Creating a its own space station or spaceship was my, actually I assume every boy's dream in their childhood. If not, at least I really wanted to create my own spaceship if I had a ability to do it. Now with the ability to do it and with help from a tutorial by Blenderguru, I decided to create my own space ship, or space station.
First things first, I decided to create the interior first to get the hang of what is like to create a space interior. Maybe in the future, I might do a exterior version of a spaceship or space station as well.
I did record almost all of the process that I did for this project, however I realized the video file was too big so I split into two parts: part 1 for modeling and part 2 for texture and compositing.
During the videos, you will be able to discover large number of similarity comparison to a spaceship interior tutorial by Andrew Price from Blender guru. Since it was first time for me to do something like this, I decided to follow the tutorials and get help from there. Hence I was able to get majority of ideas for spaceship interior from his tutorial. You can check out his blender tutorial here.
The process can be divided into 4 process:
We could say that the compositing and Photoshop is the same thing, hence there were only 3 process to go through. Each of the process was very tedious, as I had to repeat large number of processes again and again, and the compositing for this project was difficult to do.
From this practice, I was able to realize the great importance of using a 'mirror' tool and 'array' tool in blender. As some of you might have realized, the major parts of the interior were duplicated and copied to create the scene. Hence the actual modeling was not that difficult. However, working on a large scenery creates gap that drops the detail of the scene significantly and if there is an error, it could be difficult to fix it. Plus due to large poly count, my mac started to get slower which increased the working time of the whole process of this project.
The doodads (the pipes, switches etc) of the scene was again very tedious process, as I had to repeat them in order to create the pieces and fill up the empty space. And during the process, it was difficult to stay focused as I was not able to stop doubting whether I was doing correctly or not. I realized that this happens as I am not familiar with working in large environment, and this is something that I have to do more often in order for me to get into next level.
Half way through the modeling process I decided to do something that I did not plan in the beginning: to alter the interior slightly to give more dynamic to the interior design.
As you can see from the image above, I decided to add a hallway on the side of a existing hallway which did give some interesting interior sceneries after rendering. This, of course, consisted of more work, however I think it was worth it since it gave me an experience of working in a huge environment for 3D modeling. As I mentioned before, I think I am at the stage where I need to start working on huge scene and make them photo realistic as my next stage of 3D model development.
Adding texture was almost identical to 3D modeling, except it was more tedious in the other way. As you can assume, it was just a process of attaching a texture to an object and make sure the space was filled with texture that is allocated. However due to the complex shape of the interior, the UV wrapping process itself took more than 2 hours to complete. The other texturing process took about the same time which you can assume that the process was very tedious and tiring. However I was able to learn variety of techniques from this practice such as understanding using the 'fac node' which allows an image to act as a mask, creating more realistic shape by using bump map and normal map and also controlling the displacement by using a colorRamp node. Although it was tedious, the knowledge and tips that I was able to learn from the process seems to be very valuable and needed to in order for me to get better.
Compositing and Post-production
Honestly speaking, the process of compositing extremely difficult. Without compositing, the rendered scene looked very fake and unrealistic. Even with the compositing, it was hard to visualize the scene to be realistic. Although I did use photoshop in order to make the scene natural, it was very difficult and frustrating process. due to this, I was realized that texture and compositing is something that I have to practice more often and improve on it.
Below are final images of both with and without compositing. From there, you can discover the difference how the compositing effects the final outcome.