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Rekkert 20th Jul 2017 05:56 PM

3D Interiors in Blender

When I posted my finished interior designs I promised more WIPs to come, so here they are. :)

I've started a new commission, the bridge of the Cheyenne-Class USS Zodiac, so it's a little bit older than the TNG bridge yet very much in the same style. This bridge will be based mostly on the USS Brattain, with some elements from the Sutherland, Enterprise-C, Quasar and Defiant bridges.

The basic structure is up, but other than that there's a lot to do!

Rekkert 21st Jul 2017 03:52 PM

I've finished the general layout of the aft consoles, though a lot of details are still to be added there. I had to move the whole central area of the bridge forward half a meter in order to accommodate the tactical station behind the captain, which I still have to add.

Rekkert 22nd Jul 2017 03:11 PM

I've started work on the ceiling, things are starting to get claustrophobic in here! :D The light levels will be adjusted once all the lights are in place, for now it looks a little dark.

Rekkert 23rd Jul 2017 08:56 PM

I'm mostly done modeling the aft section of the bridge, I've added the tactical station behind the captain. The black rectangles at feet level on the aft consoles will be isolinear chip bays.

The ceiling dome is a replica of the one from the Brattain, though with a standard white light rather than the orange it had on that ship.

Rekkert 24th Jul 2017 05:19 AM

I've added the Brattain style columns, and I've started working on the viewscreen area, which is based on the Sutherland bridge.

I've also changed the tactical console support to look like the TNG battle bridge tactical station. It gives the back area of the bridge a bit more open space.

Rekkert 24th Jul 2017 08:14 PM

I've added some Defiant style consoles for the captain, and continued working on the viewscreen.

Rekkert 25th Jul 2017 02:52 PM

I've finished with the modeling of the bridge and started with the UV mapping.

lonewriter 25th Jul 2017 11:43 PM

Nice updates.

Rekkert 26th Jul 2017 12:09 AM

@lonewriter: Thank you! :)

I've added textures to the materials now that everything's UV mapped, and started working on the LCARS.

dougx 26th Jul 2017 02:01 AM

looking good! Im really digging the design!

Rekkert 26th Jul 2017 10:49 PM

@dougx: Thank! I'm glad you do, I usually prefer the smaller, more utilitarian bridges like this one myself.

I've finished the MSD and moved to several other areas of the aft consoles. I'm basing the arrangement mostly on the Relay Station 47 set, which is the only instance where this console was used with TNG style LCARS (as far as I could tell).

adm_frb4596 27th Jul 2017 05:46 AM

A well done bridge...

Can't say, that I was ever fond of this bridge design... It always felt wrong to me, particularly the low number of bridge stations I always thought it should have been closer to the Enterprise A bridge design (ST:V)

Still, looks good, so far

Rekkert 27th Jul 2017 10:32 AM

@adm_frb4596: Thanks! I really like the design, but they should have increased the number of stations when redressing it for the Enterprise-C. When the consoles were originally built, for the USS Hathaway, they were perfect for that size of ship.

I've finished the row of small monitors and the main engineering screen. I've started work on the lower consoles but they're still in progress, I have to modify the UV maps slightly there.

Rekkert 27th Jul 2017 04:56 PM

I wanted to take a break from the consoles so I moved to the top and side displays for a bit. :D

Rekkert 28th Jul 2017 01:19 AM

Ok, a lot of behind the scene changes happened today. Because of some lighting suggestions made by Joe Ralat on the thread over at TrekBBS, I went down a rabbit hole and ended up changing everything. TL;DR: A lot of materials and lighting changes on Blender, everything looks far more realistic now.

One of the disadvantages of being self taught is that sometimes I miss something that for everybody else in the industry is very obvious. In this case, I wasn't using Fresnel (aka how light bounces off stuff at a higher intensity when seen at a shallow angle) on my materials, and just when I was about to just add it in, I read that the next version of Blender will include a new type of material called principled material. These new materials not only automatically include Fresnel calculations in them, but also are PBR (physically based rendering) materials. In layman terms they behave a lot more realistically on any environment without having to 'cheat' by adding lights or stuff like that.

Anyway, this new material (which funnily enough was developed by Disney for Wreck it Ralph, and then added to Blender by community members) is already available in the test branch of Blender, so I moved over to that. I changed all my non emitting materials to principled, and everything is nicer now.

But wait, there's more! The new version of Blender also adds some denoising filters for low resolution renders (the type I use for my 'in progress' shots), making them look a more clear and better lit. This won't affect my final renders as they have a lot more render samples and already look crisp without any cheating filter, but for the everyday render, it's an amazing addition.

And I also came across a new color management encoder which drastically increases the dynamic range of the renders, making for far more realistic illumination without burning out objects near the light source.

So, a lot of changes, here's a before shot on Blender 2.78:

And here's the same shot on the 2.79 test build:

As you can see, object materials now look a lot more realistic, as can be seen most notably on the reflections added on the Conn/Ops stations and the captain's consoles, as well as on the fabric of the chairs. I had to tweak every single light source and I'll keep experimenting with the new material type but I'm pretty happy with the result so far.

