Eon (3D Scene) Entry: Tim Dunn


Hey Tim
blimey you have done a staggering amount more work than me, thanks for the comments btw. I toyed with doing the city section as well but due to time considerations chose to concentrate just on the point where the flaw ship reaches the drive cubes. Really like your concepts, makes for a stronger challenge when people have chosen similar scenes to depict… best of luck… now where is that double ended candle to burn :slight_smile:



Wow! Looks like you’re going all out on the chamber. What animation do you plan on having for the end?

Just remember to not model more than you need to. Believe me, I do it more often than I realize. :smiley:


abscnth & Jedi-Juice - thanks. While suffering through a rather boring class Thursday I came up with a whole new and much better take on the buildings for Axis-Nader. I was a doodeling fool, but alas now I’m so swamped in finishing off projects, finals, work and something else that I don’t think I’ll get a chance to work on it till late next week. Theres a reason why you do the school thing when you’re young. This second time around stuff being, err, old-er is just insane.


Its been a while thanks to a couple deaths among family and friends plus finals. But I finally started working again. I started adding details to the exterior of Axis Nader with lots more work to go.


Heres the roughout for Central City which lies just north of Axis Nader along the Flaw (which along with the plasma tube I have not included).


The amount of work placed into this is phenominal. Noticable are the twisted Pyramid motif emblem and the maltese cross, they are both stunning, can’t wait to see the end result…

best of luck



Hey there, making some progress! I’m curious to see what kind of composition you come up with for all of these elements. Nice work, keep it up:thumbsup:


Thanks guys. I have alot more detailing done but not at apoint I’m ready to setup for a render yet. Too much more detailing to do first.
Believe it or not putting the Cross, Drive/Navigation cubes, Axis Nader and Centeral City together is not the part that bothers me, its what I plan on doing for the way and backdrop that is beginning to really freak me out. I NEED MORE DAYS IN MY HOURS AND WEEKS IN MY DAYS!!!


I guess some one that read the book; if not parts of it… can make a serious difference.

I honestly loved your aproach to the construction of the [color=white]Axis City…[/color]
The units the details, many things are very well thought of! It really makes the descriptions so much easier to place.
(Not too sure about how much I liked the [color=white]Axis Nader/outside details for some reason… it apears to take from all the amazing work. I guess with lighting and decent rendering, it is definately going to look it’s better)[/color]

Have you ever thought of (even though it is well more an amount of work) constructing the “Tube” more what like a cage?
Sort of having islands of city la out on beams of highways and connectors… my whole worry is that you have such a good idea for the “Mega”'s and also a really good job on the exterior… Since you are planning on presenting the entrance of the flaw ship as well… it may not be too easy to display both your hard work at one screen shot.

Hence the reason for the idea of a “Cage-Like” structure…

All that said…
No offence but I think I have to agree with you on the canopy… it fits functionality without sacrificing from the “Arrowhead” description… but does look un-fitting.

In the scale you are planning on doing things… does it really mater? Or are you planning a close-up shot to the flaw ship, rendering all the rest to the background?

BEST of luck! And never mind Zando’s turkey… get this thing completed… it is very promising to compare to so many I have viewed recently. And I am VERY curious on what you may have a mind for, for the backdrop…

GOOD LUCK!:thumbsup:


Ps: My deepest condolences for your loses…
Death is one thing… but Deaths?!! Was there an accident or something? Glad you are still moving on with this though. I believe it is going to be great!

Pss: Whats the “question” bit about your post #11? You lost me there


BlackDidThis - Thanks for the comments they are deeply appreciated. First as for the question from post#11. I was talking about the cross and drive units, did they go along with Axis Nader down the Way. It was not perfectly clear in Eon if they did or if they were left behind. However after reading Eternity I realized that yes they did go down the Way. Duhhh, how else could Axis Nader and Central City accelerate to relativistic velocities after the Sundering?

