Star Ship Polaris

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by aridas sofia, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, the thing about the spokes as they are currently shown is that they're really just blocked-in placeholders. I always intended to do more detailing on them, though not to the level of Star Wars greebling. As I said, I will probably take one more stab at it to see if it's all about scale or if there's more going on--or not going on as the case may be.
     
  2. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A humble suggestion: the need for detail to establish scale and to fill that area can flesh out function. If that function involves interaction with humans or human scale devices, you help to establish the scale. Little has been done to establish how this ship ferries its stores, or whether in its (prior) research or (current) combat roles it has modular, multimission architecture like, say... a contemporary littoral combat vessel. You could flesh those spokes out as dozens of cargo/mission modules, embedded flush with the hull, each carrying its own colors and labels and functional details, all contrived to help convey the scale of the vessel. Sort of like this view of a cargo ship with its stacked containers, all with labels and latches, etc, has an immediate sense of scale without any obvious ports or hatches:

    http://cyoagencies.com/carcargoy_files/container_ship.jpg
     
  3. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's an interesting idea, but I don't really see the spokes as cargo or mission modules.

    I've always had it in the back of my mind that the saucer shape is there for a reason, probably some kind of giant field coil or accelerator loop related to the FTL drive system. In either case, there would likely be a ring of electromagnets, capacitors or other technomechanical devices running all the way around the rim of the saucer, which is where the idea for the "spokes" really came from. However, there's no particular reason why those components would have any visible manifestation on the contours of the ship's hull, so the logic behind the idea only goes so far.

    I think I already have a better alternative in mind, which I hope to show in the next iteration of updates.

    As for storage and cargo, that's a good question that still needs to be addressed. At the very least, we probably need some large access doors somewhere. Have to give that some more thought...
     
  4. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The saucer was intended to be the drive system, or rather systems. The original concept was to turn the "saucer and rocket" idea that can be said to have inspired the original Enterprise on its head and put the people in the rocket and the propulsion in the saucer. Nevertheless, even on the Enterprise there are hatches on the saucer, secondary hull and even nacelles. The challenge is to provide clues to what the scale is without resorting to the features everyone always resorts to. Whether they would end up being mission modules related to the function of the drive systems, or plug and play weapons modules, or scanning packets, or whatever, the idea was to afford an opportunity to show little handholds and latches and writing, etc. which in combination with other clues would hopefully tie down the size. A little like the model of Discovery from 2001:

    http://www.modelermagic.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/kg_studio_discovery-003.jpg

    I'm sure your idea will attack this problem with greater perspicacity and style.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  5. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    So, no windows?
     
  6. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There will be windows. There will also be hatches, signage, etc, but the spokes in their current form are most likely gone.
     
  7. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Main engines are just about finished.

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    Texturing on everything else has been removed while I get down to the nitty-gritty details.

    More to come this weekend.
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    This is incredibly impressive. It is actually starting to look like a physical object, instead of a fucking machine-generated cartoon, which so much of CGI, even professionally generated CGI ostensibly meant to be photorealistic, looks like.

    That is CGI, right? Damn. Awesome.
     
  9. Belisarius

    Belisarius Captain Captain

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    Really liking the worn texturing on those thruster cowlings, Vektor. You trying it out or are we going to see that kind of weathering in the final?


    ~Belisarius
     
  10. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cool! The large engines kinda remind me of some of the first jet engines, which had multiple cylindrical combustion chambers around their axis.
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is awesome. The first challenge for those of us into whose care Vektor places this mesh will be to convert it and do a good job of recreating these textures in the CG software we're working with.

    DS9Sega and I decompressed on Monday by touring the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum - lots of great reference material there on the history of flight and space flight, lots of inspiration for detailing and textures on the various ships this movie will require.
     
  12. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No, it's real. I've got some pretty nice null-gravity drydock facilities out back where I've been building a full-size mock-up. Why the heck do you think it's taking so long? ;)

    I'm about ready to call those engines final. I'm certainly not going to change anything at this point, though I may add some greebling and some different color accents here and there.

