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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
With the interior done, I’m working on the exterior details for the nacelle.
I didn’t like the innards on my nacelles, aft of the bussard collectors. Fortunately, there’s a handy little tool in CGI called a delete function, so I used it. Then I built new guts.
I think it’s part 4, if you count my previous posts. Anywho, work continues on the engines:
I also figured out how to get rid of all the little white spots, the rendering artifacts. It turns out there’s a setting in Lightwave 2018 that doesn’t play nice, so I turned it off and played with the reflections. I know Star Trek ships aren’t typically reflective like this, but that’s OK because I’m doing my own thing.
Well, I’ve been working on the warp nacelles. I still have more stuff to jam into the insides, but it’s a start. I spent a fair amount of time playing with material settings in Layout to get the bussard collectors right. I also played with some of the other materials. I’ll probably not have the ship quite this reflective in the end, but it’s fine for now.
A couple more renders of the ship, showing it from the aft end. I may lighten up my nebula a bit to cast more light onto the “dark” areas of the ship. Or, just add another light, since this is a WIP. Also, I fixed those faces on the bottom that had the wrong material on them.
I started on the bridge and navigational deflector. I also played around in Layout, Lightwave’s rendering program, for too long. I forgot a lot of things, and had to figure out some of the newer features since the last version I used. But, here are a couple progress renders.