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'Nostalgia For Infinity' by steve-burg 'Nostalgia For Infinity' by steve-burg
I read a lot of science fiction :)!

The good ship "Nostalgia For Infinity" is the main ship featured in Alastair Reynolds' epic "Revelation Space" trilogy.

I loved the books, and was intrigued by his descriptions of this monumental craft - which is over a kilometer in length and described as a very long and needle shaped craft.

This is a very literal rendition, down to the exact dimensions indicated in the books.

Well, it turns out it's really difficult to get a satisfactory angle of view on something with that shape and proportion - but this was the result. The craft is quite foreshortened due to the use of a very long "telephoto" lens.

Consider this a work in progress. I could spend days adding minute detail to the hull - but in the version shown here it is mainly achieved with texture maps I painted in Photoshop.

The nebula is derived from several Hubble images, but adjusted to serve the purpose of this background.
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:iconzemplintemplar:
ZemplinTemplar Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2016
Your interpretation of the good old Nostalgia is my absolute favourite. 8-)

It's also very close to Reynolds' own sketch of a lighthugger, which he made a few years ago for his site (about two years after you posted this illustration, so great work in getting so many details right). :-)
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:iconfazayek:
fazayek Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
Great one,though i always imagined lighthuggers to be elliptic
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:iconsamsquared:
SamSquared Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Student
I've always been a fan of revelation space and this seems to me to be the truest interpretation of the ships from the books. Are those concentric spiky rings on the outer armour the hull defenses?
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:iconlobo7922:
Lobo7922 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Great :)
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:icondarkomiku:
darkomiku Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
I looked, stared, examinated, analized, liked, loved and finally said: This one is epic!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Wow - thank you! :)
The books that inspired this are tremendous, BTW!
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:icondarkomiku:
darkomiku Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
Sorry, what means BTW ? ^^'
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Yes, that's right :D
I have trouble with some of the "internet slang" myself ;)
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:icondarkomiku:
darkomiku Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
wait, i really dunno what is BTW lol could you explain ? XD
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012  Professional Filmographer
Ah - it means "by the way" :nod:
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:icondarkomiku:
darkomiku Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2012
thanks XD
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:iconcheshiremouse1:
cheshiremouse1 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011
Love it! When I read the books I kept wishing there were pictures to help visualize everything, especially the ships. Thank you for your artwork.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks - I love those books, and Alastair Reynolds has a real knack for great imagery. It's very inspiring to read his stuff :)
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:iconpennydollar:
pennydollar Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2011
I love the conjoiner engines, as a lighthugger I thought she would be much smoother, Black hyperdiamond skin looks good too!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I tried to make the overall shape as described in the book - but it was hard to convey the enormous size so I added some details and texture. Also, I didn't cover the front with ice (yet!) :)
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:iconsliversun:
Sliversun Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
Awesome!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thanks!
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:iconconjoiner86:
Conjoiner86 Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2011   Writer
Nice! Captain Brannigan would be proud!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I'm glad you like it. The effects of the melding plague aren't evident as yet - happier times for both the ship and the good captain! :)
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:iconrocketscience85:
rocketScience85 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
WOOOOO!!!!! You have no idea how this has made my day! This is the first actual artistic depiction I've had the fortune of finding after reading this series. Nostalgia for Infinity, in its final "manifestation", is something I'd love to see as depicted by others to compare with the one I have in my head.

Revelation Space = space opera at its finest!
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I am a huge fan of the "Revelation Space" series, as well as Alastair Reynolds' other books. It is great space opera, as you've said! :)
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:iconsagethethird:
sagethethird Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2010  Professional
now I have a decent picture in my head of the craft haha thanks
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Of course I haven't attempted any of the weird "melding plague" mutations that eventually spread throughout the ship! :D
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:iconsagethethird:
sagethethird Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2011  Professional
Would be a perfect project to do in mudbox or zbrush IMO :nod:
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:iconeburacum45:
eburacum45 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow! The Nostalgia for Infinity! Jolly fine ship.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I found Alastair Reynolds' books very inspiring - tremendous ideas :)

I highly recommend them :D
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:iconashrandom:
AshRandom Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
:iconomfgplz: That looks so, I dunno, it looks retro but I've never seen anything like it, so how could it be?

