Friday, October 16, 2015

Cosmic Corpses: White Dwarf

Halloween's just around the corner, so here's my attempt at a Halloween-themed picture. And what's more 'halloweenish' than corpses?

What do you mean that's not the "right kind" of corpse?

No fluffy write up for this one, just an old, dead star about to reach the final stage of its undeath and finally cool into a white dwarf. Surrounding it, like a burial-shroud, is a planetary nebula, formed from its outer layers.

As planetary nebulae are a form of emission nebula, once the parent star stops producing ultraviolet radiation and ionizing the gas that makes it up, it will fade into invisibility, until such a time that a strong source of ionizing radiation (gamma rays, x rays, strong ultraviolet) passes by to light it up again.

 Our view in this case is from near a former Oort Cloud object, probably the size of Ceres.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Kerberos' Glare

Named after hellhound of ancient Helinik myth, this brown dwarf star marks the end of civilization and the beginning of the Dead Space, a region of the galaxy characterized by eldritch energies and terrifying anomalies.

Bathed in the star's ruddy glare, the Interceptor Alkeidis orbits Tartaros, Kerberos' middle planet, preparing to brave the Dead Space's unnatural depths and investigate the disappearance of the research ship Arkimedes.

_     _    _   _  _ ___ _  _   _    _     _

Long time, no post.

Because artist's block sucks. But I beat that down with a sledgehammer, the above is the result.

I had a few goals with this one. The first was to experiment with a new style of presentation, specifically a title and border. I think it works with this picture, at least.

I also wanted to try conveying a specific, deliberate emotional tone with this picture. YMMV on my success with this one.

It was also an excuse to run a couple of tests on myself, specifically on how well I could do a star (because stars have always been one of my weak points) and how well I could convey the vast, mind-numbing scale  of the universe. I like the result, but YYMV.

The fluff in the description is inspired by a recent obsession with Greek mythology, and not really connected with any of my other pictures.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

LPS 1.3 - No, really!

Update number two...

I've finally started updating the bottom and the back, although it's still "functional" details rather than greeble as of yet.

The main engines are another homage to the E:D Sidewinder (of which this is most definitely not based on...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!), and are a pretty radical change from the monolithic block the area was in the beginning. I was originally going to give it round engines (and had even blocked out the required shapes a couple of times), but decided on a more "vent"-like engine as I do nothing  but round engines on everything, and it was a nice change of pace to do something different.

Additionally you can see the three landing gear on the bottom. Sadly, this is just a static detail, rather than the gear being actual physical objects; While I've done gear-as-object before, doing so in high-poly is currently outside the scope of my skills.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to let this model stew while I work on others in the mean time. Being an idiot, I decided to break one of the cardinal rules of modeling, and model without a concept, and have thus run out of ideas for this particular model; so it's going to languish while I use the knowledge gained from working on it on other projects.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

LPS 1.2 - This is not a Sidewinder...

So...update number one. It's actually starting to look like a ship now.

While looking for detailing inspiration, I ended up looking at the modern, Elite: Dangerous version of the model's inspiration, so I threw in plating that looks like its radiators as an homage. The top of the model is still the only part that has any detail, with the bottom having only a little basic plating and the back being completely bare.

The cockpit was actually the most challenging detail so far, since it was the first time I'd tried to make such a shallow indentation using this modeling technique. Like with everything else, I had to come up a process that worked, but it was a bit more complicated than simply  putting the geometry together and setting the bevel weights. Luckily the solution was just some choice loop cuts.


I'm starting to notice some artifacts that are probably going to show up in the normal map baking, but nothing that can't be fixed by a couple seconds in photoshop, so I'm not particularly worried.

The render resolution of the model puts it at 790,816 faces, with the actual working resolution putting it at 49,426. I'd say that the model is a little under half done.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

LPS 1.1

Long time, no post. Sorry about that.

In my defense, I've been in a bit of a creative rut lately. This is my attempt to remedy that through weapons-grade practice.

I'm tackling high-poly modeling.

The model above is a little over 360,000 faces (though I'm working at a much lower resolution that has it at only 20,000, and only up it when I need to see how it looks), and is vaguely inspired by the Sidewinder from the Elite series.

I intend to bake it onto a low-poly model at some point. In the future.

I hope.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gratuitous Earth-like Planet

Gratuitous planet is gratuitous.

This came about while further refining a couple of the techniques I explored in Gratuitous Rocky Planet, as well as practicing earth-like planets, a type I've had some trouble with in the past.

I'm rather satisfied with the results.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gratuitous Rocky Planet

Gratuitous, and shamelessly so.
This started out as a test of a new texture I downloaded this morning (CGTextures, the site I got it from, is an amazing resource; lots of interesting textures) and evolved into the above when I decided to use it to experiment a bit with post processing.

Specifically, I experimented with custom clouds, atmospheric glow (a gremlin I've been trying to squash since I became a space artist), and atmospheric haze.

Altogether, it's all rather subtle, but I think the results speak for themselves. This is, without a doubt, one of, in not the best, planet I've made yet.