Blinkies In Earnest

Some functional panels are now finally in place.

movie_bridge_040aHelm and navigation stations begin to get their blinkies in earnest.

Working on my conn station for the first time in quite a while due to delays and fears. I’ve been pretty busy lately, and my computer’s crashing shenanigans have become impossible to ignore, though I have set up a thermal monitor that has helped immensely.  Until I can afford another setup, this will have to do.

In addition to the previously completed “Computer Interface” for the navigator’s station (the large fanned out spread of Lite-Brite/accordion-like buttons), I’ve added all the items included on the recently labored UV map, as well as a few features not depicted there.  They are from left to right: the “Main Viewer” and “Emergency Alarm” switches, the large “Attitude” display unit, the “Neural Command Override” panel, the small “Course Pre-Set” button panel,  the “Auxiliary Steering Data” switch and display unit, the all important slider input panel for warp and impulse velocities, and finally (past the “Computer Interface”) the “Navigation Co-Ordinates” input panel.  Right now, most of these are  just large flat panels textured with the UV map.  Some are mounted on boxy yet slightly angled risers, though some are flat against the console’s surface.  I did do a little extra detailing on the “Navigation Co-Ordinates” input panel, since it was overall the least conventional in shape.   I would like to eventually add functional details to all the panels that have them, be they buttons, sliders, switches, etc.   Most importantly and current priority, the warp/impulse control sliders will have to be physically modeled.

There is one feature on the map however, merely a text filler for the “Neural Command Override” panel, that I completely ignored here, choosing instead to model all said panel’s elements directly including the text.  That panel in front of the helmsman’s seat is all new and fully modeled.  I had some truly nice reference images of the actual film prop and decided that was inspiration enough to model an all new panel from scratch.  It was only used in the first film it seems, eventually being replaced by a slightly more generic “Lite-Brite/accordion” input setup.  I suspect it had something to do with the concept of “neural command override” itself, which did sound a little silly.

The “Emergency Alarm” switch to the far left of the helmsman’s station was not on my UV map at all, but since most stations have very similar units, I was able to customize another previously modeled version to fit in here.  There is a perfectly mirrored version on the far right of the navigator’s station.  Interestingly, each was rotated 180 degrees in its orientation for the second film.

There is a throttle like control that goes above the small “Course Pre-Set” switch, which I have yet to model.  It changed drastically between the first and second films and I haven’t decided which version I prefer (though I lean towards TMP).

There appears to be some scale issues, as several panels do not fit perfectly in relation to others as they appear on film, but that is probably because the console itself is nowhere near perfect.  Also, I did some copy and paste work to bring all the elements together in a new and smaller file, all to save my computer some stress.  This can sometimes cause strange geometry quirks that only reveal themselves in render.  That seemed to happen to the navigator’s accordion button panel no less, and apparently on the “Emergency Alarm” switch.  Weird stretches of non-existent reach outward and their resulting obfuscation and shadows mar the overall render.  So, I’ll  have to correct that.

Conn_Stations_map4_smMap revisions.

Worked on the map itself a little more too.  I finally added some Greek text and the final graphic details.  In addition to the the more stark changes between films (such as the ship’s “attitude display” and the complete white-on black inversion of the miniature starship diagrams on its gyroscopic wheel displays), I noticed that a few of the panels’ features actually had even more subtle color scheme variances between The Motion Picture and The Wrath Of Khan (at least according to screen caps).  Most notably, the warp and impulse control sliders and their glowing grooves were red and blue respectively in TMP, whereas both grooves appeared to glow merely white in TWOK, while the sliders themselves were a simple dark gray or black.  I think the glowing text was all that same rich yellowish-green in the first film, but appears to take on several different muted hues for movie two.  I thought I would at least make a variation that incorporates the red and blue sliders, so here it is.  I had to rely entirely on screen shots for this particular panel, the best of which were from TWOK.  This is mainly because the reference template I used, “Enterprise” Flight Manual, described a completely different and ultimately unrealized control panel in this spot, dedicated to steering and course change rather than ship’s velocity.

I ended up spreading the individual features out a bit too.  Several items had been aligned with the template from the “Enterprise” Flight Manual, but since certain items weren’t even included in the map and I needed them to be a bit further apart for good UV mapping clearance, I tried to distribute them more evenly about.

The Astrogator is still incomplete, but I’ve finally employed the slightly dome like outer cover in place of the previous flat version, even though it is difficult to tell at the angle rendered.

~ by starstation on February 11, 2013.

2 Responses to “Blinkies In Earnest”

  1. In the second and third movie they removed the throttle and put in a thruster control panel, instead the warp and impulse control sliders were adjusted by hand to change speeds instead of merely being a speedomoter, they removed the “neural interface” panel and inserted a generic computer panel.

    Also there was some more greek letters on the “course change” panel.

    • Yeah, I tend to prefer the look of the throttle in the first film, but I do prefer the idea of control sliders as input rather than gages. I also prefer the more complex look of the “neural command override” though I do think the panel’s actually titled function sounds a bit silly.

      I had used TWOK screen shots (best closeups) to reference the Greek letters I put on the latest UV texture post, but I ran across that same TSFS shot this weekend and added those 2 extra (fully lit in that instance) Greek characters just a couple of days ago. I also added some text to the “Navigation Co-Ordinates” input panel relating to its “Bearing” functions on the panel’s lower half. There are some apparent Greek characters on its upper section too, which I can’t quite make out, so they still remain unrealized.
      I fixed the geometry problems too, as well as some spacing issues, and will try to get some fresh renders and posts this weekend. 🙂

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