View Full Version : Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Shawn Weixelman

11 November 2004, 04:20 AM
Shawn Weixelman has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page (

Latest Update: Final Image: Fuzzy Modem (

Oops. Forgot to submit it as a final entry. I'm such a klutz. :p

Looking around at some of the other entries. Wow. Just WOW. It's been an honor to compete.

11 November 2004, 04:24 AM
Thought I would enter this one as Sci-Fi is the area where I really excell.

Going for a massive fleet battle 16x9 with focus on a few starships in the foreground.

I want to establish two distinct races each with their own design philosophy. One with clunky old, but muscular vessels, and another with sleeker more organic feeling vessels. If I'm successfull any of the ships in the scene should be easily recognisable as being from one race or the other. I want one species to feel distictly manacing if not neccesarily evil.

The battle will be taking place high above an alien planet... probably a ringed planet. I think I'll create the background first actually. I'll start on that tonight.

The focal point will be a midsized missle frigate.

I'll be using Rhino and Maya

11 November 2004, 06:14 AM
I got carried away and blew up the planet I was making for the background.

Still... it looks good... maybe it's useable. What do you think?


[edit] image moved down.

11 November 2004, 09:43 AM
So you made it here :) Good luck. For the blown-up planet, maybe a typical SF shockwave ? Not physically realistic, but looks cool.

11 November 2004, 10:06 AM
maybe this will trigger some inspiration...
planet has just exploded and millions of pieces are flying through space...some of them are really close to the camera, huge pieces of rock or land on which mad alien scientists are still experimentin something with such a commitment that they still don't realize they blow up their planet...but be carefull not to miss the subject and add something more to the story like the planet revealed something big when exploded...this is just a brainstorm idea which can hopefully trigger some inspiration...
wish you luck,
keep up the good work

11 November 2004, 05:24 PM
Really just intended to be a backdrop, so I'm gonna tone it down a bit. Wash it out and make it a bit more nebular- no explosion.

11 November 2004, 06:06 PM
Thats better.

but in the final draft it will be motion blurred...

[edit] image moved down.

11 November 2004, 06:49 AM
Hey Your concept looks great~
you might want to add some spaceships and stuff?
just an opinion~ :)

nice work~

11 November 2004, 06:50 PM
Working on vessels now.

The turret on this one is done, but the rest is a very early WIP- little more than a sketch.

I'm trying to incorperate design elements from old sailing ships without being to obvious about it.

[edit] image moved down.

11 November 2004, 09:59 PM
Okay. Done with the basic shape now. Time to start adding detail...

[edit] image moved down.

11 November 2004, 07:18 AM (

Background draft01

Going over the rules again and noticed that I'm not supposed to use my own webhost. I'm reposting the above images properly.

11 November 2004, 07:32 AM
Dang. Uploaded twice. Sorry about the clutter.

11 November 2004, 07:35 AM (


11 November 2004, 07:39 AM (

Very basic design concept for focal vessel.

11 November 2004, 07:45 AM (

Upper hull in progress.

After some initial confusion with the image hosting process, which I appologise for, I seem to be back on track. I'm at about medium detail with this component. I'm going to build a 'shell' of sorts for the outer hull and then fill it in.

11 November 2004, 04:52 AM (

Now at full detail (without textures) this should be indicitive of the detail I'm working towards. Feedback is much appreciated. Now to work on the rest of the ship...

11 November 2004, 05:14 AM
Very very nice ship model. Has a unique, gritty feel to it, not too sure how to explain it, but it's good definitely!

Cheers, and keep working

11 November 2004, 05:15 AM
Great detail! I love what looks like a docking platform in the front hull...But something seems odd, might be the angle but the right part of it looks almost like it's twisted....

11 November 2004, 05:48 AM
Hmmm... It's asemetrical in detail, but not in overall form. It shouldent look twisted. Might be the angle. I'll render up another one soon.

[edit] ah, I think I see what your refering to. The rear area curves up and outward. It's intended to resemble the aft of a sailing ship.

