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lightborne 9th Aug 2016 12:14 PM

My Ultimate Enterprise!
 
So this project started with these images I found online a while ago. The images are of a closeup model of the engineering section of the refit Enterprise created for The Wrath of Khan. What struck my eye was all the little graphic details that they model makers had put onto the model. Apparently, they felt that since this was such a close up shot of the ship, that they needed to give it another layer of detail that was not really visible on the regular shooting model.



Anyway, this gave me the idea to apply this level of detail to the entire ship in 3D. Using these photos as a reference - along with other online resources on the graphic design from the first motion picture - I began to add some design elements to the existing textures of the Enterprise Refit model by Al Dinelt (Tralfaz).



What I quickly discovered was that these details were way too small to be clear when layered onto the existing textures. So I decided I would have to create them using geometry. I created a few details for the neck and did a few renders.

I saw that while the little graphic details were crisp and clear and could stand up to extreme closeups; the existing aztec panelling textures looked really pixellated and soft in comparison.




So, my solution was to recreate the panelling textures using geometry as well. I first bumped up the contrast of the original aztec textures so I could easily distinguish between the different colors of reflectivity. I then became the long and tedious process of tracing the shapes of the aztec patterns onto the actual geometry. I had to subdivide the geometry quite a bit overall, but eventually I had created separate geometry for each color of the aztec patterns and for each color of the various other textures, colors and graphic elements that appear on the ship.



After some research into the actual physical painting of the studio model from The Motion Picture, I learned that there were only four main pearlescent colors used on the model. To simulate where two or more colors overlapped, I simply created a new color. In the end, I ended up creating twelve sets of geometry for the aztec patterns.



My next step will be to take my high contrast colors and develop a suitable pearlescent material. Iím sure I will be tweaking this throughout the rest of the process, but I want to get that somewhat in order before I start creating all the little details for the rest of the ship.

I know that this wonít be technically screen accurate after Iím done because there is no existing studio model with this level of detail, so I will be making a lot of this stuff up as I go. I will try to figure out some theory as to what goes whereÖ but there will be a lot of creative license taken in this project.

Of course, if any of you have any more information on these little graphic bits and would like to share - that would be greatly appreciated. For example, I remember once seeing a detailed illustration of the manual control for the airlocks, but I canít seem to find them online anywhere. Things like that.

So thatís it for now. More updates to comeÖ but Iím doing this in my free time so they will probably be rather sporatic.

lightborne 11th Aug 2016 07:24 PM

Update
 
So I started on the pearl materials. I like the finish and the colors, but I think I need a bit more work on the amount and intensity of reflectivity. I'm using a fairly broad and bland HDR for lighting and turned off most of the ship's lights just to keep things as non-distracting as possible as I tweak the pearl colors.

Note: Everything other than the pearl hull material is just placeholder materials and colors. I'm sure I will tweak this many times before I finish, but I think I've reached a set of pearl materials that I like. Oh yeah, and I'm doing this in C4D and Octane.




DaveK 11th Aug 2016 08:33 PM

Looking good.

David cgc 11th Aug 2016 09:29 PM

I'd say "ultimate" isn't an exaggeration. Modeling the aztec pattern is above and beyond.

You've got a good start on the pearlescent hull, too. When I was playing with the surfacing of Dennis Bailey's Enterprise, I found a setting in Lightwave called "Color Highlights" that helped me match the TMP effect. I don't know what the Cinema4D equivalent would be, but for Lightwave's setting, 0% caused specularity hits and reflections to be entirely the color of the light or object generating them, while 100% would make the highlight match the color of the surface it's applied to. Dennis's color maps already had very subtle color paneling that was next to invisible in renders, but when I pumped the "Color Highlights" up to something like 700%, it simulated the TMP effect of the colors only showing up in spec hits on the paint, and the model looking nearly flat white in direct light.

trekki 11th Aug 2016 11:24 PM

Very good, you can give me an example of the textures? I also work with C4D.

