Starship Nautilus, Pt. 03

Yeah, like I was really going to detail this thing in mostly TOS style. ;) I started off planning to do that, but that plan lasted about as far as me starting to detail the upper sensor dome. I couldn’t just leave it as a plain dome. That may have worked 50 years ago, but it just won’t fly today. So, I added a bunch of details to the dome. I also finished the saucer grid lines and added windows and some cut-outs for the torpedo launchers.

Nautilus_WIP009

Nautilus_WIP010

Nautilus_WIP011

Nautilus_WIP012

Starship Nautilus, Pt. 01

After a few months of doing stuff for others, (that I can’t show, of course) I’ve finally got some time to work on something for myself. :D So, I started a new ship. Or, more appropriately, I restarted a build from a couple years ago:

http://evilgenius180.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/uss-nautilus-pt-05/

The ship I was building back then was a small support ship that was supposed to be from the movie era. Well, I’m building basically the same ship, except I rolled it back a few decades to the pre-TOS to TOS era. I’ve also modified the design slightly, but not much. I nixed one of the decks on the saucer edge to give the ship less of a “thick” look. Also, I never liked the teardrop-like structure I did back then, so I did a new one based off of Sean Tourangeau’s teardrop design for the USS Ares from Star Trek: Axanar. I also added a central raised section to the saucer to give the ship a bit more internal mass and to give the warp nacelle pylons something to attach to.

Other than that, it’s mainly the same, aside from the modifications needed to make it an older era ship. Of course, this is a completely new model, made necessary by the fact that my old one was being built in TrueSpace and I use Lightwave now. :)

Nautilus_WIP001
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USS Starfire

I keep forgetting to post these. I did some work on my Constellation-class a while back. It was pretty “clean” before, so I decided to dirty it up some. I added a lot of weathering to the textures, to give the ship a more “used” look. Then I reduced the specular setting to give the ship less of a shiny look. I also redid the warp grills and added the blue glow and some falloff lights. And, just because I could, I gave it a different name and number. ;)

Starfire_Beauty01

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For some reason, I only did two renders of this. Maybe I’ll do some more later.

Admiral, it is the Enterprise…

So, it’s the Enterprise. No, the other one. :P

RefitEnterprise_Orbit01

RefitEnterprise_Orbit02

This was built as a different ship for a project. It’s now no longer being used as that ship. (they’re killing me) However, that’s not to say it won’t make an appearance in something. It’s really up to me. If you think you know what it is, or you know what it is, knock yourself out as far as comments go, but I’ll not confirm or deny anything. :P

As usual, I wasn’t going for total accuracy here. I’ve never built this model before and it was a royal pain in the butt, both modeling and texturing, so “close enough” was good enough. Besides, I never copy anything exactly. That’s not my style.

The Enterprise Refit Nacelles Glowed BLUE!

This is something that bugs the hell out of me. Why are there people who actually think the inboard grills of the Enterprise refit had a purple glow? Not counting the 2001 Director’s Edition TMP DVD, where they got that wrong on the CGI model, when the hell do you ever see the nacelles with a purple glow in one of the six TOS-era films? Answer: NEVER.

A blue glow in the nacelle grills was something that they wanted to do for TOS, but it just wasn’t in the budget. However, they did it for the TMP version of the ship. Now, people who have the movie on Blu-Ray, you have the theatrical release of the film. Foundation Imaging, who did the CGI effects for the 2001 DVD edition of the film, went bankrupt and their servers were auctioned off and all of their assets went kaput, including the CGI they did for the film. So, Paramount literally can’t do a Blu-Ray edition of that version of the film. So, if you have the theatrical cut, you can watch the film and you’ll see a blue glow at times coming from the nacelles, not purple. Even if you have the DVD and you know what to look for, you can see the blue glow. This shot, for example:

EnterpriseRefit001

Now, if that looks purple to you, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you that you’re color blind. And, how do we know that’s the studio model? Because, this is the CGI model they used, complete with the wrong color of glow:

enterprise_tmp_beauty

Now, in all other aspects, that is a gorgeous model. However, the nacelle glow is the wrong color, it’s a kind of pale purple (it looks worse in the film, in my opinion.) So, if you’re watching the DVD version of the film and you go “See, it did glow purple.” Nope, sorry, that’s the CGI model. I don’t know why they got that wrong. I don’t know why anybody gets that wrong. In subsequent films with that model, the nacelles still glowed blue. Though, they only glowed at warp, so it’s harder to see. Though, in TMP, they appeared to glow randomly, both when the ship was at warp and when it wasn’t, so I don’t know what they were trying to do there. However, they only glowed at warp in the other films.

So, where do people get this crazy notion that they glowed purple? A friend of mine once pointed to this image as proof:

USS_Enterprise_showing_off_its_pearlescent_hull

Yes, the nacelles are purple there. However, that is a lighting test. That’s not how the ship looked on screen, they were merely testing different lighting conditions. Aside from the purple nacelle glow, I can point out four things wrong with the ship in that image:

1. The bridge module and structure underneath are the wrong shape. This was before they refined the bridge shape. If we could see the underside, I’m sure the sensor dome is wrong also.

2. The impulse engines are glowing blue. As we all know from that great shot of them activating in TMP, (and, through the use of stock footage, TWOK) they glowed orange.

3: The light “sources” for the pylons, both the thick one that connects the saucer and primary hull, and the warp pylons hadn’t been added yet. As most of us probably know, the lighting on the ship was totally faked. They set dental mirrors into Styrofoam and had them reflect light back on to the ship to create the cool spot lights all over the ship. However, they did add source lights for most of them, to make it look like there’s really something there lighting the thing. Those light “sources” at the base of the pylons aren’t present in this image, but they are in the film.

4: Light leaks. The ship didn’t have any light leaks in the film, but you can see them in that image on the nacelles and saucer.

So, it boils down to: that’s not the ship as it appeared on screen, so it can be ignored. There was also a lighting test where the nacelle glow looks reddish, though, thankfully, nobody tries to recreate that lighting.

So, if you’re building a model of the Constitution class refit, please heed my words and make the glow blue. Anything else is just wrong. Thanks for reading. :)

Drydock Lighting Tests

These are lighting tests. You don’t need to know why or for what, just know that there was lighting set up and it was tested. :P

Seriously, I converted my old drydock mesh to Lightwave for reasons to be revealed later. After I got the mesh all converted, fixed and added some things and textured it, I set about setting up the lights. 70 of them in total. I did a few smaller test renders at a lot lower Anti-Aliasing to get the light levels and fall off rates where I needed them, but I needed to do some larger tests, so I setup a scene with my Enterprise model and a “sun.” It’s a good thing I did some tests, because I noticed some mapping issues on the dock when I rendered the first image. So, I fixed those and it looks like it should in the other renders.

Enterprise_DockLightTest01
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