So I am in need of some suggestions here. I'm trying to brainstorm ideas for terrain and ship/entity rendering for TI-Trek. Most of the terrain is fairly easy... things are mostly round, with few exceptions that we can stretch using the graphics lib, but the player ships and possibly entities present a different problem. They will likely have enough irregularity that simply stretching a sprite won't work, which leaves me with three options, one of which was my idea, two of which were command's.

The first is to create a supermesh sprite, where the sprite is the front of the ship, and then the sides next to that, then half the back on each side of those, with data for the top and bottom at the top and bottom of the sprite, and expressing the "sprite" to render as a (transformed?) subset of that mesh, based on your viewing angle. I've been told that won't work well.

The second two are to either store a number of sprites of the ships at different angles [bearing in mind this would be a psuedo-3d system, that would be A LOT of sprites], or to implement a 3d rendering system. So after much explanation, here's the questions: Is it worth creating a 3D rendering system to render only part of the graphics for the game? How slow would such a 3D system be (when not used to map out every aspect of the terrain, just a subset of it). If so, do any already exist that could be useful? Assembly or C would be ok. If not, which of the two methods are the best? Are there any other more efficient methods I could use?

Sorry for the wall of text :p. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  
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