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Local TutorialHow to build the Starship Enterprise in TrueSpace 3

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  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    My choices from observation and personal bias place the colors in this order, clockwise from the top:
    1 White
    2 Green/Blue
    3 White
    4 Orange
    5 White
    6 Blue
    7 White
    8 Orange
    9 White
    10 Red

    I have recently begun to think that each of the color light positions (2, 4, 6, 8 & 10) are actually two small color lights that flash in alternating sequence and this may explain for example why the number two position can be seen in the same sequence as blue/green one moment and red the next. The color lights do not seem as bright as the white lights. The white lights may be larger or brighter or perhaps there are two of those as well but they seem to stay on at all times with the exception of number 1.

    White light 1 seems to actually blink on and off rapidly. It also seems capable of flashing much brighter than any other light.

    [FONT=&quot]I think that the other white lights seem to flicker because of the spokes but I may be wrong. If you look at the head-on sequences in the episodes "Elaan of Troyus" and "Metamorphosis" you can draw your own conclusions. Another good reference is "The Immunity Syndrome". (Hey, do some of your own research, will ya? LOL!)

    5white.jpg
    EntepriseSide01.jpg

    [/FONT] Next create a fairly low-poly sphere. Don't make it too low poly! Mine are 15x30 which is probably overkill. I have positioned my lights to roughly bisect the radius of the cylinder.


    lightplacement2.jpg



    Place the sphere so that it is centered on one of the points of the 5 point polygon. For easy placement of the remaining globes, you could call the axes of the globe and then select "Normalize Location". This will place the axes at the center of your workspace. Only do this if you are constructing your lights in the center of a scene. Move up the axes in Hierarchy. Copy the globe. Since we are going to make 10 lights, turn the grid mode to on, select the rotate object tool then right mouse click the grid mode to access the degree of rotation. Change the Z grid to 36 degrees. Right mouse click in your scene and rotate your new sphere. It will move to match the next point for a color light. Repeat until you have all 10 lights.


    Glue the spheres together. Be careful not to glue any of the lights or the cylinder or the reference polygons.


    lightplacement3.jpg
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    lightplacement4.jpg



    Switch to a front or side view of the scene and move the spheres until they are sunk halfway into the top of the cylinder. Perform an Object Union with the cylinder.


    lightplacement5.jpg



    You can remove the reference polygons from the scene.

    TrueSpace 3 has a primitive means to select faces. If you wish, you could select each cylinder edge on the side and delete them one at a time and then remove the lower cylinder face or you can simply select the bottom of the cylinder with the Edit Faces tool.


    lightplacement6.jpg



    From a side view, move the bottom up until it almost meets the top. Click the object tool (arrow) to end the edit.


    lightplacement7.jpg



    In TrueSpace 4 and above, you can choose the square face selection tool and select the top and the remains of the spheres and then separate them from the cylinder. This will remove unwanted faces.

    Save your scene.
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    [Examples:Texturing]
    Tutorial
    Details Tutorial
    Tutorial 3
    [/Examples]

    In TrueSpace 4 and up you can render wire frames easily but in version 3, all I know about is screen capturing a wire frame (unless you use a plugin to unwrap the object). Magnify the view until your object fills the screen. Hit the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard to perform a screen capture. Bring up any image editing utility, even Microsoft's Paint will do nicely. Edit and Paste your screen capture. At this point, I suggest changing the attributes of the image to a perfect square that is the same size as your object.


    lightplacement9.jpg



    The next part will be easier in a photo editing program like Photoshop or Paintshop Pro where you have control over gradients and layers.

    Open your image in your editing program. I have resized my image to 800x800 for easy editing.

    Make a new layer and choose the Elliptical Marquee tool set to Fixed Aspect Ratio. Center your cursor on one of the spheres. Holding the Alt key, left click and draw a circle that is the same size as the globe.

    texture01.jpg

    Fill the marquee with white and deselect the highlight.

