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Old August 18 2009, 01:07 PM   #166
ncc-1017-e
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

I think the lines look great! I always look forward tosomething new from Vektor.
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Old September 1 2009, 08:02 PM   #167
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Sorry for the length of this post but there were a lot of things I wanted to respond to.

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
What I never really liked about the TOS Enterprise is the neck. It's just... there, without any details, with no transition from saucer to neck, or from neck to secondary hull. I dunno. The TMP Enterprise fixed that somehow by including the torpedo tubes at the bottom of the neck.
The original Enterprise was definitely a more modular, somewhat more utilitarian design. In the TNG era and beyond, it seems like they can afford to crank out a new ship configuration every six months with as much consideration given to the style and appearance as to the functionality of the design, but back in the TOS era they still had to be a bit more practical-minded than that. Simple, standardized components like the interconnecting dorsal would allow them to mate a saucer section to, say, a cargo module or a single warp nacelle as easily as an engineering hull without having to worry about how the parts flowed together. Certainly there were aesthetic considerations, but not where they would tend to interfere with the functionality.

For my update, or redesign or whatever you want to call it, I’ve tried to incorporate more detail and more practical features so that it looks more like something that was actually constructed rather than just a relatively featureless assemblage of shapes carved out of a giant hunk of plastic. I get what Matt Jeffries was trying to do by eliminating hatches and hull plates and putting all of the mechanics inside the nice smooth hull where they would be more easily accessible, but unfortunately that doesn’t lend itself well to the way 21st century human beings perceive large, constructed objects and the visual cues that normally convey that impression. I’m not saying you have to have Star Wars style greebling for something like a starship to look real, but some degree of detail and texture certainly helps.

Beyond that, I am giving some consideration to a few, slightly more radical alterations to areas like the joints between the saucer and the dorsal or the dorsal and the engineering hull, as well as certain features of the deflector cowling and one or two other things. I don’t plan on literally blending those features together the way they did on the new movie version, and I want to be careful about straying too far from the original design and losing the finely balanced authenticity that most people seem to like about it, but there are some additional changes in store that may address your concerns.

erifah wrote: View Post
I am not "convinced" by the nacelle root fillet/fairings… It seems to me that they are too "nice" looking. That strongback is supporting a tremendous amount of mass, and what I like about Probert's refit is that the strongback looks like the skin is made of a different material, or that there are structural supports just under the surface and lightly skinned on top. I think your would look more "real" if there were more of a suggestion of that.
I know exactly what you’re talking about and I agree that it adds a nice touch of structural realism to the appearance of the refit. I may wind up doing something along those lines as well, but don’t misinterpret the fillets at the base of the nacelle struts as structural enhancements. My thinking is that the structural components of those struts are embedded deep into the secondary hull, all the way to its centerline if not further. I think that’s been the long-standing assumption for most people, as well as the source of considerable debate over how the hangar deck could possibly fit into the space behind them. In fact, I angled my nacelle struts slightly for one of the same reasons they did it on the TMP refit, to make more room for the hangar deck.

Maybe the fillets/fairings are some type of armor to help protect the attachment point with the secondary hull, or maybe they are a purely aesthetic enhancement. Whatever they are, they were never intended to be structural.

Wingsley wrote: View Post
I have to say that I really like the softly glowing navi-deflector dish on Vektor's ship. If I could call the shots on a pre-TOS prequel, I'd take Vektor's ship and make it even more like what we saw in "Where No Man Has Gone Before". (the famous "anthill" bridge dome, the "cheese grater" aft nacelle caps, and maybe a bigger dish, and eight smaller impulse engines, to name a few.)
Yeah, I considered some of those things myself, especially since the new movie was a TOS prequel. I actually did incorporate a few elements like the spikes on the bussard collectors and some of the markings on the upper primary hull, but two features I never liked about the pilot version of the ship were the oversized bridge dome and the huge deflector dish. I just thought they looked awkward and didn’t fit the proportions of the rest of the ship.

The “cheese grater” aft nacelle caps were interesting but I always thought they looked a little too much like conventional exhaust ports of some kind, like they aught to have flames shooting out of them or something. The spheres were more esoteric and advanced looking, IMHO.

As for the number of impulse engines, I used eight on my old USS Constitution mesh but I really prefer two, especially with my bifurcated redesign of the engine housing.

AudioBridge wrote: View Post
Vektor, as always, your visual work is fantastic. But I'm a big fan of the visual details also holding a function. Your details around the sides of the saucer are subtle and well done, but don't look like they have a practical function for the ship. They just look like they are there to provide hull detail, and I'm not sure it needs it. Do the lines/plating have a function?
Well, actually, their primary function was to help me work around the problem of gridlines that run through the middle of certain windows on the saucer rim. No matter how you slice it, there’s just no engineering rationalization that would justify such a thing. Sure, I could have just moved the windows—and I still might—but the rim details are also reminiscent of the banding around the primary hull on the TMP refit, which I thought was another nice little continuity nod. As I said in the previous WIP post, those details are not final and I may wind up doing something a bit different.

