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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 09:27 AM   #1
Tony Gardner
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Default SciFi - Odyssey - Rebuild

A few months back I did something spectacularly stupid. I was re-installing my OS following a virus attack, I made what I thought was a complete backup of my hard drive before formatting it for a clean Windows install. You can no doubt imagine my horror when I discovered that not only had I somehow managed to not back up my "My Documents" folder, but that I had also managed to delete the copy that was on my backup drive.

Whilst it has turned out that I have bits and pieces of stuff that I was working on beforehand I lost nearly everything that I had done within about a year or so.

Let's just say that I was VERY pissed off and move along.

Without a doubt the loss that upset me the most was The Odyssey model I had been working on for years on and off. I had been really happy with the way the latest version was going and just didn't know if I had it in me to start over again.

But as with all times time is a healer and having watched some stuff on Discovery Channel recently I found I had the urge to give it another go.

So, here's where it was left last time round...









And here is what I have so far on the rebuild...

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As you can see I decided not to jump straight back in on the reactor section, instead I have made a start on the structural truss. And it won't be an exact copy of what I did before, it's an evolution (this time round I've been inspired by pics of the ISS).

All this bare metal will end up covered in some sort of NASA style thermal blanket if I can ever figure out a way to make it look good enough (suggestions welcome). The channels along the sides of the truss will be filled by some sort of doohicky when I get inspired.

As before this is a long term project, I tend to burn out a lot on it. C&C as always is welcome.
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 03:36 PM   #3
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I really liked the first iteration of this, Tony. Lets see what you can do with the rebuild!
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 07:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VK08 View Post
ooooo ahhhhhhhh oooooooo
LOL, sounds like you're watching a firework display

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurig View Post
I really liked the first iteration of this, Tony. Lets see what you can do with the rebuild!
Thanks Rhys.

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Thermal blanket experiment...

Sub'D polys with displacement applied to simulate creasing.

Normal map applied to surface to simulate stitching.

It's not a bad start I think, my normal map texture may be a little strong and I need to do something to make the surface a lot brighter as in NASA photos.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 08:02 AM   #5
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I've been down this road once before myself, Tony. I've also done this deliberately a few times (the renewal thread I had running here at one point). I think you'll find that this new model will actually turn out better than the old was. Our skills do improve, even if we don't notice it at the time.

I am looking forward to watching this magnificent vessel take shape under your hand.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 08:45 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigel View Post
I've been down this road once before myself, Tony. I've also done this deliberately a few times (the renewal thread I had running here at one point). I think you'll find that this new model will actually turn out better than the old was. Our skills do improve, even if we don't notice it at the time.

I am looking forward to watching this magnificent vessel take shape under your hand.
Thanks Rigel.

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Knocked the normal map back slightly (and corrected the mistakenly applied colour correction) and added a procedural to the bump channel.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 11:37 AM   #7
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Some more tweaking...

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...I'm quite happy with this now so I'm going to leave it 'as is' for now and get back to modelling.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 04:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew March View Post
This is lovely.
Thanks Andrew.

The experiments continue...

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Trying to figure out a way of making convincing joints in the thermal blanket.

(By the way, these tests are using a mix of my hi-res and lo-res versions of the model. Most of the detail bits are from the hi-res version).
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 05:57 PM   #9
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zbrush has a number of brushes to sculpt in zippers and cloth seams etc. I'm sure that someone could knock up a displacement map/normal map that you could apply to the seams
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 06:05 PM   #10
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something like these.

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Old 4th Oct 2010, 06:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillS View Post
something like these.

Those are nice, thanks Bill.

One of these days I'll have to look into Z Brush.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 09:47 PM   #12
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Does z-brush do weld lines? I could use a good displacement map for weld lines.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 05:02 AM   #13
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To much beautifull Tony!

Your mesh, of course, not you!
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 05:03 AM   #14
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Wasted ages trying to figure out why my textures for the blanket suddenly went badly wrong, it turned out I had accidentally deleted the UV map, d'oh!

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There's a couple of stray polys that have crept into the blanket mesh here, but they're no biggie to fix.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 07:19 AM   #15
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I think you're going a little OTT with the displacement, and the base geo doesn't have enough resolution to make it displace well at that level of subdivision.

(Newtek.... now would be a perfect time to implement sub pixel displacement!)

Normal maps will give you a better result, I reckon, and will probably render quicker too. Are you painting the normal/disp in photoshop then if you don't have access to zbrush or mudbox?
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 08:38 AM   #16
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stunnning work love these possible real space ship designs
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 08:55 AM   #17
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I can do a bump to normal on the bump map if it will help...

Also, you may want to hunt down the TRUSS2 script, particularly for those parts that are small scale and/or not close to the camera - runs tubes and joint pieces to your specification along polygon edges, which can make life easier.

Looking forward to seeing this one come together!
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 09:43 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by starship View Post
To much beautifull Tony!

