* USS Enterprise* (NCC-1701) from *Star Trek*, the original series (TOS), 1966-1969

(Remember--Paramount owns the copyright to Star Trek)

Contact: Rich Kurz Page content last updated June 21,2011

I began by taking Sinclair's side view of the engineering hull and fitting a hangar deck into it as per Matt Jefferies' drawings found in the

So back to the drawing board, a digital one in this case. I began relearning how to create a three point perspective. My high school drafting served me poorly. I followed the steps, but could never understand how it worked! I searched books and the web and discovered this website, Handprint, whose approach was thorough enough for me to work it out (weeks later). Learning how to create a 1-, 2-, and 3-point perspective from elevations allowed me to work backwards from a perspective (read: photo) to elevations (read: plans).

My first effort used a screen cap of the famous hangar scene. The hard part is establishing accurate edges and finding consistent vanishing points(vp's), consistent with each other. Four times I traced the photo to establish the vp's; each time being more accurate and pickey about placing my lines on edges. But I was finding inconsistencies left to right with symmetrical landmarks. The 2nd and 3rd photos show some of my linework and the final grid, which is based on the size of the red-outlined elevator. The hangar turned out to be about three grids deep with the elevator about on center.

But I could not be sure how far forward it came because it was cut off in the photo. Then I found Richard Datin's website, the maker of the model, on which there was a photo showing part of the front frame. My first efforts led me to believe there was some camera pincushioning distortion to it, so I manually tried to correct for it in Photoshop. That meant I purposely introduced some errors attempting to correct for bigger ones (Hugin would later overcome those). Another problem was the viewpoint is rather low so that one cannot be precise about distances in depth on the deck itself. But conversely, dimensions in height would be very accurate just as is. After about five iterations finding the various 1-point perspective control lines and vps, plus a couple of side forays with a couple of other images I found on the net, I settled on a pretty tight set of lines to the central vp. And 1-point perspective was supposed to be easier I thought to myself. HA! Easier, yes, but not easy. Given all the trials and frustrations, I concluded that there was some variation, but Datin's view corroborated the screen cap findings.

Which brings us to the last row, my summations. First is Jefferies' drawings that I have corrected so the cross-sections are indeed a half circle instead of elliptical. I created a plan view from the corrected drawings. Then I simply compared my major stepping stones to Jefferies. And then I compared my best effort from Datin's photo to Jefferies, scaling it so the depth matched. They are very close, close enough to lead one to believe that Jefferies drawing was used to create the model. But knowing the distortions I introduced and the variations between all my attempts, I was not satisfied to declare it done. I needed to start without the distortions. But even more, I needed a better tool.

Plotting out available space

I begin here with the Datin photo I have come to love and hate. I have played with Hugin's controls for yaw, pitch, roll, and focal length enough to know how to drive it, so to speak. One thing I learned to do was create a version of the image with my control lines superimposed to aid in aligning the image. I also sharpened the image and super saturated it to make details of interest stand out. So I have two image of the same pixel dimensions: one with and one without control lines. I use the control line version first to dial in the proper viewing angle to give me a 90 degree look-down plan view of the deck. I trace the control lines to lay out the horizontal and vertical lines of the plane I want to orthorectify (the deck plan). It is still a trial and error process once I get close, requiring me to make slight adjustments (tenths and hundredths of a degree), and checking the results in Photoshop where I can determine if my horizontals and verticals are at rights angles and if what should be a square is so. Important -- to make this work, you will need to have a feature with a known aspect ratio or dimension in both axis. Squares and circles are best. In this case, it just so happens that we have both with the elevator: a square outline and a circle in the center. Once the 90 degree sweet spot is found, then I rotate 90 degrees back to the original viewpoint, which has now been ortho-corrected and the central vp found.

From there, I can rotate to either side and up as well, or to any angle in between. Because the deck is actually a trapezoidal shape and not a rectangle, the sides of the trapezoid could be found in the look-down view. It turned out to be between 7 and 7-1/2 degrees off vertical. So rotating right, left, and up 82-1/2 to 83 degrees gives one a view that is parallel to the side wall. But be aware of one thing. . . because the hangar is shaped like a truncated cone, the horizontals are not parallel and, therefore, not to scale vertically in the Hugin views! They vary as a function of their distance away from the chosen plane, which in this case is the plane that intersects the deck at the point where the side walls intersect the deck.

And

The second image is the "optimized" (or corrected image) optimizing for x, y, z, and view point in Hugin's optimization menu. At this point I rotated the view to look down on the deck. I then fine tuned yaw, pitch, and roll to obtain a rectangular flight deck outline. In order to do that, I created a heavily sharpened version of the base image (settings 500/8/2) and a super-saturated version (HSL with S at 50%). This is trial and error: changing y-p-r, save file, check for parallels in Photoshop, repeat. I needed to scale it either horizontally or vertically to make the outline into a square - about 86%.

The third image is the fine-tuned and disportionally scaled deck view. For a check, I rotated the pitch 90% back to the beginning viewpoint and check for the image center compared to the vp center. There were very close, closer than what I obtained in previous trials using the earlier control points. So close in fact that I was able to shift my by-hand vp to the Hugin vp and it still worked - maybe even better than by-hand!

The fourth image is the starboard wall. To arrive at this, I worked from a tidbit I found in Gary Kerr's BBS descriptions about the hangar model. He noted that the overhead galleries on the model were actually a constant height and were a constant height above the deck, unlike the TMOST drawing. I aligned the wall-to-deck intersection and the gallery horizontal edges to be parallel. The resultant angle turned out to be 84 degrees off the z-axis centerline, i.e., the deck/wall intersection is 6 degrees canted off the z-axis towards the deck z-axis centerline. Did you get that? Six degrees - not 7-1/2!.

control points set to alcoves

based on alcove

based on alcove

based on alcove