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3DTOS Star Trek Builds

evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
edited July 2020 in Work in Progress #1
Edit: Update to thread image, the first post starts below the image:

erickson_bus_fix.jpg

I'm starting a new thread for this project, as it's separate from my other projects. Also, in my other thread, I jumped between Lightwave and Blender a lot, which I won't be doing anymore. I plan on working entirely in Lightwave moving forward. I go into some of my reasoning further in the post.

My goal is to model many of the ships from Star Trek: The Original Series era, both canon and non canon. Unlike the Enterprise I was working on previously, this is an attempt to do mostly accurate TOS era stuff. Of course, accuracy is in the eye of the beholder, as there were no less than four separate models that represented the Constitution class during the run of the series, not including 3 and 4 inch models, used in scenes in The Corbomite maneuver and The Doomsday Machine to show enormous scale and used as Sylvia’s miniaturized Enterprise from Catspaw. First there was the 33 inch model, which was built as a study model but was used in almost all of the effects shots in The Cage, and made various other appearances in the series. Then there was the 11 foot model, used for most of the series. And, there were two AMT models built and used, one to represent the Constellation in The Doomsday Machine and one built to represent the Enterprise next to K-7 in The Trouble With tribbles. Post TOS, there was also Greg Jein’s model from Trials and Tribble-Ations and various CGI models, used on Enterprise and for the TOS Remastered episodes. All said, there are many models that represent this one design.

So, where I’m at. I started on the nacelles for the Constitution class, as well as other ships, last night and got those finished, along with the connecting pylons. I’ll work on the engineering section tonight. Since I’m working from blueprints, there was no need to block in parts, as is necessary when I design ships in 3D. I’m using Alan Sinclair’s blueprints as they’re my favorites and I’m also referencing photos from the 11 foot model just before its most recent restoration at the Smithsonian. I’ve found a few discrepancies between the actual model and Sinclair’s blueprints, so I’m kind of eyeballing the changes. The hope is to have at least a 90% accurate model. Now, I don’t plan to model things like screws. That’s just insane, and I do plan to have this represent a finished starship, not a model. Naturally, I’ll also be detailing the left side of the ship. 😉

Anyway, this is where it sits right now:

tos_enterprise_2019_wip001.jpg?w=800

tos_enterprise_2019_wip002.jpg?w=800

tos_enterprise_2019_wip003.jpg?w=800

tos_enterprise_2019_wip004.jpg?w=800

tos_enterprise_2019_wip005.jpg?w=800

I’d say I probably have about 8 hours into this total, as I didn’t work on it constantly. A few of the things I had to eyeball included the corrugated cardboard around the nacelle end caps and boxes just forward of them, as well as the shapes of some of the bits, like the intercoolers. They were a bit more rounded on the blueprints I’m working from, but that’s inconsistent with the actual parts from the model. The grill pattern is also simplified, as what was on the ship in the Smithsonian isn’t original to the model and is also too complex for me to feel it’s worth recreating. And, of course, the bussard insides are just my interpretation of what was believed to be in there.

For those who are curious, I’m building this in Lightwave 2018. I found some tips and tricks online to deal with the issues I was having before with the reflections. For one thing, I was using older style materials before, and I also upped my samples on both my lights and the reflections prior to rendering these. I’m pretty pleased with how these are rendering. I’ll be using Lightwave moving forward. As much as I like the idea of Blender, I don’t like the way it does certain things. I also find that open source projects tend to lack direction, evidence of this can be found by the fact that they keep changing render engines and have overhauled their user interface twice in the past decade. But that’s just my personal opinion, others will see it differently. Either way, I like Lightwave better, so that’s what I’m using. Besides, I paid $400 for the upgrade from LW10 to 2018, so I might was well use it some more.
Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
ashleytingerLizzy777BrandenbergRekkertFreak
«134

Posts

  • trekkitrekki958 Posts: 1,412Member
    Nice Start!
    evil_genius_180
  • ashleytingerashleytinger2045 Central OhioPosts: 1,261Member
    I LOVE the modeled light bulbs in the nacelles. Great start!
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks, both of you. :)
  • P5ych0p4thP5ych0p4th476 GermanyPosts: 341Member
    Looking good so far. That ship was the first Trek model I ever did in Blender and it was lots of fun.
    evil_genius_180
  • Polaris 004Polaris 004199 Posts: 752Member
    It kinda cracks me up to see those Christmas lights in the bussard collectors! That's really cool, especially since they won't show. I guess maybe to get EXACTLY the right effect you had to model them that way? Anyway, superb work, as always.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    edited September 2019 #7
    Thanks a lot, everyone. :)
    It kinda cracks me up to see those Christmas lights in the bussard collectors! That's really cool, especially since they won't show. I guess maybe to get EXACTLY the right effect you had to model them that way? Anyway, superb work, as always.

