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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    NCC-1701 USS Enterprise Deck by Deck - WIP

    Ok, so, I'm still a noob here. Been around for a while and slowly getting my feet wet. I'm working in Max 5.1 because that's what I have. I've considered playing with it in Blender as well; but, I'll do a "we'll see" once I feel comfortable enough with Max to start toying in other apps.

    That said, this project has been underway for the last 6 months off and on. Being new and having learned on my own without any structured course for quite a while, my
    layout may be a tad messier than many are used to. I'm slowly working on shifting things and building a workflow that is more manageable while moving on with the build.

    I started with the Bridge deck and have moved around a bit as Zak seems to do. I don't like things feeling stale so if I need to change up to keep moving, that's what I do.
    I wasn't sure how much interest this would draw; but, for those that are interested, there are a lot of pics that I'll comment on and then I'll update from there.

    Deck 1 - Bridge






    There were a number of issues I ran into with setting this all up. One is that there are multiple competing sets of blueprints. One set measured x distance from bridge center to the back of the consoles, another would set the same distance from center to the outside of the inner gangway wall. I thought I'd go bald trying to reconcile these and just decided, heck with it. I'm an artist and license is required here.



    You'll note that on the console overhead monitor decks, I didn't always use quads. These were almost literally the second thing I made with max. And as I was trying to get a grip on texturing before getting too far, I went ahead and started playing with some basic textures before I learned it's best to use quads. It's something I'll end up changing; but, I learned the lesson and moved on.



    Progress on the turbolift for this deck. Again, there were some inconsistancies between different sets of blueprints.
    Some license was involved. I'll note, too, that I couldn't get a clear sense that there were two sets of doors (one for the lift and one for the lift junction, from watching the segments in the original series. I presumed that this must be the case and thusly created two sets of doors. The inner set for the lift snugs into the side of the lift allowing it to move while they are closed. When opened at a lift junction, they lock the lift in place and prevent it from moving.




    looking onto the bridge deck from inside the turbolift.



    The viewscreen there has given me no small amount of fits.
    It went through a number of changes before I gave it a rest. I found that smoothing groups kept wanting to round her in places it shouldn't and had to on my own discover the means to resolve this. Adding definition on corners did it and I wished I'd watched a Zak video or two before I started learning on my own.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2008
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    Kokomo, Indiana
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    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_80708_06.jpg

    To save some bandwidth, I'm going to link some of these and post only a few here and there for specific comment.
    The image sizes are 1600x1200; so..



    Note the missing endcaps on the railings. Apparently the normal maps had a problem and fixing them solved the issue. This would happen later as I was busy about other things.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_80708_08.jpg

    This is a view from the area of the captain's chair at the viewscreen before the walls on either side were finished.
    The filler in place at the time simply helped me visualize the immediate area so I could concentrate on the interior bridge instead of being bothered by views of the outer gangway.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_80708_09.jpg

    The Turbolift. Don't you just love instances and references.
    It was nice being able to set an object in place and work elsewhere so that I didn't have to keep moving/hiding other objects in order to see the lift develope against its surroundings. Yeah, figured that out on my own too. And, yeah, I wish I'd seen a Zak vid first lol.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_80708_10.jpg

    View of the turbolift itself with the junction lifted out of the way..




    Here, the overheads, lighting and the base for the inner dome are set in place.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81008_03.jpg

    Here you can see the start of laying the ribbing for the outer hull plates. The superstructure will show through the gangway just as it shows in many places throughout the ship. One can see this in reference images from the original series such as in the theatre segment from "Conscience of the king" or any number of references wherein the conference room is viewed. This seemed consistent, so that was my choice as the outer gangway to my knowledge is never shown in the original series. Many liberties end up as necessity here.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81008_04.jpg

    Another view of same.

  3. #3
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    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_01.jpg

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_02.jpg

    Ok, these two show a few things. One, this was an experiment with the ribbing. I broke the ribbing down into
    sections - note the different colors from top to bottom.. This
    allowed me to build the outer hull structure for the Bridge deck in three parts. I didn't know How I wanted to approach the detail work that will come much later. So, to give myself some flexibility later, I built the skin in three parts so that I could group them and hide them in a number of different ways, do exploded views, etc. I'm not sure if I'll need that, but; I didn't want to shortchange myself on options.

    Second, you can see the Environmental suit locker (white).
    This is set in place without the doors mounted yet. And it is flanked on either side by isolation doors. The doors themselves have never been pictured so these will be created from scratch based upon the escape pod door designs for Enterprise E.



    Here, the first section of the outer hull skin is in place and viewed more clearly. To the left is an instance of the gangway steps down to deck 2.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_04.jpg

    This is looking down through the stairwell.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_05.jpg

    And this is looking in at the access point where the gangway stairs will go. You'll note the space between the
    deck floor and the deck 2 cieling.. Room for sneaking?
    This is intended for a game environment eventually and is built with the Thief III engine in mind as well as Oblivion.
    Thief III is UT btw.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_06.jpg
    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81608_07.jpg

    Here, the beginnings of the superstructure for decks 2-4 begin to take shape. I was playing around with my image planes quite a bit at this point. I found it handy to set the plane to the deck height so that I could simply lay the next floor at the bottom of the image plane, snap it and move on. Very handy.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81908_01.jpg
    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81908_02.jpg

    These are looking in on the bathroom situated off the gangway behind the viewscreen.



