And more Annex

•July 1, 2017 • 1 Comment

Almost four months! You would think I have been working hard on getting this project done!

I know you weren’t – and I have not. Life reared it’s ugly head and, well, who cares 🙂 .

I had a free Friday evening and a few quite hours today and played with the station. I know I have built this before but this is going in a big scene (as I keep saying) and everything about the original was way too big. Too many polys and massive textures made it too hard to use. Also, the previous version I had built is not the one you can see at the museum site but a version Masao provided many years ago that is a bigger station.

This version is very low poly, uses masks for a number of things to reduce weight (saves memory) and is the version seen at the SFM site. This makes it so much easier to use because I can stuff ships in the finished scene and it will look busy enough. The doors all open and the interiors are there. I solved for the big (10 story tall) windows. The top/bottom domes are portholes for rooms. The main hanger dome perimeter rooms all have big picture windows. The attachment cylinders with the shuttle bays have large 4 meter(ish) size galleries.

I will have to render the interiors in separate passes for correct lighting. I will have ships in and outside if all goes well.

Anyway – still here folks!

Annex (again)

•April 13, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I am attempting to create a very extensive scene using the Fleet Museum. I had (have) revised the mesh to try and simplify the task as it will have a number of ships parked at and within it. Unfortunately the mesh, even modified, became a bit unwieldy for my old rendering system and Wings 3D has some kind of weird export issue if a mesh gets too big. Piecing it out did not help either (maybe another try later).

I took an older version that had most changes and imported it so I can revise and fix textures. Again, my system cannot handle too big a file set so…

Posting mostly as a motivator 🙂

Lesser Known Trek Ships – Pytheas Class

•April 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Another lesser known ship (up to four now).

Within the Federation there lay many star systems whose stars and planets do not comport to most member species. The Pytheas class was designed to chart these systems. Easily built, the 25 member crews could be sent out to a specific system and catalog the resources these systems had that could benefit the Federation.

Pytheas

Pytheas

Pytheas

Pytheas

Modeled in Wings 3D

Lesser Known Trek Ships – Himilco

•April 6, 2017 • 1 Comment

I am going to go all in on a series of ships, that would have been lesser known, in the ST universe. Well my version of it anyway. The Hera is in that group and here is another, fleshed out from an earlier post, the Himilco Class. Himilco was a Carthaginian navigator and explorer of the Mediterranean at the height of power of Carthage.

These ships were comparable to the Constitution class and leveraged some components. Notable for the integrated main engineering, secondary hull for additional science, cargo and shuttle craft space. Only a small number were built and they were used for deep space, long duration, exploration.

Himilco Class
Himilco Class
Himilco Class
Himilco Class
Himilco Class

Modeled in Wings 3D

Lesser Known Trek Ships – Hera Pt.2

•February 9, 2017 • 1 Comment

Having had a need to open Photoshop, working on the Fleet Museum project, I worked up a few more base textures for the Hera. The docking assembly and rear shuttle doors needed attention. Dropped them into the scene and then added some basic textures to other objects. Also added a new mesh detail to that inset along the saucer. Renders are getting long now so I only went with a fill rig for these tests.

Star Trek TOS era Hera
Star Trek TOS era Hera

The Museum – One More Time!

•February 7, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Okay, I think after Dan’s thoughts on this I saw the light. The BAWS (Big A$$ Window Sections) are big exhibit areas. The BAWS are where you can see various things discovered while exploring different planets. Ancient Earth and other Federation scientific milestones around space flight can be seen here. Each floor is about 2 and 1/2 stories in height.

Yes Dan, a Federation Smithsonian. 🙂

Unfortunately, I could not just ‘fix’ the one section the way I wanted. I tried but got some strange smoothing issue that was going to take way too long to fix. So I ended up rebuilding (can we just admit it – for the 5th time!) the whole darn thing. I did, IMHO, a much better job on the small shuttle bays (doors closed in WIPs) and main docking doors. The shuttle doors have properly round corners now versus the hard bevels in past versions.

I omitted the big vents in this new version that I had built into the main hanger dome. The vents where as large as some of the biggest ships. I could not fathom why they needed to be so big. They will be textured in and smaller. I also removed that big ring I added on the dome that does not exist in any version of Masao’s original drawings. On the interior I fixed the hanger to be more open, my last version had a more enclosed area that does not match the drawings I have and made for some fit issues.

And, of course, I need to texture the beast now.

Star Fleet Museum Model
Star Fleet Museum Model

It’s been a year!

•January 27, 2017 • 4 Comments

Nothing since 2016! Ha, I crack me up.

Okay, I have been stuck on a project. I have been trying to do a Star Fleet Museum scene that has a bunch of ships in it. Ya know, since the museum would have a bunch of ships. The first challenge is getting everything scaled. None of my ships where built with any standard size setting so I have to figure out a way to get them all scaled appropriately when merged.

The bigger issue that is killing me is the museum itself. The museum, based off a J class station, has these enormous windows that wrap around the column that connects the upper and lower docking hangers. I never took the time to figure out how big they were but had created a texture that let one know they are windows. Having placed ships in the museum model gave me a sense of the window scale issue.

Here is the problem. As you can see, the windows or gallery, is about 10 stories. Eek!

Museum Scale issue

I am trying to figure out a way to possibly segment them so they make more sense. Seems like a little thing but it flummoxes me!

Lesser Known Trek Ships – Hera

•December 8, 2016 • 7 Comments

I have been working on new texture treatments using my updated Hera mesh. My hope is to apply what I am doing to the bigger annex project I am working on. I am trying to achieve simpler textures in size that keep detail but dramatically reduce render times. I am trying to abandon the need for SPEC maps and fewer bump maps.

These test images were done using no post effects to see how quick I could get a render done using one pass. Took only a couple of minutes for each. At the detail settings I usually use for shadow (ambient and fill), specular and object illumination; my past approach renders would have been 10-15 minutes for 2 of the four passes I typically make.

This is a twofer for me. I get the Hera done while progressing my annex project. WOOT! WOOT!

Hera Class - Star Fleet - Star Trek
Hera Class - Star Fleet - Star Trek
Hera Class - Star Fleet - Star Trek