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Old January 14 2013, 01:34 AM   #1276
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Well, we clearly have artificial gravity in our little techno-continuity; acceleration alone wouldn't account under all circumstances for Polaris's internal environment as we see it.

In building Saladin I've tried to detail it so as to suggest that gravity runs along different axes in different modules of the ship, giving us more wiggle room for interpretation on various vessels.

Rather than ask artists to constrain themselves to a particular approach, what I've come to is that there are issues of how systems "scale" on our ships.

For example, little Polaris has some nifty variable-geometry sails to manage parts of its FTL drive in an energy-efficient manner,while a behemoth like Saladin employs huge fixed structures that draw on enormous energy resources and "brute force."

The real reason for the design difference is that if we put structures on Saladin that both move quickly enough and are proportionately large enough to be seen in quick-cut shots I'm afraid it'll appear less massive and we'll destroy the sense of scale difference between it and Polaris.

So, on the matter of gravity - it's more practical and efficient for a small vessel like Polaris to make use of acceleration forces to help with the gravity situation, but much bigger ships can prioritize other design demands over efficiency because they have enough energy resources not to have to worry about it.

Or something. Sometimes forward is up and sometimes it's not.
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Old January 14 2013, 03:31 AM   #1277
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Mind if I put this up on the Facebook page?
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Old January 14 2013, 04:12 AM   #1278
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Meanwhile here's how this is going:

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Old January 14 2013, 05:30 AM   #1279
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

If you mean the latest ship sketch, by all means, post wherever you like. Just make sure to note it's a work in progress.

As for the artificial gravity/deck orientation question, my feeling is that Polaris' decks are arranged the way they are mainly because it has the ability to land. Probably a lot of smaller ship classes have similar arrangements and for the same reasons. For bigger ships, they can orient their gravity and their decks however they want, and even vary them from one section to another. Even on Polaris, I have the gravity in the lander modules oriented perpendicular to the rest of the ship, and the access corridors leading to them actually transition from one orientation to the other like a skateboard ramp.

Regarding the drive "sails," I've given quite a bit of thought to the rationale for them. By way of an analogy, I liken them to the fletchings on an arrow. When a ship makes an FTL jump, the effect is similar to firing an arrow from a bow. Without the fletchings, there is nothing to stabilize the arrow's trajectory and it is likely to go wildly off-target.

I imagine that FTL jump drives in this universe have effectively unlimited range, but any jump longer than, say, a dozen light years is impractical because the accuracy diminishes exponentially with distance. Beyond a certain point, the FTL trajectory can actually skew beyond the dimensional limits of this universe, making longer jumps exceptionally risky.

Polaris' drive sails were a design innovation intended to stabilize the FTL trajectory much like the arrow fletchings. They succeeded, giving Polaris pinpoint accuracy for short jumps and a much greater effective range for longer ones, but the sails themselves were relatively fragile and vulnerable to misalignment problems. Only two or three ship classes were ever fitted with the technology and only a handful of each were ever produced. Within a few years, the external sails were superseded by somewhat less efficient but far more durable internal components.

Anyway, that's my unofficial explanation for the drive sails and why they aren't used on any other ships in this production besides Polaris. It also ties in with certain plot points, which I will not reveal here.

For what it's worth.
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Old January 14 2013, 05:34 AM   #1280
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

That engineering space looks awesome! Amazing fidelity to the concept painting. I can hardly wait to see it with all the lights on.
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Old January 14 2013, 01:12 PM   #1281
USS Intrepid
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

This continues to look fantastic. Very excited to see how it all progresses.
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Old January 14 2013, 08:23 PM   #1282
Maurice
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Re the sails and the fletchings, it's worth nothing that Polaris was an exploration vessel in its earlier days and the ship was likely making jumps out into uncharted space, so accuracy was probably a bigger concern than for ships that are travelling in well-charted and traveled space, so maybe those "sail" systems are more common for vessels of that function.
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Old January 14 2013, 09:21 PM   #1283
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Yeah, there are a number of ways we can come at this, and all of them are interesting. That's why it's fun not to have it all figured out at the get-go; people coming on to a project often make up better stuff than the first writer thinks of.

Polaris was a small, privately owned vessel. It's possible that there are economies involved in the sail arrangement that put FTL vessels within the budgets of small businesses. As I understand it, either the back story or some later elaboration of the Firefly continuity had ships like Serenity being built in numbers and sold at costs that families and small colonizing groups could afford - it was a kind of cheap reliable workhorse.
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Old January 14 2013, 10:14 PM   #1284
Vektor
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

It might also be the opposite. The sail technology might ultimately be higher-maintenance and more expensive, but it's superior range and accuracy put it in an elite class of mission profiles with very lucrative fees, at least until the war broke out. Even then, Polaris' greatest value to the UW military was probably in the realm of scouting and tactical reconnaissance.
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Old January 14 2013, 11:05 PM   #1285
Savage Dragon
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

you guys really need to finish this so I can watch it already! It sounds very interesting.
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Old January 14 2013, 11:56 PM   #1286
lennier1
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Vektor wrote: View Post
It might also be the opposite. The sail technology might ultimately be higher-maintenance and more expensive, but it's superior range and accuracy put it in an elite class of mission profiles with very lucrative fees, at least until the war broke out. Even then, Polaris' greatest value to the UW military was probably in the realm of scouting and tactical reconnaissance.
Sounds a bit like variable wing geometry in present-day fighters. The technology has its advantages, but also a ton of drawbacks.
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Old January 15 2013, 03:58 AM   #1287
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

I rebuilt the console in the foreground to get it a little closer to the geometry in the concept painting - I really wasn't happy with the curve of it the first time around.

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Old January 15 2013, 07:34 AM   #1288
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Dennis, that is a masterful interpretation. How much of the remaining space is completed? That is, how much can you move the camera around before the quality breaks down?
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Old January 15 2013, 03:34 PM   #1289
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

The camera could move maybe ten degrees in either direction without requiring building more of the model. Our live footage of actors for this set is locked down and mainly from one or two angles; Vektor covered all of what we need and more, really, in his painting.
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Old January 16 2013, 05:59 AM   #1290
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Re: Star Ship Polaris

Multiple background ships will be required for both the United Worlds and Transhuman Authority fleets. I thought I'd go ahead and do some development sheets, or "ideations" as they are sometimes called, for both sets of ships. Here's a batch for the THA, a.k.a. the Bad Guys:



If you had to pick three of these to develop further, which ones would they be?
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