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Old July 16 2009, 02:46 PM   #23
Warped9
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Location: Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Re: TOS' U.S.S. Valiant and Farragut....

Cary L. Brown wrote: View Post
I actually really like what Warped9 has done here. I'm pretty impressed that this was done in Photoshop. Ray, is this using the recently added (if I've read my magazine articles properly) 3D capability in Photoshop, or is this all literally 2D?
This is strictly 2D although I tried for a 3D look. Basically this was very much a cut-and paste work broadly speaking. I cut peices or swatches off other images (mostly modern aircraft) and then distorted their shapes to get what I wanted. Each swatch was a new layer to be merged into other layers. I tried to take lighting and shadow into account so that it all fit together. Sometimes I had to add my own highlights or shadows. The existing variations of colour, tones and distorted reflections on the surfaces from with I took my swatches served to give the ship's hull added visual texture and precluded too much uniformity. I also had to desaturate swatches and match all the peices to have varying tones of the same overall colour for the hull.

It took me the framework of a day to do this one image. Mind you some of that time was taken up searching for the right swatches and pausing to consider how next to proceed.

I like to think of this as artwork, but with a computer rather than pencil and/or paintbrush. Even though it's 2D you still have to be able to think in 3D.

If I have a major criticism of this image it's in regard to the lower saucer dome. It's meant to be white or very light grey in contrast with the silvery grey of the rest of the hull, but it's still too bright for what I wanted and it even seems to look a bit transluscent which isn't what I initially intended.

I did add similar touches as the Pike era Enterprise to establish a visual connection: similar detailing on the upper saucer dome, the spiked nacelle domes, the large reddish deflector dish and the blue tinged dorsal.

3D modeling is beyond me at present with its steep learning curve. So this approach and my 2D schematic drawings (rendered in Illustrator) are the next best thing for me. They're the end result of what starts out as freehand sketching of ideas on scores of scrap paper and even restaurant napkins.

There's something else. This image doesn't look the way I see it on my eMac. I have the brightness turned down a bit on my display which makes it easier on the eyes. As I result I get what I see as a slightly darker and more natural looking lighting effect (considering the subject matter). On many other displays the brightness often appears to be set higher and so the image looks brighter and not as well shadowed. If I try to compensate for that so that it will look better on other displays then the image looks too dark on my computer.

Nothing's perfect and you can't please everyone.

On the plus side it doesn't much look like CGI or 3D computer modeling. Perhaps partly because I'm using photographs for my source material of swatches I end up with something that has a photographic quality to it as if you're seeing a physical object (such as a model kit) or perhaps even a filming miniature.


In regards to lineage and continuity.

My thinking is basically this: the Valiant was an older design assimilated into the Star Fleet service when it was established in the 2200s and much less advanced than the newer ships launched in the 2220s. Or the Valiant could have been one of the newer ships that was just fantastically unlucky when it got to Eminiar 7 (in that case then my design is wrong and I'd have to render another image. Hmm).

Somehow I don't see the Valiant's Captain bringing his crew down to Eminiar 7 to just complacently stroll into desintegration booths anymore than Kirk doing it. I think it more likely the Eminians and/or Vendikans got lucky and were able to blow the ship out of orbit like they were unable to do with the Enterprise fifty years later.

On further consideration I think I got the registry wrong. I'm thinking of this as a sistership of the Republic 1371. In that case the registry should be in the 1300 or 1400 range and not 1500.


Other ships I like to try:
- the Valiant referenced in "Where No Man Has Gone Before." Others have tried (like aridas) and so I'd like a crack at it. The small image shown in the Pocket Books' chronology and encyclopedia is interesting but I'm not completely sold on it.
- the "real" Bonaventure rather than the one shown in TAS' "Time Trap" episode.
- the ringship Enterprise only glimpsed on the display wall of TMP.
- the Independence-class as opposed to the Deadalus-class seen in DS9 on Sisko's desk and in the Pocket Books' publications. Essentially something between my ideas for the first Valiant, the Bonaventure and the ringship E and the Valiant I've depicted above.
-a destroyer equivalent class ship that was supposedly Kirk's first command before the TOS E. The FJ destroyer design might serve only as a conceptual springboard for what I'm thing of.
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Last edited by Warped9; July 16 2009 at 03:19 PM.
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