Grand Space Opera 3D Entry: Jason Nieuwendorp


Jason Nieuwendorp has entered the Grand Space Opera 3D.

Challenge Page

Latest Update: Final Image: Conflict of the Waves

Well, it’s finally finished. :smiley:

I hate the fact that I had to decrease the file size of the jpeg to less than 150kb. I tried to keep the compression as low as I could to prevent artifacting, which resulted in decreasing the size of the image; as a result some of the finer details, such as the smaller characters and what not, got lost, but I guess that’s what the Print version is for (now lets hope that’s the version which will be judged).

Anyways, thanks to everyone who took the time to view my little WIP and help me with advice; it means a lot. I had a lot of fun with this Challenge and am looking forward to the next one. :slight_smile:


Last CG Challenge, I didn’t finish my entry… I’m not going to do that a second time. :wink:

I already have a few interesting concepts on what I’m going to do for this Challenge. Once I get off work later today, I’ll start some concept paintings in Photoshop and see if any of my ideas turn out.

Good luck, all. :thumbsup:


Good luck for you too!! And i can’t wait to see your concepts!!


Before I talk about my entry, I should talk about the inspiration behind it.

For the longest time, I’ve noticed that the majority of Science Fiction has it’s characters traveling, fighting, etc. in Space using various forms of technology and machinery; the writers always seem to believe that in order for humanity to progress beyond Earth, they must invent new or amazing technology which will allow mankind to travel the stars.

Well… what if we don’t need the technology to travel the stars? What if the real tool we need to travel to new worlds, to travel in Space… is our own mind?

Suppose that thousands of years from now humanity no longer needs traditional technology, considering it “barbaric and uncivilized”. Suppose that mankind has completely uncovered the mysteries of the human mind; skills such as ESP and telekinesis, things once thought to be impossible, are skills which every person is capable of… skills which some are better than others…

Humanity has travelled through the Stars and back, creating and settling new worlds wherever they go. Worlds are “born”, shaped and formed by the the most powerful and the most wise of Men.

… And yet, man is still not “perfect”: there is still conflict, still war amongst others. The days of physical confrontation are long gone, replaced by the Mind Wars (rough term :shrug: ). instead of physically meeting and fighting, 2 (or more) minds meet and battle; whoever has the strongest will… wins. However, not everyone can be a “Mind Soldier”. Only the most exceptional individual, who’s willing to die for his/her world, is allowed and trained.
Even though these confrontations do not physically exist, people can still “see” them. The energy these mind warriors create is great, so great that the individual’s “soul” can be seen as a being of light; thus, the wars can be witnessed by the rest of humanity…


A rough, “rough” concept of what I want to portray in my entry (I should note that I’m not the greatest concept artist…) :sad:
Created in Photoshop in little over an hour, with no reference images. (I’ll need to so some research on space, planets, ect.)


I really like your concept!!

Very nice. I think that you have here a goog start!! keep on!:thumbsup:


1st off :slight_smile:
good luck on the contest :wink:

second love the concept .
cant wait to see some 3d

btw ?
did u realise that u have a dutch surname ?


Another very “rough” concept how the soldiers’ energy or essence appears from a physical observer.
Note: I might switch to pencil for future sketches, since I’m not 100% confortable with concept sketching in Photoshop for some reason.

I’ve further refined the story behind my entry.
Thousands upon thousands of years beyond our curent time, mankind has evolved into a being of high intellect and purpose. No longer refering to themselves as Man or Humanity they are called the Wave, named after the basis of all Matter, Energy, and Life (it makes sense if you know a bit about science). Each sect of the Wave is allowed to create their own world (only one world is allowed per sect, however), from which the people take their surname (the Wave Neni, the Wave Krise, etc).
Should a Wave sect decide to move to another Space where it doesn’t belong or creates more than one world, that Wave will be challenged by another Wave in accordence to the rules set by the Wisest when the Wave came into being. However, these incidents are not called “War”, as that word is from the old human language and is considered barbaric: they are called “Conficts” (if you know science and know about the wave concepts/theories, you’ll see the symbolism in why I choose that word).


I’ll probably start on modelling in a little while; I’m also going to start testing some Surface concepts under various light settings to see if I can get what I want (I use Lightwave). The biggest challenge (no pun intended) for me on this entry is that I wish to use volumetrics for some of the effects… and I’ve never done them before.

