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3D-Pangel

ST III Spacedock

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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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  • My texture journey continues.....I was never happy with the black/white mask I had created for the tiny ship windows that I was getting from JSP.  Not that JSP is a bad tool, it isn't.  It's actually a must have in my opinion.  But while there is some control of the random patterns it creates by creating vertical or horizontal sections, it places those sections randomly across the image.

     

    I was looking for something unique in that I wanted to lights to reflect floor levels in the space station.  They needed to line up and be restricted to individual rows of pixels in the final image.  Not easy to do with a random texture generator.   

     

    So what I did was to create a plane that was roughly 184 x 324 polygon is size.  I then textured it completely black and colored the 4 polygons in each corner completely red.  I placed a camera above the exact center of the plane and had it facing it straight down.  I set the render size to the same ratio as the number of polygon and did a few quick renders while repositioning the camera to insure that the red corners were exactly at the corners of the rendered image. 

     

    Next was to go in and do a few loop selections to select the floor levels I was looking for and then remove polygons from each of those selections to get the randomness that I was looking for.  I will admit that this part was tedious.  When done, I painted the finished selections with a flat white material to generate the black/white mask of windows I was looking for.    Once rendered, I then painted the red alignment squares in the corners black. The finished image is below:

    5b01782424556_lightmaker.thumb.jpg.e089dbfa4d7741128f252f4fa3bdfd45.jpg

    And this is how it makes the windows appear in the final render.  It definitely sells the concept of floors within the space station.

    5b0175470819f_BetterLights.thumb.JPG.0c30e0d8a6ff7d82e3b562461484aabe.JPG

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    Well worth the hassle though - that is one damn fine luminance map you got there :)

     

    CBR

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  • 7 hours ago, Cerbera said:

    Well worth the hassle though - that is one damn fine luminance map you got there :)

     

    CBR

    Thank you!   From you that is high praise!

     

     One thing for sure....if I don't get what I want, I keep trying.  Given that this is a hobby, I can only eek out about 4 hours a week by the time the rest of work and life is taken care of.  So those little dots represent about 2 weeks of time (or 8 hours of experimentation).

     

    Today is a rather unique day....I killed back hauling dirt yesterday  (dead lifted a 150 to 200 lb sack over my shoulder.....I thought I could do it...I did...but I paid a price).  So I hooked up a heating pad to my office chair and have been working on C4D all day.  I am now working on the space dock doors.  Three attempts today so far.  Just not happy with it. I am using a design by Robert Wilde for inspiration.   The inner door break on his design  has some pretty neat geometry but I am struggling with the topological flow.   To many cuts and then he indents and bevels the inner door "C" glow.  If not done right, you get a lot of crappy triangles and phong errors.   Here is what I have so far:

     

    5b01f01cb96b1_Withdoors.thumb.JPG.fd9994db96bba5e3423ebbf642d0d6a2.JPG5b01f01e17a48_Door....sofar.thumb.JPG.1edd6cbb613082c8f1808c281af9ae51.JPG

     

     

    But this is what I am going for: 

     

    80-14-828739.thumb.jpg.461f7c66d2fc334e5cc542f030d7054b.jpg

     

     

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  • The Dock doors start to take shape.....finally getting something that I am happy with.

    5b041d502ad64_Dockdoorstakeshape.thumb.JPG.72981d36eed4c01a45aaba9b2937abd5.JPG

     

    At this rate, I should be done with this project by next Christmas...but I am having a blast and looking forward to every challenge and utter frustration along the way.

     

    Dave

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    Dammit, I've been itching to help you out with those loading bay doors, but clients have been keeping me a bit nose-to-the-grindstone recently, so I haven't had much time to experiment on your behalf. But I did wonder if one viable approach wouldn't be making them in 3 vertical sections (top and bottom plates and the middle bits) so that your edge loops could be independent of each other. Just a thought - I see you've pretty much sorted them anyway :)

     

    Something else has caught my eye if you are interested...

     

    Those little luminant port-holes there - they are very 'on the surface' at the moment. What about using an inverse of the luminance map (possibly minutely blurred) to subtly bump those windows into the mainframe ever-so-slightly ? That might add another little contributory factor towards the perceived 'bigness'... what do you think ?

     

    CBR

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  • 13 minutes ago, Cerbera said:

    Dammit, I've been itching to help you out with those loading bay doors, but clients have been keeping me a bit nose-to-the-grindstone recently, so I haven't had much time to experiment on your behalf. But I did wonder if one viable approach wouldn't be making them in 3 vertical sections (top and bottom plates and the middle bits) so that your edge loops could be independent of each other. Just a thought - I see you've pretty much sorted them anyway :)

     

    Something else has caught my eye if you are interested...

     

    Those little luminant port-holes there - they are very 'on the surface' at the moment. What about using an inverse of the luminance map (possibly minutely blurred) to subtly bump those windows into the mainframe ever-so-slightly ? That might add another little contributory factor towards the perceived 'bigness'... what do you think ?

     

    CBR

    If I have your attention, I must be doing something right!  Good suggestion on the doors --- I never even considered that approach...you almost make me want to redo them one more time.

     

    Relative to the port holes--- Another excellent suggestion.  Yes...they do look a bit floaty and that did bother me a bit.  I was just happy to finally get a pattern that made sense, so I was going to live with it.  But I am eager to try out your suggestion … so I will get it to it tonight after work.  Normally, I hate bump maps in non-organic models.  They just don't read well to me.  Normal maps tend to be better.   Let me try both (I think there is a H2N shader that converts any image to a normal map).  If normal maps don't work out as well, then blur in the bump map will probably take a bit of the curse off a bump map - that and the new parallax bump capability in C4D.

     

    Thanks again....in one post, you gave me two suggestions that in my wildest imagination I never would have considered!!!

     

    Dave

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    11 minutes ago, 3D-Pangel said:

    Normally, I hate bump maps in non-organic models.

    Yep, you can certainly go the Normal channel route instead, although the amount of bump you want is SO minute relative to the scene scale, in this instance bump might just be enough. Easy enough to try both I guess ! 

     

    Do post what happens if you turn parallax on ! ;)

     

    CBR

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  • 4 hours ago, Cerbera said:

    Yep, you can certainly go the Normal channel route instead, although the amount of bump you want is SO minute relative to the scene scale, in this instance bump might just be enough. Easy enough to try both I guess ! 

     

    Do post what happens if you turn parallax on ! ;)

     

    CBR

    Okay....the results are in and while encouraging, they are a bit unexpected.

     

    Below is when using the bump map.  As anticipated, the depression around each light is a bit soft.  So while it grounds the lights to the hull in a distance, should you get close, this could be a problem:

    5b049770aa58e_WithBumpMap.thumb.JPG.463242fbe1327960a6343c697684bae6.JPG

     

    Now, when using a normal map something weird happens.  If you notice, the actual depression with a normal map is crisply defined -- which is why I favor them for non-organic models.  But notice that the lights appear off...almost out of sync with the luminance map for the lights. 

     

    5b0497ece4a75_WithNormalMap.thumb.JPG.c22e30397b7b5734f64155c457086332.JPG

     

     

    Let me keep working on this....the results are encouraging, but there are more things I need to try.

     

    Dave

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