11 November 2004, 07:10 AM
excellent modelling, well done

the details on the hull look awesome! keep it up

11 November 2004, 07:26 AM
A quick breakdown of the process I'm using:

I'm moddeling all this in Rhino. I first loft the basic shape from curves. Once I have the basic shape I boolean out the details with objects extruded from curves. I conform the 'broken' feel of the hull to the overall shape by first removing the hull from the extruded surface and then boolean subtracting the result from the original hull shape. Maybe it sounds complex but it's kindof cheap. Works well though.

11 November 2004, 07:30 AM
wow, nice detail... I like how you embedded the oval and round forms into the object... really fits! Can't wait to see it textured!

go on! ;)

11 November 2004, 08:29 AM (

More work. Two angles this time.

11 November 2004, 01:49 PM
excellent ship model :thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 06:44 PM (

The type of thing you should do before you start working, but here it is anyway. My sketching ability leaves a bit to be desired, but I wanted to get a feel for the overall composition I'm working towards. The final product will have a massive fleet in the background rather than a few white blobs, as well as the alien ships I have yet to begin working on.

The concept: This is humanity's last stand, our final battle after 1000 years of war, before being completely wiped out, save for one ship- this Frigate. Here we see the frigate rushing the enemy's front lines in an attempt to escape.

11 November 2004, 09:32 PM
wow.. you have a great stuff here Shawn !!! :thumbsup:
the concept is cool.. the ship model simply great!
keep it up mate!
the best of luck and cheers..

and yeah.. small suggestion.. put a link to your thread in your signature so ppl can easily find it..

11 November 2004, 12:55 AM (

Got a little more work done tonight. Working retail really sucks this time of year. Oh well, atleast I\'ll be getting some overtime.

Here it is reassembled with both finished and unfinished components. Maybe 40% done moddeling this ship now. The rest of the fleet will be signifigantly lower detail, as they will be far away in the background, but I\'ll simulate the same detail you see here with textures and bump maps. I plan to have a variety of ships, from cruisers to carriers to destroyers to bombers to fighters, all with these design characteristics. The alien fleet will be composed of similar vessels, but with radically differtent design characteristics, and they\'ll outnumber us 2-1. I\'m considering making the alien ships very long and dagger shaped, possible asymetrical, and highly organic. I\'ll probably model them in Maya rather than Rhino actually, using subdivided surfaces... but I havn\'t decided. I could really go in any direction with the aliens at this point. I\'m just waiting for a good idea to strike me...

11 November 2004, 04:58 AM
Heuge and detailed stuff:scream:

11 November 2004, 06:00 AM
Your detail is looking great. How's Rhino working for ya, heard a lot of good things about it?

11 November 2004, 06:05 AM
Hi , fuzzy , your ship look very great! and give a sense of large scale too ! many thnks to your advice in my thread ! many thanks!

11 November 2004, 06:26 AM (

Nearing completion. It just needs a bit more detail. I'l going to leave the rear and underside as is for now, as they won't be facing the camera. I'll come back to them later, but I need to start working on textures, as well as all the rest of the ships for the scene.

I'd like your impresions of the ship's design. I'm trying to create something that looks funtional and believable.

11 November 2004, 06:57 AM
Wicked. Totally wicked. Really impressed man! It's one of those that blow you away just by watching.


3D-ima Green
11 November 2004, 07:42 AM
looks cool :D

11 November 2004, 11:59 AM
Hi! Thats a verry good detailed ship you have here :thumbsup:

It will look awesome when it will be textured.

Keep up the good work :)

11 November 2004, 12:39 PM
Hi there! Great ship! I love it:thumbsup: The only thing I don't agree with, are the protruding heads of the missles. They look great and impressive, but I don't think they should be so exposed. I would advice to hide them a litle bit. Maybe make the holes for them a bit bigger, and hide the missles completely(they also would be seen in the holes, but not so exposed).

11 November 2004, 09:26 PM (

Okay. Finally happy with it. On to texturing...

11 November 2004, 10:39 PM
Yeah! now it's much better! Good work:thumbsup:

11 November 2004, 07:41 AM (

Okay. Maybe I wasn't quite done. Made a few changes and additions. Here are a few detail renders. I'll start texturing now I promise.

11 November 2004, 09:54 PM
Whoa - that is really awesome modeling - VERY impressed! :thumbsup: Claireabella

11 November 2004, 06:56 AM (

On to texturing. This is a very basic texture that I've come up with that I'll be using as a starting point for most of my textures for the human fleet.

