Building my own star ship

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Johnny, May 17, 2020.

  1. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Well it was about time I got to grips with Blender. I've been dabbling with Lightwave for the least ten years, nothing serious just bits and pieces to waste time. I felt it was a bit cumbersome but didn't really know any different. Installed blender about a month ago and turns out after a few youtube videos I'm not finding it that hard. And then as with everything I do, I just started building Star Trek gubbins...

    I really like the Excelsior engineering hull end-bump so tried to incorporate that in, and the Galaxy deflector side-bumps running down the ship. Went for a circular saucer for two reasons, I like the Ambassador and Centaur class, and from a design stance if I mess something up on one bit I can copy and rotate parts of the mesh and rebuild it fairly easily.

    The nacelle pylons are my favourite bit, love how thin they are and it took me several tries to get the upper curve and curved connection to the hull I wanted.

    Also had to redo the whole saucer cus I did windows before doing a sub-divide, so learnt something about the right order to do things.

    These photos are where I started and where I am now. It's gone through several major changes but it's coming along.

    PS. I've not really learnt anything about rendering yet, so they're terrible!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Atolm

    Atolm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Killingly, CT
    I like it! Cannot wait to see how this plays out :)
     
  3. The Primeval

    The Primeval Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Location:
    Everywhere
    Interesting. As if from Star Trek Online.
     
  4. Finn

    Finn Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Location:
    Austin
    Beautiful
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
  6. MisterD

    MisterD Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2019
    Well, that looks pretty great. Circular saucers for the win. The secondary hull is very nice, makes it all look like every part of the ship is there for a purpose like the NX.

    P.S.:
    I am using Blender myself and despite I am everythig but a pro, or good at it, I am giving you some hints that helped me.

    Modeling: use the boolean modifyer combined with an array modifyer for the windows. If i was you I would use the "fast carve" add on for this. Its free and easy. Dont just extrude the windows into the existing mesh. That is too much work and never looks as good, especially when you want to have a large number of windows with the same size.

    Render: Turn on Denoising in the "view layer properties" registry. And also it might happen that the corners of your model are to bright. (not in this case, but it happened when I started and it annoyed the heck out of me) When this happens it will probably help to go to the Render Properties-Light paths-Max bounce and set Diffuse to zero.

    This is literally all I know about Blender. I hope it helps you.

    Oh and here a link where a guy who is insanely good at this stuff shows how its done: https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/akira-class-blender.301736/
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
    Psion and Michael like this.
  7. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Hi,

    I've played with the Boolean modifier but it doesn't always do what I expect or what I want. Probably down to a lack of experience! I managed to get it to cut through the secondary hull as I wanted...

    [​IMG]

    ... but for the saucer and the end-bump I made sure I had enough subdivisions in the mesh to vector bevel the points and then inset-extrude (depending of the orientation of the face) by normal or global.

    I'll try the de-noising and render options soon, I've seen it mentioned before, but not quite in the right place to move forward on that yet.

    Thanks for the info!
    J.
     
  8. MisterD

    MisterD Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2019
    Oh I can feel that. Try it without mirror modifier. You can aply it later again. That was the mistake I made and what kept me from using booleans a long time.
     
  9. Cyfa

    Cyfa Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Location:
    over the Cusp
    This is looking really intriguing. I love the thin nacelle pylons, the wide window strips, and the downward pointing secondary hull.
     
  10. SCE2Aux

    SCE2Aux Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    When using the boolean modifier, it's best to check that neither the boolean object or your target mesh have any holes in it. The modifier also has issues with coplanar geometry (polygons existing in the exact same position as other polygons). In Blender, I've accidentally created coplanars by forgetting to tick the 'bisect' option when using the mirror modifier.

    As for the denoiser, in Blender 2.82, I've achieved good results using the denoiser node in the composting tab. I have a terrible memory so I made this image from screengrabs of the BlenderGuru YouTube channel which explains how to set up the denoiser node:
    [​IMG]
     
    Psion, MisterD and Michael like this.
  11. MisterD

    MisterD Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2019
    Thats the little things wich can be really frustrating. When I started there was a clean up function to get rid of the coplanars...now I dont even know where to find it anymore....

