Douglas Trumbull – Lighting the Starship Enterprise

Douglas Trumbull painstakingly crafted the visual effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Faced with an impossible timeline, him and his team completed more composites in six months than both Star Wars & Close Encounters of the Third Kind combined.

Enterprise self illumination

The first Star Trek film is often jokingly referred to as ‘The Slow Motion Picture’, and this sequence revealing the refitted Enterprise for the first time is by any reasonable standards hugely overlong. But honestly… I love it!

See also: Other posts tagged ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek Original Series Set Tour

Boldly Go to Upstate New York to Board the USS Enterprise

Wired: [In] Ticonderoga, New York, in a former supermarket. There, at 112 Montcalm St., a valiant would-be commander named James Cawley has constructed a precise replica of the original starship set used for Star Trek: The Original Series.

Cawley began construction in 1996, crafting set pieces in his grandfather’s barn-turned-workshop. Over the past 20 years, he has spent an “astronomical” (he said it, not us) sum painstakingly rebuilding the Enterprise. Some items, like Scotty’s wrenches and a Klingon costume, are originals from the show. Others, like Captain Kirk’s chair, Cawley built from scratch.

The Star Trek Tour is permanently housed in Historic downtown Ticonderoga, New York. The sets are full recreations based upon original blueprints. The recreated sets achieve a high-degree of accuracy based on original blueprints, hundreds of hours of serious research and thousands of photos – both period images and images culled from extensive review and capture from latest Blu-ray images.

See also: Other posts on this blog tagged ‘Star Trek’, including many on the restoration of the original USS Enterprise model at the Smithsonian.

Craft and creativity

Tour replica original Star Trek sets in upstate New York

Visitors can sit in Captain Kirk’s chair and punch buttons just like William Shatner did 60 years ago, or perhaps gaze into Spock’s scanner and search for signs of life. Everyone has to make that decision at some point. — Wired

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Two 1/350 scale USS Enterprises

Two fantastic models by ‘ModelChili’ that are fun to compare.

Scale Enterprise models

The carrier Enterprise had a crew of about 5,500, whereas the starship Enterprise only had a crew compliment of 430. // The carrier Enterprise was commissioned in 1961, the starship Enterprise studio model was built in 1965.

Scale Enterprise models

The carrier Enterprise took about 5 months work, and included buying extra parts such as aircraft, photoetch details, aftermarket decals, photoetch figures, resin Phalanx guns. // The starship Enterprise took about 3 months work and the only extras were some 1/350 scale figures for the bridge and shuttlebay.


This is an especially nice comparison as some of the original starship Enterprise drawings by (presumably) Matt Jefferies also used the aircraft carrier to help show the scale of his design.

USS Enterprise Space Cruiser

(I have this Polar Lights 1/350 Enterprise kit myself. I’m looking forward to making it… one day! You can probably tell from this blog that I have a bit of an obsession.)

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Craft and creativity

Two 1/350 scale USS Enterprise models

“The carrier Enterprise is 342m long, so at this scale it comes to 1005mm. The starship Enterprise is noted as being 289m long.”

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Star Trek Facebook reactions

Facebook celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary

…with a lovely cardboard Enterprise model and some custom ‘reaction’ emoticons.
(I’m not sure about the logic behind using the Vulcan salute for ‘love’ or Spock for ‘wow’.)

Lindsey Shepard: Our internal design team built the USS Enterprise image by cutting and piecing together paper by hand. Then they photographed it using a high quality camera so that it could appear in our greeting.

(via The Verge)

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Craft and creativity

Facebook celebrates Star Trek’s 50th anniversary

“When we caught wind that Star Trek would be celebrating 50 years this month, it got our wheels turning. We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of Star Trek fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook.” — Lindsey Shepard

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ILM’s Bill George Shares Video of Intricate USS Enterprise Model Repainting Process

Bill George: This is a short film showing the process of the detail paint work on the conservation of the original U.S.S. Enterprise miniature, used in all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek television series. The detail paint work was done between the 11th and the 23rd of April 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The model is now on display in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.


Bill’s channel also has this fascinating video with the original ‘library shots’ of the Enterprise model.

The Star Trek editors would choose shorter sections of these longer shots to use in the various episodes.

