Updated: July 4, 2011
This is my first completely new gallery since I discovered the awesome magic of Kerkythea, twined with the powers of the Google SketchUp Exporter plugin. No longer will you need to merely enjoy just excellent cartoon-like sketches and GIMP work. You will be blasted with mind-boggling, art-defining proper 3D rendering, all the way. A new era has begun.
All right, my model for today is a spacecraft, yes another one, a complete and new design. Unlike the previous two, which are fairly small and simple in design, this is a complex beast, with convex surfaces, varying aspect and chord ratios of its would-be flight surfaces, and other neat tricks. It was a great challenge and pure satisfaction designing it. Now let's see whether the actual art deserves any praise.
My spacecraft is a large one. It's about 800 meters long and about 600 meters wide, an excepted size from a vacuum warship utilizing warp engines and whatnot. The ships sports a plain silver metal fuselage, with a bit of yellow-orange striping for dramatic effect. You also get energy cannon at the tips of wing units.
And here's the ship on a plain background, same angle:
The ship has a distinct look, somewhat reminiscent of the Star Trek TNG Ferengi ships, with a crescent main body and a narrow, sleek, tubular fuselage. WARP engines are mounted on wingtips in dramatic arrays of six, with lots of cool angles and tubing that add realism.
I think the engines are the best part of the design. While the ship's overall looks are lovely and intimidating, the engines steal the focus. Snaky, dark piping, rubber insulation, a blend of retro-50s technology and something you may actually find on a proper intergalactic cruiser. Getting the engines right was not a simple deal, but it paid off handsomely.
Notice the weapons, too. That looks authentic:
Here's the ship in a comet field, basking in the light of a dual star system. Notice the windows dotting the fuselage, somewhat in a Star Trek fashion. Completely unnecessary, but their presence fills me with childhood nostalgia.
You could almost convince UFO fans those are real shots. Look. A bit of manipulation and Bob's your uncle. Unsharpen, black and white, real sky in the background, some high-quality rendering, a nod to the smart and skilled artist what does it, and there you go.
Here's the top view that emphasizes the cool, combat looks. You get the small, sharp delta wings, the inverted curve of the main body, the bulky yet sexy engine units, the missile-like fuselage. Hints at aerodynamics without really being aerodynamic, as air friction is useless in outer space. Notice the command bridge, on the main body spine, a sort of an elevated ridge. I sin the same error like everyone else, exposing the core ship functions to the outside world, but then everyone does it.
Here's one shot with natural materials imported from Google SketchUp. Still quite lovely. The weapon units are blue, as well as the subspace engine intake, the large circular element in the front section of the ship. The fuselage is covered in dirty corrugated metal sheeting, created from an image.
And finally, we end with a sunrise in space, the most classic of all images:
Some third-party images were used for the model backgrounds. I would like to thank the creators for their beautiful and inspiring work, which made into my models.
Space backgrounds taken from NASA.
I'm totally pleased with Kerkythea. Making 3D art has never been more fun. Software aside, I think this model is quite nice. Engines are the main focus of the thing; sleek, complex, asymmetric, with snaking fuel lines making them more than just a cheap geometric stunt. The main body is also a neat trick, with different aspect ratio in all three dimensions, following curved surface. Not easily achievable, and if you ask me now, it must have been a stroke of good luck. Throw in some perfect scenery from NASA website, and you get perfection.
I guess this model deserves a real 10/10, but you be the judge of that. See you soon.