Thought I would share my progress on the project I’ve been working on for the past three weeks or so (on and off, mostly off), a realistic near-future manned spacecraft. I’ve taken inspiration from existing craft such as the ISS as well as NASA proposals and ships from movies such as the Hermes from The Martian and the Endurance from Interstellar. The goal is to depict a reasonably plausible spacecraft that could be used as a reusable workhorse for deep-space missions out beyond Mars, even to the outer planets like Uranus and Neptune. As such this is a primarily nuclear-powered vessel (solar arrays provide backup and can keep vital systems running when the reactor is powered down) with a VASIMR engine providing a small but constant thrust.
I started off with a basic proxy model and am progressively replacing the proxy sections with high res models linked in from another blend file. This seems to be a reasonably efficient way of working but I’m getting some considerable viewport lag when doing so, far more than I’d expect for the polycount (I can usually handle multi-million vertex sculpts on my system with little to no slowdown, and I’m pretty certain that the aggregate of all the linked parts in nowhere near that). Anyone got any ideas of a solution to this or am I just going to end up having to work around it with more proxy models?
In terms of critique what I’m looking for is primarily help with materials. I’m reasonably happy with it so far but I don’t know what I can do to push it to that next level of photorealism, and materials have never really been my strongpoint. I’m continuing to add detail throughout (the truss backbone needs a remodel, as do the spherical holding tanks at the front of the propulsion section) and there’s a couple more modules to create, such as an airlock and a command deck and possibly some sort of lander.
I’m intending to follow this ship up with further designs getting progressively more and more futuristic (this one is meant to be from the 2070s or so, post a Mars landing but prior to large scale colonisation), hence the plural in the thread title.