Aztec Pie

In full slices

Abbe_029bUtility of angle fulfilled as UV map’s specularity and gloss settings can now be exploited.

The mapping marches on. The saucer’s upper Aztec nears completion as I finally mapped all its top “wedges.” Akin to slices of pie, wedges are somewhat arbitrary boundary areas defined by the radial line portions of the ship’s shield emitter grid. Though further broken down into 6 distinct sections due to the concentric ring portions of that same grid, each wedge can nevertheless be rotated easily as one unit around the saucer section’s very precise central axis. There are 8 wedges on the port side (2 of which I’d already fully textured), for a total of 16 all around. Ship symmetry allowed me to focus on the port half of the saucer alone.

After the first wedge had been mapped, copies of the smaller sections were only loosely aligned with base points from their corresponding sections in the second wedge. This left room for the picking and choosing of points to determine welding order, but also led to some very tedious point-by-point welding. I eventually determined knitting was not my friend, so I decided to “trust the math” and see if I could rotate whole finished sections to speed up the previous procedure.

Apparently 21.5 degrees of rotation was a perfect increment to align all geometry.  And surprisingly, with the exception of a few off kilter points in the two aft most wedges, everything aligned so well that it speed up the process tremendously.

I was able to mirror the port side to complete the starboard half of the saucer, and only had to do a minor bit of texture name switching to get the panel textures to continue in their uninterrupted pattern across the entire surface of the ship.  I simply copy/pasted the mirrored starboard half into a newly opened file, reversed the two Aztec pattern’s file names, and then copied the half back into the original model where those surface settings are copied from the that file’s assignment for them.

Abbe_026b1Broken vows: I went back and added a few minor details to the bridge area after promising otherwise.

Abbe_024bAdded another airlock platform near the aft after reviewing some movie model reference images.

Abbe_017kStarted tinkering with surface variety on the uppermost section of the saucer (beneath the central mound area), which doesn’t break down into those wedge sections.  Just experimental for now, as I will probably layer the entire section with a new UV texture eventually.


~ by starstation on February 27, 2014.

4 Responses to “Aztec Pie”

  1. you should be making tutorials on how to model with cgi..or doing this professionally, the work is THAT good. bravo!

    • Thanks. It’s funny you should mention tutorials. My first version of this post was ghastly longer with tons more info on each step of how I did things, but I convinced myself no one would be interested in all of that. Well, maybe, maybe not. Heh, but It was pretty over the top. 😉

  2. Looking great. The Aztec looks pretty accurate to what was on the Enterprise refit.

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