A Gangway Delay

Scout ship takes a brief back-burner.

Rough_Cut-6aRough draft: Dark, splotchy, but mainly just testing the overall blocking. 

I was again inspired by those fascinating cutaway drawings of a starship gangway study I posted a short time ago…

Cont-Refit_GangwayGangway study by unknown (at present) artist.

As a result, I decided to set aside the refitted Ranger class-scout for a short time, and began work on those interior gangway details for a significantly larger ship.  However, the exterior gangway hatch and immediate airlock details might very easily come in handy on the Ranger class eventually.

The paint is still wet, but these first experimental renders are deeper within the ship’s hull where the main corridors meet up with the gangway airlock.  The posted 2D drawings try to make sense of the typically central, yet resultingly awkward placement of a ship’s exterior gangway, at least in regards to the two decks that are implied to run through the entire outer rim of the saucer.  By utilizing the split-level method, the drawing’s artist (I wish I knew who that was) tries to solve most of these problems,  and pretty successfully I might add.  The drawings also address the severe reduction of deck height in a region of the rim’s lowest deck due to the saucer’s large ventral concavity.  I figured this design could be a standard split level gangway entry for most of the larger Class I starships with two deck saucer rims, regardless of canon or fan based origins.  These could include the canon classes Constitution and Miranda, as well as the fan creations Loknar or Abbe.  Though certainly not limited to these specific types, this would be seen as something of a “luxury” on many Starfleet starships.  Some varieties with little or no secondary hull volume might opt for a more compact space or a different version altogether, in order to preserve as much interior space for the most vital ship functions.

I was able to make use of quite a few of my previously modeled items in this new environment (lots of corridor and airlock elements), so that helped a lot. I used a small rim portion of Dennis Bailey’s Movie Enterprise as a reference “envelope” for the areas immediately near the exterior airlock, which I modeled from scratch.  I also compared the tinest section of Kevin Riley’s Phobos to the same area, though the angles were slightly out of sync compared to the Enterprise.  As for interior spaces just past the exterior door, I’ve referenced several publications from over the years that give interior insight to the airlock’s features, as well as several other 3D artists that have tackled similar subjects.

Rough_Cut-1Serendipitous error redeems bad rough render.

Strangely enough, my first blocking test was nearly a total failure when I saw it upon completion of the render.  On the most basic GI settings, I had intended to rely entirely on the self illuminated panels throughout the model, even if the final product was patchy throughout.  It was just a test of structural positioning for the most part.  It was fairly late, I was pretty tired, and I was in such a hurry to see the results, I totally missed the most basic functions.  I totally forgot to activate shadow raytracing and failed to disable the distant light source and 5% ambient glow, which are both set at default when opening any new scene in Lightwave.  I also placed the camera a little bit further back than I realized, resulting in some “seeing-from-behind-the-wall” artifacts.  When the scene was done a few minutes later, the utter flood of light over the entire structure made it almost impossible to delineate any features, but I toyed with the exposure controls anyhow.  I was able to reduce things to a more recognizable form, but to the detriment of many lighting features.  Things still suffered as I knew they would, such as the self illuminated panels totally losing any glow.  One serendipitous byproduct however, was a wash of bright white that managed to survive in one of the the lower deck corners: just above the riser space that reveals the saucer’s underside concavity from within.  It gave the appearance of a spotlight brightening that entire section from below, reminding me of a number of interesting lobby setups I’ve visited over the years in various medical or business facilities.  I decided that is how I would illuminate this particularly awkward section, if I don’t totally end up covering up the riser itself. Experiments continue.

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~ by starstation on April 20, 2013.

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