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vrf
10-18-2004, 11:19 AM
Vance Fry has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/grandspaceopera/view_entries.php?challenger=3755)

Latest Update: Final Image: The Voyage to Norian
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105972306_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105972306_large.jpg)

Well, here's my final picture. A bit of a shame that you're all seeing this low-res, jpeg-artifact-plagued version, but so be it. Hope you like it.

Thanks to those (few) artists who found time to comment on my project. Good luck to everyone! This challenge was very fun for me, and I learned a lot. (I also drank a good amount of coffee, but that's another story. :)

Blessings to all in the new year!
Vance

dark-elf2
11-08-2004, 10:21 AM
welcome to the comp and good luck

vrf
11-10-2004, 05:08 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100066891_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100066891_large.jpg)

Prior to the concept sketch stage, I looked around for images that would serve as inspiration for the mood that I wanted to capture. This is not my picture. It is a Corbis photograph. I just wanted to properly credit what will serve as the "emotional inspiration" for my image--that of someone looking out from darkness at some amazing spectacle.

-Vance

SteveNewport
11-10-2004, 05:46 AM
That image looks like it could translate into some very fantastic images. However, I'd be very intrigued to hear your extended concept plan, or ideas that inspired you to enter this challenge? Also, I'd recommend sketching, as much as you can, every image that pops into your head. It's very usefull for you, no matter how rough the sketch is, to maintain a visual journal of all those thoughts that would normally just pass in and out of your mind. Plus it helps us as the critics see where you're going as compared to where you want to go and give some advice on the process, not just finished ideas and thoughts. Look forward to seeing your work

vrf
11-10-2004, 06:29 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100071780_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100071780_large.jpg)

Here's my attempt at capturing the mood of the theme. I like the idea of more people watching this grand spectacle, rather than just the one person in the picture that inspired me in this direction.

I kind of like the feel of this idea, although it's certainly very simple right now. More detailed concepts to follow.

-v

vrf
11-10-2004, 06:50 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100073042_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100073042_large.jpg)

quick idea for one of the smaller space ships that will accompany the "big bertha" main ship.

vrf
11-10-2004, 07:04 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100073844_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100073844_large.jpg)

Here's the progress of the small ship model. It's looking a bit different than the concept idea, too much like a sailboat maybe. Maybe I could trim down that "mast" a little...

I'll keep working on it.

Crin
11-10-2004, 11:01 AM
Yeah I agree with changing the mast but i still think you should keep it in. Remeber there is no air in space but there ARE solar flares which can in theory offer a similar type of propulsion to a regualr sail in the wind. Bearing this in mind could the sale be something more like a parachute?

vrf
11-11-2004, 05:51 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100155863_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100155863_large.jpg)

Here's a concept design for the main ship in this scene.

vrf
11-11-2004, 06:32 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100158378_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100158378_large.jpg)

This is the beginning of my main ship model. This segment here is the long neck-like thing that the main saucer will be attached to. I like the idea of using intricate shadow-casting geometry for my surface textures. In the end, I think the textures themselves will be fairly simple. The surfaces will rely more on shadows for its "texture."

Nothing fancy for the modeling part. Just duplicated and stretched and moved a whole lot of primitives. Cubes and cylinders mostly. I kind of wish I'd read Michael Crawford's little tips on creating detail before I started!

vrf
11-16-2004, 12:16 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100567778_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100567778_large.jpg)

Here's another progress pic of the "sail ship" thing. I do think I'll follow the suggestion to have the sails catch light instead of wind. I'll have to use some kind of solor panel-looking texture or something.

Vance

vrf
11-16-2004, 12:23 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100568190_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1100568190_large.jpg)

More modeling of separate components of the big ship. I have to do this in pieces or I'm afraid my computer would explode. (Well, not explode, but you get the idea.)

