The Edge of Oblivion by theSea ()
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In the remnants of a star system ravaged by a supernova a small research station orbits a shattered planetoid... sounds like "the Edge of Oblivion."
Thanks for clicking in. This would be number four in a recent spate of spacescapes. For this one I decided I'd had enough of creating geometry by baking displacement into primitives in Vue (fun though that is) and went to the hard stuff - Z-Brush. I've owned a copy for a number of years and just never managed to get past the initial "wow this is cool and strange and where the *bleep* do I click to make stuff work?" stage with it.
Well now I had a reason and a little time over the holiday, so I learned how to sculpt a bit and texture and made this blasted planetoid to go with the supernova remnant I was working up. Texture, bump and normal maps were created in Z-Brush (4096x4096!) and exported along with the base subdivision .obj for render in DAZ Studio. While the low polygon version with the normal and displacement maps looked pretty darn good (and was very easy on the system resources); for final render I did end up exporting the fully subdivided model, the geometry looked just a little better for the 'hero' planet of the scene. That said I would not hesitate to use the lower poly version in a scene where I needed a lot of them or where it was not the main focus of the image.
The nebula was done in POV Ray using the galaxy.bg include file. I sampled the colors from a reference image and leaned on the reference heavily during the final painting stages of the nebula. (google 'planetary nebula' if you want to compare).
I started with a semi-transparent version in a 'screen' mode layer over a solid layer that was completely masked off. I then painted white into the mask with a very light brush to expose the nebula and worked the 'flow' of the clouds with the smear brush to bring things into a form that looked dynamic and 'explody.'
The starfield was a fresh one using "nameless designer's" tutorial from deviant art as a basic process. I like the results I get with that.
The station is skynet3020's "Allied Fleets Manufacturing Facility" with a few materials tweaks of my own.
Lighting is a single distant light and an uber-environment for fill. The sunlight was positioned where the star would be in the backdrop and an initial version of the BG image was used as the scene backdrop for composition purposes. I changed the size of the nebula ring several times during composition.
The planet and station were rendered off in isolation, with separate passes for diffuse sun, specular sun, ambient, and the lights from the station windows. Everything was then compositied in Photoshop and I added a nice Knoll Light Factory lens flare to tie it all together.
As always thanks for your comments and critique. I really appreciate the feedback you leave.
Happy new year,