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Ratha (Indian Chariot) Project

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Blue Monkey, Jul 8, 2008.

?

My feelings about the Ratha unit project

Poll closed Oct 6, 2008.
  1. I'm likely to USE this unit but can’t help the project

    13 vote(s)
    68.4%
  2. I can CONTRIBUTE skills/computer time to the project

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  3. I'm willing to COORDINATE a major section of the project

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  4. I think the whole proposal is Lame / IMPOSSIBLE

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Ratha (Indian Chariot) Project Proposal



    Even more than the elephant, the ratha (Indian chariot) is indispensable to a pre-gunpowder Indian army. The only reason I can think of that it has not yet been made is the complexity of the model that must be created & the requirement for widely varied animation skills (people, animals, vehicle). It occurred to me that the work could be done by a team, rather than an individual. Not having done this, I don’t know which parts of the work could be split up, but here are my thoughts:

    EDIT: An updated summary of what I'm looking for is in this post.

    Division of Basic Tasks
    1. Someone can build the model*. Maybe even that work can be subdivided with props & pieces (such as the parasol) done by others. Then the key modeller could do the assembly.
    2. Then animations can be created. I don't know, but perhaps that work can be split also amongst those good at people, animals, and vehicles.
    3. Obviously a unit this complex will take a lot of rendering time - couldn't that be farmed out to quite a few of us, even those who have Poser but don't make units yet?
    4. Then someone can do the flic & palette work.


    Early Responses

    I sent a PM to several people who have previously requested or otherwise shown a strong interest in this badly needed & unique unit (pun/no pun). These are the responses I got:

    [B Mithadan: “Well, I can't do any of that technical helping required as I've got none of the software or expertise required, sadly. I can always do a bit of lobbying, though.

    My desire for an Indian chariot was more of the sort that would have been running around before and during Alexander's time (presumably on two wheels), but a ratha four-wheeler would do fine with me.”

    Virote_Considon: “I'd be happy to do the rendering, for sure!”

    R8XFT: “I'd be happy to do all the rendering and pallette/.flc work - i.e. all the finishing tasks if someone puts together the model and animations. I might have an Indian parasol from an Indian poser pack, so I'll check on that.”

    Quinzy: “I fully support it too. It is, without a doubt, the most needed and least able to be substituted for unit.

    It's very, very possible to do that, splitting the workload. However, the level of people with time, Poser, and a will/need for the unit serverly reduces likelyhoods of getting a team up.

    One thing I was contemplating, if the unit doesn't win in the competition is making it myself.”


    Basic Unit Requirements

    For me, these are the key elements needed for a Ratha unit (illustrated in galleries below):
    • Cart with four wheels (spoked). There are also two-wheeled depictions, but I think the four-wheeled is a more distinctly Indian version.
    • Chattra (parasol)
    • Multiple horses (2 would be fine); the maker has a lot of latitude as to how they are arranged.
    • Two riders: archer & charioteer (driver)

    Suggested details
    (see image galleries):
    • Chariot Shape
    the front can either be boxy or curved
    the rear can be either open or closed​
    • Possible Civ-color locations:
    pennant
    chattra
    side/front panels of chariot
    horse caparisons
    • Attire of Riders
    the distinctive Indian helmets
    torso armor - plate mail or metal cuirass on archer preferred, lighter armor or none on charioteer okay.
    dhoti style pants (please no togas) - another place for civ-color​
    • Preferred Victory Animation:
    The charioteer blows a conch (I can supply the sounds)
    • Possible (Simplified?) Death Animation:
    Only the archer dies, the chariot turns & retreats

    Variations


    Once a base model and animations are made & available elaborations / variations would be possible (most of these are illustrated in the galleries below):
    • An early-era version. The riders could be unarmored, with the brahmin hair style (topknot). This might be the two-wheeled version, with the standard version being the four-wheeled.
    • A “king” unit with more elaborate textures applied to the chariot, gold-colored chasings for example. On such a unit the chattra (parasol) should definitely be white.
    • An "army" version. I have an idea for using the chattra as the "number of units held" display.
    • A version with the elaborated howdah-style chattra.
    • “Ram” type extensions, possibly designed like animal heads.
    • Blades on wheels.
    • Some civs could use exotic animals to pull their rathas. The king of the raksasas, for example, used two black bears.

    Illustrative Galleries


    I do not intend at all that the unit(s) be as elaborate as some of these images. As in many cultures, it is the Indian gods & heroes that usually get depicted, not the average warrior (even of the elite Kshatrya caste). But the basic design of the ratha will be the same.
    Spoiler :
    Basic Four-wheeled Version
    thumbnail


    Chattra (Parasol)
    thumbnail


    Multiple Horses (Harness Variations)
    thumbnail


    Riders: Archer & Charioteer
    thumbnail


    Two-wheeled Version
    thumbnail


    Possible Civ-color Locations & Body Shape Variations and Elaborations
    thumbnail
     
  2. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I'm still working on adding the galleries. Meanwhile Quinzy PMed me a preview of an early stage model he's working on getting postable. I did a PBJT. He has a request:

    for Q's sake the next gallery to get posted will be the riders.
     
  3. Sandris

    Sandris Rise and Rule

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    I need an e-mail to send Quinzy the horse & rider *.pz-scene.
     
  4. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    I've PM'd you Sandris.

