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3D-Pangel

ST III Spacedock

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Well...this will be a first for me...actually creating and updating a thread on a current WIP.    Probably a first, because I never really know if I will be able to finish a project when I start it, but I feel pretty confident about this one.  

The project will be the space station from Star Trek III --- highly inspired by listening to the music from the movie.  I am a huge fan of movie music and one my favorite composers is James Horner (Avatar, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13, Titanic, ST II and ST III, etc.).  Sadly, he passed away in 2015 in a private plane accident.  Just lately, I have been listening to his soundtracks.

The station I hope to create is this one:

USS_Enterprise_approaches_the_Earth_Spacedock.thumb.jpg.c7b1f8bc454ebf9c4ef3a6fb0e03de58.jpg

At first glance, it did not seem to offer too much a challenge as it really is about 10 primitives (cones, spheres and cylinders) stacked on top of each other, but as I do research on the web, finding any and all images, it is actually not that simple.  So it should offer some fun challenges.  I also plan to model the interior docking area  as well: 

USS_Enterprise_and_USS_Excelsior_in_Spacedock.thumb.jpg.94f4e6aa42406092381625638c3dbb2f.jpg

....and finally, here is where I am  so far - 

 

58b35b16ed1bf_Progress1.thumb.JPG.ab3068e3d622339a6385e5510ba1daf8.JPG

 

Okay....is it just me or does this look like a giant mushroom?  ;-)

Dave

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  • Finally found some time to get back to this WIP and make some progress.  As C4D is a hobby, I do bounce around a lot with my projects -- trying, experimenting, learning, but never completing.  I wanted one big project for this summer because all that jumping around was not giving a sense of satisfaction of accomplishing something.

     

    STIII_a.thumb.JPG.e4a72c10c97ef82060f1e94698fc3d80.JPG

     

    Here is some of the mesh details:

    STIII_b.thumb.JPG.fbe1c636c25944d2793256f2ed99832f.JPGSTIII_c.thumb.JPG.89f1e4ed57864126d23f60d64d476cc9.JPG

     

    The model is huge because it will be seen with Star Trek ship models as well.  The works of Robert Wilde is the inspiration for this and I have over 66 reference images found from searching the web.  I finally got the shape/dimensions/proportions correct because rarely are there any orthogonal views to work with for every element of this model.   Now that the basic shape is done, next is to insure that I have the just the right texture with the appropriate specular highlights.  Here is an example of what I hope to achieve (for me it is a lot harder than it looks):

     

    STIII_example.thumb.JPG.e12582ab427f56c58257fa2b34add099.JPG

     

    Any ideas on how to get this affect?

     

    Thanks,

    Dave

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    I'll do some experiments later to find where best to put it, but I can tell you straight away where to go to get your cool hi-res panel maps.

    JSPlacement from Windmill Arts is extremely helpful in this regard when used with displacement, but works equally well (albeit more subtly) used in bump... you want the 'classic' mode here I think...

     

    CBR

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    Here we go - I made a quick JS map, made a new Beckmann reflectance layer with these settings - basically turning reflection off, and just using the specular (use other layers to do reflectance if needed), then the JS map went in the specular map slot. In the test shot below I have a normal omni light on the left, and an ambient illumination light on the right (not that it matters where that is) crucially with its specular component turned off. Were I to add another JS map (this time in lights mode) to the luminance channel I'd be well on the way to a decent space station...

     

    5af07d26bc3bd_Specplanels.thumb.JPG.88d02b4a64df86bc4457728312bab216.JPG

     

    The ONLY reason you can still see a bit of the panels in the dark bit is because I also used the map in the bump channel (albeit with only 6% depth) but I think you should do that anyway for better realism. In fact now I think about it, displacement is way overkill for objects this large so probably avoid that...

     

    CBR

     

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    Nice progress dave, btw i think your inbox may be full

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  • 13 hours ago, VECTOR said:

    Nice progress dave, btw i think your inbox may be full

    Wow.....I wonder how long it has been full as there were no alerts from the forum software....or any that I can remember.   I had messages dating back to 2013 so it is very likely I did get some warnings but completely ignored them.  I cleaned a few out so now it is 75% full.

     

    Thank you for letting me know!

     

    Dave

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    19 hours ago, Cerbera said:

    JSPlacement from Windmill Arts is extremely helpful in this regard 

     

     

    I also love how on their page under 'Tutorials; they have a recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers.. One of the most random things I've seen in a while :)

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  • On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 11:41 AM, Cerbera said:

    I'll do some experiments later to find where best to put it, but I can tell you straight away where to go to get your cool hi-res panel maps.

