Greetings!

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

3DU.S.S. Trafalgar, Ambassador class

2456711

Posts

  • mattcmattc180 Perth, AuPosts: 321Member
    Coming along nicely.

    M.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Thanks, mattc!

    Spent the last couple of hours fixing the mistake I made in the ventral grids. I also decided to end them just before the saucer sensor array, since I think this looks better. Smoothing is back on for this one, which is why the grids look rumpled.

    ambassador_2012-09-23-1342.jpg
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Here's my plan for the deck layout, which will have a direct impact on where I place the ship's various windows. The layout is based on a combination of Jackill's Ambassador deck plan, as well as Padsbrat's outstanding version. I liked the overall feel of Padsbrat's layout more than Jackill's, so these heights are closer to his.

    deck_heights.jpg

    The heights assume a ship length of 478.5 meters, which is the "retro-canon" length that Drex and friends settled on. The original published length was 526 meters.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    This took way longer than it ought to have. Here's the culmination of the last 4.5 hours' worth of work.

    ambassador_2012-09-26-0208.jpg

    It's not quite as bad as I make it sound, though. I spent a lot of time trying to decide exactly how I wanted to place windows, how large I wanted them to be, what pattern to follow, and so on. These windows are meant to be a sample of what I have in mind. Ultimately, there will be an actual room behind each set of windows; right now, it's just an emissive plane.

    Some random thoughts, since I'm too tired to string them together.
    • I like the windows splitting the shield grid. I think that makes for some nice visual interest.
    • I need to re-do the windows in this render; I got over-zealous cleaning up the boolean detritus and removed some vertices that I actually need. That's what that gouge on the left of the window section is.
    • These windows are the aft-most windows on G Deck.
    • Cleaning up booleans is slow and tedious.
    • Preparing the saucer by removing shield grids is also slow and tedious. Probably worth going back to an earlier save and grabbing the pre-gridded saucer to pull polygons from.
    • Figured out a way to fix the smoothing issues: simply split the faces from one another.
    • The upper surface of the Ambassador saucer is shallow enough that many of the windows on the studio model must represent skylights, and some of them are likely in locations that would not be accessible due to the extreme slant near the top of the saucer. My saucer will likely have fewer and larger windows than the studio model did.
    • Giving some thought to terminating the shield grid a little more nicely around C Deck, rather than just having it go right up to the base. This render really highlights how ugly that looks.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    McC wrote: »
    [*]Cleaning up booleans is slow and tedious.

    Yes, yes it is. :rolleyes:


    Yeah, you've got a bit of a mess there. Going back to an earlier save is definitely the way to go. I always save my projects in "stages" so that I can do that if something goes FUBAR. ;)
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Yeah, you've got a bit of a mess there. Going back to an earlier save is definitely the way to go. I always save my projects in "stages" so that I can do that if something goes FUBAR. ;)
    Though Blender supports save revisions, it doesn't have an unlimited number of them (why?!). However, it does have a nifty feature in the save dialog where simply pressing the + key will increment any trailing number in the filename. So, for example, I started this with ambassador001.blend. Each time I save, I just hit Ctrl S, +, then Enter and it auto-increments the name and saves the file.

    I'm up to ambassador105.blend. :D

    Here's a new render with the windows fixed, including rooms behind them! The rooms only have a flat emissive on them right now, but I'll map them to actually have set photos in the future. Y'know, when I get around to texturing.

    ambassador_2012-09-26-1558.jpg

    I also went ahead and cleaned up the grid lines around C deck, going with the swept-back pattern that some of the hull markings have. This should create a nice repeated motif once I texture the thing, first in hull features and then in painted features.

    Edit: Aaaand I'm dumb. Just found out about the Edge Split modifier. :argh: My future renders shouldn't have any smoothing issues. :D
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Now we're cooking with gas!

    ambassador_2012-09-26-2139.jpg

    Some fiddly details:
    • Each window is 1m tall, and sits 1m off the floor of the deck. That makes the top of each window 2m above the deck floor.
    • These are the smaller of the two window sizes; the larger windows will (probably) be 1.3m tall, starting at the same height above the deck.
    • The window frame has a 1.5cm inset/inner bevel.
    • The window frame is extruded 30cm into the hull.
    • The G deck windows follow a repeating pattern, starting from the bow axis: 3, 1, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, repeat. Other decks will likely follow repeating patterns as well, though each deck will be unique.

