To Fake, Or Not To Fake…

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That is the question.  These transporter pads demand a gridlike texture on their top surface, but to model them and attempt to render could be a nightmare in the making.Fake it! 😀  I decided to go with the bump texture method instead.  I tried a little transparency grid (clear squares and translucent criss-crosses), but it look far too slapped-on-2D .  The details are small enough that a simple bump map appears to be sufficient, though I am having some difficulty seeing them at sharp angles.

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Dim, I know.  But bumpy! 😀

Someone has helpfully suggested normal mapping as an alternative and I am looking into the possibilities.

These images have cargo actually situated on the transporter platform to give an idea how things look together.

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Not to Fake. 😉  The Honeycomb door in back however, I chose to model with full geometry simply because I loved how it looked when I began the structure and how much better it appeared than my first 2D bump map attempt.  Takes a little more effort for the computer to render, but until I learn a better method of trickery (normal mapping?) I’ll stick with this structural form.

The raytraced shadows on the floor coming through the honeycomb windows were really annoying me.  I could turn on caustics to get them to blur, but even that could take my new Mac forever to calculate and render.  As it turned out, the same person who suggested the normal mapping procedures also suggested eliminating raytraced lighting behind the honeycomb surface; replacing it with a single polygon, UV image mapped with a self-illuminated low-res surface that could fake the lighting on the other side.  Simple!  I have to say I am glad I tried it. 😀

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I managed more tweeks to the overall structure, as well as the addition of a doorway and some cargo labels.  I still need to figure out a way to prevent the bump maps from being so easily washed away by the radiosity.   Specifically, the floor has a bump map that should simulate a type of diamond metal plating.  It works fine with direct lighting, but tends to fade out with renderosity.  Minimal reflectivity has helped in that department, so I might try something there.

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~ by starstation on March 30, 2009.

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