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Old October 20 2009, 02:14 AM   #188
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
…I think it is on the verge -- or maybe has already crossed into -- being overcomplicated. The shell is great, and the articulation is interesting, though it does make me wonder whether it will make the ship appear to be a much smaller craft. Going with a vertical instead of a horizontal orientation is fine because it's different and after all there is no up or down in space. The side "conning tower" is good -- it is an improvement over the observation bubble I had in that spot. The aft thrusters/weapons are great, but here is where we get into the realm of maybe having to make choices. Does it make sense to have all that propulsive-looking detail -- a ring AND a sail AND thrusters tucked in the sail AND the big rocket/guns AND the domes on the bow and stern. If you go with the sail, and you put thrusters in there, maybe you don't need the big, bulging thruster/guns at the aft. OR, maybe you can simplify the sail to be clearly a heat dissipator or radiator alone, and keep the thruster/ guns. If you keep the bulge in the middle then get rid of the ring, or vice versa. In short, "unclutter" the design. It does need to appear a bit "gobbed" up to fit with the backstory, but I think not so much that it actually begins to appear "laden".
Obviously, I respect your input on the matter, Aridas, especially since you were the original designer, but I’d have to argue that “overcomplicated” is a relative term. It certainly has a lot more parts and pieces and surface detail than the C-57D saucer from Forbidden Planet, which I know was one of its inspirations, but as Dennis recently explained to me, those inspirations were a starting point, not a destination.

The design is still not 100% final. Among other things, the tail-fins and the edges of the sails will probably wind up a little more curved along the top and bottom, and the glowing panels on the inside surface of the ring may change color or go away entirely. I don’t really see the main engines changing much, but I have several details planned for them that really don’t show in the concept sketches and may ultimately improve your opinion of them. Finally, the sails would remain folded 99% of the time and only deploy when the ship engages its stardrive, so their contribution to the “propulsive-looking detail” should be minimal except when they are intended to be the focal point.

I’m not sure what the guns are you’re referring to. There are no weapons currently shown in the design sketches; however, the “conning towers” on the sides are actually structural hard points where the guns will be mounted in place of what were originally modular sensor packages and scientific hardware. There is no observation bubble, as such, though something like that could re-emerge before all is said and done.

Just bear with me a little longer until we iron out the details.

Venardhi wrote: View Post
At this point I think having the ring broken just looks odd, the gap between it and the 'thrusters' just adds more complexity without really adding to it. I like the ring itself though, and have since it first popped up. The lights on the inside kinda just look like they're there to have more glowing bits on the ship though, and I could absolutely do without.

Having the sails control more precise motions in sub-light makes more sense to me than having them run the 'warp drive'. I imagine them folding down and dimming as the globes on either end begin to light up to open a wormhole (or however it is explained) then folding back out as they tear back into normal space and the glow slowly 'warms back up'.

Speaking of the glow, have you considered other colors? If the globes are this great indigo color, it seems like an orange or coral color would suit well and contrast, making it all not quite as cold looking. Plus, I always appreciate seeing a color other than blue in sci-fi.
I tried having the ring connected to the engine housings and it just looked a little too conventional, too predictable. Breaking it into a pair of semi-circular arcs gave it a whole different functionality and I’m happy with the result. More importantly, so is Dennis, and so it shall stay.

The glowing panels on the inside surface may be a different story. Aridas had a point when he said there was a lot of “propulsive-looking detail” back there. The main engines are dark in both sets of concept sketches but would actually be lit a good part of the time, so the glowy bits on the ring are probably overkill.

The operation of the sails as you describe would be completely opposite what was intended. The idea is that they only open up and start to glow when the ship is about to enter stardrive. Once it emerges on the other side, the glow fades out and the sails fold back into their normal positions. It’s largely a dramatic effect designed to enhance the coolness factor of the jump through hyperspace.

The indigo color of the globes at the tips of the main fuselage is not final. They are the primary components of the stardrive apparatus, so at the very least they probably look different when the ship is just cruising around vs. traveling at FTL. The color of the main engines is also yet to be determined, but I have been leaning toward a red or orange to warm it up a little and provide some contrast, just as you say.

Dennis wrote: View Post
…I'm thinking that it may rotate a little along the z-axis when it's flying, depending on what else it's doing…for example, turning to hug close to the surface of a much larger ship in order to avoid... whatever. More of a Millennium Falcon move, I suppose, although this is about five times its size.
One of the interesting things about this ship is that it defies the normal conventions for logical orientation of a ship in space. Technically, “up” on this ship is toward the nose as that is the way the decks are oriented, but otherwise there really is no up or down other than the way we choose to portray it. I expect it will be seen most often as it is in the concept renderings, and the direction of the ship’s name and registry number will reinforce that, but I’m a big fan of pretty much discarding the concept of right-side-up when it comes to ship and camera movements in space scenes. Then again, I’m not actually creating the special effects, I’m just designing the ship, so that will be up to someone else.
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