John Marchant 12th Aug 2016 03:31 AM

Wow really looking forward to seeing the detail on this one.

lightborne 12th Aug 2016 09:07 AM

Update
 
So I revised the pearl materials in Octane. I'm thinking I like this better. I've tried it out with a couple of different lighting setups and it's looking pretty good. Anyway, I'm going to stop messing with the pearl for now; leave it where it is, and start on the rest of the basic texturing and then onto all the detailing.




lightborne 12th Aug 2016 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trekki (Post 320722)
Very good, you can give me an example of the textures? I also work with C4D.

Once I get it finished I can share some textures. I'll probably just upload the completed model here. However, I am using Octane Renderer with C4D to do all the materials, so unless you have Octane, they will be useless to you. But maybe a bit later I can make a posting on how I made the pearl materials.

lightborne 12th Aug 2016 12:03 PM

Update
 
Okay so I lied. One more tweak of the pearl materials. I upped the reflection and added a bit more iridescence. Here are a couple of renders with a darker lighting set up. I think I will attempt to do all the shipboard lighting next before I jump into all the detail modeling.




overseer 12th Aug 2016 03:17 PM

This looks very, very nice!

Professor Moriarty 12th Aug 2016 04:23 PM

^^^ Nice is an understatement. She's PURTY!

JimCrafton 12th Aug 2016 09:16 PM

Looking real good. Have you considered using ZBrush to do the detailing in? So you have a displacement map for the aztec pattern?

trekki 13th Aug 2016 12:23 AM

Very very nice. Octane I did not. To bad, the object looks very good.
thank you

lightborne 13th Aug 2016 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimCrafton (Post 320753)
Looking real good. Have you considered using ZBrush to do the detailing in? So you have a displacement map for the aztec pattern?

Nice thought, but I don't have zBrush. And why would I need a displacement map for the aztecs? Forgive me but I'm not understanding what you are suggesting here. Thanks!

JimCrafton 14th Aug 2016 08:27 PM

From what you mentioned earlier you were talking about modeling the aztec pattern with geometry? What I was thinking was that instead of modeling, you could take the existing aztec patterns and use ZBrush to make actual panels, so that the various pieces all have the detailed cut lines. I'm assuming that the original idea behind the aztec patterns here was to have them represent an actual panel on the real hull.

lightborne 15th Aug 2016 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimCrafton (Post 320802)
From what you mentioned earlier you were talking about modeling the aztec pattern with geometry? What I was thinking was that instead of modeling, you could take the existing aztec patterns and use ZBrush to make actual panels, so that the various pieces all have the detailed cut lines. I'm assuming that the original idea behind the aztec patterns here was to have them represent an actual panel on the real hull.

Got it. Thanks. That's kinda what I thought you meant. I am indeed putting in an extremely thin line between the aztec panels.

hal 15th Aug 2016 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimCrafton (Post 320802)
From what you mentioned earlier you were talking about modeling the aztec pattern with geometry? What I was thinking was that instead of modeling, you could take the existing aztec patterns and use ZBrush to make actual panels, so that the various pieces all have the detailed cut lines. I'm assuming that the original idea behind the aztec patterns here was to have them represent an actual panel on the real hull.

You can do the same thing in Cinema 4D using the sculpting tool. Nice work by the way :tu:

eagledocf15 15th Aug 2016 03:47 PM

Very nice !!!!

lightborne 18th Aug 2016 03:23 PM

Update
 
I was able to get a few things done over the last couple of days... mainly the shipboard exterior lighting. I've done a few renders in pitch black so you can see all the spotlights very clearly. I've found that, while there are a large number of references images for the external lighting, I needed to tweak and tweak until I got it right for my taste. Whether or not it technically matched the existing shots from the film was secondary to "does it look cool?" and "do I like it?"






