[Fan Art] The Big Cockpit...the journey begins

Dangerous 02-26-2007 02:58 PM
Very great Big G. You are the best. You do something for Big O. You are not like all the others (me too) who just talk about Big O. You are moving this anime. We are just losing our time in discussing for nothing.

What I can do for you is to support your project. Just that. Sorry.

Go Big G. Go !

PS : Somebody can start making the characters in 3D or the Griffon, etc .... ? please
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 12:44 AM
Day 6 evening update:

Added in the first control panel...these are turning out to be a real b**ch. Things never quite work the way one imagines they will. It took me a while to figure out how to cut the shape of the panel into the surface. Because of the curvatures, projecting a curve onto the surface resulted in far less than satisfactory results.

Dangerous 02-27-2007 04:51 AM
Great Job Big G. Continue. We are all with you.

I have a question : will you make the seatbelt ? I mean that there must be one because credibly when Roger is in the air with Big O the belt must paste him on the seat. Else normally he can't stay on his seat.

The_Big_G 02-27-2007 09:58 AM
Hmmm...Seatbelt, eh?

I didn't remember that. Thanks for catching that detail! Roger never wears one in the series, but to be truly accurate, I guess I'll have to have one in there, maybe dangling from the back of the chair.

Adding one in poses some problems with animation if there's a character seated in the chair. I put a dummy pilot model in for sizing (roughly 5' 10, according to canon), and to reach the buttons on the front panels, the upper body has to move forward a bit. If I build a seatbelt in, I have to create some animation controls so that the belts will 'stretch' if the body moves forward.

I'll put it at the bottom of the 'to do' list, so that it's there if I want the option to show it or not.

Day 7 update:

Finished the second control panel:

Dangerous 02-27-2007 10:16 AM

You are indeed a professional. You give us, to all of us among the forumers a note of hope. I hope for you that a big company will take care of your talents. You are great ! Congratulations.

You live in San Francisco ? Go to Blizzard Entertainment (in San Fransisco) and ask them if they are not interested in making a next episode for Starcraft. The original game, in 2D, was finished in 1997. So now if Blizzard can employ you for this game, don't hesitate. You will have to convince them to take you, so when you will finish the cockpit try to convince them in showing your talents.
I have been waiting for Starcraft 2 for about 8-9 years ! It is time for them to create this game. And the characters, structures, environments, etc...will be less complicated to make than the cockpit and the other things related to Big O.

I am waiting, me and all of the forumers, for the complete cockpit. BRAVO.
R. Daniel Olk 01 02-27-2007 12:10 PM
This is all rather glorious.

There's just one thing that's been bugging me: the four cylinders sticking out of the two gears behind the seat. The cylinders look like they're protruding out from above the gears' center. But from a design standpoint it would make sense to have them more towards the center.

Unless they only look like gears for decoration, and they're not actually supposed to rotate. Of course it may be a moot point, since we never actually see what goes on back there.

Meh, just something that bugged me.
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 12:10 PM
Heh heh Samir, I'm not in San Francisco anymore. I've done the game circuit before and I've got a few arrowheads still in my back from a pack of wild deadlines.

I've got a few dreams of my own I've decided to pursue forever, so I packed up shop, moved it to seattle, and am taking a 'fun' break, to be self indulgent. I'm bulding this model to drum up encouragement for a show I find particularly inspirational, nothing more really...except maybe to show off a little Tongue . I should change my name to "the_big_ego".

For right now in my life, I'm just learning how to write a good script and keep my 3D chops up so I don't get too rusty. I'm collaborating with a few student film makers and donating a little time to other independent projects. I really like telling stories, so I guess I'm driven toward the passive experience instead of an active experience like gaming.
I'll tell you what a bad-a*s dream would be...to work on season 3 and 4 of the big O, and help finish what we all would like to have a little freakin' closure on.

I don't really post very often, but I've spent a lot of the past year reading older threads and going through all of the theories that folks have. It's an interesting community.