As for the details on the outside of Axis Nader the plan, time permitting, was/is to add another layer or two of larger builidings to all the nurnie work already done. Plus I still have other infrastructure work I plan to add to help smooth the whole thing together.

For the interior I actually did plan on lots and lots of inbetween/hanging type buildings meshing between the buildings off of the central cylinder and the inside of the main cylinder. However, after building a ton of really nice looking builidngs and then trying to add them onto the central cylinder I generated WAY to many polys and sadly I choose LW9 for my modeling instead of XSI. I’m a thousand times faster at modeling in LW then XSI but it slows to a crawl with high poly (anything over a million) polys. XSI on the other hand handels near infinite polys as if you were only working with a couple. So now the issue is stay in LW or transfer to XSI.

But the real issue is time, or should I say the sever lack there of. In fact I’m out of town till next week and only have my very old very slow (P3 750mHz laptop) with no real graphics card (sniff , sniff). So what I’m probably going to do is restructure the short animation so I can conserve poly count by adding parts in only where they will be seen and take different angles such as not traveling through the city as I had planned. That way I can add some nice detailed buildings but not needing thousands of them.

What I’m working on right now is textures. Alot of my detail has to come through the textures and I have lots and lots of buildings and other strucutres so I have tons of work to do.

I do have alot more done on the inside but that will have to wait till I’m back home to post.

Till then I wish everybody a wonderful and happy holidays.


Woow… so somebody that has dug into the trilogy eh?
I honestly didn’t enjoy the [color=white]Eon series as much from the moment of the Russian Attach
Guess I was too overwhelmed by the build up, and I had expected a different follow up
loosing the magic (Unfortunately the series to follow just couldn’t revive the ecstasy and expectations
) But what so ever I am amazed at his creativity and scientific ingenuity even if fiction… the ideas are outstanding and always. His books are always a pleasure to read (I have 20 or 21 of them… as I recall he should have 28 books … not too sure)[/color]

Now you already happen to know the answer
it was already answered before having to look it up in [color=white]Eternity or Legacy
but to quote from the book:
—> Reference Text (From Page 355-356):

The farthest southern extension of the city was a broad Maltese cross, extended from two cubes mounted one behind the other on the flaw. The center of the cross accepted the flaw, which then extended through the cubes. Here was the machinery which powered, propelled and guided the city along the singularity. The same effect that could move the city along the flaw, and had propelled the tuberider, also provided much of the city’s energy. Generators within the cubes were spun by turbines whose “blades” intersected the singularity and were subjected to the spatial transform.
[/color]So basically the Cross is what got them there, and the thing that brought them back as I get it.

As for the speed and manageability of [color=white]Lightwave
I had used it last back in the days of Pentium II being the top of the line and PentiumIII being a miracle. So in those days, even the thought of 1 million poly’s was out of my range of testing.
I personally (pretty fanatically) use MaYA and those who buy it rarely are those that can afford many other high end software :frowning:
luckily MaYA leave little need for any other software. And since version 7.0 it is pretty capable of handling a good amount of polygons. So with a good enough computer: you are usually pretty able to go nuts in the polygon count.[/color]

If I were you personally I would try setting a pipeline that permits your cross usage of both software
not necessarily obligating you to model in [color=white]XSI. But in the end it is your time and your decisions to make… wish for the best on your part.[/color]

As for the “animation”
maybe something in the lines of 3D meshes appearing and disappearing (Which Is actually a render with only one object each being rendered out and composite back together) might be a way out

I really hope you find a way around it.

Well I have just gotten back and there a few things I would like to deal with now.

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas eve… We sure did :slight_smile:

Take care;



Finally back home, for a few days anyways, I fear that due to another trip I may not be able to finish and that bugs the leaving c#@P out of me. I’ll have to work long and hard everyu second I have to finish this up.

