Saturday, December 21, 2019

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 12

In celebration of the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, a new CAVE2™ video:


Developed in just a few days using mostly existing models from my Starfighter project (Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters, Stormtroopers, blasters) as well as a number of interaction scripts (Stormtrooper AI, TIE Fighter AI, blaster effects, lightsaber deflection logic).

The terrain was also reused from my Halloween CAVE2 picture (based on The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer). That terrain is based on NASA topography scans of Wadi Rum, Jordan where Rise of Skywalker and Rogue One were filmed. Zooming around Google Earth, this seemed to be the specific location the Rey + Kylo Ren fighter scene was filmed.


Halloween 2019
Jedi robe, cloak, belt, and lightsaber from my trip to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Orlando on my way back from presenting a paper at SUI 2019 in New Orleans.

For the Halloween photoshoot the terrain, Star Destroyer, and TIE Fighters were placed in the Unity3D scene. However, other than the dust particle effect and the camera projection the scene was otherwise static. Any of the animations and interactions would be added in December.

Some of the new elements specifically built for this video was the Imperial Lambda Shuttle. Which I has started a while back, but didn't finish. I completed enough of the exterior and a bit of the interior and boarding ramp for use in this scene.

Existing model: December 16, 2019

Additional front and boarding ramp details: December 17, 2019

Other additions to the Millennium Falcon 3D model since my last post. The backlog is due to writing and presenting my PhD preliminary examination on December 2, 2019 followed by scrambling to work on a CAVE2 image for the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Motion Picture and finally The Rise of Skywalker theatrical release on December 19, 2019.

Engine details: September 12, 2019

Upper airlock: September 12, 2019

Upper airlock: September 12, 2019

Radar dish: December 10, 2019

Radar dish details: December 10, 2019

Underside details: December 19, 2019

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 11

During this update my Blender project timer surpassed 200 hours! That's 200 active hours working on this Millennium Falcon model from basic exterior, interior layout, and exterior details since December 2015.

I've been working on the last major exterior section of the ship: the very detailed mechanical panels on top of the engine section. Reference for this part is a mix of technical drawings and mostly pictures of the large studio model.

Engine Panel Detail: August 28, 2019

Engine Panel Detail: August 31, 2019

Engine Panel Detail: September 2, 2019

Engine Panel Detail: September 9, 2019
Even with the mesh mirrored, this is probably one of the most detailed and visually impressive models I've done to date.

Completed Engine Panel Details: September 10, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 10

Uploading a backlog of progress from the last year.

Side equipment bay details: November 1, 2018


Cockpit armor plating: April 21, 2019

X-Wing landing gears: August 7, 2019


Cockpit tunnel armor plating: August 24, 2019

The edge equipment panels that surround the middle section of the Millennium Falcon was modeled based on a number of resources. Most of the equipment panels on the front-starboard side are based on screencaps or production photographs of the actual physical Millennium Falcon exterior set as seen in The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens. Some were based on photos of the studio model from one of the museum tours.

The remaining panels were designed based on existing 3D models of the Millennium Falcon from various games such as Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed and Battlefront (2015).

Some panels like the one pictured below is actually derived from a production screenshot of the VCX-100 model (i.e. The Ghost from Star Wars: Rebels) used in Rogue One. This segment will eventually be used for my 3D model of the Ghost, but modified versions of the mesh was used to fill out the sections of the Millennium Falcon where I didn't have good reference material - mainly on the port side of the ship.

Side equipment detail panels: August 25, 2019

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 9

Post-Halloween update? Mostly been adding the exterior armor plating every now and then over the summer. Certainly been time-consuming, but in the end a worthwhile endeavor. At least that's what I keep telling myself before I go back to making the ship fly under a full physics simulation. Easier to make a texture from a high polygon model than the reverse right?

Engine Vector Plates: June 24, 2018
Front-Port Side Armor Plates: June 25, 2018
Front-Port Side Armor Plates 2: June 27, 2018

Front Armor Plates: July 1, 2018

Starboard Armor Plates: July 3, 2018

Docking Port Armor Plates: July 6, 2018

Boarding Ramp Armor Plates: July 7, 2018

Engine Exhaust Section: July 8, 2018

Rear-Port Side Armor Plates: July 9, 2018
 For a majority of these plates, I've been modeling the 'clean' version without any of the holes cut out for lighting or mechanical access points. For some of them I actually did model in the cuts, but filled them in to 'punch out' later.


