Friday, March 29, 2013

Unnamed Post Series: Weapons

Seriously, it's been so long; and my to-post list is so backed up and convoluted that I got nothing as far as concise titles go.

I've been quiet the past couple months; but far from idle. Personal issues have just conspired to leave me in no mood to post for the most part. But, no one gives a flying fuck; so I'll get to the game stuff.

While I don't have the modeling skill to unfuck the sight alignment (seriously, do the modeling people at Bethsoft get paid? 'Cause they screwed up the sights on so many NV weapons that I think some days it was the 3d Studio Max equivalent of open mic night over there...), I've nonetheless kept tinkering with my .44 single action revolver -- including creating totally new normals from scratch. This is the latest draft:

The base texture I'm mostly happy with (it still needs a touch-up or two around the front of the cylinder flutes); but the normals continue to be annoying. Gamebryo is really, really touchy with normalmaps. I can get it looking good under low light; or bright light -- not both. It's either too shiny in the sun, or not shiny at all indoors. I continue to tinker, but am not expecting to get it perfect at this point.

Still working on the 1911, as well:

As you can see, the normal has issues; on the side under full sunlight. I've tried cleaning it up on numerous occasions, and it just will not cooperate. On the bottom where the texture wraps also annoys the hell out of me -- the line where the wrap meets makes it look like a fucking airsoft gun. Haven't had much luck getting the seam to disappear; but I'll confess I haven't worked at it real hard.

I've all but abandoned the Ranger Sequoia retexture. The base texture is absolute shit, no one's done a decent high-res replacement, and I don't have the dds skillz to do one up from scratch.

To satisfy my need for an overpowered revolver, I ended up picking up the Rhino. A quick glance over the comments thread will tell you the mod as downloadable is mostly fucked. Sadly, the Rhino has fallen victim to the same status as so many others -- the author uploaded a partially working version; patched it with something that works less well, and then disappeared from the Nexus. Version 2 has mis-aligned parts that result in the revolver not displaying or aiming correctly in game; version three fixed the alignment... but now it crashes the game of more than half the people who use it. Probably most annoying, is that the recolor texture packs for V2 don't work for V3; so even if you don't crashy crashy, you're stuck with that gaudy industrial orange thing.

Well, I've never let a little thing like a b0rked plugin or needing a texture recolor stop me...

Ignoring the uploaded plugin, I took the meshes and textures and reused them in my personal plugin, on a new weapon. I based it on the Ranger Sequoia; with the capacity cut to three rounds. I decided to asspull that the massive barrel was not a useless weight or empty housing, but was instead an integral (non-removable) suppressor. What? You can too suppress a 45-70. It's a reflex-type suppressor, okay? That big barrel housing provides plenty of space for expansion chambers.

Didn't bother with the red-dot or night vision models at all; nor any of the "pieces" from the assembly quest.

I can't speak for the other recolors from V2, but when I decided to recreate the green scheme it turned out to be almost obscenely simple: take the basic orange textures, apply a hue or color balance filter (depending on your editing utility); change the orange and red channels to green, scale the saturation back until you hit the shade of green you think is nondescript enough; save with DXT1 compression. Viola. Just monkeying with the color balance got the resulting texture so close to the original author's recolor that I suspect that's how he did it. I left the safety red; but recolored the Rhino logo to green to match the rest of the gun.

The Weapon Mod Menu allows for adding and removing the scope at any time, which lets you configure the weapon for in close or medium range, as needed.

I also did away with the custom scope reticle, and instead used the three-post design from the vanilla hunting rifle's scope:

Recolored the front sight red, and the rear sights green; amped up the glow by around 50% so that it would glow noticeably.

In all, I haven't had any trouble with it. It uses the normal Ranger Sequoia reload animation perfectly. The speedloader doesn't disappear like it's supposed to (half the revolvers in the game have that problem, though; so it's hardly unique to this weapon), but the author skillfully worked the speedloader into the cylinder; so that you have to look really close to even tell it's there -- it isn't at all like the vanilla 44 with its glaring loader clipping through the rear of the frame.

There's sometimes a bit of lag when the weapon is equipped (it's fairly high-poly; with a high-res texture), but I've yet to have it crash in open sighted or scoped variants -- whether equipped via menu or hot key. I'm tempted to try to recreate a couple of the other color schemes, but in practice I like the green so much that I'm not sure I'd ever use them.


  1. The .44 single action revolver looks like the kind of gun a man might get killed for. Very nicely done; your love for RL guns definitely shows in this one IMHO. Aesthetically it's my favorite of the ones shown here, though the 1911 looks more like something I could see a girl such as myself carrying.

  2. Nice work with those weapons Nos! Especially your revolver and version of the Rhino. Your automatic doesn't jump out at me as much, but given your issues with the normal maps for it, that may be why.

    Speaking of the 1911 (and please pardon my lack of real world weapon knowledge), but I always thought it was chambered for .44 or .45 caliber ammunition, and not 10mm. Or am I confusing it with a different sidearm all together?

  3. Probably 90 to 95 % of 1911s are chambered in .45 ACP.
    The rest in .38 Super, 9mm Parabellum, or 10mm Auto.
    And there are a few .22lr conversion kits out there.

  4. Sorry on the delay in reply -- I usually try to be more Johnny-on-the-spot about such things; alas not only do I have Jury Duty again, but I came home from shopping yesterday with some kind of bug. Sadly, not the kind that can be solved with Raid; it's the kind that stops my head up solid and makes me have nosebleeds every five minutes.


    I was going to launch into a boring historical dissertation on service calibers... but BrowningBD got there first and was more succinct. Basically yeah; 45ACP has been the standard for 1911's since the military trials mandated it, and remained so until the wundernines took over in the mid-eighties.

    Gotta remember though: that's here in the real world. For whatever reason, in Fallout-verse, someone decided the standard military sidearm cartridge should be the 10mm auto. Not that it's a bad choice, mind you.

    As to why the initial model I've been working on is 10mm: it's mostly laziness on my part. No way to get .45acp in FNV without slaving your plugin to Honest Hearts or Caliber -- neither of which I want to do to my personal plugin. Figured I'd work on the 10mm (vanilla friendly) version first, and then do up a separate texture with the 10mm markings switched to 45acp and add it in optional plugin form.

    Unfortunately the base texture from Honest Hearts is made of suck and fail -- it's designed to look 200+ years old; and short of redrawing it completely (which I ain't good enough to do), what you see is about the best I could patch it. I still think it's the normal making it look so bad -- it's not gonna be contender for weapon texture of the year regardless; but the way the lights react to it in-game make it look way more like ass than it does under more friendly conditions.

    On the purdy .44, I started from the unique 357 ("Lucky"); which is pretty well done, and lent itself well to reworking with a minimum of trouble. The unique ".45 Auto Pistol" is that Light Shining in the Darkness thing; and it's a completely different gun; not even possessing of sights.

    One of these days I may look around for a modded, high(er) quality texture to try again from... but I don't think this basic one is going to go anywhere.

    1. "Basically yeah; 45ACP has been the standard for 1911's since the military trials mandated it, and remained so until the wundernines took over in the mid-eighties."

      Urg, Gods... remind me to stop typing shit when I've been awake and in pain for two straight days.

      That reads like the 9mm is standard for the 1911 -- which is not what I meant at all. .45acp is and probably always will be the standard that the vast majority of 1911-pattern firearms are chambered for. The 9mm bit was referring to military sidearms in general.

  5. Alright, thanks for filling me in folks! :D