Greetings!

Welcome to Scifi-Meshes.com! Click one of these buttons to join in on the fun.

3DStar Wars Gladiator Star Destroyer environment/animation

xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
edited April 5 in Work in Progress #1
Hello again, sorry I don't use forums super regularly! At the start of the pandemic I started to make a Star Wars space battle animation and dropped off (old thread here). In the time since then I've gotten a lot better at a variety of things, and only my low poly TIE fighter model is really up to my current standards. That was also before Mandalorian Season 2 came out, so there's been lots of SW inspiration since.

So now I'm working on a new SW project: a narrated animation fairly inspired By ECHenry's ship videos (and Howard Day, Angelos Karderinis, Skyforge, and other talented SW fan artists work), just flying around and exploring a medium sized imperial ship, the Gladiator class Star Destroyer. So I've reigned in the complexity by taking away the space battle aspect and ramped up the amount of models needed. I've been working on a LOT of assets, making everything myself because I enjoy the modeling/texturing parts. So I'm going to dump a lot of stuff here and update periodically. Everything is WIP. The assets are all pretty low poly / realtime ready because my hardware's not great.

Animation will start with a lambda shuttle dropping out of hyperspace. I have a test animation of that.


7nl5ei6jemzb.png
73l2tdbm3j10.png


We'll get some shots of the lambda approaching the hangar and landing
6743emlrz50g.png
ewycoavgo8s3.png
9tnscbzr0ci6.png

Some shots flying over the star destroyer... It's important to me that I can fly right into/out of the hangar without having to cut to a separate high detail model of just a small section of the ship, I like continuous shots.
The Gladiator class is a 600m long ship from the old '80s droids cartoon, recanonized through more recent appearances like the Armada game. I don't love their design for it and might take some cues from The Mandalorian's light cruiser. It's between that and a real star destroyer in size. I have only roughly blocked it out, and photobashed some possible ideas. The SD and light cruiser here are just official photos, not my models or anything.
k67x3i58ntq8.png

The armada one has small hangars on the sides connected to the main flight deck, but the original cartoon version did not. Instead I will maybe add a very small hangar on the back for a TIE shuttle (the kind of ship Captain Needa took to the Executor in ESB. A fan design for it was canonized with the TIE Fighter Owner's Workshop Manual book that I'll mostly follow.)

We'll maybe fly over the bridge (I don't know if I want to do a detailed bridge interior because then I need realistic looking humans...) follow a TIE shuttle leaving that hangar, and also have a look inside a laser cannon gun deck in the side trench of the ship, based on the ones seen on the death star in ANH, with death star gunners and stormtroopers and a mouse droid. (the dirt here is also over the top and not well-placed)

uw688ijsyjf7.png

I haven't finished the stormtrooper models yet but here's his blaster:
50koiinq2m1u.png

I may also have a local ship and a couple of alien crew members visiting. I feel like one of the benefits of the gladiator would be impressing remote systems with a hangar large enough to park your ship inside, as opposed to the arquitens light cruiser or many smaller ships where you have to dock with them. I've been working on some alien models so I may use one of those. And a couple R4 droid colorschemes, the two on the left are based on imperial astromechs seen in the movies on the death stars.
03juukrllofh.png

So... I have a lot of stuff done, but also a lot to go. And again, everything is very low poly, between like 1000 and 10,000 tris for each asset. Details are textured on in Substance Painter, primarily by drawing a height map and then using procedural layer masks, no modeling any panels. Not for any good reason, sometimes it would be faster to just model and bake a mask or bake a height map for some of this stuff. But I'm kind of enjoying this workflow, it's kind of simple and meditative and satisfying. (Except for that pa'lowick alien above with the droids, that was a somewhat high detail sculpt in Blender and then retopology in Maya. Haven't rigged it, don't know if I will use it for this.)

