Vulcan Shuttle Orbit

Here’s a little shuttle porn for the Trekkies in the audience.  Unfortunately, I found that the shuttle has its good and bad angles.  More bad than good, at least as far as doing dynamic angles with planets and whatnot.  And, alas, I still suck at making planets in 3D.  After working an hour or so on a planet in Lightwave, I finally threw my hands up in disgust and just used one of my GIMP planets.  I altered the color and a few other things to try and make it look like Vulcan.  (Vulcan has an inconsistent look between the series, which helps)  I probably overdid the city lights, since I don’t think Vulcan is that densely populated, but oh well.  ;)

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For the second one, I put the shuttle in against a NASA photo of Earth. I figure ships like this would ferry Vulcans to and from the planet. Really, with the size of the shuttle (35 meters) and assuming the ring is a warp nacelle, this type of shuttle may even make routine trips between Earth and Vulcan.

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Vulcan Shuttle, Pt. 05

For people who like to see this sort of thing, here’s a test fit for the upper panel lines. All in all, it’s not bad. I need to tweak a couple things. Ordinarily, I’d do more maps to correct a couple things, but I’m trying to keep the number of materials and maps down so that Tobias has less to convert. Of course, if Lightwave had decent UV unwrapping tools, this would be easier.

Also, the bottom is a mess, which is why I didn’t render it. ;)

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Vulcan Shuttle, Pt. 03

Working hard or hardly working? Either way, I’ve got the ring all detailed now. I just have a few more thingamabobs (technical term) to add to the main body and a really simple interior for the windows and then I’ll be ready to texture. :D

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I was back and forth with the idea of modeled paneling or textured paneling. I’ve opted for textured for 3 reasons. 1. Tobias gets it more quickly. 2. It will have the same look as the model on the show, which had textured paneling. 3. In order to model the paneling, I’m going to follow my geometry, which doesn’t match the panel lines in the nose and rear sections due to the subdivision. So, it won’t look the same if I model it. However, I can always go back and do modeled paneling later, if I so desire.

Vulcan Shuttle, Pt. 02

I got a little more work done on the shuttle. Mostly, a lot of edge rounding and some paneling and boxes on the ring. I also put in the inset lines the top front section has, part of which appear to be the hatches. And, the piping stuff around the cockpit window.

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This isn’t exactly a 1:1 representation of the model from the show because my geometry is likely different, but it’s close enough. Besides, I never copy anything exactly.

Vulcan Shuttle Pt. 01

This is a favor for a friend. A few days ago, Tobias Richter posted a thread on Scifi-Meshes asking if anybody had done this shuttle from Enterprise:

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I didn’t know of a mesh of that particular shuttle, but I was looking at the 5 view orthos and thinking it wouldn’t be hard to build one, so I volunteered. Tobias would do it himself, but he has a lot on his plate right now.

So, I started on this on Sunday and I’ve been picking at it. Terrific references for this shuttle, thanks to Doug Drexler posting the 5 view orthos and perspective shot on his blog, and thanks to Bernd Schneider for re-posting Doug’s stuff on his site, since Doug’s blog no longer exists. (yes, I know it’s in a web archive, but EAS is in my bookmarks) This is very helpful, because this shuttle has about 4 seconds total screen time in 4 seasons. It appears very briefly in two episodes.

Tobias said for his purpose that it didn’t have to be this exact shuttle, but I want to keep it as close to the original as possible. I really love John Eaves’ design work, and this is one of the many awesome designs that he did for Enterprise. Besides, it’s hard to say how quickly Vulcan designs would have evolved after the dissolution of the Vulcan High Command in 2154 and Vulcans (presumably) putting the bulk of their creative efforts into stuff that benefits the Federation, which apparently uses ships for 100+ years anyway. ;)

Even with a 5 view and perspective, there is still some guesswork in some areas, such as the inside of and anything blocked by the ring. But, it’s going smoothly so far. This is where she stands right now:

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I’ve got the big pieces in place, it’s all about details right now. The front top bit was the first piece that I did, but I was overthinking it at first. At first, I was trying to do the cockpit window as part of the mesh before subdivision, but it was coming out like garbage. Fortunately, I regrouped and decided to do it after the subdivision by making a piece that shape and then stenciling it into the mesh. Then I set in the window and cleaned up my ngons (to make the conversion to .fbx for Tobias easier.) Since then, it’s been going well.

I would just like to point out that I think this new dumbed down “improved” posting system WordPress is using sucks. I used the old system as long as I could, but it looks like I’ve got no choice now. Thanks a lot, you asshats.

Pilot Speak

So, I was waiting for system updates on one of my computers a little while ago and I was playing Star Wars: Rogue Squadron on the Nintendo 64. Anyway, during the first mission, Luke says “Maintain visual scanning.” I’ve always found that a kind of funny line. Red Leader also said that in the first film and Luke immediately started looking around. So, is “maintain visual scanning” just pilot speak for “use your frakking eyes” or what? That’s what it seems like to me.

:P

TOS Purists Be Warned…

If you’re a TOS Purist, one of those people who thinks the Starship Enterprise should look exactly like it did 50 years ago, avert your eyes now. In fact, you should probably just stop reading this and leave. If the thought of the original Enterprise with cut in grid lines makes your colon clench, leave now. I’m not joking, GO!

And, with that, you have been warned. By continuing to read this and looking at the images below, you are certifying that modifying the Enterprise doesn’t bother you and that I am not responsible for you seeing something you don’t want to see and having bad feelings as a result. :P

Anywho, I just had to do it:

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Overall, it’s pretty much the same ship it’s always been, just with a few logical additions. Grid lines, RCS thrusters, docking ports and torpedo launchers. There will be modeled phasers also and I plan to do better looking running lights. I did have to move a few windows, especially on the saucer edge. Those were moved to avoid the thrusters. It doesn’t make any sense to have a window between the upper and lower thrusters. For one thing, there’s a thruster there, so it’s not like anybody is getting that close to the window due to the internal mechanics. Plus, the internal mechanics are likely automated and people only enter the area to do maintenance, so who would even be looking out of said windows, if they could? So, they got moved. I also rotated those lit rectangles on the upper saucer a bit to line up with the thrusters, purely for aesthetic reasons.

And still more…

I added the “baseball bat” to the impulse engines yesterday. I think this version is closer to what was on the original ship, but it’s not perfect. Though, it’s a very odd shape to make, so I’m glad it’s as close as it is. Today, I added the windows to the saucer section. I know, “purists” will say that the saucer rim and B/C deck on the 11-foot model don’t have symmetrical windows. While that’s true, I feel that they should. The port side saucer rim and B/C deck look so plain to me with only two windows a piece (yes, I know there were more towards the back of the rim, but the port fore is seen more often.) Had they detailed the port side of the ship, I think they would have given it the same number of windows as the starboard side. They did that on the 33-inch model. And, since it was never really seen on screen, one could argue that the port side would have had the same number of windows. So, mine does. However, I left the other windows asymmetrical. Those windows were clearly seen in a lot of episodes and are intentionally asymmetrical.

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