100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 6


As promised, another image from the days of Captain Pike. The background is a photo of the Orion Nebula I was pointed to by a blog post by the Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait.

I experimented with a variation of image-based lighting on this one. The only light source is the plane with the image of the nebula applied to it. I rendered it three times with the Photoshop render buffer export plug-in active, with the nebula set to different degrees of luminosity. I then mixed and matched passes from all three to get the final image to precisely control the look of the ship. The brightest version contributed the diffuse lighting, the medium version gave me the reflection and specularity, and the regular intensity supplied the nebula itself as it appears in the image.

While I was play with my post-processing, I experimented with a more intense, contrasty look than I usually go for, which reminded me of the original 1960s visual effects in Star Trek, and how the occasional astronomical background they used would look after being optically composited.