I found a website (3D Gladiators) that still has some of my old meshes from my Truespace days. I downloaded some of my old work and decided I was going to set about converting the meshes to Lightwave, since that’s what I use now. I looked into using an online 3D converter, but it really made a mess of my meshes. So, I decided to see if I could make use of Truespace. Fortunately, after Microsoft bought Caligari, they released Truespace 7.61 for free, and I was able to find several sites that still have it available for download. So, I downloaded the software and set about opening the models in that and converting to a file format that Lightwave could import. After import, there were a few minor issues to fix. Firstly, I had some nonplanar faces, but those are easily selected and dealt with. Also, some of my ngons were flipped and didn’t want to behave when I tried hitting “Unify Normals.” So, I selected all 4,000+ ngons and converted them to triangles. Then I hit “Unify Normals” and that all worked out. I applied a simple material for now, I’ll have to redo the materials later. However, before I do that, I need to fix the fact that every separate object is now in its own layer, leading to the object having over 400 layers. But, that can be fixed too. However, before I even get into all of that, I decided to take a look at the object itself in Layout, to make sure it renders OK. This is a result I can certainly live with:
This is just a start, but this is one of my favorite ships that I built in Truespace, so I decided to start with it. I built it back in 2009, but I don’t think it looks too shabby, and converting it will still take less time than starting over on a new build. After I do this one, I have some others I want to convert.
It's my favorite design from the show. Designed by John Eaves (of course) for the episode "The Expanse." It was one of several ships he designed, a couple were chosen that could easily make use of parts from existing models to get them done in time.
Heh, it's nothing compared to building the model in the first place. Fortunately, there are nice orthos that Rob Bonchune rendered of the CG model used on the show. Still, the hard part is done. The biggest pain was figuring out an export format that Truespace and Lightwave can both use.
I got the old textures applied. I was a bit worried that they're not 4K .png files, but I wasn't using those back then. They're .jpg images. Ah, the foolishness of youth. OK, I was about 30 years old when I built this model, but that's not the point. Anyway, they're high enough quality that the ship looks OK. Not perfect, but this is a conversion, not a rebuild.
I still have some glowy bits that need materials. I didn't do the running lights before taking the ship back into Layout because I forgot. The impulse engines will need a texture, and the bussard collectors just need some model work done to them. Back when I built this ship, I was faking stuff with textures. But, that's not how I do things now. So, it will be modeled.
that you build this "old" model again.
Are you going to publish it again?
I also got it from 3d Gladiators at the time. I'll see if I still have it. Converted it to c4d.
Are there still 3d gladiators?
I may just publish it again, now that I've got it all fixed up for Lightwave 2018+. If I do, I'll probably just put it on my Dropbox and link to it here.
Yeah, 3D Gladiators is still there. I forgot about them until recently. Since I still had an account there, I raided their model section for my old stuff. I guess I could actually post over there, since I remembered them.
The biggest issue I've found with conversions is that a lot of converters don't like Truespace's .cob format. That's why finding a way to export it from Truespace is the best way to go. .3ds format is another one that can be problematic, I've found. I've switched programs a few times. I switched to Lightwave in 2012 and I've had a few goes at Blender over the years. I wish I'd gotten into Blender ages ago, before getting really serious in Truespace. But, alas, I didn't. Now I'm a Lightwave guy.
Oh yeah, lots of kitbashing. The saucer is a modified NX saucer. I'm not sure where some of the other bits came from. In the words of Rob Bonchune: "any and all parts were pilfered if possible! Only way to get things done!"
I think they may have gotten at least part of the nacelles from the ECS Fortunate:
At the very least, they look like the same nacelle body and end cap.
Of course, the other ship design from that episode is the one they kitbashed from the ship from the opening credits. (the SS Emmette) According to John Eaves, they asked for some sketches for "The Expanse." He turned in a handful and no more were requested. They probably picked the two designs they did because they could be easily kitbashed.
Anyway, here are some beauty shots:
Overall, I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I’ve had nightmarish experiences trying to convert models in the past, but this was relatively painless once I figured out a format to export to. That’s good, because I have more models to convert. I’m never going to get back all of the models I’ve lost over the years to backups going kaput, but at least I can get some back.
Lightwave has been used in a lot of movies and TV shows and is still being used in a lot of professional endeavors. So, it's not really a surprise it's still around. Anything that has been used by professionals usually gets used by non professionals too. We want to be like them.
This looks great.
Nope, I'm a paying customer. (I bought Truespace 2 back in 2000) I used that s*** software for over 10 years. So, I can say what I want. Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.
The problem now is that I don't want to learn anything else. Heck I don't know the bulk of Lightwave, why start over?
LOL I'm still using it because ... well I'm stuck in my ways, but in many ways I agree with you. I'd be done with the refit bridge I'm betting if I used newer software.
Definitely respect your opinion on it, just teasing a bit.
Note: the blue is just so they show up better against the background.
I got a sweet deal from someone in Canada on Ebay. He'd bought Lightwave 9 with the free upgrade to 10 for a job, but the job didn't work out, so he was selling both for $250. I bought that, transferred the license to my name and started using it. I was able to upgrade to 2018 instead of having to pay full price.
Yeah, you use what works for you. I just have so many tools that I never knew existed (and some I did and was salty about) in Lightwave. Blender has a nice tool set too. But, if it's not right for you, then that's that.
Still doesn't hold a candle to Max or Maya in terms of price. They're subscription based and cost more for 1 year than Lightwave does for a standard license that never expires.
There are more forthcoming. If it's available there and I built it, there's a chance you'll see it here.
I am still using Microsoft Word 2010. Works just fine. I'm getting a message on it that support runs out in October. The new one is subscription. Not going to bite for a word processor. I mean how much improvement can you make to a word processor? I'm using Affinity photo for my textures. Like it WAY better than Photoshop. $50 and no subscription.
The stuff I've seen done in Blender on this site is phenomenal. It's a legitimate choice. But I've learned so much about Lightwave and have so much further to go and they keep improving it. So there it is. And because of Core I guess, my upgrades to Lightwave are $250, keeping in mind that they do an upgrade about yearly so to be technically honest, I'm on a $250 per year subscription.
I can't believe it! You've got it BACK?!!!
I mainly use Office 365 for the 1 TB OneDrive space. lol But always having the latest versions is nice too. Same with Creative Cloud, I use only 3 programs of the entire CC suite, but it's cheaper to buy the whole CC per month than 3 individual programs on a subscription. As for Autodesk's subscription prices, I agree. They're woefully expensive, but they beat the outright cost that Max used to be. Same with most subscription services. I can afford monthly costs, but not these thousand dollar outright costs they used to be.
Gigabyte RTX 3080 Gaming OC 12GB
240GB SSD, 500GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 4TB external HDD
32 GB RAM
Windows 11 Pro