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danbickell

DYRL VF-1 WIP

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Oh wow, I didn't notice that on the front page! My name ends with 2 Ls, BTW, but I'm not fussed about it.

Externally, most of the DYRL changes are on the nose.

The canopy is bubbled out, and the canopy frame has some differences. Here's a quick image I put together while discussing the canopy variants in another thread some time ago:

VF1_canopy_variants.jpg

The A head got some revisions for DYRL as well (different proportions, extended sensor piece, added detail). The "backpack" vent (facing rear in fighter, up in battroid) was revised as well. That's about it, off the top of my head. There are small details that were added or revised (panel lines and such) in the more detailed sketches, too.

The other big differences are all internal, such as the cockpit and main landing gear.

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  • Thanks a million Dan! That makes sense now with what kits/models I have. The DYRL nose is angled near the front of the canopy while the TV is rounded and more conformal. The good news is the canopy for the TV version is easier to model too. I'm doing it in 1/350th so the simpler the lines the easier to duplicate ;) - MT

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Hi Dan,

A couple of questions.

Is it completely modelled in Maya?

What renderer are you planning to use for the final model?

And are you modelling with nurbs, if so what parts?

Thanks, and yeah, truly awesome!!! :)

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Everything up to this point was modelled in Maya 8.5. I will most likely continue in Max though, just because that's what I'm currently using at work ( so I have the current version of Max at home now). I really preferred Maya to Max, like 5+ years ago when I had to switch to Maya at work. Switching to the current Max over the last year, I'm actually liking Max better again now.

No NURBS or sub-d at all. Everything is poly.

As far as renderers, I have no plans at all. I've always been a production artist, so I never really mess with that stuff, to be honest. Everything so far has just been using good old Mental Ray, in either Maya or Max. I'm always open to suggestions...

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Well Arnold Renderer is apparently the in thing these days. Don't know it myself, but a friend that recently got a job at Weta, mastered it and his renders are something very WOW.

Yeah, hearing many people in industry saying Max is better for modelling, though some of the all rounders that model in max, generally use Sofimage for rigging, and Maya for animation. I find that interesting as some companies are willing to supply three diffirent softwares.

Haven't tried Max myself, but probably will soon. Still loyal to Maya, and then Zbrush for texturing and rendering. :p

Anyway, hope to see more of these work of art of yours, and are you planning any 1S and 1J alternative heads?

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Wow, Arnold is back? I remember the hype around that several years ago, but never heard it was finished or being used these days. Guess I'm out of touch, but the only renderer we're ever concerned with in game development is whatever engine we're currently using.

Max is better for modelling these days, though Maya is still superior for rigging and animation. Even though I was strongly in the Maya camp for years, I was actually using quite a number of scripts and tools that I had a tools programmer I worked with create for me to get a number of standard Max tools that Maya didn't have (to ease the transition for my team when we switched software). I didn't even remember this until I re-installed Maya out-of-the-box, and realized all my custom tools were missing, and I felt practically helpless without them.

I do plan to at least do the S head, and FAST packs. To round out the DYRL collection, I would like to do VT-1 and VE-1 too. Of course, there was that one GBP-1J in DRYL...

If I can ever get those finished, I would certainly like to make a TV version as well, and then I'd just have to do the TV A and J heads. Of course, then I'd want to a VF-1D, and GBP armor as well.

I need to win the lottery, so I can just spend all my time modelling Macross stuff. Then I'll do it all, with TV and DYRL SDF-1s to go with them!

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If I could privately fund you I would. I've been dying to see just a finished VF-1 from you for a year now, to say nothing of an entire fleet.

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When they start giving out medals at MW you should be in the front of the queue. If only your finished items could find their way to a 3D printer ;) ;) I think that they would make Yamato and Hasegawa look bad.

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Thanks!

3D printing has been on my mind the whole time. I've built just about everything with water-tight 3D-printer friendly geometry in mind. There are details here and there I would have to boolean in, and some back faces to fill in to make solid pieces, but that's no big deal. I'd love to do a big scale, like 1/24. It would probably cost an arm and a leg, though. Any smaller scale would lose the smaller details. I'd love to at least do the nose or just the cockpit at 1/12. You guys probably wouldn't notice it in the renders I've posted, but there are details like hinges inside the panel lines on the hinged panels. The panel lines range from 2mm to 5mm wide, so in 1/24 that would work out to 83 to 210 nanometers. I don't even know if that is possible...

