Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vulcans did their part!

Nice and clean, but they always use that dreaded red color! Federation standard coating will fix that. :) But that still is a couple of months away. First, the drive system needs to be placed. Good thing Vulcans can also write logical service manuals. This thing is quite different in technology, it has Andorian design written all over it. Calibration has to be done very precise. I'm wondering what that magnetic plasma guidance system does.

"No Sir, I wasnt touching that button."

That is how my brain works I guess. Jumping from left to right in utter short and chaotic phrases. :)

My first starship (2003)

Dwight Williams commented on my Vienna class starship. I was about to write back within the Picasa album, but then I noticed I only had 512 characters. :)

Anyway we are talking about this starship:

Back in the day (2003) this was fine for me. It was my second serious 3ds Max model created with all kind of new techniques that Truespace (my previous modeling software) did not have. It also was my first Star Trek inspired ship. I loved working on this as well as keeping the guys at SCN (my favorite board) updated with build up shots. I learned a ton, but in retrospect: it's rather flawed. (modeling and design wise.)

Lets see:

Design: not present, I was only working on a mesh and battling smoothing errors. My design eye was untrained. (It's half trained now, hence no Enterprise F :P)

Modeling issues: It suffers from blobbyness, where the mesh itself has too little information for the meshsmooth modifier to work with. These surfaces become rather curvy and undefined. It's a huge NO. I sometimes see people still doing this, it's the nr 1 method to make an "alien" ship. (sadly lol)

The escape pods: they are stuck into the main hull, as are most items on this ship. I had no clue how to conform parts into or onto the hull. I just created something that I could move (manually) down the hull mesh. Same goes for the phaser strips. No clue how to make a conforming phaser bank, so these strips would mask that lack of talent/skill.

Windows: I tried thousands of methods (ok I tried 3), but ended up with texturing them in. I created a huge alpha map and used it as bump + opacity map. Some lit inner textures do the rest. That actually worked out rather well, but it felt too much like cheating, even if it would be closer to the real thing in 300 years then an actual window. I think hullparts can become transparent on demand by then.

The poly modeling parts where very detailed. It's the easy part. But imagine taking a close up of that deflector when it's on the model, you have this rather detailed deflector, but the surrounding hull still is flat and uninteresting and shows clearly that the deflector is just stuck into it. The difference is too large. Fun: yes, but another NO in retrospect.

Bridge module:
This was done with patch modeling, splinecage and all. I had zip experience with that, and I dont really know why I did it with patch modeling, but the result was pretty ok. Probably the best part of this model. (By coincidence)

Inner bridge: Sized like a ballroom, but in some shots had a glimpse of realism that the outside lacked.

Conclusion: I made big learning steps with this one, but it's a museum piece, not something I would like to render again. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I got bored...

....and decided to cut a nacelle in half and make an exploded view of it. It gives some insight in my modeling approach I guess. Might contain spelling errors as I'm doing too many things at once. (never a good idea) :P (Warning 8000 pixel image link)

Almost forgot!! Quantum Cafe interview.

Low quality lunchbreak post alert.

Podcast of interview about the Vesta class and some of my other designs. (3 weeks ago) with the 2 ship designers of Cryptic (Star Trek Online)

This was very cool!

Thanks guys!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some updates

Created some time ago as a little helper for me during the design of the Vesta.
A four page PDF file that shows primary specifications. These where/are not final but more of a rough guideline to me and some writers.

Part below is a quote from the spec list that still has to be taken out. It was intended to be a justification for the creation of the MK.II that I decided to cancel anyway. Instead I made small changes to the MK.I.


This refit is planned to convert the Aventine NCC-82602 from a "McKinley" (NX) pattern to a "DeSilvo" pattern (NCC).

While labeled as an "NCC" the Aventine currently is identical to NX-82600. (U.S.S. Vesta) with exception of the added experimental quantum slipstream conversion.

NCC-82602 is subject to refit earlier as expected because of the destruction of NX-82600 during the war against the Borg. The refit is scheduled to start at stardate 58969.656 and will take up to 4 months. Currently the Aventine is docked in drydock 18 here at Utopia Plantitia. Drydock 18 is an enclosed dock that requires a higher security clearance and is off limits to all normal personal, including medical staff.

Spec list link thingy

In other news: these brown blog colors look kind of heavy. (what was I thinking.) I will change that back soon. (EDIT: DONE!)

Anything else?

A small deck layout for the Demeter, IF it stays at it's current 216 meter  size. It might be too small for the desired hydroponic bays capacity. I might size it up a deck or 2.