This will be one chunk of the rear section of the ship. You can also get an idea from this pic on how I'd like geometric detail serve as some of the surface texture.

vrf
12-14-2004, 01:13 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990415_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990415_large.jpg)

This is a new version of the little sailship/shuttle. I revamped it with a bunch more detail. I'm happier with this version than I am with the earlier version.

vrf
12-14-2004, 01:17 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990639_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990639_large.jpg)

Another angle and a test render. To be honest, I think I like this ship from the back more than I do the side. It tends to hide the flaws, I think.

vrf
12-14-2004, 01:20 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990859_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102990859_large.jpg)

This is a quickly thrown together little ship that will be scootering around somewhere in the scene. It won't be shown up close, hence the simplicity. If I have time I'd like to have lots of little ones around.

vrf
12-14-2004, 02:04 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102993449_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102993449_large.jpg)

An update vision of what I'm aiming for in the final scene. The big change is that I've put those little people on a kind of planet surface instead of in a spaceship. For some reason, I didn't like the idea anymore of them looking out a window. It felt like it limiting the scope of the image. I also think I'll have a more generic space backdrop, not the city/dock thingy in the first concept.

Vance

vrf
12-14-2004, 02:06 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102993572_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1102993572_large.jpg)

Yeah, sorry, I uploaded the wrong picture in the last post.

Again:

Here's an update vision of what I'm aiming for in the final scene. The big change is that I've put those little people on a kind of planet surface instead of in a spaceship. For some reason, I didn't like the idea anymore of them looking out a window. It felt like it limiting the scope of the image. I also think I'll have a more generic space backdrop, not the city/dock thingy in the first concept. Vance

vrf
12-22-2004, 12:00 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1103677200_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1103677200_large.jpg)

I'm not sure this is "big" enough for my texturing milestone, but it's what I worked on last night. I mentioned earlier that geometric detail would make up a lot of my surface detail, with a reasonably simple shader to complete the effect. For me, it seems the best images out there are ones where there is lots of geometry to cast lots of shadows. That's going to be the effect I'm going for. Here's a couple of test surfaces/renders for the spaceships. (Ironically, not much geometric details in the tests...)

vrf
12-22-2004, 12:10 AM
By the way, feel free to comment everyone. Critiques are very welcome. I know my entry isn't as good as some of the others, as I'm really still learning how to use Maya. (Also, I'm not able to put as much time into this as others.) But it's still nice to have people say something. :)

Vance

dark-elf2
12-22-2004, 12:15 AM
oh nice modeling
looks cool
not sure what yours is about but i will just asume it has some big spaceships flying over a big city
lol
well i like the model but i think u need to work on the textures and also maybe the lighting

emonimo
12-22-2004, 01:54 AM
What I can say at the moment is that your modeling is really nice and the idea of the ship of the big wings is great , the others are also nice but I think they need more details, just to have the same felling than the other one....

I think you are making a good job .... let see more ....

Good luck!!

vrf
12-22-2004, 06:39 AM
okay, guys, thanks for the comments. Yeah, I know I need more details. I also have to assemble the chunks of the bigger ship to give you all a gander. Hope my system can handle it... It's actually a little bit of a mess, but I'm going to do some streamlining and hopefully get a better idea uploaded for you all.

vrf
01-10-2005, 04:28 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105334888_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105334888_large.jpg)

Well, after the holidays I thought I'd pick this project up again. Not sure if I'll finish for the deadline, but I'll give it a go. Here's a start on the background painting for the image. Done in Photoshop.

Never again will I think that a star field is as simple as a bunch of white dots on a black background. It was such a pain to get this looking even this good, and I know it doesn't look terribly real. I'll keep working on it, though. I think the key is a variety of different stars. Different sizes and colors. You can't just clone one star a billion times...

Vance

vrf
01-11-2005, 06:50 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105429854_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105429854_large.jpg)

Here's a shot of my current progress on the planet surface. Basically it will be kind of a wavy mountainy kind of thing with all of this random rubble and debris scattered around. I think I'll have the planet dwellers (robots, maybe?) perched up on a column or something. A little bit higher of a platform so that you can see them in profile against the backdrop.

Well, back to work.

PeterSanitra
01-11-2005, 09:24 AM
the sail ship is perfect.good luck..

vrf
01-12-2005, 01:11 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105495900_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105495900_large.jpg)

\\\\\\\"Greebling\\\\\\\" some more of the surface rubble. Just extruded faces from a 5x5 plane and duplicated them a bunch. Then altered the duplications. I\\\\\\\'ll keep tiling this way until I can have a resonable planet surface that fades into the distance. The poly counts are within reason for this little things.

vrf
01-12-2005, 01:23 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105539793_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105539793_large.jpg)

More surface modeling. Putting all the pieces together.

