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2D & 3DThe UNITI Project (Community WIP thread) - 2D & 3D

DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
edited February 20 in Work in Progress #1

By my calculation, 4 years since I touched 3DS Max. I had a bit of a dabble with Blender in the intervening years, but there are some fundamentals I just can't get my head around, so back to Max we go.

2 years after that, back in 2016, I submitted a post here in which I reacted to the CBS clamp down on Star Trek Fan Films, but suggesting putting forward a new setting, for people to make fan films in.

I did not forget about that, instead I wrote a small bible. Then I made a website. Then I hid the website and started on You-tube because the website was too dry.

And now I'm gonna bring it here.

This is the UNITI Project, and you are invited to come play.

Post edited by Dannage on


  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    The idea behind the UNITI, regarding other people - was simple: Put a set of resources in place for fan-film makers, to come along, take the assets, use them to make fan-films and so on, and possibly improve them and then re-submit them back into the archive, along with additional assets. All I was doing was creating the world, and some stories in, then decide if any contributions would be accepted into 'canon'.

    But getting people to provide assets for free (doing my best to resist monetising until I have no other option!) is very difficult, and from what I can tell, creative people want to see existing stuff before they want to add their own flare to it, so here I am, making bad art and models, just to spearhead the charge.

    Check out the You-tube playlist in my signature. The videos so far are short and general, but offer some background into the universe. The first 70% of Episode 2 is probably the most informative at a high level, though my attempt at 'dry narration' was epic-scale-boring (For Episode 3 I decided to use a drunk-sounding professor voice!) - Try it here:

    If you remember my old stuff (6+ years ago!) then fear not, all my previous work (except direct Star Trek models) has been brought into this setting, across 500 years of history. And there is much more to come!
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    I know you won't get interested without some models, so here's a demonstration in progress, on how this sort of thing might work.

    I have a friend on Twitter, whom I gave some 'race' information to and he gave me 3 sketches for design donations. Here's them, comprising of an Alien (though nothing like the silhouette I sent him!!) a strike craft and a mothership.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Now, I have started attempting to make the alien fit into the silhouette, but this is going to take some time, and I'll be likely looking for someone proficient in zbrush to sculpt all (40 or so!) races at some point. In the meantime, I take the ships, namely starting remembering how to use Max by working on the strike craft.

    So I started with doing my own sketch, then set about building it.. and remembering that I used to like building boxes.. and curves kill me... unngh..
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    I am finding the top curvy bit particularly hard, but I eventually cut it out and think I've got an idea how I'm going to shape it, slightly differently from his original sketch. It also didn't occur to me during my own sketch, that the lines along his version's nose may have been a cockpit line. I liked the idea and have added one in. It is more segmented than I wanted but I was on tight timelines and I wanted to limit the poly count a bit for now!
  • MalScribbleMalScribble0 Posts: 0Member
    I'm really digging the idea behind this, but I'm not sure the name you've chosen would be appropriate, and only because of Unity?.

    Also, if you want to get more people involved, I'm not sure the retro look is what you really want, not that your designs aren't interesting.

    If you have any suggestions, I can sure come up with something at some point.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    I'm really digging the idea behind this, but I'm not sure the name you've chosen would be appropriate, and only because of Unity?.

    Also, if you want to get more people involved, I'm not sure the retro look is what you really want, not that your designs aren't interesting.

    If you have any suggestions, I can sure come up with something at some point.

    Unity as in the game engine or is there another thing? To be honest, even UNITI has been used, there is nothing new left which hasn't been done somewhere. I thought Unified Nuclei Incorporating Technology and Intelligence would have been fairly unique but meh... :)

    As for the designs, this is a design supplied by a contributor, which I'm turning into below-average 3D, hoping someone might come and replace one day, but these are just a single design ethic. I did a post in the SFM Discord with low poly versions of capital ships from 21 of the 'member' races but the official modern UNITI fleet design is going to be modelled around my old Alternate Star Trek design the Parallax, once half built by the mighty Medjai, and then Deks considered completing the mission but we all let real life happen. :) The 'Global Republic' stuff I did about 12 years ago is incorporated but is like '300 years before UNITI, this is what humans were flying around in'... I also have some rough idea scribbles for some of the neighbouring races too (alien silhouette and space ships) so I've got plenty more to bring to the table. :)
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Anyway, quick update on Danicon's Strike-craft. I have been slightly perturbed that Max refused to save the render background image on these files, so I just changed it to a black background but it still rendered on white... Well, all I've done is added headlights and started on a little docking station, since there's no way this design can just land! :)
  • MalScribbleMalScribble0 Posts: 0Member
    I love those designs!