11 November 2004, 07:10 AM
nice models!
I really like all your details you got going on!
cool stuff~

11 November 2004, 05:47 PM
What would you like to see in this scene? What I'm primarily trying to achieve is a sense of escape. Any thoughts on how to accomplish that? I need to know what I can be doing better. I really want to push myself for this competition.

All responses much apprecited. Thanks.

11 November 2004, 07:09 PM
just a thought, you could make that one escaping ship damaged somehow (you know, like "they may make it, but not without a price to pay" )

11 November 2004, 03:43 AM
Yeah. It'll be damaged. I'm toying with the thought of having one of the missle pods destroyed.

11 November 2004, 05:49 AM
hi Shawn..
one of the best ways to show an escape is huge explosion/s on the background in couple with some very fast flying chunks with strong motion blur.. though i don't know how it will suit your scene..
anyway great work my friend! :thumbsup:
keep it up and cheers.. :beer:

11 November 2004, 10:13 PM
Absolutely beautiful ships:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 11:22 AM
I like ships... very well detailed - clean and stylish. Really beautiful space art :thumbsup:.

I'd like to see wireframe model. Can you put it out, Shawn.

12 December 2004, 11:38 AM
hey Fuzzy, ur ship looks awesome... great detail and an unique design.. i'm inpressed dude... u got style man... keep up the good works, i can c a huge space opera in its making...good luck

12 December 2004, 12:05 PM
Yup the ship looks really finished! Texture, even at this point looks very very good. Can't wait to see it on the model!


12 December 2004, 12:18 PM
Looks really nice
Not to sure about the texture though.. But then again the gray render that is there now
made me think of Earth Star Trek ships, but that is probably not what your going for in
this picture.

That is realy some detailed model, I agree, we need to se a wireframe of this,
so that we don't think it's a model kit :)

This ship is so detailed that you should maybe tone down the background. The ship will
demand allot of attention since it is so detailed that you could easilly win this whole thing
with almost just a starfield background.

Keep it up :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 12:27 PM
Great ship with a lot of detail
Nice concepts
even without textures it looks awesome :thumbsup:

keep it up

12 December 2004, 06:51 AM
The background will be heavily motion blured which should reduce the destraction. Been sidetracked for a couple days, but plan on getting to texturing tomarrow.

12 December 2004, 11:06 PM (

Finished the underpainting for the primary model. Now I'll start building up the texture on each piece. All planar maps. They are easier to work with.


12 December 2004, 01:59 AM (

Finished texturing the lower hull.

This vessel's name is the 'Lady Macbeth' Note the bloody hands on the bow and sides.

12 December 2004, 03:16 AM (

Now the wings are done.

12 December 2004, 04:32 AM (

Pretty much done texturing now, though I'm open to suggestions. Now that I have a theme to build from, I should have the fleet of human ships for the background completed in the next few days.

12 December 2004, 10:37 AM
Beautiful texturing, although in some areas it looks too "airbrushed", too smooth. If you could still introduce some more scratches it would add more realism to an already great work!

12 December 2004, 10:59 AM
that's a really great fantasy ship, nice design man.
Texturing i think is really difficult with it though, but you're doing a great job on it so far, so good luck with that :wip: (http://misc.php?do=getsmilies&wysiwyg=1&forumid=0#)

12 December 2004, 07:46 PM
Wow. Everytime I build up a bit of confidence I have another look at the competing entries and realise just how far I need to come. I really want to produce something better than anything I've ever done before. I need your help with that. I need ideas. What would you like to see in this scene? What have you never seen done before that would just knock your socks off?

I have come up with my backstory atleast.

The 'Lady Macbeth' was a unique design. She was crafted from the derelict hulls of two corvettes, lost at the Battle of Nine Moons. This strange cobbled together design through luck or an act of fate, produced a vessel faster than any ship of it's size. Originaly 'The Memory of Moons' the vessel served two tours before being refited with the missle pods from a hulled destroyer. The vessel was then rechristened 'Lady Macbeth' and served another 6 tours before the Battle of Tenacia. The missle pods were installed without their primary housing to reduce mass, and therefore were placed a good distance from the hull on two support struts to minimise damage in the case of an internal detonation during battle. Again, in a twist of fate this design resulted in a superior firing arc for both missle bays and the two fixed canon emplacements within the same housing. Before the Battle of Tenacia the Lady Macbeth was credited with the destruction of eleven Ra'zneron warships and thirty smaller vessels.

