View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Michael Ward

10 October 2004, 04:50 PM
Michael Ward has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Concept Sketch: Concept Crew Transport (

This model sucks a lot, but it gives an impression of the overall shape i'm chasing for this one. This craft would carry assault shuttles and drop ships and have expansive crew transport and training facilities.
I fancy i'll try and recreate it using less polygons - this POS has like 60k and theres no details at all.

10 October 2004, 04:53 PM
Great to be here ;)

10 October 2004, 04:56 PM
First major post here... looking forward to getting into the action. :)

Sketches are forthcoming, along with a description of the idea.

10 October 2004, 12:29 PM
OK, i did a couple of ship sketches to get myself into gear...
However, since i'm a new member, it seems i cant post attachments just yet ;)

So, instead, i'll post some details. Here's the background story:

Basicly, its a story of human conflict after the near destruction of Earth. A brief thermonuclear exchange reduced vast parts of the Earth to virtually nothing, and the human race was forced to survive in remote areas, underground, and in tiny communities in space and on the moon. After hundreds of years, the two original factions that triggered the conflict (the Unity Coalition and Joint Eastern Confederation) began to rebuild for another. However, they decided that from that point on, all conflict would take place elsewhere - never again would a weapon be fired on the planet Earth.

This lead to rapid advances in space travel technology. Other systems were swiftly occupied, and the UN and JEC starfleets grew exponentially. However... it was many years before the first Terran (or Earthlike) planet was discovered. It was claimed by Unity forces, but its only inhabitants were peaceful colonists from Earth. But the treaty offered no cover, and the JEC invaded the planet, which was called Gaia II, and wrested control of the surrounding system from the UN.

The system became a warzone. Thousands of ships were destroyed, and millions of lives were lost. Eventually, the UN won control of the system back, but at a terrible cost.
At this point, the two factions ratified a new treaty - Terran worlds would fall under the same protection as Earth.
As a result, control of any given Terran world depended on control of the surrounding system. Territorial dominance became paramount. Soon after, the JEC found another world, which was named Gaia III, and set about fortifying the surrounding planets. A precedent was set, in which all non-terran worlds became Fortresses of industrial and military might.

This would lead to total war on a grand scale.

The scene i intend to build is centred on the imminent JEC invasion of a Fortress world near a Terran planet - thousands of ships on each side, in a faceoff over territory.

As soon as i get the permissions to do so, i'll post some sketches ;)

10 October 2004, 02:45 PM
Take that office firewall! :p

OK, most of these are just little doodles i made during smoko and at lunchtime. Went over them with a ballpoint and hijacked the office scanner for 10 minutes, and here they are ;)

EDIT: Removed the images for bandwidth reasons ;)

10 October 2004, 06:56 AM
hey, what's going on man, your off to a nice start, can't wait to see more.

10 October 2004, 07:12 AM
looking good :thumbsup:!

ps: i really really like the words "smoko" and "thermonuclear" :P

11 November 2004, 01:18 PM
Welcome a board mate!
Nice storyline you have there Michael.
Indeed it`s ahuge scale scene you`ll gonne build with this concept.
I`m curious about the entire concept scene.
Pretty good ship sketch, especially for using as a background. It seems you have a lot of details there.
And with two huge fleets near the Fortress you`ll have also a huge polycount scene. Curious how you`ll manage that.
Keep it up! :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 01:40 PM
Hey thanks for the comments! :D

rashaverak: "smoko" is slang ;) basicly a short break for a hot drink and a cigarrette - i myself dont smoke, but i take advantage of the gap ;)

PROctavian: Probably going to have to render stuff out as layers and comp it together later - probably melt my CPU otherwise ;)

The scanner here at work is bust ATM, so it might be a few days before my new sketches get to be seen.....

11 November 2004, 03:33 PM
Well, still no scanner...

Started modelling though, based on one of those sketches i posted earlier. They're pretty simple - mostly just shape concepts.

First, a heavy cruiser sized ship:

And then an interceptor based on the same design:

11 November 2004, 03:37 PM
Great start bud.

Looking forward to seeing more of it.

11 November 2004, 05:57 PM
Good luck mick !

lightwave or modo on this ?