Too...
many...
polys...

Vance

vrf
01-12-2005, 01:26 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105539959_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105539959_large.jpg)

Lights for the surface. The point light will attempt to replicate the light coming from the swirly galaxy that you see in the backdrop. The large area light is to create a kind of fiery pit in the front-most foreground of the image.

vrf
01-12-2005, 01:30 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105540247_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105540247_large.jpg)

Just a quick test render. Slapped it together in photoshop with the backdrop, along with a bit of atmostphere. Pretty sloppy, I know, but I'm just testing colors and composition.

Vance

vrf
01-13-2005, 02:26 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105586802_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105586802_large.jpg)

Started work on a simple biped. I'll have them standing on some kind of platform in the foreground, watching the ships fly towards the distant galaxy.

Speaking of the ships, I'm running out of time on this project, so I think I may end up using the shuttle as a larger part of the scene. I'll not be able to model my grand vision of a huge ship. I'm going to have lots of small ones. I will build one larger ship, but it will probably look a lot like the shuttle in style. I like the design.

vrf
01-13-2005, 06:09 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105600198_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105600198_large.jpg)

more work on the planetside survivors. This robot has a bit more detail than the first guy as he'll be shown a bit larger in the image.

vrf
01-14-2005, 10:43 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105702985_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105702985_large.jpg)

Here's another look at a couple of the bipeds that will be standing down on the surface. Pretty simple models, actually, but they do look pretty good when lit and textured.

Vance

vrf
01-14-2005, 10:47 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703257_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703257_large.jpg)

I revamped some of the geometry on the planet surface. Added a big boulder for the dudes to stand on.

Again, I'd appreciate any comments on my project. Not as good as many here, but I'm still learning.

Vance

vrf
01-14-2005, 10:50 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703416_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703416_large.jpg)

Another render and compositing test. No atmosphere this time, just to save time. It'll make it into the final image though.

Okay, the spaceships are the big weekend project! Onwards...

vance

vrf
01-14-2005, 10:52 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703530_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105703530_large.jpg)

Started the main main. Again, I like the form factor of my sailship shuttle, so I'm going to go for something similiar here, just much bigger.

Vance

vrf
01-15-2005, 02:10 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105801828_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105801828_large.jpg)

More work on the main ship. Only thing that bugs me is the windows. They don't look very convincing. I think maybe it's cause the surface of the ship is too smooth, without enough surface detail. Makes it look small. Another thing is that the windows don't glow, but I can probably fix that in Pshop.

Well, back to modeling.

Seems you really have to post a lot of WIPs to get any comments around here. :) (Or be a Doug Chiang caliber artist, I guess...)

Vance

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:30 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943441_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943441_large.jpg)

setting up the scene. Here's one look.

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:32 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943556_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943556_large.jpg)

and another look

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:36 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943787_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105943787_large.jpg)

Testing a mildly reflective white shader on the main ship.

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:44 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944263_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944263_large.jpg)

This is the rendering pass for the starships layer. Will have to correct colors so that the reflected light on the starships is the same color as the atmosphere on the planet.

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:47 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944454_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944454_large.jpg)

Here's the gradient used for the foggy/hazy "atmosphere" on the planet surface.

vrf
01-17-2005, 05:50 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944620_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105944620_large.jpg)

And a look at the full foreground render after the surface haze is added. I generated a depth channel from Maya, so getting the objects to fade into the distance was just a matter of loading up the depth channel as a selection mask for this gradient.

vrf
01-17-2005, 07:48 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105951699_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105951699_large.jpg)

Just painting a bunch of a little "space-shipy" details in Photoshop. I'm painting tiny lights with a bright color, than adding a duplicate layer that I apply a blur to. Seems to add a reasonably convincing effect.

I guess, after a bit more tweaking, it's about time for the final image. Boy, I'm running this one down to the wire. Not a good work habit, for sure.

vrf
01-17-2005, 07:56 AM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105952180_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105952180_large.jpg)

Just painting a bunch of a little "space-shipy" details in Photoshop. I'm painting tiny lights with a bright color, than adding a duplicate layer that I apply a blur to. Seems to add a reasonably convincing effect.

