I am so grateful to get a chance to talk to Mr. Kevin "Q" Quattro who worked in Star Trek Voyager's CGI department.
According to Mr. Kevin, Star Trek Voyager was created by a beta build of Lightwave (Build 283) never released to the public, technically it was version 5.7, then later Lightwave 6.0.
( Knowing small things like this makes me smile :-D )
I had wanted to create a video like this but never got real data from the show's production from an actual person...until now.
A small tribute to Vintage Lightwave, an observation of where Blender is now and the video ends with even more technical information on the difficulties faced by the masters back then as they pull off the CG miracle that is Star Trek Voyager consistently.
One main tip i can offer, it was very obvious at the first shot and a bit with the clouds. Voyager is a _big_ ship, those splashes in the water and the cloud move were acting like it was just a toy. The waves need to be slower and more disruptive and there needs to be more displacement of the clouds.
The water is a "cheat", there is no water simulation going on, it's Blender's Dynamic Paint, and you are right I should at least made the water react slower due to the perceive size of voyager.
As for the excellent cloud advise, I wish I could make the cloud interactive too, but I don't know how at the moment.
At the end of the video, you said you should learn Lightwave. I use Lightwave and love it. However, if you're doing that kind of work and it's looking that good in Blender, I'd stick with that. There's nothing much to be gained by learning Lightwave, unless you just want to learn it because if its historic significance. Other than that, Blender is where it's at. Blender is still in active development and is constantly getting new features, where there hasn't been a new version of Lightwave since 2020. The company that made Lightwave was purchased by another company in 2019 and it's possible that Lightwave 2020 will be the last version. Personally, I'm still on Lightwave 2018 because I like it and that's, as you said, when they introduced PBR.
Upon reading that you are using Lightwave, I went straight to your posts to see your lightwave adventures, and MY GOODNESS, you even used TrueSpace !!! It got me all excited !
And you even shared your models made in TrueSpace, now that's a legend right there !
I read your post "Strange Worlds" - it was quite a read, I am glad to know you are finding joy in 3D modeling again and nice to see Lightwave is still your first love compared to Blender, ultimately, it doesn't matter when we do, 3D or not, life is hard, whatever we can do to lie-to/inebriate ourselves that life still have some joy is what we should do until we inevitably die.
Hope to talk more about Lightwave and Blender with you if time and circumstance allow :-)
"Octane Render - now free for lightwave users"