View Ports-O-Plenty

…Or, recipe for a render crash

I finally started up my procrastination mower and hit the weeds of “put-off.”  This might not appear like much new, but in this session I decided to put in some long awaited view ports on the inner surfaces of the arched towers. Most of these view ports are the smaller type, closer in size to the typical starship variety, though there are a few big ones for the dedicated and more public observation venues.  It was very hard to align the objects I used as stencils with the ever curving inner arch walls, but I was happy with the final results… for a short time.  I did a close up render this morning and, aside from a number of render artifacts that gremlin the entire image, they just don’t look as good fully rendered as they did in modeler.  Could have just been the harsh lighting however, as they looked a little washed out and less dramatic.  Either way, it looks like I have some geometry to correct before I can make them the highlight of any render.  Alas, they look really great from afar.

Being modeled features, the new view ports also bring a lot of calculatory baggage with them, and I had to sacrifice a number of things just to get the render to take place.  Hence… no starships docked.  I also left out the highly detailed concourse, although the others have the low (read, “no”) detail versions. And after boarding up all the open bays like preparing for an approaching ion storm, it definitely had an impact on the shot.

This shot also gives me a good opportunity to stand back and decide what I want (and need) to concentrate on next.  After focusing so long on the inner pier and its interiors, it would appear as if I have neglected many other areas of the station.  Most notable in this new shot, the outlying faces of the piers remain rather plain with only simplistic details.  Those long stretches of concourse view ports are still just huge glowing rectangles serving as stand-ins.  The station’s core has also been in limbo for quite some time now, and those lower pylons leading down to the fueling ring are just screaming for their piece of cake.

Here’s an older image for comparison (and as an excuse to post an incomplete image that I’m still rather fond of 😉 ).

The inner arches here, though partly obscured behind the Phobos, are starkly smooth and blank, and in the shadows that makes them exceptionally difficult to discern.  Of course, many details had yet to be implemented at the time of this render, but there is still much to do.

Minor Update: So that it wouldn’t look so dark, I added a no-detail concourse back into the close pier that was missing it.  I actually removed most of the station and tried to render just the closest piers with the detailed interior, thinking I could Photoshop that small portion back into a full render.  Render program had a memory error nearly instantly.  I’ve clearly overdone the polys.  Poo. 😦

~ by starstation on April 8, 2012.

7 Responses to “View Ports-O-Plenty”

  1. Windows,windows,windows! Dang man- that looks like alot of work!!!

    • T’was… it’was.


      Actually, I was suprised at how quickly and smooth things went, given my long dread of the task. What really got me was how long it took to replicate then load, remove, and replace the other 3 pier/tower arch structures that I keep in a separate file. After leaving modeler and shifting to layout, It took 5 minutes to load the scene, which was an older saved scene (from the old low detail days) with about 8 starships in pier. I decided to pluck every one out and focus on the station. After all the adjustments, the memory couldn’t handle it and I had to restart and reload. Ugh. That is probably what I was dreading.

  2. Poo indeed.:(

    I just noticed the “baseball” grenade handle on the bottom tanks. Now I can NOT unsee them!!;)

    Also been meaning to ask..what are those doors on the underside of the uppermost section on the station?

    • Ah. Seared onto your retinas and into your mind! My evil task is complete! >;)

      Hmm. Never thought of them as hand grenade like, but I guess that is a good comparison. 😀

      The doors on the uppermost section open up into a large bay or bays. In this case, another large landing facility for parking somewhat smaller though still interstellar capable vehicles. Since the upper area will be dedicated to admin and public areas like the huge arboretum, it might be a slightly nicer bay, maybe even for dignitaries and high ranking officials.

      Here is my original version in Raydream Designer with some of the doors open. The current version is still incomplete and I’ve made some changes since then of course (overall shape and scale of the hub, number of exterior doors, etc…), but the basic format is the same.

  3. Cool! I dig that old pic. Thanks for the info, Bassil. Hey, did you ever decide on what area you want to tackle next?

  4. ^ Sorry- I spelled your name wrong my mistake.

    • No prob. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t mentioned it.

      As for the next tackle… Hmmm. Hard one.

      I’ve got a few major options: The admin hub at the top or the arboretum/park section within it (an interior which I’ve actually done some work in), the relatively blank sections of the piers closer to the inner core (and their topsides which have the flat landing pad surfaces), or the under side which houses the refueling hub.

      All that is enough to pull me in 30 different directions, but I am leaning toward completing the pier structures and considering one whole modular unit essentially complete. But then again, I know me. 😉

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