Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Matthew Mobley


Matthew Mobley has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

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Latest Update: Final Image: “… that others may see another day.”

The members of Squadron 49 (otherwise known as the Polar Knights) were given orders to fall back from disputed space. This order would leave a new colony comprised of primarily farmers no time to retreat from an incoming fleet of alien ships. Colonal James Marsden refused this direct order and gave his squadron the choice of standing against this enemy in an attempt to give the colonists time to evacuate or leave. All 8 of the squadron members stayed to fight. All of the colonists safely retreated. Only 2 squadron members returned to Earth. The colonists were outraged to learn that the people who had saved their lives were now on trial for treason rather than being held as the heros they were. After only a week of protests, the government decided that what the squadron did was right and constructed this memorial to them including a quote from Colonal Marsden which seemed to embody the reasons for doing what they did. One of the surviving fighters is on display at the memorial with it’s battle damage still intact and engines powered up to signify readiness to always protect the defenselss and innocent, no matter the cost.


Why does life always get in the way of art? Oh well. I finally got some time to get my rough sketches scanned. This is a monument to Col. James Marsden. An enemy fleet was approching an Earth colony on a distant planet and his superior officer ordered him to get his squadron out of there and let the civilians fend for themselves. Col. Marsden disobeyed this order and convinced his squadron to volunteer to distract the enemy fleet long enough for the civilians to evacuate. The quote on the wall says “The purpose of a hero is not fame or glory, but to inspire others to greatness.” Part of Marsden’s speech to his squadron. There will be a small girl looking up to the statue, and inspired by his bravery, she will eventually enter the military.

I’m still playing around with the composition and camera angle. Well, back to work. Good luck to everybody and I can’t wait to see what everybody ends up with!


This is the original sketch of the monument. the end result will most likely end up somewhere between the two.


This is the “final” design of the wall. Modeling has begun. I’d appreciate any input anybody has.


Well, the flu and nature have conspired to keep me indoors today. We’re up to about a foot and a half of snow now (it’s amazing how entertaining it can be watching cars and school busses slide down the street). But it gave me time to get the memorial wall almost completely built. Tried to get the quote on there, but I wasn’t happy with it, so it’ll wait until I’m awake again. I’m still wondering about the colors.


good sketch. i like this pilot style hero ur going for. classic.


Hah… thats a great pic idea… perhaps a 40’s bomber style jacket on him :wink:


When you begin to dream in wireframes, that’s a sign you’re staring at a computer screen too much, right? Finally got the quote on the wall. I wanted to do an engraving for it, but it didn’t look right. So I compromised and got the raised text. Going to stop on the wall and move onto other parts.


The concept sketch of the figure shows some really nice foreshortening of the figure. Maybe you could apply some distorted perspective to the final shot by altering the camera lens, which might make the composition appear more dramatic.

Also, I think you’re going to get some great colour combinations with the grey rock and the blue and orange sky you seem to be going for.

Best of luck.


Thanks for the ideas about the lens. I’ve been messing around with the layout of the whole area and think I’ve finally gotten a good land setup that will give me a good camera angle on the statue and wall as a whole. Now we’ll just have to wait until I get the whole thing done to see if it works or not. :arteest:


I’ve finally figured trees out. Now I wish to never ever ever do them again. :slight_smile: It’s not exactly the cleanest mesh ever made, but I think it looks good when you’re not looking too deeply.


After the tree, I needed a break from modeling, so I started experimenting with the materials. After I got these on there, I’m not sure I like them at all. So tweaking will follow. Definately changing the upper part. I’d like a more artificial look to it. Any suggestions?


Matt, the trees look good! What was the key?


Dumb luck was a major factor in making my tree. Since I’m using Lightwave, I hope the description makes sense in other programs. Essentially what I did was extrude a disc for the main trunk and subdivide certain areas to get it kind of bendy and bulgy (gotta love technical terms.) Then for the branches, I actually used triangular polygons and extruded them trying to simulate the bends in the trees outside my window. Luckily my computer is sitting right in front of a window with trees right outside, so that helped a lot. The real trick is to subpatch the entire thing. That turned all the triangular extrusions and everything into tapering cylinders and suddenly the tree was complete. I’m actually really pleased with how it turned out, but I’m sure there’s an easier way. The bark is from a photo I took of one of the afore mentioned trees outside the window. Not quite as thrilled with how that turned out, but it’s getting there. Hope this helps a bit.


Thanks, Matt! I’ll try that approach in XSI. Never thought to use anything other than standard polygons, which probably accounts for why I was never happy with the result. Anyway, I greatly appreciate that you took the time to explain your solution. I know I’m not the only one who will benefit from this.


You’re very welcome. I hope it works for you and I’d like to see how yours turns out. :bounce:


looking good man… yea those trees are a pain… thats wy there are plug ins for trees


Yes, but plug-ins for trees cost money and money doesn’t grow on trees. Of course with the plug-ins you could make it look like money grows on trees and then you could sell maps to money trees and make money for the plug-in. But I need to get the plug-in first. Drat. It’s a vicious cycle of twists and turns that even a hyper ferret on a moped couldn’t navigate successfully. I need more sleep.


Hiya Matt. how are you getting on with your money making trees? Think I also just saw a hyper ferret on a moped go past my window…! Pic is looking good and I really like the inscription. Are you planning to put anything in the far background? Just checking! :smiley: Claireabella


So that’s where my ferret got to. Did it look like he had been eating sugar again? I told him to lay off the sugar. Besides, his drivers license has been revoked. He shouldn’t even be on the moped. :smiley: I’m not so sure about the background yet. Primarily because I’m not sure how much of the background is actually going to be seen in the final composition. Right now I’m trying to get the stuff that goes in front of the wall done and then we’ll see. Thanks for the encouragement. :slight_smile:
P.S. The money trees still remain elusive. Perhaps genetic engineering is the way to go. Hmmmm …