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Stalled Trek 2012 —Finished!


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#1 largento

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 08:27 PM

Ah, how the wheel turns! :-) My initial reason for buying A:M back in 2004 was to do an animated Star Trek parody called "Stalled Trek: Amutt Time." I'm finally doing it! :-) I won't be posting very much here since I am rapidly approaching the deadline for when it needs to be completed, but I'll try to stick up a few images now and then and I'll announce here when/where the actual things can be seen! But here's an image of some of the cast: five0.jpg The fun has begun! :-)

#2 robcat2075

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:10 PM

Those look fabulous!

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#3 robcat2075

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 09:11 PM

What knockers! (I just noticed those)

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#4 MMZ_TimeLord

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

All of those characters are very recognizable and yet, very different! Excellent work. I do love the texturing and modeling making them look like something out of Jim Henson's shop. Well done! Can't wait to see more!
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#5 itsjustme

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:41 AM

LOL! Looks great!

#6 Paul Forwood

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:27 AM

They look amazing, Mark!
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#7 largento

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:08 AM

Thanks, guys! I've been trying to figure out a term to describe the process. My first instinct was to call it "digital puppetry," but that term exists and it's for when you drive a 3D character using a real-time performance. About the best way I've come up with to describe this is "artificial puppetry." :-)

#8 Fuchur

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:34 AM

Thanks, guys!

I've been trying to figure out a term to describe the process. My first instinct was to call it "digital puppetry," but that term exists and it's for when you drive a 3D character using a real-time performance. About the best way I've come up with to describe this is "artificial puppetry." :-)


Very cool looking characters and very close to the originals but still unique... one thing that bothers me so is, that the guy's noses are not connected to the head while the girl's are. The girls have to look more sexy, but somehow they look more real with that than the boys... the guys look a little displaced with that.

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#9 NancyGormezano

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:46 PM

one thing that bothers me so is, that the guys noses are not connected to the head while the girl's are. The girls have to look more sexy, but somehow they look more real with that than the boys... they look a little displaced with that.


Yes...I have the same concern. The females appear in a different style. I would rather see them with a muppet mouth, as well as ball nose, eyes, similar to the guys. It would be funnier, and more consistent. You could add thick "felt lipstick" lips to their muppet mouth, to further enhance and distinguish their femininity.

I love where this is going - very engaging!

#10 largento

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 01:21 PM

Thanks, Fuchur & Nancy! I did weigh that (females having puppet mouths) when I designed them. My determination was that the puppet-mouthed females were too unattractive. Let's face it, as much as Roddenberry claimed to be forward-thinking about things like equality with Star Trek, he only cast very attractive women and made certain they were scantily clad. There are actual gags and beats in the scripts I've written that require the females to be attractive. And more importantly, I'm selling this to fanboys. The type who might buy something just because there's a hot looking female in it. And who (as Robcat noticed) likely will never make it up to see their noses. :-) They are still in my style, and in my eye still fit in.

#11 TheSpleen

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:20 PM

Supreme characters
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#12 johnl3d

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:54 PM

Great characters and style

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#13 mtpeak2

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:18 PM

Looks great Mark! Though the roughness could be toned down abit.
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#14 largento

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 10:57 PM

Thanks, guys! I've got 11 of the characters finished and have been working on the props for the first episode. The most important one: the USS Secondprize... secondprize0.png

#15 mtpeak2

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:09 PM

Nice! This is the project I've been wanting to get on board with. So if there's anything I can help with, let me know.
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#16 Vertexspline

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:09 AM

I think those characters have character . You know who is who and that's half way home to something pretty cool. Had to smile when I first looked at these and look forward to seeing what you might be up to. Great start!
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#17 jimd

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 07:31 AM

you got it going with this Mark very good design

#18 largento

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

Thanks, guys! Here's hoping I don't screw it up. :-)

#19 KenH

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:57 AM

Those look great! I agree about the roughness of the texturing. What about the term "Virtual Puppetry"? Edit: Um...who's the blond chick? :) I don't remember her.
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#20 Rodney

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:19 AM

I just realized I haven't posted a comment. I must have been stunned into silence because I sure thought I had. That Secondprize... pure awesomeness. Again we see yet another Mark of genius. Yes, isn't it interesting how we see our old ideas return to us time after time after time. :)
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#21 largento

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:55 AM

Thanks! @Ken I like the texturing, but that may be me overcompensating for normally *not* using any kind of texturing. :-) Virtual Puppetry sounds pretty cool. The blonde is Nurse Chapel (or in this case, Nurse Temple.) @Rodney I was ruminating yesterday on the fact that "The Wannabe Pirates" was supposed to be this little "practice" movie to help me to improve my skills before getting back to Stalled Trek. That was September 1, 2007! I've got to play catch up today. Yesterday was lost to outside distraction and making the mistake of looking up reference material on the web. There is just so much information out there about the original series, that you can get distracted for hours. Did you know that the Sickbay is the only room in the Enterprise that doesn't have gray walls? The walls in Sickbay are a sort of blue-green. This is because hospital walls are often painted green. I've heard two reasons for this. One is that light green is a calming color and a doctor in surgery is under a lot of stress. The second (and more interesting) is that green being the compliment to red, when surgeon's would be focusing on looking at blood for so long, when they looked up at white walls, they would see an ugly green after image. Someone then came up with the idea of painting the walls green to counteract that. Anyway, gotta' refocus and get this set done.