Treybor 18th Aug 2016 10:04 PM

You're doing really well with this project. You were asking for references for graphics and details. Try "Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise"
https://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Sco.../dp/0671704982

lightborne 3rd Sep 2016 03:08 PM

Update
 
Work has kept me very busy and so I haven't done much work on this. I did however manage to start on some of the interior elements. First up is the botanical gardens. Again, I'm using various sources - both official and not - to build this thing. Overall, I'm taking quite a bit of artistic license in the gardens. For example, on some plans there is a sundial in the center of the room. I thought it would be cool to have, in addition to the sundial, a small display case that holds the original dedication plaque from the TOS Enterprise. I'll post a few detail shots of that once I'm done with the overall look of the gardens. I have a few in-progress renders. Nothing final, but you'll get the idea...


lightborne 3rd Sep 2016 03:20 PM

Here's a non-textured preview render of the sundial / dedication plaque display. Still not sure of the design - any thoughts? I want to keep it more traditional and museum-like, so I'm not sure where to go with the look.


Pheylan 3rd Sep 2016 07:59 PM

Wow, had to say what an excellent job on the garden. What are you using for the plants?

lightborne 4th Sep 2016 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pheylan (Post 321322)
Wow, had to say what an excellent job on the garden. What are you using for the plants?

There's a plug-in for C4D called Forester that generates all sorts of plant life.

overseer 8th Sep 2016 10:26 PM

If I had a house large enough, or grounds large enough, I would absolutely have something like that! Semi-indoor. Beautifully designed. Matches what you see in shots of Starfleet Academy even!

lightborne 9th Sep 2016 06:26 PM

Update
 
I decided that I just needed to watch The Motion Picture again to get a feel for the late 70's design and architecture. Then I came up with this concept for my sundial. With this, the botanical gardens is complete. On to other details, interiors, etc. More to come later...


David cgc 9th Sep 2016 09:27 PM

I love it. I hope the Spacedock team was on the ball when it came to stripping the fixtures out of the ship when it was slated to be decommissioned and it made it onto the -A, -B, and I guess -C is where it would've met it's fate.

I'm curious about the lights in the garden. Are you planning to add a texture to them? Based on the blue color of the garden when viewed from some angles, I assumed that the ceiling and walls projected a holographic sky-dome (I think you can even see a cloud in the last shot of TMP, though that could be a reflection on the window).

hal 10th Sep 2016 04:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lightborne (Post 321618)
I decided that I just needed to watch The Motion Picture again to get a feel for the late 70's design and architecture. Then I came up with this concept for my sundial. With this, the botanical gardens is complete. On to other details, interiors, etc. More to come later...


This is great work. :tu:

I know you have finished the sundial but its a shame you can't turn it's plinth into the Starfleet delta, I thought that is what it was at first from the thumbnails. (The Starfleet delta use to only represent the Enterprise in TOS so it would be a nice nod to the history of the Enterprise).

lightborne 12th Sep 2016 06:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David cgc (Post 321619)
I love it. I hope the Spacedock team was on the ball when it came to stripping the fixtures out of the ship when it was slated to be decommissioned and it made it onto the -A, -B, and I guess -C is where it would've met it's fate.

I'm curious about the lights in the garden. Are you planning to add a texture to them? Based on the blue color of the garden when viewed from some angles, I assumed that the ceiling and walls projected a holographic sky-dome (I think you can even see a cloud in the last shot of TMP, though that could be a reflection on the window).

Yeah I'm on the fence about that. There's really not a lot documented about the gardens - probably because it was never actually shown on film. I'm going to so something along those lines with a sky texture; I'm just not sure if it'll be the whole ceiling or just a partial section of it. When looking back at the film I can see that it appears that the windows themselves have a blue tint to them - which may be where everyone is seeing sky.

lightborne 12th Sep 2016 06:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hal (Post 321625)
This is great work. :tu:

I know you have finished the sundial but its a shame you can't turn it's plinth into the Starfleet delta, I thought that is what it was at first from the thumbnails. (The Starfleet delta use to only represent the Enterprise in TOS so it would be a nice nod to the history of the Enterprise).

Actually... I went back in and reworked the sundial over the weekend. I thought it was a bit too curvy. Too much like something out of Final Frontier or the other later films. I've given a bit more straight edge approach... more in the style of other interior elements from TMP. I'll post a few detail renders soon. But for now I'm off to start the VIP lounge... which is a conundrum of conflicting plans and styles all its own.


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