    JSPlacement from Windmill Arts is extremely helpful in this regard when used with displacement, but works equally well (albeit more subtly) used in bump... you want the 'classic' mode here I think...

     

    CBR

    Jay,

     

    I did checkout JSPlacement some time ago, but it was a little glitchy on my old Win 7 machine.  I tried it again on my newer Win10 machine and it works well.  I have been doing some texture tests on the top dome using maps for specular and luminance from JSPlacement.  The base texture is an old deathstar texture that was originally much darker but I passed it through the Colorizer shader (I love that shader) to lighten it up a bit.  Here are the results of my testing:

    5af746832456c_Texturetest1.thumb.JPG.d41a4e64d9c44090326fa561c4cd9a53.JPG

     

     

    Getting there!  Thanks for your help!

     

    Dave

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    52 minutes ago, 3D-Pangel said:

    Getting there!  Thanks for your help!

    Indeed ! Looking good so far. Are you going to glow the luminant bits or do you think the scale is a bit big for that ?

    Talking of scale - that is pretty much the biggest challenge you face if using the native renderers - making this look truly huge...

    One technique to try and mitigate that would be to use loads of small  lights on the surface. Another is to have lots of scale-reference objects in the scene like transport ships and whatnot...

     

    Btw - are you modelling this at real world scale ?

     

    CBR

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  • 20 hours ago, Cerbera said:

    Indeed ! Looking good so far. Are you going to glow the luminant bits or do you think the scale is a bit big for that ?

    Talking of scale - that is pretty much the biggest challenge you face if using the native renderers - making this look truly huge...

    One technique to try and mitigate that would be to use loads of small  lights on the surface. Another is to have lots of scale-reference objects in the scene like transport ships and whatnot...

     

    Btw - are you modelling this at real world scale ?

     

    CBR

    Agreed.  Scale is the hardest challenge and as I was not happy with the lights either, I took another whack at it.

     

    This time, I actually have the lights as a different texture that just uses the alpha and luminance channels.  So when the lights are not part of the hull texture, then I can make independent scale adjustments to both.  The problems I was facing is that as you decrease the scale on the lights, you can see a repeat to the pattern and it just looks like a virtual sea of random dots without an order to it.  I really want to see the lights ordered along levels rather than a random pattern.  JSP helped with that but at a scale value of 10 still ends up looking like a random sea of dots even when you lower the "Drawing Chance" settings to 1.9% (which is pretty low).  I wish it had the capability for minimum as well as maximum pattern length as too many single dot lights add to the randomness when your expectation is for order as this is a man-made structure with floors, etc.

     

    So what I did was create two patterns using JSP -- one that was just vertical and one that was just horizontal lights with a minimum brightness setting of 0. This still created the random sea of dots but when you bring each image into an image editing program and decrease the color depth to 2 colors (0 or 255), it drops all dots at 128 or less to 0 and thus thins out the pattern a bit.  As I am using this as a mask, I really don't care if the color depth is just black or white.

     

    I then selectively started to clone the vertical and horizontal patterns I liked to a new image until I started to get the pseudo man-made pattern I was looking for.  Once completed, I copied it and renamed the original to "Lights" and the copy to "Less lights".  I then opened up "Less Lights" in an image editing program and thinned it out some more with a black paint brush so that there were areas of no lights.

     

    Finally, as the last step in an insane bid to have as much control as possible, I made individual loop selections for each level of the doom (15 in all).  On each one, I dropped either the original lights texture or the "less lights" texture and adjusted the offsets individually to insure that nothing looked repetitive. 

     

    Now that I had that level of control, I could increase the number of tiles on each level until I got the sense of scale I was looking for.  Finally, I added a bit of glow to the light textures as well.

     

    5af86d5407fa0_TextureTest2.thumb.JPG.ca2d025c6167c8a4fdd92c0e6804e384.JPG

     

    Interestingly enough, the goal never really showed up until I started to map textures to individual selections....not sure why.  Here is a close up showing the glow:

     

    5af86eae47859_TextureDetail.thumb.JPG.981b74589a89b254aa03b40ba5b14dbc.JPG

     

    To answer your other question about modeling scale, I am matching a scale used by Alex 3D as he does have some outstanding Star Trek models which are available for download.  He is also working on his own version of the Space Station for STIII.  It looks like he stopped working on it for some time his WIP page is dated 2013.  Once I get this to a point that starts to look pretty interesting, I will be reaching out to him.

     

    Dave

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