    Left click your background layer to select it then create a blank new layer.

    Fill this new layer with black.

    [FONT=&quot]Select your white circle layer. Duplicate it and apply a slight [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Gaussian[/FONT][FONT=&quot] blur to the duplicate layer, say 4-5 pixels. Duplicate your original white circle and apply another [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Gaussian[/FONT][FONT=&quot] blur of about 10 pixels. Repeat until you have a fuzzy glow around your light. Merge the white circle and the blur layers.

    WhiteLightBackground1.jpg

    [/FONT] Duplicate the new fuzzy light layer and move each duplicate to cover one of the spheres. Do not merge the layers.

    I then named my layers White 1-5 and Color 1-5 to make it easier to keep track.

    Move the white light layers above the color layers to avoid unintended color problems.

    [FONT=&quot]Create black layers for each color light and merge the lights down onto their respective black layer. Then create a new blank layer above the merged color light layer and fill the new blank layer with the color of your choice. Set the Layer Style Blending Option to Multiply and merge down. Each color light will be on [/FONT][FONT=&quot]its[/FONT][FONT=&quot] own black layer and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]controllable[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. Set each of the color layers to "Lighten".

    allLights01sm.jpg

    [/FONT] You can control each light by controlling each layer. Make the layer invisible to turn off a light.

    [FONT=&quot]I created a sequence of images by turning light layers on and off and saved a JPG each time, numbering the images in sequential order. I tried creating such a sequence in TrueSpace by using color lights and a background but nothing gave me the control of the lights like Photoshop.[/FONT]
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    [FONT=&quot]colorLightenSm.jpg

    Paint the first animated texture in your sequence onto your lights object. Make the Ambient Glow (and in later versions of TrueSpace, Diffusion) at 100%. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]DonA’t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] forget to check off the "Anim" option on the texture map selection. Render an image to check placement of your lights.

    AnimatedTexture.jpg

    [/FONT] You will probably have to change your UV projection to Planar UV Projection and make sure it lines up correctly or each sphere will have a copy of all light textures.

    colornacelle04.jpg



    colornacelle03.jpg



    Save your object with a name that is easy to remember like NacelleLights.cob. I would also save your scene ... just in case.
    [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Open up your warp scene and import and position your lights object into the head of the warp drive but keep it slightly forward of the recessed area.


    colornacelle05.jpg


    nacelle05.jpg

    nacelle06.jpg



    [FONT=&quot]If your spheres appear beyond the lip of the warp unit, I suggest recessing the area a little more and moving your lights back into the drive.

    [/FONT] Create a sphere that matches the resolution of your warp drive. Cut one half the sphere away with an Object Subtraction and a cube. Select the back face of the resulting hemisphere with the Point Edit: Faces tool. Sweep the face past the light spheres object.

    colornacelle06.jpg
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Select the Object Tool to deselect the hemisphere face.

    Duplicate the sphere and reduce it in size until it is JUST smaller than the original.


    colornacelle07.jpg



    Save your scene.

    [FONT=&quot]We need two more sets of textures. We need a spinning blade texture for the inner hemisphere and a texture for the outer hemisphere.

    [/FONT] (For TrueSpace 4 and above) I created a 12 spoke image in Photoshop and applied a radial blur set on "Spin" at approximately 10 percent. I then saved a copy after inverting the colors (Ctrl+I).


    Spoke01.jpg



    I then created sequentially numbered copies and rotated each copy by a couple of degrees. This gives us our spinning texture.

    [FONT=&quot](For TrueSpace 3) You can create your twelve spokes in TrueSpace and paint them black. Set the background to white. Animate the spokes by spinning them 45 degrees over a number of frames. The fewer the frames, the faster the resulting blade texture will appear. Render your frames as TGA images to allow the background to be transparent. You can then apply the resulting animation to your dome as a spinning texture.

