Bad Weather = Model Time…

(…When the power’s on)

SSI_097fThe moody observation deck.

Had a nice three day weekend with the President’s Day holiday, that ended up turning into a 5 day weekend with all the crazy winter weather we’ve been having. I know it is nothing compared to what our northern and coastal states have been experiencing, but here in the south people just aren’t as prepared for such things. A single snowflake falls in these parts, and it’s like the sequel to the Henny Penny fable has gone into production. “Chicken Little II: Polar Vortex. The sky IS falling, and someone’s gonna FREEZE!

Anyway, I got quite a bit done early on until we lost power for a few hours on Monday. Once everything was back up to normal, I settled in waiting for a nice Tuesday workday to begin. That never happened. Once I no longer had any obligatory constraints, I decided to hit the computer again and do a few more model refinements and maybe even start some rendering experiments.

I first concentrated on the dark and moody observation lounge, and managed to coax a little more visible detail out of the distant exterior renders. I also did a few interior angle shots just to get a feel for the area itself, even though the detailing and polygon count is low, and there are also no features to help impart any sense of scale. The first render shows a row of windows to the left looking out over the docking/fueling area below, with the partitioned section noticeable off to the right. Keeping the camera locked in position, I rotated the entire structure of the model counter-clockwise by 90 degrees, all so I could render it to represent another of the four main pier arches. I then used that as the background for the above interior shot, though the background is hardly conspicuous.

SSI_099a3An unchristened ship arrives in port as viewed from the observation deck.

I then did a downward perspective from the large viewports, similar to a camera angle in my previous post. This time however, I placed it within the confines (and thus context) of the the window frames. I used a similar rotate-render method to feign the background elements of the station’s three remaining pier structures. Parking a ship directly in the field of view helped this ruse. I truly need to finish that Abbe class ship; She needs a name at the very least.

SSI_093cThe fueling tower gets some refinements.

I was able to work on refinements to the fueling tower, which drew further inspirational detail from a few other “Energizer” brand battery chargers I’d found online whilst hitting up the search engines for reference imagery. Since the equipment perched on the platform was based on a brand name charger in my possession, I thought I would search what else they’d put out in recent past. I found at least two that had some very distinctive features I could use, though I didn’t copy anything in it’s entirety. Overall it helped add details and a bit more curvature to the overall structure, which had looked painfully blocky and primitive to me.

SSI_094c1Changed the docking gangway to something more akin to the TNG episode, “11001001.”

I modeled a distinct gangway for the inner dock reminiscent of the Starbase 74 version from TNG’s “11001001.” I was trying to make it look more imposing, but somehow it feels far more “svelte”. All the cargo maintenance bay doors on the pier got their numbers. And I almost forgot to mention, I added a simple UV texture to part of the arch’s blank under side to help break up its plain featureless surface.

SSI_095bNew gangway and another set of blank glow viewports gets their interior compartment.

I also added a new interior space to a set of rectangular viewports about three decks above the large observation deck. It’s a very basic inverted box with the same UV maps I used on the more simple interiors of the outside piers.

SSI_101As one ship arrives to dock, another is finishing up port time with a final sip at the fuel.

Thought I would play with two ships taking part in the inner facing facilities; one arriving to dock, while another prepares to depart station space as soon as it has finished refueling procedures. It’s the first time I’ve put one of the Ranger class refits near a larger capital ship.

SSI_102cTwo ships docked at an internal pier compartment.

Well, the small nature of the Ranger class had me really wanting to see if I could fit two in the exterior pier enclosure. So, I had to throw these two slight variations of the class’s refit parked shoulder to shoulder in port. Fun preliminary work on a subject I’ll want to do a full fledged scene on. πŸ™‚

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~ by starstation on February 22, 2015.

2 Responses to “Bad Weather = Model Time…”

  1. Hm, I must have been mistaken. I though bad weather meant time to stay in and play XBOX. πŸ˜‰ I know what you mean about snow in the south. When I was in the Army, I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Being from Ohio, never in my life had I seen an inch of snow shut everything down like it did the first time it snowed when I was stationed there. You’d have thought it was 6-10 inches, they way they acted. People couldn’t drive or anything. But, it’s because the south just isn’t prepared to handle snow due to the infrequency of how often it gets it. Road crews probably aren’t even trained to handle much more than that.

    Everything is looking really good. I like the dark and moody interior shot. The looking out at the Abbe shot is really cool too. Interesting details on the fueling tower. I have an Energizer batter charger and I don’t see one when I look at the tower, so I’d say you did a good job of disguising your inspiration. (besides the four tanks in the recess, which could be batteries, but that’s a stretch) The new gangway is nice too. And, last but not least, I like the shot with the two Rangers. It’s nice to see that two small ships can park side-by side at the station. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks!

      “Hmm… Batteries… stretch… Uh, yeah, yeah… That’s it. A stretch! These aren’t the batteries you’re looking for. Move along… move along…”

      πŸ˜‰

      As to shared docking slips: I’ve wanted to try some smaller ships sharing that enclosure for a while, just to see if it could be done.

      Ever since I did my first renders of the Strider docked between piers (and even after some renders with the Akyazi class) I realized how far the gangways have to telescope out to reach the ship (assuming the ship was centered, and for no reason other than to appease my own personal OCD).

      Turns out, those Rangers are definitely small enough, and I could probably fit an Akyazi and a Ranger in there together, though it might be a bit tight (or impossible) if I wanted multiple Akyazi’s. The larger ships are SO wide along their primary hulls however, I can’t even have two fully functional gangways installed simultaneously. Honestly, I’m not even sure yet where they’d put those disconnected docking modules. I just figured they could store a few extra gangways here or there and pull them out when needed.

      PS, going to be posting a new image of the Abbe shortly with some minor “adjustments” to her visage. πŸ˜‰

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