Archive for the 'Trek Movies' Category



02
Jun
09

Ilm VS Paramount/ Jeager battles eaves over the “E” escape pods

Here is episode #2 in the battle of the “ST, First Contact” art departments. The great Herman Zimmerman came to me and said we need to work out what these escape pods do and how they are launched for the VFX sequence. So I started drawing pods and and working out the mechanics of the launch system. the first sketch was of a grenade style pod that I passed on, and went for a more faceted look. from there a color rendering was done and a quick launch scene with an explosive hatch that would add some visual excitement when the pods ejected,,,, Meanwhile up at ILM Alex Jeager was doing the same thing for his boss Jeff Mann. The stuff Alex did went to the producers, got approved and a model was ordered to be built. the next day Herman took our stuff over and came back and said these are now considered art exercises, so back to the Vulcan ships for you. He laughed and told me the story!! We both laughed and and I was going up to ILM in a week or two and couldn’t wait to see what Alex had come up with,,,, Once there the model was pretty far along and was being constructed mainly from Vacu-formed pieces. wow this is looking cool and then saw the drawings Alex had done hanging on the wall. loved the cool simplicity he had designed and especially how he merged the exterior of the “E” to be a functional part of the pod!!! As always the amazing amount of fun on this film especially getting to work with my ILM heros will always be amongst my favorite Star Trek memories. here are the pod concepts and one shot of the finished ILM model!

 

grenade pass

grenade pass

 

sketch

sketch

color pass, 227 is my dad's HP badge #

color pass, 227 is my dad's HP badge #

3-2-1, blast-off!!!!

3-2-1, blast-off!!!!

 

awww!!! the brilliance of Alex Jeager

awww!!! the brilliance of Alex Jeager

 

one of Bill George's and John Goodson's handywork!

one of Bill George's and John Goodson's handywork!

wow what a shot and loved the Goldsmith theme that played out this scene!

wow what a shot and loved the Goldsmith theme that played out this scene!

01
Jun
09

jeager-n-eaves battle over the borg queen

Way back in 1996, First Contact was being conceived at a feverish pace.  The LA art department was fairly small, and we were working in conjunction with ILM on all the new ships and visuals.  Due to distance and a hole in communications, we would often find ourselves working on the same things!!!  At least three or four times on this one, Alex Jeager and I would be working on the same project at the same time and not knowing it until the big concept meetings would occur.  Herman Zimmerman was my boss, and he would hand out the assignments and then be the one to show the work for approval.  For Alex,  Jeff Mann was the ILM supervisor and he would do the same.  After those meetings, Herman would come in and go over what took place and would always say, well here is what ILM has come up with and it sure is similar to what we are doing.  HMMM…it appears that we are both trying to work out the same things, he would chuckle, and then we would dive into Alex’s awesome work and try and come up with a happy medium.  It was great fun to see what would happen after these meetings, and I really loved becoming acquainted with Alex through  the whole design process.  Alex had come up with this incredible design of the Queen using a gal from ILM as the model.  I heard rumors of a small crush going on here but can’t confirm the facts, HAAA!  Anyway, I loved the stiff-spined look to the details and the over the shoulder stance was beautiful!!!  My version was incredibly heavy with cables and a huge mechanical rig to piece the head and torso together.  I was asked to funnel the cabling back to a smaller amount and lose the rig.  This proved to be still too much so Alex took it down to three hoses which turned out to be the perfect amount.  With the use of three you really got the sense of the mechanics without  overshadowing the Queen with too many peripheral special effects details.  Also included is the storyboard sequence created by Alex that set the scene perfectly for the introduction of the Queen.  Awesome work, Alex, and great to relive those fun times today!!

Queen to king,,,checkmate

Queen to king -- checkmate

the heavy lady

the heavy lady

 

thinner rig

thinner rig

alex boards 1

alex boards 1

alex boards 2

alex boards 2

 

and her majesty the queen, Alice Kreige in full makeup

and her majesty the queen, Alice Krige in full makeup

28
May
09

the sona attack fighter

This was a very fun little ship from ST Insurrection, It’s shape is lightly based on it’s DS9 predecessor the Jem Hedar battle cruiser. This was a quick and dirty little design that wound up being my fav from the movie,, It had sleek look in the flying sequences designed by the boys over at Santa Barbara studios and the folks at Blue Sky made a great model to use as CG reference. I’ll post those model images next week!

the 3/4 view

the 3/4 view

 

from Bernd Schneiders, Ex Astris Scientia page, thanks "B"

from Bernd Schneiders, Ex Astris Scientia page, thanks "B"

 

final version with filled in details

final version with filled in details

orthos

orthos
20
Apr
09

the vulcan lander model

ahhh much easier to draw with a model by your side!

ahhh much easier to draw with a model by your side!

high view before paint

high view before paint

in flight configuration/landing configuration

in flight configuration/landing configuration

high forward view

high forward view

after paint, the black area in the center represents the piloting wondows and bridge area

after paint, the black area in the center represents the piloting wondows and bridge area

engine view, note the ladies press on fingernail used as engine detail!

engine view, note the ladies press on fingernail used as engine detail!