I have not read ‘Legacy’ and doubt I will. I did enjoy the concept in ‘Eternity’ alot and r4eally wish more was done discussing the ‘Final Mind’ and why The Way had to be closed down. The pieces were there but just not as colorful and complete as I wish it was.

As for my pipeline I actually have Maya 7.5 Unlimited which I use for fluids and PaintFX but rarely for anything else, Houdini for pFX (its by far the best!) XSI 5 which I’m still learning and LW which I have used for ages and am really fast and effiecent in. Sadly my XSI -. LW pipeline is almost none-existant. To move back and forth I have to go through a freind and I burden him with enough crap as it is so… Thats something I plan on remeding real soon though, unless LW finally fixes modeler for near infinite poly work like XSI/Maya/C4D, ect.


Hey, what do you mean you fear you’re not gonna be able to finish… don’t you dare to do so :slight_smile:
come on man… you’ve worked so hard on this, just to give up now!!!.. I’ll be waiting right here for an update of your amazing work. Don’t make me wait long.


Thanks for the kind words claudio_jordao. I’m not giving up by any means, just not sure I’ll have enough time to finish. I’m going to be gone several days next week without my computer and I still have tons and tons to do. So right now I’m trying to change and simploify my original plans a bit to not loose to much from what I had planed but enough to be able to finish. My goal right now is to get the modeling finished by midnight Sunday (no New Years party for me except with my computer). I’m just about finished with reworking somestuff on the Drive Cube’s. I’m arguing with myself on geometry versus texture detail on several huge inset sections. I’ll post what I have in a few, then work on the cross and think about geometry/texture details and hopefully get some feedback on what I have.


OK, I’m done (maybe) with the geometry for the drive units. The current plan is for textures to deal with the rest of the tons of detail I want. Still undecided if I shoulden’t add more geometry back into those inset panels or not. Any comments on that?

Working on the final work for the cross Unit right now.

I have pFX guides all set up to link the Cross to the Drive cubes, between the Drive cubes and for the entire Buffer zone. The particles are all setup but the HV texturing is not done yet so I’ll have to work on that next week and get that posted.

The goal as stated above right now is to finish the geometry off before 2007 hits me in the face.


Dang only 16 days left. I’m gone 4 of those 16 and spent yesterday either outside digging out of another storm or without power. Someone does not want me to finish this.

Anyways this is, sadly, all the modeling work I’m going to do on the Cross unit. Theres a bunch of pFX that will go into this I have yet to setup though. Thats the next step to set the Cross and Drive units up and get the pFX guides done. Then throwing the Buffer region and Axis Nader into the scene so I know exactly where I need to add buildings in Axis Nader to finish all modeling off and move on to lighting and texturing. Dang I need more time available to work on this.

Sadder still I have not decided on whether I will use a Flaw ship in the scene. I had wanted to but I don’t like the one I have partly modeled. I have a cool plan for a much nicwer one but time, damn ugly time hates me.


oh man, that’s too bad, you are in Co. right? you guys are getting pounded with powder.
Hope you can find all the time you need to finish. I’m struggleing to finish myself.


SNoWs - yep I’m in Colorado and am happy to say we got dumped on with snow, alot more then Denver but happily I live near the mountains so did not get the 15-20 foot drifts the plains got.

A friend and I have been discussing lighting thought processes and this was my reply to him on how I’m designing mine for this scene. I’ll through in images showing the results when I finish the light rig.

Man, well I was going to create a whole new sticky thread just on your post Cesar but if this is just a reader’s digest version then I’ll wait.

Books Lighting Design:
This is my breakdown of how I’m approaching setting the lighting up. First this one is tricky because in essence this is an interior architectural lighting setup, yet because of massive size, an infinitely long tube which is 20 km wide it behaves like an outdoor scene. Almost all the lighting comes strictly from a 5 km wide blue, blue, blue, plasma tube running down the Way (the cylinder). What makes even harder is some of the structures are completely inside the plasma tube. This means the lighting is completely flat, saturated almost completely shadowless lighting. Well that’s easy to achieve however the image would be horrible to look at.

