Fly the friendly skies

Thank you for choosing Ray-Traced Airlines. We look forward to welcoming you on another of our flights again soon.


This is a re-render of an old image. The original image was made using a Poser 3 figure; this was reworked using Victoria 2.0 under Poser 4. The pilot's headset, originally modelled using Bryce primitives, has been rebuilt using Carrara 1.1. The only other change was the use of a small cluster of lights in place of a single light in the original image, in the hope of creating a soft shadow. The shadow of the microphone boom on the pilot's face is noticeably softer, but it's still far from perfect. I should have used more lights in my cluster.

The cockpit was originally constructed from Bryce primitives. It's basically a stretched sphere, hollowed out by Booleans, with holes punched in it using other Boolean operations. The interior space is further carved up by the addition of other primitive objects (the pilot's seat and headrest are modelled from primitives, as is her headset) and the whole is textured using a lightly modified version of a standard Bryce material. The fact that this scene looks at all convincing is due to the excellent bump-map on the material. The neatest part, for me, is the way that the mapping follows the shape of the objects it's applied to. At the rear of the cockpit there's a lovely circular effect where the map was applied to a flat disc.

The window surround is a torus. One of the hardest things with modelling this kind of thing using Booleans is that just punching holes in primitives to make windows yields very unrealistic results. You need some kind of relief around the edges. But lining up a torus on the surface of a sphere that's being cut into by another sphere at a strange angle is non-trivial. This time I managed it ... just.

The title of the image is, of course, the trademark of a certain airline. But sharp-eyed fans of the "Aliens" series may also have spotted a similar phrase painted on the helmet of Ferro, the extremely mean pilot of the massively-armed marine dropchute that delivers the cannon fodder, er, cast to the surface of the alien world.


01 Jul 2001


Bryce 4
Poser 4
Curious Labs
Carrara 1.1