Oh, and GOOD EYE R. Daniel! Obviously you do the 3D thing, cuz most folks aren't visualizing the rotational change for an object.You discovered what I found to be a real issue between 2D design and 3D from the original images.
Damn. Busted.
Heh heh, just kidding, I figured out a solution:
The gear itself doesn't rotate, there's a slot down the middle that the cylinders mount to, like an internal gear that rotates on the inside of the big gear visible.
Because of the compound curvature* that each gear has, the cylinders converge and diverge as you rotate them from vertical to horizontal. They will be slightly angled toward each other when vertical, and angled much more sharply toward each other when rotated horizontally. Based on some guesses as to where the back wall would be, I found that by adding a rotational "gimbal" inset into the end of the cylinder, I could independantly rotate the cylinders, so they're not always parallel with the big gears. This gives the freedom to rotate them along the axis of the gear, and simultaneously animate the individual cylinders staying parallel with the stick track. You can see them in the pics from my previous post with just the back wall, tubes and big gears in it.

It was a wierd thing to deal with, and it took me some time to just decide to take the design liberty to just go with what I wanted.

* The gear has a rotation from global center in Y, and a rotational X axis perpendicular to that Y rotation). Rotating down the gear results in a convergence and a divergence of the cylinders. Also, the dead center for the cylinder will not be in alignment with the gear and still stay in relatively good proportion with the original screen grabs. The gears had to be fattened too disproportionately, and were spread too far apart to keep in line with the originals.

There are a couple of fakes like this in the model, but hey...it works!
R. Daniel Olk 01 02-27-2007 12:37 PM
Heh, thanks! Yes, whenever I draw anything or see anyone else's designs, I can't help but analyze them from a functional standpoint.

The overall attention to accuracy and detail... more than makes up for the few shortcuts you must take.


I've often thought about getting into 3d, but everyone says there's a steep lurning curve. Besides, I'm plenty good at 2d as-is. Wink Cool

What would you say, in your experience with 3-d modelling software?


Also - Check your PM box.
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 12:52 PM
I think you've got the mind for it. I encourage everyone to pursue whatever art form they feel is their own. It really comes down to how much time one cares to spend working on more than one art form...whether or not it takes away focus from the other. Most artists come from a 2D background and then go into the 3D, because they can visualize great stuff...it's really down to whether or not to learn the software. If your base kung fu is a pencil or pen, always practice your kung fu.

As far as learning is concerned...that's just a matter of time. You don't have to stomp a fast track to doing 3D, but that's what a lot of these technical colleges try to do. If you wanna' do it, my advice is get involved and just take a summer course. Try to make whatever you can.
Download some free learning versions of whatever flavor of software you want and sit and mess around with it. Read the manuals. Find forums and ask questions.

I don't really advocate learning Softimage, cuz it's old. XSI is the new re-imagined, latest and greatest version, but I haven't played with it in years, so I know nothing about the new interface.

Incidentally, here's a more visual explanation of the "rotating cylinders of death" solution:
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 07:33 PM
Day 7 evening update:

Started working on the foremost control panel, with the two needle-indicators and the "old-school-car-heater-slider-controls".

Then all of a sudden, as if out of nowhere, it was done. A quick test render revealed that I had forgotten to realign the panel bars on the typewriter panel.

So I fixed it real quick and rendered what I have so far:

One more panel on the right side to go, and all the controls will be complete.
evanASF27 02-27-2007 07:42 PM
First off, I'd like to say on behalf of everyone and everybody...


Second, I have some constructive criticism/suggestion >_>

http://www.guyg.com/images/big_o/everything_so_far.jpg <- In this picture, it looks to me that the chair is too "centered" in the joystick tracks. We've seen Roger pull them sticks a good ways back so I was under the impression the chair was just slightly set farther back in the ring.
Jim Starluck 02-27-2007 08:28 PM
I have to concur on the sheer awesomeness of this project.

Also, Evan, it could just be that Roger's shoulders are set wider than the chair.
Chitter-Box-Kat 02-27-2007 08:55 PM
MY GOD. Shocked You are incredible! SERIOUSLY!

My only ish is that the chair looks a little to far forward.

Other than that, it's pretty damn perfect. Big Grin
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 09:06 PM
Ya' know...I've been thinkin' about the placement of the chair since it was built. It looks...off.

I've been amalgamating a lot of different views from various episodes, and I've come to the conclusion that the animators for the show cheat a lot. There are tons of false perspectives and quick alterations that they make in the show just to make a shot look good. There's often no way possible for certain functionality to jibe with reality.
In some shots, the top of the chair comes just about to Roger's forehead. In other shots, it's a lot lower, and Roger's shoulder clears the edge of the seat before the head-rest begins. In some shots, the head rest spans the width of the top of the chair, and in others, it's narrower and a distinctively different size.

