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Monday, May 18, 2020

Elite Dangerous Ship Anatomy

My new microproject, this time it's about Elite Dangerous.

The Elite Dangerous Ship Anatomy.
Link: a.teall.info/edsa

It represents all ships available in the game and gives you info on how hard points, utilities and other viable modules and parts are placed on each ship. It also provides the view of gunsights at different targeting ranges, so you may check if placing fixed-mounted weapons will work against Thargoid :)


Preamble

I created it for two reasons. Firstly, I love to draw, and I am completely satisfied with the time spent. Secondly, there are no such info neither in game, nor in public sources. I will explain what I mean.
Since http://www.elite-dangerous-blog.co.uk, one of my referral links, has the nicely done blueprints, it lacks gunsight views, landing gears, heat vents, and full of small mistakes/misplacements. I guess, my work is full of mistakes too, but I'm going to root them all out with the time ;)
Second referral link is Elite Dangerous Wiki https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Elite_Dangerous_Wiki. I used it to get ship dimensions and additional screenshots. But it gives only a general view of the ships.
Even in game you commonly can't understand which utility is mount where. And how weapons are placed. EDSA provides this info as best as I can made it.

I'm not planning to make it another Coriolis or Inara. They are the best tools for Elite, so beautifully made. But I'm open for collaboration.
What I'm planning is to add SLFs, and placements of internal core modules, and maybe additional info (and video), including builds for each ship. If it would be helpful.

Features

There are blueprints of all flyable ships available in Elite Dangerous on the EDSA:
Adder, Alliance Challenger, Alliance Chieftain, Alliance Crusader, Anaconda, Asp Explorer, Asp Scout, Beluga Liner, Cobra Mk III, Cobra Mk IV, Diamondback Explorer, Diamondback Scout, Dolphin, Eagle, Federal Assault Ship, Federal Corvette, Federal Dropship, Federal Gunship, Fer-de-Lance, Hauler, Imperial Clipper, Imperial Courier, Imperial Cutter, Imerial Eagle, Keelback, Krait Mk II, Krait Phantom, Mamba, Orca, Python, Sidewinder, Type-6 Transporter, Type-7 Transporter, Type-9 Heavy, Type-10 Defender, Viper Mk III, Viper Mk IV, Vulture, F63 Condor, Gu-97, Taipan, XG7 Trident, XG8 Javelin, XG9 Lance.

I added 3 color themes, white, blueprint and dark. This is blueprint-inspired one:


Also it's possible to change module hooks appearance and gunsight target.


See, how hard to target Thargoid heart while piloting T-10 :)

How it was made

I didn't use any of datamined materials. I simply take the ship, load it with weaponry, fly to the navigation beacon, and screenshot the ship with all views I need. Then I outline images in my lovely Incscape editor.


For some ships it's hard to get which weapon corresponds particular pip in the gunsight. So I made a lot of small pictures.


After outline work is done and blueprint's ready, the most exciting part comes. To place hooks (as I call them) atop of image to mark the position of the modules. Since it's SVG, it's easy to add JSON description for elements to identify them.

The final images are saved as vector graphics, so they are easy to scale and have a low weight (20-40 KB). Each ship took me about one and half hour on whole procedure.

How gunsight works

Pips position in gunsight depends on the distance. And it's simple. With doubling the distance, the angular size is cut in half. So I thought. But I didn't count perspective focal distortion of the camera.


The red line shows how the linear angular size changing with distance. And it doesn't hit the measured values.
So I added some exponentiations to make it the same.
And then I got the second problem. Different ships have different sensor placements and it is not the same place where cockpit located. For example, Corvette has it sensors positioned 60 meters before the cockpit, so you see same sized objects with different angular size in Corvette and Assault Ship.


So I added another coefficient. And now it looks monstrous.


But with this equation I need to make just 2 gunsight screenshots. First from 200 meters to target, and second one from 100 m. By finding first root of square equation I get sensor coefficient k (thank gosh it's not tensor one). And then, knowing it, I can calculate pip position r for any given distance.

The same calculation helps to place target ship in gunsight.

Conclusion

It was a really cool time writing this small project and drawing so many images. As always, all images and source codes are free to copy.

If you are worried that internet traffic will eat all my quotas, please feel free to donate ;) This will make Cutter and Clipper to look more happy...


Thanks

  • to CMDR [Dax] for listening to all my whining while I worked on the project. I appreciate this so much. He also helped me with his ships to calibrate gunsight equation. He is my fellow wingman, after all.
  • to CMDR Ivan Orekhov for dedicated help with screenshots of his Cobra Mk IV.
  • to creators of http://www.elite-dangerous-blog.co.uk and https://elite-dangerous.fandom.com/wiki/Elite_Dangerous_Wiki for their work and very helpful materials.
  • to Frontier Developments for Elite. Not so many entities took my attention so much, you know. The ship designs are awesome, I love it.


Updates

31.05.20. Added 6 SLFs. Some graphical improvements.

About me

I'm known as commander Teall in Elite.
I started to play in Jan 2018. I'm triple Elite since that time, of course.
My public profiles at Inara https://inara.cz/cmdr/101418/ and EDSM https://www.edsm.net/en/user/badges/id/58481/cmdr/Teall. I'm also at the official ED forums.

If you have any questions/suggestions, please feel free to email or PM me.
o7

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