Right on all counts. When I saw 2001 for the first time probably around '73 or '74, my brother kidded me because all the spacecraft I started to draw and design all had a large spherical front end like the DISCOVERY.
Yeah, it's funny how we can run with design trends like that as kids. But hey - Star Wars' ship design philosophy is still reverberating through the media. So few ships are "carefully engineered" on the big screen. Most just look like "cool escapees from an anime" and don't make much design sense. Of course I can't be too harsh. Afterall Space:1999 was pre-Star Wars and the Eagles (used as atmospheric craft) were kind of absurd. Cool... but absurd.
Hmm, how so absurd? I always felt that 1999 design concepts came out of the 2001 mold to a great extent. Of course I am speaking of the earth craft not the alien stuff. But as I aged, I have started to see more of a mix of 2001 and a THUNDERBIRDS flavor as well for obvious reasons. Something that I have always kind of liked for being just different, were the spacecraft designs form "Planet of the Vampires". Totally Italian, and unique. Perhaps not great designs in that they don't appear to be all that functional, but at least unique. yes, and for better or for worse, Star Wars has certainly influence several generations of futurist hardware designers. And sadly, someone like Syd Mead while beloved and hailed as a great designer and futurist, has rarely been used in futurisic films...of course he WAS in one of the best know films about the future, BLADERUNNER, but after that there was 2010, but I can't think of anotehr film that used his style, or him.
As a lunar workhorse, the Eagle was a great design. But in no way is that design suitable for controlled atmospheric reentry, let alone SSTO ascent. Yeah, I'm an aerospace geek - and I say with pride on this 50th anniversary of Yuri's flight Sure, I was only 8 months old at the time, but it's an event that seeped in and colored my formative years... and even my dreams today.
Syd is a great futurist, but spacecraft design seems his weak point. Great anime styling, but not very well engineered concepts spaceflight. I'm much more drawn to the conceptual spacecraft work of folks like Ron Cobb or Steve Burg. Probably my fave SF ship (designwise) to date is the Venture Star from Avatar. It's not a central character, but it's such a well though out design for the period.
Good points. I think the EAGLE was probably origianlly designed as a MOON/Moonbase specific craft and it makes sense in that respect. But then as they started their voyage and aliens couldn't always come to the moon to have a story happen, they sometimes needed to make planet fall to propel the story along. And that is when teh EAGLE design becomes a problem. The production would have been wise to have included a few shuttle/lifting body type vehicles that would have made more sense for planetary landings. As for Mead, if anything I would say a lot of his spaceraft designs are functional but a bit visually uninteresting. Cobb certainlty does amazing work. He's a master of perspective, form and texture! Are his designs practical? Well they certainly are interesting! I have yet to see AVATAR. I've been avoiding it out of spite for Cameron.
Yeah, the lifting body idea would have been cool. They sorta did that in one season two episode, but that was too little, too late.
On Mead/Cobb, I tend to have the flip perspective. I know Cobb's designs work because he often explains them and the engineering solutions are usually quite elegant. I think Mead is more stylist than engineer. The reason Drell-7 and I redesigned the Leonov is that Mead's design was such a poor fit. For the era it was too bulky, the deck arrangement in the central body made no sense relative to the ship's thrust and braking vectors, and maybe worse of all, it just didn't look Russian. It looked Mead.
Also, I read the book first. Clarke didn't give a LOT of details, but he gave enough to paint a fuzzy lil' picture - and Mead's designw as something totally different. This said, Mean is one of my art heroes and has definitely had an influence on me. I just don't view him as a "Swiss Army knife" of SF design. He's great at some things, not so good at others. But I'm forever thankful for the mark he left on Bladerunner. I don't think the film would have achieved its current status without his contribution.
OHHHHHH WOW!!!! So Gorgeous an image!!!!! The colors, lighting, angle, and detail in this image and ship are just absolutely fantastic!!! This really brings the ship to life and maintains the stately grace of it. Like another commenter said...the reflections of light from the passenger windows and cockpit are terrific touches that really liven the ship up. Fantasic work!
Well it's all too easy to "dehumanize" spacecraft, but in most cases they are just "high tech human transport tubes". It's nice to be able to work that human element back in on some level and give the hardware more of a sense of being "inhabited".
Thanks! I doubt the Clipper is very "predatory"... or at least no more so than a 737 But it brings up a funny memory! I remember buying the Aurora model, back in the day. The probes extending from the back of the engineering area (I'm guessing them to be static discharge probes, by design) were labeled in the instructions as "lasers". I'm guessing it was to better "capture kids' imaginations for adventure possibilities", but in retrospect it's pretty silly.
Yeah, I think your recent inverted Orion image was kicking around the back of my brain. We're all swimmin' in the same pool, here But this one really came from just fooling with the camera until I hit something that "spoke to me". I was flyin' all over the thing. I guess this is just one of those angles/orientations that proves hard to resist