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!
Love this design. It took me about five hours altogether– a lot of experimentation and mesh fixing. I tried to send it in to Shapeways for 3D printing, but there were unspecified errors with the mesh, so I’m going to have to work on it some more. It’ll be great to hold one of my ships in my hand, though. On the plus side, this model allowed me to get comfortable with some of the more advanced aspects of Blender modeling, such as creating manifold shapes, vertex fixing, subsurface division, UV mapping, material editing and some new lighting techniques. Lots of fun.
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.
Here’s a short flyby clip of the heavy battlecruiser Anylise with a few of the SFX in place. I have quite a bit of art piled up at the moment, so I’ll probably be posting at least once a week for awhile, but this test looked so good I just had to share it. I was very happy with this video– it rendered overnight at 720p, which is very impressive, considering that I was using bokeh and glow effects (also, the materials were not baked so my poor i7 had to deal with shaders). I’m finally starting to become truly comfortable with Blender, though there’s still so much more to learn. The timing needs to be faster on the running lights, and I realized I need to add some sort of visible propulsion system (probably going to go with some sort of ion engine a la Star Wars, rather than Trek-ian glowing panels, since this is not an especially advanced ship). I’m also working on the windows. Not sure how they should be configured, and since this is basically a warship, it’ll have far fewer portals than, say, the Enterprise. I wish I would’ve thought to add a destination (maybe a gas giant planet or a barren asteroid) at the end of the clip. All in all, I just wish the shot was longer. I can’t wait to start working on a battle sequence!
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.
Some concepts for a Norvan ring ship. All done 100% in Blender, of course. Finally starting to get somewhere with the texturing, but there’s still much work to be done. Ultimately I want to make it watertight so I can send it to Shapeways for a 3D print…