Building a drone game Kickstarter video

Just "finished" this. I've decided to call this done so that I can move on to the next one. I think it's pretty far along though I know I could probably spend a few more hours on it. Who knows! Maybe I will. Let me know if there's anything pressing please. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures! 

This is for my Kickstarter project. I've got two more to do, so stay tuned for updates!

Sketchfab link:


  • Unknown_Target
    *Bump* 2/3! :)

    Sketchfab link:

    Also want to give a shout-out to my man Sergiu Ikarus, who I commissioned for the concepts that these aircraft are based on:

  • Unknown_Target
    WIP of the third aircraft - in the middle of doing paneling right now:

  • Unknown_Target
    EDIT: Whoops, double post.
  • Unknown_Target
    Hey ya'all, more updates. I figure before I post those I should also give some context for what all of this is about!

    These models are for a Kickstarter video game trailer. The game is a realistic simulation of airplane laser tag on another planet in the future. Now, I'm not a developer - I'm an artist and a project manager. So the Kickstarter exists to help me get the funds to pay a developer to make the game for me.

    A little bit about how I build the aircraft using MeshFusion in Modo 11:

    I start with simple shapes and use MeshFusion to join them together:

    Then I create panel lines by tracing the geoemetry on top of the MeshFusion mesh using Modo's retopology tools. I extrude them both inwards and outwards to create the subtractive meshes:

    These work to create a model that looks like this (the high-poly):

    Afterwards, I retopologize the mesh as a single object to create the game-level mesh (my budget is around 10,000 polies, I accidentally left SubD on in this shot, hence the huge polycount):

    Finally I UV the low-poly mesh and bake the high-poly onto it to create this:

    I'll have a more detailed write-up of this process and the project in general on my blog soon! :)
  • Unknown_Target
    Stop me if this is too off-topic, since I know this is pre-rendered. But I've started doing some look dev for the trailer. I'm using volumetrics for the clouds but I'm wondering how to duplicate the effect in real time. I had messed around with sprites and found a way to do it, but I can't rig the shaders right in Modo. Basically the further away from the light source a sprite is, the darker it's shaded. If it were in a game I suppose it could be rigged to the local "cloud" container, but in modo the only way I could do it was a distance from the light - which only worked if the light was right up on the cloud.

    Anyway, enjoy some screenshot. C&C is always appreciated! These are still pretty rough but I've gotten the systems down. One big thing that I learned while doing this was how to generate a skymap using rendering - so my plan is to pack a bunch of clouds together in a fake environment and then use that as the background for the trailer.


  • Unknown_Target
    Not dead, just very busy! WIP diffuse map.

  • Unknown_Target

    EDIT: After some feedback,  I made some modifications:

    More modfications, all aircraft have been updated to the same level of quality, now on to animation and rigging:

  • Unknown_Target
    Look development - I think this is pretty close! :)

  • Unknown_Target
    I haven't stopped working! I've completed a short animation test (if there's interest I'll show it but keep in mind it's WIP!) and I've started working on the cockpit, which will be shown in two scenes of the final video. Here are some WIP shots:

  • Unknown_Target
  • Unknown_Target
    Here's a WIP preview of the animation I've been building (in the final, the cockpit will be included in the scene with the Heads-Up-Display, or HUD)::

  • Menchen
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    Menchen triangle
    Those designs are pretty kick-ass
  • CybranM
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    CybranM polycounter lvl 4
    I like the design of the drones but I feel like the panel lines are counterproductive in their current form:

    Its hard not to see what appears to be slats on the front of the wing but I dont think thats the intent. The fact that there are no flaps on any of the wings also make it hard to see how it would be steerable while flying.
    It might be too late to change now but I think the design would benefit a lot from just moving the panel lines to the back of the wings instead of the front.
  • Unknown_Target
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the feedback. Sorry for the long delay in replying - I wanted to post something new at the same time I replied. :)

    Menchen - thanks! Ikarus is a really talented guy and great at doing concepts. I just modeled them. :) You can check out his Artstation here:

    CybranM - thanks for the feedback! You're totally right on the front panel lines: they ended up being a cross between de-icing boots and slats and I just never did anything with them. Canonically I guess I could just say they're reinforcement against the sulfuric acid clouds but they should have some sort of color variation at the very least. Everything's referenced in the animation scenes so it *should* be as simple as recoloring the texture (way easier than adding moving separate slats lol).

    As for the control surfaces, the high poly models don't have them - I just found it easier to cut them into the low poly. Check out the Sketchfab links in the original posts to see what I mean. :)

    Anyway, latest update is here! I've been working on the cockpit. I'm absolutely swamped with other projects so I'm trying to get this guy to a good state using only procedural texturing and box-mapping. I purchased a pilot model online to go in there and I think I'm getting pretty close, but C&C  is definitely welcome! My next big purchase is going to be some animation help with the pilot, so if anyone wants a fun project and can work out a lower rate to help out a fellow indie I'd really appreciate it!

    The shots:

    This one's cool because it shows how even though you're looking through screens, the HUD is helmet-mounted (still thinking of an easy way to do this in animation):

  • Unknown_Target
    Some stills from the final animation:

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