Here are some pictures of a model I made of the Vulcan Lander to help with my illustrations, The compound curves and flowing shapes were to complex for my tiny brain and lack of drawing abilities so I had to make a little guide model to help out with the tough views.

17
Apr
09

ejecting the warp core from the Enterprise-E

 

the big belly view

the big belly view

 

 

the mighty core itself, or a big silly straw!!!

the mighty core itself, or a big silly straw!!!

 

 

 

 

exploding outer hatch

exploding outer hatch

 

launch door sequence

launch door sequencea view of the big belly

One of the big story points in ST Insurrection was the ejection of the Enterprise Warp Core. It was a huge scene full of action and suspence, dramatic dialog and awesome acting opportunities for Frakes and Burton. Well if you saw the film it didn’t exactly turn out that way. This production was an odd one on a bunch of levels, mostly frustrating levels,,,,,There were a lot of “what the heck’s”, and “why didn’t that make it’s” and “wholly cow you’ve got to be kidding’s” and “your a bunch of giant dog scratcher’s” and an awful lot of GOOGER-FLUEGGENS!!!! Anyways the task was to draw up the ejection system for the “E’s” warp core. Being a HUGE fan of Ron Cobb (who I payed Homage to in these drawings) always drew the greatest escape hatches and heavy space doors for example his work in, Alien, Aliens, and The Abyss. For the “E” we first designated a spot on the under belly of the ship approximately where it was drawn in the cutaway poster from First Contact. Next there were to be a series of exploding hatches and 4 point retractable port doors followed by a big scene of warning lights and venting plasma. VFX wise the core would be ejected with traces of glitter and metal fragments. when we were at the screening of the film not of this had been shot and was only mentioned in anticlimactic dialog. I want to say it was budget but I know there was more behind it than that!!! HAAAAAAAAAAA! I wish I could accent this dialog,, ( here’s a quick safety notice) I am not gripping if it comes across that way,, as I am writing I am jokingly laughing so read it in a funny not cranky way!!! OK so from there the core itself had to be drawn and it was a quick sketch with very little feedback and was passed thru on the first pass. The fun drawing was of the exterior of the ship where I had a little extra time to do a color rendering,,, Doug Drexler liked this one so I gave him the original marker sketch. For point of interest, In most if not all movies and shows the design process is usually what establishes the budget, story advancement, and the pacing, many, many drawings and scenes are created and shot only to be discarded in the end. Thanks to the extras on DVD’s, the internet and blogs all of this stuff has a chance to come out of the closet.  So with that I wanted to wish everyone a great weekend and again extend my thanks to everyone for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and comments, all the cool links, and especially for the good wishes and prayers for my daughter. I have really enjoyed starting up the blog a few weeks back and it’s been a real hoot to go thru the drawers and dig out old forgotten things. Next week is Jerry Goldsmith week, and also I’ll try to find all the orthos requested from previous posts. Thanks again and have a good one.

 

 

 

John

16
Apr
09

the sona battle ship

 

 

 

the first pass

the first pass

 

pass 2 determined that this shape was more suited for the collector

pass 2 determined that this shape was more suited for the collector

the approved design sketch

the approved design sketch

 

basic plans

basic plans

top and bottom views

top and bottom views

the underside detail view

the underside detail view

 

the color pass

the color pass

thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark for the fan boy piece

thank you, thank you, thank you, Mark for the fan boy piece

This one was a really fun ship to work on because I was always wanted to make something out of a boomerang, It didn’t start with that idea but after a couple of sketches, that was where it wound up! Being this was a new race there were no rules or boundaries to follow as far as the architecture went so the use of yard toys were the inspiration for everything Sona. Horseshoes, boomerangs, badminton birdies and lawn darts, were all used to guide the designs. in the earliest of sketches the birdie was the main idea but in the end that idea was used for the collector which was also driven by these begging drawings. With the battle ship it was based on a flat forward flying boomerang, incorporating the Grand Piano string details that were also  incorporated and established as trademark detail in Ruoffo’s ship. the following drawings and especially the orthos were drawn for the CG modelers at Santa Barbara studios to be modeled and composited. When the film came out I was surprised at how few shots there were of this one and it was more of distant pov so you never really got to see what the vessel was made of. The big highlight for me on any Trek project was to sneak over and Watch Jerry Goldsmith score the film. There was a little couch hidden under the sound board right next to the window looking into the studio and I would bring my pad over and draw away out of site from the producers that probably would have frowned upon this. HAAAA! anyways It was always a treat to talk to Jerry, he always wanted copies of my sketches for his Trek collection which Always made me giddy when he would ask what’s new today. He gave me one the  sheets of music that he had written for First Contact and he signed it to!!! HEY-HOWDY-HEY!!! I still remember that awesome day like it was yesterday!!! My Friend Mark Banning was the art director over at Cresendo records and he new I was a big fan of Jerry’s music and I can’t thank him enough for putting the plan drawings of the Sona Battle ship on the CD. That was another giddy fan boy moment.

