Just a quickie for today.
The exterior of the secondary hull is finally finished, and I revised (again!) the “Christmas lights” visual effect behind the domes at the front of the warp nacelles. Judging by this test clip, I still need to do a little tweaking on the brightness and color saturation of the lights. And in case anyone is interested, there really are ten virtual “bulbs” shaped like old-fashioned Christmas lights behind each set of spinning blades in the domes. After a lot of experimentation, I figured the best way to get as close as possible to replicating the look of that unique effect was to reproduce how they did it fifty years ago on the 11′ studio miniature. It’s still not quite right, but I like the current look so once I’ve done my tweaks I’m declaring victory and moving on.
Besides adjusting the Christmas lights, the major to-dos are finishing the hangar deck interior built into the aft end of the secondary hull, applying OctaneRender-compatible materials to the warp nacelles and pylons, and a final weatherizing pass on the entire ship.
Also, true confession time: If you freeze the video at a couple of key points you will notice a couple of boo-boos.
- At 0:16, you will see the stars (which were rendered in a separate pass) shining through not only the sensor dome atop the bridge, but also through the port warp nacelle! It’s a weird alpha layer bug in OctaneRender that I need to figure out.
- The second problem is the color space of the entire video. Originally (and quite by accident), this was done in what’s called “linear” color space. The featured still image for this post (which is also shown below) is taken directly from the plates used to assemble the video–you can see how much darker this was beforehand. I’m still learning about how color spaces work in OctaneRender, but I didn’t want to toss what was otherwise a good video, so I pushed the gamma hard in post-processing. This is not only evident in the fact that the video is much lighter, but also where the colors got “crushed” by the gamma adjustment. This is most obvious at around 0:15, where the deflector dish looks hella out of whack. The visual effect of the “Christmas lights” also gets messed up by the gamma correction, becoming more and more obvious as the Enterprise approaches the camera. D’OH!
My partner claims I’m color-blind. Maybe that’s not an entirely inaccurate observation!
(Original post edited to add link to the YouTube version of the video. For some reason I still have not figured out, Vimeo shows the first few seconds of the video at 1080p resolution, then switches to 4K. It’s not the video I uploaded… I don’t know why this is happening. It’s certainly annoying, though! Grumble.)