Smoothing groups

hey gearbox, i know smoothing already is implemented on certain parts of the ships to give a more rounded and curved appearance, but i was wondering would it improve the visuals of the ships even more if smoothy groups were applied to these locations of models as well:

sometimes the sharp contrast between light and dark is made more stark by the severely sharp edges and angles produced by unsmoothed edges. i think this reduces the visual quality in instances where the texture clashes with the actual polygon as in the below case. smoothing will mitigate this:

maybe you can post comparison shots and see if this change would be optimal. i really think this is worth looking into. because even on objects that are apparently sharp edged and angled, they’re actually rounded

smoothing lets us know visually that it is a defined edge, but also, that it isn’t completely sharp, it has volume and shape, and aren’t just two planes intersecting.

thank you

At some of those angles i don’t think that smoothing will help. If you add too much smoothing you will have some mesh errors (some polys will look permanently in shadow). No amount of smoothing will fix a sharp 90 angle. Though it may help the lesser angles that you pointed out.

I thought that the HW2 meshes had more poly’s added to them. I guess i was wrong. They are the very same meshes as classic. Mesh errors, and all.

Some of those edges look as if the vertices were not welded (or joined).

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interesting observation. maybe some truth to that. i do notice some edges sometimes look too sharp for the angles, even for unsmoothed edges.

Honestly man, like 99% of those are exactly as intended. There are a few bits to clean - but many of the sharp edges you are asking about are completely intentional. Now, given a poly budget higher than we have now, say for a Mod, you’d probably still want the edges - but coming up on them may have more decoration or chamfering applied…


Good point. In HW 1 the low poly models have smoothing, but some areas were left un-smoothed on purpose, because they looked atrocious when you did apply smoothing to them.

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bitvenom, are you aware if these are original models or modified in any way? maybe i can port the old models over, but i’m afraid the uv maps or some other things have been modified. will old models work exactly with new textures, layers, etc?

i think some of these edges are worth experimenting on.

MANY models have been edited in ways that may not seem obvious - when people say ‘oh they didn’t even add detail to HW2 ships’ - they’re very much wrong. Quite a few ships have panels extruded, smaller bits edited, etc. The material stack (more on that after critical bugs are resolved) is WAY more complex, and stuff like badges now use a 2nd UV channel.

Again, gotta get the first Patch out (soon!) and fire up engines for Mod support (tools, docs, examples, etc) - before I am allowed to go into any other detail.


Ah that is why the flak frig details stand out a little more.

Like i said i cant wait for the mod tools so i can take a peek under the hood so to speak.

Yea I was looking at the HW1 models and I’ve been super impressed with pretty much all of them. The defender though, wow that one just stands out for me what you guys managed to do with it. Whoever was responsible for the defender did an amazing job, probably one of my fav updated models. I tend to build my entire strikecraft popcap just with these guys.

All the dakka


Indeed the rebuilt HW 1 models are very impressive. I love pretty much ALL of them.


the hw1r were pretty much build from ground up. the defender is nice. but i thought the bottom hinge was strange. like it barely touches.

It was a conscious decision. Anyone’s opinions of plot and presentation aside, HW2 was the pinnacle of Rob and Aaron’s vision of how a Homeworld ship should look and in the documentation provided with the source there is maybe a paragraph about models (mostly about limitations) and pages and pages on texture work and ship theory and design.

Beloved as HW1 is, technology constraints strangled a lot of what they could do but in HW2 what they mostly fought against was memory more than how many polys they could push. HW2 isn’t just the foster engine for HWR, it was also our rubric for the whole feel of Homeworld. Yes, the visual delta between HW1 and HW1R is huge but it had to be. It’s possible HW2 didn’t go far enough but it was out of respect for the work and trying to concentrate on what was important, not neglect or indifference.


claps Very well said person who often sits at a desk behind me! :wink:

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I’ve done some space ship modeling myself (very basic stuff unfortunately) but I hope that even that small bit gave me the ability to appreciate a model, to look at it and see if thought and effort went into it or not. For what it’s worth even if the models aren’t that much different at first glance in HW2R vs HW2 there was most definitely some amazing work done on them as well, no doubt about it.

Heh, the most frustrating thing for me for the entire month of feb was yelling at every single HW:R test gameplay video because they wouldn’t zoom in!

from my experience, it always seems better to smooth edges that are at an angle higher than 75 degrees. i think it interacts with the lighting, shaders, normal mapping better.

it doesn’t really effect the look of acute angles, but it does make obtuse angles seem slightly less abrupt.

and to me, it just seemed the ships have always been wanting to look a little more rounded. i looked at the concept arts as well, the vagyr craft just seemed curvier at place. like the vagyr assault craft would have rounded edges on the fin structures.

Good thing they had some of the original developers, original concept art and other assets on hand to make sure that the end product is as close to the original vision as possible :smile:

Thanks for sharing this. What I wouldn’t give to see and read all this history. Maybe the upcoming art book? :smile:

As a Modeler, and Texture artist myself i can appreciate all of the hard work done here (especially with the HW1 ships built from the ground up). Yes at first glance it looked like the HW2 meshes themselves were not touched, and just got a buff in texture res. However there are some finer details there. If you look hard enough you will see them. Especially compared to the original models. There is no denying the art work. It is far superior to the original. The new HW1 models capture the classic feel spot on. While being detailed enough to compete with any HW2-R ship. In some cases i would say that the HW1 ships are better than the HW2 ships in RE. Whoever the artist were they definitely showed love for their work.


I welcome some hard edges in this case.
To tell the truth many military designs have those even in real life: look at main battle tanks, aircafts and naval ships: yes many parts are smooth or rounded but there’s an equivalent amount of simple shapes and hard edges who are there both for design and pratical purpose.
Why would you prefer a curved steel plate instead of a faceted/polygonal one? It’s easier to repair, manufacture and still retains its functionality.

Also these ships are in space: no smooth hull required to flow into the atmosphere! :wink:

Improved texture and other details are fine though.

What about all that damn “yellow nebula” Tell me there is no friction there. Like i said before. In HW2 “Space is Yellow”.

Seriously, Ships in space do not need any “aerodynamics” at all. They do need functionality. The best shape for a spacecraft to hold a pressurized environment is a sphere.

We have got too used to “star wars” design elements. Star Trek (1960’s) got it right somewhat by placing all of the ship systems inside the ship, and leaving the exterior smooth. Hell space is dangerous. Why would you want to go outside?

For entertainment purposes. We have ships that are smooth, blocky in the right places, and aerodynamic. Yet crammed with tons of greebles.