Along with my winning entry, I also entered some others; I’ll start posting those on the website soon.
After the Mars Picture, I have made more use of the modelling tools and compositing in Blender to create the above image. Because you can’t see all of the models in detail though, here are some individual renders of them:
For the fighter, I was able to quickly texture by using smart UV unwrapping combined with a layered brick-like texture to get the overall effect (the plane was originally intended only for the background and so didn’t need much detail). However I was impressed with how it came out so I could do more close-up renders and perhaps re-use it later.
Here is the larger ship, slightly inspired by the Sulaco in Alien:
Note again in Blender I was able to very easily add some aft-boosters using the Emission material.
Once more I am really enjoying Blender, mainly due to the wealth of tutorials out there, and after the initial learning curve it is incredible easy to model, texture, and composite all within the same application. Admittedly, the final image had some final colour alterations and highlights added in photoshop, but overall everything was accomplished all in the same program.
Furthering my work in Blender, I came across some useful tutorials by Dan Brown including how to model panels on smooth surfaces. I combined this by modelling a planet atmosphere in Blender (a little old, but can be still be done for the latest Blender version) to create a slightly 2001-inspired space scene.
I also recreated my Avalon Station in Blender, very roughly:
I then learned a little more about UV mapping in Blender and to put together a space plane, following this tutorial to get the after burner effect:
This was all done using Blender’s Cycles node based texturer and renderer, which I’m very impressed with…hope you think this is an improvement on my last effort!
During the odd free weekend in the summer I had a play with Blender volumetrics, their Cycles rendering engine, and some modelling. After an initially steep learning curve, I was very impressed with the general ease of use and speed with which you could put something together. The above image was mostly done in Blender, with a little tweaking in Photoshop.
Here is a closeup of the basic starfighter I made, which was mainly an exercise in simple box modelling and UV mapping:
It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally zipped up the mesh and textures for Chris Madden’s Dedication Class. You’ll find it in the Downloads section.
I’m afraid it is only available in 3DS Max 2014 format, as I ran into all sorts of issues converting it into a more exportable .obj format. If anyone has more luck, let me know and I’ll put it up for download.
The mesh is given out with the permission of Chris, so please credit him with the design and me with the mesh if you use it! I’m always interested to hear when others make use of the meshes I put up for download, so let me know if you do.
Once more, apologies to the number of people who contact me with requests where I never have chance to reply. Unfortunately, the work on this blog ends up being a hobby that I have very little time spare to devote to. I have now put up an FAQ that answers some common enquiries.
I have been busy toying with certain effects, however – the above image actually has a 3D panoramic nebula background that was mainly produced with Blender. I am continually chasing a Mutara Nebula type effect in CGI. I have been mainly toying with Blender’s volumetric capability to try various effects…but nothing good yet. The above image doesn’t use volumetrics but does make use of Blender’s impressive node texturing system.
Anyhow, here is a brief slideshow of some development shots of the Dedication Class (it may take a while to load):
After a good deal of time away, I have finally found the chance to put the Dedication Class 3D model to bed. Above is the first proper render, just to make sure the model reflected the concept art. I plan on doing some more original renders soon. I’ll also post the model up for download.
Thank you for all the great comments and emails I’ve had that I haven’t had time to respond to. I hope to rectify this in the coming weeks.
I get many requests for permission to use my models and art for fan sites or related work. I never get chance to respond to all of you. As a general rule, you are all very welcome to use my work as long as my name is mentioned somewhere nearby.
Anyway, back to work…
Apologies for my absence – as you can see by my previous post I have been happily busy with some news my wife and I had
I have also been busy in the background with the development of Chris Madden’s “Dedication class” Enterprise F concept (pictured above) for the Star Trek: Online competition which was held a while back. I have been posting on the scifi-meshes forum here:
The amount of time I can devote to this is a little sporadic, but I would encourage you to check back there for updates. I also haven’t forgotten about the fact that the Eaves Class still needs finishing off.
I’ll continue to post anything worthwhile up here.
It came to my attention that the contact form was broken, which then uncovered a virus lurking in my blog. I think I’ve resolved the problem, but if you see any issues please comment here to let me know.
I’ve added some other starship models for download tonight – the Hawking and Ascension Class starships. The Ascension is probably most famous for being the main ship of Star Trek: Phoenix, but now you can make it your own!
All are either in 3DS Max 2010 or .Obj format. I’ve also added a better .obj version of the Insignia Class mesh.