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Old 3rd Sep 2015, 09:46 PM   #1
David cgc
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Default Star Trek - Retina Redone Refit Renders

Sorry about the title, when I saw the alliteration was happening, I had to fill it out.

I think I mentioned planning to redo some of my favorite refit-Enterprise renders after I built the interior sets and modified the texturing. So far, I've got two stills finished.

Now, these are 5K images, so they're nearly 5 MB in size. Fair warning.



This is actually the third time I've rendered this image (first version, second version). No deliberate changes, aside from the fact that I'm recreating the final image by eye since I kept using destructive editing techniques in Photoshop, so it's always off. And the film grain is much finer (more like how I'd like it to be) since the image is so large. I did think some of the reflections on the hull looked good, like the honeycomb light reflecting above the "N", and the side-lights on the rim of the saucer. I'm not quite happy with how the windows came out, but I think I improved on them in the next image.



There are a couple of deliberate changes in this one compared to the original version of "Quiet Night at the Office." The most obvious is probably that I repositioned all the travel pods and work bees because I set up the scene to animate and wanted more visually interesting flight-paths. I dialed back the motion blur a bit, as well.

A little more subtle touch is that I changed the ship from the Enterprise to the Endeavour, after a tedious evening of aligning and stenciling text. I wonder if there's a script or something that you could write to do that.

I brightened up the windows considerably on this image, possibly too much. It's more like my original aim for them, where they still look a lot like the featureless white of the studio model, but have just the subtlest suggestion of depth. You can just barely see a person in the first long window to the left of the gangway. I also think I might've been a bit too heavy on the grain, but I'd like to see it on a retina/hiDPI/5K screen before I make a final judgement.

I've actually already rendered all the passes for the animated version, I just haven't gotten around to compositing them yet.

I'm also planning redos of the nebula picture and "Comparing Notes" or, as an ambiguously-formatted text box led to it being called in SoTL '16, "U.S.S. Enterprise and U.S.S. Endeavor." They asked for the name of the ship, how was I supposed to know they meant the title of the image?

I've rendered the passes for the nebula still, but I haven't comped them yet. I'd actually forgotten I'd done the renders until I wrote this post. I guess I'm really not looking forward to rebuilding that nebula, though at least I found all the source images. I'm planning to do some lightning flashes for the animated version, too, along with a nuBSG-style camera move, since it was a shot from that which inspired the image originally.

I have a fairly elaborate animation planned for "Comparing Notes" that I want to do some more tests with before I commit to the render time. For obvious reasons, any 5K still version I end up rendering won't see the light of day for a while.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 06:29 AM   #2
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Cant wait to see it. The Interiors are excellent.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Nice renders, lovely lighting, but far too much grain for my taste.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 11:15 AM   #4
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I have to agree good renders. Tad too much grain.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 06:29 PM   #5
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This is a coincidence, I just got my SOTL calendar today. You did a great job on that render and this one.
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Old 4th Sep 2015, 07:20 PM   #6
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Thanks! My parents are thrilled. They want to give out copies to all their family and friends. I think my Mom might single-handedly make the publisher decide to go for a 2017 edition at this rate.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 12:23 AM   #7
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Thanks! My parents are thrilled. They want to give out copies to all their family and friends. I think my Mom might single-handedly make the publisher decide to go for a 2017 edition at this rate.
How did you get in the calendar? I'd like to try to submit one.
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Old 6th Sep 2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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How did you get in the calendar? I'd like to try to submit one.
They had an open-submission contest last year, sort of a "by fans, for fans" thing. I'm not sure they're doing a 2017 edition at all. Before the 2016 contest was announced, there were rumors that the calendar was going to be cancelled, and before that, there was some drama when it shifted to a new publisher. If they were having another contest for 2017 they probably would've announced it by now.

Assuming they are going to continue SotL, everything I heard about how to get in conventionally was to make something cool and put it somewhere Doug Drexler (or someone who might show it to him) can notice it. I suppose that'd be Facebook pages he's involved in, now.
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Old 7th Sep 2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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I hope they don't cancel it. I've been buying it every year since it started.
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 03:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
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There are a couple of deliberate changes in this one compared to the original version of "Quiet Night at the Office."

...

I've actually already rendered all the passes for the animated version, I just haven't gotten around to compositing them yet.
I decided to make the comp this weekend, coinciding with my guest spot on the podcast Random Trek. So, naturally, there's way more radiosity flicker than I would like. I'll take another pass at rendering it some other time. At the moment, a single shot isn't worth the computer time it'll require.

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Old 14th Feb 2016, 06:52 PM   #11
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How did you get in the calendar? I'd like to try to submit one.
Yeah, that is one of my 'goals' so to speak. I think it's indeed a 'you're been lucky' kind of deal. I guess it doesn't help that I don't do social media......
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 06:55 PM   #12
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I decided to make the comp this weekend (..)
Very nicely done; what is Lightwave and what is After Effects? Music etc. aside this could mainly be Lightwave. Good job.

And definitely congratulations for your spot in the SotL!
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 10:23 PM   #13
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Very nicely done; what is Lightwave and what is After Effects? Music etc. aside this could mainly be Lightwave. Good job.

And definitely congratulations for your spot in the SotL!
After Effects was just the regular post work; levels, grain, bloom, all that good stuff. Well, there was one other thing. Since the background of Earth was a still image, rather than putting it on a card and rendering it in Lightwave, I rendered a pass with a grid as a spherical background in Lightwave, and then used that to motion track the original background image I made in AE.

The music was actually cut in with Quicktime Pro and Audacity (for the fade -in and -out).
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Old 14th Feb 2016, 11:11 PM   #14
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Incredible job as usual.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 10:52 AM   #15
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That's a nice shot, even with the radiosity flicker.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 12:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by David cgc View Post
After Effects was just the regular post work; levels, grain, bloom, all that good stuff. Well, there was one other thing. Since the background of Earth was a still image, rather than putting it on a card and rendering it in Lightwave, I rendered a pass with a grid as a spherical background in Lightwave, and then used that to motion track the original background image I made in AE.

The music was actually cut in with Quicktime Pro and Audacity (for the fade -in and -out).
Ah, that's an interesting technique. I tend to add the planets as 3D objects these days, and then, if I hit the resource limit, render it as a pass, or altogether. Takes more time I guess, it depends. The motion tracking capabilities of After Effects are certainly nice; just need the time to delve into it more...

Thanks for elaborating.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 06:19 PM   #17
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I used to mostly go with a modeled sphere Earth, but sometimes, it's easier to just poach NASA photography. Especially in close-up shots, where a full globe wouldn't hold up.
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Old 15th Feb 2016, 06:26 PM   #18
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I used to mostly go with a modeled sphere Earth, but sometimes, it's easier to just poach NASA photography. Especially in close-up shots, where a full globe wouldn't hold up.
Yeah, that can be true. Although 16k texture maps should hold up in close-ups.
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