Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Brian Linwell


The most important thing when lighting stuff is to think about what kinds of lights there could possibly be in the scene at hand, if it was real.

It seems to me you’re going for a night setting here, so you would pretty much be limited to artificial lights - in this case I see before me some strong searchlights, think ‘Batman the movie’ here…

First rule: avoid lights that appear to come straight from the camera position. It makes everything look flat and kinda boring. So, I would start by placing some spotlights on the roofs of some of the buildings, and aim them towards the ships in the air. You can also include imaginary buildings off-screen so to speak… the row of houses probably continues way behind the camera as well. Lights coming from hard left and right in relation to the camera.

The singer here would probably have brought his own light rig (or he might have some roadies handling that)… I’d try a theatrical light for him, strong spots placed on the surface he is standing on (I presume it’s the roof of a building)… so he would be dramatically lit from below…

Keep working now :wip:


Hi again

Great progress on your entry.

I enjoy watching his deep, giant belly button, deforming the spacesuit…great detail:)


Keep going


This is a screengrab of the layout from the side. The light on the singer is encircled. The ships each have a light too as do the buildings. critiques or comments welcome.


I’ve got only five usual spotlights so far. Three for the three ships,
one on the singer, and one on the ball building. And 15 % ambient.
JamesMK- Thanks for the lighting ideas. I like the Batman searchlight
idea and placing searchlights on the roofs. I’ll have to experiment with
that! I’ll probably change next to work some more on the large opera
ship then get back to the lights. Then I have to do the background
stars and volumetric lights.
Kragh- Thank you. About the detail, I did my first test render at 2700
by 3700 and it was a cool surprise to see all the detail! Yeah I want to
add more, it’s a lot of fun! The singer will get some weird “jewelry”.


REALLY lookin foreward to the final image here

keep it up


Thanks Angelbait. But this is a real learning experience for me,
I hope I can put enough time into it.


Switched positions of the two top ships so I could emphasize the Space Fokker ship, making it bigger. Working on the lights some more. I think this looks better.


Hope that u will add some details to your models.
And a background is missing.

Keep digging! Best of luck!


Andrey_SE- Sorry to read in your thread that you don’t think
you’ll find the time to finish. This is my first challenge and I do
find that it does take longer to do the composition and other
steps than I may realize yet! I’m just getting over a cold and I
stayed up too late working on my entry last night, so I am too
pooped to do anything tonight after work. Glad to see your entry
in my thread, thanks, always exciting to find a reply to my thread!
I enjoy seeing the number of hits I got, which I can check after
I post this reply. I feel I really must finish, and I will, it is only a
matter of how much I will have to quickly polish up in Photoshop
on my Wacom tablet on those last few days on my 2700 by 3700


I remodelled the wings of the Space Fokker using rib crossections to make a better model. It’s much cleaner. Also worked a bit on the opera ship,the Defender with lots of windows.
Gotta get texturing.


Well i dont know about my background, think i’ll squeeze a tiny view
of the vast grand panoramics between these in your face boxy skyskrapers.
Well, I just don’t think a major war looks right on these sublime panoramic
backgrounds with beautiful sunsets. And these floating cities. Yah, chrome plate them… jeeeezzz. OK it was a dark night, smoky, yeah, gotta get back to the volumetrics.
And why did my space fokker turn chinese? She musta warped my mind…ok maybe my
viking ship is now the Yamamoto. But these Goldfish missiles? Whoosh, I get there fast…
wherever. These missiles, well I was talking to a real U.S. Army Patriot missile data
analist (thats a job) and I suggested a missile that as it approaches it’s target it fires
a secondary missile from the rear and that missile is a point blank heat seeker. It
was fired from it’s suddenly point blank location. And he said it was a good idea.
Sooooo if it helps, this ORIGINAL galaxy wars idea was launched here, well, the 3rd
Of December 2004. Well, how long for this to occur in the Future? Launching point blank
platform missiles? Ahhh , that is Soooooooo to happen… so? Any comments on how and when to rear fire a heat seeker rearwards from a Patriot missile? Comments welcome. Now to
design this Goldfish missile. On the wings of the Space Fokker. And I want to add some
asian characters that say “Damn Bloody Lucky Dragon”…I’m gonna add more, It’s an international slogan, American, English, Asian. I need to add some more countries, and
texture map it to the wings of the Space Fokker. Any one want to show the asian characters? Thanks!