    My first texture like this was an avi file!

    [/FONT] Next, create a new square image in Photoshop and paint in the color of your outer hemisphere. Something similar to a light peach color. I applied a radial gradient so that it darkened towards the edges of the image. I then created multiple layers that were pie-wedged in shape and applied Gaussian blurs. Then change the layer properties to lighten and reduce the visible percentage until it looks like the area is glowing. Create a matching glow for each light you created in your sequence. My light and color dome sequences were each 60 images.


    ColorDome01.jpg



    My spoke animation only required 14 images.

    Open up your warp scene.

    I applied my warp color animation to the outer dome with a 60 percent ambient brightness and 100 percent diffusion with a slight shine and reduced it's opacity to 75 percent. This will allow some of the effect from the blades and lights to show through.

    Next, select your inner dome. Apply your spinning blade animated texture. In TrueSpace 4 and above, select your inverted images as a transparency filter.

    If the blade effect is too pronounced, you can reduce the diffusion of the blade texture.

    Light the scene as you would for a final image, do not use default lighting as this usually is multiple source with no ray tracing enabled.

    If you render an animation you will notice something unusual. Without any other changes to the scene, your default animation frames will equal 0-0. There is no animation yet associated with your scene. You will have to impose a number of frames upon the animation. In my case, my longest texture is 60 frames so I would have to create an animation running from 0-59 to create a repeatable animation.

    My results look like this animation. (Click to see WMV animation.)



    ericwarp.jpg



    Good luck!
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    B...B....B....B....Bussards!!!!



    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    I take it you are satisfied with the bussards portion of the tutorial? LOL! :lol:
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    Now do it with lights instead of textures. :devil:
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    scifieric wrote:
    I take it you are satisfied with the bussards portion of the tutorial? LOL! :lol:

    Eric, I have to make a confession here...

    I started the whole Bussards thing as a bit of a lark after the roasting you gave me over mine in the WIP section. Then when the whole thing kinda exploded into a running gag, (and you stayed such a good sport) I went along with because quite frankly, it was fun:devil: .

    But now that you've finally come through, I have to applaud. It really is a masterful (and deceptivly obvious -who would have though of using textures for lights?) use of the system. My hat is off to you, and I bow to you expertease.

    Now, about the hanger...?:devil:
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Now do it with lights instead of textures. :devil:
    Ooooooh no! I tried that for YEARS! I'm not falling for that one again.

    I actually have a couple of different warp nacelles for different effects. One of them is with lights as flares. It takes FOREVER to render. It's for those few shots where the Enterprise warp nacelles appear to have no defined lights inside.

    Ugh! (Of course, it looks really cool!)
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Roliba wrote:
    Eric, I have to make a confession here...

    I started the whole Bussards thing as a bit of a lark after the roasting you gave me over mine in the WIP section. Then when the whole thing kinda exploded into a running gag, (and you stayed such a good sport) I went along with because quite frankly, it was fun:devil: .

    But now that you've finally come through, I have to applaud. It really is a masterful (and deceptivly obvious -who would have though of using textures for lights?) use of the system. My hat is off to you, and I bow to you expertease.

    Now, about the hanger...?:devil:
    I ... I gave you a roasting? I've got to go look! Muwahahahaha! Uh, I mean, I'm sorry. LOL!

    Uh, wow! Thanks for the compliments! I had the idea early on but figured it would be too much work and TrueSpace should be able to duplicate the real world ... right? Boy was I wrong. I should have done this years ago and saved myself the grief!

    Scene lights will dramatically effect the nacelles, so be careful. I often place a light in front of each nacelle to "bloom" the center texture.

