Enterprise 2019 Part 2

Just a quick update, plus I wanted to do some full renders to look at some of the materials, particularly the bussard collector domes. I finished up the main part of the nacelle end caps. People who know the ship will note that I broke from canon here. Don’t worry, there will be other canon breaks because I’m not building the canon ship. I’m also obviously not completely changing the design. I also added some more details to the nacelles, including pendants, which I also did on the secondary hull. It’s necessary to get all these details in there so that I can plot out where the grid lines will go. (yes, you read that correctly) And, I played around with some colors. I don’t remember which kit it was, but I remember one of the Enterprise model kits wanting you to paint the ship gull gray, so that’s what I went with. This will be the base color for the hull of the ship. I did a darker shade for some of the stuff, American Flag red for the pendants and amber for the little boomerang things. The bussard collectors are a color called outrageous orange. And, of course, aluminum for the gill looking things on the nacelles and copper for the deflector housing inside.

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Enterprise 2019

Just a little something I’ve been working on for the past few hours. I haven’t done one of these in several years, so I’m having fun. 🙂

There’s still a lot to do, but I got a lot of the tedious stuff out of the way. If you’ve never built the secondary hull on this ship, you’re missing out. 😉

Avalon Universe

I know the subject of Star Trek fan films has been a sore one lately. I find that a lot of people don’t seem to understand what happened, and think CBS is to blame for what went down with Star Trek: Axanar. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Alec Peters, the dude who was running Axanar, was breaking every rule of Star Trek fan films. He was intentionally trying to make money off of Axanar, which was a no-go with fan films from day one. He was giving unlicensed merchandise for donations, essentially selling stuff to make money to do his film. That’s another no-go. He did some other things, including ignore several cease and desist letters from CBS, forcing CBS to sue him. His defense was that there weren’t clear rules for fan films, as CBS mainly ignored fan films so long as they stayed within a few small guidelines, such as not making money and so on. So, in response to his stupidity, CBS wrote a list of official guidelines for fan films. Thus, Alec Peters is to blame for the state of things, not CBS. Though, people still blame CBS.

Anyway, on a random search for “Star Trek” during my bus ride home from work yesterday, I stumbled upon Avalon Universe. Link

This is a group based in Georgia that’s making Star Trek fan films within CBS’s guidelines. Theyr’e not the best scripted, they don’t have the best acting, their uniforms are mostly JJ Trek style, because one of CBS’s guidelines is that, if you buy uniforms, you have to buy officially licensed ones. So, it looks like they bought theirs from the official Star Trek store. Their special effects are quite nice. But, what matters most is that they get the essence of Star Trek. This crew exemplifies what fan films are all about: fans making films. It’s not about making money, it’s not about one upping CBS else by making professional quality content that’s more popular than theirs, it’s about making Star Trek for fans by fans. That’s they way it should be.

Anyway, here’s their first episode. It’s a two parter, to keep within CBS’s guidelines for length:

They released another episode last week, and you can view it by clicking on their YouTube link above. As I said, it’s got its share of issues, but it’s got the heart of Star Trek, and that’s what it’s all about.

Paris Class Pt. 01

So, I all of a sudden got in the mood to do CGI earlier tonight. I decided to do a ship from the Starfleet Museum, the Paris class.

Starfleet Museum Paris class link

At first, I was just going to do a ship based on the design, so it’s currently called “Pre TOS 02” on my computer, but it’s going to be the Paris class, or at least my version of it. I’m taking a lot of liberties with not only the design but also with what’s done on Star Trek ships. I want to be a Starfleet ship, but I also want it to be unique to me.

Anyway, this is what I have so far:

Anyway, it’s a start.

Starship Revamp, Pt. 03

More playing around with specular settings.

If you know what the specular setting does, you may just want to skip this part and go to the renders. For those who don’t know, the specular setting makes an object shiny. It works hand in hand with the glossiness setting to determine the overall look of a shiny surface. Glossiness makes the shine “localized.” A high glossiness setting makes a small super shiny patch, while a lower setting spreads the shine out. For metal that’s not painted with glossy paint (no car paint) and isn’t buffed to a mirror shine, I want a higher specular setting and a lower glossiness setting.

The specular map is what determines what is shinier. Basically, it’s a grayscale image with patterns on it. The shades of gray determine shine, with white being totally shiny and black being not shiny at all. It also creates the individual hull panels, along with a diffusion map to control light absorption. The look we should all be chasing is the paneling from TMP:

tmphd0720

Basically, they used paints and with different shine levels to create the individual panels. The way it works is, in direct light, (light hitting the object from the same side as the camera) the panels are barely visible. However, in indirect light, (light hitting from the opposite side as the camera) the panels are visible. In the image above, the registry light is hitting the hull at an indirect angle, causing the panels to be visible. This is achieved in CGI with specular mapping.

