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3DModel Conversion

evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
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:

intrepid_wip001.jpg

intrepid_wip002.jpg

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.
ashleytingerrojrenBolianAdmiralBrandenbergJasonAdankJMP11wolfman
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Posts

  • BolianAdmiralBolianAdmiral1154 Torrance, CaliforniaPosts: 2,607Member
    Nice.this was the one ENT ship I really liked.
    evil_genius_180
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    Wowwwwww. That's really a nice model Chris. Sounds like a lot of work to get it here but we appreciate the effort.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    edited August 2020 #4
    Thanks guys. :)

    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.
    Sounds like a lot of work to get it here but we appreciate the effort.

    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.
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    l1oq6mpay2w0.jpg

    gpqdmjn3c3sf.jpg

    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. :eyeroll: Ah, the foolishness of youth. OK, I was about 30 years old when I built this model, but that's not the point. :tongue: 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.
    JasonAdankBrandenberg
  • trekkitrekki958 Posts: 1,412Member
    Very nice,
    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?
    evil_genius_180
  • JasonAdankJasonAdank33 Posts: 29Member
    thats a cool looking ship, great modeling and texturing! Conversions.... a tedious exercise in patience for a payoff that already occurred. Im in the same boat with some of my own models, and Im having a hard time getting motivated to revisit them. Its even worse when the app you used to make them becomes abandonware. Having changed apps a few times, and renderers a few times, Ive really come to appreciate how important it is to get your models in a clean and tidy state before calling it done.
    evil_genius_180
    Feel free to visit my now archaic Renderosity Gallery.
  • Vortex5972Vortex5972327 Posts: 1,205Member
    Looks like it could have been made yesterday. Holds up well to time. 2009 feels like a lifetime ago.
    evil_genius_180
  • scifiericscifieric1123 Posts: 1,498Member
    Well done, Chris! She looks great!
    evil_genius_180
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    I had started doing one of these and then realized how similar it was to the NX-01. So I decided to do the NX-01 first and then never got around to making this one. This is fun to see.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    edited August 2020 #11
    Thanks a lot, everyone. :) I'm glad to be able to get some of my old models back, especially this one. It's one of my favorites that I made in Truespace.
    trekki wrote: »
    Very nice,
    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. ;)
    JasonAdank wrote: »
    thats a cool looking ship, great modeling and texturing! Conversions.... a tedious exercise in patience for a payoff that already occurred. Im in the same boat with some of my own models, and Im having a hard time getting motivated to revisit them. Its even worse when the app you used to make them becomes abandonware. Having changed apps a few times, and renderers a few times, Ive really come to appreciate how important it is to get your models in a clean and tidy state before calling it done.

    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.
    I had started doing one of these and then realized how similar it was to the NX-01. So I decided to do the NX-01 first and then never got around to making this one. This is fun to see.

    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:

    fortunate-son-hd-007.jpg

    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.
    Post edited by evil_genius_180 on
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    I got the Intrepid all converted. I made a new texture for the impulse engine glow and built new bussard collector guts I also added some spot lights to somewhat emulate the lighting from the show. It’s pretty much BS, but it does look fairly accurate to the sort of stuff they did.

    Anyway, here are some beauty shots:

    intrepid_beauty01.jpg

    intrepid_beauty02.jpg

    intrepid_beauty03.jpg

    intrepid_beauty04.jpg

    intrepid_beauty05.jpg

    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.
    BrandenbergLizzy777
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    edited August 2020 #13
    It's hard to remember anything looking so good so quickly. :+1: Magnificent job. Your work makes me feel good about Lightwave too. And I'm so glad you got something of yours back.
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    evil_genius_180
  • japetusjapetus2977 SeattlePosts: 1,403Member
    Nice! The model still looks great! Glad the conversion seems to have worked so well! The result is very nice. I've never used Truespace, I started out in Lightwave, which I'm surprised is still around too.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks guys. Be glad you never used Truespace, it wasn't that great of a program. A lot of basic tools you have in other programs weren't available. But, it was the first 3D software I bought, then versions of it became free. So, I stuck with it longer than I should have.

    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. ;)
  • ashleytingerashleytinger2045 Central OhioPosts: 1,261Member
    Hey now! Don't be knocking Truespace! =P

    This looks great.
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Thanks Ashley.
    Hey now! Don't be knocking Truespace! =P

    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. :tongue: Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    edited August 2020 #18
    Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.
    At the time I bought Lightwave, they had a special deal called "Lightwave Core" where if you bought in, you got a copy of Lightwave and would get a copy of Core when it was finished, plus a T-shirt and other silly stuff. Lightwave was cheaper than the other options - with the exception of Blender, of course. Lightwave Core looked promising - indeed a possible contender with other high end, high priced packages. Unfortunately if fell by the wayside.

