# Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes

• Posts: 0
edited December 2012

Rareth said:

depends, do you need to show the whole planet? or could you do something like in the opening credits of Enterprise where they show that spacestation in orbit?

I don't know really... I had assumed I would be building it and then figuring out how to shoot it... Now I've built a little of it to scale I am seeing I really don't need a full "space-sized" ring....

At the same time, like Joe was saying about 2001, just basing it on a scientific "reality" has an elegance all its own...

I don't even know if 2.5km is in anyway realistic... you know... in a sci-fi kind of "realistic"... I was thinking like HALF that ( little over 1km) but then there is just nothing on the screen... :blank:

Post edited by wetcircuit on
• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

Rareth said:

depends, do you need to show the whole planet? or could you do something like in the opening credits of Enterprise where they show that spacestation in orbit?

I don't know really... I had assumed I would be building it and then figuring out how to shoot it... Now I've built a little of it to scale I am seeing I really don't need a full "space-sized" ring....

At the same time, like Joe was saying about 2001, just basing it on a scientific "reality" has an elegance all its own...

I don't even know if 2.5km is in anyway realistic... you know... in a sci-fi kind of "realistic"... I was thinking like HALF that ( little over 1km) but then there is just nothing on the screen... :blank:

well a torus with a 2.5km cross section at the orbit of the ISS (which according to the wiki The ISS is maintained in a nearly circular orbit with a minimum mean altitude of 330 km (205 mi) and a maximum of 410 km (255 mi)

and the volume of a torus is 2 × π2 × R × r2 big R is the radius of the torus, small r is the radius of the cross section

http://www.mathsisfun.com/geometry/torus.html

is this all habitable space? or more trusses and beams with modules spaced around the torus?. either way this is ALOT Of materials to put in orbit.

• Posts: 0
edited December 2012

OOOH! :coolsmirk: This is some of the info I needed! Thank you!

Yeah, it's all questions I *thought* I knew the answers to... until I started really trying to visualize it, and model it... LOL!

I was debating doing a full ring or a crescent.... Something big enough to be a parallel parking lot for big ships (sky harbor - not big ships fitting inside a "garage" but docking spaces... So a ship approaches the ring with the planet as "sky" above and space below (the way the space shuttle orients in orbit, top towards Earth). The outside (spaceward or "down") surface of the ring would be a thick hull. the inside of the ring (planetward or "up" would be more like a city.... aaaaaaall the way around....

But now I'm realizing how much material that would be.... So I'm thinking maybe it should be more like beads on a necklace...? But then what would be the point of having them physically connected? Just to have the excuse of building a subway train around the planet to connect all these space station cities...? lol

And reading other people's ideas are even worse, Giant mirrors, open atmospheres, free flowing rivers... Now that I tried to do it the whole concept suddenly seems ridiculous. LOL!

Post edited by wetcircuit on
• Posts: 1,458
edited December 2012

ok here is a cylinder, ( I did this in bryce) 25 unit across 100 units long (scale would be 10 bryce units to the KM for this demonstration)
it is located 3700 units UP(370km), the camera is looking up at it, at a 49 degree angle. diffuse color is full red, ambience is at about 5 (out of 100) and is also full red. camera is .01 units above the ground (around 100m)
atmosphere turned off, so no fog, haze or clouds, sun is on.

this is how it would be visible from earth, (if painted red, and glowed a bit)

Post edited by Rareth on
• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Yeah, it's still just a thin thread.... Visually unspectacular... :/

I tried using the surface replicator for a quick "beads on a necklace" option, but even with cubes 3km across, and enough cubes to nearly "fill in" the ring (over a thousand), it is still visually unspectacular...

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 2012

Yeah, it's still just a thin thread.... Visually unspectacular... :/

I tried using the surface replicator for a quick "beads on a necklace" option, but even with cubes 3km across, and enough cubes to nearly "fill in" the ring (over a thousand), it is still visually unspectacular...

well you can always go this route.. just get closer for the visually spectacular shots.

Post edited by Rareth on
• Posts: 9,050
edited December 1969

The awful Starship Troopers film put a docking ring/space station around the moon if that helps. ;-)

Some of the latest ideas to get stuff into orbit is to set up space elevators that would run up lines built of nano-fiber tubes.