    Thats where most of my work ends up..:sigh:
     
    Psion and SCE2Aux like this.
  12. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Actually watched this one last week, I've got it bookmarked somewhere cus there are some really useful tips in there. At the minute I'm just using basic colouring to get a feel for what it will look like, but I'll need to do a bit of research in to use the compositing tab. I could mess up a lot if I don't understand it properly! XD

    I've been working on the sensor pallete, nacelles and hull decals. I'm finding the top of the saucer quite easy but I'm always at a loss as to what to do with the bottom of it. Just need some spark of imagination tbh. I've also got mixed feelings about the bridge module, feels a bit "stuck on", an after-thought.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Ok, I haven't slept so this could be a little sketchy...

    I spent time trying to get a little lighting on the hull. I started with the normal spot lights and they looked terrible with tonnes of coloured pixels covering where the light falls in the renders. So found and activated the de-noiser, which at a med to far distance isn't too bad. However as soon as I get closer, the distortion from the de-noiser on the details is pretty bad.

    So from a few sources I've seen people use emission materials as light sources, so I've tried that. It looks great for a lightbox effect for rendering (the first image), but I've tried it as a replacement for the spots but I'm not sure the best way to make them work.

    So I tried doing these weird plane triangles to replicate how a spotlight would light the hull but I'm encountering a couple of problems. 1, it doesn't really look like a spot because well it isn't, 2, wherever there's any glossy sheen the angle of the reflection would move in a way which would make it noticeable that it's not from a single point.

    So I'm a little stuck in which one to use, or if I'm using it wrong, or if there's a better way to do things... any ideas?

    This is the render with Plane emission material, you can see the shift on the nose of the saucer is off centre.

    [​IMG]

    This shows the triangles that hold the emission materials.

    [​IMG]
     
    Psion, MisterD and The Primeval like this.
  14. Psion

    Psion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Location:
    Lat: 40.1630936 Lon: -75.1183777
    One idea you might consider is this from an aircraft carrier of some renown. The hull number is outlined by a bunch of "little" lights. Stylistically, it varies from much of Trek, but it might be worth exploring. Also consider a few spotlights built onto the hull, electroluminescent paint, etc.
     
  15. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    I'll look in to emission lighting close to the text, might work in that regards. At least it doesn't have to spread too far. And it should outline the text a bit.

    Still can't seem to fix the standard spot light issue on closer renders. I end up with fuzzy edges with the de-noiser. I'll keep digging maybe there's a better lighting plugin somewhere, or I need to spend more time rendering.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ar-Pharazon and The Primeval like this.
  16. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Borrowed some models for scale. Think it's about right.

    [​IMG]

    Added in two photon launchers voyager style. And now I'm in the awkward situation where my lower saucer section addon blocks their front line of sight! XD

    [​IMG]

    And I've rebuilt the bridge module...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. darklight11111

    darklight11111 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    very nice ship!
     
    The Primeval and Johnny like this.
  18. Atolm

    Atolm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Killingly, CT
    I still can dig it! Awesome work
     
    Johnny likes this.
  19. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Right... I've ventured in to UV, and I have no idea if I'm doing this the right way. But, I unwrapped a section of the model, saved it to an image file, imported it to illustrator, and built a some 'panel lines', then exported that as a png with an alpha channel, then re-imported it and attached it to the surface as a texture...

    UV MAP:
    [​IMG]

    RE-IMPORT:
    [​IMG]

    BASIC RENDERS:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And I didn't expect it to work, but somehow it has. But I'm still feeling like if I shutdown blender I'm gonna lose the UV map, but I guess I'll just have to try it.

    But, as a test it's ok. Lines are too thick and too light but I've got a process in place I think.... (fingers crossed).
     
    The Primeval and Ar-Pharazon like this.
  20. Johnny

    Johnny Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK.
    Right, the smell of burning was filling the room, so I took apart my graphics card and cleaned out 3 metric tonnes of dust. For some reason, it now works... how about that.

    7 days later...

    I decided not to go down the texturing/uv-mapping route yet, mainly because I think as I'm building the inside I'm going to end up changing the outside as I find issues along the way with lining up windows etc, and I think jumping back and forth is gonna cause problems.

    So based on that I've started with the shuttle bay. Also, glass with reflections!! How cool is that!!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]