Quiet Night at the Office

I got another bite of the render bug the other day. I’m going to need that to start coming a bit more consistently again.

I originally visualized this angle with a Miranda-class ship, but I don’t have a modern Miranda that’ll hold up to this kind of proximity and detail. While I was assembling the scene, I found I’d already had one from an earlier attempt to make a nighttime drydock render, but I hadn’t been able to settle on a good angle. So I loaded in the old scene, aligned it to fit the picture in my head, added a bunch more spotlights, and rendered it.

I think this works much better as a night shot than my prior attempts have. My initial inspiration for the shot, lighting and mood-wise, was this photo of a cruise ship docked at night.

The background is from NASA’s library of astronaut photos of Earth. It’s actually a shot of the terminator. I desaturated it and then recolored it dark blue to represent a barely-visible nightside. Also, since I figured a night shot would require a longer exposure, I cranked up the motion blur well past 100%, so the various shuttlecraft that are buzzing around are barely-defined blurs.

Updated 2015-09-03:

Quiet Night at the Office 5K

I’ve re-rendered “Quiet Night” in 5K. There are a couple of deliberate changes in this one compared to the original version of “Quiet Night at the Office.” The most obvious is probably that I repositioned all the travel pods and work bees because I set up the scene to animate and wanted more visually interesting flight-paths. I dialed back the motion blur a bit, as well.

A little more subtle touch is that I changed the ship from the Enterprise to the Endeavour, after a tedious evening of aligning and stenciling text. I wonder if there’s a script or something that you could write to do that.

I brightened up the windows considerably on this image, possibly too much. It’s more like my original aim for them, where they still look a lot like the featureless white of the studio model, but have just the subtlest suggestion of depth. You can just barely see a person in the first long window to the left of the gangway. I also think I might’ve been a bit too heavy on the grain, but I’d like to see it on a retina/hiDPI/5K screen before I make a final judgement.

Updated 2016-02-14:

And here’s an animated version.

~ by David Gian-Cursio on July 13, 2010.