Sorry it's a big post, I'm basically just throwing every Star Wars thing I've got into one big scene. Hopefully something nice comes out of it!
Post edited by xiaorobear on
Lizzy777wibble
«1

Posts

  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    This is an interesting looking project and I'm eager to see what is coming out of it. Don't really understand though why it isn't gaining more interest. Your models and animation are looking superb.
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited April 10 #3
    Thank you very much- I'm not worried about the level of interest, it will take me a long time to finish but it's rewarding enough for me to see how it's shaping up, especially compared to my work from a couple years ago. :)

    Here is a small test of a tiling texture for just the wide flat areas of the Gladiator hull (I think I might have the normals inverted...), as well as a basic camera move just showing the relative size and positions of things.

    giphy.gif
    (Higher quality link)

    And an early start on the TIE Shuttle and on the 'Death Star Gunner'

    zagslnkrgq6u.png
    gledvhht1uiq.png

    I'm also going to have a low-detail interior for the TIE shuttle, just to be seen from the outside. Here is a comparison of that (untextured, unfinished) with my TIE model, which is my oldest model I still consider good enough to use. Definitely makes a difference!

    jkho51mpfuhl.gif
    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    Lizzy777wibble
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    edited April 10 #4
    xiaorobear wrote: »
    I'm not worried about the level of interest, it will take me a long time to finish but it's rewarding enough for me to see how it's shaping up.

    That sounds like a healthy attitude. Seems like your models aren't the only inspiring thing in here.

    The cockpit definitely adds realism to the TIE, regardless how low poly it might be. Are you planning to build some for your other ships as well? They sure would benefit from it. Especially the Lambda shuttle, since it has such a wide window.

    Post edited by wibble on
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    wibble wrote: »
    Are you planning to build some for your other ships as well? They sure would benefit from it. Especially the Lambda shuttle, since it has such a wide window.

    You know, I really wasn't planning to until your comment... I decided to try one out. This one's a bit tricky because in the movies / even in the Mandalorian, the lambda shuttle glass is 100% opaque. I made a couple of tests, one without tinted glass (and a glitch where the background doesn't show thru the glass correctly), one with tinted glass, and neither are right yet.



    x89edobqizyz.png

    0khsra26lkwa.gif

    hb71kf50tlif.gif

    I think I'll probably tint the glass darker, but also increase the brightness of the interior material, so that you still get a hint of the very low poly forms in there. But right now it's too clear, especially when you see the wing through the glass. Maybe adding pilots will help too. Still, I've already done the hard part, I'll get it looking right soon.
    wibbleLizzy777
  • StarshipStarship349 São Paulo - BrasilPosts: 1,892Member
    Great work all around!
    I loved all that you showed us. Please, keep posting! B)
    xiaorobearwibble
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited April 13 #7
    Thank you, will do! Big updates will probably only come on weekends, but for now, I fixed the tinted glass. Still need to make an extremely low poly pilot, but here is a small test.

    ozpg1ctydvlr.png


    46p95x8p2yjg.gif


    And here is an extremely small sculpt for an imperial officer to be standing behind the pilot in there, also something I can reuse in windows of the star destroyer.

    a5c9elpzkxad.png


    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    Lizzy777wibblewolfman
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    I Love what you came up with. It really elevates this already pretty perfect design. You know, right after I posted I thought It might have been a bad Idea 'cause - like you pointed out, too - It's always 100% opaque on screen and it might just look wrong no matter what you do. I'm glad that you tried and hope you like the outcome as much as I do.
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited April 13 #9
    All thanks to you for the suggestion! For this one shot the level of detail might be overkill, but I'll have a couple others and I think it total it will all pay off. Here is how that dropping out of hyperspace shot from the original post is looking with the interior, imperial officer, and the current post-processing:





    And how the officer turned out, around 600 tris. TIE pilots will be next at this level of detail, for this and for the TIE shuttle.

    3u0aew4cxd4r.png

    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    wibbleLizzy777BrandenbergStarCruisersrspicer
  • ashleytingerashleytinger950 Central OhioPosts: 872Member
    Even just that little bit of cockpit as it flies by sells it.
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    I made a little TIE pilot (~900 tris, 512x512 textures) and I'm quite happy with him. Only problem is, you can't even see him unless the cockpit is absolutely blasted with light. But I'll find somewhere to show him off.

