After following Avian's excellent Jupiter 2 thread, and seeing JWWright's comment on seeing a version of the Season 1 Jupiter 2, I decided to give it a go. I will switch between this model and my Millenium Falcon
to give me a bit of a break.
The Jupiter 2 is one of those classic designs I have always loved, and this will now be my third model of it. This time around though, I plan on going for being as accurate as possible with it.
Lost In Space (LIS) was originally done as a pilot (which never aired) by Irwin Allen. There was no B9 robot or Doctor Smith in it. It was just the Robinson Family and Major West. Their spaceship was called the Gemini 12, a one level design which was supposed to take the family to Alpha Centauri. The studio liked the pilot, but called it a bit boring and needed to spice it up a bit. Thus the character's of Doctor Smith and the robot were born. The Gemini 12 became the Jupiter 2, a multi-level craft which could better house the family on it's voyages. The exterior of the ship was slightly altered and some elements were changed on the flight deck (like adding an airlock!).
The pilot episode was broken up and a lot of the footage was used in the first 4 or 5 episodes. So, whenever you saw exterior space shots of the Jupiter 2, it was actually the Gemini 12. Even some interior shots were reused, like whenever Smith and the Robot were not in the scene.
So, for this project, I will be modelling the Jupiter 2, and not the Gemini 12. Exterior changes that were made for the Jupiter 2 will be incorporated into my model. Interior will be as close to the 1st season as possible. For instance, there was no center console in the Season 1 Jupiter 2. Instead, that was used to house the pilot's chair. It would fold up and slide into the center console. The Gemini 12 had a raised floor around the perimiter of the flight deck. Someone had mentioned it in Avian's thread and I confirmed it in the videos. The Jupiter 2 did not have the raised floor, so mine will be flat.
Now, on to the modeling!
I first started by getting the hull profile as accurate as I could, based on some blueprints and photographs of the studio 4 foot Jupiter 2 model. I then built the interior 8 wall dividers to determine the correct size and location of the cockpit windows and hatch. This gave me the correct width for the windows (which didn't line up with the drawings) and placement of the hatch (which also didn't line up with the drawings). So far, everything is just roughly modelled so I can get things in the correct place. I will worry about beveling edges and stuff like that a bit later.
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I often lurk on these boards admiring the scale and complexity of (especially) the Star Trek models and I think about how seemingly simple the old Jupiter 2 is by comparison. But she's got some subtle lines and proportions that just have to be correct, and you nailed the profile perfectly. I'm looking forward to seeing more!
I know what you mean about getting into that obsessive spiral. Been there many, many times. Just ask my wife!
The profile is one of the most import parts of the J2. It is amazing how different it can look on the different blueprints. I used to have the blueprints drawn by Shane Johnson, the Alpha Control Technical Manual and another set of blueprints (can't remember who did them though). I had the Lunar Models 16 inch kit and the Polar Lights model kit. Money was tight a few years ago, and had to sell all that stuff. Wish I had it now!
You've got that right! I spent the weekend reworking some of the exterior in order to reconcile it with the interior.
I've been working on roughing in some of the interior pieces to make sure everything was going to fit properly. The 'wall dividers with light panels' can only fit in one spot, so that was a no brainer, although I had to alter the depth of the bottom of the dividers based on photos of the placements of the freezing tubes. I modelled the airlock interior hatch based on original blueprints. It fit perfectly into my airlock and looked correct. However, when I modelled the communications panel and storage locker, there was way too large of a space between it and the airlock. Again, using photographs and clips from the show, I reworked them in order to better match the TV show. This meant I had to relocate the porthole and widen the exterior hatch and airlock a slight amount. Things are looking better now. This does indeed prove Buckaroohawk's point!
Applied some basic materials to see what things will look like. The reflections and AO add quite a bit to the render times, but lI really ike the way it looks.
Oh, and don't forget that in the 3rd season of "Lost in Space" they added a third level to the Jupiter 2. It was a small Engineering/Control Room located under the lower level (where the sleeping quarters were). If I remember correctly it was only seen once when Will had to go down and do something that would save the ship from exploding or something like that. It was only accessible by a ladder along the back wall; a ladder that mysteriously appeared for just that one episode then vanished again. Also, I'm curious how you are going to reconcile the layout of the second level with the location of the ship's landing gear?
Am I opening too many cans of worms here? If so, just tell me to keep my geek mouth shut. ;-)
I know what you mean! I have a Quad Core 2.6 GHz cpu and some of the renders are already taking around 2 hours with reflections and AO turned on. I've recently bought an e-book on digital lighting, so I am hoping there will be some tips in there for proper lighting while cutting down on render times.
I remember seeing that episode when I was a kid with the infamous 3rd level. Amazing how they could pack so much stuff into such a small ship! Luckily, I am just doing the Season 1 version of the J2.
I've been thinking about how I could add a second level to the ship and what I think I might do, is to separate the outer hull into two objects, Upper and Lower halves. The lower deck and lower hull will be controled by an On/Off user control. That way, if there is an exterior shot, the lower hull will be turned on and the lower deck will be off. As I move into the upper flight deck, the lower hull will be turned off and the lower deck turned on. That way, I could have a single continuous shot of going inside the ship through the airlock, cross the upper flight deck, and travel down the ladder or elevator to the lower deck. It would be totally seamless on screen. At least that's the current plan.....
Nah, you're not a geek... yet. If you had told me that the call numbers on the side of the space pod were actually Irwin Allen's office phone number, then I would have called you a geek. Crap! Now I am a geek...
