USS Sirius Beauty

USS Sirius Beauty

I have been trying to convert some metlesitsfleetyards meshes over from MAX into blender cycles. I don't know why this one caught my eye so much, maybe because it is one you don't see too much. This model is supposed to be the "refit" that was to happen to the Enterprise after it's 5-year mission and before it second 5-year mission that was to have been seen in the Star Trek Phase II series. That series was shelved and Star Trek the Motion Picture happened and the "refit" that happened to the Enterprise was the iconic movie models we know now. However, who is to say that the phase II redesign actually happened, just not to the Enterprise. So I give you the USS Sirius.

The fact that this model conversion only got completed in the same week that the new star trek tv series started is a nice coincidence.

I hope to push out a few more images of this converted model.

Blender Cycles Phase II Enterprise by David Metlesits

more ...

Interceptor Nebula

Interceptor Nebula

I found this stock texture today for a nebula:


I was curious to see what messing around with emission planes in blender can give for for lighting setup. Still have a bit too learn but it is interesting how lighting and compositing in blender work.

The Interceptor mesh is mine, and I am also experimenting with textures in blender, particularly how the specular channel works.

more ...

Drydock Flyby

Drydock Flyby

So my experiments with blender cycles continued. This shot is similar to one I did in lightwave years ago:

Gryphon Flyby

However every thing has been converted over to blender cycles. I have been playing around with the Interceptor Class mesh I did years ago to learn more about blender. So far this conversion in addition to just basic texturing it also included UV'd registry (never done that before) and driver controlled lighting. So for a change the ship in drydock is "off". Also not shown here but the nacelles are also animated, but that was also true in the lightwave version.

Also included is the blender cycles re-textured nemesis dry dock and the gyphon. I thought of adding another background ship or two, but felt the image was getting too busy as it was.

I always loved this drydock, so much funky lightly comes from the mesh it self. And the gryphon mesh is always a favourite of mine which I can never get enough of.

Interceptor Class & Planet - Mavek

Gryphon - Kaden

Drydock - Jason Tinsley

more ...

Constellation Class Shuttle Craft Bay 02 & 03

Constellation Class Shuttle Craft Bay 02 Constellation Class Shuttle Craft Bay 03

Ok an update or two. Based on the texturing work I have started again and resized the bay more appropriate to the dimension of the constellation class and also mocked up the shuttle bay door. I hope to animate it eventually so that it lifts and you can see the individual segments collapse.

more ...

Constellation Class Shuttle Craft Bay 01

Constellation Class Shuttle Craft Bay 01

My challenge this year is to move over to blender cycles as much as I can. When I can import and update, I do. However one mesh I found that I couldn't convert was evilgenius180 shuttle craft bay that was attached to the stargazer/constellation class mesh. I figured this might be a good location to start cutting my teeth on modelling. Up til now it has been rendering and texturing.

Attached below is my first model test. It is the initial study for some of the textures. The lighting is contained in the mesh, as the roof is an emission surface.

One of the powerful things about Blender (at least as advertised) is the usage of modifiers to increase model design in a non destructive way. So the wall struts are only two extruded planes that have be depth, using a solidify modifier, rounding, using a bevel modifier and multiple instances using an array modifier.

The shuttle craft model is my blender cycles conversion of the lightwave one that Pheylan released a number of years back. I have been playing with it for a while, but haven't published any usage of it.

more ...

Star Trek Discovery Trailer

Well after a long long wait the first trailer and views from the new Start Trek TV series, Discovery, are beginning to percolate out.

This is the Netflix tailer, for international viewers, the hint is in the title card, "This Autumn"

It looks good, but a little too JJ Trek and, at least from the trailer, they seem to be leaning on Vulcans and Klingons very heavily. Seems a bit lazy. Trek is a great franchise. I have always said that it is probably the only franchise that does not require a reboot. Just take a ship and a crew, point them in a direction and that's the show. The over reliance on the familar, same species, known timeline, familar face (Sarek) reeks of a production team that do not have trust in what they have.

