Computer Graphics: Ray Tracing Software Project

David Monkman

Blender: Vulcan's Enterprise

For my project, I chose to model the replica Starship Enterprise in Vulcan Alberta. It seemed like an instantly recognizable landmark, and one I could have fun modeling. I chose Blender as my modeling sofware of choice, as I have had (limited) experience working with it before, and knew that there is a wealth of helpful tutorials online. The image was taken from Wikipedia. The following is a comparison between the actual photo from wikipedia, and my final rendered version.

I began with a simple circle shape, which I extruded into the disk. The ornamentation on the disk is simply UV spheres and boxes intersecting with the disk itself. The first real challenge I faced was the odd shape of the body. The front is just extruded circles. For the back, I extruded the top half of the circle, then extended edges outwards and attached faces to them to create the curved surface. The quarter sphere was done by using Blender's spin function on the vertices in the half circle and rotating them around an axis 90 degrees.

The engines were relatively simple, making one, then duplicating it and flipping it along the x axis.

The most difficult parnt of the process was getting some colour. After some research online and trial and error, I decided to go about colouring the ship using blender's Texture Paint. This unwraps the wireframe onto a 2d map where it can be coloured. For me, this map was a horrible mess, which made the painting an enormous pain, and required lots of fiddling with the 2d wireframe. (I'm sure there are ways to get a better mapping!)

From here, I made a few more objects: a truncated pyramid for the stand, a plane for the ground, a sphere for the skybox. They are all textured using Blender's procedural texture and material tabs. The stand uses several "marble" textures overlaid, in orange and brown hues. The grass is a couple green "noise" textures. The sky is a blue material with a (what else) "cloud" texture.

The Final Product:

Main Reference Image
Photos used as extra reference
Blender's Website
Blender Tutorials