Since last summer, I’ve been working on a new 3D model of the stargate in Lightwave, my third attempt. Since I last built a stargate model in 2006 (with small updates afterward), my skill as a modeler has increased, and reference material is far more plentiful. That includes behind-the-scenes photos, low-res but still useful construction diagrams from auction websites, HD home video releases of the movies and television shows, and, most importantly, high-res photos from Les Enfants de Mac Gyver, a group creating a duplicate of the SG-1 stargate setpiece using pieces of the screen-used version purchased at auction as well as their own copious research. There are many sections of this model where I simply wouldn’t have been able to even guess at what went where without their detailed and plentiful photos of their stargate being assembled, disassembled, and otherwise worked on.
I’ve been taking it in stages, and have completed the stargate as it appeared in the original 1994 movie. There are several differences between it and the more familiar version seen in Stargate SG-1 and its spin-offs, including the metallic silver color (only visible in behind-the-scenes photos due to the lighting and color filters used in the movie), a unique top chevron (or “register clamp”), no internal lights, and different versions of the symbols on the rotating inner ring, which are engraved rather than extruded. There was also an alternative set of symbols created for the second stargate on the alien planet of Abydos in the movie, which I cover in another post.
I do intend to put this model up for public download, but it isn’t ready yet. I’d like to do at least some light rigging on it to make it easier to animate, and I’m also thinking about attempting to learn enough scripting to automatically spin the inner ring to dial specific addresses. I’ll update this post once the model is available for download.
Also, the model will not be suitable for 3D printing. This is a visual effects model. I have no 3D printer and I have no experience in 3D printing. It may be possible to modify it to be printable, but I will probably not be the one to do it.
In addition to these still images under neutral lighting, I rendered a turntable animation of the model in many different lighting environments from HDRI Haven and HDR Labs, to see how my texturing job responded to a variety of different lighting situations. I’ve also rendered 5K wallpaper versions of the front and back of the stargate in each lighting environment. I intend to also recreate all of these renders using the SG-1 and Atlantis versions of the stargate once I’ve finished making them.