I generally like to tell a little story with my images. One of the things I’ve found myself doing (and will probably have to lean in to) during this project is doing more quotidian images. That’s probably not the worst thing; on the TV shows and movies that first made me want to get into this field, many of the shots were just establishing shots. Nothing but the camera, one subject, and some lights, communicating nothing beyond the fact that there’s a thing here, and in a moment, we’ll be seeing the people inside it.
The models from Battlestar Galactica Online render surprisingly well. Aside from the foreground Basestar, you can hardly tell the ships are video-game quality. Maybe I’ll go on another expedition to pull more models out from the game’s files. That’s pretty much all there is to this image. I was applying the texture maps to the model, saw how nicely the light played along it and how well the little window-things stood out, and decided to instance out a bunch more Basestars and add some fill light. It definitely helps that, in the show, the Cylons never seemed to care much for the orientation of their ships. There are a few places were they overlap in the frame, but I checked, there weren’t any intersections. The random seed just doesn’t have a good eye for composition.
I wanted to do another picture with the Challenger, on account of the last one not working out. I tried for an asteroid-filled nebula, but ran into a couple problems instancing asteroids (didn’t work), and using volumetric light-rays (very expensive). The image didn’t come close to finishing the render overnight, so I dialed down all the settings to get something finished this morning. I then brought it into Photoshop, where I had trouble making it sing. My ultimate solution was just piling layers on top of layers on top of layers until I got a crazy, over-exposed artsy-looking image.
Another picture from clearing out my mental junk drawer. The idea was a Klingon spy photo of the U.S.S. Challenger, a model by Dennis Bailey which combined the design cues from the Enterprise from the 2009 Star Trek movie with the proportions of the original design. In my head, I decided it was a one-off prototype trying out the design features that became mainstream in the timeline of the remake films, but which didn’t catch on in the original Star Trek universe.
I conceived of the shot as an animation, and I may take another whack at that concept, since my original idea is very different from what I ended up with. I changed the setting to the Utopia Planita shipyards at Mars, and populated the scene with ships and drydocks. I intended to mark up the image with Klingon text, my computer isn’t seeing the Klingon fonts for some reason. All in all, I’d say this is a bit of a dud of an image, which isn’t surprising considering the amount of supporting infrastructure I’d have to put into it to get it right (starting with a full Klingon graphics package).
Based on the “quantum space” environment seen in Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, this archive includes both the blue-colored quantum space as well as the original red-tinted hyperspace of Babylon 5.
As promised, with a few modifications, quantum space has become hyperspace. Aside from recoloring from blue to red, I made the bright bands pulsing from one end of the environment to the other more subtle, and added proxy objects and lights to represent the “lightning flashes” that were present in the Babylon 5 version of hyperspace.
More quantum space today. The real meat is in this tiny test-rendered animation. I think I’ve just about nailed the animation and arrangement, and even that weird ring-thing. The scene lighting is a bit trickier to get down, but that’s true for any sort of hyperspace-style environment like this that doesn’t have traditional light-sources or, potentially, laws of physics. I have a feeling rendering in passes and generous amounts of post-processing effects will make it look suitably surreal and alternate-dimension-y.
Next up will be adjusting it to match the red-colored look of Babylon 5’s original hyperspace, and then I can put this one in the books.
I recently mentioned wanting to attack “quantum space” from the most recent Babylon 5 production, “The Lost Tales.” Quantum space was a faster version of hyperspace. From what I remember hearing, it was actually a late addition to the script, so the quantum space effect was just the updated B5 hyperspace environment Atmosphere Visual Effects was already building, recolored from red to blue. I’m taking TLT as a sort of baseline style guide from my Babylon 5 project, so if I want a hyperspace model that reflects the most recent look of it, then I’ll need to emulate the TLT effect.
Not every experiment can be a success. I was thinking that I’d have a ’60s-style radiating-sparks effects where the Archer’s phasers hit the Klingon shields, but I drew a blank on how to actually generate it. I also wanted to try adding diffraction spikes to the stars, but that also came up short. On the plus side, I think this is my first finished dramatic image with my Archer model.
I was a little burned out from yesterday’s fairly elaborate image, so I went for something easy today. There is a little bit of future-proofing involved; the composition is based on a stock shot used in the Babylon 5 episode “Points of Departure.” I didn’t duplicate the animation, but it’ll give me a start whenever I come to that shot in my other project.