Awesome job. :heart:
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I always liked the phrase "that reminds me of something I've never seen before" :)

I wouldn't normally design a ship this way, but I wanted to see what would happen if I stuck very close to the description in the book :)

It is kind of retro - definitely it's a "rocket"...
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:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
LOL i love it! I actually started a project like this a while back (same ship!) I'm a big Reynolds fan as well ;) A couple of questions (its been a while since i read the series so i may be rusty) but didnt the lighthuggers have ablative ice shields around the hull (wasnt the poor guy in the scrimshaw suit on the front of the ship stuck in the ice?) and i thought the engines were mounted amidships? Its REALLY cool to see someone realize this, my hats off to ya Steve

I completely agree about inspiration from books, it seems whenever i finish a good book, i'm overflowing with ideas for a while :D In fact i did an image of Haldora, with the gossamer bridge and the cathedral appoaching the canyon, check it out [link]
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I'd have to look again, but I'm pretty sure the engines were at the back. I read some other Reynolds stories concerning lighthugger ships, and that's the impression I got at least. But I might be in error...

I did a version with ice covering it - and that's where I drew the line :)! It didn't really look like a spaceship, it looked like a big icicle. So that's one idea I decided to omit.

The guy in the scrimshaw suit was indeed stuck to the ice on the nose. No fun :D!

I'll check out your image...
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:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yeah i'm not sure about the engine location, but that's the impression i remember (could be wrong <shrugs>) You didn't like the ice? on the one i started i was using it, but then my design was more curvy, more free flowing and the ice material was fairly clear so it gave some great refractions/reflections around the curves.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Beautiful shot of Haldora, what was that rendered in?
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:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks :) the terrain was rendered in Terragen2, the planet, bridge, cathedral, and shuttle were all done in 3dsmax
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Terragen 2 is pretty incredible...
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:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
I think so too ;) I'm enjoying the heck out of it, its a little strange to pick up, the interface is ....well unfamiliar to most people, but once you get the hang of it, its amazingly powerful
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I wish I could really dive into these things more, I have only dabbled with Terragen and admired the results achieved by folks such as yourself!

My main problem is there are only so many hours in the day :D!
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(1 Reply)
:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
The ice could certainly work, but I didn't put a lot of time into it.

I'd love to see your version - it's always interesting to see different interpretations of these things :)!
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:iconregulus36:
Regulus36 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
I'll have to fix it up a little and post a render here, i originally had plans to use it in a scene, maybe cruising by one of the planets from the book, but it never really crystallized into anything
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I know how that goes :D!
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional General Artist
I never read any Alistair Reynolds. But I'm behind on my reading schedule and only just dug into Greg Egan. Still, I can appreciate the lure of picturing the images the novel cultivated in your mind :) The stranger the ship, the more fun the visualization experiment.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Greg Egan is incredible. If you haven't done so, read "Schild's Ladder". It's a very challenging book, but absolutely worth it!

Truth be told, At this point reading has become my main source of inspiration. For my money, the concepts and visions in the best current science fiction books lay waste to what's seen in most "media sci fi".

The most impressive thing about movies these days is how much money is involved - but that doesn't make me want to draw and paint :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the recommendation, Steve. I've been looking for Egan suggestions. So far all I've read is "Distress" - and loved it!

And yeah - I'm with you on the concepts presented in print SF. It's still the cutting edge by a wide margin. Even extravaganzas like "Avatar" only rate as a decent 70's space opera adventure when compared. Truth be told that movie was so much like an Alan Dean Foster story put to film! And that's not a bad thing by any stretch.
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I did like the fact that "Avatar" was an original concept rather than part of an established franchise (hate that word - ugh!). That was commendable, I think.

I also liked that - because it was original as opposed to "pre-sold" its colossal success was baffling and terrifying to a lot of marketing folks :)

It was a good solid bit of storytelling for the screen, very well crafted, and I think your analogy to an Alan Dean Foster book is very apt.

But was it "2001" level? No, that it sure ain't :)
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yeah, that's one of the things I appreciate about Cameron: he knows good SF and can write it. With the exception of ALIENS all his directorial works have been original creations. And I sure as heck ain't dissing ALIENS! He's a good director and more than just knowing science, he has a passion for it. That makes his skill set pretty unique in the Hollywood upper echelon... and also makes me wonder if he really WILL pen that Avatar prequel instead of enlisting someone like Foster to do the work (like Lucas).

I share your delight in making marketing people quiver. If they had their way we'd never be exposed to a single new concept... or at least not one that couldn't be summarized by an inane analogy like "it's Titanic meets Weekend at Bernies!"
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Filmographer
The "let's play it safe" approach to business - or art - only works short-term. Clearly, the rewards wind up going to those who take calculated risks and remain true to a vision.

Hah! There, my fifteen seconds of philosophy :D
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:iconrobcaswell:
RobCaswell Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional General Artist
Too wordy for a tombstone....
....need to upgrade to a mausoleum! ;)
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:iconsteve-burg:
steve-burg Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Now you're talkin' :D!
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