As the Ra'zneron War was nearing it's conclustion the remnants of humanity were forced against the Galactic rim, the inner colonies, and Earth having long since been destroyed. The tatters of a once great civilization gathered around a dead world orbiting a blue protostar. Here the Ra'zneron came at them with the largest fleet ever assembled in galactic history. The human fleet was brutally slaugtered. In desperation a few vessels charged the blockade. Of these, only the Lady Macbeth made it past. She claimed another dozen Ra'zneron warships that day, and will live forever in Ra'zneron folklore.

The Lady Macbeth became the final remnant of human civilization. Her crew of 600 were given asylum by the Ashani protectorate, a group of races similar to the humans. Over the next millenia their races mixed untill no pure blooded human remained.

The Lady Macbeth was reduced to scrap metal long ago, but she will never be forgotten.

12 December 2004, 08:00 PM
Great story! I like well-thought-out ideas:thumbsup: And as your textturing is concerned, I like it also. I have no idea how you did it only with planar mapping:) Well done. I would only make it less blurry, I mean more detailed maybe... and I would advice to make some tests with different colors on different parts of the ship. I think it may work if you have more colors there...

12 December 2004, 02:43 AM
I like your ship designs. Great modeling all around. Dont get discouraged, you have a good entry. Your textures look good, but remember the final render has to be at print res and even now your textures look a little blurry. Unless this ship is gonna be in the background, i would try and make the textures bigger.

12 December 2004, 03:22 AM
That's a really big ship... or cruiser.
I agree that the textured look too smooth in some areas. I also feel that the hulls look too big for a ship of that size???

As for the planet explosion. Maybe you can make the planet look as if it's breaking appart (take a sphere and shatter it). Make it look as if it's exploding from the inside and all the pieces are being "thrown away". Something like what you saw in "The Time Machine" when the moon broke.

12 December 2004, 03:25 AM
Beautiful texturing, although in some areas it looks too "airbrushed", too smooth. If you could still introduce some more scratches it would add more realism to an already great work!
i complitely agree.. textures look veri nice but are too blured.. as well as some demages and scratches should work well in this case..
keep going great work mate and cheers.. :beer:

12 December 2004, 04:37 AM
i complitely agree.. textures look veri nice but are too blured.. as well as some demages and scratches should work well in this case..
keep going great work mate and cheers.. :beer:
damage, that's a good idea

12 December 2004, 09:04 AM (

WIP light rig. The lines are a referance for the beam fire I'll be adding in post.
Texture still needs work...

12 December 2004, 01:52 PM
Tilt the ship sideways, the whole scene will appear more dynamic.

12 December 2004, 07:33 PM
Tilt the ship sideways, the whole scene will appear more dynamic. Wow. That's a really simple, and really good idea. Thanks.

[edit] Also aids the composition qite a bit. Cool.

12 December 2004, 07:35 PM
And don't forget about gently motion blur:bounce:

12 December 2004, 07:41 PM
in the beginning it looked like a cool, armed shoe, but now it's a well-detailed cool-lookin
starship , good job, dude!

12 December 2004, 12:33 AM (

Reworked the lighting from scratch.

12 December 2004, 07:33 AM (

Done rendering the Frigate, and working on the background now. I'm going to dirty up the frigate's texture in post. Still alot of work to be done. I've just begun work on the rest of the human fleet, and I havn't even started on the alien ships yet. Final image size will be 5200x2700. How do you think I'm doing at achieving a sense of escape?

12 December 2004, 09:24 AM
i really like that blur very dynamic excellent work

very nice model of the ship

good job:thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 09:32 AM
Dynamism is a big point for you my friend! I like it. There are only too many colors... I would stay with a few only...

12 December 2004, 11:17 AM
Oh my I actually thought that was the final piece! But looks like you've got everything on track right now. Great stuff man...


12 December 2004, 11:28 AM
you realise a great work :thumbsup:
your ship is modeling with polys or subDSurfaces, it is beautifull:bounce:

12 December 2004, 10:54 PM
Smokin detail!!!:buttrock: Did you do it with just texturing and bump mapping or is it a combo of modeling and texturing? Just curious.

