Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Maciej Frolow


Maciej Frolow has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

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Latest Update: Final Image: Rise and fall of an Empire

First the story, my friend corrected my terrible english, now it`s readable :wink:

| Rise and Fall of an Empire |

The story began when Zaroth Dirmond son of Karoth the Great at the age of twenty three years obtained the control of a small solar system which include nine habitable planets, he chose one of them to estabilish the first colony and made it his main place where he built his magnificent palace. He named the planet Aroth.

Young age:
In the first three hundred years the small colony raised to a waste city and the power of the young king become indiscutable.
At his fifth hunderd birthday Zaroth Dirmond ruled the entire system composed of nine habitable planets and twenty six satellites, moons and asteriods. The news from the rising power reached far away in the galaxy and the closer systems started to be afraid of the possible attack from the Arothians especially that everybody knew that he started to building a powerful fleet composed of twelve intergalactic battle ships.

Golden age:
The next two hundred years was full of victorious conquests all around the galaxy, Zaroth became now an expert of strategy and a great economic negociator. A lot of his conquests were without weapons and made at the basis of treaties between his growing empire and neutral planets. By this way his power rose without any loses.
At the age of twenty six hundred years the Emperor Karoth the Great died and the shadow of chaos covered the galaxy.

Dark age:
At the death of the emperor the galaxy become the theatre of the war between his three sons. A deadly race to obtain the trone of the Empire. Battles between space fleets composed of hundreds of spaceships ravaged millions of lives. After seven centuries of war Zaroth Dirmond the Terrible, Emperor of the galaxy died five years after obtaining the trone of the Empire.

  • The pivotal moment -
    The emperror near his last days of life looks back onto his life and seeks where the happened the moment when he loosed the control of the thingsā€¦ he sees now his palace, all in gold tones, magnificient, powerfulā€¦ he looks back and see the first ages where he arrived on the planet, where all was cover by forests and only few buildings composed well with the treesā€¦ he looks forth and see war and destruction, his palace burining, forests ravaged by the fireā€¦ where this pivotal moment arrived?

  • And few words about the project and the final image -

What I learned:
_ devlopping huge concepts (devlopping a design for a whole civilisation, from ships to buildingsā€¦)
_ time managment for a such big and long projectā€¦ by spending about 2 hours a day (excluding about 4 weeks when I was overworked and I did nothing) and last five days at ā€œfull timeā€.
_ menaging huge scenes by organising and rendering all in layers
_ compositing & special effcts - I finally learn how to make nice explosions :slight_smile:
_ creating starfields
_ and many many moreā€¦

Technical information:
_ final image size: 45,64x30cm at 300dpi (5390x3543pixels)
_ number of polygons: wellā€¦ a block of five buildings have about 300 000 polygons, considering that there is about 100 of this blocks the polycount is awesomeā€¦ adding to this about 5 millons polygons for the palace + megastructureā€¦
_ project size (maps, objects, PSDfiles) on my HD: 4,7G - that fits exactly on a DVD :wink:
_ time spent on devlopping the project: considering that I don`t had many time I can say that in working on full time this kind of image can be done in three weeksā€¦ but this exludes some things like rethinking the concept many timesā€¦ slowelyā€¦ without pressure :slight_smile:

Thank you to all who bringed me many precious comments & support.


Hello to all.

No Im not starting for the worse sketch ever made ;) but my hand drawing abilities are terrible and I dont want to show them here.

Let`s set the story:

Fall of an Empire

Dark days arrives to the Empire, the ennemys ships arrived above the imperial planet, wich was for decades the administrative and cultural center of all the 278 planets. Was beacause half of them is destroyed by this unknown race of terrible warriors with which any negotiations are useless. The ennemy invades each planet, plunder all its resources and go. Each resistance encounters a terrible firepower of giant battle cruisers and a terribly powerful mothership. Now we stay here, at the fall of a civilisation which devlopped culture and economy and always preferd dialogue to war.

Of course I will devlopp that with some ā€œdeeperā€ story later, thers about 90 days for that :slight_smile:

Lets be honest its nothing original, but whats original in an iconic image? A battle still a battle, a fabulous city still a city. I hope my originality will be in the ability to create something big and visually interestingā€¦ we`ll see.


Hum modelingā€¦ thers not too much to say about the planet, it`s made of three planes which are bent.

I will come back to the ships later.