But the good news for me is the first sighting of one of the new ships for the series, the Shenzhou, coming through a cloud. Still yet to see the Discovery though.


more ...

Scotty's Engine Repairs - Redacted


I don't know if I jinxed myself. My last post was about how creative types have a tenuous link to using pop culture properties, provided the rights holders don't object.

As a hobby I try and see if I can replicate some piece of art I have have seen elsewhere and do a spin on it, typically using Star Trek as the jumping off point, in an open source tool, in this case I was trying to learn the finer points of Inkscape.

One of my favourite T-Shirts ever, mainly because it is a fantastic conversation starter is this one:


I bought 3 at the time, partly to average out the shipping to get it delivered to Australia, but as a T it only gets better over time, so it lends itself to aging so well.

So I decided to see if could replicate the style in Inkscape, but using something Star Trek as the base. Scottys Engine Repairs was the result. I was happy enough with the image and felt it was within the line of acceptability of parody/fair use and put it up on Redbubble over two years ago.

Sadly the design did not set the world alight and languished there, I had pretty much forgotten about it until yesterday when I got an Infrigement Notice (?) from Redbubble saying that the rights holders of Star Trek, had flagged it for violation and that they were taking it down.

We're sorry, but we had to remove some of your artwork from the Redbubble marketplace because it may contain material that violates someone's rights. We identified this material in your artwork based on guidance provided to us by the owner of those rights.

More information:

Rights holder: CBS Studios Inc. Subject matter: Star Trek

Affected artwork:

Scotty's Engine Repairs

I am a little upset, I really wish the rights holders of Star Trek, would put out more licensed content like this. I have no plan to fight it. I will say though, I was sure, based on what I have seen elsewhere this would stand up to a parody/fair use situation.

However the timing is interesting, I have to suspect that the rights holders, CBS, are in the process of doing a clean up job in advance of their new TV show, Discovery, starting in the Fall (or as we saying in the rest of the world Autumn). I hope it is a great show, but the stewardship of Star Trek and its relationship with the fans over the last 10 years has not been great.

Anyway I am fairly sure I can share the image here, provided I am not trying to sell it, so it will only be a bit of fan art from now on ...

more ...

Ars Technica - Hanging by a thread: How the online nerdy T-shirt economy exists in an IP world

AT AT Anatomy

Above image of the first T-Shirt design I ever bought online. That number is over 50 now.

Ars Technica have a very interesting write up on the pop culture T-Shirt phenomena here

"The daily model allows you to carry no inventory whatsoever," says Matt Ingleby, CEO and one of the founding partners of RIPT Apparel. The designs that we sell, we print after they're sold... and really, for me, being in supply chain management, that was like kind of the Holy Grail of all companies. If you can run a company where you don't have to hold inventory, then you know, you're golden."

more ...

TNG First Steps Into The Digital Frontier

I don't often get surprised on the internet, but I was with this one. Star Trek as a TV show and it's descendents didn't get into the CGI world until part way through DS9. Babylon 5 was the first TV show to do all digital space shots from the start, in 1993. It turns out that the guys on TNG did experiment with CGI, but when they started, back in 1987, the technology just wasn't there yet.

Apparantly this was an extra on a DVD/BluRay set that only came out in the States and Germany.

more ...

Cassiopeia in Japan

Age of Warp Japan

This is an idea for a T-shirt design that was inspired from another T-shirt I saw on Tee Fury recently. I always loved the red bull T-shirt I picked up in Thailand many years ago that had the familiar logo but all the writing was in Thai script.

I made a stab at trying to translate all the writing into Japanese, but even getting it wrong is actually part of the appeal.

Age of Warp was a TV show that got as far as making an unaired pilot back in the early 90s.

It featured the crew of the Starship Cassiopeia as it explored the new frontier.

Here is a replication of the promo T-shirts that was released for the Japanese market.

more ...