While the White Star was introduced in the third season of Babylon 5, for most of it, only the prototype was seen. It wasn’t until season 4 that we began seeing scenes set on multiple different White Stars. The set for the White Star bridge was also redesigned and rearranged for the fourth season, and the new design seemed to take into account that there would be times when different characters would be seen on different (but identical) ships in the same episode.
From what I can tell, there were four main ways to redress the White Star bridge to represent different specific ships. There were lights in the supports for the railing around the commander chair that were changed to different colors, the large light panels on the aft bulkhead had their color changed, some of the computer screens on the aft bulkhead were changed out, and a lit plaque above the main door to the bridge would be changed. For now, I’ll just be going into that last one.Continue reading
A few days ago, Marc Bell released his CG model of the Titan-A/Enterprise-G from the final season of Star Trek: Picard. I’ve been acutely aware for the past… fifteen years… that I don’t just hop onto the computer to mess around and make some fun spaceship pictures like I used to. Despite my attempt to get back into the groove a few years ago, it didn’t quite take, possibly because I was scratching the 3D itch at my job at the time, and then Lightwave 2018 came out and my library of models assembled over the years and tweaked to my liking became more-or-less useless.
I recently started rebuilding a new, PBR-based set of models in Lightwave 2020, mostly thanks to the models of Chris Kuhn, Marc Bell, and Alexander Klemm, but I hadn’t really done anything with them yet. This new model was a good chance to, and since it hadn’t been officially converted into Lightwave, I got to dip back into my roots a little when I had to convert anything I wanted to use. Downloading a cool new model that was just mesh and textures, and really digging into it to get it to look right. I spent the weekend building out the lighting rig and doing various minor modifications and tweaks, like breaking out the formation lights and impulse glows so they could be animated, and found picked an angle to run a test render (a good thing, too, I found a tiny sliver of window-box sticking out of the hull). I thought it looked pretty good, so I did a final version adding a basic Sun/Earth/Moon three-point light setup, and that was that.
I tried to think of something more dramatic, and thought up a concept for another image, with the Enterprise-G over the Founder’s Homeworld seen in Deep Space Nine, returning the renegade Changelings who’d infiltrated Starfleet to their own people. Luckily, my prep came in handy, and I already had a Jem’Hadar fighter and a Defiant ready to go for a suitable escort. I spent a bit of time making new decals for the Defiant-A (I know in-canon the second Defiant had the same markings as the first one, but Ron Moore wanted it to be the Defiant-A, I wanted it to be the Defiant-A, so I made it that way). I was pretty far along before I remembered the Defiant was a museum exhibit now, so I just went with it, not having any better idea what ship Deep Space Nine might have assigned to it in the PIC era (or if there’s even still a DS9 at all). Maybe they flew it out as a goodwill historical thing.
Enterprise-G by Marc Bell, Jem’Hadar Fighter by Chris Kuhn, Defiant mesh by Chris Kuhn, textures by Marc Bell, and Lightwave conversion by Matt Christou.
Star backgrounds in both images are NASA’s Deep Star Map (though I should’ve been used the fictionalized version without recognizable constellations for the second render). The Founder homeworld is NASA photo ISS048-E-010018, recolored in Photoshop to match the planet as seen on the show. Both images had compositing and post work done in After Effects.
After a year and a half, I’m running out of steam on the Stargate project for now, so I pushed myself to finish up the part I was currently working on, the version of the “kawoosh,” “strudel,” and “puddle” effects as seen in the movie.Continue reading
- FBX Version (CC0)—93 MB
- FBX Animation Templates (CC0)—0.8 MB
- OBJ Version (CC0)—101 MB
- Texture Reference (CC0)—67 MB
After over a year, I’ve reached the end of my 2020 pandemic modeling project with the completion of the version of the stargate used in Stargate Atlantis. Alongside the movie and SG-1 versions, that makes a complete set for this basic design.2The Universe version being a totally different design, and the Origins version being intended to match the movie version, even if it didn’t quite hit the mark perfectly. While I don’t think I’m quite done with Stargate just yet, I’m probably done with modeling actual stargates for a while.Continue reading
Inner Rings With Alternate Origin Symbols
Continuing with my work on building a new stargate model, and in advance of the Atlantis-style ‘gate, we have the flagship version, the stargate as it appeared in the series Stargate SG-1, give a take a few alterations and enhancements.Continue reading
Considering it’s just a big, spinning wheel, there’s actually a surprising amount of ambiguity about exactly how the Milky Way version of the Stargate dials. The basics are obvious. There’s an inner ring, which rotates alternatively clockwise and counterclockwise to indicate specific symbols on it, each of which is represented by one of nine corresponding chevrons on the main ring of the device. The chevrons are numbered one through seven, proceeding clockwise, ending with seven at the top, and skipping the bottom two chevrons.1In the subsequent television shows, we saw eight- and nine-chevron addresses. The nine-chevron address engaged each chevron in clockwise order, with the bottom-right chevron becoming chevron four and the normal chevron four being chevron six, and so on. The implication in “The Fifth Race,” the first episode where it was done, is that the first six symbols encode under the normal chevrons, while the additional seventh symbol encodes at the bottom right chevron (briefly seen on a computer screen), with chevron eight at the top, which is confirmed by comparing the visible symbols on the Atlantis stargate in the episodes “No Man’s Land” and “The Pegasus Project” with the published eight-symbol address for Earth.
So the question left is, exactly what position on the main ring indicates which symbol is being encoded or locked by a given chevron?Continue reading
|↑1||In the subsequent television shows, we saw eight- and nine-chevron addresses. The nine-chevron address engaged each chevron in clockwise order, with the bottom-right chevron becoming chevron four and the normal chevron four being chevron six, and so on. The implication in “The Fifth Race,” the first episode where it was done, is that the first six symbols encode under the normal chevrons, while the additional seventh symbol encodes at the bottom right chevron (briefly seen on a computer screen), with chevron eight at the top, which is confirmed by comparing the visible symbols on the Atlantis stargate in the episodes “No Man’s Land” and “The Pegasus Project” with the published eight-symbol address for Earth.|