Super Nova

Hey everyone,

With the release of the newest patch of Fleet Ops, we’ve already started working on the next patch. One new ship we are introducing is the Nova class.

The Nova is one of my favorite ship classes for a few reasons. For one it is a great design which shows how Federation ship design is going to progress. It feels like it takes the sleak Sovereign and compresses it down into a smaller ship. The Nova also has the interesting distinction of having two deflectors. It also happens to be in possibly my favorite episode of Voyager.

The modelling for the Nova is pretty much done. It weighs in around 2500 polygons, about 500 less than my B’rel. I’ll post again once the Nova’s texture is finished, which hopefully won’t be too long. In the mean time you guys can freely speculate on what the Nova class is going to be like in the game ;) . You can also check out my regular site which has just gone live. It need some tweaking and needs to be made Firefox compliant, but the basics are there. All you need to do is go to www.nathanzeichner.com.

In other news I’d like to congratulate Star Trek Online for going into Open Beta. It has been a long road since the game was announced in 2004, but it is finally getting public testing and looks like it will be a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing others in the game.

And now on to the pretty renders…
Nova Class WIP 1
Nova Class WIP 2
Nova Class WIP 3

B’rel and K’vort

It has been a while since there has been a post and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been incredibly busy with school work and exams. Hopefully I’ll get back to a more regular schedule soon, but I won’t make any promises. However, the B’rel and the K’vort are finished and will be included into the next Fleet Ops patch, which will be done soon.

For the K’vort we decided to make the ship larger, have the red colored wings and a slightly different hue of hull with more armor. While the gameplay with the wings moving up and down is not implemented, the models are in the new patch. You’ll have to wait for the patch after this one to see the gameplay elements. Anyway, on to the pictures. These renders are missing the bump map for now because Maya hates me for some reason.

Two Birds with One Model

I can’t believe it took me this long to use this pun. Anyway… Today’s post is just going to be an update of the B’rel model with the work in progress texture. The texture for the wings is almost done and then I’ll start on the body. I’m hoping that it will be done for the next patch, but I’m not sure if it will done in time. I’ll talk a bit more about the creation of the B’rel/K’vort texture once they are done.

Putting Together the Bird

Hey all. Sorry about the missed update last weekend, but I’ve been incredibly busy. Because of which I’ve decided to change my schedule of posts to every other Saturday. Anyway, on to the post…

The next model I’m working on for Fleet Ops is the Klingon Bird of Prey, or B’rel class. This is the first model I have made for Fleet Ops that isn’t for the Federation, so it was a definite shift. The B’rel is also going to be used as the K’vort class in Fleet Ops, so this ship will be getting two textures. But right now I’m just going to talk a little about the modeling of the ship.

Cardassians Update 1: The Interceptor and Designing Non-Cannon Ships

Today is the first of many updates regarding the Cardassians in Fleet Ops. I think they maybe the most requested feature on the forums since the release of beta 2. The Cardassians are my favorite race in Star Trek and now I have a chance to create new designs for them. In this post I’m going to talk a little about my philosophy for designing original cardassian ships and stations and give you an exclusive look at the first original design in Fleet Ops.

What Is With All This Steam?

A short post this week. I’ve had plenty of things to do with the beginning of the new school year and moving back to the university. Today I’m going to talk a little about the Steamrunner class and the problems with some of the ship from First Contact.

The Steamrunner class is one of the most interesting classes in Star Trek in my opinion. From the start of Armada 1, the Steamrunner has been pegged down as an artillery ship, even though there is no indication in the show or movies that it was an artillery ship. The Steamrunner was introduced in First Contact, as one of the many ships who battled the Borg cube. They had to come up with a bunch of new designs for the movie, but they had to do it quickly. So ships like the Steamrunner, Akira and Norway were only created as CGI models. Those ships were definitely made for First Contact alone because a lot of the Steamrunner was not meant to be seen from angles other than the ones in First Contact. There is some odd texturing and connection between the nacells and the main body. So in order for my model to be accurate, it has to be the same as the cgi model, including the oddities. Anyway, enjoy the work in progress and final renders. I promise next week you’ll get an extra special post for the 10th post on this blog.

There are Nebulas in that Galaxy

Another Saturday, another update. Before the update, I would like to mention that I am using a new protection program to block spam, so if you are having problems posting comments I recommend two things: either A. post on the Fleet Ops forums that you can’t comment on the blog, or B. register with the blog to avoid any problems. On to the update. For those of you who read the todo list on Fleet Ops website, the Galaxy and Nebula redos have been on the list for awhile. Obviously this is because the Galaxy and Nebulas classes are related. In fact, from the start I wanted the Galaxy and the Nebula classes to share one texture. So I am going to talk a little about the process of taking a full model and dividing it up into many models that share the texture.

Play that Galaxy Again and Texturing Techniques #1

It is finally finished! After about 4000 plates and more windows than I can count, the new Galaxy class is ready for Fleet Ops. Since I’ve already gone on about the development of the Galaxy and other ships, I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about useful texturing techniques that you at home can use. So get out your trusty Photoshop Brush or Illustrator Pen tool.

You Two Can Excel!

For a third time in a row, we are going to look at a refit of a cannon design: The Excelsior II class. I promise next time we’ll look at something besides a refit design ;) . I believe this was the first non-cannon design I did for Fleet Ops, which makes it sort of special. It also makes it a very old design, so unfortunately I don’t have any of the original sketches of this ship.

When designing this ship I wanted to keep two things in mind: keeping the original proportions of Excelsior II Class Work in Progressthe excelsior and updating the saucer section to have more Sovereign like qualities. Back when I was designing this guy I spent a lot of time looking at the original Excelsior, the Excelsior refit (Enterprise B) and the old Excelsior II we had in Fleet Ops. I actually had a design way back that had three deflectors like the old Excelsior II. However if you look at my original Excelsior model in Fleet Ops currently, you’llExcelsior II Class Work in Progress 2 notice that the Excelsior has odd proportions. The nacells are incredibly far back and really long. When you look at the Excelsior from above, it does not feel right. If you look at all the movies where the excelsior original appears, you’ll notice that the Excelsior was never meant to be seen from above. It has a sleekness that is seen only when you see it from below. I feel like my final design for the Excelsior II definitely captured those proportions for better and for worse.

Why Not Take Two: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Sleek Federation Ships

Thanks all for the encouraging comments. I’ll continue to post in the blog as long as you guys are reading it. Feel free to comment or even join the blog as a subscriber. Anyway, on to the post…

In my spare time I actually do modeling and design for fun. So today we are going to take a look at one of my most recent design ideas: The Saber II class.

When designing this ship I wanted to capture the essence of the Saber,

Saber II Concept

but updating it’s style to a more sleek design. I also took great inspiration from some of John Eaves designs for Star Trek Online. I think everyone needs to check out John Eaves blog now. I’ve taken the original sketch and brought it into photoshop for a really quick coloring so you get an idea of what I am going for. As you can see the busard collectors are absolutely huge on this and are sort of placed similar to the Defiant. I kind of imagined that the smaller federation ships would start to adapt Defiant like structure. The bridge section is of course similar to a Sovereign class, but has some nice features from the Defiant, like the exposed anti-matter pods.