I keep checking in at a fair number of the sites out there but see little in the way of contribution. Most sites have a small group of hard core, and mostly very accomplished, artists and modelers that continue to post. But the variety and numbers seem to have declined. I mostly follow blogs now of people I like.
Or, is it more that fewer people are modelling than used to? Tools have become very expensive and the old days of freeware versions have gone away. The few free tools are difficult to learn without the level of support you see from the commercial companies.
I almost can’t believe it but SyFy does seem to be getting back to it’s core premise and in December they will premiere Childhood’s End! The latest trailer looks great.
I got my Science Fiction literature start with the ABC`s of Asimov, Bradbury and Clark. Clark was the ‘hard science’ guy and his ideas were so thought provoking. While everyone knows 2001: A Space Odyssey and many know Rendezvous with Rama, Childhoods End is probably not as well known and is unique in it’s deviation from the hard science approach Clark is known for.
The trailer clearly shows a very contemporary interpretation which I would expect and, if done right (fingers crossed), should not hurt the story. Clearly one quick clip shows a character (book – Jan Rodricks, an astrophysicist) getting protected for travel from within an Overlord ship as it prepares to go to it’s home-world. Two allusions to classic Sci-Fi movie scenes as well, 2001 and Close Encounters, are in the trailer. Nice touches.
In addition, The Expanse!!!!!! I hope…hope…hope… they don’t screw this up! The trailer, which focuses on the story from book 1 (Leviathan Awakes) does show a key character that shows up in book 2 but I read that the Expanse authors worked with the screenwriters and are happy with the results. I really hope it is good and they go the distance – the story and characters are amazing!
And (minor spoiler) – Zombies in space! What’s not to like!
I moved and redesigned my city / starbase illumination map. I felt the size was more appropriate and the location now is in a big impact crater. While the big lava plain was nice I just felt the sprawl design for the city was odd.
I did play with building a real starbase mesh and then just render it from the correct view and then map it. Too much work and not enough time.
I also tweaked the displacement map on more time and then adjusted its strength.
Well, maybe it is or maybe it is an asteroid or ‘dwarf’ planet. But it will be a star base when it is used in the next render or two.
I added a slight displacement to it and tweaked the bump mapping. Not entirely sure my displacement map is aligned correctly. Should match the UV map but… The sphere had to be bumped up to about 256 segments to look good. I can go higher but it adds to rendering time. Got the idea from looking at the latest Ceres imagery. Like the 3 mile high ‘pyramid’ they found!
I have applied a first pass attempt at a sprawling surface installation.
Two publicly available bump maps for a random moon and a very much worked over Australian terrain map I cobbled together from Google Earth. Blended in PS and then output new DIFF and BUMP maps (at 5K).
I finished the Capella. Everything is done. All textures and final mesh tweaks have been applied. I have, yet, another in my endless bussard texture applications assigned to this model. I noticed in the WIP image below I forgot to ‘unhide’ the bussard spikes. They are copper in color – so imagine if you will. :)
On the heels of the Wanderers post, here is a new video from Erik Wernquist commissioned by the National Space Society. It is a quick exposé of humankind’s journey through the planets of our solar system with the final stop at Pluto. At 1:48 of the video it hits it out of the park for me.