    And here you can see the finished work on the walls and emergency exit on the bridge interior. Behind the panel to the right of the viewscreen is the bathroom we just saw.
    The emergency exit to the left isn't shown in the original series. It's in the blueprints put out by Franz Joseph which are considered canon, so I added it. A kickplate can be
    placed in front of it to hide it from view and to stay accurate to the original series look.



    This is the Upper dome in place. Some modification of it is going to be needed as time goes on; but, it serves to show that the outer skins are working together and it gives me an idea of space I have to work with in specific areas beneath the dome on the interior side.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_81908_05.jpg

    And this shot shows the evolved look of the ribbing (red).
    The red ones are one piece while the outer skins remain three piece.

    At this point, something began brewing in the back of my head regarding the skins for decks 2-4. The skins will intersect the saucer section and the bridge deck. Needing a break and an idea of where I was going with that, the
    ribbing for the saucer section began developement.

    Last edited by havoc92; 03-02-2009 at 10:18 AM. Reason: fixed image filename

  4. #4
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    You'll note that I have several things going on here.

    1. The interior walls are set in so that they can be detached
    as seperate elements.

    2. The floors are handled the same way.

    3. By creating a single rib, I can define walls per the original blueprints, rotate using hinge from edge, then detatch and modify floors and walls seperate from the hull!

    I can, as needed, clone sections off, hinge to 360 degrees and get my intersection for the deck 2-4 skins on the fly.

    So, here are some views testing the idea and playing with it.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_82308_01.jpg
    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_82308_02.jpg
    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_82308_03.jpg


    Next you can see the outer skins for decks 2-4 beginning to take shape. Note the round floor section at the base -
    rotated from the saucer section ribs, detatched and set in place. Works rather nicely and seams back up quite nicely as well.

    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...s_82308_04.jpg

    And here is the final result on the outer skins for that section.



    I should correct myself here in saying that the skins are completed but not cutout for the intersected bits yet. I took a break from this as the skins themselves were a bit of a monumental task to get right. The few areas where they are questionable, thankfully are below where they should intersect; so, that will save some worry.
    Last edited by havoc92; 03-02-2009 at 10:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e6...ess_030109.jpg



    Finally, where I am now. This is the floor layouts for Decks
    2-4. I tied The walls into the floorplan and simply extruded the walls up to the needed height, then used premade door templates, attached them in place and covered them with
    outer wall skins. Nearly all the walls, doorframes and doors
    are in place. This is not the endgame on how this will work.
    My intent here is to use this particular floor as a test piece in developing modular wall sections that can then be slapped in place, mapped and spat out as needed. If I have to have 4 zillion different wall segments it isn't going to lend itself well to modularity for a game environ. So this is where some of the thinking begins toward that end.

    Comments, questions and critiques welcome. If anyone needs info, I have links available for blueprints for anyone that wants to try their hand at this, etc.

    I have tens of thousands of stills for components that will be going into this and it is a longterm build that will not likely have constant daily updates as I'm developing other things as well - namely a Thief III level that is requiring some meshes special made.

  6. #6
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    Ok, today I've got the Outer hull skin and the floors and walls spun up for the Saucer section. I used my template, detached to copy on the floors and walls, then hinged them at 50 segs for walls and 100 segs for the floors. I think this should give me enough wiggle room to properly gauge my wall segments and fit doors.

    I'm getting this stuff out of the way now so that I don't have to worry with scale and fit issues later. I want a unified rough in of all the decks before I start building in the detail work. And there will be a lot of detail work to come for sure.



    This is an image showing the fabricated decks and walls with a 50 percent cutaway view of the outer hull skins. Now that this is done,
    I can modify the deck 2-4 hull structure and prep it to attach.

    I think the next line of attack for the moment, though, is going to be to get image planes built for the neck section and the secondary hull. I'm figuring that will occupy my time for at least a few days.

  7. #7
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    Split my time between Chengdu China
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    interesting project.

    looks good so far.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Australia
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    very well documented, you're making good progress. Man you must be a big fan of Star Trek to model this out in so much detail
    Dangerous. Mute. Lunatic.
    <Toastage>: and you're like "Ey Joe it is Smismar, I am belgium, ishn't that veird. Fix mai internetz or I cut you yehs?"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Split my time between Chengdu China
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    one bit of advice learned from my little Castle Ravenloft project a while back.

    I would advise against going into great details as you have done on the bridges in the main model.

    simply rough out all the decks and compartments with basic walls. then build your shell around the "to-scale Deck Layouts" and detail your exterior.

    THEN: then model each key section by grabbing it's corresponding Shell from the models interior then detail the "Set" in a separate project file such as Bridge, Auxiliary Control, Corridor Sections Shuttle Bay, Main Engineering, Spock's Love Nest etc...

    this will save your main model from becoming Poly-bloated. and keep your machine snappy.

    if you wanted to do an end to end fly-though you still can. just snap together the various sets using your interior roughs as a guide.

    anyway that's my advice.. still digging what your doing.

    Wm

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WickedMonkey View Post
    interesting project.

    looks good so far.
    Thank you. It's adding to my grey a bit hear and there; but, I'm really having fun with it.

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