Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Marco Barrettara


Marco Barrettara has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page

Latest Update: Texturing: Some Smooth Arm Textures

Managed to smotth out the UVW on the arm, and put in a UVW for those strips that run along it.


My first concept sketch. Keep in mind please that this is a very rough sketch, as I am not too great at wacom drawing.


This is the idea:

Man-kind’s rapid expansion into the depths of space have stretched supply lines, and has left planets without the energy they need to support their colonies. The engineers of planet X-VII, a colonized planet at the fringe of the human advance, have devised a way in which they can generate power by leeching it off of a nearby gas giant. A great feat of engineering that is unrivaled in all of the humanized planets.

Tell me what you think!


A digitally painted version of my concept. This will probably be the Concept I go with. The sketches are obviously not nearly as detailed as they will be in the final piece, and I will probably have some ships flying around. Also, it would be at a different angle.


Hi AgentPrometheus, and welcome to the Challenge! Good concept. May I suggest, to make it more dramatic, work to achieve an enourmous scale with the actual devices. Chose an angle of high orbit in one of the planets, close to the apparatus so that we can see the engineering feat (and you can really dress up your model) and have the beam heading off toward the planet being leeched. This will make for a more dynamic (and therefore “grand”) composition.



Thank-you for the input Mr. McMillan!!

This concept sketch is not actually the angle i would like to illustrate. I’m going to put it at an angle that gives it more dimension. Possibly looking from behind the small planet towards the big one, emphasising the imenses size of the contraption. I just can’t sketch that well on the computer. And as I said, I would also like to put some fancy ships and things flying around.\

Like you said, it should be dramatic, and the challenge is all about being iconic and the like.


It’s hard to say what category his falls under, but I chose lighting. This is my idea for how the beam is generated, and what it will look like. I had a good idea after watching startrek, that the beam comes from superheating a crystal, and reflecting its energy.


I’ve decided to take a major turn before I got too far into my current concept. After thinking it over, a gigantic object sticking out of a planet is a little mundane, and raises a few questions. Such as, what holds it to the planet?? and such.

I’m very fond of a new idea that popped into my head, as I struggled with my creative block. I’d like to have a picture of all of mankinds achivements related to space, situated around the earth, in orbit. My main focus would be on the International Space Station there now, and on the different craft and station planned to be put out as well.



Nice idea and start. But I wanted to warn you that there is another concept on this thread that is very similar, I don’t know which one it is right now, but try to find it and make sure that you guys aren’t doing the exact same thing.

good luck and peace!


This is a rough sketch of two of the objects that i would like to have in the piece. The one on the left is the international space station, and the right is JIMO (Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter)


I’ve made a decision on what my piece will contain, and have begun modelling. In order to meet the deadline, I’m going to have to go with this. I will post my concepts after I scan them. This is the initial modelling of the space station that will be orbiting my planet. It will one object amongst many floating around a planet, which is to be situated in a distant star cluster. Much of my inspiration comes from sci-fi like Startrek, and Earth’s own International Space Station. The station’s power will be a combination of solar, and hydrogen. There will be numerous tanks to house the H stuff later on. C & C welcome!!


An update on the station, and a little info on the concept. I have decided to make a city of space stations orbiting a planet, or within a Nebula. This Station, while being one of many, will be the “city hall” so to speak. Just added some detail, and the Hydrogen tanks.


AgentPrometheus, what discouraged you from your first inspiration? Why not have the space stations as a POV (point of view) from somewhere in between the binary linked planets?

Perhaps, upon exploring what appeared to be a binary star system, they discovered that some ancient civilization had, in fact, engineered it. So the space station is built as an observation and home base from which to begin archeological study on the surface below. Perhaps something had gone wrong once initiated, where the beings who built it didn’t realize that the presence of such a gaseous extractor had incidently burned a hole through their atmosphere that resulted in depleting it. The question remains - did they all die, did they move below the surface, or did they relocate off-world? Maybe your picture depicts the struggle to relocate the inhabitants off of the world in time?

Just some suggestions. Obviously I liked your first impression, and hope to see you build on it.



Perhaps my old concept could apply after all! The only problem was that I did not know how such an enormous device would attach itself to a planet. However, I believe I’ve found a way to work around that. Perhaps if the emitters that produced the beam were orbiting the planet, it could work. And if there were some sort of station in-between the two planets that diverted energy from the beam to power parts of the city, that could work as well. I also like your suggestion of the planets becoming uninhabitable. I think that could work very well. Thank you for suggestions!


If I am going with the interplanetary beam idea, then the main focus should be on the emitters of the beam. However, I just thought I’d touch up the space station model just enough so that it would look good in the background. Now I’ll move on to modelling up those beam emitters.


Thanks to much inspiration from Mr. Macmillan (kudos to you!!), I have come up with my story idea::

An ancient and powerful race of beings, long extinct, have left only a few relics as memories of their existence. Human archaelogists on an uninhabitable planet far from Earth’s solar system, have been unearthing numerous relics of this ancient race through numerous archaelogical ventures deep into the planet’s crust. The most recent, and astonishing dig revealed an ancient cavern, which appeared to be a control room. Upon entering, two enormous devices appeared in the orbits of two nearby planets. Beams of energy shot forth between them, and a numerous network of ancient space stations materialized all about the system. In an effort to better understand them, the archaelogists set up a space station as their base of operations, and immersed themselves in the study of the ancient city. The incredible find attracted more and more people form Earth, and when there was no room left in the human colonies, people began to live in the ancient city. After studying the ancient technology, it was revealed that the planets housing the beam emitters had both become uninhabitable from the gases and radiation caused by the very beam that generated their power. As time passed, the humans thought up a name for the ancient city: Antiquus. Latin for ancient.

Thanks very much to dan for the story ideas, and to Spike for the heads-up on my concept!

C&C welcome


While stumped on what the emitters should look like, I thought back to past mechanical marvels, and was inspired. Pyramids, though thousands of years old still can’t be built today as they were in Egypt. I though maybe I could combine it, and other shapes to create the emitters. This is a sort of 3d sketch of a sort of truncated pyramid. I like the patterns on the topmost part, but I didn’t have the time to replicate it on the rest tonight. Enjoy!


Hi Marco…Well your concept/idea is a good one,a grand opera sure can come from it.Well done.I like the Old ages feel of pyramids being worked into the now and future…I’ll be back as you progress,and I wish you luck to accompliosh your vision and lots of fun while you do it…:arteest:


One of the 4 arms there will be on the emitter. The arms will be arranged in a circular pattern, spaced 90 degrees apart. In the center of this circle, there will be a pyramid from which the beam is emitted.


An alternate view of the arm.