Previously…

Update: In all her glory →

Star Trek fonts
Use your words

The fonts of Star Trek

If you’ve ever tried to find the fonts used for a particular Star Trek series or film, you’ll have found that there are thousands of poor imitations on free font sites everywhere. Thanks to Yves Peters at Font Shop, now there’s a guide to the original fonts of Star Trek!

What’s interesting about Star Trek is that it has a number of typical alphabets that are immediately recognisable, and have become an integral part of pop culture. While many fan-made fonts exist based on the logos and title sequences of popular movies and television series, Star Trek is one of the very rare franchises which at one point had officially released fonts. In 1992 Bitstream introduced the Star Trek Font Pack featuring four digital typefaces – Star Trek, the signature face of the original television series; Star Trek Film, used for the credit titles of the Star Trek movies; Star Trek Pi, a collection of Star Trek insignias and Klingon symbols; and Star Trek Bold Extended, the lettering of the name and registration number on the hull of all Starfleet space ships. The Star Trek Font Pack has been discontinued long ago – possibly over licensing issues – yet individual typeface designs are still available under different names. We will run into them in this article, plus some others.

Posters for Star Trek Beyond and the first Motion Picture

In celebration of the upcoming release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th anniversary of the franchise, Paramount had a poster created that mirrors Bob Peak’s beautiful artwork for The Motion Picture

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Smithsonian: Enterprise Studio Model Back on Display

USS Enterprise on display(via @airandspace)

The Enterprise model, a genuine television star of the 1960s, now rests in the south lobby of Milestones in a new, state-of-the-art, climate-controlled case. From the center of the Hall, the restored Enterprise rests with its camera-ready side on full view.

Washington Post: Here’s what’s new:

A green-gray paint job. Using the original paint on the top of the saucer as a reference, conservators returned the ship to its proper color by removing paint applied during previous restorations and adding new paint where needed. “People are going to say it looks too green now, but it looked more gray on TV because of the powerful incandescent studio lights,” [museum conservator, Malcolm] Collum says.

Enterprise restoration

Bill George and John Goodson, both of ILM, mark the position of windows on the secondary hull before painting.

Space tarnish. Artists from visual-effects studio Industrial Light and Magic applied bronze-colored streaks and specks, lost during past restorations, to the exterior. “It looks like the ship was speeding through space and ran through a cloud of something that splattered across its hull,”Collum says.

Old-school decals. With historic photos as a reference, ILM artists added lettering to the sides of the starship using the waterslide method (the same technology that underlies temporary tattoos) used by the original model makers.

A more authentic deflector dish. Before coming to the Smithsonian, the Enterprise lost its deflector dish — the saucer at the front that projects a force field to protect the ship from space debris. During an earlier restoration, “the museum made a not-very-accurate replacement — we referred to it as the salad bowl,” Collum says. The new dish is a perfect replica, re-created using the original specs.

Lights that won’t cause fires. In addition to blinking lights throughout the ship, the Enterprise’s nacelles appeared to have spinning lights inside, an effect created with motors, mirrors and Christmas lights. The old incandescent bulbs ran hot and actually scorched the inside of the wooden model, which is why they were removed long ago, Collum says. The restored version uses LED lights to replicate the original effects. “When you turn on the lights, it just brings the ship to life,” Collum says. “It’s an incredible transformation.”

Previously…

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Craft and creativity

USS Enterprise goes back on display at the Smithsonian after a faithful restoration

The studio model of the Star Trek starship Enterprise is now on exhibit in the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. After taking it off exhibit in 2014, assembling a special advisory committee, examining it using x-ray radiography, searching out long-lost photos, and planning the work in great detail, months of hard work culminated in several weeks of painting, detail work, rewiring, and final assembly.

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The Enterprise separated into its component parts

Smithsonian: The Enterprise model has been carefully separated into its individual components—saucer section; secondary hull; port and starboard nacelles and pylons; deflector dish array; hangar bay doors; and the bridge. Each section is being meticulously studied to determine its construction and condition and will be documented with visible, ultraviolet, and infrared photography.

For areas repainted during previous restorations, a new base layer will be applied on top that exactly matches the original hull grey. “We don’t have to speculate about the original grey color,” says conservator Ariel O’Connor. “Our examinations have revealed a large section of original, first pilot-episode grey hidden and protected under the saucer bolt cover.”

(Includes some pictures from The Washington Post.)