In the images below, the ship is rendered at the same angle with 3 different light angles. The first is direct lighting, the other two are indirect lighting with the light in different positions on the other side of the model. This gives an idea of how it would look if I rendered a flyby where the ship flies between the camera and light. I’m happy with how these look:

TOS_Utility_09

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Starship Revamp, Pt. 02

Well, it’s a work in progress. Taking the stenciled lettering off of the hull is the chore I expected it to be. It’s a lot of merging faces and deleting points. I got all of the registries off of the main hull (saucer.) I still have to take the ones off of the nacelles, but I didn’t want to do it right now.

Instead, I set about getting rid of the greeble trenches. My idea for the other model was to not do those, so I got rid of them on this model. There was a lot of destroying faces and building new ones. It was a chore, but worth it when all said and done. I really like how that looks VS having the trenches. Since this is supposed to be a predecessor to the Miranda class, and not a Miranda, I figure some differences are warranted. I have new greebles planned to go there, so it won’t be the plain dark gray areas you see now.

And, lastly, I dorked around with materials. The last version of Lightwave I used was Lightwave 10.1 or 10.2, something like that. Either way, it was an old version, from 2010. So much has changed since then, that I’m having to figure out all new settings in Lightwave 2018. But, that’s part of the fun. At least I’m doing this with a model that already has textures.

Anyway, this is where it sits:

TOS_Utility_05

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Starship Revamp, Pt. 01

So, I promised a return to CGI, and here it is.

A few years ago, I was part of a doomed fan film. It was called Star Trek: Equinox. This was around the time of the whole Axanar thing, where they bit the hand and crowd funded over $1,000,000 and hired a bunch of professional talent to work on the film, forcing CBS to create a bunch of new rules for fan films. Anyway, this other film was being worked on a the same time as Axanar, but it was being done considerably less professionally. I was the model maker, and there was a bunch of bickering and bullshit behind the scenes. Also, because the guy running the show kept pissing off effects artists, (among other people) I had to do a lot of the animation and rendering for the trailers too, despite just originally wanting to make models for it. (and, let me say, people on Facebook can be real motherf***ers when your stuff isn’t as good as professional artists) Anyway, I wasn’t very happy with the project, which wound up imploding due to a lot of the BTS stuff, as well as the guy running the project and his tendency towards pissing people off.

Anywho, this is the model I built to be the main ship of the show:

TOS_Utility_01

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Star Trek: The Animated Series

Why do people forget about this show? I was just looking at an article on Screenrant about decisions that hurt and saved Star Trek. Link Interesting read, but it contains an error in the opening paragraphs. They claim there are six Star Trek television series. No doubt, this is their list:

1. TOS
2. TNG
3. DS9
4. Voyager
5. Enterprise
6. Discovery

That’s an incomplete list. This is the real list of Star Trek shows:

1. TOS
2. TAS
3. TNG
4. DS9
5. Voyager
6. Enterprise
7. Discovery

Yes, seven shows, not six. I don’t know why daft idiots who write articles can’t find this information, it’s available on many websites.

For those who don’t know, the story goes like this. Star Trek should never have been canceled. In 1969, TV ratings weren’t broken down into demographics. Had they been, the people at NBC would have known the show was popular with young men, a key demographic. When they realized this, Paramount knew they needed to make more Star Trek. Dreams of movies and live action TV shows were in the cards, but the quickest way to get Star Trek back on (besides syndication) was animation. So, Filmation was commissioned to do a Saturday morning cartoon. It ran for 22 episodes between 1974 and 75. It even won Star Trek’s first Emmy, for Oustanding Children’s Show, due partly to having outstanding writing by many of the same writers from TOS. The original actors all lent their voices, except Walter Koenig, but he wrote an episode. Fans even voted to add the series to the official canon over a decade ago. Yet, people forget it exists. Why?

TOS-Era Ship, Pt. 01

I’m running out of steam on the other ship I’m working on, so I decided to start another. This one is a class predecessor to the Miranda-class. It’s a bit smaller than the Reliant from The Wrath of Khan, which makes sense as it’s from the era of the Constitution class, or possibly even a bit before that. I imagine it’s a class that was introduced in the 2220s or 2230s, and possibly saw service into the 2270s and maybe 2280s, as it would have been phased out and replaced by the Miranda-class. Not much else to say. As you can see, it’s just in the early phases. This type of hull isn’t difficult to do, but it does take time to get it all in one piece with rounded edges and whatnot, as I insist on doing.

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