Excalibur breaks the mould of traditional space simulation games by putting the player firmly in the boots of an experienced Starfleet captain. From the outset you will be able to control your character and command your ship as if you were standing on the bridge yourself. From taking direct control of the helm, to transferring command of any ship in your task force, or even calling your senior staff to the briefing room to discuss mission tactics; Excalibur is the most immersive Star Trek experience ever. Set six months after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis, Excalibur's story mode deals with the turbulent political scene caused by a decade of war and turmoil. From the second Borg incursion in First Contact, to the fall of the Dominion and the collapse of the Romulan political system; these events resulted in huge loss of life and changed the Alpha Quadrant forever.
As the Excalibur team launch their new Galaxy Class starship, we grab a few questions with Mark Ward who's job it was to texture this hugely popular ship.
Posted by markdw on Dec 5th, 2012 Page 1 of 3
The Galaxy Class starship was first featured on Star Trek: The Next Generation as the U.S.S. Enterprise D. It is one of the largest ships in Starfleet and was the most advanced ship at it's launch. The original studio model was created by an exceptionally talented team at Industrial Light and Magic and was built with painstaking detail to the point that it would hold up in Cinema.
Our version was modelled by Luiz Cordova before being handed over to me for texturing.
The level of detail is really insane! I watched the show when I was a child and have grown up with images of this model but I never appreciated the detail until I started this process. Last year my biggest project was the NX01 Enterprise which at the time I thought was very detailed. By comparison though, the Galaxy has a hull pattern which cannot be mirrored, has a much larger surface area, and more layers of detail.
I'm a big believer that even incomprehensible detail has a subconcious impact on whether someone accepts something as real or fake. Because the original model was completely built by hand I had had to draw absolutely every line and pattern by hand. This means that while the hull pattern is repeated in a regular fashion I had to draw it all individually in order to capture the slight differences in the size or angle on each piece. The base of the hull pattern alone is built up of 4 to 5 layers of different colours.
The one good thing about all this detail is that you never have to invent details to fill in the gaps. Where the CGI models sometimes require some creative "padding", these studio models are always dense with realistic details.
Around two and a half working weeks in total. Because this is such an important ship in Star Trek canon we really wanted to nail it.