I made the decision early on about the placement of the chair, since I was planning to have it animate up through the center of the floor and the piston it's mounted on should be centered., however, there's a bit of leeway with the centering of the chair with the mechanism underneath it. The piston could be centered to that, and the chair could slide back a bit on top of the mechanism, sort of like a regular car seat does.

For now, I'm gonna' leave it, but repositioning it shouldn't be difficult...the mounting cylinders for the joystick track need to be shortened a bit, but they might need that anyway.

Here's a couple of shots that support the "Chair centered" theory:
Dorothy's on one of the large horizontal cylinders that protrude from the sides of the cockpit. The chair is slightly forward of those cylinder, which would place it too far forward...unless the cylinders are offset toward the rear, but I'm not too fond of that hypothesis.

In this one, the size of the cylinders behind the chair, as well as Roger's elbows, indicate that the chair is centered.

This shot is against the chair centered theory. The chair seems to be a bit further back...but this shot also has changed the shape of the joystick track from a 300-degree arc to more of a horseshoe shape.

So what's better? Accurate, but kinda' off-lookin'...or inaccurate, but better looking?
The_Big_G 02-27-2007 10:17 PM
I agree. The chair's too far forward. Fortunately for me, that one was a quick fix.

here's the comparison


Before anyone mentions it, another problem area with is the front of the joystick tracks...they seem a little too close to the two top monitors...but that fix involves a complete rebuild of the entire joystick track...so it stays the way it is for now.
R. Daniel Olk 01 02-27-2007 11:31 PM
Definite improvement. Good call, S-Guest.

Heh, alright. Maybe I'll play around over the Summer. My dad uses Solidworks, maybe I can begin with that.
The_Big_G 02-28-2007 11:40 AM
Yah, I gotta' thank Samirsouley, R. Daniel, Stoney and everyone for their input. Sometimes, I get a little locked into my own logic in building, because if anything's off by even a little bit, it can become a problem when objects built later don't align or end up in the wrong scale.

I do appreciate critique...essentially, this community is the boss on the project, and the end result is really what matters...so if anyone notices an error in detail, please do pipe up. Fixing bits and pieces is half the job...ask any artist on the production lines. Accepting critique is also the first thing everyone learns in art school, so trust me, it's not gonna' hurt my widdle feelings. I want this to be as perfect as possible.

Of course, please keep in mind some of the limitations I've outlined in previous posts regarding inconsistencies and impossibilities from the original artwork...sometimes, ya' gotta' go with what works.

That said, Day 8 morning update (small one, as I was plumb tuckered out last night after pulling 12 hours straight yesterday)

Adjusted the width and shape of the top of the outer ring, as well as its alignment...It was far too tall and wide before, and added in the ridges that mark the location of the control panels. I also began placing the outer casing and the retractable bubble dome, which revealed some scale issues with the big pipes and the shape behind them, so I adjusted those to fit.

It turns out that if I'm careful with the sections I add in for the floor, the bubble dome will be do-able. It's going to be a little tricky though, because the side walls can easily intersect with the pedals on the chair if it clears the bubble in the back. There are issues.

Jim Starluck 02-28-2007 02:21 PM
I think I speak for the entire forum when I say Big Grin . This just keeps looking better and better; I can't wait to see the finished product!
Dangerous 02-28-2007 06:54 PM
BRAVO. I just say that to you. BRAVO. I am 'bluffé', enthousiast. Well, you have understood Smile Thumbs Up

I have a suggestion : the seat is well done, but it is too flat. It lacks some forms of a real seat you see ? That's just a detail. Smile
R. Daniel Olk 01 02-28-2007 08:19 PM
Originally posted by samirsouleyman
BRAVO. I just say that to you. BRAVO. I am bluffed. Thumbs Up

Heh, I believe you're just a little off on the idiom you chose to write...

I have a suggestion : the seat is well done, but it is too flat. It lacks some forms of a real seat you see ? That's just a detail. Smile

Truth! If you look at the pic with Dorothy sitting near the cockpit, you can see the seat cushions have some depth and irregularity to them.

Also, in the show, the headrest is narrower than the backrest.


Gorgeous. Nice touch that you're actually trying to contain the cockpit within a bubble.