Modeling on the upper primary hull is finally finished! Here’s a quickie test video. The main updates to look for here are the little tiny static (non-blinking) outboard running lights, a test of a revised Bussard Collector effect on the starboard nacelle, and the completed grid system on the upper primary hull.
Those razor-thin grid “gutters” (modeled at roughly one inch wide and deep) were a giant pain-in-the-arse and surprisingly difficult to accurately cut into the hull. You can’t see it even at the 4K resolution of this test video, but when rendering the Enterprise at the resolution level required for a printed poster (e.g., 10000 x 5000), the gutters are very carefully beveled and rounded on all edges (the radius of the bevels and corners is a mere 15 millimeters). This makes the gutter intersections a nightmare, especially when the intersection occurs at any angle other than 90°, but it looks great in closeup. And even at lower resolutions, the rounded/beveled edges look more realistic and polished as the light catches the nicely-smoothed edges.
So, the exterior of the upper saucer is now completely finished. I still have to add some rooms behind the windows in the teardrop-shaped command module, but once that’s done I can finally move downward to the rim of the saucer, where I still need to add rooms behind the other three quadrants of portholes on the rim (port forward, starboard aft, and port aft). Once that is done, all of the interiors throughout the ship will be finished, with one giant exception: the hangar deck on the stern of the secondary hull. There’s the start of an interior already there, but I haven’t decided yet how much detail to build out inside this model vs. using the dedicated virtual “set” for the hangar that I built back in 2008 (which would have to be updated for use in OctaneRender).
(A jump from video #17 to #107? No, you didn’t miss ninety work-in-process videos; I merely switched the numbering scheme for these test clips to match my LightWave scene file version numbering scheme. This will make things a little more straightforward for me, bookkeeping-wise. Us Trekkies of a certain age need to guard against overthinking the plumbing.)