Discussion in 'Fan Art' started by Warped9, Dec 14, 2019.

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Another little thing comes to mind. In the episode after they achieve orbit Uhura mentions they are fast approaching the radio source she detected earlier. She mentions it is directly ahead of them (assuming she means pretty much in the same orbit as the Enterprise) and they are rapidly approaching it (how conveniently coincidental they get into the exact same orbit as the alien ship).

However, when they first see the alien ship on the viewscreen they are seeing a side elevation view rather than directly from behind. Kirk then orders Sulu to match the alien's orbital velocity and we see the Enterprise slide in under the alien ship from behind (no insinuations intended).

Now there is a logic flaw here in how this is depicted. If the Enterprise is approaching the alien ship, which is supposed to be directly ahead, then their first view of the alien should be from the aft rather than from the side. If they are seeing it from the side first then the alien was not directly ahead at all, but rather off to one side or other and they only happen to be at the same orbital altitude. If this was the case then Sulu would have had to maneuver the Enterprise in from the side and then slip in behind--a reasonable enough maneuver only thats not what the onscreen dialogue says is happening.

So if we take the onscreen dialogue as describing exactly what is happening then what we are first shown on the bridge viewscreen is inconsistent with said preceding dialogue. It's a visual logic flaw due to a production shortcut to simply use the one main image of the alien ship.

Now, more realistically, if the Enterprise is approaching the alien rapidly then logically the Enterprise should be at a higher orbital altitude given it is presently orbiting faster than the alien vessel. As Sulu slows the ship down to match the alien's orbital velocity then the Enterprise would also lose altitude to match the alien. So realistically when the Enterprise is first appraoching the alien ship they are above as well as aft of the alien. And if one insists on sticking with the first sight of the alien being from the side then the Enterprise was also off to the side of the alien rather than directly behind.

One can interpret this one of two ways. Either one accepts the production shortcut showing an incorrect view of the alien vessel and being inconsistent with the preceding dialogue, or one accepts Uhura's initial report that the alien was "directly ahead" as being not really accurate.

OR...I'm giving this way too much thought as I work on this thing.

Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
scifieric and StarCruiser like this.

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Something else to consider. The dead star may have the seed ship tidally locked--so one section will always point to the star. I'm thinking the Enterprise was closest towards the prow.

Thank you for that. I'd love to see orthos of your Defiant BTW.

That lower 3/4 shot makes it look as it warping right towards the camera--even evokes the Enterprise, in a way...

Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
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Thirteen of seventeen pods now done. Feels like incremental progress.

I noticed one of the pods in the original image does not look ruptured. But Spock said all the pods were ruptured without exception, or something to that effect. This remaining pod is partly obscured by others in front of it so it's possible its rupture is supposedly there but out of our view. So I guess I'll have to wreck that one too even if we don't see it.

4. ### scifiericCommanderRed Shirt

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Yeah, but you're a fan of Star Trek! Of COURSE you're going to give it too much thought!

I simply presume that Straight Ahead is a relative term ... in space. You have infinity above, below, to the left, the right, ahead and behind. So, relatively, Uhura was correct. They're not driving on a road, so to speak.

Just my take on it. I never actually gave this any thought one way or the other. I just really love Beyond the Farthest Star!

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Bear with me just a bit longer folks. With luck I could be finished tomorrow. I'm presently working on adding damage to the last pod and then I want to add a bit of damage to a few of the vines then the model itself should be done.

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Even if this episode had been done during TOS it’s hard to imagine them conjuring up something like this alien ship design. The primary reason this looks the way it does was to take full advantage of animation to do something truly exotic and only have to draw and paint it.

For TOS it would have to have been built with an eye on budget, materials and time allotted. Previously oversized alien vessels had been represented by the Fesarius, the doomsday machine and the Yonada asteroid ship—all relatively simple looking concepts made alien by their execution. A ship designed for “Beyond The Farthest Star” would likely have been more along those lines.

Here, we’re indulging the conceit of having a bit more time to do something more exotic (not wholly unrealistic if the production staff had sufficient lead time knowing what would be required).

So the question becomes how could they have built this? It wouldn’t even have to have all that large to get the desired effect when photographed. Heavy gauge wire or even heavy coat hanger wire might suffice for the vines, but that leaves the issue of the pods. A slight redesign might have made use of ping-pong balls for the pods. But what else could have been used? Or would they have had to resort to fabricating the pods from scratch in some other way? Paper mache perhaps? That would allow for a hollow interior and possibly easy way to show the pods ruptured.

Btw does anyone happen to know how the Fesarius from “The Corbomite Maneuver” was constructed?

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Papier-mâché.

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Oddly enough, I imagine the effects team taking an existing abstract table sculpture or wall hanging and simply torquing and twisting the originally sweeping rods that supported end nodules, maybe wrapping them in foil and lighting gels (as they possibly did for the Doomsday Machine) and finally tweaked the film footage to create bizarre color contrasts.