    Total time spent on the first windows: 4.5 hours / 8 windows ~ 1.8 windows/hour. :(
    Total time spent on this update: 1.3 hours / 114* windows ~ 85 windows/hour :thumb:
    * there are actually double this number, when you account for mirroring, but I didn't exactly do any work to make those.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    That's looking great. It's good that you found a better way to do things.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    That's looking great. It's good that you found a better way to do things.
    Thanks, evil_genius_180!

    I managed to get the Deck F windows in tonight, as well. The 1.3m tall windows looked absurdly long for this deck, so I went with the 1m instead, but increased the width by 30%. The grouping pattern for these was 0 2 0 2 2 0 2 0 2 0 2 0 (a 0 indicates an untouched panel, a 2 indicates two windows in a panel), starting at the front of the saucer and working backwards.

    ambassador_2012-09-27-0031.jpg

    There's something a little weird going on in this one in the grid corners around Deck F. I think it's a material mis-assignment issue. I went through all of the various pieces and cleaned up duplicated materials. I was probably a bit too overzealous with some of them.

    Unfortunately, I can't keep working late into the night, on account of having to work tomorrow. ;)
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Another update? What could it be? Why, yes, it is even more windows!

    ambassador_2012-09-27-2107.jpg

    These are the Deck E windows, and are actually the last windows I'll be putting into the upper saucer proper. These are only half a meter tall -- more portholes than windows, really. They have the same relative height off the deck floor that the Deck G windows do. I also swapped the temporary room color from green-brown to blue-white.

    The huge disparity in the number of windows in my version versus the studio model really highlights the difference actually considering deck heights makes. Deck D isn't getting any windows because the saucer slope at that level is so extreme that there's likely to be a lot of dead space. Jeffries tubes, perhaps?

    Not sure what I'm moving onto next. I could continue doing saucer windows, switch to different saucer details, actually model the damn bridge, or freeze other pieces of the hull. Thoughts?
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Bridge! C Deck windows and rooms! All of this geometry frozen and ready for detailing!
    ambassador_2012-09-29-1254.jpg

    I actually did this last night, but it was getting late when I kicked off the render. I had received a directive from the wife that I should not stay up until 5am, which also meant I should not come to bed at 4:30 saying, "What, it's not 5!" So, I went to bed around 3:30 instead. ;)

    This required a ton of tweaking to the cage I had, and that little collar around the bridge was a major pain in the ass. I'm also considering re-doing the bridge section again to make it better match the actual set they used (and maybe also stubbing in a rough model of said set). I don't want to, because it was a pain the first time, but I also don't want to "finish" the model and then look back on the bridge as a weak point.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Man, I haven't posted since last month! :D

    ambassador_2012-10-01-2212.jpg

    I decided everything from the previous post needed to be redone, which is what I've spent the last few days doing. Deck C's topology now flows along its actual lines much better, and I gave the bridge a complete overhaul. This started with mocking up a very rough version of the interior, based on a floor plan and an orthographic diagram. Once I had the rough shape in place, I altered my original polygons to match it. The "collar" around the bridge now encompasses the turbolifts on either side, and the overall height of the bridge matches the shape of the room, including the viewscreen. I drew a lot of inspiration from the refit Enterprise here. Added some running lights for fun, too, inspired both by the refit Enterprise and the circular shapes on the reference images I'm using. They didn't make sense as windows.

    I'm also experimenting with materials a bit, which is what the flecks in the hull are. This was a hastily-adapted car shader I found after some Googling. Obviously, it needs some more work. ;) I'm aiming for something like Prologic's refit Enterprise, which has a really nice material quality to it.

    Fun fact: according to ManicTime, I've spent over 100 hours on this ship so far.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    That's looking really good, better than what you did previously.
    McC wrote: »
    Man, I haven't posted since last month! :D

    Thanks, I needed a good chuckle. :lol:
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Did some more last night, but went to bed before they finished rendering.

    ambassador_2012-10-02-1127.jpg
    ambassador_2012-10-02-1149.jpg

    I added some additional spotlights to the inset area that runs along the bridge. I love the resulting effect. Reminds me of the Nautilus from the Disney version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

    I also did some quick-and-dirty UV mapping on the room interiors, using two set photos. I need to color-balance them so the difference between the two isn't quite so obvious! I also tweaked the hull material a bit. I'm not really sure what I'm ultimately going for, which doesn't help me get there!

    The windows for B Deck, including the conference room, are all in now, as well. I'm going to actually do a low-res model to fill the conference room, but right now it's just empty, which is why I didn't do a render from that angle.

