Serenity Common Area

This poor scene just won't rest in peace.

This was one of my first big-time interior projects I ever attempted in 3D. It started in Maya in early 2013 (!). I moved it to Cinema 4D last year, and opened it back up again recently to redo the lighting for a 3D demonstration at my work.

The Original

This was the first "final" version of the image, modeled/textured in Maya and rendered using Mental Ray. I wish I could reopen the original scene and tinker with it, but my Maya student license is long expired.


As you'll see, most of the original geometry survived all the major iterations, with the exception of the coms, the doorways, and the duct work. It was the flat lighting and boring composition bringing this version down – and with drab colors everywhere, that giraffe-y nightmare of a carpet (which is true to the show) becomes the center of attention.

I can fix that.

Stripping the Paint

I actually didn't strip it completely down, but a little retconned clay rendering never hurt anyone.

clay render

I started by added some detail where I got lazy on the original. The cabling on the stairs, the buttons on the com, a rebuilt (and more accurate) doorway. The gurney was a bitch to build, and it didn't even make the final cut.



New metal on the walls, better fabric, and even special treatment for the bible on the coffee table - gold leafing on the page edges. Well, I tried.



This was what I wanted to get to the most, because in the year since I had worked on it last, I'd been using volumetric lights like J.J. Abrams uses lens flare, and the potential with the open door to the infirmary was too tempting. I probably overplayed the contrast a little, but I wanted the juxtaposition of the cold, blue infirmary with the warm living room lighting to be obvious for the presentation.

raw render

The hanging overhead in the background is also my first experiment with IES lighting since Maya.

With a big fill light behind the camera, and because this is supposed to be a "night" scene (in space), I also was able to get away without GI.

Post Production

Lots of small post work to be done. Light was leaking through the infirmary walls, and I added (too much) grunge which could have been added in-render, but... you know, this was just easier. And a touch of ambient glow around the infirmary doors and windows puts the icing on the volumetric cake.

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Final Image


... for now, anyway Check this space 3 years from now to see where the image goes from here.