ago, I finished
-class model, then-named USS Trafalgar
. A few months ago (mid October or so), I went to see what I could salvage out of the remnants of the files I still had after the hard drive failure I mentioned here
, and then proceeded to give the model a facelift. I didn't want to rebuild it entirely; instead, my goal was to fix mesh errors, correct (some) topology issues, update (or recreate, where they had been lost entirely) the textures, and overhaul the shaders based on all the stuff I had learned working on Coro
I ended up doing far more than I originally planned, but I feel good about the end result. Meet USS Aurora
Full list of updates:
- Fix nonmanifold geometry throughout
- Add glass to window portals
- Add ribs to deflector glass
- Add a mount point for the belly strobe light
- Recreate hull and stardrive "shells" to use as DataTransfer sources to correct normals
- Create a new, conformal escape hatch based on the higher-detailed escape hatch used in Star Trek: Generations (previous version was loosely based on Voyager's hatches)
- Remove some of the existing stardrive windows and replace them with others more consistent with the rest of the ship
- Fix UVs, especially on the saucer
- Switch textures to UDIMs
- Re-create all original texture masters in Krita (formerly, Photoshop), including layer comps
- Re-create all base color textures as vector files in Inkscape, sourcing colors from color-corrected photos of the studio model
- Re-create the nacelle texture from scratch
- Update the stardrive texture to remove some weird curves from the dark blue "grid" area
- Revise every material the model uses
- Ditch the Principled shader in favor of a custom-built shader mix network that uses "real" Fresnel to blend between Diffuse and Glossy, and also correctly accounts for microsurface apparent roughness falloff based on angle. Planning to write Wrote up a little guide on this one.
- Update escape hatch material to use deliberate, rather than random, numbering, the way I did for Coro
- Update all interior rooms to better match real-world lighting values, and to color-shift based on different alert statuses
- Investigate (with major credit to @PixelMagic for doing real-world empirical research) how the interference paints on the refit Enterprise actually work and integrate those findings into the hull material. Planning to write up a little guide on this one, too.
- Create a random-scatter "visual interest" texture mix that places small markings all over the hull (inspired again by an idea from @PixelMagic ). Yep, planning to do a little guide for this one, as well!
- Modernize the running light setup, based on Coro's
- Pull "decals" out into their own hull-hugging objects so they don't contribute to hull shader complexity
- Add a bunch of signage/registry illumination that I didn't have before and that didn't exist on the studio model, either
- Revisit the compositor mix I developed for Coro and further refine it
If I revisit the Ambassador
class again in the future, though, I am definitely
starting from scratch!