It's cool to see this project. I don't know why I didn't look for something like it sooner, but I myself was going to try modeling just the visible sets of Deck 1 (Bridge, Ready Room, Conference Lounge, Turbolifts). Mostly just because people so often do exteriors, which I think is fairly simple or almost done too much. I wanted to see some interiors modeled, and was surprised that not much was available on the internet. Sure, there are models like those at Turbosquid
, but even those have errors in the details. And most of all I don't like their textures and lighting. I wanted to see if I could not only build the bridge, but light and texture it accurately. This is a daunting task for a lot of the reasons you've listed.
I became very frustrated on how to build the bridge because of all of its organic shapes. The blueprints I'd seen were inconsistent, and none of them were fully accurate with what was seen on the show. I'd try to line up views in 3d, but it seldom wouldn't work. But then I realized why
it wouldn't work, and that's because of the way video was cropped then. I realized this when watching part of one of the features on the TNG Blu Ray, part of which can be seen here
. They demonstrate how the film was cropped. After looking through more examples of raw footage, I found that a lot of the cropped shots weren't centered horizontally or vertically, and that they weren't always consistent. This made it really hard to line up images not knowing the crop. A lot of times you can tell vertically where it should sit, but horizontal is a lot tougher, especially with all the round shapes. For this reason, I'd love to see some side by side comparisons of your 3d with images from the show. That was what I wanted to do: show side by side images and hopefully they would be pretty spot on.
Right now I think I'm a bit humbled by some of your efforts, as well as having difficulty with inconsistent references. This image
I thought was helpful in seeing how the ramp and the lip of the round section of the horseshoe work together, but I'll be damned if I could actually line a camera up to this shot. I almost feel that they must have removed one of the science station walls or something to get this kind of shot.