Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Matthew Mobley


Hi Matt. Textures are looking good! Are you intending to put anything in the rear of the room/chamber? Just checking! I like the lights too by the way. Hope you’ve managed to get Lightwave to behave. Not many days left now… very scary! :eek: Claireabella


Hi Claire. I’m glad you like the new textures. I think they’ll stay now. :slight_smile: As for the end of the room, I’m not sure. Originally the wall was down there, but it was way too far away to make out any detail. So I moved it up to the front. I kind of like the way it feels open with the large windows there giving you a nice view of the hills. I’m thinking of adding people walking on the lawn outside there to make it seem like it’s actually accessable. Maybe a family having a picnic on the grass. :smiley: Anyway, I think I’ll leave it unblocked. Hopefully today I’ll get the monoliths pretty much completed and in place. As for my rendering problem, it seems random. It’ll go smoothly for a while then start crashing for no reason. Hopefully they’ll get that fixed in the upcomming 8.2 update. Anyway, as always, thanks for the input. Later. :thumbsup:


Hi Matt. Have been thinking about your picture this morning and wondered whether you’d tried making the “outside” view one at dusk/sunset/night. I just thought this might also make a difference to your inside lights as to the effect with the shafts of light highlighting the monument and walls etc. Just a thought…! Hope you’re battling on ok. :bounce: Claireabella


The time of day has been a hotly debated subject among my friends for some reason. My original plan was to make it at sunset, but then half of my friends said it looked better as day and half liked the sunset. I think I’m going to go for the sunset/sunrise because it’s more symbolic no matter how you look at it and adds a bit more dimention in my oppinion. I just hadn’t gotten around to thinking about it until now. Thanks. :slight_smile: As for my crashing problem, I think I got that fixed. I updated my video card drivers and suddenly the problem stopped. That doesn’t explain why it started in the first place, but whatever works. I’m not complaining.


Coming down to the wire (obviously) but I’ll do my best to complete the image. Unfortunately with all the computer/family issues that have come up, I’ve had to scale this project way back from what I had originally intended, but at this point, I just want to get it done to say I did in fact complete it.


Hay Matt, looking good my friend! The dusky background and the lighting have completely changed the mood. Keep going buddy! :thumbsup: Claireabella


Well, testing the render here. It’s definately not what I had hoped to get done by this point, but it’s something. And the main thing is, I’ve learned so much more than I knew before. So that’s great and I’ll be much better prepared for the next challange. If anybody has any suggestions, now’s the time to get them in. :slight_smile:


Hi Matt,

Looking good! The sunset landscape is looking much better now and the trees are wholly believable.

But I’m wondering about your shadows, particularly from the monument, which seem both to be too sharp and defined and not to have an obvious light source (not that you necessarily need to see it!). I was thinking that perhaps that shadow should be alot softer. Also, on the subject of shadows, the shadows of the blocks cast by those spotlights perhaps need to be a little clearer, in the sense of which light is casting which shadow…of course, it may just be the state of my brain…let’s not talk about that!!!

Good luck though - glad you’re going for the finish!

All the Best,



Sorry Matt…I see The Ageing Blonde left the internet box logged in with her name when I typed a note! Just thought I’d clear that one up!!



Thanks for the ‘welcome back’ - your picture’s coming along well too.

One suggesting I do have - I think you really need to pump up the contrast, unless you’re going for a highly muted look or trying to cut down on the render times for now :slight_smile:

For example, having a lot more, brighter lights shining on the walls, etc, would get more definition and with deeper shadows, then the dynamic range would be doubled and much more photorealistic if that’s your goal. Not sure if a light dome would help but I’d give it a try.

Also chrome and other shiny always looks good - lots of stuff has reflections.


Julian: Thanks. I was a bit confused and starting to wonder if she had multiple personalities or something. :slight_smile: The shadows have been bugging me as well. I’ll work on them tonight if I get a chance. If not, I think it’s just something I’ll have to live with.

DGEbel: The contrast definately needs upping and there’s some other tweaking left to be done. I’m attempting to use a similar color scheme as the ones used by the people who built the monuments and buildings in Washington D.C. I’ll try your suggestions. Thanks. :thumbsup:



Well, I guess the ultimate trick with shadows (many would say the only trick) is to deal with them one at a time, or at least similar groups at a time, in a scene perhaps specifically built and textured for shadow rendering. I’m sure you know all this anyway…I’m only mentioning it with the benefit of hindsight, on projects I’ve done where rendering shadows with everything else is so very difficult, and only gets you what you want after hours of tweaking, assuming it gets you there at all!

I’d say at the very least, but only if possible, have another look at that foreground shadow from the monument. Otherwise overall I’d go with the suggestion on contrast, and pools of light and gloom, perhaps even in that case ditching shadows.

Not sure about the rendering hit, but are you experimenting with negative lights as well?



Knowing something doesn’t matter. The catch is remembering it when it’s needed. :slight_smile: Lighting has always been one of my weak points. It’s definately something that needs work. Practice practice practice.


True enough :slight_smile:

I also find lighting difficult, which is why I am happier now (time permitting) building lighting effects in pieces then comping a shot…getting shadows right is my worst nightmare!

But I am also being hyper-critical - the effect is already good, but the more I look at your image, the more I think those ideas of gloomy corners will work well.



Comparisons between the raw render and adjustments made in Photoshop. It’s pretty obvious which one is better.


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.

With all the war imagry that was possible in this challenge and with all the war that’s been going on in the world, I wanted to create an image that was positive and gave hope for the future. Something that stands for what is noble and good in all of us. Good luck to everybody and see you in the next challenge!


Well Matt, that’s one hell of a good push you’ve done there to pull your final image together. I really like it and am especially moved by the story too! I know it’s not as you had first envisaged it but sometimes the stumbling blocks we encounter in life and lead us onto better paths. I think it’s true to say that you are not a veteran 3D user so congratulations in taking on this challenge and completing it. A personal journey that I am sure you well deserve the credit for undertaking. Here’s to this years challenge and again, well done. :applause: Claireabella


Hi Matt,

That lighting is much better, and the receding gloom towards the windows is very good!

Overall looks very good indeed.

Congratulations for the image and for finishing, and good luck!

All the Best,



Thanks Claire and Julian. I really appreciate getting input and especially positive feedback. :slight_smile: And, Julian, I hope you get a chance to participate in the next challenge. After seeing the stuff on your website, I’d love to see what you come up with for these things.


Thanks Matt - I appreciate that. I’m going to go ahead and develop my idea anyway, and take it further, but yes, I’m hoping I can do something for the next challenge!