Rooms With A View

I’ve begun modeling the view ports on the pylon arches as well as adding more docking port details.


View ports textured

View ports modeled (still much to complete)

I began by UV mapping them on with some images that I cooked up to match a consistent deck height all t he way up the arches.  I settled on 92 decks after I had finagled things a bit.  I used a bit of a crisscross pattern, especially in the lower sections, to indicate some underlying structural obstacles and basically to make it more interesting.  I did something similar in the piers, though to a much lesser degree.

The texture and luminosity maps

The problem with mapping however, is how sometimes the angles and curves of a model can corrupt the image being used depending on how it is “projected,” in this case stretching the window shapes as the curve progressed.  I know I could have used multiple maps or maybe some other method (a spherical projection maybe), but  I went ahead and put up a full set of view ports knowing it was only temporary.  I intended to eventually model the view ports into the structure anyway.  Still, the maps gave a good sense of how the windows would appear and ended up being a nice template for the modeled windows.  I was able to create most of the shapes ahead of time and then stencil them into the surface in small groups.  To avoid the problems of the maps projection, I had to take the window shapes and angle them (as perpendicular as possible) to the surface in order to not corrupt the stencil effect.

There are several different types of view ports in these arches.  Some are smooth cornered rectangles, while some are the circular “dot and dash” types most commonly associated with the TMP era starships.  However, they are notably larger.

Some of these windows (the rectangular) are in fact pretty huge, and most of those are in the more public areas of the station’s facilities.  These are lounges, restaurants, shops, and offices.  The smaller rounder windows are mostly in the residential/guest areas of the station.

Still, the other view ports are nothing to sneeze at.  They wold make for some nice views of the piers below towards the lower levels.  While the deck height of these arch levels are fairly consistent along the entire structure, the curvature of the exterior forces a number of the view ports into odd angles.  For this reason, towards the top of the arch they are more akin to sky lights than grand viewing windows.  I will probably put a similar group of view ports along the inner sections as well, since that was my intention with the original design.

Currently all the view ports share the same shader value which is just a light blue hue with the luminosity levels ramped up, but eventually I’ll make them transparent after I’ve placed some low details behind them; basically little open ended boxes which conform to the shape of the exteriors, that have been mapped with some graphics to simulate an interior environment.

Some other details I’ve begun to place about the station are the standard docking rings, and some new details on the gangways.  It is an attempt to make them more “Swiss-army-knife” versatile I suppose.  There are multiple types of docking gangways for different ships and they can swing to and fro in order to extend the right mechanism.


I’ve added a few more landing bays for auxiliary craft and smaller vessels that can be parked and serviced within the station’s internal facilities.  I haven’t done much with the landing/elevator pads on the top of the long piers though, but the giant fuel tank stand-ins make their debut here as I head in that direction.


~ by starstation on October 6, 2010.

4 Responses to “Rooms With A View”

  1. Really impressive and well done.

  2. Awesome!

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