11 November 2004, 06:03 PM
Interesting concept, my friend :)

Looking forward to seeing how this develops... guess this means Das Prinz is on hold even longer :p hehe

11 November 2004, 08:39 PM
looks like a great start very detailed... ... oh and good luck man =)

11 November 2004, 10:16 AM
Hey guys, been pretty quiet this last week - but not to worry. ;)

Check back tomorrow, i got a lot done over the weekend :)

11 November 2004, 10:27 AM
detailed concepts, and models, good job.
great stuff to start with :thumbsup:

mind you, if these are entry concepts I believe you need to enter them through the challenge entry page where it says "submit entry" and not as attachments on the forum.

good luck :)

11 November 2004, 09:45 AM ( (

No real textures, just some small proceedurals on bump and diff channels. The overall shape
is done, around 30,000 polys.

11 November 2004, 09:50 AM
Please delete

11 November 2004, 09:55 AM ( (

Those glows have been done with a neat little plugin for Lightwave called Hyperglow - cheap and effective ;)
Yeah, modelling in modo, surfaces and rendering in Lightwave.

11 November 2004, 09:56 AM (

This is the equivalent of a sketch - the scanner here is still busted and theres currently no plans to get it repaired. Therefore - a 3D sketch

11 November 2004, 10:01 AM
wicked detail man

11 November 2004, 11:56 AM
Cheers Tyler.

OK, next up is a proper model of the ship i posted just before..

11 November 2004, 08:12 PM
great model that you have to this ships, and the efect in the turbines is nice

11 November 2004, 11:01 PM
cool designs! how many diffrent spaceships will u put in your scene ?

11 November 2004, 02:21 AM
This all has a very Starcraft feel to it. The ships designs needless to say seem to be a thad bit generic. Complicating the issue are the "greebles" on the ship surfaces. Not that using them is bad, but using them in a gratuitous manner were it is obvious they serve no other function then decoration takes away from your image.

I think some fundamental issues should be dealth with concerning the ships. What is their purpose, what do they do, how do they move, how do they "work" in a real day to day pragmatic sense, are all questions you should be asking.

I would recommend that you perhaps take a step back, and concentrate on making a composition sketch that puts on paper what they IDEA of your image is. Remeber that an opera is driven by human drama, and it is VERY hard to have human drama without plot. As this relates to an image, particularlly illustrative images, is find a way of telling a visual story. Have in mind that the viewer will be asking themself why they should care at all about any of these ships, or the fate of any humans that may be inside.

Give this some consideration and I think your work will be alot better.

11 November 2004, 10:00 AM
leon!: Probably about 30 or so distinctly different spaceship designs in total.... but its questionable how many will be seen up close.

WazaR: Yes, creating a composition of the final scene is definately a priority. I've got a half-finished sketch of it, but, once again, the lack of a scanner is preventing me from displaying it....

I'll have to see about doing a 3d sketch with bounding boxes and stuff.

Watch this space ;)

12 December 2004, 10:40 AM

Like the models so far. Interested to know where its going...whats your ideas/composition.


12 December 2004, 11:00 AM
Nothing to crit yet. Very good models. How did you make thosa plating on your ships? do you have some tricks...? or you have just modelled each of them....? or it/s the mixture of bump and modeling..?

12 December 2004, 03:07 PM (

This was a test composition using flat instanced planes - the nearer ones are semi-transparent. The defending fleet is about the right size, but will probably get replaced by low-poly ships instead of single quads.
Attacking fleet is represented by the nearer quads.

No death star comments please, i just used a preset texture ;)

12 December 2004, 03:14 PM
OK, i'd hardly call that progress, but i've been set back by PC troubles :shrug:

it seems that the update inadvertedly answered your questions.... ;)

arturro: No textures, except for some tiny proceedurals to break up the surfaces. It was just stencilling some cuts into polys and doing some bevelling and stuff.
Merely a case of time and patience and 6 hours of Family Guy episodes :thumbsup:

I've got another three ships to detail now - best get to it sharpish...

12 December 2004, 03:29 PM (

Just an update on the Escort Cruiser concept - i fancy its ready for some detailing ;)

12 December 2004, 03:36 PM (

This model sucks a lot, but it gives an impression of the overall shape i'm chasing for this one. This craft would carry assault shuttles and drop ships and have expansive crew transport and training facilities.
I fancy i'll try and recreate it using less polygons - this POS has like 120k and theres no details at all.

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