100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 16


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.


There’s actually only one quantum space shot in the movie, shown three times. It’s edited differently, and flipped horizontally in one instance, so I combined the three into one shot so I could get all seven seconds or so of reference. I watched it for a while, stepped away for a few days to let it stew in my subconscious, and came back to it yesterday. From what I can tell, the base effect is using Lightwave’s “Crumple” procedural texture. It’s mapped onto a capsule-shaped ellipsoid that’s long in the middle and flattened at the ends. The procedural texture is animated through the long axis of the ellipsoid.  There are rings traveling in the same direction, deforming the surface of the ellipsoid and brightening the texture as it passes. Also, the texture is transparent, and there are at least three capsules superimposed around each other.

There’s one more lighting effect I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s another glowing ring, but it’s not on the surface of the main texture. I think it might be a hemisphere just added to the environment for flavor, like the whirlpool objects in the original Babylon 5 version of Hyperspace. There may be more than one in the shot, it’s hard to tell.

On my current WIP, it looks like the procedural texture is moving too quickly and is a bit too small, the rings are moving too quickly and not distorting the texture as much as they should (and creating strange vertical lines), and are also traveling in the opposite direction. I’ll continue working with it, and we’ll see how it looks over the next few days.

~ by David Gian-Cursio on August 23, 2016.