    Your model is coming along well, too.

    I wasn't so worried that Unity (or UNITI) had been used, but since Unity is so popular right now, I would be afraid that your brand would be "polluted" or at least confusing for someone searching for it.

    Not exactly the same thing, but when David Tennant encountered the Cult of Skaro and the hybrid human/Dalek, it completely destroyed everyone's searches looking for images or merchandise for "real" Daleks. Suddenly, when you searched Dalek figures, you were getting almost exclusively results for that hybrid.

    I do love this idea and will try to contribute in the near future.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Heh, by the time I've got enough assets to encourage people in, whatever this current Unity craze is will be long forgotten. Is it a game? Am I being really out of touch with pop culture? :)
  • MalScribbleMalScribble0 Posts: 0Member

    I'll look it up in a sec, but I think it's a game format.

    I'm not a gamer, I just hear a lot about it in the 3d arena.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    I think you're talking about the Unity Game Engine. It's basically a kit for indie developers to build games on. Been around a little while so I'm comfortable it won't interfere. :)

    Haven't done any 3D modelling in the last couple of weeks due to holiday, work and setting myself up to start on a shapeways store.

    To keep you from dying of boredom, here is an attempt by me to learn to draw people, using a 10p biro. It's not brilliant but that's more the sketcher than the biro. :)

    This is a ship captain from around 55 years before the 'current' setting, Melanie Uhmposa. I'm sure with some filters and stuff I could make it look almost vaguely human.
  • MalScribbleMalScribble0 Posts: 0Member
    Far better at faces than I can do. When it came time to draw a nude model in my drawing class, my teacher asked me who that man was in my drawing. She was a female model.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Sorry for the absence folks, some stuff took priority in real life again, I hate how it keeps doing that to me!

    I wasn't entirely inactive during that time, though I keep opening Max, looking at the screen, sighing and then shutting it off! I need to get some energy going again! I have some time off work now, but going away without the big lump of a computer my old 3DS is on.

    In the meantime, here is some old cargo ship, I am cobbling together... I do not know why the background keeps going white...
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Going back in time, right to the beginning of manned space flight beyond the moon... The "Eden" class.... Or early bits of her. Two more pods, rotation mechanism and then external tanks to add yet.

    Figured out I had "alpha channel" ticked and that was why the background kept going clear, at least in thumbnails. Nice to be back in the black!
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Current WIP, which you may find a low poly version of in that ship line up. Given this item is less curved and more greeble-y, I'm finding it easier to get started.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Hello. I've half filled a lever arch folder with text, sketches, ideas, and fiddly bits. I haven't figured out how to make this interesting enough for more people to want to take part yet, stories, youtube videos, pictures and various things don't seem to have appealed (Even my attempts at paying people for work have not panned out!) Obviously the most important job opening is head of marketing. :p

    Anyway, here's some shots of the Eden. If anyone wants to model another 'realistic' design, 2 more came 80 years after this one. (And pre-date all other human ships in the IP)

  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Have been talking about doing a little smaller side story in the UNITI universe, so repurposed an old Star Trek Design I once did for an RPG group, coincidentally named the Unity! There might be some of the old pictures of it knocking around here in an ancient thread somewhere, but I redrew her to bring her into the UNITI space by making her more like the Parallax.
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Got back home and spent a good 25 minutes blocking her out in 3D. :) Now I don't know whether to do a proper model of her or simply use the blocked out version to draw over, for random pictures which will never amount to a web comic. =) jggpd7vngvnr.png
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Been thinking about internal placement of things. I'd -really- like to do a sort of messy-desk style walkthrough and internal build, but the gap between my skill level and those guys is pretty galactic. Still, playing around with some ideas.

  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Here, I have attempted to size weapons, and then show some of the internal layouts.

    Red is weapons (Turrets and launchers)
    Green is Tractor emitters and shuttle Bays
    Pink is fuel storage tanks
    Yellow is cargo bays
    Red-Wire is lift shafts
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla699 HelsinkiPosts: 2,761Administrator
    If you use the other button to attach your images, they'll show up inline. :) This one:
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
    Join our fancy Discord Server!
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Thought that's what I did, but I've reached the age where I can neither confirm nor deny.. Let's see the next set of pics and see if they work. :)
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    oooh, Coolhand liked my last pics. For you youngu'uns out there Coolhand is like the original uber-guy here and back in 2002 I was enthralled by all his Russian space fleets. He's probably gotten even better in that time whereas both me and my software have stayed the same. I do occasionally give Blender a try but everything feels counter intuitive and all other 3D applications now seem to be a rolling subscription. Maybe after I've paid off my -next- mortgage. :)

    Anyway, I've done more stuff since, like upgrading the landing gear.