    2yngrzlxz1xv.png

    thr3khr6jpns.png

    axihuj40en0d.png

    cue9vxfixm37.png

    Lizzy777wibbleBrandenbergStarCruiserwolfman
  • ashleytingerashleytinger950 Central OhioPosts: 872Member
    If you kick up the reflection on him a bit it would make it stand out without blasting the light.
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited April 18 #13
    Yep, boosting reflection is definitely an option!
    Didn't get a ton done this weekend, but I am close to finishing the Zeta shuttle's textures, and also modeled and quickly textured an interior for it. This model really isn't meant to hold up even as close as the lambda, but even though the cockpit is extremely simple, that added depth will really help it out in moving camera shots. :)

    cdklee3ely4d.png
    c44d9fckc0f5.png

    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    Lizzy777ashleytingerwibbleBrandenbergStarCruiser
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    xiaorobear wrote: »
    Only problem is, you can't even see him unless the cockpit is absolutely blasted with light.

    If you don't want to blast the whole cockpit with light, what about a single additional light behind the pilot, not strong enough to effect the entire cockpit but strong enough to give him a bit contrast?
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited April 24 #15
    That is definitely a solution. I also might do a test just with a TIE turning or firing lasers- it's maybe not a bad thing if the pilot is only visible when the angle is just right or there is a bright flash.

    For now, this weekend I cut out the windows and made an interior for my TIE fighter. The exterior is a couple years old and was never meant to be seen up close, and isn't up to my current level of detail or texturing style. BUT, it still works pretty well, so I'll probably keep leaving it alone.

    giphy.gif

    Higher quality link

    And here is what the interior model looks like in substance painter viewport screenshots. Not super accurate, not super inaccurate.


    cdzeimyv7bft.png


    l5i7giqjr55w.png
    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    BrandenbergwibbleLizzy777ashleytingerrojrenStarCruiserwolfman
  • ashleytingerashleytinger950 Central OhioPosts: 872Member
    That looks fantastic.
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    Thanks!
    Very small update: I got a little closer to blocking out the final shape for the gladiator-class star destroyer, updated the scene lighting a bit and added the planet from that hyperspace shot.

    tvxafxr8xoil.png
    5kif1i0frclh.png

    wibbleLizzy777StarCruiser
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    As long as it is progress it doesn't matter how small it is. That planet looks great by the way. Is it of your own making?
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    wibble wrote: »
    That planet looks great by the way. Is it of your own making?

    Thanks! It kind of is. I found a NASA satellite photo of a dust storm and did some photoshop to it (mainly the spherize filter). Unfortunately it's not high res enough to fill the frame, especially because spherize exaggerates the size of the center, so I can only have it as a distant planet and not recreate SW planet shots.
    wibble
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited May 9 #20
    Another very very minor update- you may have seen above that my old TIE fighter model had too much grunge and not-quite accurate wing panels, so I updated its textures to get a touch more accurate.

    9xqice8qp2mr.png

    l6bqznjzrvwf.png

    m84uvi55pi4d.png

    gf4gvr2q6vvo.png

    Busy weekend, so that's all for now!
    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    [Deleted User]rojrenashleytingerLizzy777wibbleStarCruiser
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited May 24 #21
    Been a super busy time here, but I had a chance to work on another alien that I'll feature- a Bothan! There were a lot of different designs in Legends; I'm trying to average a couple of my favorites.

    Here is my progress so far:
    Sculpt (I just sculpted the mouth shut, I'm not very experienced with fur and didn't want to mess with the complexity of animating dog-like lips at the same time as trying to do fur):
    cxnyc7xbzmlr.png
    Retopo in Maya:
    d9cls6k3bc8z.png
    Skin texture in Substance Painter - I looked at a hairless deer pic for ideas :
    8gucijdndh7o.png
    Fur in progress in Blender - I don't like doing stuff that isn't software agnostic or realtime-ready... but I tried to do hair cards for a SW alien once before and didn't get great results, so this is using Blender's hair particle system and doing very expensive renders:
    3hhpkkhx9zvt.png
    g0k3m59jw1sn.png

    I still need to make some nice eyes, those are currently just black spheres in there. And then hopefully I can just slot the head onto a generic flightsuit body and have an alien, ready to be detained by the Empire! For just a couple of shots, and then I can go back to low poly hard surface stuff that renders fast.