TrekCore: We’ve just gotten back from our catch-up session with the Enterprise model conservation team at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum facility in Virginia! Here’s a discussion with conservator Malcolm Collum about a NEW deflector dish for the Enterprise!

See also

(via MeFi)

Popular Mechanics has a few more pictures →

Craft and creativity

The original USS Enterprise returns to spacedock for detailed restoration work

“The Enterprise was designed to look unbound by gravity, ready to explore strange new worlds at faster-than-light speeds week after week. Five decades later, the pull of our home world has taken its toll on the model, particularly the secondary hull and nacelles.”

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Wrath of Khan on vinyl

Mondo presents the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan score on vinyl! A special extended 50th anniversary release of James Horner’s score for the second original Star Trek movie, with art by Matt Taylor.

Brith.Movies.Death. I have this set and it sounds glorious, even on my dinky record player. This is possibly James Horner’s greatest and most iconic work (in my humblest of opinions) and is one of the most beloved soundtracks of our time. Now you can listen to it while gazing upon some legit, hot shit art.

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Craft and creativity

Extended score for Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan… new on vinyl!

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s immortal contribution to science fiction and American culture, and Mondo is starting the party off with some music – specifically with a vinyl re-release of James Horner’s score for Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.” — Birth.Movies.Death.

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Prelude to Axanar

Axanar is the independent production that proves a feature-quality Star Trek film can be made on a very modest budget — approximately $80,000 in the case of the short film that you just watched — and outside of the studio system.

This 21-minute short film, Prelude to Axanar, premiered Saturday, July 26th, 2014, at San Diego Comic Con, and features Richard Hatch, Tony Todd, Kate Vernon, JG Hertzler and Gary Graham — Gary reprises his role of Soval from “Enterprise.” The makeup and hair was designed by Academy Award winner Kevin Haney and Star Trek veteran Brad Look of Makeup Effects Lab in Hollywood. Top that off with the amazing visual effects of Tobias Richter of The Light Works, and sound by Academy Award winner Frank Serafine, and the result is Prelude to Axanar.

The visual effects in this are very impressive in this short — especially the stuff in the last half — though I wish they had upped the tempo a bit. The talking heads documentary format works surprisingly well too. I would totally watch a film like this, if they can get it made…

Star Trek Fan Film Makers Didn’t Know They Were Being Sued … Until They Read the News →

The Carbonite Maneuver

An amazing Star Wars/Star Trek mashup by SonOfSpork.

(via kottke)

Wooden Enterprise by Michael Kretschmer

This 36 inch wooden model of the old school Starship Enterprise is made of maple, black walnut, padauk, osage orange, ebony, and yellow heart.

Kretschmer has also written about the making of this model: The main hull is made of maple. All major components were turned on a wood lathe. The saucer is 16 inches in diameter. The warp engines are made of maple as well, with black walnut and padauk pieces glued together.

Also: Take a good look at the original Enterprise shooting model, currently being restored at the Smithsonian and check out this amazing 68″ Lego Enterprise model!

Craft and creativity

Gorgeous wooden USS Enterprise model

The goal was not only to create the epic vessel, but to do it in original style not seen anywhere else… exploiting the natural grains and colors of the woods used. There is no paint or stain in this. It is coated with clear gloss polyurethane and rests on a 3/8″ stainless steel rod fixed into the black walnut base sporting the starfleet emblem.

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In this exclusive interview, TrekCore sits down with Smithsonian Air & Space Museum curator Margaret Weitekamp and chief conservator Malcolm Collum to discuss the ongoing conservation project to preserve the original “Star Trek” USS Enterprise filming model for future generations.

This video, and the gallery on Trek Core, contains some of the best reference material I’ve seen of the original Enterprise model. I’m suddenly itching to try my hand at building another CGI version of this classic starship.

See also: this incredible 1.5m USS Enterprise made from LEGO and other posts tagged ‘Star Trek’.

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The USS Enterprise at the Smithsonian

“Thanks to the generous access provided by the Smithsonian team, TrekCore went behind the public barriers to get some of the most detailed imagery of the starship available.”

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LEGO Enterprise by Chris Melby

The ship is 68 inches long, 29 inches wide, and stands about 32 inches on its base. The wood base is 22 inches in diameter, and the saucer is 29 inches in diameter. Build time was about 8 months, including the holidays, and I figure the entire model came in around 18K bricks.

