Archive for the 'Trek Movies' Category



12
May
10

Wonderfest 2010, cometh

Good Gravy!!  I am not ready for this one by any means, but one more late night after work and I’ll have the presentation ready to go!!!!  Can’t wait to get there, and this years slide show will cover the Nostromo restoration, work from Star Trek XI, Iron Man II, and a variety of other things!!!  Lots of awesome stuff this year, and the theme of the show is the 25th Anniversary of Dan Obannon’s “Return of the Living Dead”. So with that, here is a teaser piece of art from last year’s ST movie!!!  It’s an early version of Pike’s military shuttle.

Enjoy and catch up with you next week!

http://www.wonderfest.com/

top gun fighter

10
May
10

post #2 for 5-10-10, ship scales from Star trek, insurrection

here is a scale chart I came across over the weekend which shows the scales of three of the federation vessels attached to the Enterprise-E. First is the Captains Yacht, then the shuttlecraft, followed by the scoutship. all ships are in scale to each other and were all a part of a series of drawings from insurrection to putt final figures on all the vessels from the smallest to the largest, for those that saw or remember this one you’ll see immediately that these charts had no reverence to what was seen in the final film, HAAAAA!, fun to draw thought. So enjoy and for those coming to Wonderfest this coming weekend I’ll have lots of blue prints and charts from these and many others and the presentation will be on Ironman II and the restoration of the Nostromo.

scales

04
Mar
10

robert mccall, saying goodbye to a good friend

Robert T. McCall

I just got word of Robert McCall’s passing yesterday and am so very sad to hear this news…I had been working on a special about Bob for the blog here and am sad I didn’t get it finished in time for him to see.  Mr. McCall was 90 years old and painting away when he passed away last Friday, February 26th, 2010.  Many of you know of  Robert McCall, or if you don’t, I am sure you have at least seen his work.  He was a legendary artist, and his work has covered a multitude of subject matters.  At heart he was an astronaut, a pilot, and mostly a dreamer, with pencil and paintbrush as his means to take you to places far beyond the bounds of Earth.  He was a visionary genius who’s strokes on the canvas took us to places where no man had gone before!!  With his feet firmly planted on the ground, his imagination new nothing of shoes for his visions, always looking towards the heavens.

Bob’s work covered the world of aviation, from the big propeller driven planes to the supersonic hyper jets…from present day to historical space exploration and well into the future.  He re-landscaped the state of Arizona in many futuristic styles with incredible imagination…He created some of the most beautiful stained glass windows for many of the churches around Phoenix; he also created massive murals for the Smithsonian, Edwards AFB and beyond.  He created some of the most memorable art and designs for many motion pictures including the world of Star Trek.  He created many mission patches, as well as stamps for the US post office.  Mr. McCall’s work has no bounds, and he has done something for just about everything.  He was a true gentleman at heart with an endless imagination.  He was a loving husband and father, and he was a friend to everyone.  To me, he was my first artistic hero and for the last 13 years or so had become a very good friend.

As a young boy growing up in Arizona in the 60’s, I was captivated by aviation and especially by all the Gemini and Apollo missions taking us to the moon!!!  My whole world revolved around these things, and in early 1973 my mom had found a painting of a new NASA project called Skylab.  The painting was by an artist named Robert McCall, and I was glued to that picture for weeks!!!  I would try and draw it myself using Bob’s painting as a guide.  That little painting hung on my wall right next to my Apollo 17 mission patch that was also drawn by McCall.  My parents subscribed to “Arizona Highways” magazine, and it showcased everything beautiful about Arizona and it’s people in pictures.  I remember getting the mail in August of 1975 and the new AZ Highways was in amongst the other letters; on the cover was this beautiful wrap around painting of a Chromed city situated in the AZ desert.  Wow, I thought, “This is really cool.”  Looking through the pages, it was filled with fantastic art depicting solar cities and fantastic craft floating around the state.  The back of the mag was covered with some incredible space craft paintings and even the Apollo Soyuz stamps that McCall had drawn.  I looked at these drawings for months with such fascination.  Again, I had my tablet out and tried to draw these incredible things that graced the many pages that lie in front of me.  I took the mag to school and showed it to everyone I knew.  I showed my science teacher, Mr. Chuck Bell, and he became one of the most influential teachers in pushing me to become an artist.  Always with an encouraging word and giving me extra art assignments using McCall as my guide, he would take the finished art and showcase it on the wall behind his desk.  Outside of my parents, Mr. Bell was the first adult that took that that little extra time to encourage me on my way.  He is a great man and I owe him a great amount of thanks.