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 2012

here is a better shot of the orbital ring..

edit* and of course I forgot to turn shadows off.

Post edited by Rareth on
• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

The awful Starship Troopers film put a docking ring/space station around the moon if that helps. ;-)

Some of the latest ideas to get stuff into orbit is to set up space elevators that would run up lines built of nano-fiber tubes.

if you can put a docking ring around the moon, then you have the capability to mine the asteroid belts for materials..

I'm not fond of the space elevator idea, talk about a target...

• Posts: 9,050
edited December 1969

Rareth said:
The awful Starship Troopers film put a docking ring/space station around the moon if that helps. ;-)

Some of the latest ideas to get stuff into orbit is to set up space elevators that would run up lines built of nano-fiber tubes.

if you can put a docking ring around the moon, then you have the capability to mine the asteroid belts for materials..

I'm not fond of the space elevator idea, talk about a target...

It's better than the idea floating around in the early '90s (I think) of building a giant cannon into a mountain and shooting payloads into orbit.

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

Rareth said:
The awful Starship Troopers film put a docking ring/space station around the moon if that helps. ;-)

Some of the latest ideas to get stuff into orbit is to set up space elevators that would run up lines built of nano-fiber tubes.

if you can put a docking ring around the moon, then you have the capability to mine the asteroid belts for materials..

I'm not fond of the space elevator idea, talk about a target...

It's better than the idea floating around in the early '90s (I think) of building a giant cannon into a mountain and shooting payloads into orbit.

the maglev launcher? yeah thats an accident waiting to happen, not to mention it would probably be only good for unmanned payloads, unless it had a really long track to accelerate on to keep the Gs low

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

ok fixed the ring shadow, also had to tweak the torus , the inner radius is 1 (its what bryce calls it) and at this size is around 10 byce units across or for this scale 10km cross section. For Reference the over all diameter of Deep Space 9 is 1451.82 meters, or 1.4km. ( I use this because I have the technical manual sitting on my desk).

• Posts: 9,050
edited December 1969

Rareth said:
ok fixed the ring shadow, also had to tweak the torus , the inner radius is 1 (its what bryce calls it) and at this size is around 10 byce units across or for this scale 10km cross section. For Reference the over all diameter of Deep Space 9 is 1451.82 meters, or 1.4km. ( I use this because I have the technical manual sitting on my desk).

Looking pretty good.

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

Rareth said:
ok fixed the ring shadow, also had to tweak the torus , the inner radius is 1 (its what bryce calls it) and at this size is around 10 byce units across or for this scale 10km cross section. For Reference the over all diameter of Deep Space 9 is 1451.82 meters, or 1.4km. ( I use this because I have the technical manual sitting on my desk).

Looking pretty good.

thanks just trying to assist Holly with visualizing the orbital ring.

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Yeah, it's all very cool. I think I have to decide to "just go with it" and not over anylize it.... I think a 10km cross section is very big... especially as the whole length of the torus... but these are kind of aesthetic decisions... In practical terms I don't think there is anypoint in attempting to model a detailed ring at planetary scale... Just a white glowing line or thread will do at that scale...

And the opposite, no point in having a full planet if only a fraction will be seen, I can save resources by having a "slice" of the planet that dominates any close-ups on the ring.... Eitherway there is a loss of some scale, so probably use the planet version to establish scale, then move on....

I actually like the idea of a rail gun or magnetic launcher to shoot payloads into space. They would be accurately "lobbed" to a specific altitude, and then I presume "caught" by a service ship already in space. No need for manned delivery... (people might use space planes or something gentler).

The elevator thing is also interesting... I kind of like the idea of a giant space crane, but I think shooting smaller payloads into orbit from a gun is more practical....?

• Posts: 239
edited December 2012

I just did some rough calculations for a 'docking torus' in a 500km orbit and it amused me.

Giving a reasonable cross section of 10m radius and a very conservative 10cm wall thickness, assuming aluminium construction with no additional weight due to internal structure.

That would come in at 728,716,867,016 Kg
The ISS is 450,000 Kg

so not far to go.

Personally I'd go with the pearl necklace idea and build it from hollowed out asteroids. Theoretically (if it could be done at all) taking an asteroid out of the belt and flying it into earth orbit would be more efficient than dragging stuff up from earth. The asteroid would serve a dual purpose as an orbital mine and space station. Barring accidents; such as wiping out the whole worlds population.

