Ok good people. Since this thread has pretty much just been a showcase of what i am willing to offer in the realm of modeling, and eventually it will showcase textures, that being said, it is not yet, nor promised that it will be a representation of everything that will end up in the game. The reason why i am saying this is because i want to be conscientious to the concerns of any of the original authors of works i am basing these models on. I realize it is up to me to approach each individual author, and explain what my intent is by offering new models and textures, but prior to that i want to make it clear here, that i do not intend to overshadow any previous work, only to offer optional models and textures to some really great OXPs out there, and possibly in the future the models may be up for a resource for new OXPs. But that lays entirely on the shoulders of the authors in question. any new models created using the old models from the original game series, or its spinoffs as a template, will simply be replacers at the discretion of the end user, or new OXPs that offer the ship as a new reimagined version of any of the retro models. any of the models based on newly authored OXPs (in contrast to things that were in the original elite game) where the author/s designed the models, those will not be released unless the author is ok with them being in their OXP and only after it is released as such will there be a possibility they will be up as a resource, which is entirely at the discretion of the original author (such as kiota or other similar OXPs)
so far, some of the authors have come to me in PMs and are ecstatic about these models, and are eagerly awaiting them. however i do realize, and it would be remiss of me to ignore that there could be objections to what i am doing. so i am extending good will to anyone that could possibly object to it and welcome any and all feedback either here, or in my PMs.
i have spoken of some of my concerns with Astrobe who has graciously lent me his ear on this, and offered to help with any scripting and plists. one of my main concerns though is moving on to the next stage of some of these so there is a working proof of concept for one of the simpler models and textures to replace. any of the more complex ones, such as modular stations will have to wait. the more complex and the more original the work, the more pitfalls are potential.
my main concern as far as mechanics goes, is how the game actually indicates to the models, how they will assemble, such as if there is a ship with one or more turrets, what does the code say that tells the turret where to go? does it simply target a dummy? or does it target a vertices? this may not seem important, but it could mean i have to backtrack and redo my ambient occlusion textures based on where the turret actually ends up, and those coordinates are very critical. it would look terrible if the shadows created by the AO rendering would fall any place other than where they should be. turrets, and modular stations for example would actually be effected by this based on the coordinates the scripting gives to the individual parts (models) assembled by the game to give us the complete model in game. so understanding how this behaves, and obeying the rules of the game itself is critical when it comes to locating parts on the model to replicate how it will be assembled in the game. then i can bake the AO texture and really get down to business on making textures that will work with very little effort instead of backtracking 100 times to make things fit. with simpler ships, those without turrets, this will not be an issue. even if they have multiple parts, as long as they are all in the same group that imports to the game as one model.
i have also stopped for the time being posting new pictures of models i have been working on due to the concern that may be unfounded, that any original author may object to new models being offered as an alternative in their OXP. since i have to approach them first before continuing, this has simply been a showcase of potential. as i said before, any objections should be raised now. that is not an ultimatum, it is just that i want to make sure i am not stepping on anyone's toes. in a practical sense it would mean that instead of working on things that wont gain any traction, i can focus on elements that will more than likely end up being included for the user in the future. granted, as a model and texture offering only, this would not negate their work at all, simply it would be an option for the end user depending on their play style, whether they prefer retro models or modernized ones. my opinion is that choices are cool, and restrictions are not so cool, but not everyone may share that sentiment. so i am not asking to use their work, simply offering to compliment it for the sake of the end user who may want that option.
this is not a blanket permission request either, however it would be awesome if authors did chime in and voice their opinions here so we can continue discussing it in PMs. if you know of any authors, and you read this thread regularly, then feel free to approach them as well and make sure they get to read this. sometimes my creative juices get in the way of the particulars and i can lose track of what belongs to who. of course it would be simple to look up names in the ships list, and i will do that eventually, but if anyone wants to beat me to the punch, they are more than welcome.
anyone who has already approached me in this thread who is either working on an OXP update/modernization, or has breifly mentioned their interest in doing that in this thread and are eager to collaborate using models showcased here, is welcome to PM me as well so i can start to create a spreadsheet of ships that are being worked on and are in various stages of development. i would rather start to work on some of the ships that are being waited on, and prioritizing those will be based on actual need, or demand. if there is little demand, or there are more obstacles in the way, those will be put in a holding pattern.
as with any project, one person can't do everything alone, and things can sadly come to a grinding halt (which has happened many times in my experience) i would rather that not happen.