    Edit: Added eyes and eyelashes. Just for testing purposes I dropped some pilot accessories from a previous project around him, but he'll have a different full-body outfit later.
    ap7s7ushkvjn.png

    Alien friends!
    6f67wipyzhim.png
    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    StarCruiserLizzy777wibbleWarp Propulsion LaboratorywolfmanNathan Rubric
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    Well, there isn't much to say here other then how great everything is looking. Especially your aliens are amazing.
    Seriously your thread is the most interesting for me around here in the moment. I'm always looking forward to the weekends when you have new progress to show.
    I wonder when your story is taking place in Star Wars history? Is your Bothan just any Bothan or is he one of the many Bothan Spy's who had to die to bring the Rebel Alliance the information they needed for theirs attack in Episode VI?
    xiaorobear
  • StarshipStarship349 São Paulo - BrasilPosts: 1,892Member
    The alien criatures are amazing!
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited May 29 #24
    Thank you very much for the kind comments! I am in a funny bind where the aliens are the most impressively unique thing I have to offer (there are many fan animations with half a dozen different ships, but few with half a dozen different aliens). But at the same time I am not very experienced with rigging and animation, and animating characters is much more time consuming than animating ships, so the more aliens I make the harder I make finishing things...

    I think I will only show animated aliens in about 2 shots on this project, 1 medium, one wide, with a small group of aliens being escorted off their ship in the star destroyer's hangar bay by a couple of stormtroopers. But if this animation goes well, I will have them around for future use.


    wibble wrote: »
    I wonder when your story is taking place in Star Wars history? Is your Bothan just any Bothan or is he one of the many Bothan Spy's who had to die to bring the Rebel Alliance the information they needed for theirs attack in Episode VI?

    Thanks for asking! The scope of the animation I have in mind doesn't require committing to a specific time slot, but it will be either
    1. Years before ANH, in the time period of the Droids cartoon and the Obi-wan show)
    2. Years after RotJ, in the Mandalorian/Imperial Remnant time period
    3. Or I guess contemporaneous with the OT, but that's less interesting to me.

    No matter what, the key feature of the setting is that it's in a more unimportant region, where older tech might still be around. I liked in that one Rebels episode how a naive rebel teen mistook a light cruiser for a Star Destroyer because he'd never seen one– in my setting, this regional imperial force would hope to project imperial power with their lone 600m Gladiator-class, without locals realizing that it's really a second rate mini-star destroyer that wouldn't be taken seriously in the core worlds.

    The benefit of this is that I can do whatever story or ship variants without running up against canon. If an imperial ship is inaccurate I can just say that this remote posting has been maintaining their force with local parts, so things are no longer standard-issue. I don't need to make any larger ships or large fleets, I can just keep things small scale and flexible. So, not tackling the famous bothan spies, just having a random bothan for fun.

    If this animation, which really is just an overview of the gladiator class ship with a few small vignettes taking place in and around it, with some in-universe narration, goes well, then I would follow up with a space battle, either with rebels or with some other faction (I like Hapan Battle Dragons from legends, so a fight with Hapan forces could be cool. But unfortunately, they're humans, which are less interesting, and I don't want to animate humans. Maybe I can do an alien pirate force with a stolen Hapan ship, similar to how in the droids cartoon a pirate force had a stolen star destroyer.)

    As for this weekend's updates, I'm allllmost done with my TIE shuttle model- here is a cheesy fake miniature-looking render.

    1widbfeifklo.png

    After a few more greebles and stuff, I'll be able to texture it very quickly with the same substance painter smart material setup as the TIE fighter revision (and the same pilot/cockpit textures). So hopefully it'll be all done tomorrow and I'll be back with some nice renders.


    Edit: Oh also I'm doing a mynock too.

    93vi3s7ywv0e.png

    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    StarCruiserLizzy777wibble
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    edited May 29 #25
    xiaorobear wrote: »
    So, not tackling the famous bothan spies, just having a random bothan for fun.

    Ha well, if that means he might survive this, I'm all for it. ;)

    And speaking of "impressively unique things", your work might be the first fan made work with a mynock. Very intriguing.

    Post edited by wibble on
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    wibble wrote: »
    your work might be the first fan made work with a mynock. Very intriguing.

    Bizarre, isn't it? I don't really get why they haven't shown up more- even in official movies/shows, I'd expect one to be attached to a beat-up ship just as a fun little reference, but there's none.

