Pleasant Surprise…

I planned ahead. Who knew?

New lights, both rendered and post production, as well as new constructs

I finally got some lit interior structures into what I refer to as the “slope building” there in the background. I opened the dedicated file of the building which I originally constructed some years ago.  Apparently early on, I actually set it up for a possible future of interior visibility.Being a rather simple assemblage of floor levels and support frames, I discovered that the insides weren’t completely hollow, but in fact ready to detail, and I had even put light panels into beveled ceilings! Gotta say… I don’t remember that. 😀 But since my current intention was to give it some sort of visible interior for this base, and that chore was already (mostly) complete, delightfully, I decided to just lay on a bit more detail. I added some external shafts for elevators (turbolifts 😉 ) on the backside of the building. I made them glassy like some hotels or cruise ships do, for the windowed elevators that allow you to witness your rise and descent. I put in walls at certain increments and textured them with simple patterns to break them up a bit. They’re placed on either side of, and perpendicular to the elevator doors, creating a hall structure and breaking each level into at least 3 units.  The ceiling lights are at varying degrees of brightness now.  I also put some lobby doors on the front base. I might have to break up that lobby space and give it some sort of partial second floor or decking since it’s quite a bit of wasted space. There is walking space on the roof now too, that I lit a little.

That new construct in the bottom left corner (above) came to me after I built an open arched dome structure similar to the one seen in the classic matte painting of Starbase 11 from TOS and another seen in a newer background from the remastered TOS.  Here’s a test shot of that dome I never intended to post.

Far left- the four arched open air dome.

I went back to it in order to build some type of central construct on the roof as those references indicate.  But as I began playing around with the model, I found myself drawn to another similar design, inspired by a group of High School buildings near where I grew up.  It’s slightly more complex, as this design relies on a hexagonal system of arches in the dome rather than the apparent four sided domes seen in the canon background shots.  The “school dome” is flatter and also acts as a roof for a fully enclosed interior rather than merely being an open air canopy as the reference versions appear to be.  It wasn’t my intention to put such a structure there, but the area was pretty blank and I wanted to show the model off once it had progressed that far.  The other open air dome dome is still right where I put it for the test shot, but it’s not visible in the night shots from this angle.

I also added some shuttles, workbees and related cargo equipment to the tarmac.  For those areas around the hanger, I added spotlights for the rendering with no corresponding light source in the model.  So, I added some features in post to make it appear some light beams are cutting through a little atmosphere, with similar beams glowing around the sidewalk lamposts.  My fog experiments have been less than promising, but I am learning.  Until I get a better grasp, I’m glad I know this little Photoshop cheat. 😀

I think I’ll try tweaking the lighting in the Federation Admin Building, since the floors are not lit uniformly.  That has a lot to do with differing wall angles and varying sizes of ceiling panel lights, but the overall effect is pretty dramatic, so that needs to be fixed.

Minor update: I discovered the joy of volumetric lighting last night and was able to create some delicious mist cutting light beams in the scene.  After some experimentation with the settings, I placed them around the tarmac in place of the Photoshop post effect I was using.  They were surprisingly similar to the Photoshop effect (at a such a long distance)  and I even did some blending of the 2 images to see if I could improve on them both.  Top image is an updated re-post of that experiment.

~ by starstation on January 30, 2012.

4 Responses to “Pleasant Surprise…”

  1. Lovely. I have a pic of that highschool building on my harddrive somewhere…sadly 99% of modern architects are conformatists….whhat happened to vision??

    Bring us another Frank Lloyd Wright! (a slighlty less mad one though:))

    New details are quite lovely and the images are great.

    • Actually those school buildings used to scare me when I was really young. 😀 They were just that different. But I remember as I got older and more into sci-fi, how often I would ask my parents to drive by it when we were in the neighborhood visiting family. I didn’t attend that high school, but it naturally had an impact on my imagination at a pretty early age. It’s actually built and situated partially on a man made lake or pond, but I haven’t necessarily intended to address that feature in this colony structure. I was just amazed I was able to make those arched domes with so few smoothing errors. 🙂

  2. ain’t that the truth… back in the 60’s we were dreaming of the moon, and making use of all the geometric shapes for buildings etc… now its all a box.. just look at cars now adays… bunch of cheap boxes… egh..

    looking good!!

    • Heh. Now I have that “Little Boxes” song in my head. “…all made out of ticky tacky, And they all look just the same.” 😉

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