Giza-tron video!

This was done before the second TRON film came out. I always really liked the bright edges look of the first film, and decided to see what I could do with that approach.

The theme was inspired by my mate Pete Williamson and his band “Anubis”, an Egyptian space rock sort of thing.

Sound track done with Sonic Fire Pro again. Main animation done in Lightwave 3d.

British Rocket – Black Arrow

This is a (very) short documentary I made on the British rocket, the Black Arrow. The UK remains the only country ion the world to develop a successful satellite program, and then shut it down.

The model I built for the video was based on personal photographs taken at the London Science Museum.

I am gradually moving my videos over to Vimeo, they get less views there than at YouTube, but the quality is higher, and you won’t get interrupted by crappy adverts!

Work in Progress – Alternate design for 2001 A Space Odyssey wheel station.

This is something I am still working on. It’s an alternate design for the famous Wheel Station, much more disk-like.

All the outer sections will be completely replaced, I’m still trying out ideas here. The design is based on “The 2001 File”, the Harry Lange archive.

I don’t intend to get the viewpoint as close as is shown in the near image.

The hub is pretty much the same as the ends of the core as used in the original film. The dark ribs on the inside of the outer sections will have to go too.

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Some photos from when Alexei Leonov visited Moldova

When I visited Chisinau ion Moldova in September, I visited a small cosmonautics museum. They have an impressive collection of photos of cosmanauts visiting Moldova from the early days of the manned space program.

Here are a couple of photos of the first man to walk in space on his trip!

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The Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank

Whjen I decided to try and make a mesh of the iconic Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, England, I knew it would be a big task!

I think this is easily the most complex mesh I have ever created. I visited the real radio telescope, and took hundreds, and hundreds of photographs, from every angle I could.

It was really tricky to work out the symmetry of the repeating elements, and it took a bit of trial and error to get it right.

As if that was not demanding enough, I also had to keep the polygon count under control, while trying to include every bolt I could see.

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I had a bit of help, the nice people who work their very kindly sent me some basic plans with the key dimensions marked, so I had a firm foundation to build on.

The end result is rigged, so I can rotate the base and tip the dish into any desired position.

Kuck’s Mosquito

Kuck’s Mosquito is a design for a craft that would mine water from asteroids, comets, or maybe the moons of Mars. The delta-V required is MUCH less than hauling it up from Earth to orbit.

It would work by drilling down into ice, melting it, then sucking up the liquid. The water can then be used for drinking, or could be split into Hydrogen and Oxygen.

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Review – 2001 Files, Christopher Frayling

IMG_3473Today I received my pre-ordered copy of The 2001 File, the Harry Lange design archive. This is a review of it.

Initial impressions are good, the book is heavy, with lots of pages. I was a bit surprised at the lack of a slip cover though.

But the meat of it is, of course, the illustrations. It is VERY heavily illustrated, and the vast majority of the pictures are new to me. The pictures main focus on the design history of all the major elements in the film, with many, many alternate designs that never made it into the finished film.

In many cases there are quite literally dozens and dozens of alternate designs, and it it genuinely fascinating to see how some fairly crude early attempts evolved into the iconic finished versions.

The illustrations are mainly line drawings or plans – there are some colour photographs, but these are not at all well presented, being more than a bit blurry in most cases.

The plans and diagrams make this an essential purchase for someone like me, and astronomical artist. I;m less show about the value to a more general audience, but if you love the design of the film, you will likely find it very satisfying.

I’ve not yet had a chance to read the text properly, but I did notice one mistake – an Ion Spaceship design by Erst Stuhlinger is described as a “Cruciform Space Station”. But speaking for myself, I am very happy to have it, and I am already twitching to turn some of the deigns into fully realised CGI!