View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Aaron Lambert

10 October 2004, 01:35 AM
Aaron Lambert has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Final Image: Lorelli, the floating city (

Itís very good to have this finally done and I am especially thankful to CG Networks for putting this whole contest on and for providing inspiration (along with some perspiration) and learning to us 3D artists.
To get the full story behind the image, read the short descriptive paragraph on the first page of my thread. Basically, this is a civilization where everyone can float around freely without the use of extra equipment. However, technology has also allowed the ability to make machines float as well, hence the floating city surrounded by floating platform/shops. A floating bazaar if you will. The ability to float has been a key element in keeping this society running, mirroring our own ever-growing dependence on technology. Should those chemicals which allow floating cease to emit from the planetís core, the fragile society of Lorelli would, quite literally, collapse.

10 October 2004, 05:46 PM (

The first (and best) of a few different preliminary sketches. Will post final sketch soon.

10 October 2004, 05:03 PM
So, here is the little story I've come up with for this artwork.

Lorelli is a place not unlike our own. The lives of its inhabitants are quite similar to ours. So similar, in fact, that we may find ourselves wondering if we arenít somehow, through some outrageous chain of events, related to the Lorellians. We both need air to survive, we spend the day making ends meet to feed ourselves and our families, we are eager for new developments in technology, and we work together through trust for a safer civilization. We both fight for our God-given rights, we seek a life with purpose, and we have similar hopes, fears, and dreams. True, the Lorellians arenít perfect people, but then, neither are we. It should be mentioned that they are a tad smaller than us, but that doesnít change a whole lot. Really the only big difference between us and them is that they can fly and we canít. They donít need airplanes or rocket packs to assist them from the ground. Thanks to the curious chemicals seeping from the core of their planet, Lorellians are able to lift themselves up off the ground at will. In response to the discovery of these chemicals, leading scientists and architects banded together to construct four large tubes. These tubes properly disperse the ďfloater chemicalsĒ (mainly Ortine and Mesanine) for the most efficient flying capabilities. Scientists also worked hard to develop technology that can harness these chemicals to produce floating machines. Eventually, the entire civilization of Lorelli was lifted off the ground. However, with all these wonderful advancements, a great fear still dwells in the back of every Lorellianís mind; what if one day the chemicals were to suddenly become exhausted and dissipate?

So, other than the ability to fly and its effects on their entire world and their perception of life, we would find the Lorellians to be perfectly ordinary people, especially considering the fact that our perception of ordinary is anything but.

10 October 2004, 05:07 PM (

Here is the final sketch. Spent some time on the details, trying to figure out just what a civilization would look like if everyone could fly.

10 October 2004, 05:38 PM
Looks good. You have lots of room in the background between the structures, I am sure you can add more elements in there to give it a more grand type of feeling. :)

11 November 2004, 06:26 AM (

Here's the final colored drawing. I've already got some objects modeled, I'm just slow on the uploading part.

11 November 2004, 11:36 PM (

Quick sketches for some ideas of objects in the scene.

11 November 2004, 03:00 AM
Interesting concept, I look forward to what you do with it. Just a comment , is there a way to make it more Epic. Can you show that the chemicals are failing , and that there society has to change. Good start with this.

My space opera entry

11 November 2004, 07:40 AM
Thanks mmoir. I hadn't actually planned on having the chemicals failing, but that would indeed make it much more epic and interesting. Though it will be a difficult task, I've got some ideas. It can't be too apparent or else nothing would be floating at all. It would have to be a time when measurements were seriously dropping but not enough as to cause any extreme consequences yet. Somewhat like when a tornado is on the way. The warning is out, winds are starting to pick up, dread is in the air, but nothing dangerous has yet taken place.

11 November 2004, 05:13 AM (

Here is one of the many tower buildings that will appear on the top and bottom of the saucer area.

11 November 2004, 05:15 AM (

One of the floating lights near the base needle of the city.

11 November 2004, 05:20 AM (

Motor for the floating platforms.

11 November 2004, 06:46 PM (

The majority of the modeling is done, just a few more details I think...

11 November 2004, 09:02 AM (

What can I say, it's a textured light. Didn't go too crazy on the textures since you will only see it from far away.

11 November 2004, 09:06 AM (

These little lanterns will be floating throughout the scene.

11 November 2004, 04:20 PM (

This will be the closest of the floating platforms in the scene.

11 November 2004, 04:25 PM (

The front of one of the many buildings that will be on the middle saucer part.

11 November 2004, 04:30 PM (

Same thing, but the back this time.

11 November 2004, 03:07 AM (

A lighting test. Here is a look down one of the chemical dispersion tubes.

