Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Mike Moir


hey Mike, i like what you’ve done with the place! it just dawned on me… do you think the forest could use some baby trees (they seem to be a little too uniform)?

i like the textures; they look a little dirty which is what you would expect in a mining operation
it’s looking good, man -keep it up!


Hi there! I can see nice progress:thumbsup: I would make the color of the trees different. I would also advice to make the distance fog stronger, it will encrease the feel of depth.


Great job! I really like the environment…congratulations!


Hey thanks for the comments.
Steve , yes the lighting is GI but I am using it on a low setting then brighten the image in corel . I will use higher settings to get proper lighting later on.
Jammin, I may add small bushes or small trees , thanks. The trees that are there are huge , hopefully this will show up when I added the ships and people to get a sense of scale.
Arturro, Both good ideas . thanks.
Overcontrast, for the trees I modeled 2 different trees in Carrara’s vm , it was easier than I thought it was going to be. I then replicated,scaled,rotated etc. and placed the trees(replica plugin). All the trees in the image in the foreground infront of the first stream of water are full 3d trees. The trees further back are normal maps of the same 2 trees that are placed like billboards.
Straightforward. Thanks for the comments.I have still a ways to go.



No real update here , I am just starting the foreground character model. Starting with the head, he is going to be a typical humanoid so I havent done any sketches . I am just going to model a generic humanoid and see what I come up with .I will post more screen grabs so you can see the progress. I have only done one head model before so wish me luck and I will take any advise you offer.


hey, good work!.. i have very little to say about it. let me study your work more in-depth to say something useful (as it was your post to me)



Wel done
you know ?
lay out is very important and you have that
very simple powerfull image
forward to see more


• If you are going to represent an atack to the towers you’ll have to sacrifice the landscape, i mean, increase the amount of contraatack stations, your defense battery are nice, but judging by the size of the towers i think they are too little, how much could they defend? maybe consider in making bigger cannons and some bunkers, remember if the Alien destroy this towers, human race can be easily defeated, so, They must be very well protected instead of an “easy target”

• It is just my opinion, other that that, beautiful arquitecture design and the landscape is also super, but I insist in adding more color to the sky

Chreers :beer:


Well, Here is my attempt at a head model,(this is only my second modeling attempt at a persons head) so let me know what you think. I will probably model another one as this one isn’t quite good enough , or I might keep tweaking it to see what results I can get. Anyone see any good meshes of this kind of model in the challenge I could learn from . I am off to check some threads. My biggest problem is at the corners of the mouth there is a horizontal bump I can’t seem to get rid of. My mesh isn’t too pretty but I may post it too.


I did a little more tweaking on the head model ,took away the shininess. It looks better ,maybe with ears it will look a little better.


Climax, good points on the gun size , I was planning on having mabe 6 or seven of the Defense batteries all over the landscape. I will think about the sky colors. Thanks for the comments
Visualact,LordVesalius, thanks for the comments.


Ok, let me see how I can put this in words…

The head model looks great for the fact it’s only your second attempt, but there are two vital things that are happening with it at the moment, which I feel if altered, could make a huge difference.

Firstly, and something you’ve already mentioned, is the seam all the way down the middle of the face. I’m assuming you’ve mirrored your geometry, and this is what causes seams, when used with something like the mesh smooth modifier (max). The way to get arround this is to either add some extra geometry close to where the seam is, thus making the difference between verticies negligable, and so hopefully reducing the seam, or you can try reducing the weight these verticies have on the smoothing (but I’m not exactly sure how you’d do this), or you can do what I normally do… which isn’t ideal, but does give fast results, and that’s to move the verticies (in this case inwards) until you remove the seam.

The second, and possibly the biggest, is something that all ‘noobies’ (not that I’m not one, lol) will do at first… and with a little more work, I think this model can break out of it. When starting with a cube (which I think you’ve started with for this model), a modeller (especially one who’s new to a particular practice… e.g. facial modeling) will tend to move the verticies in the front and side view to make a head shape, but forget the top view… I bet if you look in the top view it will still look vaguely rectangular… the front edge (just next to the outside of the eye) is very much a straight edge… whereas a real head is more spherical.