Completed dorsal armor plates: July 9, 2018

Rear landing gear / cargo ramp armor plates: July 10, 2018

Cargo ramp: July 11, 2018

Interior cargo ramp with a rough scale model of the Last Jedi escape pod: July 11, 2018

Decent time gap here. Found some inspiration after a busy and rough first half of the fall semester.

Mandible side and headlight details: October 28, 2018

Mandible maintenance hole details: October 30, 2018
The Last Jedi escape pod launcher test: October 30, 2018
This final Millennium Falcon image for this post features an attempt to place the escape pod as seen in The Last Jedi. Here I have it wedged in between the (non-canon?) aft cargo ramp and the starboard landing gear bay. As some eagle-eyed folks on the internet have noted since the Last Jedi was released, the location the escape pod pops out in the film does seem to conflict with that landing gear bay.

I'm not even bothering with how to resolve the interior of the escape pod room as seen in the film which Stinson Lenz covers in his blog at this time. Probably will finish up the exterior before I go back to that.

Lastly as an excuse to switch gears (slightly), here's the start of a new 3D model:

VCX-100 main body: November 1, 2018
The Corellian VCX-100 light freighter as seen in Star Wars: Rebels and Rogue One as 'The Ghost.' Also mentioned in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I've been grabbing reference material for this ship for a while since Rebels season 2? Finally got inspired to start since I recently found this screenshot of the 3D model used in Rogue One and also some tracks from the Rebels soundtrack is on my playlist when I tend to work on these models.

VCX-100, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing, Y-Wing, and Lambda Shuttle models all in scale: November 1, 2018

Friday, May 4, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 8

I teased that the next update would be a CAVE2 one. But given a busy semester, slow progress until I remembered May the 4th, 2018 was coming up. I released a short teaser trailer to highlight the project features to date - well most of them. I spent about 9 hours the night before setting up the 12 or so shots used for the video. Every shot I filmed that night was included in the video. I had 3 additional shots planned, but didn't get around to filming those.

A number of the shots were modeled after the teaser trailer for 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' and uses the music from that trailer by L'Orchestra Cinématique which is available on their YouTube channel.


Like almost all of my CAVE2 images or videos, I personally setup all the shots, the camera, and the lighting. I used a few versions of the CAVE2 application for the video. Some were existing demo versions with the music muted, others I was modifying the source project and making a new build for specific behaviors I wanted to capture or setting up the in-game camera at a specific location in case I needed to duplicate a shot.

The final hyperspace shot was the one that took the most takes because 1) the lighting was hard to get right and 2) I broke the app once and the star streaks were stuck in front of the cockpit. It was also the last shot of the night, so I was rather tired at that point.

I was a bit disappointed I didn't keep the scene used for the video in part 5.5 of this blog since I actually used the CAVE2 displays behind the camera to illuminate myself. There's also a fun part of that story where about a third of the displays and tracking cameras were down since we were replacing some of the screens at the time.

Although I do still have the scene file for the Star Wars 40th picture I did in 2017.


Since my last post, I've completed a first attempt at the flight stick controls for the Millennium Falcon as seen in all the films except Star Wars (A New Hope).

Flight sticks: March 27, 2018
Based on several sources online, the flight yokes were originally from 1940s Vickers Viscount airliners and mounted backwards to serve as the Millennium Falcon's flight stick - though Solo might be the first time on screen that these flight sticks will be seen actually used in flying the Millennium Falcon opposed to just being held. The Solo teaser also showed the silver handbrake(?) lever on the center console being used - another first I believe. The Force Awakens made more use of the black throttle(?) controls on the top of the console.

Landing Gear Doors: May 2, 2018
Continuing to fill out the exterior details, I've modeled and animated the landing gear doors. The original three main landing gears use a similar two door approach. The two front landing gears added for Empire Strikes Back have a wider door that folds when deployed. This is based on some of the closeup shots in Echo Base.

One of the cancelled shots for the May the 4th video would have had a shot of the Millennium Falcon coming in for a landing with the fully animated doors and gears as it made its approach. Maybe for the best since I haven't modeling the cargo lift yet and the gaping hole visible in the above image.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Millennium Falcon 3D Model Part 7


The past few weeks have been dedicated to modeling a basic interior and as much exterior detail as possible for an upcoming update to the CAVE2 demo.

Cockpit door: January 21, 2018
Redesigned and baked lit passenger lounge: January 21, 2018
Armor plating detail: February 5, 2018
Turret armor: February 8, 2018
First draft flight stick: February 10, 2018

Armor plating: February 11, 2018