Your mesh, of course, not you!
ROFLMAO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meurig View Post
I think you're going a little OTT with the displacement, and the base geo doesn't have enough resolution to make it displace well at that level of subdivision.

(Newtek.... now would be a perfect time to implement sub pixel displacement!)

Normal maps will give you a better result, I reckon, and will probably render quicker too. Are you painting the normal/disp in photoshop then if you don't have access to zbrush or mudbox?
I think you're probably right about the displacement being too much although not for the reasons you gave. When I did the first bit along that boxy thing I wanted there to be open edges to give the impression that it was just a blanket laid loosly over something. The new bits along the front were supposed to be the same, but I cocked it up. The thing is I quite like the look of the new bits edges where it looks tighter so I will probably go back and redo the first bits too.

Those obviously way overextended polys though were another cock up on my part, I had used lots of cut, paste, rotations, stretches, etc to create the thing and somewhere along the line some extra polys crept in that weren't being properly controlled.

To be honest, the whole blanket mesh needs redoing, believe it or not I could probably get away with not sub patching it as there is way too much geometry in there.

I might well have a go at doing more of the detailing using normal maps but it is an area that I still have much to learn at.

Not sure what sub pixel displacement is, I'll have to look it up.

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stunnning work love these possible real space ship designs
Thanks mate.

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I can do a bump to normal on the bump map if it will help...

Also, you may want to hunt down the TRUSS2 script, particularly for those parts that are small scale and/or not close to the camera - runs tubes and joint pieces to your specification along polygon edges, which can make life easier.

Looking forward to seeing this one come together!
Thanks Nick, I have finally gotten the Nvidia plug ins working properly on my pc now so bump to normal shouldn't be a problem for me.

I think I have truss 2 already. I've got a render running at the mo but when it's done I'll check.

Thanks for the interest guys, I've been quite busy today trying to find work so I haven't had much opportunity to do much on this. Hopefully I'll get an update done this evening.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 09:58 AM   #19
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Not sure what sub pixel displacement is, I'll have to look it up.
In a nutshell it would allow you to displace your wobbly sheets out of a single poly with resolution determined by your maps rather than your poly density.
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 12:50 PM   #20
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Does z-brush do weld lines? I could use a good displacement map for weld lines.
I don't see why you couldn't make one up. I don't have one that would do it automatically like the seam ones that I posted. Those are just click and drag and you're done. I imagine that all you would need to do is depress a strip and then build it back up... just like welding
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 12:51 PM   #21
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(Newtek.... now would be a perfect time to implement sub pixel displacement!)
AMEN Brother!!!
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Old 5th Oct 2010, 04:40 PM   #22
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O M G

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Old 13th Oct 2010, 02:37 PM   #23
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Latest attempt at the thermal blanket...

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I'm quite happy with this for the time being I'm going to move on to the rest of the model.
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Old 13th Oct 2010, 04:50 PM   #25
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Quote:
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very nice.. now can you put in a coffee pot, I hear it's cold in space
Don't worry, I'll make sure there's a coffee pot in there somewhere.

ok, some more test renders...

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Now I need to go on a mega poly cull.
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Old 22nd Nov 2011, 08:01 AM   #26
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Oh my, over a year since my last update bad Tony!

Anyhoo, someone mentioned instancing as a possible means of controlling the runaway poly count of my B5 OCD model and as instancing is something I've never tried before I thought some experimentation was in order. I'm not in a position to afford the new LW11 which has native instancing so I've been playing with DP Instance instead.

Here are my first attempts, basically anything with rotational symmetry is an instance...

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My findings so far...

Bloody hell do you ever take a hit at render time, and for some reason surface smoothing looks a bit borked.

Still it's an interesting experiment and if nothing else it will tide me over until I can get my hands on LW11 to unleash my inner poly monster all over my OCD model.

Bugger, I guess I'd better put this model back on the WIP pile now as well.
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Old 22nd Nov 2011, 08:08 AM   #27
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A year? Dang, I should have broke out the pointy stick on this about 8 months ago.

That looks good Tony. The render hit probably comes from it having to not only calculate what it looks like, but calculate position and rotation for each clone item as well.
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Old 22nd Nov 2011, 08:22 AM   #28
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A year? Dang, I should have broke out the pointy stick on this about 8 months ago.

That looks good Tony. The render hit probably comes from it having to not only calculate what it looks like, but calculate position and rotation for each clone item as well.
Hehe, I kept my head down in order to avoid the pointy stick wielding staff.

Apparently the render hit with DP Instance is because it's a volumetric instancer. LW11's instances are (so I'm told) geometry based so it may be quicker with LW11 when (if) I get it.
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 04:52 AM   #29
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Very sweet to see some updates! WB Tony, the update loosk sweet, esp w/DP instance in your corner -- I'm looking forward to grabbing LW11 but will have to wait until almost mid-DEC

Looking forward to seeing further updates!
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 07:15 AM   #30
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Damn, that is really looking quite good. Love the work on the thermal blankets.
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