Rekkert 28th Jul 2017 07:13 PM

Well, after some talks, the reaction and experimenting a bit more, I've went back to using the old materials and color management. I'm still using 2.79 as it has some very useful bug fixes, and I did apply Fresnel to most materials anyway, so they do look a bit better, but far more like they did before, and the lights don't appear to be washing over everything anymore.

Other than that, I've finished the aft consoles, so the LCARS are almost completely done.

And I realized I didn't post it before, so here's the MSD graphic:

Rekkert 29th Jul 2017 10:17 PM

I've done the last LCARS graphics for the aft side of the bridge, as well as on the racks at the side of the viewscreen:

Rekkert 30th Jul 2017 05:28 PM

Here are some final, HD renders of the bridge. A cutaway graphic will follow shortly.

Rekkert 30th Jul 2017 10:22 PM

And here's the cutaway:

Rekkert 4th Aug 2017 09:41 PM

I worked on an updated cutaway graphic for the Quasar, in a similar style to the Zodiac one.

I've been having some personal issues, so I've only been able to start truly working on my next commission today. Said commission is the bridge of the USS Bradbury, a mentioned but never seen ship from the TNG era, which we're basing on this interpretation from the late 90's, making it a bridge between the Galaxy and Intrepid classes.

So, interior wise it'll also be a link between eras, with a lot of details and style choices from the Voyager bridge added into the Charybdis design, and of course some original ideas thrown in here and there. The first order of business was to change the materials. A lot more changes (and color) to come!

Rekkert 6th Aug 2017 04:21 AM

I've worked on the helm area, which uses the console from the Patagonia bridge and is located two levels down from the main floor now, mirroring the helm style seen in Voyager.

The seated consoles were also modified to be closer in style to the Voyager consoles, while retaining their original shape.

I've kept adding details all over the floor, as you can see the Captain's chair is now located on the first step up, which now extends to both sides all the way to the doors.

adm_frb4596 6th Aug 2017 03:33 PM

That close to the main viewscreen, the helmsman/pilot is going to get square eyes...

Rekkert 7th Aug 2017 05:12 PM

@adm_frb4596: Haha, yes that's right, I'll be redoing the whole viewscreen section so hopefully we can save his/her eyesight. :)

Lot of changes, first off the wall consoles are now smaller, they now stop at two meters tall, pretty much at the same level as the door as you can see. For the three seated consoles, the display area is the same, but the console at the bottom is now flatter.

I also modified the chairs, despite my client being happy with them I wanted to make them more unique, so I added some small armrest. First pass on the railing behind the captain as well.

It's not seen here (because there's nothing to show yet) but I've redone the whole viewscreen area wall, as the old one was VERY low poly.

Rekkert 8th Aug 2017 03:11 PM

I've changed the walls color to be veeery slightly blueish. They are blueish on Voyager, but here the effect is very dim, only noticeable once you know it's there.

Also, the Tactical station has been added behind the Captain, as well as a viewscreen (which is smaller than the old one in order to preserve our pilot's eyesight ), and I've changed the two wall displays at each side of the aft section to have a small cutout in them, similar to that on Voyager's Tactical and Ops stations. Oh, and the doors are also labeled now.

Rekkert 10th Aug 2017 11:51 PM

I've worked on the consoles at the back of the bridge, they're a mix between the freestanding TNG console and the enclosed Voyager console now. I've also added some covered isolinear banks behind these stations.

Rekkert 11th Aug 2017 06:08 PM

I've changed the Tactical station to something larger and a bit more similar in shape to the helm console. The viewscreen also got some love, it now has some blinking lights at the top and bottom (well, they don't blink yet ). I'll see about finishing up with the front area later today. The lights were also changed, all except the center light are now dimmer, while the ones closer to the viewscreen are dimmer still and a shade of blue. Oh, and there's a dedication plaque now.

dougx 11th Aug 2017 11:47 PM

Nice work I like this design alot Id love to see a wire frame

adm_frb4596 12th Aug 2017 10:46 AM

Nice update, though the railing behind the helm, looks out of place

Rekkert 17th Aug 2017 11:48 PM

@dougx: Thanks! Here's a wireframe (the first I do :p):

@adm_frb4596: Thanks! Regarding that railing, my client is not completely sold on it either, so it might go away. I don't particularly like it but it has grown on me a bit, and it's definitively functional there.

I've finished the front of the bridge and further modified the auxiliary station behind the captain, which is supposed to be similar in function to Voyager's small station at the same location. I'm UV mapping everything now, and will begin texturing next. I still have to add some labels on the front area of the bridge, but as it's a rather small detail I'll do it after finishing UV mapping, which is the part I hate the most of modeling.

Rekkert 19th Aug 2017 03:55 PM

I've started texturing the LCARS and other features such as doors/labels. This is a first pass so colors and details can change.

One particular detail of this bridge is that I've incorporated some metallic elements into the LCARS display, as such elements were present in all ships after the Defiant, like Voyager and later the Ent-E. You can see the Tactical console here has some metallic grey panels that, while being part of the texture, are not light emitting but rather a glossy material.

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