    Oh no, I didn't have to model them that way. I could have faked the effect with textures. I've even done animated versions before using .avi files as textures. However, with proper materials, those should do the trick nicely. I actually wasn't going to add the motor mount, but then I managed to find a picture of the bussard insides where I definitely saw one, and it occurred to me that it would also affect the lighting. So, I added a simplified version.
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    edited September 2019 #8
    Well, I just taught myself how to add textures in Lightwave 2018 using the Principled BSDF materials, so I'm pretty stoked. This was a necessary step to getting these models done, so I decided to go ahead and see if I could figure it out and I did. Ironically, my experiences in Blender helped me, as they've had node based materials for years now. I figured I needed to do something similar in Lightwave, so I hit "Edit Node Graph" and set about putting a texture onto one of my older models. It was pretty easy. :)
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • scifiericscifieric1123 Posts: 1,498Member
    Beautiful work, evil_genius_180! I love what you're doing and how you're doing it!
    evil_genius_180Brandenberg
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks Eric. :)
  • Lizzy777Lizzy7771388 PNWPosts: 761Member
    To quote a British friend of mine, "That looks bloody marvelous."
    evil_genius_180Brandenberg
    "Cry 'Havoc!,' and let slip the corgies of war!"
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Lizzy777 wrote: »
    To quote a British friend of mine, "That looks bloody marvelous."

    Thanks a lot. The British have a cool way of wording things. :)
    Lizzy777
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    These are just a couple quick renders that I did to check if the front of the engineering section has any mesh errors. I'm not seeing any.

    xzqko1q15pje.jpg

    d9r2bd98nb9g.jpg

    I figured it was a good idea to do a couple renders to test this, as I don't want to find out that I have smoothing errors to address when I'm rendering images at 7-ish AM again. I had that earlier with the nacelle end caps and had to fix the errors and re-render the images.
    BrandenbergRekkertFreakLizzy777
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    edited October 2019 #14
    I like everything about this, including your description of what you are up to. Surprised and glad you are using your lightwave. Looking forward to all the models. @evil_genius_180. Oh, forgot to mention the blueprint backdrop is a very cool idea. It gives the work a feel. Wish I had thought of that.
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks Brandenberg. Yeah, the background is just some orthos I rendered several years ago, but filtered a bit in GIMP. ;)
  • RekkertRekkert4240 Buenos Aires, ArgentinaPosts: 2,322Member
    Looking great! I look forward to seeing what other ships from the era you'll bring to life. :)
    IAs much as I like the idea of Blender, I don’t like the way it does certain things. I also find that open source projects tend to lack direction, evidence of this can be found by the fact that they keep changing render engines and have overhauled their user interface twice in the past decade. But that’s just my personal opinion, others will see it differently. Either way, I like Lightwave better, so that’s what I’m using. Besides, I paid $400 for the upgrade from LW10 to 2018, so I might was well use it some more.

    Sorry, but obligatory Blender defense in 3... 2... 1...
    Blender never changed render engines, Cycles is still the PBR renderer for our line of work. The new renderer being introduced, Eevee, is a raster renderer which is useful purely for the viewport and for game development; given how unique the workflow is in that particular field. Without a raster renderer, you'd be duplicating work between the modeling tool and game engine regarding materials and textures (something I used to do when doing game assets). This is something Blender is far from alone in having, 3DS Max also has different renderers for ray traced and rasterized stuff, and I'm sure other tools have them as well.

    Likewise regarding the "lack of direction", Blender is pretty renowned in the open source community for having clear goals and sticking with them. Both Eevee and the UI overhaul (which was sorely needed) were in the pipeline and publicly announced for at least 4 years before they were introduced (not to mention, in beta for one year), so there was plenty of "warning" regarding these changes, as there is now regarding the future changes being implemented for 2.81 and far beyond.

    Anyway, rant over, sorry, can't help it. These things, and nothing else Blender could do mean nothing if you simply feel more comfortable with Lightwave, of course, just wanted to set the record straight, while we all continue using the tools we prefer. :)
    evil_genius_180
    For all my finished Trek fan art, please visit my portfolio
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    edited October 2019 #17
    As I stated, everything I said about Blender was my opinion. A wise man once said that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

    There's no need to defend Blender. I think it's a great program. It's just not for me. Oh, and for the record, I was actually pretty comfortable with the 2.5X to 2.79b interface. I felt there was no need to change that whatsoever. (though, yes, I knew that stuff was coming a long time ago) But, if the change in UI was the only thing I didn't like, I'd have just stuck with Blender 2.79b. Just because a newer version of software is released doesn't mean that you have to switch to it. One thing I do like about Blender is that you can get any version of it from their archives. I just have a certain way I like to do things and Lightwave really suits my workflow. The tools just work the way I like them to. I can do more work in a shorter amount of time in Lightwave. And, at the end of the day, that's all there is to it. Like you said, it's a matter of choice.
    Rekkert wrote: »
    Looking great! I look forward to seeing what other ships from the era you'll bring to life. :)

    Thanks. :)
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    I got the secondary hull mostly done on the Connie. The flattened out areas on the sides and bottom of the front area and the shuttlebay section are the more painful areas for this part. Both require a lot of work and a lot of polygon cleanup. Of course, the windows are also no fun, as each one had to be positioned, cut, inset and rounded. Plus, a few of the round portholes needed a bit of vert cleanup, but that's to be expected. Other details include the shuttlebay doors, which don't open, and other assorted bits around the shuttlebay. I figure if I ever want the bay to work, I can always build working doors and the interior. However, I have a bad habit of wasting time making that stuff all work only to never do the actual bay, so I figured I'd just do simple doors that mostly match what's on the actual model.