“Was it worth it? 8 months, tons of coin, tons of bricks, a few major headaches, more than a few internal explosions… Yeah it was. It was the build of a lifetime. It was one for my ‘bucket list’.”
Chris Melby

See also: The bridge of the JJ Enterprise and The NSA’s Star Trek room

Craft and creativity

Incredible 1.5m USS Enterprise made from LEGO

An impressive stud-free LEGO build of the new USS Enterprise by Chris Melby.

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IXS Enterprise

Of course, it’s called the IXS Enterprise. And the Star Trek connection doesn’t end there: Mike Okuda designed the ship’s insignia.

The IXS Enterprise is a theory fitting concept for a Faster Than Light ship. It’s designed for/with NASA scientist Dr. Harold White and used in his presentations as an extra.

Excellent renderings by Mark Rademaker who has put in excess of 1600 hours into the project.

Continue reading

Shape of things to come

NASA’s design for a warp drive ship!

NASA physicist Dr. Harold White collaborated with CGI artist Mark Rademaker to create a new, more realistic design of what a faster-than-light ship ship might actually look like.

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NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander had a lavish Star Trek room built as part of his “Information Dominance Center”. Pictures from the DBI Architects, Inc. website.

It’s a 10,740 square foot labyrinth in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The brochure touts how “the prominently positioned chair provides the commanding officer an uninterrupted field of vision to a 22′-0″ wide projection screen”

The glossy display further describes how “this project involved the renovation of standard office space into a highly classified, ultramodern operations center.” Its “primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies.” It gushes: “The futuristic, yet distinctly military, setting is further reinforced by the Commander’s console, which gives the illusion that one has boarded a star ship”.

Inside the mind of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander

It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.
NSA director modeled war room after Star Trek’s Enterprise – pbs.org

Just incredible.

Shape of things to come

The NSA’s Star Trek room

NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander had a lavish Star Trek room built as part of his “Information Dominance Center”

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Designing the end titles for Star Trek Into Darkness

Andrew Kramer created this complex sequence using After Effects and Element 3D, his own $150 AE plugin!

If you’re interested in learning After Effects, Kramer’s tutorials on Video Copilot are essential, and very entertaining.

I’ve been enjoying LARP Trek, a fairly new webcomic by Josh Millard that has the crew of the Next Generation Enterprise (circa season 3) roleplaying a game set on Deep Space Nine – as dreamt up by Geordi.

The two most recent strips have been particularly good. There’s no roleplaying here as the characters take a time out and Worf chats to Data:

LARP Trek 081 - My Dinner With Android

When I read the dialogue I hear the character’s voices perfectly. Continue reading

Life on the Internet

LARP Trek

The crew of the Enterprise take on their greatest challenge yet — an out-of-service holodeck — by exploring an ancient Earth custom Geordi calls a “role-playing game”

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Why Star Trek is great

Star Trek's Captains

Matthew Yglesias writing for Slate:

The standard line among Trek apologists is that the franchise is not just a lot of sci-fi nonsense but a meaningful exploration of what it means to be human. And among Trek’s kaleidoscope of Vulcans and androids and holograms and shapeshifters, this is a core concern. But Trek has a very particular take on what it means to be human. Part of what it means, the franchise teaches us, is participating in an ongoing progressive project of building a utopian society. Even though the bulk of Trek comes from the ’90s, the franchise launched in the mid-’60s, and the now-anachronistic spirit of midcentury optimism has remained at the heart of the franchise throughout. It’s a big part of what makes Trek great.

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io9 has a detailed look at the new bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek Into Darkness.

I’m in total agreement with commenter MonkeyT:

So where are the actual dynamic words and numbers people communicate with? All the consoles are either video game controllers or playskool desks.
“How much antimatter do we have?” “Err… three out of four glowing buttons, sir.”
“How fast are we going?” “No red lights yet, sir. All blue.”
“Red-thingy moving toward the green-thingy. I think we’re the green-thingy…”

In the 2009 movie we barely got to see the bridge, and what we did see was a blur of fast editing, a camera that never settled down and that infamous lens flare. Into Darkness probably won’t need a detailed set that looks like it might be the center of operations for a functioning starship either, it just needs flash. Shame really.

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The bridge of the JJ Enterprise

A detailed look at the new bridge of the Enterprise from Star Trek Into Darkness.

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