A fistfull of years ago, I did a few covers for Star Trek: The Magazine. Sadly, this slickly-produced, lovingly written periodical folded in 2003, but as I was digging through my archives (in other words, as I was finally looking to see what was on a bunch of old CD-ROMS entitled “label me”), I ran across the original, hi-res renders created for the publication. Knowing how bad I am with technology, it’s entirely possible that I put the CD in my drive and accidentally uploaded them to my blog, where anyone can download and enjoy them…
If you haven’t already figured it out by now, this first one was for the Next Generation Season One special issue, published in April 2002.
The first step was for me to create a rough draft of the image I had in mind; it was then sent to the editors who had their art department do a mock-up of the cover to see how it worked and where the cover graphics would interfere with the image.
They liked the image pretty much as-is (only the background nebula was changed) so off I went to create a 3k render. The Magazine was obviously a vertically oriented render, but for you, dear reader, I have recomposited the original elements into a horizontal, more widescreen monitor-friendly image (below). As always, feel free to click for the full-size picture or right click to download and save:
[CREDITS: Enterprise-D and Spacedock models: Andrew Bradbury Render: Mojo]
The second cover was for the special Wrath of Khan issue, published in September 2002. For this one I had two basic concepts and offered the editors a variation on each.
The first was a combat shot, loosely based on a scene from the film. The image on the right is more traditional, while the left side sports a more dynamic pose for the Enterprise (this is the same model that was seen in the Director’s Edition DVD of Star Trek: The Motion Picture). Also note the extra space left on top for the Magazine title. The second concept (below) are two variations on the “cat and mouse” section of the film.
As much as I liked the less obvious “artsy fartsy” cat-and-mouse renders, the publishers went for the more dynamic, eye-catching battle concept (as seen in the original mock-up on right).
Have you noticed the nerd alert mistake in the picture? Go on, have a closer look… there is a really obvious boo-boo in this image, and if you haven’t figured it out yet you’re going to hit yourself on the head and shout “duh!” when I tell you. Give up? It’s the phasers! Phaser weapons didn’t work in the Mutara nebula, so the ships had to use photon torpedoes during the battle.
Luckily, my pal Daren, who was lending his critical eye to the image, spotted the gaff in time for me to correct it before the magazine went to press. Would you have been the first one to write in and tell the publishers of their blunder? Let us know in the comments if you really, truly figured it out before we told you!
Here’s full res render (1920×1200), handily reworked for the horizontal world we live in. Feel free to beam it down, print it out and sleep with it!
[CREDITS: Enterprise model: Lee Stringer/Rob Bonchune Reliant: Fabio Passaro Render: Mojo
And lastly, we have an image that wasn't featured on any magazine cover, but exclusive nonetheless. It was created for the charity auction at Shore Leave, a wonderful fan-run convention in Baltimore that's going 30-years-strong (note the Enterprise is orbiting a planet that vaguely resembles the one in the Shore Leave episode). The one and only copy was printed at 4k resolution, framed and sold to the highest bidder in 2003. It's not at quite the same mega-resolution, but here it is with still enough pixels to choke a Commodore 64:
[CREDITS: Enterprise model: Daren Dochterman Render:Mojo]
Want your own original series Enterprise? Check this out…
That about wraps it up for this week’s edition of Sci-Fi candy, but stay tuned for more. And if you really want to be ready for upcoming installments, have a pair of these standing by…