpg"></a>

What you see here is the beginning of something I've wanted to try for some time. As I've made clear here before, I think the detail and vert level of the "modern" MTM2 truck is well out of hand. My newest trucks have full 3d engines, triple-bypass shocks, full swaybars, and complex frames...and also weigh in at 2200 verts.

At one point in time, MTM2 trucks were presumed to have a 1000 vert limit. Much of that was due to the limited performance of graphics cards and computers in general at the time, but the game also does not like excessive vert counts. But still, we like the detail of full 3d chassis and whatnot. So are we totally up the creek? In my opinion, no, because there is a compromise.

Take a look at the stock Boogey Van:
Image

Note that, while the frame is still a painted-on object, the wheel cutouts are also there, but solid across the width of the truck. This is the key to what I am proposing...use this basic method of truck making, with one simple change: make the shocks (and a simplified header) 3 dimensional. In this way, you keep some form of realism while also crashing the vert count. By lacking a 500+ vert frame, a 200 vert engine, 200 verts of inner body fiberglassing, 200 vert headers, and several more accessories, you get the truck back down to well under 1000 verts. On my trucks, I waste 512 verts on the bypasses on the shocks alone...take that away from my trucks and the number really tanks.

OK, that's great you say, but the truck above has no frame or anything on it right now, so what does it have to do with your concept? Simple - I think that some verts under the 1000 mark can be "reclaimed" for a cockpit!

Image

NASCAR Racing 3 came out about 2 years after MTM2, and it has a "tinted" windshield with a cockpit visible. Now it's tough to tell from these shots, but there really isn't much to the cockpit itself...just some bars to represent the rollcage (they appear to be just 2d there, BTW), and a driver's head, torso, some arms, and a wheel to provide the human inside. I'd like to see this for MTM2 as well, since it's my opinion that the solid windows are much more noticeable and ruin the illusion more. I think this could be done for under 100 verts, too, using the same strategy. Just the upper half of the driver with some texturing inside to fill out the cab. TRI has used this themselves-remember Anderson from 4x4Evo?

At this point, though, I admit that I could use (and would greatly appreciate) some help in the project. I'm an easily frustrated modeler, and could use some assistance in crafting the aforementioned cockpit. The good news is, once the first truck is done I think the other makes and models of pickup would follow quickly because it would just be a matter of closing off the fiberglassing and making some windows. So please let me know if you could join the cause!

Hopefully, if this works like I hope it will, it will be both easier and less stressful to make good looking trucks, and that the detail in the trucks will be focused in a different place. And the trucks would get drivers!

(Sorry about the novel length...but I hope it all came over clearly!)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:57 pm 
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That's an idea I've been contemplating for a while as well especially after my last couple releases. I'm glad you took the time to really think it out, that's the biggest step imo.

I'd be happy to help out with the modeling. I use Milkshape3D though so your truck would lose its textures(although I remember somebody here mentioning a way of keeping the textures). Normally I make the models then export them to binedit and texture so I've never really dove into the whole texturing side of Milkshape.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:59 pm 
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I'd love to have your help. Right now, I'm still focusing on conceptual and hope to get a frame based on a Patrick worked out soon (gotta find a good bare-chassis side shot out there). Where I could use the most modeling help right now is in the cockpit. If you have the time to come up with something let me know, because I won't mind doing mapping if the modeling is all set.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:06 pm 
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I agree this is a good idea. In fact, I did the body part of it quite a while back.

http://mtm2.com/~trucks/truckpic.cgi?thistruck=194

The cockpit is a whole other thing, tho.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:51 am 
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I could definitely take on the cockpit, it should be fun, I had a good time with eradicator's. Speaking of that, did you want something along those lines in terms of cockpit detail, less or more?

Image
Image

Did you want something along those lines or something a little more subtle?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:59 am 
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Also, I remembered Bigdogge posting some great pictures of Eradicator's newer frame you can use for reference.

They're big so links only.

http://www.j-bmotorsports.com/images/Pr ... g_0455.jpg

http://www.j-bmotorsports.com/images/Pr ... g_0448.jpg

http://www.j-bmotorsports.com/images/Pr ... g_0451.jpg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:59 am 
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A little less detail...I'm thinking with dark tinted windows a "guy sitting in a vat of oil" may be appropriate. (http://www.tamiyaclub.com/pictureframe.asp?t=n&id=img13236_11012008131608_8.jpg). If more detail is required, then just a gap down so you can see a texture for the driver's legs, like in toy F1 cars.

When I get back from work tonight I'm gonna try to close in the body and get a frame texture together as best as possible, maybe even a model.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:16 pm 
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That's what I was thinking, that should be pretty easy. I'll try to get started today.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 4:00 pm 
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Ok, I got the driver model finished, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I wanna make sure I'm on the same page with you.

Image

What exactly did you want for the cab? Do you want a roll cage built in as well?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:24 pm 
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I'm going to handle the rest of the cab...it's tough for me to describe without some imagery so give me a little bit and I'll explain it out.

That looks excellent, BTW! I might give it some shoulders though lol. How many verts?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:12 pm 
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I hope this makes some form of sense.

Image

This is a (very) rough sketch of what I am planning. My plan is to integrate the inside of the A and B pillars with the rollcage, and then have a flat face across the bottom of the window area which would serve as the "vat of oil" the driver would sit in. It would use only 8 extra verts, but it may get more detailed if it doesn't look right in game. It's something which I should be taking care of on my end, probably.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:42 pm 
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Haha, I accidentally pulled his shoulders through his head. The model isn't defined too much, but I figured it would be best to make up for the missing detail via textures. It's 168 verts as is so things are looking pretty good so far.

About the 'vat of oil', I made the driver body end low so you wouldn't even notice the black abyss he's sitting in. You can move the black face down to the mid section of the cab. That way the only time it will even be noticed is when the truck is flipping over.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Perfect! My thought is to make the "vat" have a texture anyhow so it doesn't look so ridiculous when the truck flips over.

It's gonna take some time to close off this body's underside, I gotta map out where the verts are to get the areas closed, so it might be waiting a bit. Meanwhile, I'm gonna try to get a "frame" done, just gotta find some good shots of a Patrick on transport tires from the side!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:04 pm 
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You could check out the qualifying pictures from the past world finals events. The trucks all run without the bodies during qualifying and there is also the pit party pictures.

Have you thought about making a semitransparent frame? As in drawing a frame on a black background and flipping the faces at the end. I've never tried myself, but I've always wondered if it would work or not, it could be something to look into.

Good luck wit the frame work, if you need any help let me know.


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