Qapla'! Klingons, as seen on Star Trek

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Uploaded: 6th Jul 2008 at 8:57 PM
Updated: 4th Jul 2011 at 10:52 PM
It's been a long haul, to say the least, but now I've finally completed them: Klingon uniforms for male and female, from teen to elder.

The uniforms categorised as casual, formal and athletics wear, and as outerwear if you have Seasons. They are bump mapped, but since they're a bit high in poly, I've tried to make them look good even if you don't have bump maps enabled. Also, for the males, adults/young adults and elders use the same mesh, just so you don't think I've forgotten to upload the male elders.

These uniforms are based on - but not intended to be exact replicas of - the Klingon uniforms seen on Deep Space Nine. (The dress for Klingon females seen in TNG and VOY will come later.) I know the females are supposed to have this chest plate type thing as well, but I couldn't for the life of me get a good enough screenshot of what it is supposed to look at from the side, so rather than just guessing, I eventually ended up scrapping it altogether. Personally, I think it looks better this way anyway, but if you want to add a chest plate of your own, feel free. Oh, and I've also taken the liberty of editing out those little pointy things on the shoulder boards, because I felt they were just adding polys without doing much for the overall impression, and the last thing these meshes need are more polys.

Now, re the shoulder boards. This is what caused much of the delay with these uniforms - and what almost made me pull my hair out by the roots with sheer frustration. I'm fully aware that they *gasp* don't look exactly like they do on the show, but after much grief and even more testing of different styles, this was the best compromise between aesthetics - looking like on the show - and functionality - looking good in game - I could reach. I'm not 100% happy with it, but I'm still much happier than I was with either of the alternatives. (The other options were to either make a square shoulder board that looked very much like it does on the show, but that didn't move with the Sim (because of how the bone assignments work, it would have to be completely stiff to actually stay square) and didn't look good in-game, or make a shoulder board that moved completely with the Sim, but looked curved like the shoulders of the OFB knight and not like a proper Klingon shoulder board at all.) See "known issues" below for further explanation.

Speaking of which...

Known Issues:
As I said above, I had to find a compromise that both looked good in game and looked like "real life" Klingon uniforms. I ended up associating the shoulder boards partly with the Sim's upper arms. This is what gives them the slightly curved look, but also what makes them move with the Sim - but only to a point. (The more you assign them to the upper arms, the more moveable they get - but they also get more and more curved, like the shoulders on the OFB knight.) This means that the Sim's arms will pass through them if he (or she) moves them straight forward or over his head, like this:

Just so you know that this isn't an error on my part, but rather something I'm quite aware of but at this moment don't know how to work my way around.

Polygon Counts:
Teen female: 3109 polys, 4340 vertices
Adult & elder female: 3132/4369
Teen male: 3315/4465
Adult male: 3309/4447

I know these meshes are quite a bit higher in poly than my stuff usually is, but they're also quite a bit more detailed. I've snapped together and welded everything that could possibly be snapped together and welded to bring down the poly count, but this is as good as it gets - so if you're on a slow computer, it's probably best if you have only a limited number of Klingons in your neighbourhood.

Additional Credits:
- Tig and HP, whose excellent tutorials have taught me everything I know about body meshing
- Wes H for the Unimesh plugins
- Quaxi and all the other SimPE developers
- The Milkshape team

As always, if you like my work, hitting the "thanks" button is a quick and painless way of showing it.

Happy Klingon simming!

P.S. For those of you who don't speak Klingon, "qapla' " means "success". Given how long it's taken me to get to this point, it seemed appropriate.