    Anyway, I textured and did a couple test renders of mine- had to leave the background on to show the slight transparency of the wings. TIE shuttle hopefully later tonight.

    zd9am539wwku.png
    ja02ntdmec7n.png
    wibbleLizzy777StarCruiserwolfmansrspicer
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    Lovely little beast.
    xiaorobear wrote: »
    Bizarre, isn't it? I'd expect one to be attached to a beat-up ship just as a fun little reference.

    Now that you mention it I would say the same, but to be honest, I never thought about them very much as well.

    It might be because canon is mostly considered as some sort of natural law. Meaning on screen they have been seen in the belly of a space slug and so it's law that you have to be in the belly of a space slug to encounter them. Even though the fact alone that Lando and Leia knew what they were, means that they also have to exist somewhere else. I always considered them as the Star Wars version of a marten. Always hungry and with an appetite for cables and wires.

    Are you doing this just for fun or are you planning to have it in your animation as the aforementioned fun little reference? In any way it's nice to see them getting a bit attention.

    xiaorobear
  • scifiericscifieric979 Posts: 1,361Member
    This is all VERY cool! Well done! I want to see more!
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    edited June 5 #29
    Thanks very much! I'll keep chipping away at it...
    wibble wrote: »
    ...they also have to exist somewhere else. I always considered them as the Star Wars version of a marten. Always hungry and with an appetite for cables and wires.

    Ah, this also made me remember that Solo has a throwaway line about Mynock Roasts on Ardennia, so they are indeed known.
    Are you doing this just for fun or are you planning to have it in your animation as the aforementioned fun little reference? In any way it's nice to see them getting a bit attention.

    One will be in one of the small vignettes. I want to give a small reason why we often see stormtroopers/spacetroopers stationed outside on imperial space stations and ships, so I'll have a spacetrooper shoot a mynock that hopped from a local freighter to chew some power cables on the side of the star destroyer, and then have to go clean it up. Will make some extra closeup-ready greebles for them to be on.
    Here was a random test screenshot of the mynock on the lambda shuttle, with everything to scale, and the lambda geo is nowhere near detailed enough to hold up in a shot like this.

    m4afrvv5jjau.png

    Time for another mid-weekend update- I've been up to a few things: trying to finish the last 5% of texturing on the Zeta shuttle (just a few places are still unpaneled, and then I need a little bit of color variation)

    0pbprx321bff.png

    I started texturing the TIE Shuttle, but haven't gotten very far yet. As you can see I only model stuff that affects the silhouette, adding panel details and things in just the texture. So, bit more work to do all over the ship to get that down.

    j6zujnuxt9hb.png


    After a couple of tests, I also started composing background music for the animation. I've always had a slight interest in making music but don't have any music theory knowledge/training or anything, and previously haven't been able to make anything high enough quality. But for this animation it's all just background, nothing that needs to be timed with action or anything. At present I don't want to spend the money to properly compensate a composer and wouldn't ask someone to do it for free. So, doing it myself, and I think it's going well. Just slightly happier variations on the Imperial March, that will have narration over it.

    Here is a twitter video with placeholder narration and just random test clips as seen earlier in this thread... because it's easier to share video than audio. Just trying to get an idea of what things could be like.

    Maybe tomorrow I will finish texturing one of those two ships!
    Post edited by xiaorobear on
    Lizzy777StarCruiserwibblesrspicer
  • wibblewibble453 Posts: 268Member
    edited June 8 #30
    Ha =) : "You will see the Stars, they said. You will experience indescribable adventures on strange new worlds, they said. You will be a hero defending the empire, they said. But all I have to do is hunting Mynocks outside the ship and take care they don't forget me before jumping to hyperspace."

    The Zeta is looking great. Just wondering if the wings are moveable or will you just show it in landing position?
    The colour of the TIE Shuttle looks a bit too dark and too blue for my taste right now, but I don't want to judge before we see the whole thing.
    Post edited by wibble on
    xiaorobear
  • xiaorobearxiaorobear350 Posts: 121Member
    Yes, the wings are separate objects and are rotateable... just reveals more surface area that needs paneling, hah. Next weekend!

    1adae9v2l1je.png
    wibblesrspicerStarCruiserLizzy777
Sign In or Register to comment.