Thursday, 23 August 2012

Big Spaceships 001 - Irrealis "ISS Mjollnir" Part 2 (of 3)

Because this is the internet and I'm sure I'm not the only person who reads things in reverse order,  lets recap...  The ship was built in 2008 for a short movie then called 'Rocket Man' now called 'Irrealis' to my knowledge it's never been released on the internet.   There's more detail in post one of course if you want more or feel the need to follow things sequentially in the correct order.

One of the important FX shots in the show is an integration of 3D/CGI graphics and live action, a composited tracking shot showing a slow pull away from a live action set which is embedded in the wreckage of the ring section.

The over-exposed booth in the middle of frame matches the on on screen set, the diagonal bars passing in front of the booth are infact matched to a part of the cockpit set that was in the live shot, and became part of the overall effects shot, here integrating with 3D modelled damage.
Once finished with the damaged section I decided it would be a good idea to jump to another section of the ship, the bow module.  This is often the most important section of a spaceship, but this time the bow is not shown in close-up, even so I still added a decent amount of detail for the time and resources I had available and tried to breakup some of the flowing lines into more interesting forms.  The textures and geometry hold up at close range.


It sorta looks like a head of some oddly proportioned robot, the round mouth opening is most likely a docking port - like a huge version of ILIDS (International Low Impact Docking System) as used presently in human space flight. The teeth would be part of the system that interlocks with another opposing dock, bringing and holding the structures together.  See if you can spot the bit of Apollo lander which was in there from the proxy model and eventually plastered over with other bits and pieces.
Once complete I designed some truss sections - perhaps more artistic that realistic, but that's the theme of the entire ship, we're not NASA - to tie the fore and aft modules to the centrifuge.  Beginning to feel the pressure of time constraints and the hardware limitations I had at that time meant these parts were made in a totally separate file, to be combined later for rendering on a powerful render farm.

The engine was probably a fusion reactor, perhaps something like a Polywell (hence the round shape) the bits sticking out from the engine module, perhaps some kind of radiation shielding for the centrifuge or to enhance cooling, or if neither of those will do then they do *something*;)  - I find if you can't back up things with numbers then its easy to avoid nerdy arguments with certain obsessive personality types by letting them work it out for themselves.
(much as I enjoy a nerdy argument, it generally makes all parties look like dorks and cuts into the modelling time immensely)

So at this point I had problems, running out of time, running out of memory, Joseph perhaps running out of patience but always a gent.  I now left the fore and aft modules, though the engine in particular could have done with some more poly-lovin it was never meant to be seen closely.   I returned to the centrifuge and completed some parts of it, but found I couldn't even render the parts without changing renderers, lighting and materials, and had no time for any of it. I sent what I had off, as a complete package but a large 'make it up as you go along' ship like this is never truly finished, only abandoned - I'm usually never happy but look back years later more objectively and think, hmm, that actually looked OK. 

In fact for numerous reasons I didn't see a complete render of this ship at all (and properly assess my work) or even load all parts into the same scene until earlier this year, a gap of three-and-a-half years.  So I will frustratingly leave you now without seeing the entire thing - until part 3. 

-Steve.