Model a Plane

#21
Nice idea, I might try one tonight.

I've done some stuff with Unity. I actually wrote a (very unrealistic, admittedly :p) plane script recently. So yeah, I can help with scripting if you actually want to do a game. :)

That said, I'm using Unity Indie.
 

podperson

Well-known member
#23
To produce a vaguely reasonable plane script you simply need to know a tiny amount of physics and trigonometry:

http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/forces.html

A plane's wings generate lift (force up along the plane's vertical axis) roughly proportional to the plane's velocity, and drag equal to [ insert fudge factor here ] -- let's say some number x the square of the plane's velocity, engines generate thrust. Pick numbers so that the engines at middling thrust cancel out drag at the plane's desired cruising speed, and the lift cancels out gravity x mass.

Now when you pull the stick away from the middle you increase drag, and apply a rotational force (roll if you pull left or right, tilt up or down if you pull back or forward). If you push the pedals you turn the plane around its vertical axis (and increase drag).

And if you move the throttle you change the plane's thrust.

That's it!

Using Unity's physics system all this only takes a few lines of code to implement.

(BTW: this will probably create a more realistic flight model than most flight sims. One of the things that is wrong with this model is that it assumes the version of aerodynamics you get taught in high school or undergraduate physics, which is fairly grossly wrong w.r.t. lift -- plane's wings don't work at all the way you get taught in basic fluid dynamics: if you watch the Blue Angels flying inverted at tree top height for thousands of feet, this CANNOT be reconciled with high school fluid dynamics.)
 
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TerryG

Active member
#24
I can see you take your planes pretty seriously. Well, all this information, although interesting to someone building real planes, doesn't really have anything to do with what I do, which is not building real planes. And with cartoons you have a huge artistic license. In any case, the client dropped the plane idea and chose a castle instead, and the castle looks like a toy. If this castle were to look real my client would ask for it to look more cartoony.
 

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podperson

Well-known member
#25
Hey Terry,

I was commenting on Hairball's remarks -- not criticizing your plane. My point was simply that creating a pretty darn good (edit: I mean realistic! good ≠ realistic) plane behavior (in Unity) is actually pretty easy. (Indeed, creating "cartoony" plane behavior is actually far harder than creating realistic behavior -- which is why flying real planes is harder than flying game planes.)

I completely understand the idea of going for a cartoony style, and I sometimes appreciate your modeling style BUT there's a difference between doing something in a particular way to achieve a specific, deliberate effect and settling for a result because that's what's easy to do.

I think that your plane doesn't look cartoony so much as crudely modeled. A "cartoony" plane would capture the essence of a plane's "plane-ness" in a simplified, stylized form. What you've done instead is to avoid trying to grapple with the fundamental shape of a plane, and instead just "bolted on" detail (like the cockpit and engines) which violate the plane's fundamental form, creating something that looks wrong.

Here's a really well done cartoony plane (the Fisher Price "Little People" plane toy). Note that despite being very simple, it manages to capture the spirit of a plane beautifully. It doesn't have weird details like tipped up wingtips that are an abstruse aerodynamic feature of recent planes that happens to be easy to model, but it captures the subtle shape of the cockpit that happens to be hard to model.

Rather than beat the modeling style you've adopted thus far to death, I think you should challenge yourself more. Decide WHAT you want to do and then strive to achieve it, rather than settling for what you get by doing what you already know how to do.

I hope you take this as constructive and not mean -- I certainly don't mean to be mean.
 

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TerryG

Active member
#27
Well guys, I work for online gambling games for adults. Cartoon planes with smiley faces are for children. If I'm asked to create a train I can't use Thomas The Tank Engine. The train itself is okay but not with a kiddy face. As I'm building this champagne bottle in Cheetah it's very obvious the shape of this bottle is nothing like a real champagne bottle. But that's what the client wants. I just do what I'm asked to do, simple as that. And if I were asked to build a real plane it would be for a different client and a completely different job. I was once asked to illustrate a cartoon baseball with no face. How is that possible? Well it can be done if you find the right reference that client likes.
 

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