Oh… That big gap in the Defender Opera ship’s center bay is there because
the Huge center piece of the ship has been separated to ward of any
deep space re-inforcements by the enemy.


Please submit your Goldfish misslie algorythmic equations to me,
not the Army, thank you, at


I think you might want to try to realign those ships a bit to make it look like they are actually headed somewhere… right now it seems like they had some sort of engine malfunction and ended up hanging randomly in front of the camera, if you follow me…

Goldfish, as far as I know, obey the general ballistic rules as applied to other types of projectiles :smiley:


mesMK- Yes, the Space Fokker is actually dissabled and
falling onto the planet. That is supposed to be the epic
moment, when the invisible ships are destroyed, this is
the first one, it is stopped and about to crash. If I don’t
actually make it crashing on a building. But the art student
ship is going to get engine fire, thanks for pointing that out,
or yes it will continue to look like a real opera set with big
plastic models…another thought I happily decided against!
So I need to put lots of burning holes on the Space Fokker.
As for the Opera ship, It is a floating opera house, with
anti-gravity engines…and is
actually just floating above the opera singer, protecting him
by shooting down the Space Fokker.
As for the Goldfish missile, I was just wondering when it
would be best for it to fire a secondary, rearwards shooting
missile, in order to target and follow the heat signal of the
target missile from behind. That is after the Goldfish passes
and if it misses its target, or just before it reaches its target.
Other than that, yes if flies like any other missile. Anyway
this has to be determined with trial and error tests.


Started to destroy the Space Fokker so
that it reads like it is stopped and
only falling, but I need to add more details. Maybe I’ll add them in post.
I like the way this volumetric blue light looks like a wormhole start.


I added the volumetric blue light on the Space Fokker into the scene setup.
I re-arranged some of the pieces too.
To balance the composition (Ha!The stomach) I moved the Ball Building towards the front. I am going to boolean subtract some shapes into it too. And other stuff. I’m not sure about the big Opera
Ship on top. Should I move it back? And I still resist to add the background yet because I don’t want to focus on that, I need to model more, and someday I hope to texture. Got any ideas, help wanted…


Hello friend! thanks for a helpful comment on my scene!

Nice work you have here. Move this big opera ship back, it takes too much space of the picture. Try to make also something with the feeling of distance. Now it looks like all the elements were on the one level, all in the front. Maybe make your scene bigger, so that these elements are smaller, but placed farther from themselves. With some atmospere very gently fog it can work well. Now I advice to stop modeling and to do some textures, because than we could give more suggestions. We would clearly see where are you going with your style.
good luck man! see you soon:)


Thanks arturro, that’s what I will try to do. Move that opera
ship back, add some depth, maybe put some bluish mountains
in the distance, with bluish fog between the new buildings in
the distance. Hey, I got another idea, make the opera ship
faded in the blue fog, to give it distance. That way it won’t
compete so directly with the other ships, which will be on
another plain, as you say, closer to the front. Cool.


Hi. I want to be honest with you, I like your idea, your concept is really cool. but I feel that you have some problems with the modeling. I will tell you what i think you could better in your image.
First: You need to add some details in your models, the windows of the starship and the buildins are too simple, you need to draw the border with a different material and add a glass whit reflects on it. Not all the ligths are always turn on, specialy when the building are under an attack.

Second: Try to find a better angle for your camera, You have a lot of elements and all of them are in the same plane of focus, You should play whit the distances between the differents objets, use differents planes, it’t ok that some of your spaceships look distants, becouse you give the sensation of far and near, and the scale also is very important.

Finaly: Look for good textures for those starships and your character.

Keep working hard. And sorry if I botter you with my coments.