In first place, I build sci-fi models for my self-written novel under the working title StarTrek meets StarWars.
As the title says, it's a mix of different sci-fi universes, mainly StarTrek and StarWars, but with the progress of writing, more and more influences of other sci-fi games and shows appeared, so I changed STmeetsSW to a working title until I find a better name.
United Federation of Solar Systems
The United Federation of Solar Systems, UFSS, is the good guys in my story. Their home is a planet in the middle of the universe, entirely covered with a city (sounds Coruscant-like, doesn't it?), where the Senate is located. The UFSS is spread across one entire galaxy.
Unfortunately, insurgent systems at the fringe of the galaxy dissociated and formed up to 20 socalled Outworlds, trying to terrorize the UFSS to force a desintegration by any means necessary.
The military power of the UFSS is devided into:
Galactic Starfleet - Space
Delta Force - Planetary
Hazard Force - SpecOps
The Outworlds, as the name says, are located at the outer boarder of the galaxy. They consist of 20 solar systems that no longer want to be part of the UFSS, and therefore seperated. Over short time, the Outworlds became a melting pot of evil. Criminals, smugglers, terrorists, etc., they all found a safe heaven here. It's said that Outer Rime ( not to be confused with Outer Rim) was the first system to break up with the UFSS, and for it is the strongest system in the area, drove the other 19 systems to follow their example.
The Dark Alliance is an obviously powerfull but evil organisation. There's actually not much known about it, most of the knowledge is rumors.
Some say their origin lies in the Outworlds and that they're the reason why they seperated, others believe that the Outworlds are not on the technological level the Dark Alliance has and that they come from either within the UFSS or even outside the galaxy.
The Dynasty is a mysterious organisation. The Dynasty's technological level is superior to UFSS' technology, what leads to the conclusion that they are both very rich and very intelligent.
ever since the start of recorded history, the Dynasty has it's appearances, but they never took a side, they rather fought for their own good.
As always and everywhere, there civilians here aswell. They need to be fed, entertained, accommodated and last but not least protected. Nevertheless, they are always everywhere, even where they better not belong...
All my creations are build with MLCad®, but many models are recreations of real lego models I build once.
I split up my creations ins Minifig-Scale and in Mini-Space, according to the size of the model.
for Mini-Space, I found out that a size theory of 1mm = 1m in real life size comes handy for it allows to use the hight of a plate or tile as 1 deck, which helps to create a good feeling for the size of the virtual model if it was built with real Lego® pieces. Furhter, the scale theory I use helps to estimate the models size if it was a real spaceship.
As mentioned above, I made all my models with MLCad®.
After building the models, I render them with Mega-Pov®, a Pov-Ray® plugin. I include custom lightsources, custom color definitions, custom radiosity settings and a custom plain on which the model stands. In addition, I use a HDRI sphere for reflections of the chrome parts and ambient lighting. For glowing parts I add a finish to the certain part.
Recently I started to run the whole scene through Mesh Enhancer®, a tool that helps to create smoother curves*.
All pictures are rendered in 2048x1536 without anti aliasing.
Afterwards I use Photoshop® to resize the pictures to a handy 1024x768 using bicubic anti-aliasing.
To enhance the engine glow effects, I simply retouch the picture with a standard brush and cutout tools. NOTE: Anti aliasing through downscaling, enhancing the glow effect and tagging are the only things I do with Photoshop®, everything else is the result of rendering techniques.
*: For a reason unknown to me, Mesh Enhancer® sometimes screws up stickers or printings on pieces aswell as it makes windows look curved. In that case, I render the same scene twice and cut them together in photoshop so the final scene has mesh enhanced curves but still all the stickers/printings that mesh enhancer screws up.