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Old 10th Jan 2016, 04:15 PM   #1
maestros
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Default Star Trek - The Presidential Tour - Vulcan



“Welcome back to FNN’s ongoing coverage of President zh’Tharris’ tour of Federation member worlds. I’m Larrian Thlox, and joining me via subspace link is our field correspondent for the tour, Gale Blackwood.

As has been tradition for many electoral cycles now, the President will visit a number of hand-picked worlds and meet with local governors and representatives, as well as partake in local ceremonial rituals as a sign of cultural understanding and togetherness.

The first stop of the 2442 presidential tour is planet Vulcan, in the 40 Eridani system. A staunch ally of Earth, and founding Federation member, Vulcan is a regular on presidential tour itineraries. Gale, what can President zh’Tharris expect there?”

“Well Larian I think we can expect relations to be cordial, if a little frosty. The Vulcan’s are a proud, long lived people. Many older Vulcans still retain suspicions over their Andorian co-members. The two races were once bitter rivals, after all.”

“But that was centuries ago, are you insinuating these rivalries are still going strong?”

“Strong maybe be too ‘strong’ a word, if you’ll pardon my pun, but I think it’s safe to assume the Vulcan Council of Elders are still wary. Especially following Androia’s secession and subsequent cozying to the Typhon pact some fifty years back.”

“Pft, but Andoria has been acknowledged back as a fully fledged member for decades now…”

“Nobody holds a grudge like a Vulcan, Larian.”

“Isn’t that true, Gale, Isn’t that true. So once Starfleet One arrives at Vulcan, what next? Can we expect them to lay out the red carpet?”

“Maybe not the carpet, Larian, but certainly the red ship. We can expect the president to be welcomed about the Vulcan flagship Ni’Vir. And as is customary for Vulcan diplomatic engagements, the president will travel across to the Ni’vir aboard one of her private shuttles.”

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

Okay, so on this one I broke a cardinal rule.

I couldn't find a detailed mesh for a Vulcan Suurok class, so cheated and used a pre-rendered image of Doug Drexlers iconic design, with some massaging in Photoshop to make it match my style. I'm already slapping my own wrists.

Again the main aim here is to put a focus on the planets - I'm trying to move away from purely 2D planets and catch up with the rest of the world, and make them in glorious high resolution 3D! The map color for Vulcan I don't credit for. The bump, specular, and light maps I made derived for the original map, and brought them into 3DS Max for rendering.

As I mentioned in my previous image, I'm going to publicly post the BG's:



A credit would be welcomed if used elsewhere.

Comments and crits welcomed (yeah I know, naughty on the Suurok. )
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 12:40 AM   #2
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This is a really great job, I especially like the planet, that's the best render of Vulcan I've seen. I might ask you for the maps when I make a Lightwave mesh of Vulcan.
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 05:17 AM   #3
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more details on how you made the image(s) of Vulcan!
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 08:21 AM   #4
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Very beautiful pictures. If the background is freely available?
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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Great work, indeed. And I hear you. I've been moving towards 3D planets for most of last year, and all the planets in my recent images were 3D spheres with largely custom textures. I'm even trying to compose 16k textures where I can, so it holds up for closer shots.

Good job!
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 01:22 PM   #6
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Thanks guys.

Lonewriter - feel free, drop me a PM when you're looking at doing that and I'll see if I can send them over. As I said in my post, I can't take credit for the diff map - I just created the bump, spec, and light maps.

Ronald - the planet is made of 3 overlapping spheres; the base with the diff, bump, and spec maps, applied, a slightly larger sphere with the cloud map applied, and the third sphere is the atmosphere applied using a falloff gradient map.I rendered the planet as both with and without the city lights, then in Photoshop tweaked levels and color balances until i has satisfied.My 3D skills are lacking, so much of the outcome is a result of post work in Photoshop.

Overseer - I haven't played with 16K textures much - beyond those for Earth with were largely just tweaked Blue Marble maps. Do you see a major impact on render times with such high res maps?
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 01:23 PM   #7
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Trekki - indeed. I've decided to go back to just posting the background images alone alongside the completed piece for others to use if they have the desire.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 02:29 PM   #8
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Very nicely done.
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 03:20 PM   #9
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Thanks!
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Old 16th Jan 2016, 07:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestros View Post
Overseer - I haven't played with 16K textures much - beyond those for Earth with were largely just tweaked Blue Marble maps. Do you see a major impact on render times with such high res maps?
Yes, they can, depending, of course, also on the complexity of the lighting etc. Due to resource limitations I run into, I tend to render the background separately, and then use the same lighting setup for the rest of the scene. The advantage is though, that close-up shots do hold up much better.

Here are a few examples when I used 16k textures for the planet(s):


I certainly won't say that it's a necessity though. In case of Mars or Earth, it certainly is a valid option! This one had 8k textures and works, too:

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Old 22nd Jan 2016, 09:17 AM   #11
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Good work Chris.
And thanks for sharing!
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