I am gearing up to start running a game and part of what I want to do is create layouts for various parts of the ship the players will be on. I have seen neat bridge layout illustrations on places like Ex Astris Scientia (not sure if it is ok to post links, so I am not). Does anyone know what softwares/methods those kinds of images are created with? I am really interested in making some of my own.
Two folks that I follow a lot are DeviantArt user falke2009 (whose work has appeared on Ex Astris Scientia) and Tadeo D’Oria (DeviantArt user Rekkert). Both of them are using the (free, open source) 3D modelling software, Blender, plus another (free, open source) tool called Inkscape to design the LCARS panels and stuff like that.
falke2009 used to use a different tool called SketchUp (which is mostly marketed at people who design houses and buildings but, hey, the street finds its own uses for things). falke2009 has moved away from SketchUp lately. SketchUp is commercial tool, with a free version available.
I’m a pretty big Blender fan, but I’ll be up-front about fact that learning to make really nice interior designs requires a bit of practice and investment of time. The same can be said about SketchUp. YouTube has good tutorials about starting with each of those tools.
falke2009 has also made some components (like chairs and the like) available for sale on CGTrader (so you don’t have to build everytihing from scratch). I have carefully avoided thinking about the licensing implications of that, mind you.