Sci-fi: - Matrix Hover Ship -


Hey everyone. I began work on this project a few days ago after I realized I had deleted my other wip “Sci-Fi Jet WIP” max files. So, to keep my spirits up, I decided to begin work on this new Matrix hover ship project. I’m a pretty big fan, and so what a perfect task to start.

For the project I’ll be using Max 5.1, Final Render-1, and possibly combustion 2.1 by the time everything is said and done.

This is not intended to be the Nebuchanezar or the Osiris, rather just another ship if the genre of the Matrix. So far, the name is The Capernicus.

Here are some sketches of my progress (as posted in my other thread “Sci-Fi Jet WIP”:

Side vvv

Bottom vvv

Top vvv

Front vvv

(I haven’t completed the rear sketch yet, I believe I’m ready with the design enough to proceed with the 3d modeling.)

All critiques and comments welcome.


A shot of the 3d set up.

Here is a little discussion about the ship, it’s role, and it’s name and such from the other thread:

"I’ve been looking at the purpose of this ship and at the different name types and while considering the genre of the movies. . .

This is a little thought which I think I’m going to base my model off of: In the movies, you hear about ships that use EMP as their last line of defense against the machines. Well, what happens after they EMP the area, they can’t move right? Who’s to say that more bots wouldn’t be sent to the last location that the ‘EMPed’ bots last transmitted from? With this in mind, in cases of emergency, there has to be a way of getting the ships back up and running or at least pulled back home. So, considering that, I thought about the possibility that my ship has 3 teathers attached to it. Two, in the rear tips of the ship latch on to the other ship and the one ‘between the legs’ to supply temporary power to get the hover nodes back online for hovering. This way the ship could be guided home. So, this ship could be the savior to some. It would serve the same roles as all other ships, but is outfitted for those occasions then they are needed."

William B. Hand:
“EMP stands for “ElectroMagnetic Pulse”. The pulse only affects systems which are active, so they shut off all power just prior to sending this pulse. Once the pulse is sent, and the threatening electrically powered systems are disabled, then they can simply fire everything up again and boogie on outta there.”

"Hahah, well, there is always a chance they run out of gas, right? wink

Yeah, I’m up to speed with the understanding of EMP. I thought it created an energy vacuum to a degree. Pulling all energy from the area, not just the active sources of energy. But ok, here’s the next thought, what if another ship EMPs too close to another… well that active ship is now not so active, much like in Reloaded. The Raguel could be dispatched, or informed of the situation and called in as backup. Like I was saying earlier, it’s sole purpose wouldn’t be to provide backup or towing, it would operate just like any other ship, and since it seems like most of the captains in the Matrix are pretty good with surviving and avoiding the bots, that the task of rescuing another ship would be few and far between.
Thanks for the info on EMP though :)"

“an idea, how the ship could help others: mid-flight re-fueling. How about that?”

"Interesting thought. I could see that as a major advantage in this type of world they live in. Though, I still would like this ship to have functionablity as far as broadcasting into the matrix and such. Not just some scrubs for a crew flying around a refueling ship. I can see possibly other ships coming to it to refuel, rather than it going to others that way, it would still be able to full-fill it’s mission and help others at the same time. Thanks for the input.

I’m still strugglin’ with the name. Capernicus?.. … If anyone has a better name in mind, don’t be shy :slight_smile: I’m going to continue to search."

"I always liked the name “Mephisto”. I don’t know the whole story exactly, but suposedly it’s about a man (Mephisto) who sells his soul to the devil in return for some stuff…

I don’t know exactly how you could incorperate that if you wanted, but if you do, and you don’t only take the name, how about they’ve used salvaged machine parts to improve their ship?"

William B. Hand:
“I still like the CAPERNAUM.”

Matt Wynne:
“capernicus sounds cool…”


Here I am again :wink:

And sorry, no more usefull stuff to say :stuck_out_tongue:


Quite alright :slight_smile:


Originally posted by Digital_Crystal
Quite alright :slight_smile:

Good, good :slight_smile:

And don’t worry: I bet I have a lot of nutty sugestions and critique once you’ve posted the first pics of the model :wink:


Looks very promising.

