Spheres by theSea ()
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'Spheres' is something of a speed paint for me, if you count nearly two full days of modeling and texturing as 'speedy,'
This image was conceived as a quick render to showcase the 'Globe Ship' which I recently created. The ship was built as a supporting element for another piece - I needed a spaceship for scale and decided to put something together really quick. I didn't realize how deep that particular rabbit hole was going to get...
Initial modeling and UV mapping were done in Modo. I hate UV mapping but I'm slowly getting the hang of Modo's UV tools.
Next over to ZBrush for detailing with mixed results. I'm happy with some of the features, such as the displaced greeblies, but the overall result was not really worth the time spent. I did some bumps and pits with the noise function and an attempt at procedural panels which came out pretty ugly. The stamped greeblies and details, on the other hand, work fairly well. I was almost tempted to go back and rework from the initial Modo export - but sometimes you have to concede the sunk time and move on.
I also did a basic polypaint of the markings. Slowly learning texture painting in ZBrush, but I'm much more comfortable in Photoshop: so I exported all of the displacement, normal texture AO etc. maps and jumped over to Photoshop for hours of texture making. That was fun and I'm overall happy with the result. I created diffuse, bump, specular and glow (for the windows and engines) maps.
I could certainly detail things more, but this was never intended as a 'hero' ship, just a practice piece and little accent in a larger image. Nevertheless I ended up putting a lot of effort into the little bugger so I wanted to give it a showcase - which is how 'Spheres' came to pass.
In DAZ Studio I loaded the obj up and worked the material settings. As the globe ship is an element in another image, I pulled in the distant light sun + uber-environment ambiance lighting rig from the other scene and set to work.
The dramatic pose from the bottom of the spaceship is due to the fact that it's the only really interesting angle on the thing... the top is pretty boring but then you're not really meant to ever see the top.
As usual I rendered separate passes for the Diffuse, Specular and Ambient lights, as well as the engine and window glows. The moons were added later, again with separate lighting and masking passes for each.
Yes, that's a lot of png files to composite in Photoshop, but the ability to tweak and adjust the lighting in post and move the moons to exactly where I want them justifies the extra effort, complexity and render passes IMO.
This seems like a convoluted workflow - but in all honesty I'm not ready to give up on Studio just yet. I have a lot of time an energy invested in learning the lighting and shading system in Studio and the lighting & camera controls just make sense to me. 3D Studio Max, by comparison seems like a constant fight to get anything done.
The nebula background and starfield are items I've had kicking around for a while and the moons have also been featured in a number of pieces. Lens flares and hero stars done with Knoll Light Factory.
The actual execution of 'Spheres' only took a couple of hours. This is the benefit of building up a collection of elements to use, reuse and re-purpose.
It may be worth mentioning at this point that I've placed a strong emphasis on creating scenes 100% from scratch, or as near to it as I can manage. This has been limiting in some ways: two days to create a spaceship when I could grab one someplace else for $20 seems like a lot of work. But forcing myself to work within the limits of what I can build has been creatively rewarding and I'm finally learning to model and texture, if only by necessity.
I'm not saying that everyone should work this way, but it fits well with me and where I'm at in my creative journey.
In any event, enjoy and please feel free to comment. That's me out of characters for captioning... :)
Image Comments (5)
maraich () 11:03AM | Sun, 05 April 2015
Gorgeous! For including modeling and texturing, I think two days is plenty speedy. I love seeing what you can do with modo. It's my favorite modeler, but I never have time to work with it. I live vicariously through you.
geirla () 12:10PM | Sun, 05 April 2015
Very well done! And always interesting to get the details of the process behind the creation.