Monday, December 20, 2010

Whatcha think? Too much?

Well, since this Type C is going to be a pirate/merc cruiser, I decided to get a little wild with the paintjob.  Going with the lightning motiff on the nose art, I simply expanded it into a full-on lightning job (as opposed to a flame job).  What do you think?  Too much?  Too not-Traveller?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


  I'm finally getting to the texture on the Type C.  After a couple of days running down geometry errors, I think I finally got them all.  Just a quick update and progress shot for the time being, with more to follow later if I make any significant progress today.

And a shot of the nose art up close.  Still iffy on this particular one, but I kinda like it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Crap, another week escaped me...

Man how time flies.  Got to make a trip to the hospital yesterday for my ticker.  Not much they could do, although they did mention I'd probably be a candidate for a pacemaker down the road.  Anyway, pretty close to finishing up primary modelling on the Type C, and can move on to texturing.  Wheee!  Changed the turrets and thrusters in the back, so here's a screencap of that in progress.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Still chugging along...

  Still plugging away at the Type C, mostly doing detail work and greebles.  Learning from my experience with the Service Hull project, I'm spending a fair bit more time on details I can use for close-up shots.  Things like cargo and vehicle bays, windows, etc.  I'm going to start working up more shots of the day-to-day stuff, and I'd also like to do a few "field repair" scenes with some poser characters tearing apart something up close.  Turns out planning is critical from the very beginning - going back to retrofit a cargo bay and doors is a major pain in the ass, so I'm trying to get those types of things worked out now before I spend any time texturing.  That's probably the biggest pain, trying to fix the textures after you screw with geometry.  That's why I didn't do too many shots of the service hull up close.  Anyway, a couple more WIPs for your amusement (assuming anyone besides me is following this...)

Front side shot showing the cargo bay in the forward hull.  Added some greebles to the front to break it up some, including a sensor dome, some antennae and panels, and 3 connection points for custom equipment.  The interior area on the otherside of that bulk head is custom space (40 tons left over in the original design).
The other side from the front.  The central cargo bays have been roughed out, and doors built with an eye toward closeups and possibly animations down the road.  I changed the material on the back fins to the same mesh used on the radar dishes; I think it looks pretty cool.   Probably not radiators, as we originally guessed.  I'm calling them part of the sensor package but have yet to come up with the appropriate technobabble.  I've also started in on the central strut section with connections to the cargo bays and docking points for the ships' two shuttles.

The small windows on the sides are still a thorn in my side.  I built them seperately, and they'll probably stay that way.  Using booleans/shapemerge to do them turned into a total frickin' nightmare  when I discovered that even with "Ignore backfacing' turned on, it was still grabbing the occasional stray vertex or edge, which would promptly hammer the crap out of the side I wasn't looking at.  Probably what I'll do is use transparency maps on the hull beneath them, then make the appropriate part of the window transparent, just leaving them grouped with the hull.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Type C WIP

Work continues on the type C.  Deckplans (ver 1.0, anyway) are done.  Starting to do some detail work, spent most of yesterday working on the sensor dishes.  Just a quick shot...

Friday, December 3, 2010's been a week?

  Sorry for the lack up updates.  I've been grinding on an article, deckplans, and renders for an article in a Traveller fanzine called Freelance Traveller, featuring the X-boat service hull that has consumed most of my life the last month or so.  But, I'm down to doing final renders and finishing up the article, so on to bigger and better things.  Plans at this point are to rework my badass wedges' paint job, and try to make something good out of that Judges Guild Type C cruiser.  I've started tinkering with that some, beginning with the central section which contains cargo holds and the pinnace landing pads.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Judges Guild Type C

This is a rough concept shot of an oldie but a goodie, the Type C Cruiser from Judges Guild Starships and Spacecraft.  Pretty simple, moderately ugly.  It's a throwaway for the moment, but I may decide to do something with it in the future.  Hell, I might do a bit of a redesign on it and use it for one of the ships in the Islands.  It has some potential, anyway, maybe as an Esperanzan ship (since they're the low-tech power of the Cluster).  Since it's designed as a troop transport, could be a useful platoon-sized transport like the Broadswords in the Imperium.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Still working...

Okay, that's the fourth time in the last two days I've had a post eaten.  I think the malware protections in Opera are whats screwing me up, so I shut them down for the time being.  That's part of the reason the posts have been so short, because there's been a 90% chance of them getting eaten.

Anyway, work continues on the service hull, with texturing nearly done.  Just one shot today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Service hull WIP

Just a quick pic tonite of the texturing in process, about 5 hours worth so far, mostly bump maps.  Wheee.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I went back to the drawing board on the old X-boat service hull, and wound up making a few modifications. There were several things that bothered me about my previous design, namely "how does it land?" So, I went back and moved the thrusters outboard on the pods, replacing them in the center with a landing gear. I also added a turret, since Gray Lensmans design called for one.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Work continues on the tender...

  I'm still working on my wedge design for the sooner-or-later GURPS game I intend to run.  I eneded up having to rework a shitload of things on the basic model, so I scrapped what texturing I had done and started over.  Turned out to be a good thing, because the texturing is going a hell of a lot better the second time around.  Let that be a lesson, kids...make sure your mesh is straight and square BEFORE texturing, because if it's not, you're going to hate life.  Here's a clay render of it once I started texturing...

