7 January 2015

Worldbuilding - Star Destroyer Planning

It's a big undertaking, I knew that when I thought about it. It only really hit me when I saw the abject horror on my tutors face when I said what I was going to do.

So to prepare, I'm going to plan out what and how I'm going to do this.

Modelling will be done in 3DSMax, much to several peoples chagrin. I chose this instead of Maya because the star destroyer is entirely symmetrical, and I am much more fluent in modelling with symmetry in Max than in Maya.

UV Mapping and Texturing will be done in Maya as I am more competent in how Maya handles unwrapping and texturing. As these are both Autodesk products it will be relatively pain free to move the model from one package to the next.

Due to the monolithic scale and size of the model, instead unwrapping how a normal vehicle would be done, I will treat this like a building and utilize tiling textures, this is a different skill set than normal texturing and I plan to make as many of the source textures as I can myself.

References and model sheets will be as follows

Model sheet will be lifted and tweaked from this poster which I personally own. The relevant section will be traced and then scanned. This will just be to get the ship silhouette correct. Details and such will be garnered from these photographs from Lifebuzz. Any further references will be in the form of screencaps of the unofficial Star Wars Despecialised.

As can be ascertained from these, the physical miniature used in filming was incredibly complicated. My final model will not be quite as detailed, even with the choice of platform. Instead the majority of this detail will be garnered from normal mapping on high-fidelity textures. The brief imposes a limitation of 2-30k triangles on the model.

As an additional bonus, I intend to create a small unity build showing off how I envisioned the asset to be used.

 From this desktop wallpaper of admittedly unknown source, one aspect in particular can be ascertained. The underside of the vehicle is much less detailed than the top. However from this screencap from Episode 4 The underside is revealed to be just as detailed, just smoother overall with small divots and trenches. This is suitable for normal mapping, which I intend to use liberally.