    I thought only Jedilaw was interested in the hanger area? LOL!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    Good, it's not just me that's been trying that for years and it doesn't work. (tS 3 users, don't bother with this) What if you render with raycasting instead of scanline? Will that work any better?
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Ray tracing is always on in my images. If you don't use ray tracing, everything will look CGI no matter how careful you are. When programs like the dinosaur programs are rendered on a time schedule for the Dicovery Channel, I think they tend to turn off ray tracing and substitute something else. When ever the dinos open their mouths, the teeth are uniformly bright as though there are no shadows. Dead give away.

    Unless you're talking about the flares. You have to turn off ray tracing for the flares and lower the brightness but increase the flare effect to maximum. The only thing is that you can't move too much in an animation because the flares do not change sizes so the further away you get from the ship, the ship gets smaller but the flares suddenly look huge!
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    Of course, after looking at this, I'm going to go redo mine...
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Now that's a compliment! Thanks!
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    Hey, what can I say... your's is better.
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Just a couple of quick renders. I didn't match the lighting or the camera position but I figure it's close enough to get the idea. With the texture effects and transparencies for the warp engines, a little manipulation of the resulting image should get close to the desired effect.

    quickcompare01.jpg


    quickcompare2.jpg
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    I wasn't talking about using or not using ray tracing. I'm talking about using a hollowed out sphere so there's a surface to reflect the light back and use raycasting, not ray tracing. Ray tracing is a must-have for rendering with any seriousness. Raycasting is an alternative to scanline visibility and is supposed to make your renders look better, by more accurately simulating how lights work. I'm wondering if that would effect how modeled lights work in a bussard. I might have to do some tests later.
  • JedilawJedilaw0 Posts: 0Member
    scifieric wrote:
    I thought only Jedilaw was interested in the hanger area? LOL!
    So, now that we have a bussards tutorial, is the new catch-word going to be...FANTAIL?
  • AlarethAlareth0 Posts: 0Member
    But Koi did that tutorial ...
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    Frickin'
    A, man, we
    Need a great
    Tutorial for the
    Ass end of our
    Ingeniously created and
    Lovely starships.

    It's kinda scary that I just came up with that on the spot. :devil:
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    Um Guys, but why do I feel just a bit slighted here?

    Excuse me Eric, I don't mean to pirate, but I just did one and the freakin' thing took me two days. Oh, and then there's the work Koi put into his.

    So I don't think that fantails *sniff should be the new word. Personally, I think it should be HANGER

    Ooohh, I'm so going to get it.
    :runs:
  • RolibaRoliba171 Posts: 0Member
    Hey,
    All right,
    No
    Getting
    Evil
    Riled.
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    I wasn't talking about using or not using ray tracing. I'm talking about using a hollowed out sphere so there's a surface to reflect the light back and use raycasting, not ray tracing.
    Ah, I understand. (I must have been a tad tired!)

    Different versions of TrueSpace from 4 on have different tools including radiosity to try and up the realism at a serious cost in time. The best two tools I've seen are both in TS7: VRay and LightWorks. I'm a particular fan of LightWorks. It seems people like those renders and they're a heck of a lot faster than VRay.
    Jedilaw wrote:
    So, now that we have a bussards tutorial, is the new catch-word going to be...FANTAIL?
    I thought you might say something like that! LOL!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    Roliba wrote:
    Um Guys, but why do I feel just a bit slighted here?

    Excuse me Eric, I don't mean to pirate, but I just did one and the freakin' thing took me two days. Oh, and then there's the work Koi put into his.

    So I don't think that fantails *sniff should be the new word. Personally, I think it should be HANGER

    Ooohh, I'm so going to get it.
    :runs:

    Sorry, bro, I was just going with the flow with what Jedilaw started. Your tutorial is absolutely astonishing and would be immensely useful if one was using 3DS Max. However, using trueSpace, it's all a bunch of shazbot. I can't duplicate that stunning result doing what you did. Though, I do agree that HANGER would be an appropriate word (I'm not doing another fricking anagram! I can only do so many of those in a 24 hour time frame!)