There's a problem I see doing this design during the latter 1960s. Remember when I started a thread about a 1960s drydock (with no influence from what would come later in the movies)? Then structures, like the nacelle pylons for the Enterprise itself, were prone to "vanishing" with the optical matte process. I've read the words "coat hanger wire" a few times as a solution for the bridging tubes. Unless the camera were zoomed particularly close to a model using that building material, wire that thin probably wouldn't even "register" on film. Now, if they did it all "in camera" as was the practice upon Irwin Allen productions, that would work just fine. In fact, that alien derelict from the second episode of "Lost in Space" possessed fiddly thin antennae structures which were clearly seen due to the "in camera" technique. "Blue screen" it to create a matte so it could appear in front of a starfield, and the relatively imprecise nature of that process (particularly for TV), and those details likely would not have appeared.

As you noted, Warped9, odds are the production would have opted for a design with less or even no thin sweeping components. But then we would have lost that element of alien "grace" the ship had in the cartoon. The more I think about it, the more I think that design would have needed to depicted as a painting, maybe animated in much the way it was for the Filmation series, just with more quasi "realism". I do wonder how somebody like Albert Whitlock would have depicted the ship.

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Someone suggested to me that the pods could possibly have been balloons that could then have been papier mached over them to get the right forms.

As for wire I think it becomes a matter of scale. Using heavy gauge wire or heavy coat-hanger wire then the miniature would have to be rather small so the vines don't look too thin and to prevent too much flexing. As was suggested way upthread the miniature could possible be hung from one end and the camera turned sideways (or the image later flipped 90 degrees) to get the right shots.

Last edited: Feb 2, 2020

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A big ball endowed with "a pair of dimmers to make the model ship pulsate with power. The model was covered with sliced ping-pong balls."

Built by Wah Chang.

The whole story of that episode presages TMP - SFX budget ran over by 30%. “The effects sequences were filmed at the Howard Anderson Company in the period 3 June1966 through 31 October of that year, coming eventually in at US\$17,317 – or 10% of the total budget ” The episode was to air first but was so far behind it aired tenth. Every SFX house in Hollywood was hired to make up the lost work and time.

It is worth noting that the early work on V’ger is reminiscent of this BtFS podship. It was to have looked like a technological creation that had grown organically. It had wings and honeycombs and other organic features. Some of that survives into the Syd Mead- Robert McCall work, but not as something so overtly biomechanical.

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I’m inclined to think an actual TOS take on the BTFS ship would be somewhat less elaborate. It’s interesting to ponder what might have been possible them.

Hmm...some other time I might be inclined to explore other possibilities.

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Still working on it, but here is a quick-and-dirty pic to get a general feel for it. This is a photoshop image rather than a render of two models in the same render. I still have to put that together as I have other ideas about overall composition of the shots. As I mentioned way upthread because I do not yet have a TOS E model I will use my conjectural TMP refit as a substitute.

When I render both models together then the lighting for both will line up consistently as well as better convey the size of the alien ship relative to the Enterprise.

Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
13. ### AtolmFleet CaptainFleet Captain

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that is gorgeous!

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A beginning.

As I said upthread I unfortunately do not yet have a TOS E 3D model to use for this so I will use my conjectural TMP refit as a substitute.

Stay tuned.

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16. ### MauriceMaurice, the ATARI CX5200Premium Member

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So it's said, but I've seen a super hi-res photo of the Fesarius model surface and that texture seems to be some kind of applique made up of triangular sections linked together. The domes are not even hemispheres, which is why I've been dubious about the pingpong balls idea.

The model I WOULD believe was made of pingpong balls with lights in them is the small pilot ship. That looks exactly like what it is.

Mead based his look for V'ger's surface on Angkor Wat. He pictured all this biomechanical stuff grown over a mechanical frame. You can really see this idea around V'ger's aft end.

Last edited: Feb 7, 2020

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I love your Enterprise flight approach to the Pod Ship where it flies in below and parallel to the Pod Ship position. I think your size proportion of the two ships are right on. Very Nice.

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If I may say so I really like this one.

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Another angle.

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"Beyond The Farthest Star"

Alien entity uses Enterprise's phasers at full power to destroy the pod ship. An interesting note: in Alan Dean Foster's adaptation of this episode the ship's phasers actually cut the alien pod ship into pieces that fell out of orbit rather than disintegrate the ship whole.

Later the Enterprise escapes the negative star mass and leaving the alien entity stranded behind.

I
created the negative star mass by photographing (with my phone) a large sparkly gold Christmas tree ornament sitting on a store shelf. I then tweaked it and made it somewhat green.

Last edited: Feb 9, 2020