100 Days, 100 Renders— Day 88

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Another Beyond-inspired image. Trying to reproduce a (modern) pro-shot is definitely a good exercise. I think this might be the first time in my life I ever used a rim-light.

So, speaking on the new Enterprise-A, having had the chance to review the whole 360 sequence at a more manageable size than an IMAX screen (though speaking of size, I am hoping somebody figures out how to rip a 4K Blu-Ray soon, because those things are going to be a boon to reference material, never mind my love of HDR), I have to say the design has continued to grow on me. The final model has a bit less of the counter-angles that Sean Hargreaves’s original design featured (the engine pylons aren’t flared so much, and the front of the neck retains a hint of the traditional forward-thrusting angle). My own point of view is that the ’79 Enterprise from the first six movies is the Platonic ideal of a Star Trek ship,1I know that must shock you. and part of that is the sense of motion it has. The neck angles the saucer forward, just as the original did, but it’s balanced by the engine pylons angling backwards, almost giving the sense that the back of the ship is being left behind as the front leaps forward, while creating a V-shaped profile that gives the ship a much greater sense of balance and symmetry. It’s also more muscular than the original’s straight lines and cylinders, both overtly in the case of the warp engines, and subtly, in the more bulbous engineering hull.

The new ship’s neck still respects the traditional angle, but by making it near-vertical in the front, it give the ship more of a sense of weight and stability. The engineering hull has some more “muscular” detailing than the 2009 version, and the new window arrangements help sell the larger size of the ship much better than the ones on the ’09 version, which were laid out for a ship half the size it ended up being. I would like to see what it would look like if we flipped the warp pylons 180°, to see if the angled rear would give the same V-shaped, warp-9-standing-still impression of the ’79 version. As it is, it kind of reminds me of the “turkey legs” that John Eaves talked about when he was designing the Enterprise-E, though forward-angled nacelles were a trend in the 24th century/’80s and ’90s, appearing on the Enterprise-D, Voyager, and Prometheus.

I also want to move the nacelles just a skosh forward, so they’re not plugging in immediately behind the domes. And the registry on the lower saucer should be moved a couple rings back to its regular position. It keeps making me think of the first batch of blueprints for the ’79 Enterprise that had the markings one ring further out than they were on the model.

I expect the ship will probably be tweaked to one degree or another for the next movie but, you know, maybe not. In stark contrast to the way the ’09 Enterprise was practically built in forced-perspective, as I discussed yesterday, this one was definitely meant to be seen from every angle, probably as much for future-proofing as because it only appeared in a2n impossibly awesome triple-360-turnaround.

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1. I know that must shock you.
2. n impossibly awesome

~ by David Gian-Cursio on November 3, 2016.