(A torus in geosynchronous orbit would weigh 4,470,592,500,000 Kg.)

:)

Post edited by RoguePilot on
• Posts: 9,050
edited December 1969

I just did some rough calculations for a 'docking torus' in a 500km orbit and it amused me.

Giving a reasonable cross section of 10m radius and a very conservative 10cm wall thickness, assuming aluminium construction with no additional weight due to internal structure.

That would come in at 728,716,867,016 Kg
The ISS is 450,000 Kg

so not far to go.

Personally I'd go with the pearl necklace idea and build it from hollowed out asteroids. Theoretically (if it could be done at all) taking an asteroid out of the belt and flying it into earth orbit would be more efficient than dragging stuff up from earth. The asteroid would serve a dual purpose as an orbital mine and space station. Barring accidents; such as wiping out the whole worlds population.

(A torus in geosynchronous orbit would weigh 4,470,592,500,000 Kg.)

:)

I'd like you to see you figure out the math from the ST: Next Generation episode (with Mr. Scott) where a long gone alien civilization built a sphere around their solar system! ;-)

• Posts: 9,050
edited December 1969

This is going to take awhile to render....

I'm working on my ringed planet scene. I'm using a place-holder texture for the planet right now, but I want to try doing it with procedural shaders. I like the texture of a rocky planet, so I'm going with that. I also like the visible asteroids in the ring, but I have scaled them down. I also flattened and widened the torus I'm using in the replicator. To add drama to the rings, I'm adding a second ring and a surface replicator to which I've added volumetric clouds. These I've colored to match the asteroids.

It's taking forever to fill the grid....

• Posts: 0
edited December 2012

Ha! Yeah the Dyson Sphere episode... where all the ship's scientists sat around going "This is AMAZING! Unbelievable!" etc, so they didn't have to explain it... Also it was created by an "ancient race" so we don't have to explain that either. LOL

Geosynchonous was my first thought, but once I saw how "low" the ISS is, and also some of the space elevator proposals in low Earth Orbit changed my mind... Less raw materials...

At the altitude of the ISS my ring would spin approx 15.5 times a day.... I figure it is mostly made from cement or baked ceramic (not metal), the materials coming from a source in space (moon mountains?). The purpose would be to collect/process the goods being shot up from the planet, mostly so the planet can have less polution.

I tried a bead render from the same angle... Space Cubes are 10KM.... I just don't like the look of it... Maybe I need to get use to it....
It's just surface replicator so their positions are just random along the ring....

Post edited by wetcircuit on
• Posts: 239
edited December 1969

I like that.

The spacing doesn't have to be even and if you consider that each 'cube' might be like a self contained village then they may want to move away from the neighbours on occasion. The connecting cable can be a means of shuffling the beads around so that you don't need a continuous structure.

Just one thing, try to get rid of the shadow on the planet, it gives the scale away.

• Posts: 1,458
edited December 1969

Yeah, it's all very cool. I think I have to decide to "just go with it" and not over anylize it.... I think a 10km cross section is very big... especially as the whole length of the torus... but these are kind of aesthetic decisions... In practical terms I don't think there is anypoint in attempting to model a detailed ring at planetary scale... Just a white glowing line or thread will do at that scale...

And the opposite, no point in having a full planet if only a fraction will be seen, I can save resources by having a "slice" of the planet that dominates any close-ups on the ring.... Eitherway there is a loss of some scale, so probably use the planet version to establish scale, then move on....

I actually like the idea of a rail gun or magnetic launcher to shoot payloads into space. They would be accurately "lobbed" to a specific altitude, and then I presume "caught" by a service ship already in space. No need for manned delivery... (people might use space planes or something gentler).

The elevator thing is also interesting... I kind of like the idea of a giant space crane, but I think shooting smaller payloads into orbit from a gun is more practical....?

the 10k is the minimum limit Bryce will give me for the torus cross section with the inner radius set to 1, for this scale. way too big for any reasonable space project unless we're talking Star Wars or Star Trek level Tech. still with the close in render, you can't tell what the size is, just that its Big and it goes around a planet. the string of beads idea is great, just remember if they can shift position on a rotating ring, there is the potential to unbalance it and destabalize the spin. (hmm story idea..)

