More explorations in Vue – Using Haze and Fog, 3d planets

I’m continuing to spend most of my graphics time in Vue recently, and I think I am starting to feel comfortable with it. I’m still getting occasional frustrations, but I’m feeling a lot more in control.

One lightbulb moment was when I realised I did NOT have to use the included billboard planet options for planets! But could use full 3d objects which then pick up the light from the Sun, and are properly affected by the haze and fog. A good example is the ringed planet in the banner image for this post, at the top. (Note the tiny astronaut at the top of the cliffs!)

And here’s another:

Alien cityscape with ringed planet
Alien cityscape with ringed planet

Continue reading “More explorations in Vue – Using Haze and Fog, 3d planets”

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”

I don’t use Daz Studio much these days, but thought people might be interested in one specific image I was very happy with, from a few years ago.

I don’t like the Daz renderer at all, as I find it ridiculously difficult to control the arrangement of things, and position them accurately. So I generally export them as OBJ, and then rework the textures. This last bit is not too painful, once you get used to what stuff typically needs fixing. However, there’s a ton of very reasonably priced content available for Daz Studio, and this draws me in.

I’m particularly impressed with the products of “Stonemason” (Stefan Morell), who consistently produces superb settings, often of a science fiction nature. Urban future streets, and SF interiors in particular. Continue reading ““It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.””

The Lightbulb Ship

This was based on an image I found, taken from the cover of the March 1961 episode of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Magazine of F and SF, March 1961
Cover of Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, March 1961

A really unusual shape, making the whole thing look like a cross between a lightbulb and a thermos flask. I suspect it’s meant to be nuclear , which makes standing around the engine area somewhat adventurous.

Continue reading “The Lightbulb Ship”

Warming up with Vue again…

As those who follow me on Twitter @runnymonkey will have seen, I’m trying to get back into the swing of Eon’s Vue package, which specialises in atmospheres and landscapes.

Now I often have something of a love hate relationship with this program, as I find it a mix of the incredibly impressive, and the incredibly frustrating.

The Mars Fleet Assembles`
The Mars Fleet Assembles

(I’m currently on Vue 2014, and considering an upgrade if this goes well) Continue reading “Warming up with Vue again…”

Classic 1930’s space cruiser

It occured to me that I really don’t remember ever seeing one of those really old pulp SF cover space cruisers done in a modern CGI style. You know, the ones that look like a cross between a Zepellin and an express steam train:

db_094_07_amazing_stories_1920

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As Philip K Dick said…

An older image, which I thought I would revive for this blog.

headcase-again

“It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane.”

Philip K Dick

The setting and two bots are by StoneMason, and exported from Daz software. The head is by Ten-Twenty Four studios. Head case by me, as was the scene, lighting, and so forth, which was done in Lightwave 3d.

I often struggle with characters even in a basic way, and even more when I try and get some sense of story into an image. This is one of very few with a human figure I am happy with.

Finding a relevant quotation from PKD really was the icing on the cake, as I am a huge admirer of his work.

Nick

Out of the darkness, and into the light, final.

A collaboration with Ali Ries.

I was very interested when fellow IAAA member Ali Ries offered me the chance to use some of her glorious nebula backgrounds. I’m not very good at using strong colour, and this seemed like an excellent chance to get some practice in.

(You can see her work at Deviant Art).

I found a nice starship in the file libraries at Foundation 3D, and set about it.

I used a yellow distant light for the key light, matching the colour of the bright star. In exactly the same position I had a red dome light – dome lights are extended sources, (often a whole hemisphere), my idea was that the red light would produce a subtle warm edge to the shadow borders.

I experimented with a blue fill light, for added colour, but without a blue light source onscreen, it did not look right.

After experimenting with a warmer tone for the side light, I decided to go for some very small limited range point lights, acting like running lights on the ship. I struggled to choose between blue and red, but in the end I decided to do both!

Here are the results:

red-running-finalx

blue-running-lights-finalx

In case you are wondering, I got the title from a misremembered Hawkwind lyric – I liked the idea of a starship once again receiving the light of a Sun after an incredibly long journey.

As usual, all my bits were done in Lightwave 3d.

Unused Space Odyssey Design Concept, Discovery Bowl Version

This is an alternate design for the ship “Discovery” from the film 2001. In my view it is much inferior to the final version, but this is interesting. This one tends to self-shadow a lot for one thing, which makes it difficult to light. But note that the habitation sphere is identical to the final version used in the film – this element was about the only constant factor in the many design changes.

It is based on sketches in Chris Frayling’s excellent book “The 2001 Files”, and my version incorporates elements from several sketches.

I also did a turntable video of it, to show off the shape.

From other sketches it is clear that there are 48 fuel tanks just under the widest part of the vehicle.

Continue reading “Unused Space Odyssey Design Concept, Discovery Bowl Version”

Latest WIP, more alternate “2001 A Space Odyssey” designs.

Now working on alternate unused designs for the 2001 Discovery, of which there were many. This one is fairly close to the finished version, but had added tension cables (helpful), and large cooling vanes (essential).

The vanes can tip – this would presumably be so they can stay edge on to the Sun, to avoid overheating.

Credible design for the craft like “Discovery” in “2001, A Space Odyssey” was considered very important, but the cooling vanes looked too much like wings, and were therefore dropped.

vanes-cables-01-0060 vanes-cables-01-0090

Continue reading “Latest WIP, more alternate “2001 A Space Odyssey” designs.”

2001 A Space Odyssey – Alternate Space Station Design.

My favourite film, without a doubt is the stunning “2001 A Space Odyssey”. Even all these years after its release, it still manages to look credible and futuristic.

I have now finished the model of the alternate design for the 2001 Space Station. This mesh is based on sketches in the excellent book “The 2001 File” by Christopher Frayling. The bulk of the book is the design sketches by Harry Lange that were done for the spacecraft concepts used in the film.

The sketches were basic, so I added lots of details from the design actually used in the film.

I’ve also made a short animated video to show it off, I recommend watching in HD if possible!

Continue reading “2001 A Space Odyssey – Alternate Space Station Design.”