Monday, 29 October 2012

Doing things the old fashioned way...

One of the great things about SketchUp is that there are literally thousands of plugins available that let you automate various tasks, as well as those tools that come with the program itself. While building Tom's console I tried all sorts of various methods, using a plugin called SoapSkin which will generate a surface stretched over a frame that's already made. The problem with this is that with complex shapes it creates a fair amount of erroneous geometry which you then have to go round and manually tidy up. Also, as the generated geometry isn't very uniform, it's doesn't respond very well to tools like joint push/pull and offset. I'd also tried to use the 'follow me' tool to carve out the shape required on the front, but again this doesn't create perfect geometry (mainly at either end) so I binned that idea.

In the end I went ahead a built most of the front side from scratch, firstly because using this method I could control the output a lot more, and secondly because the geometry required isn't organic. By that I mean the front of Tom's console is actually flat surfaces, not a curved surface, score!

Here's where I am so far with it, most of the key geometry is down it just needs detailing and tidying up now...


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Bridge update

Sorry I've not posted in a while, been busy with a million other things lately, but I'm back. I've started modelling Tom's console, which is still in its infancy right now but getting there slowly. This part really is awkward, its a very strange shape and it's hard to keep sketchup behaving itself with really complex structures like this.

If anyone has any original set plans/blueprints from the making of Voyager, I'd really appreciate seeing them to help with this, drop me an email at, I'd be very grateful.

Anyway, here's 2 quick dirty renders of where things stand at the moment...

Also, I uploaded Tuvok/Harry's console as it's own model, help yourself at;


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Corridor Section...

I've started knocking up a corridor section, just for a bit of variety, this represents about an hours worth of work...

The key geometry is there, it's just a case of fleshing the rest of it out. I wont do much, probably just a straight section and a curved section, just for the sake of doing some renders.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Alcove Stations...

-Forward handrails added
-Ready room/conference lounge doors added
-Front 'alcove' station fleshed out (need modifying slightly, the stations sticking out are too long and rake back too much in my opinion)
-Alcove geometry tidied up significantly
-Detailing around upper walls (either side of viewscreen) added and tidied
-RR/OL door frames modified slightly (not visible)
-Rear most handrail raised by just under a foot to bring it to the correct level

Next big thing I think will be re-doing the viewscreen, it needs to be wider.


Sunday, 26 August 2012

Enterprise M.A.C.O Media Release 5

As part of STE:MACO, we've just released some new screenshots and details regarding what's going on with the mod, check out the full details here:


Main viewer...

I'm going to have to re-model the entire ceiling section by the looks of it, some key parts aren't lining up right and it'll be quicker to just start again with it I think, which is annoying to say the least. Anyway, the main viewer has gone in, and I've also made what I've done available to 3D Warehouse for you to have a nose at, enjoy...


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Brief Update...

As opposed to just posting renders, I thought I'd stick some screenshots from Sketchup itself of a few of the detail areas. I've split the ceiling and the rest of the bridge into 2 separate files now to make working on each independently a little easier, but anyway, here's some shots of what's happening at the moment...


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Set Restoration...

I think I need to direct your attention towards this...

Best of luck to this guy, it's a great  project and I'll be following him very closely.


Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Dirty Renders...

The geometry count is obviously increasing and what with lights going in the render times have got a bit silly, so here's some grubby renders of where things stand right now...


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Back To The Bridge

I've taken the opportunity over the last few days to resume work on the Voyager bridge. The main parts of progress so far are that I've more or less finished Harry/Tuvok's stations, and have begun working on the consoles behind them. During this process it's become evident that my bridge isn't perfectly symmetrical, which is causing some headaches so I'll need to fix that before I go much further.

This is an issue because I'm creating one of each component, and then mirroring a copy to place on the other side of the bridge, and obviously unless the floor plan is 100% symmetrical, things don't fit properly. I'm not entirely sure how this happened as I distinctly remember drawing half the floor, and then copying/flipping that for the other half. Ah well, not a huge issue!


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Enterprise M.A.C.O

Apologies for the lack of updates recently. I've shifted focus in the last week or so as I've started work on the 'Star Trek: Enterprise M.A.C.O' mod as part of their team. My main duties are mapping and lighting, and as I've never done anything in this engine before, I'm having to learn a lot of new bits a pieces. I'll post what I can though as media releases are made, here's a few teasers;


Sunday, 8 July 2012

More Intrepid progress...

Things are coming together nicely with the Voyager bridge now, done a few basic material tests too. The most time consuming part so far has been the console along the back of the room but it's getting there slowly, update shots below.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Intrepid Class Bridge...

As well as the Defiant that I'm working on, I wanted to try my hand at something more complex. The Enterprise D bridge has a hell or a lot of organically curved surfaces and I'm not feeling quite up to that one yet, so I went for the Voyager bridge.

Working from T. Weimann's excellent floor plans (as I did for defiant) I started fleshing out the basic structure, and just built from there. Same procedure as before, I'm just basically using hundreds of screen grabs (I get all these from and working as best as I can from those. Here's some renders showing how things have progressed up to now.

(I did get a bit further, and had fleshed out the rear wall console and the lit floor panels, then the file corrupted itself and I had to revert back to an earlier backup)


Monday, 18 June 2012

Some Renders...

I've completed the ceiling sections now, with just the view-screen and the rear of the room left to complete. I did some quick renders to show it off a bit more...


Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Geometric Madness...

This one's been a pain, a right royal pain. SketchUp simply doesn't do complex curved surfaces, and owing to the complex nature of the nav panel, I've taken to using a plugin called 'Soap Skin Bubble', which basically stretches a skin over a pre-defined shape. So I outlined the shape itself, then skinned it. The plugin works pretty damn well considering what it has to do, but a bit of coaxing and tidying up seems to be required. Still I think I've had a pretty good result here:


Monday, 11 June 2012

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot...

Carrying on with the rear section of the room, today saw the addition of the replicators. I had to modify the thickness of the walls for that section as they were too thin to accept the replicators as they were. Consequently I had to adjust the wall thickness for where the doors are, which took a fair while.

I also made the doors a smidge wider as they didn't look right. Again today has seen a lot of geometry being tidied up, its amazing how much scruffy work there is buried in all the little nooks and crannies. I also trying to keep it tidy behind things, even though you can't see it, it makes it easier to work with/modify if its all nice and clean.

The carpet also saw it's stripes arrive today, and I've re'coloured most of the model to make it a little more accurate. During the course of DS9 this set was lit in so many different ways season to season that to be very honest there's no 'real' colour set, so I'm just going for what looks right to me.

I also finished the plaque, but removed it from the model for now as there's so much geometry there it makes things run noticeable slower, and also upped the file size a fair bit. I'll stick it back in at completion.


Saturday, 9 June 2012


I've spent a lot of time today cleaning up errant geometry, just little bits and pieces that have been annoying me for a while. I did find the time to add the spot lights in though, and made some quick decals, just to add some detail to the thing.

I've also made a start on the back of the room now, with replicators etc going in soon. I figured that I'm far enough along to start a dedication plaque too, couldn't resist!


Monday, 4 June 2012

And Progress

Progress has resumed with the Defiant bridge, namely that I've found a great plugin for Sketchup that lets me push/pull on curved surfaces, which solves the problem of the lit panels around the top of the ceiling.

I've spent a fair bit of time tidying a lot of little bits and pieces that were bugging me too, and it looks like I'm going to have to re-model a large part of the ceiling structure, but there we go, something I'll have to deal with.

Also managed to get back on the purple/dark blue soft cushioning round the edges of the consoles, this parts tricky because of the profile but I think I've figured out a way of doing it.