David’s Stargate Stuff

Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by David cgc, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    A while back, all the Stargate talk over in SF/F gave me a hankering for some 3D modeling. The Stargate was my first (and second) real from-scratch 3D model, and I've thought about making a third version occasionally pretty much since I finished the second one, which I realized was too wide almost immediately after I finished it.

    There's a lot more reference material available nowadays compared to when I made my second model in 2006. HD screencaps are plentiful, production diagrams and blueprints were put up for auction with low-res, but very usable, thumbnails, and, most importantly, a fan group called Les Enfants de Mac Gyver has been building a full-scale reproduction of the SG-1 prop, using castings from pieces of the original props that were also put up for auction, and have taken a lot of high-res, close-up photos of all sections of the prop and the molds they made of it (which are more helpful than you might expect, especially when it comes to figuring out the shape and depth of all the engraved details).

    I'm pretty far along in the modeling already. Since the SG-1 and movie versions of the Stargate are 95% identical, I've been modeling with making both versions in mind. The props have some seams and asymmetries, so I've been idealizing them slightly, as well. The Atlantis version of the Stargate was clearly based on the SG-1 prop, but it has a lot more differences than it seems at first glance (including solving one of those seams in a totally different way than I did), but I've been making a lot of iterative saves of the model as I go, so it shouldn't be too hard to adapt what I've already built to make that version too.

    20200608_ShowcaseSG1_002.jpg 20200608_ShowcaseSG1_009.jpg

    20200608_ShowcaseSG1_000.jpg 20200608_ShowcaseSG1_007.jpg

    And, as a bonus, the movie version:
    20200607_ShowcaseMovie_000.jpg

    One other fun thing I'm doing with this model is that I'm planning to have fixtures for the lights on the SG-1 version of the gate. When the chevrons lock, the top "block" portion reveals what's underneath it. In the movie, this is just a smooth piece, while the series version is a bit rougher, and you can see into the hollow interior of the prop. For the SG-1 version I added some greebles inspired by the inner workings of the Dial Home Device we see from time to time on the show, and the light itself is a large control crystal, along with some text in the language of the Ancients, the aliens that built the Stargates. The last part was something I was looking for a way to sneak in, since it's a little weird in the reality of the show that the Stargates are so drenched in ancient Egyptian detailing, but weren't actually built by the ancient Egyptian aliens. It's easy to explain, but it still feels odd that the Ancients' signature device has so little in common with anything else they built, so I wanted to put in something a little more Ancient-y in an inconspicuous spot.

    ChevronGreebles.jpg
     
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  2. Atolm

    Atolm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Location:
    Killingly, CT
    SWEET! Looking so good :)
    Love stargate!
     
  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    This looks amazing. Well done. :)
     
  4. Michael

    Michael Set to stun Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Aloha Quadrant
    Loved the Stargate movie as a kid, but never got into any of the TV shows. The design of the stargate itself always intrigued me and I suspect it and the movie are the reason why I'm still fascinated by ancient Egypt and its imagery.

    Your recreation looks spot on and I'm looking forward to see how you'll progress with this. :bolian:
     
  5. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    publiusr
    Do the Ori ships
     
  6. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    It's not dead!

    I stalled out a bit working on the tile mosaics along the outer rim. There was enough photography of those pieces from EMG for me to feel like I could get them right and didn't want to just make something up, but with the mosaics being laid out on a curved shape, and some parts not being perfectly clear in the photos, it took a long time to get everything traced out. Honestly, I'm not sure if they ended up quiet being accurate enough to justify the amount of time and effort it took up (I'll say that every tile probably has the correct shape, but the sizes and proportions might be iffy), but they're done now.

    20201120_ShowcaseMovie_000.jpg
    20201120_ShowcaseMovie_007.jpg
    20201120_ShowcaseMovie_005.jpg
    20201120_ShowcaseMovie_012.jpg

    The Atlantis stargate uses a different (and much, much simpler) mosaic pattern, so I hope I won't have the same problem when I start working on that one.

