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Old 23rd Jan 2016, 11:12 AM   #1
maestros
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Smile Star Trek - The Presidential Tour - Andoria



“You’re watching FNN’s continuing coverage of the 2442 presidential tour. I’m Larrian Thlox. With me in the studio is the Andorian delegate to the Federation council, Tien th’Vuul. Tien, tell me, how do the Andorian’s view their first elected president of the Federation since they’re readmission?”

“Cautious excitement, I would say. Our people’s history as always been turbulent, and fraught with difficulty and conflict, but President zh’Tharris’ down-to-Andor policies and promises of fairer economic reforms have people optimistic.”

“Quite, and of course as our viewers are undoubtedly aware Andoria was the only core world struck during the Borg invasion some sixty years ago. During that time your people not only have been struggling to rebuilt, but faced extinction due to your unique biological qualities. But many Federation citizens remain irked and Andoria’s secession during such a turbulent time – when the Federation as not only recovering from the attacks but dealing with the nascent Typhon Pact. What would you say to them?”

“That they should remember who fomented the mistrust that lead to our withdrawal from the Federation! Had Starfleet not withheld vital scientific data that could have helped my people overcome our population crisis, we would never had been pushed to such extremes!”

“Then what of Andoria’s subsequent warming of relations with the Pact? Many Federation politicians viewed that as a traitorous act.”

“Nonsense! My people had no recourse but to explore all diplomatic and economic possibilities! The Pact offered us trade opportunities that we needed to survive…”

“Did those trade opportunities include an exchange of technological knowledge? Say of quantum slipstream technology?”

“Those allegations have never been proven! I resent that you’d even bring that into the conversation. I didn’t come here to be insulted by a second-rate political pundit whose mother….”

“And that’s all we have time for right now folks! Be sure to join us on the next leg of President zh’Tharris’ tour of key Federation worlds….”

(“…it’s insufferable pink skin bigots like you who stir up malcontent amongst…”)

“Next up, Gale Blackwood live on Andoria. Stay tuned!”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next step of the presidential tour, focusing on improving my transition to 3d planet model in my images. I'm somewhat kicking myself over this one because I managed to overwrite my original higher resolution backdrop down to 1080... Don't drink and draw, kids.

Planet textures created in Photoshop, brought into MAX to create the planets, then back back into Photoshop once rendered. Flare generated in After Effects. Then the usual post work in Photoshop to tweak to my liking.

I'm a tad undecided on the light for this one - on the monitor I was working on it looks great (at least, at a level which I was aiming for). However, on our living room Samsung the shadows come across too dark. Guess you can't have it all though.

As I've been doing of late, here is the background as well - free to use if anyone has use of it. A small credit would be appreciated if it is used:



Comments and constructive criticisms welcome as always. I've not tried a planetary composition of this nature before so any pointers are well received.

Next up - Tellar Prime! (hopefully) That'll round out the founding members of the Federation.
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Old 23rd Jan 2016, 01:50 PM   #2
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After realizing that the Andorian gas giant actually is supposed to have a ring, I did a quick revisiting of this earlier. I'm far from an expert and doing ringed planets so any constructive input is well received:

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Old 23rd Jan 2016, 03:24 PM   #3
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Very nice picture. Great lighting, and I think the rings do look the part. The only way you could improve them is to add additional details such as micro asteroids and dust which is what comprises rings.

The approach might be different in MAX, but in Lightwave I'd use a ring of points which are then randomized with hypervoxels and instancing.
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Old 23rd Jan 2016, 04:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overseer View Post
Very nice picture. Great lighting, and I think the rings do look the part. The only way you could improve them is to add additional details such as micro asteroids and dust which is what comprises rings.

The approach might be different in MAX, but in Lightwave I'd use a ring of points which are then randomized with hypervoxels and instancing.
Thanks for the feedback! That's good stuff, I may revisit that to add a level of detail along the closest ring.

To be honest, I'm still working very much in a hybrid manner - half 3d and half Photoshop. I'm much more comfortable in Photoshop, but I guess hey're both valid tool, depending on the aim of the end result.
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Old 23rd Jan 2016, 05:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback! (...) I'm still working very much in a hybrid manner - half 3d and half Photoshop. I'm much more comfortable in Photoshop, but I guess hey're both valid tool, depending on the aim of the end result.
You're welcome!

I've been trying to do as much in 3D as possible, including background elements (planets, nebulae etc.). There are just some things that cannot get around post work. Some details, color corrections, planet atmospheres I can enhance in post work.

If you look at how much frame-by-frame post work needed to happen in a lot of the Star Wars based effect shots, especially during the prequel trilogy. . . I don't think there is anything against the 'hybrid' approach as you name it. Very apt name, too. There are far too many people that slap out bland and flat looking renders, either because they're purist, because they just know any better. Drives me nuts. 5 minutes in Photoshop and it could look professional.

It all depends what you're doing though. If you go for hyper realistic space scenes, you won't need much post work. All depends on the 3D package you're using, too. I find Lightwave's handling of lighting, shadows, post effects (it comes with options for bloom for instance) very satisfactory. Still, some post work is always necessary.

Plus, there is the memory problem. I've had it that I couldn't render in high resolutions (and I usually render at least 2x HD so I can size down later which increases/preserves image quality much better), because I ran out of memory. In that case I have to do several passes and composite in post. That's also not a problem and is done in professional productions, too. . .

I go with whatever works best to achieve what I have in mind!
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