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DYRL VF-1 WIP


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#1 danbickell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:19 PM

Due to popular demand, I finally decided to post a WIP thread for my current spare-time project: my DYRL VF-1 3D model. Thanks to everybody for their kind words and support, from the few renders I've posted in other threads throughout the development of the model so far. There is some great talent on this forum, and I'm happy to join in with my efforts. For those that don't know me, I'm a veteran video game developer (my most recent works were featured in Call of Duty Black Ops, Call of Duty World at War, and Call of Duty 3), and I recently came out of semi-retirement to work with some former colleagues as an art consultant at Isopod Labs. As a life-long Macross fan, this is a labor of love, that I'm working on whenever I have the time to spare. It is great to have a project like this, with none of the limitations I've always had to live with working in game development!

My goal is to create the definitive, super-detailed 3D model of the VF-1, starting with the DYRL version. I want to make it as close to lineart-accurate as possible, while maintaining mechanical functionality as much as possible (which is a real trick, due to all the anime magic required to make this stuff "work"). Compromises certainly have to be made, but I'm doing my best to avoid them wherever possible.

So far, only the nose section and A head have been modelled, and neither are "finished", or even textured yet. I plan to update this thread as I progress, and I welcome any and all comments and discussion. I hope you guys enjoy a little Valkyrie porn!

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The proportions for this model are starting with the Hasegawa 1/48 model, which is, in my opinion, the best mix of proportions I've seen yet. It has many of the proportions from the Yamato 1/60 V2 line, but refined and with much more detail. Still, it isn't entirely accurate (especially when it comes to DYRL details), so I'm doing my best to refine it.

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I'm a cockpit junkie, so I dove in with the most detail in the cockpit right off the bat, to get it out of my system.

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These are older versions (previously posted in other threads):

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#2 danbickell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:26 PM

Here is a cut-away view I put together for Talos, for reference for his valkyrie profiles:

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The third revision of the vernier thrusters:

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The 2nd revision of the nose blisters (sensor version):

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The nose landing gear proved to be quite a challenge, requiring some compromises to get everything to mechanically work and fit properly. I borrowed the side-mounted triple-segmented main hyraulic actuator from the VF-1 Master File, re-proportioned to fit in a properly sized bay. All the moving parts are functional and rigged, including the actuators for the gear bay doors.

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#3 danbickell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:40 PM

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The canopy was a fun to work out as well, figuring out a hinge system that would actually work, with hydraulic actuators.

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Most recently, in order to seal up the nose geometry at the rear, I've had to go ahead and model the head and work out the transformation mechanism there so that everything works.

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I'm resisting the urge to detail the head at this point. Next up is cutting the panel lines into the nose, and getting the nose geometry "final" before moving on. I will problem texture the nose first as well, before moving on to the next part.

Edited by danbickell, 06 February 2011 - 05:42 PM.


#4 Lobizon

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 06:48 PM

I am totally blown away!

Superb Work!!! :)

#5 Nanashi

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:02 PM

Every time I go and start re-working my VF-1 model, I see something like this! For the love of steve, its got BOLTS modeled into the interior of the landing gear bay! Totally INSANE. Damn you and your amazing work!

#6 claude grant

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:17 PM

GOOD LORD!! Stellar stuff dude!

#7 danbickell

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 11:54 PM

Thanks, guys!

I know the feeling. I've done a number of VF-1 3D models over the decades, and have often been inspired to start a newer and more detailed model after seeing others surpass my previous efforts. Seeing the growing talent here on this forum over the years is exactly what motivated me to start this one up. I feel like I need to take it to the next level and get it out of my system. (But I secretly hope somebody will come along and push it even further!)

Of course, at the rate this is going for this level of detail, it will be a long time before I've got a completed model.

I started in on cutting panels into the nose skin, starting with the trickiest one (and it was a pain), but the rest should be a piece of cake and go pretty quick.