OMG, is that true? That's funny.
Keep going Al! Looking great so far. I have lots of info on the saucer that I'd be happy to share if you ever need it, although I suspect you are a bigger geek than me regarding LIS and you probably already have what you need.
Regarding render times, it seems like two hours is excessively long. However, I don't know much about Cinema 4d or Lightwave if that's what you are using so I could be off base here. I am using my old home computer for my LIS build (P4, 1.6GHz with 1.5 G of RAM) and my longest render is about 18 minutes. I try to keep them in the 2-5 minute range for the animations so I can run off a test overnight. Granted, I'm using simple area lights which aren't the greatest but they work well for WIP shots.
From what I read, it is supposed to be true!
Thanks Avian. I will keep your offer in mind should I need anything else. A few days ago, I order the Alpha Control Technical Manual (4th Edition). Should be getting it n a week or so.
Yeah, the render times are way too long. It is fine for a still image, but would not be feasible for doing any animations. I can always cut back on the anti-aliasing settings to help speed things up. The 2 hour render had really high settings. Eliminating the AO will also help cut down render times. I really like your lighting and materials/textures you are using.
I think I am done with the rough positioning of the different interior parts. So, now I can start working on the details. The existing parts still need to be tweaked, but everything is positioned where I want them.
This is the part that I look forward to doing. I've started working on the detailed parts. The first piece I am working on is the Electrodata Cabinets that sit on top of the flight consoles. They were also used in the Alpha Control control room.
As I mentioned earlier, I am going to try and be as detailed and accurate to the first season as I can. There are a ton of little lights on these things, and I hope to be able to have them dynamically animated. Just have to figure out how to do that in C4D.
Finished modeling and texturing the Electrodata B205 Cabinet. I was lucky enough to find two different Yahoo groups that had measured drawings taken from the original props, as well as close up photos of the markings on the panels. This was incredibly helpful in labeling the different panels and controls.
Based on screen grabs from Season 1, the center and right consoles, did not have any type of meter in the upper right corner of the panel. The left console would sometimes have the 'comsic radiation' meter and sometimes not. And this would happen in the same episode. I don't think they were reusing the pilot clips, but I can't think why it would appear in one shot, but not the other.
The render on the left was done without AO and took 4 seconds to render. The one on the right had AO turned on and took 6 minutes and 45 seconds to render. The AO may look better and will probably use it for a final still render, but for animations, AO is definitely out.
I know that a lot of the show's props were actual electronic components from various sources, but I am astounded at how much work went into altering them for cameras so that they seemed logical aboard a spaceship. I doubt many TV shows of that era ever went into such detail.
I found a pic of this, for example. It's the Robot's control panel located on one of the consoles on the lower level. It was probably rarely, if ever, shown close-up, but someone in the art department made sure it made some sense.
That is a great find Avian! It would have to have been an extreme close-up shot to have any of that text readable on the TV sets of the 1960's. It is nice to see that there was such a great amount of attention to detail.
Started working on one of the flight consoles. This is the radar unit. I don't think I have the blue lights quite correct. On the blueprint, it was labeled as an aircraft lamp. It looked like a regular lamp the way it was drawn, but in the screen shots from the series, they don't quite look like lamps. Need to get some better reference on those.
Got a bit more done on the flight console. Got the 'Lift Off Rockets' panel done and started on the 'Sage' panel. Not sure why it is called the Sage panel though. Still have some more to do on it, like knobs and lights and a couple more switches.
Had some time to finish the right flight control panel and mount it into the console. The left control panel is completed as well, as it is the same as the right control panel except the layout being a mirror image. Will work on that tomorrow (well actually later today).
I think I am going to have to add more RAM to my computer and switch to a 64 bit OS. I've started getting 'Out Of Memory' errors. I guess going high detail has it's price...
Worked on the Communications Station. Have a bit of work to do around the storage room door and need to find some reference for what is actually inside the recessed area in between the two sage panels. Smith smashes that glass, but I have not seen any good closeups of what is actually under the glass.
I've been working on the freezing tube stations. They were a bit harder than I thought they would be, but am pretty happy with them so far. Had to rescale the tubes that I originally had and then work on the wall panels in behind them. Need to rework some of the controls behind the tubes and a few other little details.
I always liked this set as well. It had a very functional and seemingly spacious design...though I was always a little dubious of having the freezing tubes in such an unsecure environment. I also felt that the piloting controls were too low to the floor, but I think they did that so they could have that nice big window in the front to showcase the environment outside the ship. Which leads me to a question: Does anyone know if the Jupiter 2 interior set and the planetary exterior (of whatever planet they inevitably crashed on) was all on one soundstage, or were transitions from the inside of the ship to the outisde done through clever film editing?
I agree with you Buckaroohawk. I've loved the J2 set since I first saw it as a kid. The freezing tubes, although kind of neat, were hardly ever used after the crash in the first season. And as an adult looking back on it, standing while "frozen" inside the tube is really impractical. For the amount the ship was tossed around while they were in the tubes, they never seemed to bounce off the insides at all.
As for the Jupiter 2 upper level set, I believe it was integrated into the exterior planet set as well. I remember reading about how the J2 was built with fly-away sections so pie slices could be removed to make room for the camera. You can see on some planet shots right in through the view port and hatch that the interior upper level set was there.
It's been a while since I've been able to work on this, due to work and being away on a training course. So, the update isn't a lot other than finishing off the astrogator.
Here are some of the meshes I've used in POSER. I've got the Space Pod, Jupiter 2, and Chariot. They don't hold a candle to the model in this thread.