11 November 2004, 06:55 AM
another great thread.. excellent concept to modelling dude

waiting for more ;p

11 November 2004, 02:17 PM
I have to say I love the design of the platforms and the look of the building you modeled. You seem to be doing really well. Keep up the good work. I like the colouring you had in your final sketch and the large pillars or tubes surrounding the main model in the centre of the scene. I like the idea and teh colour of the lights that you have throughout your models. I'll refer to it as "Strip Lighting", are you going to use these style of lights to give most of the illumination to the scene? I'm not sure what you had in mind, but I think it'd look cool, even amazing if because it is underground that the background is in shadow and the main objects are lighted by the ambience of all the "strip lights", lanterns and various platforms which I think look cool.

I'm looking forward to seeing your final image realised.

11 November 2004, 02:27 PM
Hi Aaron. I really like your modeling and think the lighting for the tube looks great. The subtle variation in shades of colour really draw your eye in. I am looking forward to seeing the final pic. Good luck and once again, great work. :thumbsup: Claireabella

11 November 2004, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the encouragement guys!

phoenixomen- That was my intention actually, to use the so-called "strip lighting" throughout the scene in order to make it seem much more like a massive city/civilization. I'm also planning to include a few subtle mysterious lights in the background just to give a hint of what's back there, somewhat like this cave I made for my texture and lighting class last quarter:

Thanks again for the kind words, I wish you guys the same good fortune and creative ingenuity that I'd wish for my own project. :D

11 November 2004, 07:13 PM (

Still working on the glows a bit, but here's the primary platform in full color. :D

11 November 2004, 02:30 AM
This looks great! Is this the color direction you are moving in? Looking forward to seeing you post more work ;)

11 November 2004, 02:43 AM
to lift off has style :D

11 November 2004, 08:31 AM (

So here is (hopefully) the final model for the city part (with all those buildings laboriously added). And also the cave behind it, most of it won't be seen since it will be covered up by the large pillars (not currently visible). And (this should be obvious) it's rendered with nothing but the default lighting at the moment. Man, I need to cut down on parenthetical usage.

11 November 2004, 12:12 AM (

Here's the bank. Will only do a few more variations on the platforms since they will only be seen from far away and there could be hundreds.

11 November 2004, 07:17 AM (

You may have noticed that they all appear to have a similar object latched on the far left corner. That is the motor that enables the platforms to float.

11 November 2004, 07:19 AM (

As should be obvious, I have yet to texture these puppies.

11 November 2004, 08:35 AM
heya, the city is coming along great.. lots of character and uniqueness for each building. Even a pastry shop... awesome.. hehe


11 November 2004, 11:03 PM (

Can you tell which part this is? I added a bit more in the modeling department (couldn't help myself). I seriously need to work on textures like a madman, there are so many to do... sigh.

11 November 2004, 03:33 AM
I really love your story about the Lorillian civilization harnessing the chemical & beating gravity.

A few Ideas: add some dirt "grunge" to the textures: make those engines looked old, they don't need to be shiney & new. I'm sure the technology took a long time to develop, right?

Add some cloth, maybe old rugs or flags.. who said everything in space has to be cold hard metal?? as you said the Lorillian's have raised themselves from the surface ... so they would have probably taken alot of the earthly materials with them... eg. wood, plants, flowers.. etc.. some of the materials could have broken away from the main structure.. broken wreckage or old obsolete technology.. that is now uninhabitied .. or maybe it is a ghetto area.....

only some ideas....
good luck & I can't wait to see the finished result...

11 November 2004, 05:36 AM
Thanks mickman. You're very right, things do look a bit too perfect and too shiney to be believable. I'll have to go back and work on that later, getting things dirty and all. Right now I've just got to get those basic textures down. And plants are definitely lacking in the picture, I'll see what I can do about those too. Broken wreckage, very interesting idea. I tell ya, if only I had more time. Alas, I must stay focused. Thanks for all the great suggestions, I'll see what I can do to implement them where/if possible.

11 November 2004, 10:08 AM
its cool to see how you're advancing from scetch to modelling and it's awesome

11 November 2004, 10:38 AM (

Here it is, the very tip top of Lorelli. My how it shines at night! But then again, it's always night when you live in a cave.

All fiction aside, I sure have learned a lot from this project so far. Never have I set out to accomplish something this big in 3D before. And just figuring out how to get the glows looking right took me countless hours. But I feel accomplished now. Sure, I'm no 3D master, but I'm learning, man I'm learning...

