Star Ship Polaris

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by aridas sofia, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. aridas sofia

    aridas sofia Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think this is the biggest problem. You've obviously invested tremendous amounts of thought and creativity into what you've come up with thus far. I think you've tackled some of the problems that at first seemed unsolvable -- i.e. making the ship seem retrofitted from an explorer into a warship -- admirably. And that comes from the person whose design was being covered with each addition -- I think some of the reshaping has been for the better. However, 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".

    I love your renderings and think your mechanical sense is great, but you also have a knack for clean, uncluttered design that I think you need to tap again.
     
  2. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Wow! I'm still digesting this but it's definitely going down smoothly. I think congratulations are in order--you've come up a with a hat-trick design that manages to do something new (the unusual orientation) while still echoing familiar design themes. I look forward to seeing this beauty in motion (especially when the "sails" are being deployed/retracted). :techman:
     
  4. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, that should be fun.

    Also, I'm thinking that it may rotate a little along the z-axis when it's flying, depending on what else it's doing.
     
  5. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Ooooh, kind of like the jellyfish from the new Star Trek movie? Now that would be the shiznit.
     
  6. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    Um, I thought the jellyfish design was something to be avoided...?
     
  7. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Does it? I thought the "eggbeater" thing on the back just rotated.

    No, I was thinking in terms of, 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.
     
  8. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  9. Professor Moriarty

    Professor Moriarty Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, now that you say that I'm not so sure. In any event, she's a handsome ship and I look forward to seeing her in action.
     
  10. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    Coming in a little late here- but I like this ship. Apparently so did the Jedi on the new Star Wars CGI series- they had a very similar design. The one in Star Wars did seem to have a rotating pilot compartment, much like a B-wing.

    None-the-less, you've made a nifty little ship.
     
  11. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC the Jellyfish banked pretty hard at times (it's not like I have, oh, a bootleg of the movie to call up on my computer but am too lazy to go do that. ;) ). I expect there may be shots where Polaris does that, as well.

    I'm really, really happy with what Vektor is doing with the ship. I can build a CG model and add detail to it based on my sense of logic and by looking at reference materials of objects that I decide are similar - sometimes it looks good, but quite often doesn't work. What I don't have the talent to do is come up with inspired, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing additions like he does. Putting a radar dish on the front of the Enterprise is the kind of thing I might stumble across - designing that concavity into the bottom of the Enterprise saucer is the kind of thing that I'd never come up with. IMAO that's a lot of the quality that Vektor brings to this.
     
  12. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I keep hearing about this ship in Clone Wars but I've only watched a couple of episodes and haven't seen it. Are there any pictures or references online anywhere? I'm just curious to see how close the similarity really is.

    You do recall correctly. I saw the movie nine times in the theater and pretty much have a visual record of it in my head. ;)

    I expect Polaris will do its share of banks and rolls at the appropriate times, but no part of it is intended to spin the way the back half of the Jellyfish did or change orientation the way the front half did.

    As I said before, one of the coolest things about this design is that it doesn't really have a right-side-up other than the direction of the lettering on its hull. Combine that with a camera that isn't locked-off in the Z-axis and I think you could get some very interesting results.
     
  13. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Understood. I'm just stating my personal preference. It would also allow some more freedom in what to do with the engine pods near the back, which still appear a bit 'off' from the rest of the design to my eyes.
     
  14. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One of the things that I appreciate about both the ring and the engines is that they give the ship a profile that reads in three dimensions. The saucer alone tends to fill the frame at certain angles, but coming head-on or receding it tends to flatten out and disappear a bit.

    We avoided engines that stood away from the saucer for a long time because saucer + outboard engines = Starfleet. But Vektor has made this version work.
     
  15. Venardhi

    Venardhi Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree, but the interplay with the engines and the central sphere still looks unrefined next to the rest of the ship.
     
  16. ZStar

    ZStar Ensign Red Shirt

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    I have really enjoyed watching the creative thought process evolve on this project. I also respect the talents of all involved and I hope you won’t mind a relative rookie tossing in his two credits.

    On the aft ring, have you considered replacing the ring arcs with panels that are hinged to either the engine pods or the main disk? In that configuration they could open and close in synch with the sails and their function would be clearly related to the stardrive.

    A lot of thought has gone into the design logic of Polaris but I have a question about the sails. Maybe I missed or have forgotten something in previous posts, but why do the sails need to move? On an aircraft you retract the landing gear and flaps in order to reduce aerodynamic drag. In space there is no drag. If the ship can’t engage the stardrive until the sails are open then why not just mount them in the open position and eliminate the added mass and complexity of moving parts? Now if the “physics” of the stardrive require variable position sails during different phases of transition or at different speeds that is a whole different situation.

    Good luck and I look forward to following the progress.
     
  17. Vektor

    Vektor Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Unrefined" is probably a good word. I still haven't worked out exactly how the engine housings connect to the main body but I'm confident I'll make it work.

    I gave some thought to something similar way back before the sails were added but I think that now it would just be overkill. The ring has a specific purpose in the current design related to inertial control and artificial gravity and is not intended to have anything to do with the stardrive.

    I was wondering if someone would ask that question. Basically, the reason the sails are movable is because it will make for a cool effect on-screen. If you want an in-universe explanation, I'd either go with the stardrive physics scenario or possibly something specific to Polaris in its original role as a scientific research vessel. Maybe they could get better sensor readings with the sails folded back out of the way or something like that.

    One thing we're not going to do--and I think Dennis will back me up on this one--is bog things down with a lot of tech-manual type details the way the later incarnations of Star Trek often did. It's important to have at least a general idea of what things are and how they work, but not to the point where the show needs accredited science advisors or the writer(s) need to double check that an interesting plot point they've come up with doesn't conflict with the intricate inner workings of some device or system on the ship. Starship Polaris, I expect, is going to be a mostly technobabble-free zone.
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Absolutely Right(TM).

    The level of on-screen tech dialogue in "The Naked Time" is as much as interests me, ever.
     
  19. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    I'm not too familiar with the series- it was the first episode I saw (last week I think). I've tried to find a pic the ship, but to no avail yet.
     
  20. ZStar

    ZStar Ensign Red Shirt

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    Thanks for hearing me out and responding to my questions. I fully agree with your position on technobabble. I never cared for stories that involved technobabble problems that were solved in the last five minutes by technobabble solutions.