  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Thanks Guerrilla the inline thing worked. Clearly I'm just simple. :#

    I restarted the lower hull and decided to make it one deck deeper, just because I wanted to fit more internal stuff in. Landing feet are placed around the base of the hull and underneath the side engines.


    Pretty sure most hardcore nitpickers will recognise she's unlikely to keep her balance or something but I'm happy enough that the rest of the landing capacity is hand-wavey Star-trek-level of Technology...ish


    Now to fill in all those cut outs and give the gears enough space to retract in to the hull for when she's flying. Then I did some work on the internals. These aren't really supposed to be 'nicely detailed' like the messy-desk crew manage or anything like that but they should be enough for me to understand where things are and make sure I have enough internal space.


    Here, for example, Deck 11 primarily has waste reclamation. They are big on recycling in the UNITI future, and essentially they take all the 'human waste material' and compost it down into stuff that can basically be turned into food, with the addition of some key elements. The UNITI doesn't have replicators as per Star Trek, where energy and matter are interchangeable, but they basically have it for matter, to the atomic level, so they essentially break down yer poop into component elements, then resequence them, add about 2% of 'new stuff' and then feed it back to you.

  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    edited March 2020 #26
    Last one for today, but here is the filled in bottom layer, or Deck 11 as we call her..


    This is all various forms of waste reclamation, recycling and some fluid tanks. The little tiny nubbin bits are Atmospheric scrubbers, which suck in air and clean it, then blow it out the other side. Again, there is some molecular cleansing and then storage and re-use here, where possible.


    Then on Deck 10 we have a little bit of corridor space and walling going on, with the lowest deck for the two main elevator shafts. These two shafts are the only ones that go almost all the way through the ship, most others tend to be 3-5 levels each (Which will mean in the event of catastrophic failure, no 700 metre lift plumments of death, which is good. Also slows down any invaders.

    some of the fluid tanks from Deck 11 had to go up through to this deck. There's a lot of fluid needs storing for long space journeys! A few atmo scrubbers on this deck too, and in reality all those doorways would have bulkheads. The internals of UNITI ships are a little more like submarines, in that they have a lot of physical walls, instead of forcefields, for when hull breaches occur.


    The two shuttles are roughly the size of Galaxy Class Type 6 shuttles, perhaps a tiny bit bigger. They fill up the main shuttle bay and this serves to remind us we have a small ship here, just 209 metres long if memory serves. There will be more shuttle/drone bays in the upper superstructure. Think of these as visitor shuttle bays.

    There's some funny looking stuff at the front there, those are the maintenance crawl-ways, or Maintways as we call them. These are just the bottom half of them as the top half crosses into the floor space of Deck 9. On the plus side, out of shot, there are also ladders to get up there.

    Post edited by Dannage on
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Hope everyone is surviving lockdown. I've been rebuilding some of the old ships, from my 'old' fleet.

    Funny thing is, the middle one of these took about an hour to build whereas I think the model it replaced took about 5, despite the fact that the replacement looks bulkier.




    I'd have put these on the discord but everytime I post anything on Discord Howie keeps flooding it with awesome Star Wars pictures. =)

  • japetusjapetus1537 SeattlePosts: 1,159Member
    Nice work, your modeling has improved!
  • lennier1lennier1509 Posts: 1,179Member
    Impressive craftsmanship!
    BTW: Now that Coolhand has "liked" your pictures you know that by SFM law you have to add a vending machine to your ship? :D
  • DannageDannage236 Posts: 634Member
    Thanks chaps, I'm largely redoing my 'very first' ships because I previously modelled them to look boxy, because I thought that was more primitive, but now I'm working off the basis that actually, they would have been more round and rocket shaped. At this stage they've -just- turned to vertical decks, because they've managed to negate acceleration gravity, but they still don't have anti-gravity yet, so they're flying round in zero g. :astonished:

    I had no idea there was a vending machine rule. Do I need to model the snacks?!
  • lennier1lennier1509 Posts: 1,179Member
    The vending machine was an old joke to illustrate the scale of his models.
    The snacks are more of an Insane Detail Club thing, different piece of SFM history. :D
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