“On Viewer…”

“On viewer, sir.”

Phobos_VIP_21bWasted wall space becomes prime real estate for visual stimulus.

I got some advice from a few message board comrades last week about certain necessities a room like this should have. Most of them I was already considering, but a few I had already chosen (reluctantly) to dismiss. However, I decided to give one particular suggestion (of the dismissed variety) another try at the ole’ deep think. As a result, while making use of some valuable real estate along the interior hull, the officer’s lounge now has some pretty large view screens. Whether for communications, mission monitoring, or just screen saver artwork, all that empty wall space now serves a definitive purpose. In addition to a few other amenities put in the model, I was able to render a few images this weekend.

Phobos_VIP_17f3Solving some problems (dark splotchies), as new quandaries arise (bright splotchies).

I figured these screens might be similar to the very large screen on the Enterprise’s Rec Dec in The Motion Picture; There was no real need for that screen to be perfectly rectangular, or any visual monitor in that film for that matter. And with the inclined slope offered by the lower portion of this lounge’s curved outermost wall, I thought a slightly diamond-like shape might fit very well here. Like some backdrop or screen saver, it could just show off imagery while it was not performing any other active duty. I even thought about putting the Federation symbol on there as it appeared in the early films, but figured the large brassy delta in the entryway was more than enough propaganda for this lounge. For these renders, I simply chose an image I found online a year or two ago. It looks a little V’Ger Cloud-esque, but it’s just some pretty abstract image I thought would look good as a science station monitor on my bridge project.

I went with two large screens, mostly for symmetry purposes. Ultimately, this setup will limit the size of any garden elements I place in the lounge, but I tend to prefer more toned down botanical adornments, unless they are in fact the focus of a much larger space. I also added intercom panels near the entry doors, a food station in the entry corridor, and some randomly placed drinking glasses.

In a bit of an experiment that has me teetering on the edge of “Yay!” and “Fail!”, I used wall sconces to replace the canister lights in the overhead nearest the main lounge bulkhead. They are modeled to emulate some sconce lighting seen in The Search For Spock: a lounge set populated by Starfleet’s officer elite. While I think they look great, I am thinking too much significant lighting has been lost in that area, though the corners do look a little more cozy now.

The last of my major modeling adjustments came from the plants, one of which is so very difficult to see now after the lighting changes (another vote for “Fail!”). The palm was fine, but I applied the subpatch function to the large leaves of the other tropical specimen to help smooth out the leaves a little more. The small bushy tree on the starboard side was the true arboreal mystery. After discovering and correcting some surface settings for its leaves, which apparently started out with a slight overall luminosity to them (making them visible even with UV transparencies applied), I still couldn’t figure out why I was getting such wonky results from that one plant! Turns out… not only were they slightly glowing when I began, they had a mild refraction index setting of 1.5! They were glass leaves! I don’t know how or why that happened; Maybe it was some texture I borrowed from someone else or something I did by accident, but the leaves are finally as they should be (even though they’re now hardly visible in the newly imposed darkness).

Phobos_VIP_17fI wanted to fix the splotchies in these renders by cranking up the settings.

There were far more splotchies after I added the view screens, but I decided to start cranking up some of the render settings, and I continue trying to work out some of those issues now. I had been inspired to do this after watching a tutorial online. I learned a lot of new things including how to do regional renders of a scene that can focus on specific areas rather than the camera’s entire visible frame. I also learned a little more about the cache system and how to put it to good use, a feature which until now I’d pretty much ignored. I switched to Monte Carlo from Final Gather as well, and I got this delightful little regional render (just below) in a mere 24 minutes with some rather high GI settings (higher than I’m used to anyway).

LR_Test_Phobos_VIP_17aThis 24 minute render inspired me to go hog wild with the GI settings.

The splotchie reduction in that area alone made me gleefully happy, so I thought I would chance it and crank the numbers up a smidge more and attempt a full render. Well… 5 and half hours later, I was not so gleefully happy, but pleased that an image did survive the process (2nd image from top). Unfortunately, instead of dark splotchies, I am now getting a few of those bright “hot spots” that I’ve seen a few times before.


~ by starstation on April 1, 2014.

3 Responses to ““On Viewer…””

  1. Maybe they’re the shiny “wind chime” leaves from back in Spock’s smiling days. 😉

    The monitors are a good idea, but the placement is a bit odd. You mentioned communications, but none of the chairs offer a decent seat “in front” of the screens. So, say the Captain is on a 2 hour conference call with Starfleet Command, then said Captain has to sit away from the monitors at an awkward angle, or stand. Also, two of the chairs don’t allow anybody sitting in them to look at either monitor without awkwardly turning their neck. Though, on the other hand, there’s not any better place to add monitors to this room, aside from a big double sided one in the middle that would block the “couch” sitters from seeing out the windows. (unless it could lower and raise)

    But, those are minor criticisms. It’s definitely looking great.

    • Sorry, for the slow reply, been super busy, but I definitely wanted you to know I’d read your comments.

      I thought the placement was a little odd too, but it truly was a lot of wasted space and after I started conceiving how to place them in such a contoured and well defined area, the urge to go against the rectangular grain was powerful and I couldn’t turn back. The angles might seem a little peculiar, but in the current renders, they are just meant to be projecting what is essentially 2D filler art. For communications purposes, I’d suspect that by the 23rd century they’d have some way to compensate, at least for a few of the seats on the lower level (one reason there are actually two viewers on opposite bulkheads). Anyone standing on the upper level near the center would probably have an excellent perspective, and the chairs on the upper sides were not even being considered as they are just quiet separate areas. Anyone dumb enough to remain there while they are being communicated to by visual means has no sympathy from me.

      I really just added them because someone on Scifi Meshes suggested it would be a necessity for at least some form of communication and visual reference data, however I don’t expect there to be any long drawn conference calls in this particular lounge. based on some cool kitbash model references, this ship will actually have a captain’s ready room one deck above this, aft of the bridge. And of course there is always the briefing room. I just know that when the chief engineer gets off duty and comes for a nice shot of Antarian Brandy, aint no stuffy commodore gonna stand in his way! 😀

  2. […] For those who like anything [Star] Trek: https://starstation.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/on-viewer/ […]

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