    But for now, I'm about to start working on the movie version of the symbols on the inner ring of the stargate (the symbols were redesigned for the series, and were extruded, rather than engraved). In the movie, a plot-point was that the two stargates had different sets of symbols based on the constellations of the planet they were on. I've never seen anyone try to recreate the alien stargate from the film, so I went through the movie and tried to find every symbol you can see. I quickly realized that the "different" symbols were actually the same ones from the Earth stargate, just with parts of them filled in and painted over to disguise them. By my count, 1 symbol was replaced entirely, 13 were modified, 8 were left unchanged, and 17 weren't visible in the movie. I'm hoping some never-before-seen set photo or diagram will appear that'll shed some light on the missing symbols, but since that probably won't happen, I'm just going to modify the corresponding symbols from the Earth stargate, just like they did on the film, and hope I end up with something close. Attached is a chart I made showing the symbols as they appear on a production drawing of the coverstones the stargate was buried under that's been floating around on-line forever, the best view of the symbol on the Earth 'gate, and the best view of the symbol on the Abydos 'gate.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Psion

    Psion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lat: 40.1630936 Lon: -75.1183777
    Not to distract from your incredible work, but I thought you and others in this thread might enjoy it if I shared a yearly treat from my local neighborhood. A few streets over from my house, there lives one of those neighbors who tend to get totally whack-o when it comes to one of the holidays. You've probably seen the ones who over-enthuse over Christmas on the local news ... the ones who light up their yards with enough lights and ornaments to be visible from space ... on a cloudy night!

    My neighbor is a Halloween "buff", and every year, he fills his front yard with enough collected kitsch to satisfy the Halloween appetites of the rest of the neighborhood. Honestly, I kind of wish he'd do different themes each year, since he's got so much junk out that it distracts from the really good pieces. But that's his choice, and I'm sure the smorgasbord of junk has something for everything and is a decorating style unto itself.

    For me, the prize of his collection is a full-scale mock-up of the SG-1 stargate. Lit, but not quite fully operational.
    [​IMG]
    This shot, from November, 2011 is one of the few, clear photos I can find of it. I know I have more, buried somewhere on some hard drive, but it gets the point across of the magnitude of this guy's Halloween problem. And this is after he's already started dismantling it for the year!

    He's been putting this prop out since at least 2011. At one time, he had a fog machine built-in with some kind of laser projector for lighting effects, but I think that was damaged by hurricane Sandy. Either that, or he simply didn't think the effect worked well.

    I wish I could find my close-up shots! He used hundreds of plastic forks around the circumference for the detail work. While not especially accurate, it was a cheap, labor-intensive approach that works well until you recognize what he's done.
     
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  8. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    That looks really good. I'd probably plotz if I was walking down the street and saw that in a neighbor's yard!

    It's been a while, but I've gotten a few emails about my older stargate model from people wanting to use it as a guide to build their own reproduction. Sometimes they just wanted permission (which is thoughtful, but it's not like I'm going to use my amnesia ray to scrub the fan-art they found on Google from their memories before they start working if I disapprove), sometimes they had a question about some specific part (to the point where I made a page with tips and information about how I built my Stargate on my website, which I should really take down until I'm ready to rewrite it, since I know now almost everything I said on it is wrong in some way). I don't see any that seem to be from this person (though I also remember getting more than I'm finding, so it might be a failure of my email archiving), but it's still possible that might not be as unrelated as you think. Even with my old model being fifteen years old, it's still on the first page of Google Images results for "stargate model."
     
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  9. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    I always thought the Ori ships should have been the Ancients ships— they look like Stargates!

    The Cylon resurrection ships? That should have been Ori
     
  10. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2002
    Location:
    California
    Got slowed down by some computer trouble, but I finished drawing the movie version of the stargate symbols, including the ones I had to make up that we didn't see on the Abydos gate. The complete version of the chart I posted before, and some more information, is on my blog.

    20201227_ShowcaseMovieEarth_002.jpg 20201227_ShowcaseMovieAbydos_002.jpg 20201227_ShowcaseMovieEarth_006.jpg 20201227_ShowcaseMovieAbydos_006.jpg

    I'm deciding if I want to double back and do the SG-1 version of the symbols now, or finish up the movie-gate model. The big question I'm mulling over is what to do with the engraved arcs that are carved into the 'gate. Last time, I just used a quick bump-map, but I'm thinking I might want to model them in this time. I'm not sure what the best way to do that would be in terms of modeling techniques, and I'm also wondering if I should duplicate the pattern of the original (with repeated over all nine segements of the setpiece), or do something that doesn't repeat. I'm leaning towards duplicating the original patterns, both because it's easier and it's more authentic.
     
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