Spaceship - Freighter Revisited

As of late, my ability to focus onto a particular type of project at a time has returned to Blender. It has taken a break of, oh, quite a while, but poking through some old never-completed projects, I decided that now is the time to work on one of them.

At least until I am distracted by the next shiny object.

The subject is a spaceship. Instead of focusing on the sexy things like fighters or capital vessels, I once upon a time decided to do a lowly freighter. At this time I have the mesh largely complete, although it seems that there is always something to tweak. Anyway, the thing comes in four parts: 1. Primary hold; 2. Crew section; 3. Engines; and 4. Extra cargo frame.

At this moment in time, I am specifically looking at the textures for the (1) Primary Hold. The first thing to realize is that this sucker is rather large. Front to tail of the primary hold section (in pictures below) is about 100 meters. The problem I am coming against is that any metal plate I UV map onto the thing gets blurred due to sheer size I am trying to convey. It isn’t as crisp as I would like. And if I play around with procedurals, while I get interesting results, they aren’t what I want: they are either too regular or not ‘defined’ enough (when I’ve not turned the thing into a variation of some 70’s tie-died microbus or have a nice Vorlon ship effect, that is).

Any thoughts? The pictures I submit below are two variations. I’ve UV mapped on the plate. Picture 1 shows lines I quickly sketched out for a bump map to emphasize plates on the fore section; and Picture 2 removes the bump map. I’m still trying to decide if I like /either/ one, or if I should go in a whole new direction. Whatever I do, I eventually want to add in some damage and/or rust or the like to ‘age’ the thing.

Please ignore the crappy support textures. I was experimenting with procedurals for the stripes, and the result was less than satisfactory. I need to map the supports, much as I’ve done for the door that you can see. Also ignore the untextured engine support pillons in back.

ALSO: the (3) engines are crap. I’ve included another picture below. While I like the overall angular shape and the glowy thing, they are less than satisfying. I’m going to tweak them, shape-wise, but I cannot figure out what overall texture to slap onto them. They don’t cry for any sort of plate…and anything I’ve tried looks horrible, anyway. Any thoughts so that they don’t remain out-of-place blue blobs?

First post!