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Stargate Redux


Domglino

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So, many many years ago (2012-ish) in my early days of Cinema 4D, I had taken on a project of making the Stargate from the TV series Stargate SG-1 (It's my favorite show). I used to think what I did was really great work... until I dug it up and opened it recently... hhhoman is it messy.

5a87c07d637bc_stargateredux_0003.thumb.jpg.6279fe3c28aeba024340dc08e770b857.jpg     5a87c00db8612_stargateredux_0003_wire.thumb.jpg.49c6ba88234ea9b96071856fdfcf8d66.jpg

I think around the time of it's making, I had recently discovered the boolean and went nuts with that tool. Needless to say, nowadays I will never touch that tool unless I am absolutely forced to.

 

Fastforward to today, with the soft-return of the Stargate franchise (Stargate: Origins) I was thinking about my project and opened it up the other day. To my dismay it was really bad; Ngons hiding out of sight haunting me in my sleep, bolleans everywhere, just poor geometry overall. So, naturally, I was left with only one option as to what I can do... do it over. I couldn't let that shame continue haunting me.

These days I have picked up quite an attachment to SDS modelling, and almost everything I model today is SDS. With that in mind, though I have gotten way better, I still think there is a lot that I can probably improve on. That's where this post comes it. I will be updating this with my progress and would like to get feedback on the work. Questions, comments, suggestions, critiques, whatever. I am trying to become more active on here, since this place is so great with providing support. Heck, on my last post, @Cerbera taught me something new that I am already applying to this project.

 

Here's the first bit I am calling 'complete'... for now.

SG2018_012_wire_post.thumb.png.38fa307d4d3d1736abfbe8b223403ec8.png

I started with the chevron(s), as that is the thing that will help me judge the scale properly for most of the rest of the model as I continue.

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9 hours ago, Onilgob said:

Nowadays I will never touch that (boole) tool unless I am absolutely forced to.

Well done, that is the correct attitude to that, and it brings a warm glow to my heart every time someone realises :)

 

9 hours ago, Onilgob said:

These days I have picked up quite an attachment to SDS modelling, and almost everything I model today is SDS.

Yes, it is great isn't it :) Something about the 'calm tranquility' of beautifully regular topology is very addictive once you get into it  :)

 

9 hours ago, Onilgob said:

Heck, on my last post, @Cerbera taught me something new that I am already applying to this project.

Glad to hear it. And your new piece is looking totally fine - nothing to criticize there so far ! :)

 

9 hours ago, Onilgob said:

I still think there is a lot that I can probably improve on.

I've been doing this 20 years, and I am still improving ! :)

Fortunately, this is never going to stop being creatively interesting, because you will never run out of things to learn, and better ways to do things.

 

Best of luck, look forward to seeing your future work on this !

 

CBR

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1 hour ago, ZChristian said:

It is a fun project. Myself I am working (several years already...) on some of the special effects of the gate, the kawoosh, water surface, stepping through effects.... 

That's awesome! I'm curious, as to how are you going about doing those? I have been thinking about how to do those effects and don't have any ideas beyond "take it from the show."

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Yeah, I have started several times in different ways, but finally I am using RealFlow for most of these effects. The kawoosh-effects of the original movie and TV show are based on real footage, which is hard to replicate. But the water surface is CG also in the TV shows. Regarding this effect it currently looks like this (surface animated in RealFlow, then rendered in C4D, with glow in AFX).

 

 

 

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On 2/17/2018 at 1:26 PM, ZChristian said:

Yeah, I have started several times in different ways, but finally I am using RealFlow for most of these effects. The kawoosh-effects of the original movie and TV show are based on real footage, which is hard to replicate.

Yeah. I believe they dropped something in water, and then captured that footage from underwater. Unfortunately I am not that dedicated... nor equipped. 

 

So, an update.

I started working on the ring sections(s). I decided to split it up into three rings not including the 'dialing ring': An outer, a middle, and an inner ring.

Then I segmented said rings so that when the time comes, I will just clone it 9 times in a radius. When I started, I made the mistake of not making the ring count divisible by a factor of nine, then to make matters worse, not realizing this until I was basically done and ready to segment it. I made a loop cut at the appropriate locations and hope that it wont cause any serious problems further down the road.

Front with Inner/outer ring. ---SG2018_018_wire_post.thumb.jpg.ee96008040e8c9ea13d99b40b36ddec3.jpg                  Back side with all three. ---SG2018_018_backwire_post.thumb.jpg.593a83643d1085346351f6a042d039de.jpg 

The middle ring with the triangular shaped cutouts and details proved to be a bit of a headache for me. I couldn't figure out how to get them to play nice, so in the end I just opted for floating geometry until I can possibly figure it out later.

Finally, the cutouts where the chevron fits into has me pretty satisfied. Old me would have used a boolean there and called it a day. That's certainly what I did in my first version.

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So, the segments cloned perfectly into a radius and works beautifully. Cannot even tell. Beyond the Chevron itself, I haven't done any subdivision yet, that's going to be in the final phase.

 

SG2018_wire_post.thumb.png.485f36ebe238681dae74b55b2022e048.png

 

The greebles I am kind of hating (Outer-edge ring & underneath chevron). In the meantime I did a sort of placeholder until I can get around to doing them all properly. For now I just split the needed surface area off, then subdivided and chose random patterns with the occasional diagonal cut. Though, I only need to do one section and let it be cloned, it is still going to be slow and tedious work. It doesn't help that there is very little in terms of good, clear, reference images out there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Was busy and been away for a while, but here's an update! Starting to get the details filled in. I've pretty much given up on trying to make it a 100% accurate replica. For one, it's hard finding really good, highly detailed reference images. And second, a lot of the details are beyond my current capability. I got those "arch" decorations laid down and cut out (Boolean free this time!) For my next trick, the weird square twist decorations need to be cut out.

 

After that I plan to do the gate symbols. That thus far has proved to be troublesome. Those I wanted to at least be full-accurate, but all the illustrations I am finding online are not proportioned correctly... I may have to eyeball it.

SG2018_022.jpg

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Things are coming along really nicely, and i'm starting to get kind of excited with the overall result. But this update was more about the inner radius details. Additionally, if you compare to the previous post, you will notice I have completely redone the Square decorations. I spent some time and got a much better and more accurate end-result.

SG2018_027_wirepost.thumb.jpg.ff1b3718277a69a4739f3a34b22e7c02.jpgSG2018_027_wire_post.thumb.jpg.5e18f7d51098ab4ea3587aa663650ad9.jpg

So those inner ring details I had a long internal debate over. I really wanted to keep things pretty well under control polycount-wise, but I also wanted to have the kind of visual appeal and quality that you get from having the details actually modeled. Originally I was going to do normal maps (they seem to succeed at that pretty well), but not only will I lose a little of that visual awesomeness, but also... I have absolutely no clue how to create a normal map. I don't use bump or displacement maps very often unless I am adding in a detail that will be viewed from afar.

 

I'd love some feedback on how to create Normal Maps though. There are later details I will be doing that I definitely want to be utilizing textures over mesh.

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