Check your connections, fellas: The Big One’s comin’…

Whew. Been a while since I posted anything here, hasn’t it? Well, I’m going to make up for that in spades….

What follows is almost every rendering I’ve finished yet haven’t put up for one reason or another. I’ll include a description of the circumstances of it’s creation, and why it hasn’t been shown before. I considered putting them in chronological order, but decided that would be a bit more work than I wanted to put into this post. If you’re really curious, the dates for most of them are in the file name. Also, since many of these were never intended to be released for public consumption, none of the images have credits. They’ll be at the end of the post.

This is a still from an attempt of mine to recreate the Shadow Threat trailer for Babylon 5: Into the Fire (I wanted a high-res version, and the version available wasn’t high-res enough). Whenever I finished a shot, I would render out a couple of frames in a larger size to use as a desktop background. This particular shot is an Omega coming out of a Jump point. I stopped work on the animation when I realized that, as I had no explosion movies or the wherewithal to create my own, finishing the scenes with things exploding would be problematic. I was also likely distracted by something shiny, a common problem when I try to take on a long-term project.

Another Shadow Threat shot, of the same scene.

This was a shipyard preview picture of a Brakiri ship from another abortive attempt, namely to create a Babylon 5 Plug-In (basically a mod) for the space-trading game Escape Velocity: Nova. This project stopped when I realized I enjoyed conceptualizing and making graphics more than I did writing mission and planet descriptions and programing, even the insanely easy programing of EV plug-ins. I am a weak man, after all.

Incidentally, if anyone ever wants to make a B5 plug-in for EV, I have a shitload of sprites and preview pics, some pretty cool ideas, and a desire to help.

Yet another Shadow Threat shot, this time a test render from the last shot I made. This is where the explosion problem caught up with me. But it was my favorite shot in the movie, so I really wanted to make it.

Any tips on the explosion thing would be nice, too. I’d kinda like to finish the animation up, one of these months.

An EV Shipyard pic, this time of a Drakh cruiser.

Still shot of Keffer biting the big one in the season two finale.

A screen shot of the Escape Velocity plug-in I mentioned earlier. Well, that’s not quite accurate. I used the sprites and masks, plus a few screenshots of EV for a background, and Photoshopped up a fake screenshot. But it gives you some idea of what it would look like if I got around to actually making the damned thing. In case your wondering, that’s supposed to be the Minbari-Human first contact.

EV ship preview of the Hyperion-class. I should mention that I intended for each ship to be displayed in its preview in it’s home system, hence Jupiter in the background.

A shot of the Starfury launch from the Shadow Threat.

The shipyard preview for the Omega. And before you complain that Omega’s don’t fire blue pulses, that’s supposed to be an early-model Omega. Since the one in episode with the Free-Mars zombie had an Omega fire blue pulses in the flashback, I figured the first Omegas took weapons from the Hyperion so they could be put into service despite the new weapons not being finished.

If you go to Z’ha’dum…. EV shipyard preview for the Shadow Battlecrab.

Another shot of the Shadow threat starfury launch.

Ah, that’s more like it! A shadow ship gets hit by an Omega’s laser in this shot from the Shadow Threat.

Star Trek pics coming up, beware!

And now, for something completely different a Star Trek-styled map of Sector 221-G, the setting of the Star Trek: New Frontier novel series (can you tell I like those books?). I tried to get the look of the Nemesis-version of the LCARS interface, with the beveling and the brushed metal, and I think it turned out pretty good. I also worked in pretty much every planet mentioned in the series, spelling most of them correctly.

A Star Trek shot of a Galaxy-class ship (the Excalibur-A from the Star Trek: New Frontier books) in drydock.

Spacedock, above Earth, with the Enterprise visible behind it. Just for giggles, I made the Earth in this scene “life-sized”, all 12,000 kilometers of its diameter. I kinda liked how it turned out. I don’t have to worry about perspective changes looking wrong this way.

Just a simple beauty shot.

A Klingon Bird of Prey fires torpedo at a shuttle carrying a dignitary after sneaking to Earth under cloak. I like the way the moon turned out in this pic, don’t you?

And a couple pictures of Earth itself finish off the posting binge.

Oh, right, credits. If I forget something, I’m relying on you to tell me so I can edit it in. And don’t think I’m ordering it in any way other than when I thought of them.

Earth: Reto Stöckli and Robert Simmon
Moon and Mars: James Hastings-Trew
Spacedock: Nick Pigg
U.S.S. Enterprise: Dennis Baily
U.S.S. Constitution and shuttlecraft:
Klingon Bird of Prey: Fabio Passaro
Galaxy Class: Chris Setterington
U.S.S. Voyager: Sarod
U.S.S. Prometheus and Babylon 5: Ed Giddings
Drydock 1: Nico Wiegand and M.
Drydock 2: Nick Martens
Nebula: Kier Darby
Omega Destroyer and Nova Dreadnaught: Matt Tarling
Starfury: Mark Kane
Thunderbolt: Nick Lee
Hyperion Cruiser and Minbari Fighter: Craig A. Clark
Olympus Corvette: Leo Dunin
Jupiter and the Galialan Moons: Björn Jönsson
Brakiri ship, Shadow ships, Drakh ships, Z’ha’dum and Nebula: Nadab Göksu
Jumppoint: Yuri A. Parovin
Epsilon and Brakiri Nebulas: Jeff Richards
Epsilon 3: Jeff Richards and Matt Tarling
Minbari Warcruiser: Thomas Banner
Hyperspace: James Reding

Since making this post, I took a look at some of my old Shadow Threat animations, and I don’t know if its the new version of Quicktime, a recalibrated monitor, or what, but they look much more kick-ass than I remember. And I want to share the ass-kicking with you (no, not like that). So, when I completed two consecutive scenes from the Shadow Threat, I took out the audio, and made a small feasibility test, which I’m now sharing with you. It requires Quicktime 6, and is compressed as an MPEG 4.

Shadow Threat Clip