Shawn Driscoll's Computer Graphics Blog

Object modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, etc.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 14)

I imported and positioned the antenna on top of Discovery One. Crossing my fingers, hoping that the scale is right. Time will tell when I render more images.

These renders are from Vue Infinite.

I used a 50mm lens for these shots. The frame is Cinerama 72:25. The spine is not connected to the frontend yet. And the backend isn't modeled at all. I'm doing that the very last.

The Making of Discovery One (part 13)

This is a quick start on the antenna stand that holds the dishes.

And after finding some other camera angles to use as reference, I was able to get most of the framework done last night.

This was hard to do because of the different shadowed images of the object in space. And the different lens types used for photography. And the lack of scale for the thing.

I have not placed it on my Discovery model yet. If it is the wrong scale, I can always resize the entire thing so that it looks about right.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 12)

Last night I started on the antennas. I'm glad I saved this part for doing later because it has been the most fun piece to model so far. I let the computer do most of the work for me, basically.

After posting the video, I continued on with the main antenna. I have so many references to choose from now. Most are from the movie. And even those don't jive with each other because of the various scales of models and mockups used for the film.

So as usual. My eyeball did most of the measuring for modeling this part of Discovery One.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 11)

My plan last night was to model the antenna for this thing. It's probably the most parabolic piece of design I have ever seen both in real and in imaginary life. And it's the subject for about 18 minutes of the movie. So it's kind of a big deal.

But when I opened my modeling app, of course a vacant window was pointing right at my main camera. So that's what I did while the TV was showing East of Eden in the studio background. I did three versions of the framed windows until I like how it looked. Again, I'm eyeballing all this stuff at this point. My model is definitely not canon.

My brother said something about the interior lighting would not be seen from outside of the ship. And combined with my theory of "the brighter the interior looks, the smaller the ship looks", I kept dimming the interior lights more and more to give the ship a bigger scale in size. Or at least, appear that it has some size.

This is a render from Carrara Pro, using a 100mm lens. It has no bump in the procedural texture being used for the hull plating. That is all set up in Vue Infinite for the final model renders. For now, this is just a draft render.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 10)

Last night I got out the tinsnips and began cutting out a hole, that I had marked with chalk first, where my "emergency airlock" (as Dave calls it) would be. I had no references to use other than pausing the movie and looking at some toy models on Pinterest. So as I do with 95% of my models, I eyeballed it. The airlock looks all right. Not to scale though. So I'll claim either insanity, or artist license.

Since I was in Carrara Pro at the time, I thought I'd do a draft render from that before importing the new mesh into Vue Infinite.

The photo looks scary to me. This ship is in deep space with no help or rescue if something goes wrong. Any minor glitch in my polygon skills could kill all on board from extreme decompression and exposure to vacuum.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 9)

After some thought, and much Hexagon-Fu, I decided to improve the bevels of my pod bay door edges. My circles didn't have much curve to them in the first place when I cut them out. So I increased the curved edges on the middle door before deleting its chamfered edge to make room for the new edge.

So that got rid of the poly artifacting. And it also gave me some practice doing the ridges, which I'll need to use big-time around the exterior airlock door when I start modeling on that brute.

The first try looked good. So I did the other two bay doors the same way.

The Making of Discovery One (part 8)

Modeled some pod bay doors last night. They come in two halves each.  I was watching some Hammer Film movies while doing these. Or at least I had the TV on in the background. I don't know what the movies were.

These doors gave me some good practice for modeling the antenna next. I was trying all kinds of concave shapes for them so that they fit right in the sliding groove thing. I felt like I was installing a garage door opener.

So many fan-made blueprints of this ship are so wrong. Kubrick destroyed 98% of the plan drawings so no one could make a sequel of his movie. A lot of the toy models used those pseudo plans. I blame the guys in Russia for at least making the plans look really '70s cool and all. They do look legit, with spaceship company names from the movie stamped on them.

In the meantime, I'm mostly modeling from the movie by eyeball. And from a model made for a space museum that is about half the size of the movie's model. Ha! For all I know, it could be a copy of the 2010 model that they have, and that I'm modeling stuff from. That would be bad.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 7)

I totally messed up on the UV mapping and flipped normals thing. I merged something wrong mesh-wise. So had to redo the segments. I'm halfway through that now, using a different technique. I'd be done with this model already if I didn't need to UV map stuff (so '90s). Some file got corrupted or something, and my previous saves were not loading either. Anyway, I loaded what I have so far of the model into Vue Infinite to do test renders before I do the other half. I was hoping to have the antenna done at this point.

