Starbase Scenes- Planetary Surface

Starbase 37: as inspired by earlier masterpieces.

Just some work-in-progress and experimental images I’ve done over the years (starting well over a decade ago) based upon the beautiful Starbase 11 matte paintings produced for specific episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series.  Several other influences also stand out, including (but not limited to) the Remastered version of TOS, background mattes from several Star Trek Films and The Next Generation era TV series, and even a few video game environments.  Most are either samples of my oldest CGI work or, as the years have passed, just experiments in lighting and background angles. But while some have a few finishing touches, they are all perpetual WIP.  Despite the many distinct inspirational elements from those beautiful and genuine production sources, I’ve chosen to designate this particular land fall Starbase 37.

Starbase11_TOS_45cOne of my more recent (and favorite) shots with “finishing touches.”

colony_scene9The very earliest shot completed some 15 years ago?

colony_scene8aAnother shot from that set.

colony_scene7And another.  These were done with an old program called Raydream Designer.

Starbase11_TOS_60bAnother more recent nighttime shot.

Starbase11_TOS_finalThe shot most influenced by the original TOS matte painting.

Starbase11_TOS_38bView from the landing pad.  Alas, there should be a rather tall peak just beyond that set of buildings if the TOS inspired image is to be taken seriously.

Starbase11_TOS_33Sunset?  Fail.  Sunlight angle doesn’t match background well.

Starbase11_TOS_34Slightly better match.  Short mushroom building to the right and flat starfish building in lower right come directly from the video game Star Trek: New Worlds.  Triangular shaped buildings to the right harken back to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

Starbase11_TOS_35Tall Mushroom tower (far left) was my very first attempt to recreate something akin to the short mushroom from the video game (from memory), with maybe just a hint of homage to a certain Jupiter 2.  The squat buildings just to the right of the tower are based on some business buildings in a medical centric part of my hometown.  Angular building in the background is based on the City Hall of Dallas, TX.

Starbase11_TOS_36Awww.  The little red people.

starbase11-fountainwall_001finalA touch of a studio set used in multiple Trek episodes, featuring a fountain and park wall.

Starbase11_TOS_29One of my more favorite backgrounds.

Starbase11_TOS_31Good individual elements, but poorly angled.

Starbase11_TOS_18Another pleasing background which I’ve exploited several times…

Starbase11_TOS_22… as evidenced.

starbase11_tos_21View from within the buildings.

Starbase11_TOS_54Another lighting “fail” as I didn’t realize that large shadow was there when setting up.  I also didn’t see that lamp post in the layout screen, but I liked the overall perspective and hue.

starbase11_tos_55A slight step back with the sun stepped up.  Here I was mostly trying to show off the dome like canopy structure that was seen in the original TOS matte painting.

Starbase11_angle_lowSome close ups of the TOS inspired buildings buildings.  Mostly a lighting and perspective experiment as there is no actual foundation beneath the background towers.  I may have intended to try the image with the decorative park wall, but never went past this stage.


5 Responses to “Starbase Scenes- Planetary Surface”

  1. I had almost forgotten how epic these were when I first saw them. Still epic…still inspiring. Thanks for making the page Basill.

    You know…nothing really comes to mind that is visually on par with this kind of “style” save (possibly) Dr. Morbius’s dwelling in Forbidden Planet. The cleanliness of the lines… it’s just stark-retro-functionality at its best.

    Have you ever considered what an Earth colony/outpost would look like? I imagine something like the above with some futuristic traditional homes (think Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water) spinkled amongst those of Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project styling. All spreading out from the colony hub with towering mountains and towering trees in the distance.

    Got carried away. Appologies.:)

    • Thanks so much. I don’t know how “epic” I imagined them when I did them, but I was definitely going for that “look” that came directly from those earlier visionaries. As far as any style, the structures are definitely retro since many of them were taken directly from the source material, and I do love some of that architecture. A few of the buildings are other things I’ve seen in person or in various media imagery, and thought they looked perfect for the calling. However, I must admit that the “cleanliness of lines” isn’t so much an attempt to harken back to any retro style, but simply the shortcomings of my skill in the areas of texture, detailing, and organic geometries. Still… even though most of it is conceptual/experimental, the colors are very soothing and I’m pretty pleased with the overall results (if I tilt my head sideways and scrunch my eyes a little). 😉

  2. I love this colony! I thought I commented about it before but not sure where. I’d love to get a commission of each building and group shots like above, and some deck-by-deck layouts if possible. Though not essential. I see you have MIB and Star Trek New Worlds influence, I love it.
    You should do the game’s tanks as well.
    I suggest a shuttle bay hub would complete the colony nicely.

  3. These are truly epic, and gorgeous.
    I love the recreation of TOS buildings, and merging them with the ST: New Worlds and STIV buildings is inspired in the creation of the concept. Merging the old with the new as the base itself is steadily upgraded over the years seems surprisingly off limits in fan fiction and artwork; things are — seemingly MUST BE — a product of the era of the setting. You don’t see a TOS base in TNG. We never went back to Starbase 11. But it is obviously what would “really” happen, especially with planetary installations.
    Excellent work!
    Are you saying however that Star Station India is orbiting the planet this ground-based Starbase 37 is?

    • Thanks! Yeah, that is essentially it. My first inspiration for this surface work was indeed the colony set ups from the New Worlds video games. And as architectually dated as I thought the TOS matte paintings appeared, I’ve lived long enough to see just how quickly something new and amazing can start looking old, the moment you start comparing it to something even newer and more amazing. Still, I very much admired some of those dated TOS visuals, and I’ve also lived long enough to see old styles revived, as if they were the freshest thing ever devised. Beautiful pink sunsets however, are timeless. 😀

      It was my original intention to introduce the newer architecture as typical evolutionary advances to a finally well established colony world. Starbase 11 appeared to be in the midst of a pointed growth spurt during its two TOS appearances, as if it had only recently graduated from “Outpost 11” status.

      However, I eventually began to concentrate my efforts on a space station, whose name I’d arbitrarily based upon minimal mention by captain’s log within a single episode of TNG. As that project moved front burner, I started considering more and more how that station’s set up should go: Deep space oasis serving as an interstellar stop-over, or a full service station, gravitationally “anchored” to a planetary system. The more I considered it, the more I wanted planets nearby with all the resources they could offer (including colorful backing and lighting 😉 ). Given the “cookie cutter” nature of Federation aesthetics, I chose to retcon the backstory of my earlier starbase renders to serve as the surface base to my orbital facility. I chose 37 as a notably higher number assignment, though not too far removed from 11. I presumed it to be the moon of a moderately sized gas giant with a not too modest ring system. I’d also like to put a small patch of nebula nearby as well, one that might only be visble during certain times of the year when not lost in the glare of the system’s primary.

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