Texturing my Trek destroyer

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Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:03 pm

So in this thread I created a single-nacelled Destroyer design :

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Since I've been playing around with texturing lately, I thought I would pull this ship out of mothballs and give it a paint job! Here's how it's turning out...

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Texturewise, a lot of the hull stuff has been incorporated into the texture - NCC number, ship name, etc. Previously I was making these by literally making the text as an object and then doing a boolean intersection to cut it back to the shape of the hull. It worked, but was hardly an elegant solution. I still find it difficult to unwrap objects for textures, which in turn makes it hard to actually put stuff on the textures without it distorting all over the place. The NCC numbers on the underside of the hull, for instance - I literally had to warp the shape of the text in the texture image so that when blender then warped it to fit the object, the text would wind up distorted back to the way it should look in the first place. And because that's fiddly as hell to do, the only way to do it was trial and error, distorting it by different amounts, applying the texture, and seeing what it looked like. I'm sure there must be a better way to do this!

I also wonder if I'm not going too heavy on the texture, both in terms of how 'heavy' the panelling is and how bumpy the surface is. Maybe should be more subtle about it? Still, I like the way it came out.

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The aft view. Making those shuttlebay doors is a serious PITA! I actually took the opportunity to expand that hull somewhat, giving room for three shuttles instead of two. I'm in two minds about whether the warp core should be in the forward section of that, or up in the saucer. Previously the travel pod dock and ion pod dock were down here, with the intention that this whole hull was dedicated to auxiliary craft of all sorts. I've moved the travel pod to the rim of the saucer instead.

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Primary hull. Now making this text fit is easy. The original image is a square pattern, and blender distorts the shape of the hull, basically stretching it out over the pattern. The upshot is that if you put perfectly normal straight text on the texture, it automatically gets warped to fit the hull curvature. The problem in this case is making text that is actually flat - that's why the ship name, which was straight, is now curved. I can't work out how to straighten it!

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A close up view. This close in, the texture is probably a bit too severe. But then if you make it smoother, in the wide shots it looks completely flat. I try to balance somewhere in the middle.

That's an Orion and an Andorian in the windows. I know Trek usually goes for windows as glowing panels to indicate a room inside, but I like to make them 'real' glass and put a simple internal room behind each window. It takes a while, but I like the effect.


Contemplating what to do next... maybe my border patrol ship, or perhaps the Connie?
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Mikey » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:48 pm

Looks fan-frigging-tactic, GK.
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Bryan Moore » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:13 am

Lovely! And the texture up close isn't really a bad thing - gives it a certain space-weathered look (Ever see the underside of the space shuttle? No Columbia joke) that I think Star Trek sometimes missed out on - only makes sense that you'd have some different coloring, etc.
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Graham Kennedy » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:27 am

Thanks Mikey!

It's funny, when I was in the early days of blender I figured that flat smooth surfaces were a good thing. I even came up with rationales like, with future tech they make ships that are really clean and smooth, nothing sticking out - the iPod/iPhone school of ship design. But it really does look far, far better to give it some roughness.

And yeah, Bryan, in my Coalition universe I tend to go for hull surfaces that are very rough, because I wanted to convey that the ships are extremely massive and industrial in feel. Trek ships traditionally feel more like aeroplanes to me, like something that came out of a clean room in a lab rather than a foundry. This is a little more the former than the latter, and I like how it looks.
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Mikey » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:38 pm

I think part of that “clean” look was in keeping with Roddenberry’s ideas - you don’t fly 90 combat missions and still stay ignorant of what hard use does to a machine - but to my mind even that intentionally clean and smooth look has got to suffer a bit once a ship is out on the sharp end for a while (VOY notwithstanding.)
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby McAvoy » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:31 pm

We all know what a car, a plane or a ship looks like when it's been exposed to years of environmental abuse. Ship's especially, rust lines, chipped paint or missing paint. Cars, their clear coat is worn off so they no longer shine like they do, planes is in between a ship and a car.

What does space do to materials like the hull? Is the hull truly exposed to space alot or is there something protecting it?

Personally, I think Trek ships look pristine due to the SIF always on and it has the secondary benefit of preventing wear on the hull.
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Re: Texturing my Trek destroyer

Postby Bryan Moore » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:11 am

McAvoy wrote:We all know what a car, a plane or a ship looks like when it's been exposed to years of environmental abuse. Ship's especially, rust lines, chipped paint or missing paint. Cars, their clear coat is worn off so they no longer shine like they do, planes is in between a ship and a car.

What does space do to materials like the hull? Is the hull truly exposed to space a lot or is there something protecting it?

Personally, I think Trek ships look pristine due to the SIF always on and it has the secondary benefit of preventing wear on the hull.


Yes, the deflector shield is specifically designed to keep any small particles from hitting the hull, so it should be pristine... but I also like to think that there's still going to be situations where there is going to be at least some wear and tear, and maybe the idea that the deflectors don't keep everything off the hull, perhaps less effective at high speed or when coming out of warp or something. I like the idea of at least a few nicks and dents over time.
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