A 23rd Century Screen Saver?

Control_Booth_Backing_005smThe pattern attempt begins.

I really don’t know what this is.  It is however, a wonderfully complex pattern that breaks up the monotony of what would otherwise be a bare wall behind our transporter personnel, as they diligently try to save two incoming, but ultimately doomed crew members.

Control_Booth_BackingLooks busy and confusing.  Metaphor for impending chaos?

I used this screen cap to form a basic pattern; essentially, simple rectangular geometry in various purple shades on a black background that I was able to blur and tweak the contrast settings on.  As I examined the screen caps in detail (These new high definition captures are a godsend for us Trekieologists 😀 ), I realized it was very similar in structure to a feature in Kirk’s quarters:  basically, a back lit pattern behind a translucent grid.


qrt_view_02Closeup groovy.

That feature turned out to be…   “Booop…”

qrt_view_03Uhura, on smooth screen, announcing a visitor request.  Where is  groovy?

A view screen!  I don’t know if the grid is supposed to represent some sort of techno-babble-rich holographic matrix, or if the whole structure just slides out of the way like a cover (dumb idea I know, but heavily suggested by that little edge in upper frame of the viewer in both the Uhura and Chekov shots).  Since the transition between “grid” and “viewer” is never shown but only suggested off camera by the  “booop” sound effect, I am tempted to think The Partridge Family pattern in Kirk’s quarters is just a happy little decoration designed to take up space while the screen is inactive.

I decided to go with this philosophy, and assume the grid pattern in the transporter room served a similar function.  After all, there were view screens (when the plot demanded it) in The Original Series transporter room.  I took the pattern and placed it behind a clear surface with a grid bump texture and then played a little with the refraction settings.  I did some experiments on my older PC and Lightwave, and came up with these.

cont_backing_exp3Not there yet, but on the right track.

cont_backing_expNot perfect, but much better…

The results were promising enough that I transferred all the data over to my Mac Mini and let it start playing the game.


Here is the first full render with the pattern in place.  It’s good enough for a distance shot so far, but I am still mulling over the results.  I think the overall pattern might be a bit too big as the details should be smaller and more refined.  I’ll give it another go shortly.

I think I will now try to build those little booth details and console on the side wall were Rand’s assistant worked.  There also appears to be some sort of multi-monitor view screen structure hanging over the main control console.  Both the assistant and Kirk are seen looking up toward it in different scenes, but it is never revealed in any shot of any movie.  That item would be next in line and will require some imagination on my part.


~ by starstation on August 9, 2009.

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