    I can't really tell you where the idea for these things came from. I had been playing around with a bunch of different ideas based on everything from contemporary fighter jets to Star Wars star destroyers and nothing was really tripping my trigger. Then one day I was doodling on my Cintiq and somehow came up with this:

    [​IMG]

    I was thinking at the time about introducing some more organic lines into the design. I was also still following an earlier request from Dennis and Aridas to include some "nautical elements." Maybe it's just coincidence that the engines wind up looking a little like ship's propellers, or maybe not.

    Anyway, as you can see if you look closely, the realized engine design came out almost identical to that concept sketch.

    I'm still hoping the conversion process will go relatively smoothly, but just to be safe, I am trying to avoid any complex UV mapping for the textures and I am keeping the material definitions as simple as possible. What you see in these latest renderings is just a rectangular image map in a couple different shades applied with cylindrical UV mapping. The material is a Mental Ray material but the settings should be pretty easily adaptable to whatever Lightwave uses.

    And if you got any pictures at the Museum, send 'em my way and let me know what your thoughts are on applying them to Polaris.
     
  13. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Doodling! He calls this doodling! Would that my final renditions looked this good.:wah:
     
  14. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I know! For purposes of maintaining my own pride, I'm pretending he spent more time on this painting than he did on the actual mesh and he's just calling it a "doodle" to show off.

    Oh, and Vektor ... while you're sure to receive lots of thumps on the back over the mesh itself, that texture you've used on the engines is simply gorgeous. Well done, sir!
     
  15. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm working on a new illustration for Polaris that incorporates all of the current design features. The idea is to make a final pass of refinements in 2D (where it is much faster and easier) so that I can streamline the remainder of the 3D modeling process as much as possible.

    Many of you have expressed interest in the process I use to draw an illustration like this, how I get things in the proper perspective, how I do my linework, etc, so I have decided to post WIP images along the way much as I just did with my entry for the monthly Trek Art contest. Rather than try to explain each step of the process, I'm just going to let the images speak for themselves and try to answer questions, if any, as they arise.

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    That's somewhere around 3 hours worth of work, a large part of it devoted to the cleanup in the last image. I also have to confess I cheated a little by using the existing 3D model as a visual reference, though everything here was drawn freehand, not traced, while eyeballing the model on a separate monitor.

    I'll post more of these in the days ahead, but I'll also be working concurrently to incorporate these features into the model, so you'll probably see a mix of the two.
     
  16. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    I am truly baffled by your ability to draw regular eclipses in perspective freehand. Is there some mechanical means you're doing that by or are you just really that good?

    --Alex
     
  17. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm short on time for commentary at the moment so I'm just going to post these and I'll explain some of the details later.

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  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Awesome. You're going to have to give me some feedback on those weapons, Vektor - I have a general idea what's up, but I'll want to know how you see each part of this working.
     
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Those guns and that hull texture are exquisite.
     
  20. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Okay, here's the story behind the latest WIP images.

    Polaris was originally a civilian exploration vessel before it was volunteered for military service and refitted for combat. It probably had some light weaponry, mostly defensive, to protect itself against whatever threats it might encounter in unexplored space. The turrets mounted at the ends of the pylons are rapid-sequence point-defense batteries primarily used against incoming missiles and were held over from the ship's original armaments.

    The big guns are the "CANE" weapons originally proposed by Aridas Sofia, essentially powerful particle beam weapons. Polaris may have had some smaller, less powerful versions originally, but these were replaced and significantly upgraded during the refit. The new ones were so much larger that holes had to be cut in the back of the pylons to properly mount them. They pack a massive punch but are limited by slow recharge times and the fact that they are fixed in place and not aimable.

    In addition to the original light armaments, the pylons also housed a wide array of scientific instruments, remote probes and other devices related to Polaris' role as an exploration vessel. Most of these were removed during the refit and replaced with guided missile arrays. These are now the ship's primary offensive weapons.

    Or at least that's my thinking on the subject. Dennis may have other ideas and adjustments will be made accordingly.