Psion wrote: View Post
Not only is it generally accepted (but by no means canon) that the grids are deflector shield or force field emitters, but you'll note that a real vessel has a grid pattern visible, although in this case, you're looking at the outer plating and the structural ribbing (transverse and longitudinal frames) over which outer plating is applied.

I'd also like to bring this to Deg's and Vektor's attention because if you click on the picture and examine the larger version, the dimpling of plates against the framework is quite visible, especially in the foreground. It's as if, against the forces of nature (heat, cold, and gravity), the armored, metal skin of this titan still isn't thick enough to resist revealing the ship's skeleton. Combined with Cary's efforts to introduce a framework under the outer shape in his exercise, perhaps it might be possible devise a subtle texture that hints at this very same effect on a starship hull.
I think water pressure and a couple of other factors may be at work there as well. However, dimpling or puckering isn’t quite the look I want to go for. I get the idea of revealing a bit of skeletal structure underneath but I’d prefer to do it in other ways. I will be redoing the hull textures for this ship eventually but I plan to go more in the direction of the TMP refit than anything else, with maybe just a hint more weathering.

erifah wrote: View Post
In the 2-D work I do (because I am mortal, not a 3-D god like Vector and deg3D - GAWD I love their work!) I like to work back in some awkwardness, that suggests real-life manufacturing limitations and compromises. Maybe my nacelle struts should be thinner and more graceful, but "I needed to make enough room for conduits" or something like that.
Slight imperfections are a great way to add realism to a CG model, but on an object of this scale I think they need to be very slight.
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Old September 1 2009, 08:31 PM   #168
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Pursuant to the discussion going on in deg3D's TOS.5.2 thread, I decided to try a couple different self-illumination schemes for lighting the ship's name and registry.

First, here's what they currently look like with the proper colors applied:




I liked the idea of the lettering having some thickness to it, like plates welded to the hull rather than just painted on. It also allows for the possibility of a back-lit or edge-lit self-illumination scheme, as shown here:



This makes for a cool effect but I think it needs further refinement. The glow effect probably wouldn't spread out as much in reality and it could use a greater suggestion of actual light sources beneath or along the edges of the letter plates. I'm not ruling it out just yet, but I'm not at all dead-set on using it either.

Incidentally, this effect was accomplished with a simple targeted spotlight and a mask map in the shape of the name and registry with some heavy blur applied. The name and registry objects themselves are excluded from illumination and shadow casting by the spotlight so the glow appears to be coming from behind them.

Here is the more traditional self-illumination scheme:



I've cheated a little bit here as well. As I mentioned in deg3D's thread, it's hard to get a good, even scallop of light on the front of the saucer from a light source positioned on the front of the B/C deck module because of the low angle of incidence and the convex curvature of the hull. You get much better results with a "magic" light source placed at a higher, more direct angle. That's actually what I've done here, but the spotlight creating the scallop is set to produce no specular highlights. In other words, you see the light cast upon the hull but you don't see any reflection of the light source itself.

"But wait!" you say, "There are specular highlights from the two light sources on the front of the B/C deck module clearly visible in the rendering!" Indeed there are. Those are from two additional spotlights positioned where the light appears to be coming from, but those spotlights are set to produce specular highlights only with no diffuse illumination. They are also used as targets for the video post glow/streak/star effects that make them look like intensely bright little floodlights. In other words, there are three spotlights at work here: One to provide the actual illumination on the hull and two more to provide the specular highlights and visible sources. Just one of those little tricks you can use to tweak a realistic but not-entirely-satisfactory result to be more to your liking.
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Old September 1 2009, 09:08 PM   #169
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Ah, nice dude. That's about what I envisioned the back-lit would look like, eh. That and the suggested aircraft carrier-like bulb centering scheme is not to my liking. A bit too garish/overstated for my tastes.

I dig what you are doing there with the spec and diffuse exclusive lights though. 3D is great for that type of stuff, eh.

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Old September 1 2009, 09:14 PM   #170
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Vektor wrote: View Post

Slight imperfections are a great way to add realism to a CG model, but on an object of this scale I think they need to be very slight.
Indeed, less is more, esp. at this scale. However, I did like the way ILM painted the Kelvin in XI. They basically used smaller scale weathering on her. Looked good, but not so much the way I want to go myself.

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Old September 1 2009, 09:28 PM   #171
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Have I said lately how awesome this looks? Oh yeah. This looks freakin' awesome.
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Old September 1 2009, 10:07 PM   #172
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

This new ship is totally way beyond awesome.
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Old September 1 2009, 10:30 PM   #173
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Interesting to see how the different lighting schemes work out. The back lit look is definitely functional, but not very atheistically pleasing. I'd like to see it with the modifications you mention (tighter falloff, a visible light source), but I suspect it still won't look right. Part of the problem too is that we're all used to the illumination scheme from TMP, so anything diverging from that is going to look wrong.