I guess, after a bit more tweaking, it's about time for the final image. Boy, I'm running this one down to the wire. Not a good work habit, for sure.

vrf
01-17-2005, 01:31 PM
http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105972306_medium.jpg (http://www.cgnetworks.com/challenge/entries/7/3755/3755_1105972306_large.jpg)

Well, here's my final picture. A bit of a shame that you're all seeing this low-res, jpeg-artifact-plagued version, but so be it. Hope you like it.

Thanks to those (few) artists who found time to comment on my project. Good luck to everyone! This challenge was very fun for me, and I learned a lot. (I also drank a good amount of coffee, but that's another story. :)

Blessings to all in the new year!
Vance

JamesMK
01-18-2005, 09:21 AM
A classic sci-fi image, very well executed I must say :thumbsup:

Good luck, Vance!

kromekat
01-18-2005, 01:11 PM
Really like the ship design and models and all the details throughout - very nice image final! - Michael Whelan inspired scene and colour pallette!?

Well done! :)

vrf
01-18-2005, 01:29 PM
JamesMK, thanks for the comments. Good luck to you, too.

Thanks kromekat for the compliments! Yeah, Whelan was probably mixed into the inspiration for this image, but I suppose the most credit goes to the clean and white "superjumbo jet" starship images of John Berkey.

Thanks, guys, for commenting!

Vance

Arctis
01-18-2005, 07:14 PM
Nice final, but I think that the stars should not shine so much...
Good luck !:)

essencedesign
01-19-2005, 04:43 AM
Very cool contrast in your lighting man...I like your image....the red lighting on the ground plain looks great...

all the best to your in your future 3d Works....and in this contest... :thumbsup:

LuisNCT
01-19-2005, 12:08 PM
The ship designs are very good, and the planet surface with all this garbage looks great, but maybe the space background has too big stars, It have looked better with smaller and more assorted stars, like the zone around the galaxy.

vrf
01-19-2005, 02:08 PM
Thanks LuisNCT, essencedesign, and Arctis for the comments.

Regarding the stars, I think you're probably right that the shine is a little strong. But, after looking again at the PSD document, I have to say it does look a little better in the full rez version. I tried a bit of sharpening to get rid of the softness that Photoshop was "saving for web" with, so everything in the jpeg version has a tiny sharpening halo around the edges. No biggee for most of the image, but for tiny stars that halo can be a bit much.

Thanks again for the advice. I'll certainly look at the star sizes again when it comes time to submit it for Expose 3.

Vance

JHFong
01-26-2005, 02:42 AM
Thanks kromekat for the compliments! Yeah, Whelan was probably mixed into the inspiration for this image, but I suppose the most credit goes to the clean and white "superjumbo jet" starship images of John Berkey.
I have to say that, except for the spaceships, this really does look an awful lot like Michael Whelan's cover for Foundation's Edge:

http://sfbook.com/pics/bcl_asimov_foundationsedge.jpg

vrf
01-26-2005, 02:53 AM
I have to say that, except for the spaceship, this really does look an awful lot like Michael Whelan's cover for Foundation's Edge:



Thanks for commenting. I'd have to be blind not to see the similiarities, but any inspiration I got from Whelan's cover image must have happened subconciously. I most certainly did not have his work handy as a reference. I know I have seen that book cover before, though.

I'd have to be the dumbest guy on the block to directly copy a famous piece like that.

JHFong
01-26-2005, 03:17 AM
Yes, I can believe that. I think if you had remembered that you'd seen this cover painting before, you could have changed your piece so it wouldn't have resembled it so much. (For instance, you could have made the galaxy some color other than green.) I'm sorry I didn't see your WIP thread before the contest finished so I could have pointed this out to you earlier. I'm not accusing you of plagiarism at all, but I hope you'll understand that I personally don't think this piece is original enough for me to vote for it.

vrf
01-26-2005, 03:27 AM
Fair enough. Thanks again for stopping by. You know, I thought I'd get more comments on how my ships look like a bit like John Berkey's work. (The oceanliner/airplane look.) Seems I was wrong on that one. Bummer.

As for the green galaxy, well, I've always been a fan of opposing colors on the color wheel. I seem to have a bit of an obsession with red/orange and blue/green. In fact, I used this very same color scheme for my alienware entry.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?t=175892&highlight=alienware


(Oh, man, if you tell me that one looks like a Whelan painting, you're really going to ruin my day...:) )

take care,

Vance

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