Final Registry

Presenting…

SSI_099dThe USS Corsica.

Ok.  I went back and finally endowed my Abbe class starship with the name I’d been planning for some time.  I re-rendered my earlier image of the ship, newly docked to the interior gangway of the South Arch (3/11 – Minor update: Re-re-rendered after a few new station details and refining background). Viewed upon from above, the docking is a sight from within the South Lounge (more affectionately known as SoLo). I suppose the observation lounge on the arch directly opposite this could be known as NoLo (though that’s not nearly as cool sounding). Similarly, I can’t imagine conjuring up any viable acronyms that would apply to the corresponding lounges of the East and West Arches (EaLO… WeLo…  I think not).

I had some minor problems with this piece early on and the strife is far from over, but I wanted to get something posted.  Like the experimental shot I posted in an earlier post, I had to rotate the station elements, render them and then use those renders as backgrounds for further renders, all to create the layered illusion that there is more of the station present than I currently have in this edit of the model (which would take a billion years to load otherwise).  It only took about 2 renders to get a decent background, but I had to make some items invisible or move them out of the scene entirely for at least one render pass. This helps prevent a quirky “aliasing” effect, which I discovered tends to happen when you render an object right on top of a background image of itself (sadly apparent on the above image along some edges of the Corsica). At any rate, I had trouble remembering what order and protocol I’d originally followed, and managed to leave a few things invisible all the way to end. Therefore, some model elements unintentionally failed to make it to the final cut of one attempt (below).

SSI_099a4bProblems with the background procedural and post render glow effects = Fail.

I’d also recently made the transparent window surfaces double sided for some experiments on an unrelated render (The Stable Ponies), not realizing this would affect the glow settings during Lightwave’s post render processing.  As a result, none of the self illuminated surfaces on the other side of these viewports can be made to glow with the standard render methods at my disposal. I actually liked that you could see some reflection of the interior space against the surface of the viewport, as I’ve never incorporated that effect into my interior renders.  But even though the ship now has its name and registry markings (and the lower ring structure even has a few new textures added as well), this reflective effect is so subtle it doesn’t quite make up for the huge loss of the glow effect.  Feasibly, the missing station components (and even the glow effects) could have been Photoshopped back into the shot from the earlier experiments, but even that tiny window reflectivity altered just enough of the overall color scheme to make that mission not worth my time.  Live and learn. I’ll just have to take another stab at it later when I get my wits about me.

It turns out that doing things in layers and leaving things invisible however, can lead to happy accidents! My latest attempt up top is somewhat disingenuous, as I rendered that ship with the station in its proper position (at zero rotation in relation to the camera). This is most evident below in an even earlier (yet still failed) effort, where I simply attempted to render the ship as part of the background in the second pass with a 90 degree station rotation. With this lighting setup, it reveals the huge shadow that would in fact be cast upon the ship, were all the presumed station elements actually simultaneously loaded in their proper places for a full render. Unfortunately, in this backdrop render attempt, the portions of the station model against which the ship is actually intended to dock are not present at all! Thus, there is no surface for radiosity to perform a reflection of light back towards the port side of the ship. Given that is already too dark with half the ship cast in deep shadow, and because I prefer the brighter versions so much more, I simply chose to fudge the final product. I do love artistic license. 🙂

SSI_099cbackingOops…  Deep shadows, and the registry’s UV map was accidentally set at 65% Duh!

Here is an earlier non registry version, also in deep shadow. There is no question I’ll have to try this whole experiment over again, but I’ll need to sit back and plan things out a little better so I don’t miss any important details.
SSI_099a2

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~ by starstation on March 10, 2015.

5 Responses to “Final Registry”

  1. I don’t know about all the technical jiggery-pokery, but your images are wonderful! It’s always a treat when you show us more of Star Station India (I think I may have mentioned before how much I love your design?), so, thank you.

    Oh, and love the SoLo nickname!

    • Many thanks! I think the “technical jiggery-pokery” is just my mind trying to unwind after something that can be really frustrating at times, yet very rewarding (especially since I haven’t done a lot of this in MONTHS). Trust me… we all got off light on this one. I simply got sick of typing. 😉 Pay it no heed.

