Welcome to! Click one of these buttons to join in on the fun.

Local TutorialHow to build the Starship Enterprise in TrueSpace 3



  • Forcemaster2000Forcemaster2000331 Posts: 0Member
    Same here, I'm learning a lot of stuff I can use in TS 5.2...trying to find useful tuts for TS is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack!
  • chronochrono0 Posts: 1Member
    A fine fine effort scifieric.

    It's really taking me back to my 4.3 days when the deform and spline tools were really worth using! Since then those tools have gone on to become stupidly overly complex and mostly unusable. I hope that all of the booleaning doesn't come back to bite you though. ;)

    It looks like backstept has got the right idea about the neck. Only thing I'd add was to Slice it to add more control faces for the boolean and shaders to work with when you make the windows. And that the audience should note that if the objects detail isn't built into the base shape and the object 'perfect' for later operations that 'detailing' becomes very difficult and boolean dependant.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    STnut35 wrote:
    Im impressed.You make it look so easy.I can see ive got a lot of work to do,starting tomorrow night.ive got 3 days catching up to do.hehe
    Han Solo: "Easy? You call that 'easy'?" :D

    I'm trying to remember who told me this, a long time ago. "Anything is easy ... if you know how." Truer (Space) words were never spoken.

    I can't tell you anything yet really about any of TrueSpace's more advanced options because I simply never used them so I had to find solutions with the tools I was brave enough to utilize. It may look easy but this is the result of having built this same ship about 4 times (and this makes 5! LOL!)
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    backstept wrote:
    lol I never save . . . seriously.
    I use an object library to hold all my parts for a particular project.
    just right click>insert or replace
    it's got nice little rendered icons so I know what part is which :D

    of course that's a TS5 feature that 3.2 does not have :(
    I like that library! I know that TrueSpace 7.1 has the same thing but I haven't used it yet. I've been doing what I always did ... save the scene, save the completed object. I'll have to give this a try!
  • D.M.J.D.M.J.0 Posts: 0Member
    scifieric, brilliant so far. I admire your determination. I'm downloading the free TS3 so I can try it out :)
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    mcmiller wrote:
    Yes, this is very nice, keep this going eric. There's a lot that I can try here, even with TS6.6
    Thanks man! Say, is that avatar from UFO? It looks too clean and modern!

    I had no idea there were so many TrueSpace users here!

    You think this is actually useable for someone using the more advanced versions of TrueSpace? To me, 7.1 is almost like learning another language. That, and I have to learn the new placement of all the tools ... it's taking me a while to adjust. I'm so comfortable with versions 3 and 4.
    Same here, I'm learning a lot of stuff I can use in TS 5.2...trying to find useful tuts for TS is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack!
    Yep, been there. Done that. LOL!! Looking for a tutorial that you don't have to shell out money for is rough.

    I got my start (and it's one of the few useful tutoarials for TrueSpace) here: Mark Jeffers Playing God

    It's still good for lighting and space scenes. One of the things he doesn't talk about is plugins. (Get the Cool Powers and primal particle plugins!)

    Lots of free stuff here and cheap stuff too:

    Or click here: PrimitiveItch

    Caligari's website even allows a $15.00 download of the TrueSpace 3.2 manual in PDF along with a link to a free paint program (although I recommend GimpShop) on this page:

    There is a lot out there for TrueSpace but since Caligari has moved on to higher versions of their software, I'm afraid that some of these resources may dry up.

    Seanr (hey, is he still around after the big crash?) uses TrueSpace to do his work. If you've ever seen his bridge sets, you'll know that he is a top-flight user of TrueSpace. Sean's Website

    So far as I know, he still uses TrueSpace.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    D.M.J. wrote:
    scifieric, brilliant so far. I admire your determination. I'm downloading the free TS3 so I can try it out :)
    Wow, thanks D.M.J.! I really appreciate you saying so!

    I don't know if I'm helping or not! LOL!

    I've had a few people download TrueSpace because it's what I'm familiar with and I know how to use some of it. Is this a good thing? :D

    I keep thinking I should recommend Blender since I've seen some absolutely BRILLIANT work in that application and it's entirely, 100% free and open-source. It's interface scares the living doo-doo out of me but take a look at how far and how fast someone like Denes House (CrimsonLine) has come and you just HAVE to be impressed both with the artist and the tool.

    Just take a look at his fantasy Enterprise thread and you'll know why I scratch my head and wonder if I should ... convert.

    All I've got is my Enterprise (LOL)!
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    I should have mentioned a couple of other people who use Blender and do amazing work.