15
Apr
09

ruoffo’s flag ship

 

 

 

correct direction and approved design

correct direction and approved design

rear view,,, or is it the front view???

rear view,,, or is it the front view???

 

profiles

profiles

top and bottom

top and bottom

 

fly-N to the left

fly-N to the left

fly-N to the right!

fly-N to the right!

By popular demand here are the ships of Insurrection, Today’s ship is Ruoffo’s flag ship and the most controversial design I have ever had to deal with on all of the Star trek films. This ships scale stayed fairly consistent, and the on going argument was which way do she go! The ship itself is based on a horseshoe flying forks forward. the internals were based on the Grand Piano over on the scoring stage. I was watching Jerry Goldsmith score First Contact and looking in that piano inspired the main detailing on all of the Sona vessels. In the first group of drawings you’ll see the ortho’s and the color rendering showing the ship flying in the original designed direction. the final sketch shows what direction the ship wound up going!!! overall it didn’t really make a big difference,, That is being that that was over 10 years ago, so my sadness has faded. HAAAA!!!!  Tomorrow  will be the Sona Battleship and hopefully the new larger ship scales.. OK Have a great Wednesday!

14
Apr
09

the ship scales of Insurrection

 Here are some drawings that were needed sooner than later on this wild, out of control picture.  I felt so bad for everyone at Santa Barbara, Blue Sky, and Hunter Gratsner, who had a daily change in scale and ship direction!!!  These drawings were quickly put together to remedy the problem, but they did little to no good to help any of the visual effects folks trying to get their shots and hard work to have a consistency.  I saw many of the FX crew blasting out of the building, screaming and running naked out into the surf only to be devoured by the sea and never to be seen again.  If you all will remove your hats and give a moment of silence for those lost in the line of VFX duty,,,,,,,,, daaaaaaaa, da, daa!

 

Yacht scale sheet

Yacht scale sheet

 

holo ship scale sheet

holo ship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet

Sona battleship scale sheet

 

collector scale chart

collector scale chart

overall size comparison sheet

overall size comparison sheet

09
Apr
09

blue sky model reference

High view

High view

rear view

rear view

Hey there, As an addition to todays post I came across these pics of the 30 inch model that Blue sky built for CG reference. Enjoy!!!

09
Apr
09

The holo ships of Insurrection

Pass # 1 The saucer version

Pass # 1 The saucer version

The pufferfish, my favorite!!!

The pufferfish, my favorite!!!

I believe my motivation is obviously gone with this one!!!

I believe my motivation was gone at this point!!!

the forward bridge version

the forward bridge version

here she is!!! the most beautiful vessel in all the universe

AAAAAHHHHH, THERE SHE IS!!! there she is.

the orthos!!!

the orthos!!!

In Star trek “Insurrection” A Massive Federation Holo-ship was called for and the following sketches show the process of  how this one came to be. The early designs featured a saucer style ship, then transformed into a pufferfish, and finally a flying shoe box. The first two were my favorites and I didn’t really care for the flying brick, but it was what was chosen so I took most of the inspiration from Giant Oil tankers. In the first pass there was a bridge at the front of the ship and by the final design the bridge moves to the rear of the vessel. Jerry Goldsmith Composed the score for this one and I liked the metallic theme he wrote for it  much more than the final design. I also included the orthos but to achive the same look simply get a shoe box, spray it completely with super 77, and then roll it thru a pile of legos and old model parts!!!   HAAA! I am not really cranky if that is how your reading this,,, I was laughing and remebering all the silly horrors that came from this movie in regards to one of our supervisors… He was always changing the direction on which way things were to fly after the fact that they were approved renderings being built and lit in CG. This unnammed guy was really something!! (just wait till we get to the story of the Borg Sphere,, HAAA!-HAAAA! in advance) OH yeah and the unnamed guy also changed the scale of the ships from shot to shot!!! I can’t even remeber how many times I would have to run over to his office to try and correct all the insanity!!! It was during this film in particular that scale charts and directional arrows were attatched to EVERY drawing. There is a shot in the film where all the vessels fly under the camera to take orbit,, that is the closest to all the accurate scales. HAAAA!!! Remember that song from Seaseme street??? One of these things, doesnt belong here, which one is it,,,,can you tell??? Yeah that was his theme song. HAAA! what crazy days!   Sorry To all those waiting to see the pics of the 602 club,,I didn’t have time to scan the photos so it will have to be in tomorrow’s post.




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