I thought the Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an enjoyable, if flawed movie. My rating is around 8 out of 10. What really annoys me are the complaints that Rey is a "Mary Sue" (she's perfect at everything, beats Kylo Ren, etc.). On one hand it is a slight flaw in the movie, on the other hand male characters have had uber quick learning abilities for at least a century. If someone is only noticing this phenomenon now because Rey is a woman that is a bit troubling. I put a few movies on this graph that share the same "problem" as Force Awakens and just so everyone knows: I like all these films. The 2009 Star Trek reboot has the worst case of this trope since Captain Kirk never really grows through the course of the movie, a problem the filmmakers tried addressing in the less successful follow up Star Trek: Into Darkness.
Here is a collection of animations featuring my alternate USS Enterprise. I'm pretty happy with the 3D mesh at this point and don't see myself making any changes in the future. It was a fun exercise and I enjoyed experimenting with an iconic Sci-Fi design. If I have any regrets it's that the ship is not as detailed as I would like, but since I don't have a whole bank of computers and RAM at my disposal, this is the best the model will look if I want render times to remain reasonable. Read More
With the release of the Star Trek: Into Darkness in just a couple of months I thought I would post the updates made to my alternate USS Enterprise. I’ve also been working on my lighting techniques in Cinema 4D to make this collection of computer generated polygons look like a physical object and a gallery at the end of the article showcases my best renders. I've made some big changes to the Enterprise because I couldn’t wrap my head around two of the design elements. These two areas were the engine supports and the open/flared area around the front that looks like it would collect all sorts of space “garbage” for lack of a better term. I also made alterations to the saucer near the neck and straightened the engine supports. The curved supports are my main annoyance of both the official 2009 design of the Enterprise and my alternate design. In fact the new design of USS Enterprise might be my favourite if it weren’t for those idiotic supports. Maybe after all the carnage the ship goes through in the movie they’ll be fixed (though I doubt it)*. I decided to do some before and after renders to show the big changes I’ve made to the design. Read More
Since my last post I've been playing around with the textures, lighting and composting of my alternate Enterprise in order to make it look "real". I'm using Cinema 4D v.11 and the multi-pass settings to get different layers/passes of the mesh, such as a specular pass, a lighting pass, a global illumination pass, etc. I take these passes into Photoshop and create a more dynamic, realistic, render of the Enterprise using filters, opacity settings and layer settings such as Multiply or Soft Light. Instead of having one main light I am using two, one for illumination and one for specularity. I keep the illumination light low, at around 30% and bump up the specular light to 120%. This seems to work quite well. This also gives the mesh a metallic sheen and reflective quality without actually using a reflective map, which helps keep render times down. I've also added textures resembling peeling paint and small dents (from space debris) to suggest the Enterprise isn't new and has been in the far reaches of unexplored space for a while. Click continue to see a slideshow of my alternate USS Enterprise Read More
Its been a long time since I lasted posted (over a year in fact) so I decided to show something I've been working on in my spare time. I guess you could call me a fairweather Star Trek fan. I grew up watching The Next Generation as a kid as well as the six films starring the original cast. I don't know the ins and outs of the show or how transporters, warp drives, or the reverse tachyon side split burst array influx emitters work but I knew episodes like "Darmok" or "Best of Both Worlds" were damn good television. One thing I liked more about the original series, and the movies as well, was the design of the Enterprise. Simple shapes were combined into an aesthetically pleasing design which suggested it could be repaired or maintained by Scotty and his underlings in the far reaches of the galaxy without retreating to any (space)ports, like sailing vessels of long ago. Yet when I first saw the new Enterprise design for 2009 re-boot film, I thought it was extremely ugly and jarring, despite sharing the same basic design features and principles as it's 1960's predecessor. Read More