Star Ship Polaris

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

  1. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. I'm trying to determine just how subtle the shading can be and still matter at all.

    I've decided on a certain panel scale and trying to maintain a consistency about that over the various surfaces where any panel shading is used. Even if this ship were larger than it is, I think the paneling on a lot of the Star Trek ships is under-scaled. Someone calculated that the average panel size on Excelsior would work out to under a foot square! :lol:

    The mesh conversion is done, BTW.
     
  2. B.J.

    B.J. Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If it's between one or the other, I prefer B. The panel lines there are more subtle than A.
     
  3. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My suggestion is to avoid random patterns for the most part, which it looks like you've done. Regular patterns with slight tonal variation from one panel to the next seem to work best. I actually prefer delineating the panels with those tonal variations rather than actually outlining the panels, just looks less like '90s TV sci-fi CG.

    Try to avoid panel lines that intersect windows, vents and other apertures. They wouldn't build a real ship that way and the eye instinctively registers it as unrealistic.

    Don't forget hatches and access panels, though they should be minimally and logically placed. If your UV mapping allows it, you might also include some markings, decals, signage, etc. I did some warning indicators for the maneuvering thrusters in one of the concept sketches that I could send you. I also had red markings surrounding the lander module bays that you might consider reapplying.

    Oh, did I send you the name and registry number graphics earlier?
     
  4. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I'm with B.J. -- I prefer the subtler work. But the differences are so slight that I'm half-convinced this is a human psychology experiment and you better damned well have all your institution's experimental review board paperwork in order.
     
  5. USS Intrepid

    USS Intrepid Commodore Commodore

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    I can't see any difference. Take that as you will. :)
     
  6. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Example "B" actually doesn't have panel lines as such but shading near the edges of the panels. I think it's the one, and the panels could probably stand to be even a little less contrast-y.

    Ditto on avoiding panels that cross windows, etc, although one of these comes pretty close and I probably ought to eliminate that panel break altogether.

    I may eliminate the specularity map that matches the panel break-up in favor of something more general. You look at real world large vehicles - aircraft carriers or even commercial aircraft - you don't see the kind of patchwork variations in color, glossiness and so on that I think were really popularized by Star Trek (tracking back to the paint finish on the ST:TMP model). Most such things are painted or otherwise surface treated for protective purposes and cleaned with some regularity. The obvious reason for doing it with models is to add scale, doubly so with CG models where the polygons themselves don't have render with the surface imperfections of plastic, metal or paint.

    It also seems to be the rule that CG models rendered for orthos and other stills look over-painted relative to how they appear under the "lighting" conditions and blur introduced in video animation.
     
  7. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I did the noise maps near the end of the modeling process, I used the same maps in the diffuse and specular slots (technically the glossiness slot). The result was that the lighter areas had some shininess and the darker areas were more dull. I never did fine-tune it, but the intent was to create an overall weathering effect as though interstellar dust, thruster exhaust and that sort of thing had built up unevenly over a period of years.

    If I ever get around to texturing the 3ds Max version of this, I'd like to do a full UV mapping of the whole model and then do some really nice, hi-res maps with bolts and rivets, rain streaks and light corrosion (from those brief periods when it was actually planetside), re-entry carbonization, etc. Hopefully I'll get around to that one day.
     
  8. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I believe this is true for live-action as well as CG. Details are routinely exaggerated in everything from makeup to set dressing just so they won't be overpowered and washed out by the lights and don't get lost when set in motion. I remember the huge uproar back when still photos were leaked of the shuttlecraft interiors for the last Trek film, how everything looked dirty and worn and so very un-Starfleet pristine, but I don't remember hearing anyone complain about how it looked in the actual movie.
     
  9. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I read a brief interview with the makeup artist on Spielberg's Lincoln film - she's worked with him on quite a few movies, and she says that the recording of images has become so much more sensitive that even extras in a crowd have to be made up now to avoid the color and tone contrasts between natural skin and film makeup.