About this same time I got my first turntable and my dad bought me the soundtrack of the movie Jaws and the movie 2001.  Holy cow, the art on the 2001 album was by McCall, and again I couldn’t put the jacket down.  Far more detailed than what I had seen of his work in earlier years, the details were mesmerizing, and the way he used the lighting and the thick heavy shadows was awesome.  What I thought was so creative with his 2001 work was that he only showed you part of the ships.  Most of the craft would be off the canvas, thus making things seem far too massive to fit all on one page.  His work was magical, and he depicted weight and mass combined with light in shadow with such grace and elegance.  The “Arizona Highways” mag had got me drawing everything in McCall style.

A few years later, Star Wars & Close Encounters came out and started the big theatrical run of everything Sci Fi.  During that fantastic movie run, one of the big anticipated films to come was Star Trek:  The Motion Picture.  “Starlogmagazine was the big source of sci-fi info back in the 70’s, and when ever possible they would show what ever they could of what was coming next.  It would usually be some artwork or a teaser picture, but for Trek they showed some of McCall’s production paintings for the flying through Vger segment.  WOW!!!  Bob’s work is a part of STAR TREK!!!  I wanted to see it even more just because of his involvement.  After seeing the film and now 30 years later that sequence is still one of my favorite parts of the film.  All of Bob’s creative imagery combined with that incredible Jerry Goldsmith score made for one amazing moment in motion picture history!!!  Just a few short weeks after Star Trek was released, Bob’s work would be seen again, but this time as the principle designer for Walt Disney’s The Black Hole. Mr. McCall designed the Cygnus for the film which, in his original designs, was a ship composed of solid panels and high towers.  As the film’s designs progressed, Bob’s profile of the ship stayed the same, but the outer look turned into a series of beautiful and intricate framing and piped under-structures.  For the look of the filming miniature, the vessel was lit from within and gave it a very haunting look and feel against the deep space backgrounds.  The Cygnus was one awesome ship and is one that adds to a very vast body of work for McCall.

Time rolls on and Arizona Highways & Starlog keep Bob’s work and what his projects are up to date.  Moving away from the film industry he continued on with his space work for NASA and many museums and AFB’s around the country.  In the 90’s a great many art books are published on Bob’s work.  Thanks to Mr. McCall’s influence and inspiration, I was at that time celebrating my 10th anniversary of working in the movies as an artist.  It’s 1995 and I had had Robert McCall’s phone number for years but was too nervous to call.  All of the gang in the Star Trek art department were fellow fans of McCall, the Okudas, Jim Van Over, Anthony Fredrickson, and especially Doug Drexler.  It was Christmas break from Star Trek, and I was on my way home to see my parents.  One fine December day I worked up the courage to call, and he answered the phone.  What an awesome moment!!!  After a brief conversation, he invited me over to his place!!!  I had just finished the preliminary designs for the Enterprise-E and had made a copy of it, as well as a bunch of other artwork, as a gift of thanks.  Bob’s house was nestled in the hills of Scottsdale, and he and his wife, Louise, met me at the door.  Louise is an artist as well, and flowers are her forte.  She has such a beautiful style to her work, and she makes prints and cards of her creations.  Bob’s art room was a big open area with big flat cabinets holding generations of work, as well as many big pieces hanging around the room.  The first piece to catch my eye was a painting of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  It was a huge painting, and Bob went on to say it was one of 8 paintings he did for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora. I had no idea that he had worked on that classic motion picture.  We had a great afternoon, and Bob and Louise were extremely gracious; It seemed like we we had been friends for years.  Bob signed three of his books for me, as well as a print from Star Trek, and Louise gave me a pack of her flower prints.  It’s not every day you get to meet someone you admire, and in the movie industry disappointment is usually what follows, but as for meeting the McCalls, it was the start of a great friendship.  We kept in touch throughout the years and would visit often when I was in town.  Robert’s daughter runs his website and does one mighty fine job, so be sure to follow the link below and spend some time looking and reading all of the incredible stuff there.