• Posts: 1,145
edited December 1969

Tekkaman Blade had a ring station built around the earth which was a major part of the story for that series.

You can see the opening of the series which shows the ring and parts of it in several scenes.

Might give some inspiration.

• Posts: 7,232
edited December 1969

Any shot of the whole planet renders the ring at below the resolution of my screen. :grrr: making it a tiny little insignificant thread around the planet.... So do I cheat and make it thicker or do I make the fact that it seems really unimpressive part of the story? LOL

If you want to try a bit of research, consider Larry Niven's Ringworld. Not as impossibly huge as a Dyson Sphere, but still...

Once you get past the book being a bit dated, the characters are constantly looking at the thing and later exploring it, and then realising they're massively underestimating the scale. That fragile little ribbon looped around the star is one million miles across. The two seas have tiny little groups of islands in them. One looks awfully familiar to the Earthman... then he realises the "map" of Earth is on a scale of one-to-one.

• Posts: 9,050
edited December 2012

Here's another attempt. I do like the rocks, and I think I'm on possibly a good track with adding volumetric clouds to the replicator, but this iteration isn't what I'm going for. There's several things I don't like, which I'm a bit tired to get into at the moment. Mostly to do with the clouds, but also lighting and the planet shader.

Would help if I attached the image now, wouldn't it? :red:

Post edited by evilproducer on
• Posts: 0
edited December 2012

Looking very dramatic and primordial, Evil! :coolcheese:

Well here is my day's efforts gone kaplooey after an "error" occurred... :blank: and of course I have not saved in hours, days, months, years... so all my work is lost. Ugh.

So I post my few last renders as eulogy. Planet with barely visible Orbital Ring, we hardly knew ye.

Post edited by wetcircuit on
• Posts: 2,615
edited December 1969

Evil, if I could make one request....

Please, don't have a super bright star/sun/whatever in your image, especially if it has little or no textural interest. It's almost as painful as looking directly at the sun without shades...

Seriously, our eyes are drawn to the brightest spot in an image, and when that spot has no interest, but continually draws our eyes away from the interesting parts, it gets annoying. Might I suggest you use this opportunity to apply your artistic license and make the sun/star/whatever the most interesting part of the image, and give it some gorgeous orangey/yellowy kind of texture with some great, wild storms and projections and stuff.

• Posts: 2,615
edited December 2012

Just one thing, try to get rid of the shadow on the planet, it gives the scale away.

I've been trying to figure out what you mean by that...and I can't.

Would not such a thing cast a shadow on the planet just like that? Okay, allowing for atmosphere and all that other stuff that might disperse it, but wouldn't you get a shadow?

Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Just one thing, try to get rid of the shadow on the planet, it gives the scale away.

I've been trying to figure out what you mean by that...and I can't.

Would not such a thing cast a shadow on the planet just like that? Okay, allowing for atmosphere and all that other stuff that might disperse it, but wouldn't you get a shadow?
I thought about this too... LOL. Moons and even airplanes cast shadows... I guess the question here is would the size of the sun prevent such a "clean" shadow? Does the ISS cast a visible shadow?

• Posts: 1,411
edited December 1969

Well here is my day's efforts gone kaplooey after an "error" occurred... :blank: and of course I have not saved in hours, days, months, years... so all my work is lost. Ugh.

I feel your pain...one day there might be an auto-save feature in Carrara... Oh damn, there I go getting optimistic and hopeful again! Sorry! :coolgrin:

So I post my few last renders as eulogy. Planet with barely visible Orbital Ring, we hardly knew ye.

Actually I really like how the planet surface came out. Very cool. I definitely need to go back through this thread and preserve some of the ideas and suggestions that have been made.

Evil: I don't know what your beef with the volumetric clouds could be. I thought that they really added a lot to asteroid ring in your scene.

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Garstor said:
Actually I really like how the planet surface came out. Very cool....

Thank you... I was just starting to work on that planet to see what I could get... Shaders used on the planet are from the ENHANCE:C plugin at Digitalcarversguild.com a shader called Space 3D made the clouds and the ocean and the land (color)... Primivol is the atmosphere bubble.