I'm re-tweaking each segment as I redo them so that the light plays better with them, depending on the angle and distance I use for the Sun. This was rendered using a 50mm lens.


I remodeled three more segments. Here's a render with some stars.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 6)

After some trial and error, I found a pattern for making the modules. A lot of cloning and copy/paste to get this many of them.

I stopped at the section where the antenna is placed because I don't have a reference photo yet to go by for modeling the rest of that section. It has a different configuration than the other sections do.

A also need to add the couplers that connect the sections together. For now, they are situated on a very long Allen wrench. As soon as I get that last section completed, I'll start UV mapping and texturing this new addition to the model.

CG: My Discovery One Model (making modules)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 5)

I thought I'd harden the edges and import what I have so far into Vue Infinite. I was curious about any polygon stretching that might be in the mesh. I've tried to keep the mesh as uniform as possible. I noticed a few disconnected vertices, so I'll fix those in Hexagon.

This is pretty much the distance I'll be rendering the model from. The lens I'm using is 50mm. Any closer, and my phong shading starts to give away the papier-mâché technique I've used here. And there is no paint on the model. So that causes imperfections to show on its surface as well with the lighting I'm using.

When I texture the model, it will look way better. Because Vue's renderer will finally have diffuse color to work with and something to give shading to properly. The bottom picture shows the window piece merged with the shell. I'll separate parts of the window to make glass textures for it. And I still need to make the exterior airlock door. I was busy this afternoon chamfering the edges of the pod bay doors, which I forgot to do while in NURBS mode. I wasn't sure I was going to keep the NURBS model at that time or not. I will say that this model is pretty much all polygon modeling at this point now because I've tweaked almost everything since converting the mesh from NURBS to polys. In other words, past the point of no return.

CG: My Discovery One Model (So Far)

The Making of Discovery One (part 4)

I converted the NURBS model to a polygon mesh. Then imported it into Hexagon here for cleaning up and adding some artistic license. Every drawing of the ship has its own version of the design, so I'm trying to average things as far as how it looks. The clips from 2001 are all blown out (1968's bloom effect), so there is a lot of artifacts and high contrast for both the shading and color of the ship.

I won't know until I do my initial renders (using the same lighting as the movie did) if the mesh is ruined yet or not. And I forgot the most important part of this piece. The exterior airlock. So I'll have to cut that door out my hand.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Making of Discovery One (part 3)

Yey! Most of the front end is done, using Amapi Pro. This should be enough sample pieces I need before I start adding the details. I'll convert it to polygons next and continue modeling it in Hexagon.

The three pod bay doors happened by accident almost. So that was nice. I'll punch them out after I convert the model to OBJ format, which is the format I use for all my models.

The Making of Discovery One (part 2)

Well... So far, so good.

The NURBS are working out all right. Basically, I'm just boolean cutting pieces out of an original sphere shape that I started from. I tend to exaggerate the details on my models because I do a lot of long shots. In close-up renders, my models will show all their flaws in glorious HD.

Once the pieces are cut out of this section of the ship, I'll convert it to polygons and fix any rough spots before I begin painting it.

The Making of Discovery One (part 1)

Today I felt like making a model of Discovery One.

It took me awhile to decide if I was going to use NURBS or sub-division box-modeling. I decided to go with NURBS on the front end. For the rest of the ship, I'll just do polygon modeling. And if I don't like the look of the NURBS, I'll redo the front end using Sub-D modeling.

I downloaded some images as reference. And I looked at some of the free ships for download on various modeling sites. None of them came close to the movie version. Some of them looked like they used the toy models as their reference.

My plan is to have some decent renders of this ship in a week, if I'm not busy with other things.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Sometimes Use Backdrops

This is the background for my skyscraper shot. The terraformed Mars that I've used before. It was rendered in Vue Infinite.

Then the terrain and skyscrapers were added. And some clouds. I like that the stars show through. The above background is being used as a backdrop here. It fills the camera frame (720 x 1280). If I rendered the entire scene together, the light would bounce up from the terrain and light up the entire planet. That could work as well, bringing a more surreal look to a scene.

The buildings were left unpainted for now.