Battlestar Galactica TV Series -- In house VFX Department

When you make a model for a Film or TV show, in an ideal world several versions would be made: A hero model with lots of detail for occupying most of the frame and for close ups. A medium detail model for medium distance shots and a low detail model that incurs very little processing overhead for filling background fleet shots.

Many times though when a show Like Galactica is initially produced - especially a show that requires modelling of an Entire fleet of vehicles - the ancillary vehicles rarely get the privilege of having these extra versions created; due mainly to time and budget constraints etc..

As production of the show continues, then some meshes that are more commonly used eventually get treated to the extra versions they have until then been lacking - and it was in Summer 2006 that Meshweaver was contracted to create these additional model versions and clean up and optimise the Hero versions if possible at the same time. Meshweaver has earned a reputation for efficient creation of these LOD (Level Of Detail) models - and the results are shown below.

Full credit must be given to the original artists for providing a sound basis to work upon. Click on the thumbnail's for much larger images in fresh javascript pop up windows

SPACE PASSENGER LINER 

The first ship that got the cleanup and extra versions was the Interplanetary Space Liner. Three versions of this ship needed to be done as there were three distinct repeating liveries on the show - the SAG (Sagittarian Spaceways), the PANGAL (Pan Galactic) and the standard Generic Liner. Each of these were created afresh, derived from one Generic optimised hero mesh. A medium detail version was then made and finally a low polygon model was created. Low polygon models often involve the most work ironically, as they have to be UV mapped everywhere and adorned with realistic textures to mimic their fully detailed siblings. - They end up like a well detailed Game model when completed. The texturing was also tweaked and adjusted as per production suggestions.

HERO VERSION CLEAN

HERO VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
HERO VERSION CLEAN
HERO VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
HERO VERSION CLEAN
HERO VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
Generic Hero Mesh
Generic Hero Mesh Wireframe
Generic Hero Mesh
Generic Hero Mesh Wireframe
Generic Hero Mesh
Generic Hero Mesh Wireframe

MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN

MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN
MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN
MEDIUM POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
Generic Medium LOD
Generic Medium LOD Wireframe
Generic Medium LOD
Generic Medium LOD Wireframe
Generic Medium LOD
Generic Medium LOD Wireframe

LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN

LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN
LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN
LOW POLY VERSION CLEAN WIREFRAME
Generic Low LOD
Generic Low LOD Wireframe
Generic Low LOD
Generic Low LOD Wireframe
Generic Low LOD
Generic Low LOD Wireframe
The Producers also wanted weathered dirty versions of each variant - so below is a look at the different versions and also the resultant dirty up jobs undertaken also

HERO VERSION CLEAN

HERO WEATHERED
PANGAL HERO CLEAN
PANGAL HERO WEATHERED
SAG HERO CLEAN
SAG HERO WEATHERED
Generic Hero Clean
Generic Hero Weathered
PAN GAL Hero Clean
PAN GAL Hero Weathered
SAG Hero Weathered
SAG Hero Weathered
Altogether - with other versions like Black with just luminous attributes for specific render passes - a total of 18 meshes were created along with import scene files derived from a single original mesh.
PROMETHEUS

The Prometheus made its first appearance in the Season 2 episode "Black Market". The original Artist made a nicely detailed hero model for that episode and it served it purpose excellently. As time went on though the VFX staff wanted to include it in more fresh fleet shots and this called for an optimised version and the other LOD versions as putting the unadulterated Hero mesh in fleet filler shots was proving too prohibitive when it came to CPU overheads. As before the Hero mesh was optimised from the original 1.8 Million polygons down to approx 1.3 or so..and then a Medium detailed version was created. The low detail version once more proved to be the most work as it still had to look like the original and there was a lot of industrial detailing inside this ship that needed to be emulated. 

PROMETHEUS HERO VERSION VIEW 1

PROMETHEUS HERO VERSION VIEW 2
PROMETHEUS HERO VERSION VIEW 3
PROMETHEUS HERO VERSION VIEW 4
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1 WIREFRAME OVERLAY

PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2

PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2 WIREFRAME OVERLAY
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3 WIREFRAME OVERLAY
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 4
PROMETHEUS LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 4 WIREFRAME OVERLAY

Altogether - from 1 single mesh - 12 variants were made in total with special versions for specific render passes for compositing

PROMETHEUS MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1
PROMETHEUS MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2
PROMETHEUS MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3
PROMETHEUS MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 4
  MINERAL MINING SHIP 
As well as being created right from the outset of the mini series - a more detailed version of this mesh was revised for the Season 2, Ep 15: Scar. As with the two models above the same treatment was applied and the results can be viewed below.
 
HERO VERSION 1 HERO VERSION 2 HERO VERSION 2 WIREFRAME OVERLAY HERO VERSION 3 HERO VERSION 3 WIREFRAME OVERLAY mineral_hero_wire LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1 LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1 WIREFRAME OVERLAY LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2 LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2 WIREFRAME OVERLAY LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3 LOW POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3 WIREFRAME OVERLAY MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1 MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 1 WIREFRAME OVERLAY MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2 MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 2 WIREFRAME OVERLAY MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3 MEDIUM POLYGON VERSION VIEW 3 WIREFRAME OVERLAY

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