A technique I use for getting rid of such problems is to work on a vertex by vertex manner. I select a vertex that looks wrong, and I look to see where it is in the front viewport (relevant to my reference image/plane), it may be that it’s on the outside edge of the eye for example, I then go to the side viewport and move the vertex back until it is where I would expect to find the outside edge of the eye. You repeat this process (look where it is in on viewport, and move it to match in the other), and hopefully, if you have good reference planes, you should begin to eliminate the problem of having a ‘cube’ looking head.

Another solution, but one that I personally don’t like, is to start with a sphere instead of a cube, but I feel this gives you too much geometry too early on to really get the model working well.

I know there’s a lot of information here, but I hope you can pick up some things from it, and improve this, and other models. I’m far from an expert… I’m relatively inexperienced at organic modelling, but these tips/comments are things I’ve picked up from others on my way to learning (either by asking questions… or recieving crits. from others).


nice model ,but remember to erase that line in the middle of the face


Here is the head model with the 2 halves welded together. I also added ears to the model. I am happy with the model but it still isn’t good enough for the closeup character , I will use this for all the distant characters. Hopefully my next attempt will be a little better so I can use it for the close up shot.


Thanks for the comments.
Steve , the previous model had 2 separate halves , the latest image shows the 2 halves welded together. Yes I did notice from the top that the head was rectangular but didn’t think it was causing a problem. After reading your post I did tweak the shape from the top view , I think it helped out quit a bit.
I didn’t use any reference images I just started modeling from what I though the head should look like. I spent the last bit on this model moving vertices ,trying to correct things that don’t look right . It is time consuming but does help .

Thanks for the comments.


This Head is coming very good m8!

I also love the stile you compo is going to lookalike.

keep it up!


nice renders!
your enviroment stuff is looking great~


heya, not bad …
ye, head modelling can be really difficult - I think you’re on your way there to getting it perfect.

haven’t been following the thread, so forgive me if I ask the same questions … is the person going to be human? I think the ears are a tad big if he is, but if he’s alien then nevermind ;p

about the seams, I use the symmetry modifier, then the meshsmooth on top – this gets rid of seams and u don’t have to weld the two halfs together. Hope that helps.


The head shows promise but I’d say you still need to work at it quite alot if you are going to bring it more into the forground of your image. A the moment it doesn’t do the rest of your scene justice.

I’d say that it generally has a very flat face to it, so rounding out the cheeks and chin will immediately imrove it. The nose is a good shpae although the bridge looks abit sharp and the ears are way big - unless of course he’s an alien.

The corners of the mouth can be improved on by seprating the lips and adding polys where they curve into the mouth. This way you get a nice defined look. Doing this will also help you with the corners as you can curl the polys around and into the mouth, which is worth doing even if you don’t intend to open the lips. I also find that sinking the corners of the mouth into the face takes away a lot of that CG head look that you often see.

The best tip I can give you is to avoid using tris in your mesh. If you use quads wherever possible you will get a far more effective smoothing, without the visible creases which will be apparent no matter how many subdivisons you chuck at it. It is not always practical to use quads over the whole face as you need more detail around the features than you do at the back of the head, when you need to create a new row of polys use a five sided shape instead of a tri and a quad. This will give the mesh an overall cleaner look.

Defiantely try out the symmetry modifier it makes things loads easier. If you don’t have it make and instance, mirror it and position it next to the half you are working on. This way you’ll see tweaks you make to the face affecting both sides at once. Then to remove the crease simply attach and weld.

Hope this helps, good luck.


Hi, the latest update is looking much better. Without the seam the face looks pretty good. I can see that quite a bit of effort has gone into rounding out the head, and it’s getting there (and yes, it is quite a slow process… but it’s well worth the effort).

I agree with Swamps’ comments… and I think that you could use this head in the background, but with a little work it could work well in the foreground also.

As for not using reference planes. This is fine, as it’s all a matter of preference, but I personally use them where I can because it’s a lot easier to refine something with pencil and paper, than it is in a 3d model.

Anyway, looking a lot better… a little more tweaking and I think you’re nearly there.