I’m accualy the team leader of a matrix modification for a quake 3 engine game(Jedi Academy). Wondering if we could use the model (or a lower poly version of it) when you are done. My email is

Looks like you got it planned out very well, good job!



I am a starter in the 3D world but I think this will look great when it is done.

When you are busy, don’t forget to put wire pictures on this site.



sketches look great and seem to stay true to the movie, can’t wait to see the model


Hey everyone. Thanks for all of your encouraging words. Cazor, the design of this ship is different than that of the Neb. Anyway, after I put up my new avitar…I worked on the ‘hover nodes’ that’ll be placed all over the ship. I was just testing out their size in comparison to the sketches. I thought I was more consistant with the drawings, but I suppose not. But that’s alright. Here are a few test renders:

Hover node, patch modeling, Mesh smoothed to 2 iterations.

And for the Matrix Feel | (no anti-aliasing… eww)

Ok all you pro/efficient modellin’ people out there, I’m going for the highest possible quality for my project. But I still want to be smart with how I do it. How many polygons would you say this project could run to?

The main reason I ask is at the moment, all of the nodes have 2 iterations of mesh smooth, and when rendering it says I’m rendering 400000+ faces… o_O.

Thoughts, comments are always welcome.


Mesh smoothed:

Wire frame, 1 iteration

Solid, 1 iteration

Solid, 2 iterations

The difference is very clear, which makes it sad to see that I’m already eating up a lot of my polys with just the hover nodes. Although, the body of the ship can make up for some of that, and is less poly-intensive (not so rounded).

Any how, I’ll continue work on this tomorrow. Feel free to add your .02



Hi there,

I’m still a lurker but really liked your last thread and already like the look of this project. While there is a difference, it would depend on what you want to do with the final model. Is it a static geometry render or are you goin to model the electrical energy on the hover nodes?

I would suggest that a texture map/grime map plus effects covering the electrical energy would easily hides the small differences in quality and leave you model a little more manageable.

ust a thought and keep up the good work. Its great watching these things start from scratch esp. as I’m new to this type of 3D modelling (I’m a Naval Architect and previously modeled nurb hullforms!).



Welcome to the forum jamacsween and thanks for your comments. I really do think that at this stage, the detail depth of the geometry a bit too much. With that in mind I’ll probably end up backing down the iterations to 1 instead of 2. I’m sure that with texturing and lighting I could get by with it. We’ll see.

As of right now, it’s not a huge problem in the viewports, Max allows you to view it as 1 iteration but render as 2. I know the Quadro FX 500 is workin’ hard down there though :slight_smile: I’ll be able to get some stuff done today, hopefully all of the nodes will be finished soon.

More updates to come.


Here’s an update. I’ve chatted with a few of you outside of this thread on the mesh smooth situation, thanks for your help. Anyway, I’ve gone a head and done a few test renders of my latest progress. I’m nearly finished with these hover nodes. It has actually turned out a little better than I was expecting. I’ve tried to carry my style into this design. I don’t have any reference images of how this is truely supposed to look. Just some stuff from that virtual model from Anyway, hope you like this progress.

I’ve gone and rendered it out solid, and then a few opacity renders, for those of you who remember from the Sci-Fi Jet thread.


And one more:



looks like a good start, keep up the good work, cant wait to see this finished


Man, 4 AM again. I just can’t put it down. I’m experimenting with the overall shape of the split rear. I doubt I’ll use this smoothed mesh, but rather use it as a guide for later. But for now, I’m just checking to see if I like the way it looks in the back. I’m straying a little from the side drawing, alittle. I’ve gone and shortened that mechanical stablizer arm that attached to the back of the hover nodes. All fun to say the least! Other than those things, not much to report, other than more updates will come tomorrow. :slight_smile:


very promising, I will be watching this one so you better not quit on me :wink:


Really cool! Keep it going!


realy great


Well great details, I love it ! A lot a work on this ship, good luck (and hope you like coffee!!)