Greebles In The Recesses

Or… “Mildew Grows In Dark Corners Too!

Along the pier’s main interior wall, I tightened up and further beveled some more rounded view ports, thus thickening the hull’s appearance in those areas.  I also added a few more sprinkle greebles (mini-pipes and tanks).  My main focus however, was to try breaking up the monotony nestled in the furthest recesses of this inner pier’s layout.

New greebles, barely visible in the pier’s darkest corners

Originally designed to add interest to an inner pier section, the angled areas nested deepest into the port’s structure were starting to appear mostly barren to me.  When I first built it, I mainly intended to break up the flat blocky nature of the piers by reducing the number of 90 degree angles anywhere I could, but I also wanted to allow continuance of the concourse windows around the inner structure in some fashion.  Though fully ensconced in the station’s structure, I wanted these inner corner areas to seem something like the crossover bridges used by hospitals and office buildings to connect separate super structures to one another.  Once I had established all of the necessities (concourse view ports, docking rings) I realized just how much empty space there still was left to fill in, even though the overall area is smaller in comparison to the larger pier features.  Jamming it with random hanger doors and arbitrary view ports was not a good idea, as I had to take into account the large cargo bay which fills the entire deck it inhabits and takes up a large swath of that portion of the recessed hull not already dominated by concourse.  The primary doors for this bay were already established as well.

An earlier render with only the corner greebles established

I had earlier begun to add a cluster of minor greebles into the sharp 90 degree corner of the recess, but it was clearly still lacking.  I decided to break up the area by distinguishing the lower angled section with a complete difference in color and smooth shifted it a little.  This area is below the main cargo deck.  To the right I added a small bay for workbees and their accessories.  This port’s door serves a double function.  The entire door can slide open to access larger equipment in the bay, or the individual workbees (up to 4) can temporarily park in what I’ve dubbed the “doggy doors.”  Like some of Andrew Probert’s original concept art, this provides quick access/egress to the pilots for lunch breaks or what have you.  The workbee bay is in its own mini nook with equipment greebles and pipes just below it.  There is even a small exterior airlock exclusively for quick maintenance access for thruster suited mechanics.  Figuring the entire lower area could serve best housing large machinery and equipment for life support and cargo bay functions, I added external plates for maintenance access all around, and it now serves as a maintenance area dedicated to pier functions.

Another angle…  still dark

The overall darkness of these images is a curse, as every time I manage a new test render with the illumination ramped up a little more, I have to reload the entire scene due to memory issues.  These particular images all branched off from my attempt to render the McCook docked at the station with operating travel pods.  I suppose if I want to concentrate on showing off the station elements, I could dump the McCook from this scene and focus on these new areas.  It would certainly help with the memory issue.

Update since beginning this entry.  I saved the scene anew and discarded all nonessential meshes.  I was able to tweak  some details and refine the lighting a bit to render these slightly closer views.

A little brighter and closer to the detail

I’ve also began chopping up some of the support pylons that run to and through the lower ring structure.  I put some piping running up the inner structure and a grill type pattern on the outer facing.  The inner structure even has a little greeble box at the bottom of the piping with a maintenance hatch.  I’ve even begun creating a frame structure for the fuel pods that up until now have been hanging free in space with no connection to the main station.  They are primitive so far, and barely visible in the upper images.

I think my next area of focus will be on the center of the inner pier itself.  For a while now, I’ve been debating how and where the refueling of ships will take place.  In the Trek-verse, antimatter containment pods are probably delivered directly in bundles, but the slush deuterium that handles the matter side of things would most likely be pumped into a vessel’s reservoir by conventional means.  I wrestled with whether or not it was necessary for every pier to have refueling appendages for all docked vessels.  This could make things pretty complex since (curse or blessing) Starfleet ships have widely varying morphologies (for lack of a better word), and I was worried about taking things to that level.  Another alternative was for ships to simply link up to a separate facility built into the lower core in order to refuel as an independent maneuver.  Perhaps they would dock for a few days at their pier for maintenance and reloading of supplies, and then refuel down below as a final task before departure.  This seems a bit inefficient but was where I was leaning.  My initial intent was to build fueling stations into the lower core pylons or atop the lower ring.  Those two ideas might still be viable options, but I’ve come to the conclusion that even if the outer piers don’t have refueling capabilities, the inner piers should at least have the option, especially since the fuel can run directly up through the pylons to the center of the pier.  The rather barren area directly between the large tractor beam mounts looks ripe for final placement of some sort of large refueling rig or boom.

The fun challenge will be coming up with a construct that will be universal to some degree, but offer the flexibility required by the distinct styling motifs of Starfleet ships.

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~ by starstation on December 2, 2011.

5 Responses to “Greebles In The Recesses”

  1. Damn. Man that is looking so good.

  2. Thanks so much!

  3. Excellent!

  4. looking great sir! nothing wrong with shadows, it all depends on the lighting..

    so.. is the light from a star? “running” lights? floods? soft/hard shadows? how shiny the hull is, specularaty etc. so basically, if theres no lights, and the sun is on the other side.. shadow’s are Black! look at DS9 and the dark shots they have on her.. she’s Rarly fully lit to where you can see everything.. 🙂

    looking good sir! glad you keeping up on her !

    • Thanks Road Warrior!

      Thanks Valkyrie!

      Well the main light is from a star, but there is a dimmer secondary light source opposite the star set to “dome” mode for a little more spread. It has a slightly purple hue. I’ve always intended to have some minor nebulosity nearby as well as a planet (and maybe some moons), though neither are visible in any render I’ve yet composed. I’m not sure if the secondary light represents the nebula emissions, the planet’s reflection, or a combination of both since I’ve never forced myself to commit details to either. 😉 I don’t think I want the station as close to the planet as Earth’s Spacedock appeared in STIII though.

      DS9 was indeed pretty dark, but then again the hull was darker and the station had taken up residence a little further out into the Barjoran solar system. Stark lighting seemed to fit the storyline.

      This station’s hull is more of the light grey and blue hues that Starfleet is known for and certainly has a higher specularity. This station also has a lot more flat surfaces than DS9 and there’s a lot more interior light bleeding out across exterior surfaces with the large cargo openings (when open) and the concourse view ports. Spotlights/floods are definitely present as well.

      I personally think it should be brighter than DS9 but I’m pretty happy with it as it is currently lit. Someday, when it is closer to completion and the planet details are set, I can render it on the far side of the planet where the sun might be eclipsed and the nebula could be on the far side of the parent star for a season. Maybe then we can see it under the dimmest of space light and she can glow under her own power. That should be fun! 😀

      I’ve been away from the model for a few days, so hopefully I can get back to her by this weekend.

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