We  will miss you dearly Robert…and to Louise and your kids and your grandkids, I send my very best and prayers as well.

http://www.mccallstudios.com/news.html

below are some of  Mr. McCall’s beautiful paintings…

from 2001

another from 2001

2001

the Cygnus

Apollo 8

Skylab...my introduction to the art of Robert McCall

full spread of the August 1975 Arizona Highways magazine

one of Bob's paintings from the Aug 75 AZ Highways

Bob in his studio

cover art for "Our World in Space"

Bob's note written in "Our world from Space"

cover art

a note from Bob in "The Art of Robert McCall"

and a final note from my friend

cover art

Thank you, my friend, for all you have done.

18
Nov
09

Star trek the art of film by mark cotta vaz

Well, I have to say that is one fine book and produced at high warp speed.  This whole project only started about 3 and a half 4 months ago when everyone that had worked on the movie got a call to put all their art work together on a disc and have it ready to pick up the next day!!!  Neville Page was the gathering man of all these discs and probably a lot more…I love to see things come together under impossible odds, and Titan publishing shines at doing what others would be unable to do!!!  Great work displaying all the images in a very nice collage style format which really shows a nice progression, in many cases, from sketch to finished production art.

Mark and Titan really cover a little bit of everything, the concept art, CG work, ILM’s stuff, all the costume and make up work and some nice writing – full of little tidbits of info and a lot of how things came together – make a for one nice art of book.  Mark could easily do a part 2, and 3 with all the art that couldn’t be squeezed into those 160 beautiful pages.  The breakdown pages of the Enterprise, the Nirada, and the Kelvin are some awesome pages, as well as J.J. Abrams’ very nice and humorous forward.  It is a very complimentary book to all those behind the scenes and the art work of Ryan Church and James Clyne, along with Alex Jeager, Paul Ozzimo, Neville Page, and all the rest is breathtaking!!!  Even some of my scribbles made it in which was a thrill to see, HAAAA! 

What a great showcase for some awesome and very stylized art work!!!  Scott Chambliss (The film’s Production Designer) adds a lot of info, insight, and some very kind compliments to his crew throughout, and it was a fun read and makes a great companion along with the DVD release.  OH yes!!  The burning question of what is the Enterprise’s dimensions are are finally revealed in the book so now all the fighting can stop!!!  HAAA!  Thanks to everyone that put this book together so fast, and I so love adding it to my book collection!!  Enjoy

the cover for the art of film

18
Oct
09

scorpion

Howdy all!!  A new job and 4 rodeo daughters in events and pageants have me on the go and nowhere near my computer for the last week and a half!!! HAAA!  With that, I wanted to take a moment and say thanks to everybody for all the fun comments on the Vulcan Architecture…hopefully I can get more of that up later in the week.  For today, though, I have one drawing to post, and it is of two early versions of the Reman Scorpion from Star Trek Nemesis.  The ship started out to be a pretty big fighter, but budget made the practical hallways of the Scimitar sets smaller so the Scorpion had to get smaller as well.  Mr Berman loved these, and to make them smaller but keep what he liked in tact, he had me take the little piloting pod and wings off and make a smaller ship based on those lines.  There will be more to this genesis but today here are the first passes.

variations 1 & 2

variations 1 & 2

25
Sep
09

valdore-o-rama

OK!!!  Finally, here are some of those CG model shots from the Fabulous Digital Domain of the Romulan Battleship Valdore!!!!!  This one is one of my all time favs, and the modeling work is beyond incredible!!!  Also in this set of pics is the bridge of the Valdore which is actually a redress of what was left of the Enterprise – E bridge before it was sadly scraped into the trash bin!!!  Lots of fun times on this one and hard to believe it was so long ago!!!  Enjoy the images and more to come!!!

the concept art

the concept art

Continue reading ‘valdore-o-rama’

20
Aug
09

“the valdore” day 3

Man oh man, it’s my last week here on Green Hornet and it’s busy.  Here are the rest of the Valdore illustrations.  These are crude and small, and I promise to do an update with bigger and better images hopefully next week.  In the mean time, here are some more of the plans and final design ideas that came together to finish off this big bird.  The second arched bi-wing is in place and took the spot of the Caterpillar nacelles, and overall it tied everything together nicely.  That extra wing added a good break up to the forward view and helped tie in with Andy’s TNG bird a bit more.  When I get to day 4 of the Valdore, I’ll include the rest of the CG models from Digital Domain and do a special write up on the master modeler behind the final ship’s outer workings!!  Enjoy todays teaser.

