Orca Patrol Submarine

Working on a futuristic supercavitating-hypersonic Submarine for a game made in the UDK, thus the aircraft look. It's the first time I properly model something for a project that isn't an RTS mod. It's for a 3rd Person Arcade, a bit like Crimson Skies under water. It's for two players: A pilot who drives the sub and fires torpedoes, and a gunner who operates the rear turret which can be fitted with a bunch of different weapons, but by default comes as a quad gauss turret. It's not based on a concept art, but instead I made it up as I was modeling it. Now I don't really know anything more to add to the low-poly model that I couldn't do as well on the normalmap.

Any suggestions?


Edit: Rear-view render:


  • ambershee
    I'd personally suggest taking a closer look at real submarines and lifting important design features from those. At the moment, the vehicle you have looks like some kind of space craft and not a submarine for the following reasons:

    1) The engines looks like jet engines. Ships typically use propellers of a fairly familiar shape and submarines are not exception. This is because water is considerably more dense than air.
    2) The same applies to the wing structures - it is unlikely that the vehicle would have wings extending outwards from the body as this is a feature of aircraft where lift is required to be generated. Submarines don't want to generate increasing lift when travelling at increasing speeds. Due to the denisty of water, such a structure would also be relatively fragile and limit forward speed unless pretty rigidly enforced.

    All in all, remove the extended wings (fin like control surfaces are however acceptable, like those on the nose), bring the engines closer to the body and modify them to look more like an underwater propulsion unit rather, and I reckon it'll look much more like a submersible.
  • Helge129
    I should have added to the OP that it's a supercavitating-hypersonic capable submarine: It literally flies through the water. It has turbine-fusion rocket hybrid engines as well as 2 smaller waterjet engines, and a bunch of maneuvering thrusters. The Spaceship/Aircraft look is intentional. Thanks for the advice anyway.
  • Helge129
    I've started working on the High Poly version, early WIP so far. I have only some basic experience doing normalmap projections tho, like creating vents, making a box have beveled edges...

  • Paul Pepera
    You should listen to ambershee, he made many good points.

    Right now the design is a fail because this reads like a spaceship, not a submarine. You can use as many fancy words as you want to justify a bad design but if the viewer does not recognize what it is than it is your fault as a designer. You can still create a fast/sleak/aircraft styled vehicle that reads as something that goes underwater - pull certain elements from real life submarines. Look at designs like the Soviet ekranoplan. It was a design the was supposed to move at super high speed on the water (or rather just above it) - you can clearly see where designs from jet aircraft are incorporated, yet it still reads as if it is supposed to go on the water. You need to do something similar but with Jets/Submarines.

  • konstruct
    nice ship! heres some shotgun baking tips:

    Just remember for normal bakes: seams are unavoidable. hide them. you can hide them out in the open, just as long as they run along the edges of bevels or something else that makes sense for a break in normal tangency.

    UV breaks, and Smoothing group breaks = break in normal tangency which creates a seam.

    Seams are good though because they reduce the amount of strain you put on those smoothing groups.

    For example- if you were to put 1 single smoothing group on your low- the low would have all kinds of messed up smoothing as a result of the smoothing not having enough geometry to accurately represent the surfaces properly. The bake from this would show all this messed up smoothing as well.

    If you keep all the smoothing groups you have on the low already- and translate each one of those smoothing groups to a separate UV shell- the resulting bake should turn out clean. (although you`ll want to thumb over your model and make sure your smoothing groups are all nice and orderly before just skipping that step altogether :P)

    *edit* I though this was a spaceship too. Maybe look at Taehoons sub for some ideas? (scroll to the bottom)
  • Helge129
    Thanks for the advice :)

    I've partially re-designed it, to look sleaker, and a bit more like something that belongs into the water, not into the air or space, but I kept the somewhat "Flyingish" look, since it does after all, fly through the water unlike a modern submarine. I also took some inspiration of an old Lego submarine I had lying around:

    Escort version of the Orca, all Fighter submarines such as this have a Patrol and an Escort variant, which sacrifices speed and maneuverability for sheer firepower. I might add shutters to the torpedo bays that would be deployed during high-speed travel.
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