Now the texturing, this will take me probably few days to devlopp a good conceptā€¦ this is an early version of the planets texture. The texture is based on an earth map which I restyled. You can see new lands created with some pieces of existing ones. For a good final quality the main image have 5000x3300pixels.


Ok now we have a small sketch of what we can expect from this texture. For more details about the texture I`m inviting you on the CGTalk thread. Any comments are welcome.

Also more info about the starfield will come later.


Then let`s see the texture more in detail:

In next steps I want to devlopp this green planet to something which have 5000 years of technological civilisation behind. All the idea is to not make another ā€œDeath Starā€ and keep some green spaces.


Ok after a break of few days Im back with a new concept. It shoud be more interesting than the first one and it will combine a lot of different things.

Let`s start with the pencil sketch (yes I said that I will not show my drawingsā€¦ wellā€¦ newer say newer)

You can see a scene divided in three elementsā€¦ thats in fact one composition which will show three etaps in the history of a civilisation.


The idea is to show the history of the Empire from its raise (1), its golden age (2) and finally it`s fall (3).

The concept is like 3 book covers together with the place for the title on the top and a verry interesting scene for each part. The planet on the top will be ā€œevolvingā€ too.

Some more explaination of the parts:

  1. here we have bright colors near white, on the foreground we see the imperial city with one big building. On the background a nice ship with solar wings is ā€œsailingā€ in the sky, it`s a quite and peaceful place with a sea shore on the left and delicate mountains in the background. Many green forests and a small city in the right.

  2. The golden age of the Empire, the Imperial city is now full of magnificient buildings. The light illuminates all like all was made of gold. On the background we see the Imperial cruiser in the sky and a big city is now here far to the horizon.

  3. War and destruction fall on the Empire, the Imperial city is burning. On the background there is tanks in the city, battlecruisers on the sky.
    We arrive to red dark colors here.

Any comments are welcome.


Now lets see the first concept of the small ship on the left. You can see the design which I want to use for all the ships and buildings made by this civilisation. Dont take care about the dark aspect of the drawing, thats only the pencil shading to show the shapes.


Ok, lets see now the big ship on the second part of the sketch. Its a royal liner, a big flying palace.

I`ll see later if the size of 2km long is not too big and how many details have to be visible at this size.


Continuing in this design way here we have the building. I will probably start modeling first the buildings on the forground which will give me an idea of they impact on the scene.

Any comments are welcome.


An early model of the building. More detailed model coming soonā€¦


The first image is so naive and nice :slight_smile: Big ship and planet. I just thought it was funny, but it gets your point across.

The ship design is hard to read, but that wing modell looks really nice, that made me visualise the whole ship better. Looks good


Hi Nomad! Very nice idea. I like your concept(the second one of course), itā€™s quite original. I agree with MatsM, when I saw your sketch of the ship I was very confused. I just couldnā€™t think out how it would look like. But this good model made my imagination visualise the whole ship, and it looked beautiful:)


Thank you for the comments and the kind words.

MatsM: yea the first one was a verry original concept :wink: but that gived me some time to think about the second one and to make the planet which I will keep for the second image.

arturro: well my drawings are not verry clear thats rightā€¦ the 3d models shoud be better :smiley:
I hope to devlopp an original style based on those interesting shapes.


good work man, is looking great, you work very fast, thats important

remember to take it easy, jeje maybe you can come whit more cool ideas later, anyway you know more than me, im the new guy.

have fun whit your work bye man.


Just refining the modelā€¦ the green areas will be filled with windowsā€¦ there will be also few open areas closed by large glass bays (light green at 1/3 of the building) which will contain plantsā€¦ some kind of vertical parcs.


Hmm the design looks interesting? What modeling mothod did you use?


Thank you for the comments.

Genesisa: Dont worry Im not rushing this conceptā€¦ I have of course some ideas emerging but its only to devlopp this concept. I hope its enough original to not seek any other ideas for now and start to work hard on it.
For the speedā€¦ well I shoud be at 30% now :wink: beacause I have a lot of commercial work to do I`m spending only few hours a day on the challenge.

Borro: Im using patches, I will post a small "step by step" image then youll have a clearer idea on how it works.


Just a small step by step on how I`m creating the main shape for the buildings and the ships.

  1. first I draw the splines and connect them on jonctions
  2. second I make the patch
  3. I pass all in SDS
  4. and finally I make a mirror copy to have the shape

All the other operations to devloppp the object are based on bevel, extrusion and combination of this element.