 

bi wing detail

bi wing detail

Continue reading ‘“the valdore” day 3’

13
Aug
09

art of the valdore, “day two”

Welcome to Day Two of the Valdore and thanks for all the comments yesterday.  Today we’ll explore three drawings that were the first to finalize the color and the belly details of the ship.  These drawing represent a version where there were to be back up and secondary warp drive nacelles attatched to the under hull of the ship.  The design aesthetics were to further the understory that they were a special type of nacelles designed and used when the ship was to be cloaked,  so that it’s wake trail would not be traceable, very much like the caterpillar drive from the Red October.  As far as this detail went, I wasn’t happy with how these additions obscured the sweeping lines of the ship, and in the plan views there is a view of the ship with and without these nacelles.  On the “without” view, there is a bare section entitled “Engine Mount”.  This would be the future mounting point for the second wing.  From this point on, I scrapped the warp pods and started working in a subtle bi-wing that would further carry the design flow that Andy had come up with for TNG.  This will be the last post of the Valdore until next week due to I have to go home and dig out the rest of the big drawings to scan.  HAA!  So enjoy, and tomorrow will either be more Xindi ships or a pin up update with Jessica…or both!  Ok, have a great Thursday, fellow bloggers.

the color pass was the next drawing requested and here she is all green and Romulany

the color pass was the next drawing requested and here she is all green and Romulany

Continue reading ‘art of the valdore, “day two”’

12
Aug
09

art of the romulan warbird valdore, (day one)

Man, has it been busy at work…so much so, the blog has suffered.  Thanks for hanging in there through the quick throw in posts and the no posts at all.

As promised, here is day one of the Valdore concepts from Star trek “Nemesis” 2002.  Both Dave Negron Jr. and I were working on the same thing from different locations, and here are a little of both of our takes on this new vessel.  David came up with a very aggressive T tailed design that incorporated some of the lines from Andy Probert’s TNG Warbird.  He compacted the design, and I really liked the interpretation he came up with.  For the sketches I was working on, I ran to Andy’s ship for an architectural  lineage to use as the cornerstone for the renderings.  A single page of 3 or 4 ideas went over to the art meeting, and Herman Z came back with a circle around the bottom left drawing and said that they wanted to see more done with this one.  A rough sketch was next with some awful panel work, and then a 3rd sketch came out resembling a bird like panel breakdown.

From years of stories about Romulan and Klingon architecture in ships and the cross over of what race did what, I had to come up with an understory to use as a basis of how the designs would relate to both alien races.  In “Star trek III” I heard the warbird and the aliens were to be Romulans, due to budget they kept the ship but turned it into a Klingon vessel because Paramount had a surplus of Klingon costumes to use instead of putting up the cash for new outfits and make-up. Thus the Klingons were piloting a Bird of Prey!  So from there I started my idea that the Klingons stole or bought the warbird or it’s technology and made it their own…this would keep the overall look connected to the Romulans, from there the Romulan Warbird Valdore could easily fit into the design realm of what was seen before, only heavily modified.

Being that both the Remans and Romulans were related and in close proximity to one another, the Scimitar would also be able to share similarities in design.  I spent a lot of time trying to concoct a viable story and lineage to carry what was getting approved to fit in the understory as best as possible.  So with that all said and done, here are the drawings for Day One of the Mighty Valdore.

 

Dave Negron's first pass

Dave Negron's first pass

Continue reading ‘art of the romulan warbird valdore, (day one)’

21
Jul
09

scimitar…the last day

I have 5 minutes to get a post in so here it is….  This is day 4 of the design images for the Scimitar from Star Trek Nemesis.  What you have here is the massive scorpion shuttle bay located on the top/forward section of the main hull.  The bay itself is a massive open hanger that houses approx.. 1500 Scorpion fighters. the exterior view undamaged will show the indent for the bay doors, the next image will be the interior of the bay from the back looking towards the bay doors.  The next image is an exterior showing the damage from the head-on with the Enterprise E exposing portions of the launch bay shown in the interior view.  Also called for were Reman service vehicles that would work in the same respect as an aviation ground crew.  OK sorry for the weekday holes in the blog posts  this and last week, and hope you have enjoyed the nuts and bolts of the monster known as the Scimitar.

first pass was rejected for having to high of a ceiling.

first pass was rejected for having to high of a ceiling.

exterior bay door view

exterior bay door view

Continue reading ‘scimitar…the last day’




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