11 November 2004, 10:46 AM
Nice very nice! I see you have a very effective modelling style, using low poly models. I would suggest paying a bit more attention to your textures. They're good for now, but you might need more detail in order not to compromise the rest of the scene.

Good work no less! Cheers!

11 November 2004, 05:14 AM (

I'm just beging to appreciate what real texture artists must go through!

12 December 2004, 04:47 PM (

Finally, everything together in one scene! Keep in mind that this is all just the default lighting. All the glows are from textures. Speaking of glows, I think I overdid it a bit. I will have to work on those some more.


12 December 2004, 07:36 PM (

Working on lighting. Spruced things up a bit. Still needs some big adjustments and for some reason a couple textures didn't load.

12 December 2004, 07:41 PM
Yeah! the lighting gave the very nice and unique mood to this picture! Well done. Maybe it's just a litle bit too strong.. I'm waiting for more:twisted:

12 December 2004, 07:52 PM
that's some very nice environment man keep working wish you LUCK !!!

12 December 2004, 09:42 PM
wow easy with the glow, even though it looks cool, is killing the beauty of the image. all I see is glow... well if you like it that way, I bet is fine...

everything else looks good to me. I have a little problem with the bump map of the pillars, but I guess it could be just me. I think is way too big.

Keep it up

- cheers!

12 December 2004, 10:13 PM
Excellent progress!
Hope to see the other stages!:)

12 December 2004, 06:26 PM
Oh yeah, there is definitely going to be less glow. It's hard to tell what the glow will look like without rendering in full and this thing takes like half an hour if I render evreything. So I just posted what I had so far. The final will be much less radiant. You think the pillars are too much eh? Perhaps I shall tone them down as well. Also someone told me that the front platform is competing with the center saucer part for the focus of the scene, so I'm gonna try toning down the platform and making it stand out a little less. Thanks for all your encouragement and help. Any other suggestions, please tell me.

12 December 2004, 12:21 AM (

Here are the long-awaited pastries! The lighting and all looks terrible, but that's not the purpose of this image. Anyhow that bunt cake in the corner is looking mighty fine!

12 December 2004, 10:17 AM (

I believe this is it for the background lighting. Ignore the bright white spot on the right pillar, since that won't actually be there. Same goes for the excess of holes in the floor. With everthing in place, it will look quite different. Still, I'm wishing for a little more of the blue glow that once was there. Perhaps I'll work on that part when it comes to compositing. What do you think? Do tell.

12 December 2004, 11:51 PM (

Well, it's coming along isn't it? Still trying to find a good balance with the floaty blue stuff. In this one you almost can't see it at all. Guess it's time to render out layers and take it into Photoshop to mess with it.

12 December 2004, 02:14 AM
This is just too cool.

12 December 2004, 02:25 AM
It's been a while since I came in, but looks like progress is good! Very nice atmosphere, the glow looks just right. I would suggest being a bit careful with your background and the foreground elements.

The pastries look damn cool, it would be a waste if you couldn't get more detail in! BG looks a little too plain as well, especially on the left. The scene looks nice on thee whole, but I think it can look even more kickass with minor details being put in!


12 December 2004, 07:44 PM (

Fixed some things up, worked on glows and the blue stuff a bit. I tried rendering passes in Maya but alas, it doesn't work quite as I hoped. Most of the render layers overlap other parts and the light fog in the scene covers everything. In short, it's all gotta be rendered together to get the same look. That's alright though. While still working on details, I'm also wondering what kind of adjustments need to be made in Photoshop. Please, please give advice, crits, ideas, whatever. Thanks!

12 December 2004, 07:51 PM
Thanks keetmun! I debated about how close that platform should be. True, I'd like everyone to see the pastries, but I don't want the platform to take away from the actual city behind it. Before, others were telling me that it wasn't too clear which one was the focal point for the scene. I see what you mean about being a tad plain on the left side. Any suggestions on what to add? More lanterns, more platforms, more of something else? I'll have to think on that one.

12 December 2004, 11:57 PM
Looks good on the whole. I think the image lacks a feel of depth though. Where the central purple glow is, I'm wondering whether the background would be better if it was darker so that it reinforces the object in front and create a sense of depth in the image.

12 December 2004, 02:58 PM
very good future city! my suggestion is to try to change yellow sign to blue to match with the orther sign , good luck

12 December 2004, 08:42 AM
Wow this bring back memory about Peter Pan. Will there be people flying? I think the pixie dust is too monotonous. It cover the entire bg too evenly, killing the depth/ contrast of the image. May be more gas on the ground and more open space upward? Just a thought of course. :love:

12 December 2004, 08:58 AM
I really like the colours of your city and the glow looks really effective. Great work! Good luck. :thumbsup: Claireabella

12 December 2004, 01:04 AM

Just want to tell you what a fantastic job you have done on this project! All the WIP is really wonderful and I hope you continue the good work.