    Four Mad Men

    wpthomas, aka Tallguy

    There's a lot of very talented people here who I would love to have half their talent and since the hard drive crash, it is a little harder to point out their threads.
  • BrickheadBrickhead176 Posts: 0Member
    Great tutorial Bro. like a pro, really.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Wow man, thanks Brickhead! I really appreciate the kind words.

    I learn a lot from watching you guys.

    For those who haven't seen it yet, Brickhead created the best 3D Discovery I've ever seen, he is in the middle of creating a marvelous reproduction of the Leonov from 2010 as well as working on the first Sensei Challenge.
  • StarshipStarship388 São Paulo - BrasilPosts: 1,923Member
    This tut is usefull for the max guys out of there too:
    All that you need to know, are some correlations: Spline and lathe to build the saucer, scale and FFD to the bridge, and a basic cylinder. :)
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Cool, thanks Starship!

    That's good to know.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]2 Posts: 3Member
    Eric, I just wanted to drop by and say that this is one of the most comprehensive Enterprise tutorials I've ever seen... I wish I'd had something like this five years ago when I tackled my first E. :thumb:
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Good lord, you and me both!

    PROF! It's good to see you back, man! How've you been doing? You've got to change your signature. I enjoy your website!

    *edit* Dude, you've seriously changed your website! LOL! */edit*
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]2 Posts: 3Member
    Yeah, I went to a blog-type format... much easier to maintain and add onto it that way.

    I've been well, thanks. Finally finished school (THANK GOD!) and graduate on June 24th. I am still on a break from LightWaving, but am hopeful that the bug will bite again someday; meanwhile I troll and and see what's going on with my cyber friends and their projects. ttfn...
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    My pleasure and congratulations! I know you'll do well. One of these days, you'll have to tell us what schooling you underwent.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]2 Posts: 3Member
    I went to night school to finish my B.S. in Accounting.
  • backsteptbackstept1105 Posts: 787Member
    less chat, more tutorial! lol :lol:
  • JedilawJedilaw0 Posts: 0Member
    This tutorial is coming along very nicely! It's a good compliment to Tachy's Connie tutorial on

    I think when you are done with the entire ship, it would be well worth it to take your text and images and put them into a permanently downloadable format, such as PDF. I think a lot of people are going to want a copy of this one in the end.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Wow, thanks Jedilaw! I really appreciate your kind words.

    I'm sorry the tutorial kind of took a backseat this week but I was working on my animation.

    I'd love to put this in a PDF format. I can do that!
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    I did promise this in the first tutorial:

    The More Complex to Build (But Easier to Texture) Spline Hull
    I promise weA’ll move on to another section soon. Our last primary hull was fairly simple to build but in TrueSpace (especially in 3.2) it will be almost impossible to texture. For an untextured spline hull it would be fine.
    HereA’s how to give yourself more frustration now, but less heart attack later. ;)

    I pulled up the background of the Primary Saucer front half and laid out where I thought the major spline points would go.
    I was close and only added one to my original layout. The red arrows show where little detail is needed.

    To start, be in Top Down view mode. topdown.jpg

    Click the Spline Polygon tool. splinepolygon.jpg

    The top left arrow (1) was my starting point and I set my spline segments to 1.
    Then I clicked on the tip of the second red arrow (2) to create a new point. Next, I increased my spline segments to 10 and clicked on the first blue arrow (3), then point (4) and (5). Next, I reduced my spline segments to 5 and clicked on point (6). Then I increased spline segments to 10 and clicked point (7). Again, I reduced my spline segments to 4 and clicked point (8). Set spline segments back to 10 and click (9). Reduce spline segments to 4 and click (20).

    Obviously, (20) is where I found I needed to add a spline point to my original plan. I increased my spline segments to 5 and clicked (10) then I increased spline segments to 10 and clicked on (11), (12), (13), (14), (15) and (16). I reduced spline segments to 1 and clicked (17) and then right mouse clicked to close the spline.

    The total number of points on this saucer is going to be rather large but TrueSpace 3 does not have any smoothing filters during render, so you have to create a smoother mesh to compensate. This will increase render times so you can choose to use fewer points if you wish or you can create a spline with the same parameters as this tutorial or add even more points, but I think that would be pointless. ;)

    Now that the loop is closed, click on spline point 1. Right mouse click on your Spline Polygon tool to open up your spline sub menu. Left click the Sharp Corner icon and your spline handles will snap into place. Left click to select spline point 17 and make it a Sharp Corner too.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Next I clicked spline point 2 and straightened the spline handle left and right and increased its length. I also increased the handle length for spline point 3 and pulled the right-most handle down slightly to match the curve of the blueprints. I adjusted spline point 4 in the same fashion.

    I straightened out spline point 5 from left to right and decreased the handle length a little. This is one of the tell-tale areas on the average Enterprise model. The original model has no clear demarcation between saucer lip and the curve of the upper hull. With a smooth enough transition, there will be no noticeable demarcation for us either.