    With the B Deck windows in place, all of the windows on the saucer upper surface are done. I'll (probably) put the rim windows in next, and then see about putting in the rest of the saucer detailing. I'm also probably going to add a grid line back in edgeward of G Deck windows. It looks a little too plain right now.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    One more small update before bed tonight. Didn't have much time this evening to work on it, since the wife and I went to see Looper (which we both very much enjoyed!).

    ambassador_2012-10-03-0004.jpg

    Added a grid line back in beneath the G Deck windows, so that that doesn't look so bare, and cut in the window pattern for the forward lounge area. This pattern isn't based on the studio model at all (it just has four regularly-space windows here), but rather the wacky window pattern in the "Gus" schematics, which I thought was charming enough to use for the lounge.

    It's using a photo of the E-D's Ten Forward set. :D
  • VALKYRIE013VALKYRIE013546 Posts: 1,473Member
    yeah I based mine of Gus's before I found out its wacked... owell :)

    Looks great sir!
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    Looking great. :D

    I want to see Looper, but I'm waiting for the DVD.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    Looking great. :D

    I want to see Looper, but I'm waiting for the DVD.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Thanks, VALKYRIE013 and evil_genius_180!

    ambassador_2012-10-04-2338.jpg

    Small update tonight. Been having a somewhat busy week, which translates into less modeling time. Windows along the saucer rim are now in place. Curiously, there's room enough for a second deck there, but no windows for a second deck on the studio model. I'm reluctant to put more in, though, because I think it'd make the rim look too crowded. Guess the folks on Deck I just don't get any windows!

    I think I'll stop with the windows for a bit and do some other saucer detailing for a while. Getting a bit tired of doing the exact same thing every time I open up Blender.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Finally, something that isn't an update about windows!

    ambassador_2012-10-05-2141.jpg

    Added some detailing to the saucer dome inspired by that of the refit Constitution, caps for the turboshafts on either side of the bridge, as well as exterior access ports for them (sadly, you can't actually see the doors in this render, but they are there!), and started roughing in the machinery behind the bridge.
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    An update that's not about Windows? Is it about Linux? :lol:

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    It's looking great. :D
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    An update that's not about Windows? Is it about Linux? :lol:

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
    I actually run Linux on my laptop. :cool: If my laptop had more oomph, I could easily hop between my Windows workstation and my laptop to work on this, with Blender being open source/cross-platform and all. Alas, my laptop is old enough at this point that I think it would set itself on fire if it tried.
    It's looking great. :D
    Thanks! :D

    ambassador_2012-10-06-0314.jpg

    One more update for the night/weekend! I made some refinements to some of the details from the previous render, as well as adding in some more little panel bits. It's amazing how rectilinear shapes with rounded corners make something feel more Trek-ish. These are not, in fact, escape pods -- they're much smaller than the actual escape pods, though they have a similar shape and hue. Based on their placement, they can't really be single-use pods, either. Emergency life support access hatches, perhaps?

    The refinements made to the existing details:
    • Softening the hard rim on the turboshaft caps
    • Making the turboshaft access alcove insets vertical, rather than shape-conformal.
    • Insetting the turboshaft access doors slightly so that they're easier to distinguish from the surrounding wall panel.

    Plan for the next update: more panels! There are subtler grid-lines that go all around Deck B in interesting configurations. I'm thinking of leaving the bridge more or less as-is at this point, with the expectation that texturing will provide it more visual variety and interest once I get there.

    In case anyone is curious, I'm coming up on 115 hours spent on this so far (according to ManicTime) since 8/13, which works out to an average of about 2 hours per day.
  • StarscreamStarscream230 Posts: 1,049Member
    Gotta be honest, I'm not a big fan of the spotlights, either in style or numeracy: The top ones are pretty superfluous (and if I'm not mistaken the original bridge had portholes not spotlights), and are eating into the bridge space somewhat; and although deck 2's spotlights are a nice placement, they're a bit too... spotty. Right now I keep expecting them to pulse on and off to the beat of some awful disco music! :D I'd suggest referring to the Enterprise refit's details for a less retro look.

    Everything else? Superb. :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    Looking good. I've seen unofficial schematics claim that those thingies are sensors, but who really knows? You could always try to contact Rick Sternbach and pick his brain as to what they are. ;)
    McC wrote: »
    I actually run Linux on my laptop. :cool: If my laptop had more oomph, I could easily hop between my Windows workstation and my laptop to work on this, with Blender being open source/cross-platform and all. Alas, my laptop is old enough at this point that I think it would set itself on fire if it tried.