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#8 sumimi

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 04:55 AM

It's awesome ~ :)

Can you upload Hasegawa 1/48 model MANUAL? Please ~

Thank you very much ~~


Sorry for my poor English ~~ :P

#9 tipatat

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:21 AM

That amount of detail is insane. I am definitely in awe. Would you mind if I adapt some of your detailing in my model? especially for the landing gear?

Keep up the great work, can't wait to see more.
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#10 danbickell

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:47 AM

That amount of detail is insane. I am definitely in awe. Would you mind if I adapt some of your detailing in my model? especially for the landing gear?

Keep up the great work, can't wait to see more.
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Thanks!

Feel free to borrow whatever you want. I try to not "make stuff up" as much as possible, so most details are straight from the lineart or Kawamori detail sketches. Some of the landing gear stuff is from the VF-1 Master File solution for the mechanical issues with the original lineart designs, but I tried to throw out as much of the "apocryphal" added details as possible, and substitute the original design elements wherever possible. The hydraulic system is made up, but based on systems from modern aircraft.

Something I've often said to the artists I've worked with: "Remember, good artists borrow, and great artists STEAL!"

#11 chillyche

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:21 AM

I think I don't have to even say: WHAT THE FRAK?! THIS IS AWESOME. And yet, I said it anyway. Like Nanashi said, you've got bolts in freakin' landing gear bay. That's love.

Now... I'm awaiting to see if you have a solution for the consoles and monitors of battroid mode, and where they come from and how.

#12 The_WOZ

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:04 PM

And I thought I went overboard with details on my VF-1...

There's no words to fully describe how awesome your model is danbickell!

#13 tipatat

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 12:29 PM

Thanks!

Feel free to borrow whatever you want. I try to not "make stuff up" as much as possible, so most details are straight from the lineart or Kawamori detail sketches. Some of the landing gear stuff is from the VF-1 Master File solution for the mechanical issues with the original lineart designs, but I tried to throw out as much of the "apocryphal" added details as possible, and substitute the original design elements wherever possible. The hydraulic system is made up, but based on systems from modern aircraft.

Something I've often said to the artists I've worked with: "Remember, good artists borrow, and great artists STEAL!"


Ahh, the Master File book. I still don't have that but now I just ordered both volumes. I've been using the old Macross Perfect Memory and Macross Gold Book, internet images, and my Yamato 1/48 scale toy.

#14 chillyche

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:45 PM

And I thought I went overboard with details on my VF-1...

Wow! Haven't see YOU around in some time.

#15 gigawatt

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 07:23 PM

WOW!!! Absolutely amazing!! Keep it up!

#16 Doc_John

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:01 AM

WOW just awe inspiring work

#17 Zinjo

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 12:27 AM

Stunning Work!

Can't wait to see more of Your progress!B))

#18 The_WOZ

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 08:56 AM

Wow! Haven't see YOU around in some time.


I check the forums everyday, but lately I'm mostly lurking... :)

#19 chillyche

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:43 AM

I check the forums everyday, but lately I'm mostly lurking... :)

An "active listener." That's what we'd always say in class if we weren't actually speaking. Heh. Anyway, nice to know that you're still around.

#20 chillyche

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:51 AM

At risk of sounding like an idiot danbickell, I want to say: how do you DO that? Now, to qualify that statement a little more, I guess I want to ask you:

What software?
Are you poly modeling or spline or nurbs or...?
Do you box model and just subdivide like crazy, or do you have a poly by poly approach?
Are you a mad man, a genius, or both?

#21 TehPW

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 10:39 PM

i'm floored at your work (especially the nose gear). I worked Support Equipment in my time in the Navy but i always liked watching the airframes doing lift checks on Hornets & Hawkeyes (my dad did contractor level work as a 'gear man' so i had more than a little reason to want to know more about AC landing gear systems).

Just looking at those beautiful CGI of the enterior bays... breath taking. I especially applaud the venier details since they retro'd their purpose a few years ago...