EDIT: Derp! I switched meters with milimeters in there, so that was off by a factor of 1000. Those panel lines in 1/24 would be 83,000 to 210,000 nanometers, or 0.083 - 0.21 mm. According to Shapeways, their minimum detail is about 0.2 mm, so the smaller panel lines might be too small even at 1/24. Even at 1/12 they would still be a bit too tiny. It goes to show how much details like this are over-sized on model kits. If you scaled up a 1/48 kit to 1/1, the gaps between panels would be over 1 cm wide (which would look terrible!).

Man, I wish I had more free time. I'm very much in the mood to work on this. I was digging around the web earlier, looking for the Hasegawa 1/48 VF-1S/A kit, but everyone is sold out. I found a place in Hong Kong that doesn't have it listed as sold out, but it would run over $90 with shipping. I'd love to have high-res scans of the instruction sheet, if anybody has one.

Edited by danbickell

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Well, my girlfriend went to Mexico for the weekend with her parents, so I had the house all to myself. I ended up pulling an all-nighter getting the model I imported into Max all cleaned up and presentable. I never remember having this much trouble transferring models between different formats between Maya and Max, but that's always been game assets that are much less compicated. The .fbx exports came through with the hierarchy, rigging, and constraints all intact, but way too much corrupted geometry (I tried several format versions and options). I ended up using an .obj export that came through with fairly clean geometry, but lost all the hierarchy and pivot points and such. I ended up re-triangulating and re-smoothing just about everything (currently at 650k polys), and consolidated the mess of separate materials with new fancy Mental Ray Arch & Design materials, ready to plug-in textures once I get that far.

Finally, I've got it all sorted, short of re-rigging the landing gear and canopy for animation (though I sorted out the pivot points and hierarchy to get everything to work again manually). I'm quite happy with the results in Max, and now I can start moving forward with this again!

Of course, I saved out plenty of renders along the way, and put together a selection of them for you guys today. I kept them at full-resolution 1920x1080 (except for a couple crops) this time around. Enjoy!

max_cleanup_render5.jpg

max_cleanup_render9.jpg

max_cleanup_render6.jpg

max_cleanup_render7.jpg

max_cleanup_render15.jpg

max_cleanup_render14jpg.jpg

max_cleanup_render10.jpg

Thanks to you all for being so supportive and enthusiastic. I truly appreciate it.

Edited by danbickell

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What kind of texturing are you going to do? I could see some of the interior needing texture work but the exterior looks about perfect as is now.

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Thanks, but there certainly needs to be textures for all the markings and paint schemes and weathering and such. An untextured CG model is like an unpainted model kit. Texture is what will really bring it to life, with all the squadron markings and little "NO STEP"s and such, and subtle faded and chipped paint, and grime. That will be the fun part (though UV mapping it all, not so much).

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The attention to details is simply stunning, some of the best work I've seen for a VF-1 model.

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Thanks guys!

Believe it or not, I finally started making progress on the rest of the model over the weekend. Here's a quick preview:

chest_preview1.jpg

Still based heavily on the Hasegawa 1/48, but tweaked with DYRL differences. More of that will be apparent once the vents are detailed. I had to go ahead and cut out the airbrake panel early to square away the space inside. The moving parts for the head base are directly below it in fighter mode, so I had to tweak some of that to fit. There is a decent amount of room in there, but I will have to be careful with it to leave enough space for the heat shield to fit in between somehow. Fun times ahead!

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I get a huge kick out of the fact that not only are you attempting the most detailed model of a VF-1 we've seen taht you're also attempting to recreate all of the systems a VF-1 would need to really exist.

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The detail in the renders are absolutely stunning! I love how the rear-view mirrors on the sides of the main monitor actually reflect the pilot's seat. This is truly an amazing piece of work!

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I'd love to have high-res scans of the instruction sheet, if anybody has one.

If you still need the scans I will be going to my parents next week where my Macross stuff is all in storage and I can snag you the scans, what DPI do you want them in ?

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Thanks guys!

I've been working on the chest and LERX this week, trying to get everything to work. The fairings on the underside that cover the top portions of the intake and thighs are problematic for transformation. I guess that is why they have been under-sized or left out on transforming toys and models. I've got a version worked out where the front portion of the fairing (part of the LERX) fits inside the middle portion (part of the chest) in battroid mode, but they have to clip through each other to get there. It would look fine in either mode, but not mid-transformation. I've been hung up on that, but I might try adding a hinge point to the LERX fairing to get it to work.