    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? :#

    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    evil_genius_180
  • ashleytingerashleytinger2045 Central OhioPosts: 1,261Member
    Thanks Ashley.
    Hey now! Don't be knocking Truespace! =P

    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. :tongue: Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.

    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. =)
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    A couple more quick conversions before I go to work. These are both going to need new textures, the ones in the .zip files are way too low resolution for my taste. The Constellation class also isn’t very accurate. It’s my 2nd version, made from a mix of references, including some schematics from Star Trek Fact Files. Those schematics use a mix of the ready room model and filming miniature for reference. I may do some rebuilding to make it more accurate to the filming miniature. The other ship isn’t canon, so it just needs some new textures.

    screenshot-10.png?w=800

    screenshot-10.png?w=800

    Note: the blue is just so they show up better against the background.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.
    At the time I bought Lightwave, they had a special deal called "Lightwave Core" where if you bought in, you got a copy of Lightwave and would get a copy of Core when it was finished, plus a T-shirt and other silly stuff. Lightwave was cheaper than the other options - with the exception of Blender, of course. Lightwave Core looked promising - indeed a possible contender with other high end, high priced packages. Unfortunately if fell by the wayside.

    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? :#

    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. :)
    Thanks Ashley.
    Hey now! Don't be knocking Truespace! =P

    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. :tongue: Once I switched to Lightwave, there was no going back.

    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. =)

    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. :)
  • JasonAdankJasonAdank33 Posts: 29Member
    In the right hands, any of the 3D apps can produce great results. I remember seanr's amazing bridges from way back in 2003 and they looked really good - all in Truespace. The great thing about Blender is it has excellent functionality and is totally free and unrestricted. Some top notch looking stuff is being posted by blender users so its nothing to sneeze at.
    evil_genius_180Brandenberg
    Feel free to visit my now archaic Renderosity Gallery.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    Yeah, Blender is great. I've dabbled in it several times. It's got a lot of the same tools as Lightwave. I just prefer Lightwave. If I could go back in time 15 years, to when I first "tried" Blender, I'd force myself to take more than a 5 minute look at it and to really learn it. One of the many things I love about it is that it's cross platform, available on many operating systems. Lightwave is 100% the reason I still run Windows. If not for that, I'd run Linux based operating systems.
  • JasonAdankJasonAdank33 Posts: 29Member
    Funny thing is, lightwave used to be one of the cheapest apps, but I think now its the most expensive since everyone else came out with the Indie licensing thing.
    evil_genius_180
    Feel free to visit my now archaic Renderosity Gallery.
  • publiusrpubliusr551 Posts: 1,749Member
    Any other old ships from 3D Gladiators to come?
    evil_genius_180
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1804400 Posts: 11,085Member
    JasonAdank wrote: »
    Funny thing is, lightwave used to be one of the cheapest apps, but I think now its the most expensive since everyone else came out with the Indie licensing thing.

    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.
    publiusr wrote: »
    Any other old ships from 3D Gladiators to come?

    There are more forthcoming. If it's available there and I built it, there's a chance you'll see it here.
  • JasonAdankJasonAdank33 Posts: 29Member
    Well, Its a tough one. I guess it comes down to how often youre upgrading your software. But Max, Maya and Houdini all go for 250 a year now.. but of course you have to keep renewing. And i really hate this new subscription model jibberish. But then again Lightwave is 1000 straightup or 500 to upgrade. So the other guys have definitely made themselves competitive for the single/freelance users
    evil_genius_180
    Feel free to visit my now archaic Renderosity Gallery.
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    edited August 2020 #28
    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.
    This subscription thing. I can see why software venders do it - so much software theft. I don't steal software - I refuse to pay for something I don't own. Because the software expires, it's like the vendor is stealing it back.

    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.
    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    evil_genius_180
  • BrandenbergBrandenberg1869 CaliforniaPosts: 2,013Member
    edited August 2020 #29
    screenshot-10.png?w=800

    I can't believe it! You've got it BACK?!!! :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:

    Post edited by Brandenberg on
    evil_genius_180
  • Chris2005Chris2005678 Posts: 3,097Member
    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.
    This subscription thing. I can see why software venders do it - so much software theft. I don't steal software - I refuse to pay for something I don't own. 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)

    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.
    evil_genius_180
    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X
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  • japetusjapetus2977 SeattlePosts: 1,403Member
    I always liked the hypervoxels in lightwave, was great for effects like fireballs and space stuff! I used it way back in '99‐'05 around the time they started to talk about Core. I think v7 was the last one I used. Started on v5 thanks to a friend of my dads giving it to me and I fell in love! I use 3ds max now cuz that's what my various employers have used over the years...
    evil_genius_180
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