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Old 24th Jul 2011, 05:45 PM   #1
Nadesico
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Default Star Trek - TNG Paramount Stage 9

finally, I can post here again...

Anyway, posted this a few days ago on SFM, here's the repost for those who don't go there

Please, old members of LWG3D (yes, that long ago), do not panic. The world is not coming to an end... at least, not today. I really am working on a new CG project publically, for the first time in... um, 2011-2003... 8 years! Wowee.

Anyway, let's just say I was inspired by the Tnpir and SeanR, my transfer from Lightwave to Maya as a primary rendering platform and a recently Star Trek watchthrough has driven my desire to build the TNG sets virtually, as they stood in the 7 years of production. My intention is to eventually have all the Stage 9 and 8 pieces modelled at some stage (I figure architecture with plenty of references like the TNG sets is a good 'intermediate' starting place to get me rolling with Maya). That includes the Battle Bridge, as well as changing the final set mesh to include the 1989 revision (Pre-holodeck end expansion). But I may get sick of it after getting the main rooms and corridor done, we'll see.

Here's what I've been doing on and off for the last few weeks as I get the time. (Considering I had a wedding, i'd say roughly 6 or so hours tops including learning new tools)

So far, I've mapped out the main corridor segments and started doing some preliminary detail - mainly to get dimensions and positions right. I think I've got most of the alignments and positions right so far on the detail I've done. I've also placed out instances of the struts for the K-beam corridor and the rest of the curved segment. But this is mainly a mockup at this stage to get all dimensions right before I start the heavy detailing. I'm still working finalizing the positions of the "round" corridor end, the schematics I'm using are sub par and don't exactly fit the shape properly.

I'm not 100% happy with the position of all the beams, especially outside sickbay, they seem... odd, but it looks like the set was built that way anyway. I'll be tweaking that over time. I've also started placing down detail for hte corridor walls, nothing set in stone, but based on screenshots I've got most of the sizes and aspects right.

For those who are curious, I've based my height/width and positions on screenshots (Mainly of Jonathan Frakes), and determined that the corridor is approx 9 feet wide and 8 feet tall (potentially 8'6", but it seems too tall it is in certain angles). Single doors are 6'8" tall and 3' wide. Double doors... I'm not sure but it'll either be 7-8' wide, depending on my screenshot revisions down the line.

So far, this is just a mockup of the main area excluding individual rooms, doors and the modifiable engineering section, I'll be adding those as I go. I'd also love to get a render of the entire corridor setup as it is with the schematic I'm basing it on, if i can ever figure out how to get maya to render the image plane! (Still learning). There's no smoothing, minimal shading at this point and a lot of segmentation... please remember this is the mockup to get dimensions and whatnot right before I start detailing. And yes, I'll be providing a proper lighting rig once I finish reading the tutorials.
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Old 24th Jul 2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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I actually have done more work since this post was made, will be uploading those after work. I did some remapping of the "rounded" parts of the corridor, it appears that the schematic I was working off was wrong and the sickbay door is not larger then the other rooms. So I'll be shrinking that and scaling all the door segments to the appropriate size.
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Old 24th Jul 2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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Welcome back, not sure why you couldn't post here but glad it's sorted out.
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Old 24th Jul 2011, 08:00 PM   #4
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Nice to see you back modeling again!
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Old 26th Jul 2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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spent about 40 minutes tonight mapping out the final strut placement for the engineering -> kbeam corridor (the Kbeam is the cross section ).

Anyway, not 100% sold on the current position, from the screenshots i've found it looks like this section is just 3 straight lengths with the centre one divided by two more struts. But for obvious reasons they never really filmed that section much except in short transition shots to the main "gathering" space that engineering was redressed to be. It's kinda hard to find longer shots. I may re-position the door so that it's on a slight curve as opposed to being flat.

The other problem I'm having is with sickbay. It appears that the door itself is wider then the other doors on the set (at least 1 foot wider), and the "arc" of 5 struts near the door is just completely lopsided, still tweaking, should have the final mockup layout ready in a day or two and I can start detailing.
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Old 26th Jul 2011, 01:31 PM   #6
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welcome back, nice start. I can't wait to see it finished.
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Old 31st Jul 2011, 07:31 AM   #7
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Ok, another short 40 minute burst (Boy have I had no time this week!), but i've finished the mockup to my general satisfaction at this stage. I've built the remaining arc between the "jaws of life" end and the "k beam" corridor sections. I'm still not 100% happy with sickbay, some of the arcs seem wonky, but there's enough in place that I can get started with proper detailing (most of those sections will need to be re-copy+pasted anyway considering I couldn't instance them due to the varying shapes). I'll have plenty of time to tweak them down the line. I've also suck with the sickbay door being a foot wider then the rest of the doors on that corridor, there is simply no denying that it's larger. Not much I can do about that. But the rest of them, save the jaws and double-doors are all definitely 3 feet. Though the two opposite the Kbeam in that turbolift alcove are taller then the rest.

I'm going to start detailling properly now, I'll be pulling colour swatches from episode screenshots (TV series first, maybe generations later) and adding the rest of the detail to the sections now... Not to mention tackle those jaws-of-life doors.

Also thinking into how to light and texture this thing. I'm thinking the best approach would be to use proceedural textures where possible (may not be able to do a convincing carpet though) and then use masks for details like labels and decals. Anything I can't physically model would end up being an image mask over a proceedural.

As for lighting, well in Lightwave, i'd have used area lights or directional lights (depending on the area, possibly even a spotlight with a wide radius and a soft diffusion), but I've been told that Maya's Ambient Occlusion will do the job really well and reduce render time. Oh well, will start doing render tests when I get the details on
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Old 9th Aug 2011, 08:02 AM   #8
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I wish I could say i did more today, but not really. Just started bevelling edges on the doors and struts, I did some basic colour sampling to help me get started sorting out the lighting, and i laid out a very basic ambient lighting setup on the roof. Once I can get the texturing right on the segments I'll focus on the AO.

As tnpir and seanr have mentioned in the past, the TNG sets were not the most effectively well lit, always relying on key lighting to get them looking right for shooting (uneven lighting locations), hence why they appeared to look different from episode to episode as new directors came on (Subtle but noticable).

Still having troubles getting the shader problem resolved on those door edges, but oh well.

I'm also not sure whether to increase the polycount on the struts, I've got 10 divisions, it seems ok but they may not hold up in closer up shots so i'll probably increase their divisions.

For those curious as to what detail is remaining in this area (considering that TNG sets were rather sparse) there is the fixed "roof" light panel in the far alcove, there's a number of black stripes, and the pattern around the holodeck door frame needs to be added. Otherwise, this area just needs to be painted properly (to look like painted wood :S) and it'll be done.

I also need to figure out the better way to do the lighting. Whether I create translucent panels and throw the area lights behind them, or create a fake translucency texture and put the light in front.
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Old 9th Aug 2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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Also, If anyone whose good with Maya feels like giving me some tips on improving detailing or lighting (I'm not picky, still working on a very LW mindset), that would be much appreciated.
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Old 9th Aug 2011, 07:59 PM   #10
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Give me another six months. Sigh, sorry can't help atm.
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