Conceptualising models

Before starting, I had this idea for my graduate project. So I used the time of learning Blender to create some spaceships for a top-down shooter.
I tried to come up with different models. I just sat down and started to freely model but it didn't work. I tried to come up with some cool 2D ships. Both with pen & paper and on my Wacom tablet, visualising different kinds of ships was always difficult. So I started thinking. It seemed that when playing a fast paced top-down shooter, it's better to have ships with radically different shapes in order to make them more easily recognised.

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I made very simple 2D silhouettes of the top down views. Changing the shape of a silhouettes was really easy. Just by dragging some vertices, I could modify the shapes until they looked nice. The really nice part about looking at a silhouette is that the brain starts imagining what isn't there and fill in the gaps. So even though it's just a silhouette, you imagine what it really looks like, how the ship manoeuvers, what kind of weapons it has and even what the alien species might be piloting it.


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Having an outlining of a ship also made it very easy for 3D conversion. I made a low polygon base so that I could be easily subdivided to my chosen quality.


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A little test of how the model looked after subdividing.


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As it was so easy to create silhouettes, I created lots of ships. I'm only showing a few of the ones I did.


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Even though this did not look like a spaceship I thought it was a very interesting silhouette to make. I thought I might make it to some kind of hovering vehicle.


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I wanted to have an upgradeable ship for a more story driven exploration game. New parts, bigger, more effective.


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I tried my silhouette technique on weapon pipes. It worked even better as the outlining of a pipe is very easy to convert into a 3D object.


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