Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Stephan Theunissen


Stephan Theunissen has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: WATCHPOINT

In a galaxy some time ago but not that far away…

there was a little solar system called “Neville”. It was a quiet little place in this galaxy until how should it be
the “Raiders” stoped by. This epic space adventure takes place between those two species.

The “Nevillians” a very defensive and peaceful race. They colonized the planets, domiciled their solar system and
made use of their resources without disturbing their natural balance. The Nevillians do have a great understanding
and knowledgement of their environment and therefore they are able to influence their surrounding to a certain amount.

The Raiders on the other side are a very aggressive and violent race. They travel through space and occur like a
plague. Their whole behavior is chicken-hearted so they started to build weapons capable of steering themselfs.

This war now goes on for a long time, probably several hundred years. The look of the weapons used in those battles
transformed over time into some bizarre appearance. The “Raiders” for example follow up this tactic:

They send a first wave of very destructive M.G.R.P.U.s (Meteor Grabing Robotic Propulsion Units). Thos little fellows basicly consist of a large engine with some additional elements like a CPU, some tentacles for grabing meteors, sensors and atennas for navigation. Once started they fly through space picking up mid sized meteors and deliver their deadly load to a programmed aim. Normally two or three of those M.G.R.P.U.s are enough to get rid of every creature formerly
inhabited the planet. But those M.G.R.P.U.s are not that expensive so the "Raiders" normally launch a whole union of them just to insure themself that nothing will be left which will be able to hold a weapon. The second step than would be to exploit whats left over.

The “Nevillians” regonized the situation and came up with their own answer. Being able to influence their environment they
grew artificial mountains on their home planet and outposts. They even let them grew through the atmospheres. The next
thing to do is to create some kind of genetic enhanced creature to serve as a early-warning system. The so called
“watchpoints” climb up the mountains and watch out for attackers.

Scene description:

We are in the middle of an attack by the “Raiders”. The first attack wave just started to approach the “Nevillian” outpost.
This is not the home planet and therefore this is the reason why you don`t see any planetary structures like cities or so.
It is also the reason why there is just one lonelier “watchpoint” sitting in this scene… economy measures!

The two M.G.R.P.U.s in the foreground nearly collided with each other due to a navigation failure in the CPU of the left M.G.R.P.U.. This is a very common failure because travelling a long time through space always causes some damage to the material. But our M.G.R.P.U.s are lucky they where programmed with some brainpower so they managed to avoid ending up in
a big atmospheric firework.

So now that I build up a whole Galaxy via story and illustration I think there is still enough potential left here for more
CG Contests taking place in the future…

at the end I want to thank all those who supported me with their comments & critiques and whish all of you to get this
contest to a good end… it was real big fun taking place and may everyone be a winner in here.

Some new friends I found through this challange:

arturro, ereitz, Virtuoso, monsitj, Lelantos, Kragh, ||)|V||^|, yunisirees, adel3d, Divaise, Gunilla, patina,, Darkone2652, M477, Saschi0815, d-tox, melkao, taavi, gwhite206, Denman, Eagle_e7, glim, vrhead,
Roadrunner4D, JPCohet, mickman…


So here is the story! A place somewhere far far away. We are in the middle of a war between two civilisations. But these species fight against each other in a way we humans are not able to understand. We do not know much about the species living on the planet shown in the sketch. One thing is for sure their nature is very defensive what we could not claim for the other species. Their technology level is so high that they managed to catch a bunch of meteors screwed some kind of intelligent propulsion onto them and send them right away to the planet you see. Our friends at the top of the artificial mountains are watchpoints just in case something like this would happen. But I have no idea how the reaction on such an attack could look like. I just decided that I will stuff the hole story with names in the moment I model all the things :slight_smile:

Of course this is a short story but I think there is enough illustration potential in it for a good image in the end. So hey ho lets go… not much time to loose



Welcome to the challenge, enjoy.

Interesting story, and nice sketch. I´m not sure I understand your concept fully, but that´s due to the english language, I mean, my skills in understanding it.
Hope to see some more soon:)

Keep going


maybe you could use a “concussion impact ring” to show the force of the energy disipating outwards… something similar to the blasts in star wars episode 2 during the meteorite chase
scene… remember when they dropped those depth charge mines… only as thought…

Good luck


So here is my idea in 3d & colour. I always find it useful to get an idea or feeling for the image I´m going to do. And this just took me a few hours but surely will save me a lot more.

Time for detailing and switching to modelling phase. I am not sure if I like the direction of the meteors but for now it will do its job. Hmmm wondering which part I will start with…

Oh there is something new about the species living on the planet. The creatures down there are some kind of cloner and do a lot of genetic experiments. The watchers on the mountains could be machines with biologic parts integrated to make it intelligent again :slight_smile:


Nice start:thumbsup: good story and concept. I like the colors, only would change this direction about you have told, and I would add more meteors to strenghten the drama. More towers on the planet would make it more grand, but not too much…

good luck man:buttrock:


Hi again

No problem, really, with your misunderstanding of my picture. I know it looked like a planet.

Looking promising, this test comp., keep working hard…:):thumbsup:


like the concept theuni :slight_smile: looking forward to more!

get on it!


Good concept. I’m waiting for the next.


ereitz, arturro, Kragh, JPCohet, mickman

thx for the c&c!

Mickman: I can`t get what you were trying to tell me about the “ring” I know the scene you mean (star wars) but there is nothing exploding right now in my image idea :slight_smile:


I started with the meteor part of the image. Thought it would be the simplest part of the image… maybe I´m wrong :slight_smile: Well after doing some detail work on the backend of the meteor I realized that this part would not really been seen in the final illustration. Anyway the textures are missing and I´m not really happy with the attachment of the sattelite dish. So still a lot of work on the easy part :slight_smile:


I think I found the right position for the antenna. and the direction of the meteor in the scene seems better now. I also put a min. of texture on the propulsion of the meteor cause I still have the feeling it will not show up in the final.


Hi there! I think that the propulsion is a good idea… For sure it’s very original:thumbsup: I would only make the holders more massive, because now they look to weak…


The legs of the M.G.R.P.U. now look much more solid. I think I will stop for now on the Meteor part of the image and start modelling the mountains to get a feeling for their final dimensions.

Oh… another part of the story: The M.G.R.P. Units normaly travel a long time through space before they reach their destination. So even advanced tecnologies suffer from such a travel. The two meteors in front of the image nearly collided because of a gear failure.


hi stephan - nice improvement on the legs and the motion of the meteors.

so you might notice i also have entered :wink:

keep on it!


I started with a small mountain group and spread them over the place. I formed them out of a low poly and put some wild displacement & noise modiefer onto them. So with a few clicks I can chance there overall appearance.

the story goes on… those spiky mountain groups are artificialy grown by the species living on the planet for observation purpose. The “watchpoints” on top are the planetery early warning system.


A little step for my image but it was a huge step in modelling :slight_smile: I really had a hard time stiching this front mountain onto the planet surface. The three mountains in the background are lose cause I wanted to keep them flexible for final comp. Oh look at the right part of the image… one meteor got through.


nice work with the mountains. like the glow of the meteor that made it.

keep posting :wink:


very nice composition has a nice depth very good work will be checking for more:thumbsup:


I started modeling the watchpoint unit. This “little” guy is part of the early warning defense system. Because of its consistence, half machine and half whatever, it is able to go above the atmosphere. Of course the very low temperature the textures could look frosty. What do you think… comments are welcome.