    I just merged a couple of panels to get that one forward window away from the edge. ;)

    Oh, BTW - you did give me the registry maps, thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  10. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it is only appropriate that I finally post, now that Vektor has more or less completed his work and Dennis is onto the task of texturing the model. I think anyone that casually reviews this thread will quickly note that there is a vast difference between the concept for the ship Polaris that I originally envisioned and the one that has come to pass. That is as it should be. Pursuits such as these are collaborative processes and it was, after all, my idea to bring Vektor on to develop my conceptual work into a more finished model. I have had nothing but positive experiences working with him over the years, both with the Polaris design and my Kiaga, and continue to be amazed at how good he is at the art of elaboration. A composer can start out with a catchy theme and if it cannot be elaborated into something that retains that catchy core while still being believably complex, it will remain an unfinished idea. Such was my work on Polaris, which try as I might simply could not overcome my own prejudices for smoothness and sleekness, for the connection between theory and design, and for avoiding/evoking visual Star Trek cues.

    More than anything I am glad that by bringing him into the mix, I might have played some tiny role in putting a talented artist in a position to get noticed and hopefully be able to pursue his passion and profit. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we'd benefit along with him from that good fortune.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  11. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks, Aridas, that's very kind of you. I really appreciate the opportunity and the great base you gave me to work from with your original design.

    Hopefully one day soon I'll be able to go back and give the Kiaga the proper finish it deserves!
     
  12. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cropped it down some, added some piping and conduit, glowy things, and another big, horkin' console in front to hide Maurice from the waist down.

    [​IMG]

    Most of this new stuff is still unfinished and not remotely cleaned up, but it's getting there.
     
  13. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

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    As always, your attention to details is stunning.

    --Alex
     
  14. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    Very nice. This has gone from being a simple sketch to practically a digital matte painting. And we've all watched it evolve, which is a special treat.

    If only you'd been around before J.J. Abrams said, "Awww, fuckit, let's just do a brewery instead!"
     
  15. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Some refinement to the foreground consoles and still trying to balance visual contrast between elements with steam and such. Right now it seems to me like a lot of stuff is just running together and the depth cues aren't working as well as they should. Opinions?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

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    I think it's "realistic" but if you think the depth cues aren't playing out, maybe it isn't "cinematic".

    How about more haze so the back wall is desaturated and harder to see and even the central column becomes a hulking something that lurks in engineering? I don't expect a starship's engine room to look dirty and hazy, but those qualities would give the set more character.
     
  17. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    The red and blue reflections on the floor just to the right of Maurice look wrong somehow.
     
  18. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Maybe if the reflections followed the lines of the floor panel it might look more natural?
     
  19. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Floor reflections are still temporary.
     
  20. rtsurfer

    rtsurfer Cadet Newbie

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    Vektor, your work is always beautiful and this piece is as well. The Polaris is amazing and I can't wait to see her fly.

    My skill is no where near yours, but I hope these suggestions might help in some way. Maybe try slightly blurring the center console area and noticably blurring the background to provide a depth cue much as audiences have come to expect from television and motion pictures. Additional duplicate objects visible in both foreground and background, in addition to the columns and hand rail, such as crewmen, chairs, recognizable consoles, etc might aid the illusion of depth. The colored reflections do seem a bit concentrated and probably do need to be in line with the deck plates and perpendicular to the monitors.
    The control console forward, center frame is to at least my eyes distracting. I realize it is there to hide Maurice but IMO it's prominent position, colors and shape draw the eye and distract from the illusion of the scene. Perhaps move it closer to the larger control panel to the left, or even make it the back side of that panel, and change it's orientation and shape as it's level with a brighter surface while the other control areas seem more sloped and darker.
    I have a question concerning the perspective of the scene. When I look at it the columns with the ladders and the previously referenced console seem to make the room appear slightly twisted. Is that how it would appear in real life or some kind of optical illusion? Also the rail, Maurice and the long console make it appear there is almost no walking space between them and the column, is that intentional or another optical illusion?

    Hope none of my comments or questions have come across as insulting. I have and continue to enjoy watching the Polaris and this set develop. Thank you and please keep up the excellent work.