12 December 2004, 02:33 AM
Dynamism is a big point for you my friend! I like it. There are only too many colors... I would stay with a few only...
I agree on this one. It seems that your color palette includes almost all colors in the spectrum :shrug:

12 December 2004, 04:14 AM
Like that detailed ship modeling, you've inspired
me I hope to detail the beejeepers out of my
floating bucket. I've just put damage holes
on one of my ships, which I will detail more
later. So looking forward to seeing your damage too.

my 3D entry (

12 December 2004, 10:39 AM
I've get tomarrow, er, today off from work. I plan to go totally insane and model and texture everything I have left to do in the next 24 hours.

12 December 2004, 01:30 PM
Cool idea, a 24h work ride :buttrock:
Your scene have a great dynamism but I agree with arturro that it have too many colors :curious:

Great work, keep it up :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 03:17 AM
Hey Shawn,

That ship is very cool,very believable. The texture looks good too, I think I would make the scale of the texture smaller if you know what I mean. Make the spots smaller over all or use a higher resolution tmap .
Keep up the great job.:thumbsup:
My GSO entry

12 December 2004, 03:46 AM
Cool idea, a 24h work ride :buttrock:
did anyone say "insanity"? "24 hours straight... he is a machine" Now THAT'S something I have to see :thumbsup:

12 December 2004, 10:44 AM
Got alot of work done but not finished yet. Sleeping now.

12 December 2004, 02:50 AM
Smokin detail!!!:buttrock: Did you do it with just texturing and bump mapping or is it a combo of modeling and texturing? Just curious. Mostly HD modeling, I mapped the texture based on the detail of the mesh in photoshop.

Whew. Got quite a bit done, but not quite ready for un update post yet.

12 December 2004, 01:09 AM (

Begining work on a huge cruiser for the background.

12 December 2004, 09:25 AM
hi Fuzzy Modem

Nice Texturing, I love the design of your space ship it looks slick, a bump map will alaways give your design more weight and mass, especially mechanical objects, looking forward to the finished design,

all the best

Paul P Patina!

check my link

12 December 2004, 02:05 PM
Very good model! Lots of layers give smooth but still massive feeling!
Keep it up!

12 December 2004, 01:08 AM (

Okay. The last of the background objects. The human and alien ships, and some debris.

12 December 2004, 01:10 AM (

Okay. Thats everything. My final draft pending critique.

12 December 2004, 01:12 PM
Congrats man, I think you're just about done. This one has P-O-S-T-E-R written all over it. Congrats on a job well done!


12 December 2004, 04:06 PM
I think this is a big improvement on your color palete :buttrock:
and it seems you are almost done! got to go back to work :twisted:

12 December 2004, 12:42 PM
It's a bit confusing with all these colors... i'd at least slightly tone down the background.

01 January 2005, 05:18 AM
Your starship model is by far one of the best I've seen in this competition. The colors in your composition work nicely too. The only advice I could think to give you was to make the scene a little less blurred, also try dampening down some of the colors too make the important parts of the scene stand out a little more, other than that it looks great. Great Job.

01 January 2005, 05:20 AM
Also I forgot to mention that I'm about to model some drop ships for my scene, when I put them in I would appreciate any advice you have to offer. Thanks

01 January 2005, 01:27 AM (

Oops. Forgot to submit it as a final entry. I'm such a klutz. :p

Looking around at some of the other entries. Wow. Just WOW. It's been an honor to compete.

01 January 2005, 01:32 AM
Whoa, I never saw this entry at all, im sorry i missed it. Great image, good luck on the voting.

01 January 2005, 05:17 PM
This is really a motion!The lighting and the color which are moving.
Hope the colors show themselves well in Expo book.:applause:

01 January 2005, 08:55 AM
Hi Shawn......... well, that it an awesome picture and I love the colours and movement you have achieved. Great work. Good luck! :thumbsup: Claireabella

01 January 2005, 09:09 AM
Yap, this is what I call a good capturing of motion. My congratulaitons! Really good piece of Grand Space Opera:) I wish you best and see you in the next challenge:twisted:

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