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Book Reference ↓
Chapter 2 / Peter Watts “Blindsight”

→Theseus carried no regular crew—no navigators or engineers, no one to swab the decks, no meat wasted on tasks that machinery orders of mag smaller could perform orders of mag better. Let superfluous deckhands weigh down other ships, if the nonascendent hordes needed to attach some pretense of usefulness to their lives. Let them infest vessels driven only by commercial priorities. The only reason we were here was because nobody had yet optimized software for first contact.

Message: C-01

↪︎Theseus was the first 3d asset to require a significant volume of modeling. From a creative point of view, we had clear directives from peter watts’ website, which featured a drawing of the ship. In addition, the book included detailed descriptions of each of the ship’s parts.

Message: C-02

↪︎Unsurprisingly, it proved difficult to find a modeler willing to spend hundreds of unpaid hours on a project with an uncertain future. Eventually, we began taking the ship’s construction into our own hands. The plan was to create parts of it and use them to get more modelers interested and willing to participate in the project. To demo the model, we came up with a storyline featuring shots of theseus in construction on earth’s orbit. This story accounted for the fact that only about 20% of the model was built.

First test
Message: C-03

↪︎Hello, peter. Can`t believe my last update on the project was 3 months ago. We`ve put together a presentation with all the frames we have as of now. Theseus is still a work in progress but i think we are almost done with the part below the spine. Take a look.

Message: Peter Watts

↪︎Jesus, Danil, Honestly, I don't know what to say. These are such gorgeous renderings. Can't wait to see what comes next.

Iteration no.2
Message: C-04

↪︎Hello, peter. I hope you are doing well. It was the 10 year anniversary of blindsight’s publication about a month ago, did you have a chance to celebrate it?

I just wanted to share some the progress we`ve made with theseus. Still a work-in-progress, especially the materials. They feel too plastic and cartoony right now, but i still hope you`ll like it.

Message: Peter Watts

↪︎God these are gorgeous. I see what you mean about the plasticy Theseus elements, but you know what? I never really bought in to the whole used-future aesthetic anyway. Movies like Alien and Star Wars feel real and lived-in on a gut level, but seriously: we've got technology that can get us across the galaxy in a week and a half and we still don't know how to make paint that doesn't peel? Shiny plastic-looking spaceships may not feel as realistic, but they're probably more consistent with the materials tech we'll actually have available when such stuff starts getting built.

2 Years later

It proved extremely difficult to find someone to model the spacecraft in a way that would look suitably impressive. In the meantime, we occupied ourselves with other scenes. Theseus was on hiatus for almost 2 years.

Iteration no.3
3D model
Iteration no.4
Test render
Message: C-05

↪︎We finished the theseus model! I can`t tell you how excited i was when i hit the render button and saw the complete model for the first time after almost two years of work and delays. We have to spend some more time on the materials though, but this is what we’ve got as of now.

Message: Peter Watts

↪︎This is awesome stuff, as usual. The inevitable question, once again, is: can i post any of this stuff? I'm guessing no on the teaser as a whole, but what about frame grabs therefrom?

The theseus model ended up consisting of over 62 million polygons and 200+ applied materials and textures.
By the end, no workstation could handle the project’s volume, and the only way the ship could be seen in its complete form was after rendering.
In the film
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Sometimes we could conceive of things and still not see them, although they stood right before us.

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