So the first thing you think is ahhh, the Way itself reflects light as a bounce so we can use that to provide much needed interest to the scene. But sadly the Way is not made out of real material, granted at the beginning of the Way there is dirt (brought in from other worlds), mountains, rivers, clouds, ect, here however there is nothing and the way is basically black with red and bronze splotches. Also there are no light contributions coming from either end of the Way.

Next you say the city, Axis Nader, provides lighting to the scene. yes but no. In fact when Patricia first describes the sight of Axis Nader the interior appears black (hard to believe since the plasma tube runs down it!) and the out side glitters with thousands of sparkling small lights. So little light contribution comes for it.

My Lighting Design:
Fake GI:I first created a set of lights which stretch a huge length along the plasma tubes exterior. I’ll use this as faked GI with NO shadows! This is important since the light by its nature saturates almost everything with equal lighting. To do this I thought there were only two options (The lights stretch over 1000km along the tube to light the Way, meaning either area or linear lights. Linear could not be used thanks to way to much noise, even with incredibly high AA/MB levels. Area lights were extremely pretty but expensive. Final render size is 3636x2657 along with a much smaller 4-8 second animation. What I finally came up with shocked the living heck out of me, point lights! I have four point lights which I both rotate and travel 1000km along the plasma tube. Its fast, saturates the scene even though I’m only using extremely low light saturation here.

Shadows on the Way itself: I created 4 area lights which spans almost the length of Axis Naders Interior and set them up with my modified spinning light trick setup. In modeler I created a special Cylinder that matches the basic cylinder geometry of Axis Nader. I set it so it contributed shadows to only onto the Way itself and unseen otherwise.

Back Lighting: I’m cracking open the Way and adding galaxy and stars as backdrop fro symbolism. I’m using that as the background lighting, light and subtle but designed to provide different color lighting to the scene.

City Lighting: Main little point lights are going to be scattered around both the inside and outside of Axis Nader to provide little hints of lighting.

Main Spec/Color lighting: I don’t care what really would happen I’m adding in some main key lights for color, spec and shadows to actually make the scene pop.

Secondary Spec/Color lighting: Even though there really is none according to the book I solved alot of the structural gaps in the book with the using of Tensor beams made up of particles/HV’s. I’ll use these as areas I can add in lights to help contrast color/light the scene.

It’s going to be a huge lighting rig which I’ll control with a special LScript with Sliders I’m writing to help texture the scene. This also means a few bogus lights added here and there just to allow faster/easier rendering.


Wow, that sounds like a very intricate light rig. I can’t wait to see how it comes together.


Next you say the city, Axis Nader, provides lighting to the scene. yes but no. In fact when Patricia first describes the sight of Axis Nader the interior appears black (hard to believe since the plasma tube runs down it!) and the out side glitters with thousands of sparkling small lights. So little light contribution comes for it.

I don’t know HOW I have had missed out on that line in the text!

This alone will add some SERIOUS drama and unmodeled business at the cost of render time. I had little intrest in a scene with Axis Nader in the Back Drop… Honestly because of the uniform lighting a large mass was going to be getting, and would have thought twice of leaving it aside had I recalled this.

I am not too sure of your reasons of setting linear lighting aside… with a globe of instanced linier lights you would pretty well get the effect I believe you are going for, and to a low expense (I am personally going to go for that for the lighting within the Stone… Even though I am going to light it a little different than the book would have fancied me to).
But then again your solution is a very practical one… I have used the under-dog point lights VERY often in my scenes… particularly if an interior animation is involved… they are fantastic.

I couldn’t follow on the main lighting for colour and specularity… but I presume those are lights that shall be “scene” dependent and are waiting for you to complete your composition.

I am truely enjoying following up on your project Tim
It would be really grea tot see where you get all this data trancuated into.