    At this point, I opened up a small New Top View and zoomed in on the curved upper tip of the saucer (points 6 and 7). It was twisted just like our original hull in the first tutorial.

    I straightened out spline point 6 handle to match the upper hull and severely shortened the handle length. I did the same with 7 but I made that handle match the flat portion of the descending portion of the hull.
    Adjust the lengths of the handles for all remaining points and pull the ends of the handles up or down to match the curve of our blueprints.

    When you are satisfied with the conture of the hull, left click the Object Tool (arrow) to convert our spline to an object.

    I firmly believe that you should save this object for the future! File A– Save Object AsA…


    Cut out the divots for the three lower saucer circles as in the first tutorial.

    So far, this has simply been a more detailed version of the first attempt at the saucer section but here is where we alter the tutorial.

    The purple arrows 18 and 19 indicate where we want to split the saucer template in half. We do not want to lathe our template yet!

    If you have TrueSpace 4 or higher, there are tools to add spline points, create a line between the points and to cleave one section from another. In TrueSpace 3.2, we will have to be a little more creative.

    Create a primitive plane by clicking Add Plane. AddPlane01.jpg

    Select the Object Scale button and make your plane wider and at least half the height of the saucer spline.


    Now choose Object Move and move the plane until the bottom of the plane intersects our spline template at points 18 and 19.

  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    I moved and magnified my New Perspective top down view until I could see the lip of the upper saucer clearly. If you highlight the saucer spline and left click Point Edit: Faces, then left click the saucer spline, you will see the spline points that make up your template. You want the plane primitive (white arrow) to line up with the lowest spline point of the curve of the upper lip (red arrow). Make sure that the plane primitive is wider and outside the shape of the template and higher than the template.


    Copy both the plane and the saucer spline with the copy command (or Ctrl-C).

    Highlight the template and choose the Object Subtract icon. Glue one of the plane primitives to make the top of the saucer template disappear.

    Click on and highlight your remaining full copy of the template. Choose the Object Intersection tool and glue to the remaining copy of your plane primitive.

    You now have two templates, one for the upper saucer section and one for the lower section. They have the bonus of lining up perfectly!


    Select your top template then select the Lathe tool. Right mouse click the Lathe icon to access the control panel.


    Set your segments to 100.

    Set your angle to 360.

    Pull the center Lathe handle until it meets the left most edge of the template.


    Left click once more to complete the lathe and select the Object Tool to convert our lathed spline template into an object.

  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Do the same for the lower section. Highlight, make sure the segments also =100 and the Lathe handle is at the left most edge of the saucer. Complete the lathe and left click the Object Tool.

    Select the Glue as Sibling tool and glue the top of the saucer to the bottom. Be careful not to glue any lights or other hard to see objects.

    Save the glued halves as an object.

    You may save the scene if you wish.

    Load the scene with all your objects thus far. Import the new saucer halves, resize and position correctly using the blueprints as a guide.


    Save your current scene.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    Next: We will add details to the top, back and bottom of the saucer (including windows) before moving onto the neck.
  • uniderthuniderth1 Posts: 0Member
    *raises hand*

    I have a question.

    Instead of doing a lathe couldn't you also start with a flat cylinder and then just extrude it to match the shape?
  • backsteptbackstept1105 Posts: 787Member
    that would take lots longer
    I think :D
  • uniderthuniderth1 Posts: 0Member
    Hmmmm. Maybe I should try this lathing thing sometime. I've never made a single lathe in my entire 3D career. I guess it's cuz I can never get splines to work for me. They always end up looking like a string of rotten spaghetti.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    uniderth wrote:
    *raises hand*

    I have a question.

    Instead of doing a lathe couldn't you also start with a flat cylinder and then just extrude it to match the shape?
    Of course! There are many ways to do this but if you start with a cylinder (or like I did with my first attempt, a large, round poly that I swept, moved and swept again) you may find that it's very difficult to overcome smoothing errors and such.

    It's a lot of work.

    If you simply create a spline, you can pretty much get it done first attempt! If you keep the number of spline handles down, you can create a VERY smooth hull and that's going to be tough with a cylinder.
  • scifiericscifieric1078 Posts: 1,453Member
    uniderth wrote:
    Hmmmm. Maybe I should try this lathing thing sometime. I've never made a single lathe in my entire 3D career. I guess it's cuz I can never get splines to work for me. They always end up looking like a string of rotten spaghetti.
    What application are you using? If you're using TrueSpace, try it step by step like my latest tutorial and you'll be surprised at the results.

    This last attempt has been the best one I've ever done! I think it's going to be the version I use from now on.
Sign In or Register to comment.