Leaving any room for the mechanism to swing the legs down to the nose is problematic too. Not to mention room for the battroid side covers... ugg...

The detail in the renders are absolutely stunning! I love how the rear-view mirrors on the sides of the main monitor actually reflect the pilot's seat. This is truly an amazing piece of work!

Yeah, I went ahead and put reflection materials on the mirrors, and on all the glass as well. The interesting thing about the mirrors is that they would need to be angled quite differently than they have always been drawn in order to actually get functional rear views outside the cockpit. Either that, or they would have to be some kind of fish-eye mirrors. I played around with it to get a functional view, but that angle looks wonky from the outside.

If you still need the scans I will be going to my parents next week where my Macross stuff is all in storage and I can snag you the scans, what DPI do you want them in ?

I would hugely appreciate that! 300 DPI would be fine, but I certainly wouldn't turn down 600 DPI. I'd love scans of the decal sheet too, please.

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Saw this around the 'net a little while back, had to give props to the artist as this is coming along great! :)

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Danbickel is killing us with his talent and it's a sweet way to die... :D

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If you need help with the transformation

http://www.hlj.com/product/SOF35694

This book has some insights. It deviates a bit, but the fans who did it made something workable.

I'm getting the book in a few weeks if you need scans.

Edited by VF5SS

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One of my favorite threads active again ;)

WOW!!! I just found this again myself and I feel the same way. So happy this thread is alive again.

Carl

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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...

Just curious. Did you ever get in touch with Jason Lewis? I'd love to see him revive some of his threads as well or maybe a joint project between the two of you.

Carl

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If you need help with the transformation

http://www.hlj.com/product/SOF35694

This book has some insights. It deviates a bit, but the fans who did it made something workable.

I'm getting the book in a few weeks if you need scans.

I have, and enjoy, all the Master Files books. There is some great work in there, but I actually don't like most of the liberties they took with the designs. They did some pretty wacky stuff to get things to work, and it often comes at the cost of changing the designs too much just to get one little feature shown in one episode to kinda work. In that respect, I've found it more valuable to simply see an idea already explored so I can more easily reject that approach.

I'm also not a fan at all of the proportions of the model they've used for all their diagrams. It looks decent in fighter, but not so hot in battroid or gerwalk.

The real value of these books, for me, has been motivational. I see a lot of effort and good work put into exploring the details of this stuff, but it ultimately leaves me unsatisfied, which motivates me to try to do it better.

Just curious. Did you ever get in touch with Jason Lewis? I'd love to see him revive some of his threads as well or maybe a joint project between the two of you.

Carl

He actually just recently found me on Facebook and friended me. Haven't chatted with him much yet, though. He's still in game development, and probably just as busy I am.

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He actually just recently found me on Facebook and friended me. Haven't chatted with him much yet, though. He's still in game development, and probably just as busy I am.

Very cool. I really hoped he would have finished his SDF-1. It was pretty amazing!!

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You know, this is going to sound ridiculous, but of all the things to nitpick at... I think it'd improve things a little if you actually beefed up the gear doors. :p

Granted, it's overtech and all that, but take a look at the front gear on an F-14, or maybe an F-18. The doors just look paper thin right now, as beautiful as they are. What really looks funny to me is how tiny the hinges are holding them on. Newer planes seem to have pretty small joints, but the actual pivots usually get buried inside the walls of the gear well.

I couldn't find any good shots of an F-18's gear as an example of what I mean about the pivots, and it's probably a better reference, but the F-14 has pretty big hinges on the front gear doors.

Mvc-004s.jpg

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The gear doors do look pretty slim in that most recent render. Part of it is that I don't have the red portion extending as far as that F-14 (the contrast makes a big difference visually). With the limited space in there (it is REALLY tight), I decided to stick closer to more modern aircraft. If you look at F-18s, the doors are quite a bit slimmer compared to the F-14, with smaller hinges too (and red only on the outer lip).

F-18B_015.jpg

F-18B_073_nose%20gear%202.JPG

F-18B_096.jpg

Here's a few of the older renders that show it more clearly:

nose_geo38_5.jpg

nose_geo38_AO3.jpg

Off the top of my head, the doors are at well over an inch in total thickness, with maybe 5 or 6 mm of outer skin (I'll measure when I get home). That seems about right, but I kinda agree that it might look better thicker. I could probably make it fit with just an extra set of indentations for tire clearance. Right now, they nearly touch, and I wouldn't want to shrink those any (they are a bit on the small size, and were always drawn bigger than could possibly fit).