      As for the SoLo nickname, it just seemed right. It was a cool way to reference the swanky abbreviated monikers of many city regions and neighborhoods, all so designated by truncating and combining the titles and terms of their vital components and referential boundaries. We have an area where I live and work called “SoBro” (for “South of Broadway”). This is a clear homage to that area of Manhattan called SoHO (for “South of Houston”) – which is itself a partial homage to a neighborhood of London I hear. Tribeca also comes to mind. SoLo is also a reference to my love for Star Wars (Han Solo) and a special shout out to TNG’s Ten-Forward lounge, which got it’s own name from it’s closest turbo lift station aboard the Enterprise-D: Deck ten – forward station one. 😀

  2. I used to live on a street named Corsica Drive. 😉

    I’ve done what you’re attempting plenty of times, when I used Truespace on slower computers, render “background” elements first and then composite them together. I did it for a number of reasons, one of which being that load time thing you mentioned. Also, in Truespace, I had issues with it only loading so many high quality textures at once. If you loaded too many, it wouldn’t render some of them. Some kind of memory issue. Fortunately, I don’t have any kind of issues like that since I switched to Lightwave. I’ve had numerous models loaded at once, all decked out with 4K HD textures and no issues. Of course, the problems with rendering elements together like you are doing and then compositing them together is that you miss those interaction effects, such as light bounce and shadows. It can be infuriating. That’s one reason I don’t do that anymore. Plus, I have a much better computer now.

    Anyway, the experiments are interesting, keep them coming. I too have noticed that error that Lightwave has where it won’t render glows behind double sided transparent materials. It doesn’t work if you make glass using the old tutorial method that’s been online for ages either. I found that out when rendering a flying saucer with a glass dome. What version of Lightwave are you using? I’m still using 10.1. I’m hoping they’ve corrected that issue by now.

    • Heh, my Corsica is named after the model name of one of my favorite cars I ever drove, which was totaled a few years back. I’ve actually planned for a while to name a few starships after other fondly remembered vehicles from my personal family history. Mustang has already made the list, and now Corsica (of course some won’t make the cut simply because cars often have really stupid names).

      I too would prefer to render elements together for the interactive effects, but often I just want to move along a little faster, sometimes just to see if my conceptual notions are even worth any further investment. I’ve had eagerly awaited renders in the past that took long hours to render, still had stand-out errors due to some minor forgotten element, and yet, even when corrected, ultimately disappointed me based on what I’d expected. Conversely, I’ve had quickie unfinished experiments that have turned out to be (and remain) some of my favorite renders, though I have to admit my own imagination is required to fill in the gaps.

      Things were looking up a year or two ago when I upgraded to LW 9.6x and replaced my computer, but like all things, those improvements are dated in short order in our technical society. Took advantage of discounted prices, but still paid good money for all of it, and that can sting for a while when you’ve just bought a house. So my Lightwave is older than yours! 😉

      I think the biggest problem here is that I just loaded too many items into this one scene. Even when something is not visible in the scene, it still takes some toll on the overall calculations. I loaded the one Ranger class and Abbe class as an example of fueling and docking. I immediately got the bug to render two rangers together while keeping the Abbe on the back burner. Eventually switching back to the Abbe… I’ve got two other ships and an ever increasingly detailed space station factoring into the render process when I really just need to rename the scene and cut out the excess.

      • Heh, my mom had a Corsica also. She loved it. Prior to that, she had leased the two door version, a Beretta. (they were even the same color)

        If you think waiting hours for a single image and being disappointed or finding errors is bad, try it with animation. There’s nothing as crappy as spending a day or more rendering an effects shot and thinking “after this, this will be done” only to look at the finished animation and see that you screwed something up or forgot something and need to fix it and re-render. 😦

        There’s nothing wrong with having LW 9. It seems like a really solid version. I only have Lightwave 10 because I got a great deal on Ebay a few years ago. A guy (name Guy) was selling his copy of LW 9 & 10 for only $250. Both were fully licensed, he’d bought 9 with the free upgrade to 10 for a job that didn’t work out and wanted to get some money for them. Though, I’d imagine that wasn’t the first time or the first price at which he’d listed them. 😉 Anywho, that was a “buy it now” price, so I had it in my cart without even thinking about it. Compared to $1000 (that was a reduced price) for LW 11 on NewTek’s site, that was a steal. Since I didn’t have that kind of money to spend and I was new to LW anyway and didn’t want to pay that much for something I wasn’t even sure I’d like, (I love it, BTW) I erred on the side of caution. And, I’ve never regretted it. That was a huge bargain.

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