Stargate 2020

David_CGC

Member
Last summer, I started working on a new model of the stargate from the eponymous. I'm intending to complete versions based on how it appeared in the original movie, as well as the two types seen in the SG-1 and Atlantis TV shows. I've just finished modeling the movie version. Modeled, textured, and rendered in stock Lightwave 2020, just under two million polygons. You can see more renders from various angles and lighting tests on my website.

I do intend to make the model available for download, but I want to do some animation rigging and template scenes for it, first, and I think it'll be more efficient to do those at the same time as the SG-1 versions.

Movie_Orthos_Sheet_1_half.jpg


 

Shabazzy

LightWave Fan Boi
This is an insanely great rendition.

I had an inspection on your site of the ring detail and am trying to figure out if you used displacement maps to create the decal or created the geometry manually. It's gorgeous work in either case, but the thing that really warms my heart is the fact that you created it using the stock LightWave tools and no plug-ins. True blue keeping it real, sir. True blue.

Awesome job. I can't wait to see the finished version all rigged and working.
 

David_CGC

Member
Thanks! All the detail is modeled, down to the engraved arcs running over the front and rear surfaces (and boy, did I regret that decision when I did the ones that bent across a corner). Spent a lot of time these past few weeks going over test renders against high-contrast backgrounds looking for tiny holes and flipped polygons left behind from all that boolean subtraction.
 

lardbros

Not so newbie member
Very cool and an obvious labour of love. I'm a massive fan of the movie and SG-1 series, so will be watching your progress on this.
Do you plan on doing the whole gate opening water type effect thing too?
 

David_CGC

Member
I'd like to do the full suite of matching effects for the stargate. I made the standard "puddle" effect for my last stargate, but I'm probably going to use another approach, since my old version was very non-photoreal and I'm not sure it would even work in the new rendering engine. I have some thoughts on how to do the "flare" when the 'gate initially opens and closes, as well as the "kawoosh" explosion effect when it comes out. The "classic" way to do it in 3D is with morph targets and displacements, but that never looked right to me. I have a couple ideas I want to try, like using a plane being dynamically deformed by a dummy sphere, to try and get more of a billowing movement from it, or even simulating the water splash in another program and bringing it in as a VDB. I have very little experience with dynamics, or with Lightwaves new volumetric system, so I'll be learning as I go.

At the very least, I'm sure I can make authentic puddles, both the slower-moving blue version from the TV shows, and the faster, mirrored version from the movie.
 

prometheus

REBORN
I'd like to do the full suite of matching effects for the stargate. I made the standard "puddle" effect for my last stargate, but I'm probably going to use another approach, since my old version was very non-photoreal and I'm not sure it would even work in the new rendering engine. I have some thoughts on how to do the "flare" when the 'gate initially opens and closes, as well as the "kawoosh" explosion effect when it comes out. The "classic" way to do it in 3D is with morph targets and displacements, but that never looked right to me. I have a couple ideas I want to try, like using a plane being dynamically deformed by a dummy sphere, to try and get more of a billowing movement from it, or even simulating the water splash in another program and bringing it in as a VDB. I have very little experience with dynamics, or with Lightwaves new volumetric system, so I'll be learning as I go.

At the very least, I'm sure I can make authentic puddles, both the slower-moving blue version from the TV shows, and the faster, mirrored version from the movie.

Lightwave´s VDB allows you to run the gas solver if you set a force to the smoke gas solver in the direction of how the Kawoosh effect does.
And that gas solver can then be convered to a mesh for surfacing with water materials.
I think Lightwave sure has that covered on youtube for how to convert, not entirely sure though.

You can also simulate fluid smoke in other software and import to vdb and convert from fog volumet o level set.

the absolutely simplest conversion i sto load the vdb with vdb info, plug it to fog to level set, then to a saver node..but there are also other nodes you may want to adjust resolutions.
 

David_CGC

Member
Yeah, I saw LWGuru's tutorial and put it aside for when I'm ready to start working on the effects. Absolutely amazing what's possible now.

Currently, I'm doing the animation rigging and final renders for the SG-1 version of the 'gate, which I hope to have ready to go in a week or so. I've also finished the template scenes I wanted to do for the movie version and put it up for download on my website.
 

JohnMarchant

Active member
Looks great David, shame F3D is no longer around to showcase it.

Did you ever manage to finish your Martian stuff. I did not see it on your website.
 
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David_CGC

Member
I think it was RedTed who was working on the lander from The Martian, not me. I have a vague memory somebody else was doing the big mothership... but that also wasn't me.