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip008.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip009.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip010.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip011.jpg?w=800

    The only two things left to do on this section are the navigational deflector and main pylon (neck) that connects it to the saucer. Then, it's on to the saucer. For those who are wondering, pennants and whatnot will be added in the texture phase. With 4K maps, there's no real advantage in quality to modeling the stuff, and there's a lot of cleanup involved in stenciling it on the hull, to say nothing of the work involved in removing a name and registry from a ship. (It's even worse if the ship has grid lines) Anyway, I'll draw all of the pennants and other markings in Inkscape and put those onto the texture maps. I figured out textures in Lightwave 2018 earlier. Fortunately, it uses nodes similar to Blender, so I was able to quite quickly figure out how to add a map using the node editor. I successfully applied a color and spec map to one of my older models using LW2018's Principled BSDF materials. So, I'm stoked about that, as textures are obviously necessary and will make stuff like adding those markings a simple matter for me. :)
    FreakLizzy777Brandenberg
  • P5ych0p4thP5ych0p4th476 GermanyPosts: 341Member
    Ahh ... the shuttle bay ... I remember trying model that thing in a Way, that it can actually open and close ... not my fondest memory :-D
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Yeah, to model them so that they open like the ones on the shuttlebay miniature requires an accuracy hit. Doing them so that they match the exterior and open requires more complex rigging.
  • srspicersrspicer392 Posts: 336Member
    Looks really nice, so far!!
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks. :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    I finished up the secondary hull with the "neck" and deflector dish. The dish is as close to the one in the Smithsonian, (post most recent restoration) which is supposed to be accurate to what was on the model during the series.

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip012.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip013.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip014.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip015.jpg?w=800
    P5ych0p4thRekkertLizzy777FreakBrandenberg
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    I hate making this thing. It's probably my least favorite shape to make on this whole ship. I'm just glad there are apparently no smoothing errors.

    js4pe2583tsz.jpg
    ashleytingerP5ych0p4thLizzy777
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    The modeling is done on the Connie. Up next are the materials.

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip017.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip018.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip019.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip020.jpg?w=800
    P5ych0p4thashleytingerFreakLizzy777RekkertBrandenberg
  • ashleytingerashleytinger2045 Central OhioPosts: 1,261Member
    She came out great.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    She came out great.

    Thanks. I'm pretty happy with it.
  • FreakFreak1088 Posts: 4,361Member
    She turned out really nice.
    evil_genius_180
  • RekkertRekkert4240 Buenos Aires, ArgentinaPosts: 2,322Member
    The modeling looks perfect!
    evil_genius_180
    For all my finished Trek fan art, please visit my portfolio
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks guys. :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    The materials are coming along. I’ve tried to mach the colors of the ship from the TV show as best I can. Of course, nobody really knows what the colors were 50+ years ago. I used Gary Kerr’s painting guide for the ship, as Gary has tried his best to match what the colors were. Two places where I’ll definitely go off of canon, sort of, are with hull paneling and weathering. If you count TOS Remastered, the paneling is canon. My paneling will be subtle, but I want it to be there for realism and for looks. Another realism choice I’m making is to not do all that weathering they did on the TOS Enterprise. The reason for this is that it’s unrealistic that a ship is going to get dirty flying through space. While the are things that will mark up your hull, that would mean that the hull integrity is compromised and that would be fixed at a Starbase. But, there aren’t really any circumstances where a ship will pick up dirt flying through space. There just isn’t going to be dirt in concentrations in a vacuum. Even nebula gas isn’t as tightly concentrated as it’s depicted on these shows. Also, the navigational deflector and other systems would keep most of that stuff off of your hull. While it is canon that the TOS ship has all that weathering, it’s also keeping in universe to not do it, as other ships don’t have all that. Back in the ’60s, nobody really knew much about space travel. Astronauts were actually kept in quarantine when they returned in case they picked up any illnesses in space. Obviously, it was later realized that didn’t happen and that practice was dropped. I believe the weathering was applied for the same reason, because they didn’t know any better. It’s possible that, when they had more scientific advisors in the 1970s and onward that someone let them know that the ship wouldn’t pick up all that crap flying through space.

    So, with all that, this is where it stands:

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip021.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip022.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip023.jpg?w=800

    tos_enterprise_2019_wip024.jpg?w=800

    The bussards are a work in progress, but I like how they’re going so far. Also, ignore the sensor domes, that was an experiment that didn’t work so well. For textures, I’ll have 10 4K maps to make; color and specular maps for the saucer top, saucer bottom, engineering hull, and both nacelles. I’ve also got a couple smaller maps to make, for the teardrop and underneath the shuttlebay, as both have markings on them that will need to be textured. Also, I may do a texture for the impulse vents. Everything else is just going to be the colors they are. This pretty much matches the paint that’s done on physical models, as it’s usually just a solid color. There’s no need to texture solid colors. 😉
    FreakBrandenberg
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