I’m very excited about some of the things I’ve learned in modeling this ship. The stable release of Blender 2.57 has been available for a couple weeks now, so if you don’t have it yet it’s definitely worth a download. They’ve added some pretty impressive fixes and new features, and this may be the very first ship I’ve been able to model that exactly matches the concept in my head. Anyway, there’s more I could say about this one, but I’ll just post these pics and let you feast your eyes:
I did these quite awhile ago and meant to post them, but oh well… A few renders of my initial Zynecherian face, modeled in Sculptris and textured/rendered in Blender. I guess I’ll post some concept sketches as well. Enjoy! Need to continue work on this one, but I might just have to switch over to Messiah Studio, to which I recently scored a discounted license.
Of the major races, the Coludabans are the ones I’ve spent the least time on, probably because I sense them ultimately being the most complex. They’re the most advanced by far, and their outward appearance will be the most varied. This ship looks the part of your typical post-TNG sci fi spaceship, but I think there are some elements to the design that will ultimately give the Coludabans a distinct flair. I want to give the hull a new material, though, because it seems like they would have more advanced alloys and better manufacturing techniques, and would have a smoother, tileless hull, rather than the utilitarian feel of this texture. Also, the Norvans, who are second in tech prowess, have much more advanced-looking ships than this, so I might go back to the drawing board altogether. Anyhoo, here it is:
A new design I slapped together this morning. It’s based on the “ring shuttle” I did several months back, but much more refined– it’s a one-piece model, sculpted from a simple torus. It’s also one of the first models I’ve done that’s 100% manifold right from the start. I’m hoping it will pass the Shapeways tests so that I can make this my first real-life 3d model. Love how it turned out– looks very dangerous, which a good Norvan ship should. Looooove Blender!
This was surprisingly painless to set up and render, while simultaneously being fairly educational. The scene consists of linked instances (with the exception of the station, which was the basis for the original project). Lots of keyframing, path animation, time stretching and indirect lighting. I really wish Blender had a true radiosity function, but of course, that would mean this project would most likely still be rendering right now. All in all, it took about 18 hours to render at 720p, although that would probably be slashed in half if I’d skipped all the compositing (bokeh and haze effects were used). I heeded the advice I found on an online forum, and rather than go with compressed or raw video when exporting, I used still .PNG files, which turned out quite nicely. By the time I ran the still sequence through After Effects for color correction and additional effects, the lack of compression artifacts really paid off– it looks really great in its uncompressed form. I exported to .mov, because I found the h.264 that AE uses too lossy, but it’s still not quite to my liking. Gonna have to tweak it a bit. Still, I have a good pipeline going between Blender and CS4, so I’m looking forward to moving on to the next experiment. One thing I want to experiment with is concurrently exporting a depth map so that I would have more control over the effects in AE. If I can figure that one out, I can simply export clean frames from Blender and do all the effects work in CS4, which would yield much better results.
This is a bit of a fun little experiment involving reflections, modifiers, text, cloth, decals, externally linked objects and different types of lighting, which I whipped up last night whilst watching House. I had a lot of fun with it, and it doesn’t serve much of a purpose, but it illustrate some of the power of Blender’s rendering and physics engine. I’m still working on inlaying windows, though– I can’t figure out how to do it without driving my polycount through the roof. Anyway, here’s my little display case. Enjoy!
Earlier this week I decided to re imagine the model for the Dio Heavy Battlecruiser URS Anylise in Blender, having modeled the original in Rhino several months ago as a smaller variant on the original Eristala design from way back when. The meshes I’d haphazardly and irresponsibly cobbled together to make each ship have made the prospect of a 3d print based on the vessels unmanageable, so with the new Anylise I’ve box-modeled everything rather than rail revolving (some programs call it “spinning”), and it looks like the meshes are mostly manifold, so with a few tweaks I’ll be able to hold a physical model in my hands soon, which will be awesome. I may still want to use the original Anylise model as a different class of ship at some point, but this new one captures my original vision much more closely.