    Sounds like my laptop. It's not a beast, so I have Peppermint OS (Linux) on there and it runs WAY more quickly and smoothly than Win7 64-bit, which is what came on there. I've thought about using it for modeling, but there's no way. It's good for other stuff when I'm away from my desktop but not modeling. I also run Peppermint on my desktop (I'm running it now) and Android on my tablet. So, I'm definitely a Linux user. I only have Windows on the desktop for games and stuff that require it.
  • SchimpfySchimpfy331 Posts: 0Member
    I've seen the same things about those being sensors. It works so why not?

    The bridge detailing looks great, although I'm also not too sure about the spotlights.
  • McCMcC370 Posts: 704Member
    Thanks, Starscream, evil_genius_180, and Juvat!
    Starscream wrote: »
    Gotta be honest, I'm not a big fan of the spotlights, either in style or numeracy: The top ones are pretty superfluous (and if I'm not mistaken the original bridge had portholes not spotlights), and are eating into the bridge space somewhat; and although deck 2's spotlights are a nice placement, they're a bit too... spotty. Right now I keep expecting them to pulse on and off to the beat of some awful disco music! :D I'd suggest referring to the Enterprise refit's details for a less retro look.
    Juvat wrote: »
    The bridge detailing looks great, although I'm also not too sure about the spotlights.
    I agree!

    I took Starscream's suggestion for the lower lights and made them more like the Enterprise refit's lower lights, which I think looks a lot better. I simply removed the upper ones and pushed the inset back out a bit. I'll probably need to put something in there so it doesn't look so barren, but it could be a textured something rather than a modeled something (which is what that flat area right in front of the bridge dome is destined to have, too).

    As to the point about portholes, they do appear to be window-like on the model, but they're in nonsensical locations for windows; the ones on the dome would be "behind" the viewscreen, and the lower ones would be around foot-level or embedded into the deck itself. Another instance of the studio model's windows not really making logical sense.
    Looking good. I've seen unofficial schematics claim that those thingies are sensors, but who really knows? You could always try to contact Rick Sternbach and pick his brain as to what they are. ;)
    Juvat wrote:
    I've seen the same things about those being sensors. It works so why not?
    Sounds good to me!

    I'm actually planning to model a reusable sensor pallet, as depicted in the TNG Technical Manual, and scatter that in a number of places around the ship. Not sure if it quite makes sense to replace the existing pads with those, but something to think about.
    Sounds like my laptop. It's not a beast, so I have Peppermint OS (Linux) on there and it runs WAY more quickly and smoothly than Win7 64-bit, which is what came on there. I've thought about using it for modeling, but there's no way. It's good for other stuff when I'm away from my desktop but not modeling. I also run Peppermint on my desktop (I'm running it now) and Android on my tablet. So, I'm definitely a Linux user. I only have Windows on the desktop for games and stuff that require it.
    Yeah, as soon as Linux catches up to Windows for gaming (come on, Valve, lead that charge!), I'm probably going to go to a fully Linux operating environment for all of my machines.

    ambassador_2012-10-07-2043.jpg

    I also started adding in some grid lines to C Deck (still need bevels), and am planning some for B Deck as well. It's not pictured in this render, but I removed the squashed-together windows at the front of C Deck.
  • SchimpfySchimpfy331 Posts: 0Member
    Those lights look tons better that way. Something else that might be interesting to look into might be windows on either side of th bridge in those recesses. I can see where the turbolifts are, but it might be something to consider later on on some other ship. :)
  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1801857 Posts: 9,999Member
    I've gotta admit, those lights do look better.
    McC wrote: »
    Yeah, as soon as Linux catches up to Windows for gaming (come on, Valve, lead that charge!), I'm probably going to go to a fully Linux operating environment for all of my machines.

    Yeah, I'm waiting for that also. Of course, it's more than just Valve, the individual game makers have to port their games to Linux for Steam to be able to offer them. The ones that run DosBox shouldn't be an issue, DosBox already works in Linux. However, Games for Windows could be an issue, especially for some of the older games. Though, I also need to find some CGI software I like that runs in Linux. I've tried all of the free ones, I need to look into some paid software that's Linux compatible.
  • StarshipStarship349 São Paulo - BrasilPosts: 1,892Member
    Yes, the new bridge and windows surelly does to look much better and fits very well with the ship. :)
  • StarscreamStarscream230 Posts: 1,049Member
    Yep, definitely looking much better. :) I think we can safely say the ayes have it!
Sign In or Register to comment.