12 December 2004, 02:02 AM
you have good render, ilike very well your ambiant lightning:bounce:

01 January 2005, 03:52 AM
Beautiful! I love it. Great work Aaron. Have a happy new year!

01 January 2005, 11:14 PM
Well, I haven't updated lately because I was in Mexico on a mission trip, from which I have recently returned. And, sad to say, my school quarter begins again tomorrow. So I won't be able to do much more for this project. But I'll try to get done what I can, while I can. Funny, the due date is one day before my 21st birthday. So I can submit it and then have a party! ;)

01 January 2005, 05:19 AM (

This is from the huge render, but reduced to fit into the submision size.

01 January 2005, 05:46 AM (

Seperated parts into layers on Photoshop then added various degrees of blur to make objects appear further away as they retreated in space. Also added more little platform to the clusters around the main station.

01 January 2005, 08:15 PM
Hey Aaron,

You have a nice soft atmosphere to your image,nice amount of detail. I think I would be visiting Moms pastries a little too often . Good job and good luck.

01 January 2005, 11:10 PM
Thanks a lot Mike, I really appreciate your support, along with everyone else who posted. kntemplar, keetmun, Lovliebutterfly, monsitj, Warit, Claireabella, linvon, glim, ||) |V| |^|, and everyone else who posted with comments or suggestions: you guys rock! Well, I'm almost done, very exciting. I can't wait to see who wins. Heck, if I even manage to get honorable mention I'll be extremely pleased.

01 January 2005, 11:50 PM
Well, crud. It wouldn't let me submit the final jpeg, even though the time wasn't up. That stinks! I did manage to send the final TIFF. I don't know if that means I somehow won't be considered for the contest but if so, then that's a serious bummer. Hmm, I guess I have to wait and see.

01 January 2005, 02:39 AM
Hey man you've got some pretty good stuff going on. The lighting's looking pretty good. You should try submitting the final again, since deadline's been extended. Don't give up! :thumbsup:

01 January 2005, 01:34 AM (

Itís very good to have this finally done and I am especially thankful to CG Networks for putting this whole contest on and for providing inspiration (along with some perspiration) and learning to us 3D artists.
To get the full story behind the image, read the short descriptive paragraph on the first page of my thread. Basically, this is a civilization where everyone can float around freely without the use of extra equipment. However, technology has also allowed the ability to make machines float as well, hence the floating city surrounded by floating platform/shops. A floating bazaar if you will. The ability to float has been a key element in keeping this society running, mirroring our own ever-growing dependence on technology. Should those chemicals which allow floating cease to emit from the planetís core, the fragile society of Lorelli would, quite literally, collapse.

01 January 2005, 06:54 AM
HEY DUDE.........

very great this piece.
I like it.
good LOOK...........
good luck............

01 January 2005, 06:56 AM
Congradulations Aaron on finishing:applause:, I am sorry I missed out on the progress of your entry, there have just been so many. At least I did get to find it in the end, thanks to you. That is very beautiful work you have. The pastry cart rulz!!! HAHA! One day I will explain why I find this so funny. Just remember, Big Bob's.... Anyway, you have a great use of lighting, your scene is quite large and expansive. You have great concept work and modeling. I would say, you have a wonderful ability and should keep using them for the benifit of the many ;) darn those needs... (sorry I couldn't resist...) Keep at it my friend.

01 January 2005, 10:14 AM
Your glow is great

01 January 2005, 10:28 PM
This turned out very nice aaron...........i like the outcome and the mood.Well's pretty obvious that finishing is not the easiet task but you did it and did it well........I wish you the best and good luck in all your next creations.....:arteest:

01 January 2005, 11:09 PM
keetmun- Thanks for your encouragement and good suggestions. It was very nice to watch your progress as well.

sumawut sookvamdee- thanks! Feels good to have it done.

||) |V| |^|- No problem, I myself only made it to a few different threads to watch their progress. There were a ton of entrees. I'm kinda glad that they didn't all make it to the end, otherwise I wouldn't have a hint of a chance! You'll have to tell me some time how Mom's Pastries and Big Bob's correlate. :D Heh, needs, what to do with them?

Alladin- Thanks, spent quite a while getting the glows to look just right.

Virtuoso- Thank you very much. It's an honor to even have you post on my thread! :) I wish you all the same luck, not that you need it however, your work is top quality!

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