Sternbach Seeks Work on 'Star Trek XI'

By Michelle
May 23, 2006 - 10:20 PM

Illustrator and designer Rick Sternbach, who created the USS Voyager and Deep Space Nine station, said that while The Next Generation remains his favourite Star Trek series, he would be delighted to work on an eleventh Star Trek film with any cast.

"Sure, who wouldn't?" Sternbach told UFP Croatia when asked if he would like to work on the film, explaining that he did not work on Enterprise because its art department was put together while he was finishing work on Voyager. "I've sent over my resume and a packet of visuals, and it's only a matter of time to see what happens."

Next Gen was what Sternbach considered "the closest thing we did to what I would consider literate media science fiction", though his favourite of the Trek films is an original series movie, The Wrath of Khan ("It had the right combination of characters, plot, science fiction elements, and unique Star Trek look"). He cited "Yesterday's Enterprise" as a top episode because of the science fiction twist, "good characters in a strange situation, and fun spaceship action", but he declined to choose between Kirk and Picard, joking that the question was unfair.

Sternbach described his work process, saying that the creation of a starship can take a few minutes - a sketch for CGI developers - to several months. "Ship sketches – could - be done early, and loose doodles were often done right there in production meetings, but more often I drew ships up as soon as the prop drawings went off for fabrication," he said. "With some ships, rough computer graphic shapes helped work out perspective drawings. For major ships like Voyager, I would draw construction blueprints in five orthographic views, usually full size for the physical models."

The development of improved CGI software and computers were the biggest change in Sternbach's job over his 14 years with Star Trek, allowing the designers to create better models. "A single sketch rarely gives the model makers or CGI techs a complete view," he explained. "A CGI mesh, even a rough CGI model, could be rotated and vague areas better understood."

Of anything on Star Trek that Sternbach thinks might become reality in the near future, medical scanning equipment tops the list. He expects fusion reactors to become a possibility, but not warp engines. "Inspiration comes from everywhere; nature, mathematics, physics, architecture, industrial design, science fiction films (incestuous process), anime, you name it," he said. "I read a lot, watch a lot of television, movies, internet visuals, just pull it all in and process it into interesting designs." At the moment Sternbach is running a space education and hobby firm called Space Model Systems, Inc. to provide astronomical models for planetariums and private collectors, and hoping to get that call for Star Trek XI.

The full article is at UFP Croatia.

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