I was happily rendering some closeups to get over this part quickly, when two things were called to my attention that needed work. Since they made sense and were not big stretches of redoing work, I took some days to address them:
In the Macrossworld forums somebody pointed out that the air intakes for the main engines had corners that were too sharp and were taking out that smooth aerodynamic feel.
The way I solved it first was to just create a new piece in its place with a smoothed out surface, but then I thought I might add some more closeness to a particular shot of the movie, when Isamu and the plane’s main designer Yang Neumann steal the YF-19 and you can see the intake fan starting up.
I wanted to have some of those panel details in the reduced space, so I added a normal map and created some specular differences. It wouldn’t look the same because the inside of the intake is painted white, but I wanted something to evoke it.
After smoothing out the inside, I decided the inside of the fan needed to be closer to the film, so I did a few more attempts.
The front blades were too dark while the back fan was too bright, and the panels looked kinda ugly from up close. I decided to redo them and manage more subtle values.
Now they were both too bright, but the inside panel was looking a lot nicer. I also wondered how would it look when animated, what if I turn on the motion blur?
Looking good. So after a few render tries (motion blur dramatically increases the render time) I did a compile of the way it looks when animated. Then I created a simple driven key that would make it rotate automatically and I could control the speed from the Control Panel.
Kinda there. Few tweaks left to find out why the cone didn’t move with the fans, but overall I’m satisfied.
Next thing in line, the feet. Oh gawd they are awful, aren’t they?
I created the feet mechanisms following the Variable Master File, but with the Hasegawa proportions those pistons and tubes pop out ugly when extended. Also, there’s no realistic way they could stand the tons of metal on top of them, and neither not burning up to a crisp when the turbines power up. But worst of all, they were creating alignment issues when posing. So the animation would have issues.
What I had to come up with was an alternative that didn’t leave much out of the original idea, but made it easier to pose, and was technically soundly.
I got rid of the lower mechanisms and just made a simple rotate joint, and then the turbine exhaust would be a separate piece that rotates with the foot. That way, no matter how I pose the foot, the exhaust wouldn’t come between the toes but would keep pointing down. The missing space was then covered by high-temperature resistant plaques that would deflect and protect the joints from damage.
From outside, the feet keep being inconspicuous, easier to pose since I re-rigged the whole thing and came up with a simpler approach to the transform tools. I’ll make a separate video explaining the control panel and rig soon.
Now, on to the GERWALK closeups.
Same procedure as last time, I started flipping normal maps that were behaving weird, adding some more dirt and scratches, taking notes on textures not fully surrounding the mesh and overall just tweaking stuff.
Some parts had weird white lines that probably came from the ambient occlusion shots I took to make the textures. I noted them to get fixed later.
As the legs bend down the inside arms are uncovered, showing the different values of specularity on the arms and inner hinges.
While I was at it, I noticed a colour change I wanted to do on the nose sensor domes to be closer to the original drawing.