Good critique! I'll see what I can do...

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I have to say that is impressive work - well done!

I'm curious: Have you worked out the geometry of the nose-pod in it's verical orientation for the batloid mode?

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I have to say that is impressive work - well done!

I'm curious: Have you worked out the geometry of the nose-pod in it's verical orientation for the batloid mode?

Not sure what you mean...

Proportionally, the nose will look much like the Yamato 1/60 in battroid (which I think is a good thing!). I'm using proportions from the Hasegawa 1/48, which matches up very closely with the Yamato 1/60 (at least on the top side, which is what is visible in battroid).

I'm guessing you mean the cockpit parts. I've played around with it, but ultimately decided not to try to make it reconfigure for battroid. Although the DYRL battroid cockpit certainly works better than the TV version, it still is quite problematic.

vf-1-dyrl-battroidcockpit-1.gif

vf-1-dyrl-battroidcockpit-2.gif

I built the seat in it's entirety, with provisions to angle the head rest. I did not build any mechanism to tilt it though, and I'm not sure where it would fit (there is no room, the floor of the cockpit is practically the roof of the nose gear bay). I've played around with it, and the seat does fit with the proper angle and everything (which really isn't all that much of angle, as opposed to the 90 degree rotation on the TV version). There certainly doesn't seem like there's enough room for all the stuff that has to maneuver around it, though.

Here's some old renders of the seat by itself:

vf1_seat.jpg

The arm rests would need the underside frame built and the hydraulics to angle them up with the seat (plenty of roof for that, at least).

Likewise, the stick and throttle would need the mechanism to extend them out of the side of the console and up into their battroid positions. I did build the throttle to rotate to the vertical position, at least.

The various screens are the biggest problem.

The front screen needs to come out of the front console (the top of the console is visible at the bottom of the forward-looking picture). The whole top of the console would have to open up for this, as the back of the front console doesn't match anything on the console. It would be much easier if the top of the console WAS the back of the front screen, but it just doesn't match at all. Also, the mirrors need to fold back somehow, without being in the way of the screen parts coming out of the top of the console.

The rest of the screens all need to fold out of the "box" behind the seat, somehow. Again, it would be great if that box folded apart and extended, with all the screens on the inside, but none of the back surfaces of those screens remotely matches anything on the box. All the extra battroid controls need to be attached to those screens as well. There's actually quite a bit that would have to magically fit inside that box.

And then, if you wanted to go so far as to have the seat be able to raise up for battroid egress/ingress (with the head swiveled forward, another problem altogether in itself), everything to do with the big vents at the back of the cockpit (and whatever ducting is behind it, presumably leading to the exterior vents) needs to magically go somewhere to get out of the way of all that.

So, basically there just is no way to do it and keep the detail anything close to accurate to the fighter cockpit drawings. I'd rather have the accurate fighter cockpit.

Maybe I'll do separate battroid cockpit model, accurate to the lineart, just to do it. I'd rather have two separate-but-accurate models than a severely accuracy-compromised transformable model. If I had those 2 models, only then might I try to make up a transformable model that would work, but wouldn't match the line art.

Edited by danbickell

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I built the seat in it's entirety, with provisions to angle the head rest. I did not build any mechanism to tilt it though, and I'm not sure where it would fit (there is no room, the floor of the cockpit is practically the roof of the nose gear bay). I've played around with it, and the seat does fit with the proper angle and everything (which really isn't all that much of angle, as opposed to the 90 degree rotation on the TV version). There certainly doesn't seem like there's enough room for all the stuff that has to maneuver around it, though.

While it's true there's a lot of magic involved, I can tell you a little about the "mechanism" for the DYRL-style chair. Basically, there is none; at least there is no "mechanism" UNDERNEATH the seat. If you look at the DYRL seat line art on my website, note the small art at the bottom right of this picture:

http://www.macross2....1-dyrl-seat.gif

You'll see the seat appears to almost float ever so slightly above the floor of the fighter mode. If my eyes don't deceive me, the only true "mount" (besides a small mound on the floor at the front bottom of the seat) is a single strut based on the floor that rises at roughly 75 degrees through the back of the seat. This strut rests within a darkened groove down the center of the seat back. You can see this groove in the line art and it appears you've also built this groove into your model (however it appears the bottom underside of the groove on your model is solid when it should be "open").

Anyway, hope that helps.

Edited by Mr March

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