Aztec Hull Pattern.

NeoTrinarty asked what Aztec hull pattern is, and I figure the best way to describe it is with a post and pictures. Basically, Aztec, Aztecing, Aztec pattern, whatever you want to call it, is a blanket term for the hull panel patterns done on Star Trek ships, to show the individual plates that comprise the hull. It first started appearing way back in the late ’70s.

Origins

When they were making Star Trek: The Motion Picture, one thing they had to do was decide how best to represent the Enterprise on the big screen. They’d already scrapped the model being built for Phase II and had done some tweaks to the design to give the model more detail needed for the size at which it would be seen. Finally, someone came up with the idea to paint all of the individual panels on the ship, thus giving it a sense of scale and more detail. (I’ll go into why this isn’t necessary for scale in a moment) They came up with a pattern that is now known as “Aztec” and painted it on the hull in paints that varied slightly in color and shininess. Here’s a great screen capture from TMP showing the pattern on the hull, thanks to Trek Core:

Now, that’s the Aztec pattern in all its glory. As you can see, it’s very subtle. In fact, it’s so subtle that it only appears clearly in certain lighting conditions and up close. In wider shots, it’s still there, but harder to make out:


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Pre-TOS Ship, Part 4?

I think it’s part 4, if you count my previous posts. Anywho, work continues on the engines:

I also figured out how to get rid of all the little white spots, the rendering artifacts. It turns out there’s a setting in Lightwave 2018 that doesn’t play nice, so I turned it off and played with the reflections. I know Star Trek ships aren’t typically reflective like this, but that’s OK because I’m doing my own thing.

Work Continues…

Well, I’ve been working on the warp nacelles. I still have more stuff to jam into the insides, but it’s a start. I spent a fair amount of time playing with material settings in Layout to get the bussard collectors right. I also played with some of the other materials. I’ll probably not have the ship quite this reflective in the end, but it’s fine for now.


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A Ship….

OK, so I’m getting back into CGI, I haven’t done much in quite some time. I’m also back to Lightwave, since I’m running Windows again. I upgraded to Lightwave 2018 a few months back.

This is something I’ve been playing around with over the past few hours. There’s no design that I’m basing this off of, other than the obvious influences from other Star Trek ships. I’m just kind of building it as I see fit, and I’m not worried about it fitting in with Star Trek canon. The idea is that this is a pre-TOS ship, from sometime in the late 22nd to early 23rd century. It’s not a deep space ship, probably more of a utility ship, with missions similar to the type of things we saw Miranda class and Nebula class ships doing on TNG and DS9. It would do things like transport missions, cargo hauling, survey missions, scientific studies, etc. All within Federation space, so it would probably see long service with the UFP and Starfleet. It’s also not huge, a little over 110 meters long, 75 meters wide and the height is TBD. Anyway, this is what I have so far:


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