Thanks for the comment A lot of the credit has to go to the model maker, for providing such a wonderful ship to work with. Realistic art ? - in my opinion it's a combination of all the things you mentioned. But as a first step I'd recommend looking into HDRI lighting most 3d packages support it.
gotta say, the design is SIMILAR to the Escape Velocity NOVA's STARBRIDGE, which is a dual swivel-engine ship, probably a lot faster than this though, and able to enter hyperspace and land planetside, and probably more maneuverability in larger areas where this kind of ship can probably make precision landings exactly, although rather... large.
The model is by A Axellson - available as premier content from www.foundation3d.com
It's a very simple scene rendered in Lightwave 11.0. I used a HDR image for the light source, background and colouring( Serpentine Valley available for free from [link]) A large Area light was used to provide soft shadows. And that's basically it. It was rendered with Radiosity and took about 30 mins to process. I set up the HDR enviroment manually but if you have Lightwave, Cinema4D or Modo you can always use SIBL ([link]) a free plugin/script which will set up everything for you.
Thanks for the reply. That's funny, I was just working on a project for a modeling class that had me over at sibl/archive for an HDR I needed for the background/reflection of the milky way. I never even noticed those plugins there. I could have probably saved myself a hell of a lot of time trying to learn enough VRay in Max as opposed to just going with Modo and that. I appreciate the information and I look forward to seeing more of your work.
Just plain cool! The scene looks just as good as a high end movie. Lighting, placement etc is awesome. The only thing I would really say is that for this picture we're too close to the model, the level of detail involved here means you could place it anywhere and it would still look cool.
I can imagine this moving in close and then veering off and speeding away. Very cool...I want one
Thanks. You are right about the composition it is a little to close. I wanted to give the impression of the ship flying past us as we viewed from a cliff top or ledge - kinda works but needs a better background.
No worries - it's a stunning piece of work. It definitely gives the impression of a close fly past! I think the background is pretty nice - but it would be cool to see what else you have in mind - I will keep an eye out