    This is the current rendition.


    No doubt it will change over the coming weeks.

    I'm having ideas about the animations already. Once I get all the pieced I need that I can't make myself, i'll be on my way. :)

    As you can see, it'll be a 2 horse chariot, if that's no problem Blue?

    And yes, the flag will wave, as per your question :D
     
  5. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    2 horses are just fine.

    I'd like to hear your thoughts on the animations. I hope you'll take up my suggestion of the conch blowing for the victory animation. & speaking of that, I have a request for a version with a blue-skinned charioteer to make a special unit (everything else, including animations, can be identical):



    Plotinus made a helmet for the Golden Warrior that works pretty well for any Kshatriya unit (although I think the long tunics he put them in make them look Babylonian more than Indian). Talk to him about the dhoti he made for the Indian worker as well. The texture looks very good in game. Maybe some palette genius can figure out how to make a civ-color version.
     
  6. Sandris

    Sandris Rise and Rule

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    What degree of visibility of riders in the cart should be used ? The Quinzy`s cart looks great, but how it does compare to riders` scales ? Should not the front wheels be smaller than the back ones ?
     
  7. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    If they are in the chariot, their pants will be little seen, but i'll add in as many details as I realistically can, and i'll constantly ask for your opinion on every detail :D

    Edit: Yes, I can change the size of the wheels :)
    Also, I was planning on the horse pulling the chariot forward, and then sort of reversing it at an angle, so the archer can shoot out of the chariot with a clearer view.

    I will also adjust the scales of the chariot, length of the pole, and riders once I have them all in place :)
     
  8. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Wheels: There are images both with same-size & varied-size wheels. Go with whichever looks better.

    Attack: I just posted the "riders" gallery above. Most of the Images I've seen show him shooting out the side & at a forward angle, so an "angled" move by the horses would probably get the right effect. These guys famously shot accurately with the chariot in motion - although I'm not sure how a "red queen" animation looks in game.

    Scale: Personally I'd be happy for the unit to be on the large size so that the riders are closer to the size of the foot units, within the limits of game scale. The rathas are like tanks in a sense -big, expensive, & dominating the field. "Juggernaut" is a corruption of a name for a special kind of ratha used to carry a consecrated image.
     
  9. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    A new thought - If you need more room to display the riders maybe you can make the chattra more like this image:



    You can still use your basic superstructure, but with only a single pole, or two, in the rear. The pictures in the chattra gallery above have a similar look.

    Well, I've got to leave my computer for at least a few hours. Thank you, Quinzy, for beginning this so quickly. And thank you, Sandris, for giving your support. Feel free to be as active a participant as you want; anyone with your unit-making skills is a welcome addition.
     
  10. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    You mean getting rid of the 4 poles and using just 1 thicker one? I can do that :D I'll see how it looks tomorrow :)

    One thing I was thinking about- if anyone with Bryce 6 wants to convert the chariot to a Poser frieldly model, I could then pass it on to someone to add in people and horses etc.
    That is, if I don't get a working horse model :)
     
  11. Sandris

    Sandris Rise and Rule

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    It would be better to have the same size as the standard paperdoll-based horseman/rider has.
     
  12. RedAlert

    RedAlert Love one another

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    As a friend of civilizations with not many units to their name, I wish you all luck. :)
     
  13. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    Yeah, I'd like to keep it as close to the original charioteer scale as I can, simply for standardisational purposes :)
     
  14. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    I trust your judgment. I'm just hoping the archer & charioteer are detailed enough.
     
  15. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    He seems detailed enough in the stock Chariot, so i'd say he'll be :D
     
  16. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Well, I was wrong & rude & it's been bothering me ever since.
    I was wrong to discourage you. I'm truly sorry to have discouraged anyone from creating. It was also wrong of me to argue against what someone else obviously sees as an importantly needed unit. As Mithadan said in another thread:
    and in a PM:
    I second Mithadan's request for a Vedic Era 2-wheeled ratha (with a simple chattra/parasol please). Micaelus, I think the second model you previewed, the pinkish one, would be a very suitable starting point. I've posted some concept art for a two-wheeled ratha in the first post.
     
  17. Quinzy

    Quinzy Deity

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    I'm back from holidays now. I'll keep on working shortly :)
     
  18. Mithadan

    Mithadan Wandering Woodsman

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    I second Blue Monkey's seconding of my two wheeled Indian chariot request! :D
     
  19. Micaelus

    Micaelus aspiring scholar

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    First off, thanks BM for the apology--I appreciate it--but you needn't have worried too much about it. I wanted to see if I could be of any meager assistance and just thought that what I had found was too far off and couldn't be any use. No further harm was done.

    My apologies for the delayed reply--I was swamped last week and then was out of town. I'll see if I can fashion something decent from that second chariot and I'll get back to you.
     
  20. Blue Monkey

    Blue Monkey Archon Without Portfolio

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    Thanks for taking it up. Feel free to post your WIP previews here, as Quinzy is doing. I think for the Vedic Chariot one horse will be fine, but the key elements are a chattra (parasol), charioteer, and archer.


    Quinzy & Micaelus: On another note, if either of you could work some version of this symbol into the unit, the way shield emblems are sometimes done, that would be peachy. It's the Sanskrit for "Arya" - what the Vedic Indians called themselves. Feel free to be creative with it, you don't have to use this exact version.

     

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