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.





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

Interlude – Mandelbulb3D, Orbital

•December 7, 2016 • 2 Comments

I continue to work on my mega Museum Annex project. I have imported a number of the finished ships into Wings3D to scale them to the station. I also get to see how they fit, what can be seen and not seen as well as what tweaks each model needs to work in the scene(s). Unfortunately the renders in W3D look like poo with all the stuff in the modeler so no WIP pics.

In the meantime (always the case with me) I have continued to noodle around in Mandelbulb3D. I have seen how folks can pick out objects in the fractals and make them look like they built a 3D model. I really suck at the program, mostly because I don’t (won’t) take the time to figure out what all the 200+ settings really do. However, I have found that a couple of formulas can really give you varied and interesting result if you just tweak them to death.

Attached is ‘Orbital’ which is an alien something or other (ship, station, planet eater?) I saw when playing with formula adjustments. I had to create my own diffuse map for this that came out pretty good in that there is a hint of panels on the object. I also found it had a cool little ship near it. The only post work on this was adding the flare (minor JJ), putting exhaust plumes on the ship and ‘cleaning’ some minor artifacts that I could not get the rendering calculations to fix for me.

Alien space station or star ship