How to make cool things?
So the title of this topic is very generic, but I've been looking around at some of the things created by other people here on the boards, notably Delphi and Darthkev, and I was wondering how both they and the Nova team managed to create all they have. In essence, I'm just wondering how to make graphics, specifically for ships and planets. I have MissionComputer, which I have a basic understanding of, and google Sketchup, which I can work well with. I prefer the blockier and simpler nature of Sketchup over something like Blender, which I still haven't figured out how to use, but Sketchup can't do realistic looking graphics. So what should I use to 'paint' my ships, for lack of a better word? Texture, that would be a better word. And then how do I create a shan to be used by the game? Any advice, comments, questions, or concerns would be fantastic, thanks!