    Although, for the people following along and not skipping ahead because this isn't their first dance, probably the appropriate word would be FINISH THE FRACKIN' SAUCER!! Just a thought.
    scifieric wrote:
    Ah, I understand. (I must have been a tad tired!)

    It happens. I figured that was the case. ;)
    scifieric wrote:
    Different versions of TrueSpace from 4 on have different tools including radiosity to try and up the realism at a serious cost in time. The best two tools I've seen are both in TS7: VRay and LightWorks. I'm a particular fan of LightWorks. It seems people like those renders and they're a heck of a lot faster than VRay.

    I thought that VRay and LightWorks sounded fun. (It's all they talk about at caligari's website.) :devil: Yeah, that radiosity crap takes too long. I'd rather render with raycasting (a little longer than scanline [normal] rendering.) The results are good enough for my weekend 3D tendacies.

    I've got my bussards done, but I don't have the appropriate nacelle parts done, so I built them for that stupid ship I made with the lightsabers for the secondary hull and nacelles. I just built the bussards right onto the end cap of the lightsaber nacelle. :devil: I can post pics in my lightsaber thread, if anybody cares.
  • dan1701adan1701a2 Posts: 0Member
    Wow. Just....wow.

    I mean, wow.

    That is awesome, Eric! On the surface, it seems really simple. I, like you, have tried using practical lights, and it just doesn't seem to work. I'm beginning to realize that a light in 3D is not really a light, at least so far as light physics is concerned.

    Now I'm gonna have to re-do mine, too...however, I might suggest an alternative to your outer dome animation. If trueSpace allows, you might consider using a solid color and a radial gradient alpha channel on your outer dome texture. One less thing to have to animate. Same for the blades...just a thought.
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    Although, for the people following along and not skipping ahead because this isn't their first dance, probably the appropriate word would be FINISH THE FRACKIN' SAUCER!! Just a thought.

    I thought that VRay and LightWorks sounded fun. (It's all they talk about at caligari's website.) :devil: Yeah, that radiosity crap takes too long.
    *edit*
    I can post pics in my lightsaber thread, if anybody cares.
    Yeah, I'll be finishing the saucer. I never learn. Even though I've done this before (building Enterprise) I keep thinking "Oh, it'll be easy this time! LOL!

    I'd rather have VRay and LightWorks with TS 4 or 5 since 7 takes FOREVER to load! I need to get at least 3 Gigs of RAM to get 7 to work the way I want.

    You better post those images! I wanna see!
  • scifiericscifieric900 Posts: 1,310Member
    dan1701a wrote:
    Wow. Just....wow.

    I mean, wow.

    That is awesome, Eric! On the surface, it seems really simple. I, like you, have tried using practical lights, and it just doesn't seem to work. I'm beginning to realize that a light in 3D is not really a light, at least so far as light physics is concerned.

    Now I'm gonna have to re-do mine, too...however, I might suggest an alternative to your outer dome animation. If trueSpace allows, you might consider using a solid color and a radial gradient alpha channel on your outer dome texture. One less thing to have to animate. Same for the blades...just a thought.
    Thanks for the compliment!

    The solid color for the dome won't cut it since the texture is animated to show shadow and light spill. Since I'm not using lights, I'm saving a tremendous amount of render time!

    Now, the blades, that's a different story and I'm open to suggestions.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801854 Posts: 9,999Member
    scifieric wrote:
    Yeah, I'll be finishing the saucer. I never learn. Even though I've done this before (building Enterprise) I keep thinking "Oh, it'll be easy this time! LOL!

    I'd rather have VRay and LightWorks with TS 4 or 5 since 7 takes FOREVER to load! I need to get at least 3 Gigs of RAM to get 7 to work the way I want.

    You better post those images! I wanna see!

    So, tS 7 takes forever to load? Very interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind when I eventually get a new PC and upgrade tS. Too bad the VRay and LightWorks won't work with tS 4, then I could have some fun. :devil:
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