And here's a shot of it with it's new paint job in progress.  The bump map isn't popping like I'd expected, so I assume some more tinkering will be in order.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Colchis Tender (TL 10) WIP

Just a quick WIP shot of my current project, which will end up being the PCs ship for a GURPS 4/GT:IW game set in the Islands subsector.  500 tons, stats to follow when I get a chance.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The X-boat Revisited

I finally finished texturing my X-boat model (after redoing it three times), so this one I'm officially calling done...well, at least the exterior.  Here's a couple of beauty shots.

3d Staterooms

  My latest side project (I have many) are 3d staterooms for my upcoming deckplans.  It would be nice to have a stockpile of pre-built rooms of various shapes and sizes, then just drop and go when it's time.  Anyway, here's the first attempt, which looks pretty good to me.  The polygon count gets to be a biatch when you've got all of the components loaded in the scene that you might want to use, but my process seems to work okay.  Still have a lot of models that need texture, however, which is another side project I plink away at.

Monday, November 8, 2010

X-boat 3d Deckplan WIP

Another project I've been kicking around the last week with no internet.  I decided to rework my X-boat from the inside out as a 3d deckplan.  This is just a progress shot, but I'm already figuring out what a pain 3d deckplans are going to be.

50 ton Cutter Progress

  Here's a test render of the modular cutter I've been working on whilst relearning UV mapping and textures.  Seems to be coming along pretty well.

During my silence.

As you may have heard, I was waiting for the new internet connection to get hooked up, and they finally showed this afternoon.  Yay!  A big fat connection at long last.  Anyway, I decided to start working on some of the ships for my (eventual) Islands Cluster Campaign, and started with the players ship, a G:TL10 Tender.  This one will eventually go all the way, with full external and internal detailing.  I'm currently working on the interior layout, but here's a clay render to give you an idea.  I started with the notion of making the Sulieman look badass, and I think it works pretty well.

Friday, October 29, 2010

400 ton Lab Ship WIP

Since we're still finishing up the move of our business into the house, I haven't had a huge amount of time to tinker.  I hate getting in the groove of something and having to quit to do other stuff, so in my downtime I mess with side projects that sometimes get kept and expanded on.  Since I was curious what the inside of the lab ship would look like in 3d, I started doing some rough layouts and modeling just for kicks.  Interesting so far, but still needs a ton of work.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

50 ton Modular Cutter

I originally started back into 3d after about a 6 month hiatus due to life being a bit hectic.  When I started up again, I decided against dropping into a full size Traveller ship, and started looking at small craft.  I hadn't seen many renders of the old standbys (launch, cutter, etc) and decided to dive into the modular cutter.  This has taken a fair while to get done, mostly because I'm relearning a lot of crap as I go.  So far, though, I think it looks pretty good.

X-boat Service Hull

  This project originated from a discussion on COTI - Refitted X-boats - VW Beetles in Traveller.  The basic specification was for a 100 ton hull that could dock with an X-boat and add capabilities the it was never designed for - maneuver drives, fuel skimming, planetary landing, etc.  For the idea to work, IMO, it needed to require the absolute minimum amount of modification to the X-boat as well.  Several ideas were bounced around, including an annular wing like Travellers Lab Ship, and I started knocking ideas around.  My first attempt looked something like this...

Not bad, and it was pretty well recieved.  This model is actually well into texturing.  I posted a WIP pic to COTI, and somebody asked if it needed more than 1 pod, so I tweaked the base setup a bit to get this...

A little different, but kind of awkward looking to me.  Somebody asked about only two pods, which led to this...

Again, not bad, but still not really as good as the first arrangement IMHO.  I looked up annular wings, and discovered that it can also mean a flat circular wing.  After ruminating about it for a bit, I came up with my latest concept.

Ahhh, now this holds some interesting concepts.  Currently, the 3 pod arrangement is just about finished with texture.  The one and two pod setups would need partial retexturing because they are simply re-scaled pods from the 3-pod set.  The final flat winged version is a rough at this point, still needed a fair bit of modelling and thought before it's ready for texture.  For that matter, I need to finish the texture on the X-boat itself.

Out of the ideas presented, I'll most likely keep the 3-pod arrangement and the flat wing - the other two simply don't appeal to me, and I've got other projects I'd like to be working on as well.  I'll touch on one of these next post.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh crap, not another blog...

  Yeah, it's another blog.  This one is dedicated to role playing games, specifically Traveller.  It seems to be the only one I still have a serious interest in...I think I've slain enough dragons for the time being.  I think mostly why I'm still hooked on it 23 years after buying the Traveller Book is the fact it ties in quite handily to my other interests, astronomy and 3d modeling.

A recent set of threads over on Citizens of the Imperium about a service hull for retired X-boats drug me back into 3d (and for that matter, kitbashing real models).  It seemed I was cluttering COTI up with a lot of pics of this beast, so I decided to move most of my further work to this blog and Photobucket .  I'll be discussing my various 3d projects (and possibly games) here, so pull up a chair and grab a beer.