I also want to say how much I like you take on the ship too, it's very very nicely done. Your TOS Ent, together with Deg's and Cary's have been a real inspiration for me. I'm trying to do my own 'update' of her, and it's great to see how you've tackled the same problems we've all run into; the downside is that I like some of your solutions so much that I have to be careful not to simply copy what you've done.
I'd love to see what you're thinking in terms of the connections between the dorsal and the primary and engineering hulls. The lack of any detail or even a blend is something of an iconic design feature in itself, so updating that look is going to be challenging.
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Old September 2 2009, 12:17 AM   #174
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Vektor, your work is excellent. You've taken the classic Enterprise, added a few more details, and made it a work of art.

One thing I always wondered during the original series, is what if a ship parked above the Enterprise? There were no phasers up there to shoot them! I like how you added the phasers top and bottom of the saucer, and the torpedo tubes as well to give a defined point of exit from the ship. Have you considered the aft torpedo tube and also possible placement of aft and engineering phasers as well?

As to lighting the ship, possibly for continuity's sake, the spotlight approach could work for most of the ship's registries except on the nacelles themselves. As for those lighting methods you showed on page 9, I'd have to see 'em in space to see which looks best for the ship.

I enjoy this thread and hope to see more of it!

...and if you have time, I have a TOS-Movie era gunboat that could use a render...

James
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Old September 2 2009, 01:46 AM   #175
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

JJohnson wrote: View Post
Vektor, your work is excellent. You've taken the classic Enterprise, added a few more details, and made it a work of art.

One thing I always wondered during the original series, is what if a ship parked above the Enterprise? There were no phasers up there to shoot them! I like how you added the phasers top and bottom of the saucer, and the torpedo tubes as well to give a defined point of exit from the ship. Have you considered the aft torpedo tube and also possible placement of aft and engineering phasers as well?

As to lighting the ship, possibly for continuity's sake, the spotlight approach could work for most of the ship's registries except on the nacelles themselves. As for those lighting methods you showed on page 9, I'd have to see 'em in space to see which looks best for the ship.

I enjoy this thread and hope to see more of it!

...and if you have time, I have a TOS-Movie era gunboat that could use a render...

James
I like your Gun-boat design
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Old September 2 2009, 02:06 AM   #176
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Vektor wrote: View Post
I liked the idea of the lettering having some thickness to it, like plates welded to the hull rather than just painted on. It also allows for the possibility of a back-lit or edge-lit self-illumination scheme, as shown here:



This makes for a cool effect but I think it needs further refinement. The glow effect probably wouldn't spread out as much in reality and it could use a greater suggestion of actual light sources beneath or along the edges of the letter plates. I'm not ruling it out just yet, but I'm not at all dead-set on using it either.

Incidentally, this effect was accomplished with a simple targeted spotlight and a mask map in the shape of the name and registry with some heavy blur applied. The name and registry objects themselves are excluded from illumination and shadow casting by the spotlight so the glow appears to be coming from behind them.
That is interesting because I had played around with a similar idea for lighting the registry numbers (and only the registry numbers) on my CG Constellation.

I was recalling what it was like while growing up in Coronado where from my home I could see out over the ocean and at night I could tell which carriers were coming and going by the lit island numbers (the Constellation always being the easiest to pick out... for obvious reasons). And I was looking at solutions the Navy used and noticed that they had changed how it was done on the Bush.

For my test I used a limited number of lights behind raised registry numbers... just enough lights to make the numbers somewhat readable. I only got around to testing the idea on the big primary hull number on my model, but I've included a sample of the idea I had for the other numbers.


I didn't follow through with the idea as it was moving away from what I was attempting to do with that model, but I still liked the idea as a possible solution.
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Old September 2 2009, 02:37 AM   #177
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

I love the idea of outlining the registry letters in lights!
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Old September 4 2009, 11:04 PM   #178
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

What would it look like with TMP-style hull illumination, plus the raised-lettering with its own illuminaria?
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Old September 5 2009, 01:24 AM   #179
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

Design and modeling perfection. I still don't know why ILM hasn't scooped you up yet. The look and style of your models fits my personal tastes exactly and I always use your work as a gauge to keep mine as high a level as my skills allow.

I don't usually kiss ass either so I really mean it.
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Old September 17 2009, 07:45 AM   #180
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Re: Modified TOS Ent - Wallpapers

I'm currently working on changing scenes out of the remastered episodes of star trek with my own because I felt the CGI models on the remastered versions don't look realistic, It looks too much like a computer game.

The problem I'm having is the basic original model enterprise is very hard to make look plausible as a large man made object, All to do with the simple shapes on it's design. I don't suppose vector has offered this mesh to the public yet? I'm far better at creating scenes then I am creating a mesh.


Something else I've always tried to do and have never been satisfied with is creating a model of the enterprise that would fit in better as a pre/refit version of the enterprise structurally from an engineering point of view.

Yes I know it's sci fi (fiction) but it always bugged me that the TMP enterprise doesn't look anything like the original enterprise. It's as if they went from a Model T ford and did a refit, sudenly it's a 2009 Ford Mustang. commonsense tells me that an organisation would see better use of resources by building a whole new ship rather then comit to a refit as radical as the original to refit version of the enterprise.
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