Yup, Renderman-compliant renderers are usually great at true displacements, which is one of the reasons I really like them. As for shader writing, once you get the hang of it, it’s really not that bad. It’s not nearly as complicated as writing Mental Ray shaders. The typical Renderman shader is perhaps twenty to fifty lines of code.
I am using Maya 7.0, with the free Liquid plugin as my Maya-to-Renderman bridge. Right now, I’m using 3Delight (a PRMan clone) for rendering.
I’ve written a shader for the OTV hull, now. The shader adds random noise to give the hull a grungy appearance, and can accept three textures (diffuse, extra noise, and occlusion maps). I’m still working on painting the diffuse maps; what you see is not final.
Incidentally, the previous post shows the tuberider stowed on the OTV. The book describes it as being wrapped, which made things much easier for me. I threw together a few low-res polygonal spheres and cubes, then draped some Maya cloth over the shapes.
I haven’t had access to a computer with 3D software on it during the holidays, so I’ve had to make do painting some textures for the past few days. Here’s the texture for the OTV tanks. I’ll post a picture of these textures applied to the model soon.
i’ve looked at all the stages youve posted and im very impressed, i know next to nothing about 3d but this contest sure has tweeked my interest. its looking very porfessional, all the little decals and such.
Interestingly the last shot reminds me of a scene from 2010 year we made contact. With the russian ship “liarnoff” /sp?. just the way it is positioned on screen and the tanned olive colour palette…Awesomne work mate.
Ah yes, the Leonov (named for Alexi Leonov, the first person to walk in space). I remember it, and I can see some of the similarities to my OTV. I’m more partial to “2001: A Space Odyssey”, myself. The design of the Discovery tends to influence my space art.
Thanks for the compliments; glad you like the model!
I’ve got it roughed out in my mind. I’m thinking two shots, each about four second long. The first will show the OTV in the borehole from the front, sliding into the dock sideways, with some action in the windows. The second will show the OTV from the back, with the camera closer to the ship (and the field of view wider); the ship’s thrusters will fire briefly to slow its approach to the dock. I might post a draft animation soon. I want to keep all the action slow and serene. There are too many fast-paced sci-fi movies in which spacecraft manoeuvre like fighter jets.
I’ve finally finished painting all the textures for the OTV. I’ve got a little more tweaking to do – a few little details to add, some shaders to assign, and one more shader to write for the blinking running lights – but the model is looking pretty close to being finished.