Saturday, January 5, 2013

Painting for Simutrans: Evolution: Part 1

I've been for over four years and a half in the forum, and I feel it's time to take a look back and see who am I and where I did came from...
I discovered Simutrans on March 13, 2008; that's what my welcome message at the forum archive says. Since then, I've been playing a lot, more at the begining than now, but always enjoying this fantastic game.

My first creations

It took me about three months, until end of June, deciding to create content for Simutrans, where I started my airplane set for Pak128: that's two years and a half ago. Lots of things changed from those first contributions to the last ones I am currently developing, and I will talk about them!

At the very first, when I painted my first airplanes, I used only very basic capabilities in blender, as I was an absolute newbie to it. Moreover I used always UV mapping techniques, which consist on drawing images with an external tool (I used Photoshop most of the times), and then sticking them onto blender's objects surface. That gave my first vehicles a real-like style texturing, which I used to like very much.

During that first stage, I went from using only very square and sharp objects to use more cylinders and rounded objects. That can also be seen when you look at those airplanes: the Airbus series were one of the first ones, while 747 and the old W8B or the IL Candid are the last ones. There's a big difference between them, mostly in their shape and concept.

And Shades was right there...

The technique used to build simutrans objects in these days was rotating manually the objects in blender, in order to take the proper renderings. I made a first render to get the size of the object in pixels, then scale properly the object into blender. After that I had to render manually all eight views, then load all into my image editing software, manually align each view, and add special colors like windows or green/red lights. After half of my planes or more I discovered Shades (yes!), which made my life easier by aiding a lot with aligning and special colouring.

Will continue in part 2... soon.

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