#22 danbickell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:18 PM

At risk of sounding like an idiot danbickell, I want to say: how do you DO that? Now, to qualify that statement a little more, I guess I want to ask you:

What software?
Are you poly modeling or spline or nurbs or...?
Do you box model and just subdivide like crazy, or do you have a poly by poly approach?
Are you a mad man, a genius, or both?


This is all done in Maya. It is all old-fashioned poly modelling, and a mix of subdividing primitives, extrusions and booleans, and going poly by poly. I particularly enjoy going about a project like this slowly and methodically, because we never have the opportunity to work this way in the game industry. The only high-poly modelling I ever get to do are "detail" models (to bake down normals and ambient occlusion to the game models), but the schedules are always way too tight to be able to go about it the way I would without the time constraints, and the detail levels are also still limited by the resolution of the game assets (can't waste time on details that will end up being smaller than pixels). I find it liberating to just go nuts on it, without a care about how long it takes.

I will probably make a "game resolution" version of this when I'm done, with the details baked down from this. It would make a nice portfolio piece, and demonstrate "what could be" if we were ever given the time to do things "right". I know there are a few projects going on here on the forums that might be able to put it to good use, and I would happily contribute.

The younger guys I work with these days are all into Zbrush, which I would love to play with if I ever get the opportunity. I do enjoy showing them how I do it the old-school way, though.

I've always found that there's a very fine line between genius and mad man. ;)

#23 danbickell

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:51 PM

i'm floored at your work (especially the nose gear). I worked Support Equipment in my time in the Navy but i always liked watching the airframes doing lift checks on Hornets & Hawkeyes (my dad did contractor level work as a 'gear man' so i had more than a little reason to want to know more about AC landing gear systems).

Just looking at those beautiful CGI of the enterior bays... breath taking. I especially applaud the venier details since they retro'd their purpose a few years ago...


Thanks! I'm really happy to hear from a guy with your background. I put a lot of thought into the nose gear, and used plenty of reference from Navy birds. A lot is borrowed from the F-14 (which is quite apparently what the original design is based on, and what they referenced for added details in the VF-1 Master Files), but I wanted to modernize it more, and used F-18 gear as reference for that.

I made the decision to modernize it further with a few Macross conventions I decided to adopt, since "overtechnology" should come into play. I left out any sort of fuse box/ electrical maintenance parts you would find in the gear bays, since their electrical systems should be advanced beyond that. Likewise, there are no actuators for things like the catapult bar, since small and powerful self-contained servos are clearly used all over for transformation related mechanics. Some of that should spill over into the design of the landing gear, along with smaller components due to stronger materials. I think it is a common (but understandable) mistake to want to fill in all the details EXACTLY like modern AC. Some things should carry over, though, hence the hydraulic system and details like tie-down rings.

As far as the rivets in the gear bay (that seem to be popular!), I actually went through a few revisions on those. I figured that the outer skin would mostly likely be composite rather than sheet metal, and smooth, with the exception of a few flush-fit fasteners for access under panels. The gear bays might be metal though, and part of the frame work, with conventional rivets. My first pass had more than twice as many rivets, and they were bigger (was looking too much at Tomcats for reference), but I decided that material advances would allow for smaller, stronger rivets, and went for a tighter, cleaner look (more like the Hornet).

I really appreciate all the kind words! I'm motivated to get some more work done on this project, as soon as I can get some free time.

#24 chillyche

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 08:52 AM

It is all old-fashioned poly modelling, and a mix of subdividing primitives, extrusions and booleans, and going poly by poly.


That is awesome. Not just because the end result is awesome, but it makes me feel like I'm not totally barking up the wrong chicken with my own work. I haven't got as strong a handle on manipulating shapes in 3D space -- sometimes I fight with a few vertices for hours -- as you have, but we're using the same basic grammar.


I find it liberating to just go nuts on it, without a care about how long it takes.

And the time and care spent on this model obviously shows, as everybody's gushing proves. I mean, yeah, everybody here has a soft spot for valks, of course, but your model is really impressive so far otakuism aside.