Yeah, my last name is Dutch; my aunt told me that there’s actually a town in the Netherlands with that name (she went there once when she was in Europe).


While I am still doing a few more concept sketchs to get the composition of my scene down, I also decided to get started on modeling the soldiers.

This current model was actually a model which I had initially plan to use as a character template. At the time this contest started, I was only about 25% finished with it; now it’s about 80-90 percent finished (need to make his toes and finish a few additional areas).

One thing I should point out is that although I plan on using this model as a template for all the Soldiers, I do not plan on making them all similar. As the Wave Soldier (still not too happy with that term) are a reflection of the individual’s will, each one is different than the other: some are stronger looking, some are weaker looking, some are male, some are female, etc.


A different concept, which is good. Good luck for the rest of the competition


Still working on the modeling, but thought I’d also get started on surfacing the Enforcers, the current name I’m using for the soldiers (the original name was Mind Cutters: see below). This current surface isn’t too bad (I really do like it), but it is causing a few weird problems when rendered at different angles, so I’ll have to keep tweaking it till I can work those issues out. (maybe I’ll get rid of his ears?)
Rendered using 1 distant light and 2 area lights (also trying to figure out how to best represent lighting from Space)

EDIT: I changed the name of the soliders to Enforcers, rather than Mind Cutters.
(the reason being “Cutter” suggests violence, which the Wave consider themselves to be above; “Enforcer” suggests that the soldiers are in the Right, doing what is best for all. What the people of the Wave doesn’t realize is that their Conflicts are still Wars…)


Are you using reference photos?..the model of the human shaped being is a little miss-shaped and look strange…or it could just be the camera angle…don’t want to be a downer it just might help


Hey Jason, i like the glow effect of the skin. You’re right you have to tweak your model.

For outer space illumination, don’t use GI cause you don’t have any atmosphere to spread the light all over the place. Instead, use a main illumination source and arranje some more lights to help you sculpting that shapes. For example, you can use reflected light from some planets arround!! I hope this helps:)


I should point out, before I go into detail, that the models aren’t finished; I just wanted to get a head start on surfacing it (for me, modeling and surfacing go on at the same time).

funkymunkey90: The head looks slightly deformed in the previous image due in part to the angle of the render, but also due to the shader; I’m using Edge Transpirancy with a high Luminosity and a low Difusion settings. I think the previous shader was a little too much, as you lose too much detail in the face. I’ll get a render of the new shader later today.

pBarrelas: Thanks for heads up; I kinda thought thats what I’d have to end doing for the lighting anyways, since GI really doesn’t reflect real Space conditions.


Surfacing is starting to get where I want. I removed the ears cause they were causing a few problems (I’m thinking of removing the nostrals of the nose as well); the muscles of the body need to be refined, but I don’t know about the face (too much detail and the surfacing will look odd).


very good stuff you have here Jason i like idea the only thing i recommend you is to draw a good sketch for your character or have a good reference to model on so you get the realistic shape of mussils and dimesions… so far this is so good…

keep digging:)


Forgot to mention that I’m using the book “Dynamic Figure Drawing”, by Burne Hogarth, for my modelling reference (it had previously helped me a lot when I studied Life Drawing in college).


Just wondering if you’ve tried adding the edgetransparency shader or even a incidence angle gradient for transparency to give a softer feel around the edges?

I love this concept… HIGHLY original and there are so many options to choose from… DAMN wish i’d come up with this!

Another thing about shading… for planets i use the diffuse sharpness option in the advanced bit of lightwave surface editor, so maybe you could try that on the characters to give the high contrast lighting of space??

Just a few ideas to bounce off the walls, although probly the diffuse sharpness option may lose the softness of the character outlines?!

Keep up the good work, and hope i get my concept for this challenge feeling right!


I talked it over with Kurt and, in an effort to be fair to other contestants (and to make sure I’m eligible to submit my entry in the contest), I decided to scrap the areas of the model which were created before the contest began (which really wasn’t a lot to begin with anyways - basicly it was the front of the chest and the nose of the face).

Also, I had previously forgotten to upload the images of the model in WIP (it had completey slipped my mind). Thankfully, I had saved various versions of the model as I progressed, so I’ll try and upload those later tonight.