Course Correction…

Beginning some graphics for the Helm/Navigation station.

nav_crs_corr_smCourse correction graphic on the lower navigation side.

I began some graphics for the central console of the bridge, often referred to as the conn, which houses both the helm and navigation stations. I managed to crank out a couple of graphics for some smaller less noticeable panels seen flanking the ship’s main astrogator, which I also got a start on.  The astrogator is typically thought of as the circular panel embedded in the angled face of the central support trunk, located directly between the helm and navigation officers.

ST1-TMP_0760The astrogator, located between the helm (left) and navigation stations.

On The Original Series, that conn’s corresponding panel featured a dial, manually turned by either respective duty officer in order to adjust the ship’s course headings.

TOS_astrogatorThe Original Series astrogator.

astro_dialThe TOS manual dial method.

By the time The Motion Picture rolls out, I’m not at all certain how this works.  It appears to be a system of tiered levels, each helping add to the apparent complexity of the instrument. (Below is a very interesting image, as the footage has been completely flipped. Was this known on set though, considering Shatner’s chest insignia was reversed before filming?  Could it have been a costuming error that production tried to edit correct as best they could after filming?  Hmm…  But I digress…)

IMG_6453The New astrogator, still mere feet from the captain’s visual survey.

Although the TMP astrogator does exhibit some apparent motion, this display appears to take place automatically in the lowest tiered level, well beneath the uppermost outer panel, which itself acts as little more than a window spanning the circular opening.  This outer window appears to be entirely transparent, though there are a series of green translucent pegs or wedges (24) placed uniformly around the panel’s circumference, about an inch within the outer edge.  They are mounted in some manner to the transparency itself, essentially suspending them above the open well below.  At least one TMP scene has them at different stages of glowing or blinking.  I can only speculate as to their function, but I won’t bother with that here.

The actual motion display at the bottom is a bespeckled surface catching or emitting light by some means. It is most likely meant to represent stars or fixed coordinates of galactic navigational interest. In scenes where it’s visibly moving, it’s mostly just rolling by ever so slowly. It is seemingly flat but may in fact be curved; It’s just difficult to confirm. This dynamic tier is topped by a flat cutout layer just above it, which acts as a circular frame for the motion display below. It’s mainly visible due to its slim edge being lit by the immediate light sources of the astrogator’s internal structure, as well as the noticeably smaller circumference of its opening in relation to the outer panel.

With the most stand out features, there appears to be yet another distinct tier between the outer panel and the more dynamic display below.  It is some form of transparent layer displaying a polar coordinate grid glowing across its surface.  The grid has some text sprinkled amongst its lines, probably coordinates or formulae and at least one term or name (actually looks like “QUASAR 7”).  It also seems to have two dark round shapes near the bottom obscuring part of the polar grid itself (light sources?).  It’s difficult to know what this layer is made from, but some screenshots call its rigidity into question, as it appears somewhat warped in some images.  Is it a thin clear film with the translucent polar grid printed or embossed on it, or possibly a more firm layer of plexiglass with the pattern etched into it to catch the surrounding light?  It’s very hard to tell.  The polar grid’s outer ring is only noticeable (and even then only partially) because of its deeper placement within the astrogator’s interior well. Given the change in visual obstruction based on apparent viewing angles (not to mention the obvious misalignment with the outer panel’s pegs), the polar grid itself is measurably deeper than the outer window, and definitely larger in its circumference.

Though there are still buttons and switches on the upper trunk (mostly on the helm’s side), the movie astrogator itself appears far less tactile compared to its TOS equivalent.  With so many new input devices on the upper console, The Motion Picture astrogator seems less like a source of input and rather more like a large scale directional indicator.  That being said, I don’t have nearly enough references to know decisively.

At the base of the astrogator, are two relatively miniature monitors, one on the left and the other on right.  I’ve had a time of it trying to figure out the specific shapes and texts in these two graphics.  The screen caps I do reference have helped immensely, but their slightly fuzzy nature still makes some interpretation a necessity.

Helm_Nav-refKey reference shots for the helm and navigation center.

I am not entirely certain of the texts for these graphics, but I am fairly certain about the designation “Course Correction” on the panel next to the navigator’s seat (see top of page), and the term “Sweep” on the little web like graphic on the helm’s side of things (next below).  Though hardly an educated guess, just thinking in Trek terms, I thought “Sensor” would be a perfectly reasonable companion to “Sweep.”  As for the lesser texts on the “Course Correction” panel, the numbers around the circle seemed academic.  Upon examination, the top term in the stacked list of 3 truly appears to be “Azimuth” in one image, while the 2nd from the top looks remarkably like “Elevation.”  The bottom term is completely illegible to me, but appears to be no more than 5 or 6 letters.  I knew “azimuth” and “elevation” were mathematically derived terms used in directional bearing and measurement, especially in regards to compass  reading.  When I researched other terms in conjunction with the two terms, “Zenith” came up quite a bit, as did “Nadir.”  I closed my eyes, threw the dart, and chose “Zenith.”  If anyone has a better suggestion, I’m open to it. 😀

sens_swp_smMy best “sensor sweep” had me come up with this.

I’m not totally confident about the little web’s lines (the solid versus dashed lines, or their actual thickness), but this was the best I could come up with given fuzzy images of glowing graphics.

I started on the astrogator’s basic graphics too, but these are just the beginning stages since it is actually a multi tiered object with several layers that will all need to be worked out.

Astrogator_01_smAstrogator basics. One little spoke segment is mysteriously missing in the screenshots, but I chose to duplicate this.

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~ by starstation on January 16, 2013.

3 Responses to “Course Correction…”

  1. Excellent. I never knew the TMP astrogater was so complex.

  2. Sweet! Looking forward to it.

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