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    by Published on 28th Jan 2012 00:10
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    Focus of Tutorial: Create realistic 3D clouds on a planet
    Program: Lightwave v9+ (can be applied to other software)
    Difficulty: Newbie - Moderate - Expert

    I'm using Lightwave 9.6 for this, but you can use earlier versions of v9 or even other software - the concepts should translate into your 3d program of choice with a little work.

    I've uploaded the content used here, this guide only covers the technique - It assumes a basic knowledge of how to use the software - modelling, adding textures, setting up scenes etc, will not be covered.

    And here is an example of this technique in action: ...
    by Published on 21st Jun 2011 03:23
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    "So I'm going to try and condense 3d my stuff into 1 thread - easier to keep track of." So begins one of the most popular and enduring Work in Progress threads on the SFM forums. That was back in June 2006. Five years, 2,740 posts and almost four and a half hundred thousand thread views later and SFM's resident greeble addict Ansel "fractalsponge" Hsiao shows no signs of slowing down as he pumps out one incredibly detailed Star Wars model after another.


    Not content with creating what is almost certainly the most accurate and detailed Imperial Star Destroyer CG model in existence right now, Anesl's Star Wars projects thread features various models of imperial fighters, shuttles, ground combat walkers and massive capital ships ...
    by Published on 23rd Dec 2010 09:45
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    One of the most popular Star Trek fan-designed ships, the Insignia Class by Mark Kingsnorth has, after many years, been publicly released in what is sure to be a pleasantly surprising Christmas present for many of our members. Mark has spent countless hours designing and refining his labour of love over the years and after great deliberation, has generously decided to share this beautiful model.

    Mark's latest rendition of his muse was completed in mid-2008 but his constant pursuit of perfection led him to perform a complete texture overhaul again in December of that year ...
    Published on 14th Aug 2010 08:13
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    Itís one of the longest running projects on SFM, with a forum thread dating all the way back to what some of our members refer to these days as "the big crash of '06". It's also up there among the most ambitious and complex projects being worked on by our members. And it's all being done by one man - Nate "Tovette" Temple. We recently took the opportunity to interview Nate and find out what drives an artist to create his own unique universe from scratch. ...
    Published on 2nd Aug 2010 10:36
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    When you think of computer animation, what generally comes to mind are movies like "Toy Story" and "Shrek". Many people are not aware of the extent of independent filmmaking, whether live action shot with 35mm, or with budget-oriented digital cameras. But there is a third kind as well - animated. CGI is an industry that has grown exponentially since the explosion of the PC market in the mid to late 1990's. Many independently made animated movies tend to be shorts, anywhere from 5-30 minutes long, some with incredibly realistic animation and lousy story, some with bad animation and a great story. And then there is "Star Trek: Specter of the Past". "Specter" is a feature-length, fan-made movie ...
    Published on 26th Jul 2010 11:14
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    Focus of Tutorial: Cut shapes on complex, curved surfaces without Booleans
    Program: 3ds Max version 8 and up
    Difficulty: Newbie - Moderate - Expert

    This tutorial is also available as a video here: Part 1 | Part 2


    The goal of this tutorial is demonstrate methods which you can use to cut nearly any shape into nearly any surface, without causing smoothing errors.
    In this first part, I will focus on avoiding the use of Booleans where possible.

    This is an incredibly versatile modeling technique that can be used for a variety of detail work, including cutting in simple decals, windows, hull panels, smoothly joining separate objects and hopefully more that I havenít even thought of! ...
    Published on 19th Feb 2010 19:34
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    Focus of Tutorial: Create windows on an irregular shaped surface.
    Program: Max (however you can use this technique in other applications as well)
    Difficulty: Newbie - Moderate - Expert

    My goal here is not to create a high-res replica of the interior of a starship, rather it's to simulate this using a few textures and a few polys. It is my hope that you will take this knowledge and expand upon it and use it in your own creations. Additionally this is just one way to insert windows onto a Starship's hull. I hope you find this useful.

    ...