USS Drexler

For anybody who hasn’t already, check out Steve Neill’s blog (the link is in my blogroll.) He’s working on an independent Star Trek short film and he approached me a while ago to ask if I’d help with it. Of course, I’m not much of an animator, but he does like my Enterprise mesh (the one from 2007 that I released publicly) and I’ve also contributed another mesh. To see which one, you’ll just have to watch the film. 😉

Anywho, Doug Drexler is an old friend of Steve’s and he agreed to play the part of the captain of an ill-fated starship. And the beautiful thing about Doug is, he has his own green screen and uniform, so he just recorded his bit and sent it to Steve, check it out here. 😉 After getting Doug on board, Steve decided to name his ship the USS Drexler. The Drexler is a Constitution-class starship, and the model being used is my Enterprise model. There are skilled Lightwave users that are friends of Steve (professional artists) who are working with the mesh, converting it to Lightwave and animating it. However, I still wanted to do my part. So, I retextured the ship. This makes sense as I textured it originally, and the animators have enough on their plates already anyway.

Now, the film will also utilize Steve’s awesome 66-inch physical Enterprise model (seriously, check out his blog) as well as my CG model, so I wanted to make the ships match as much as possible, aside from issues that can only be fixed by remodeling stuff, which isn’t happening. So, I grabbed some shots from Steve’s WIP pictures and used the color picker in Gimp. To make sure I got the best match possible, I moved around on differently lighted parts and got samples of what the color was. For the main hull, it was pretty easy, it’s just basic light gray (200, 200, 200 on the RGB scale) but the rest was a bit more of a challenge. However, I got it done. It’s not a 100% match, but it’s a lot closer than my old textures were. Steve’s ship has that great TOS season 1 look to it, so I tried to duplicate it as best I could. Since he used a paint sprayer to do his model, there are “high and low” areas, which were easy to replicate using the solid noise filter in Gimp (I use it on all my textures anyway.)

I’m still not totally happy with the deflector (it’s not metallic looking), but everything else is pretty much where I want it. Though, that’s mostly for me, because the guys working on it for the film are doing their own materials in Lightwave.

I’m currently working on a short flyby animation (probably about 8 seconds or so) but that’s nothing compared to what they guys working on the film have planned. To see that, you’ll just have to watch it. 😀


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