I will probably make a "game resolution" version of this when I'm done, with the details baked down from this. It would make a nice portfolio piece, and demonstrate "what could be" if we were ever given the time to do things "right". I know there are a few projects going on here on the forums that might be able to put it to good use, and I would happily contribute.

I think I just heard the entire forums freak out all at once.

The younger guys I work with these days are all into Zbrush, which I would love to play with if I ever get the opportunity. I do enjoy showing them how I do it the old-school way, though.

Know anything about Mudbox? I keep opening that up, in hopes that I can learn it, play with it, use it for something, but the lack of 3d mouse support just makes me quit. Which is funny, because I've been dinking around with 3D software since long before I'd even heard of 3D mice. Yet, once you get used to one... thanks Nanashi, thanks a lot.

I've always found that there's a very fine line between genius and mad man. ;)

Deculture!

#25 JET7

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 04:51 PM

how i wish mr. kawamori and hidetaka can see your work.. how i wish.. wheres spielberg and big hollywood hunchos when you need em..

awesome.. totally.

#26 Zinjo

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 07:18 PM

how i wish mr. kawamori and hidetaka can see your work.. how i wish.. wheres spielberg and big hollywood hunchos when you need em..

awesome.. totally.

I'd be happy to upload the finished work to my Pixiv account, (with full credit to the artist of course).

If they are going to see it anywhere it will be there... ;)

#27 Macross007

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 02:07 PM

This is so awesome that my balls just dropped on the floor. :blink:

#28 akt_m

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:06 AM

That's just awesome!!!!

#29 Mommar

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 06:36 PM

I check this thread over and over daily hoping to see any status updates to this project.

#30 danbickell

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:30 AM

Finally had some free time today, so I got the rest of the panels cut in to the nose. I've got to get to bed, so I'll let the pics do the talking:

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Really needs ambient occlusion at this point, to do it justice:

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#31 Talos

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 05:58 AM

Beautiful work, Dan. It looks really good. I love the detail in the nose FLIR sensor and vernier recesses. Seeing how the head laser is in relation to the landing gear doors, I was wondering if you plan on animating that rotating out of the way too.

Looking at the catapult bar on the landing gear, now I can't wait to see how you handle the dual tailhooks, which deploy from the inside corner of the leg/engine nacelles (opposite of the ventral fins).

#32 wwwmwww

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 09:02 AM

WOW!!!! :blink:

These pics made me think of the guy that made this:
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Here are links to his threads:
Macross / Robotech episode 1 CG progress
VF-1A Opinions

Jay-Lew's CG models were my favorites at the time. This looks to be bumping the bar up another notch.

By the way, the last post I see of Jason was in August of 2008. He gave a link to his 3D art web site:
http://www.jasonlewisart.com/

Which is gone now. Anyone know what became of Jason and his project?

Carl

Edited by wwwmwww, 14 February 2011 - 09:02 AM.


#33 tipatat

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 10:32 AM

Dan, keeps looking better and better. Definitely inspirational work.

And that SDF-1 model is pretty terrific. Most SDF-1 I see are the DYRL versions but I prefer the TV one. His VFs are pretty good too. Too bad he seems to have disappeared. That's why it would be great to have a site that had all the macross meshes available. hate to see good work go to waste.

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#34 danbickell

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 02:32 PM

I actually used to work with an artist named Jason Lewis, 10+ years ago. I think I do recall that he was a Macross fan as well (and was always admiring my Club-M 1/48 Strike model that I had in the office). I wonder if it is the same guy? I haven't been in touch with him for years now, but somebody just mentioned him at a dinner I was at on Friday, and apparently he is living in the Seattle area these days. I'll see if I can get in touch with him...

#35 wwwmwww

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 03:03 PM

I actually used to work with an artist named Jason Lewis, 10+ years ago. ... I'll see if I can get in touch with him...

Double WOW!!!! I'm SO glad I mentioned him. I'd be willing to bet it was the same person and I'd love to see what could happen if you two worked together on something. At the very least invite him back to MacrossWorld.

Carl

Edited by wwwmwww, 26 June 2011 - 04:01 AM.





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