Living Proof…

I’m not dead.

Some 2D work I’ve been playing with.  Finally finished a nice “star map” graphic I’ve been agonizing over for a while.  It should come in handy for texture purposes on the 3D bridge-interior projects I currently have in limbo. This star chart is a replication of just one of graphic designer Mike Okuda’s many beautiful “okudagrams,” a format which made its initial appearance on the bridge of the newly commissioned Enterprise-A in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home In reality, they were a simple new way to represent a high tech control panel.  In universe, they indicated a shift in Starfleet from the world of buttons and dials to more touch-sensitive flat-panel interfaces.  This practice would continue all the way through The Next Generation and its sequels.  This particular graphic is something of a perspective oriented star chart and I’ve always liked it since I first saw it in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, but I’d never seen a good detailed representation of it.  Over the past few years however, I’ve found some great images on the web of auctioned Star Trek production materials; props, set pieces, photographic miniatures, costumes, and other items.  A few recent finds have helped me get a better idea of how this impressive graphic was laid out.  I was finally able to glean enough information that I felt comfortable trying to recreate it, as well as a few other graphics that I’ve loved from various Star Trek films and shows.

There have actually been several examples of this particular “map” since The Final Frontier, all with varying qualities of detail and color.

The Final Frontier

Looking above at a mess of screen caps from The Final Frontier, the star chart’s best shots (the larger images) seemed to show a back-lit aqua-green starkly contrasting an opaque black (as are all the other graphics), but this appears to be entirely during the Enterprise’s encounter with Sha Ka Ree,  so the ship may have been experiencing some strange interference at the time.  Earlier in the film, there is at least one version that appears to be a little richer in color, intermixing green and blue hues (smaller central image).

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The Undiscovered Country

The star map would show up again in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, although this time on the bridge of the Excelsior.  This version appears to spin the color wheel a little, adding some reddish lettering.  My version of the star chart at the top of the page is most like this one, since I believe the auction source images I used as reference to create it were linked to this film and its production.

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Voyager’s Episode “Flashback”

The Star Trek: Voyager episode “Flashback” would return to Captain Sulu’s bridge during the exact same period as The Undiscovered Country, and in remarkable fashion with a fully reconstructed Excelsior Bridge.  The star chart in these shots appears to differentiate on some of the colors and details, but the overall character of the design is evident.

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Starfleet Deployment

Another image I came across, with the star chart, was a listing of starship mission assignments, which unquestionably came from The Undiscovered Country.  I’ve recreated it here.  The reference source image was somewhat blurry and some of the information was unreadable in places, but combined with another formatted version of the same list used in a cut scene, I was able to put the missing puzzle pieces in place.  I’ve taken some liberties with less than exacting color information on both graphics, but the star map shows what a recurring process that tends to be even in actual production.

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Subspace Com Net

Here’s one that I did in 2008, which I thought I might post for fun.  It is a replica of the “Subspace Com Net” okudagram that debuted in The Voyage Home over Commander Uhura’s new communications station.  I had quite a bit of good reference for this one, but I concentrated on the imagery and never got around to adding any lettering or numbers.  You can actually see this in some of my earlier bridge renders, albeit displayed differently than originally intended.  I Decided I would tinker with it as well, and update it to match the several other 2D graphics I’ve been working on.

I’m working on some other similar graphics I should be posting in the near future. 😀

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~ by starstation on August 22, 2011.

2 Responses to “Living Proof…”

  1. nice to see you back

  2. Would love to see the available sources you used for the Starship chart.

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