Nearly finished with the SG-1 version and ready to put that up for download, so, naturally, just yesterday I finally found some construction diagrams from of the 'gate on-line that actually have a legible measurement on them (specifically, that the inner radius is 7.5 feet). I'm going to try and double-check it against a set diagram to confirm that size (assuming I can find one of those with a legible measurement on them), but if it's accurate, it looks like my 'gate came out just a tad too big. Luckily, scaling it to 90% seems to bring it to within less than a quarter-inch of the correct size, and I don't feel like redoing all my rigging and texturing, so I'll just scale the parent null to 0.9 in all the setup scenes and call it a day. Work dumber, not harder.

There was also a very interesting diagram from the series of an entire alternate glyph set for Abydos, which are not the symbols that were used in the movie, and as far as I can tell, were never actually used. I thought about using them as more point-of-origins, or even an entire alternate inner ring set, representing the stargates of the Asgard galaxy, but after making 85+ glyphs for the SG-1 model (between the address symbols and the alternate origin symbols I already made up), I might snap if I have to clean up even one more bevel. Maybe I'll save it for version 3.5 of the model.
 

JohnMarchant

Active member
I think it was RedTed who was working on the lander from The Martian, not me. I have a vague memory somebody else was doing the big mothership... but that also wasn't me.

Nearly finished with the SG-1 version and ready to put that up for download, so, naturally, just yesterday I finally found some construction diagrams from of the 'gate on-line that actually have a legible measurement on them (specifically, that the inner radius is 7.5 feet). I'm going to try and double-check it against a set diagram to confirm that size (assuming I can find one of those with a legible measurement on them), but if it's accurate, it looks like my 'gate came out just a tad too big. Luckily, scaling it to 90% seems to bring it to within less than a quarter-inch of the correct size, and I don't feel like redoing all my rigging and texturing, so I'll just scale the parent null to 0.9 in all the setup scenes and call it a day. Work dumber, not harder.

There was also a very interesting diagram from the series of an entire alternate glyph set for Abydos, which are not the symbols that were used in the movie, and as far as I can tell, were never actually used. I thought about using them as more point-of-origins, or even an entire alternate inner ring set, representing the stargates of the Asgard galaxy, but after making 85+ glyphs for the SG-1 model (between the address symbols and the alternate origin symbols I already made up), I might snap if I have to clean up even one more bevel. Maybe I'll save it for version 3.5 of the model.
Yeah my bad you are right it was RedTed, not sure where to find him now since F3D went down for good. Indeed smarter not harder, scaling the parent is no biggy. At least its just a scale issue and not like you got better plans to find out that some of the modeling is not right.
 

David_CGC

Member
Well, apparently, it is an inch thicker than it should be, but the setpiece was so rattley by the end there, I'm not sure which of us is further off the construction plans. ;)

The SG-1 version is now complete and up for download, with plenty of set-up scenes for dialing animations and alternate origin symbols to represent stargates on different planets, as well as wallpapers and example animations.
SG1_Orthos_Sheet_1_half.jpg


 

David_CGC

Member
The movie, SG-1, and Atlantis 'gates should all be the same thickness radially, from inner rim to outer rim. It's hard for me to tell where the problem came from, if it was a mismatch between the plans and the final construction, or one big mistake I made, or a bunch of tiny mistakes I made. Probably the only way I'd ever know for sure is if someone compared my model to the CAD model the Enfants de Mac Gyver people built, since they had access to original pieces of the SG-1 gate and could take measurements and weren't just going off photos and auction-thumbnails of pre-construction diagrams.
 

JohnMarchant

Active member
Maybe you should drop them a line and see if they could do a check with their CAD plans. I'm sure it would be interesting to them as well. Im sure if its off, its not by much and probably could be rectified at a later date.
 

David_CGC

Member
I tried to get in touch with them last year after I found a caption on one of their images saying they'd appreciate it if other artists checked with them for permission when using their photos and materials as research for their own work, but I never got a response. Either way, it doesn't really bother me, the model is certainly much more on the mark than the one I made fifteen years ago, and that's enough for me.
 

JohnMarchant

Active member
Indeed you are correct, the differences no one would really notice unless they had spent time studying the various versions. I know they are French so maybe they did not get back to you because of language or because they were worried you might be wanting to do the same thing as they are. Some people can be very protective of their work and rightly so. Still a great model and im going to drop it into a scene when i get the time.
 
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