#22 largento

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:51 PM

Working on animating my first shot! It looks like this: 002_shot0.jpg

#23 johnl3d

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:51 PM

Each post gets better great modeling

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#24 Shelton

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 08:41 PM

Mark, simply awesome
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#25 largento

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:29 AM

Thanks, guys! Hard to believe that I'm only one week into this and I've already animated the first shot! About to start on the next shot and hoping I can get a huge amount done today.

#26 TheSpleen

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:05 AM

keep whittling away and it will get done.
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#27 aen916

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:46 PM

Those are awesome! You're just missing Sulu ;)
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#28 MMZ_TimeLord

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:26 PM

Those are awesome! You're just missing Sulu ;)

And Chekov!
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#29 largento

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:03 PM

Rest assured Sulu and Chekov (here called "Solow" and "Checkitt") are part of the group of models I've finished! Had a near disaster today when the model file for my hallway set started giving error messages and crashing A:M. Thankfully, I was able to make note of the offending CP in the error message and delete that spline from the file with a text editor. I had to do some minor repairs (replacing all of the decals and fixing a bunch of normals), but I'm happy to report that all was not lost! I've animated three more shots and now have the first 45 seconds of episode one finished. I'm hoping to get a couple of more shots done tonight.

#30 TheSpleen

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:31 PM

45 seconds is alot!
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#31 largento

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:28 AM

Setting up the lighting for shot 005. I love how adding colored spots evokes TOS. Although I've taken liberties with simplifying everything and making it a parody of the original, I get a thrill when it looks like TOS. 005_shot72.jpg

#32 MMZ_TimeLord

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:17 AM

Get a basic USB hard drive and "Syncback:SE" from the net. It's free. And make a backup of your projects, resources and renders on it. I use Syncback across my home network to my wife's PC to a spare drive I have in it and I sync those two drives. Syncback can sync drives, directories and has filters to exclude files and directories. It's quite powerful. Usually you can get a 500GB or larger drive for under $100. Wonderful investment when you can't afford to loose stuff. Another option is to us a DVD-RW daily to back up your stuff. Not as easy or quick as Syncback, but you would not have to purchase much except maybe the media. The drives are only about $40 if you don't already have one in your system. You can even back up to DVD-R if your drive does not do DVD-RW. Media is cheaper and you will have a truly incremental backup. Looking good!
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#33 largento

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:05 PM

Thanks! I'm pretty good about backing things up, but this happened to the file on the same day it was modeled. I hadn't had a chance to back it up yet. (A danger of this rushed of a project.) I just finished the character animation part of episode 1! 2:10! That leaves me with :50 for the opening narration/theme. All I've done so far is just copy and paste the shots back-to-back into a QT file, so the timing might be a little different once I take them into Premiere for editing. The shots are flowing well and even in this rough assemblage, the timing works. I wrote most of these jokes 15 years ago, but I've gotten a kick out of seeing them come to life finally. Next up, I've got to build the sets for episode two: Sickbay and the Bridge. The bridge is going to be a special challenge since I can't shoot from the waist down without giving all of the characters legs. I might very well do it just to have an establishing shot, though. :-)

#34 robcat2075

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:50 PM

(here called "Solow" and "Checkitt")


How about "Checkout"?

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#35 jakerupert

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 11:29 PM

Hi largento,


Just discovered your thread here.
Great outstanding work as usual!

There`s exsisting a quite funny german startrek parody also:
http://www.weltbild....tml?wea=8001213

Wonder if that one made it to the US?


On a sidenote:

Haven`t you been experimenting with e-books for your content yet?
Should be worth trying, shouldn`t it?

#36 largento

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:27 AM

@Robert I think that one has been done before. I just came up with the name for the model. He isn't identified by name in the dialogue of this parody and the second Trek episode I'm parodying is from Season 1. Thanks, Jake! Doesn't look familiar. I sort of went the ebook route. The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island was made into four iPhone/iPad apps and Greyhawk and the Starbucklers of the Caribbean was made into 3. The first apps were released for free over a weekend and generated a lot of downloads, but there weren't a whole lot of sales. After Apple's cut and the developer's cut, I made about $70 from the venture. I also made the WBP available as a PDF download at a site that sells illustrated e-books, but never saw a single sale from that site.

#37 jakerupert

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 08:56 AM

>The Wannabe Pirates and the Curse of Greyhawk Island was made into four iPhone/iPad apps <Thanks for the info. But wouldn`t it make more sense to create real e-books, that could be bought directly in the apple e-book store, then creating an extra app for each comic, which is very hard to find? I am just trying to find out, how this can be done and if you need an apple for upload... So far, I have created an indesign document 15 x 20 cm for pdf export with 150 dpi. I wonder if it does make sense to have all the fonts in extra textlayers before....hmm

#38 largento

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:45 AM

With the iPad and other readers, it would make sense to do an eBook, but right now I can't see the return justifying the effort. Sales just aren't there. The iPhone app had the benefit that it would take the reader panel-to-panel through the comic. It worked really well. Of course, on the iPad you could just read it at a full page at a time. I was kinda' bummed when they decided to kill Oxicomics and took down the apps. I still have them on my iPhone, though. I would look to find out what the standard size is for that sort of thing. I still think of eBooks as being black and white epaper. If you're going for the iPad/Kindle Fire/ Color Nook, I'd look up their specs and what they recommend for publishers first.

#39 largento

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 09:01 PM

Finished up the Sickbay set tonight! 2sickbay0.png sickbay1.jpg

#40 largento

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:28 AM

3sickbay0.png I built out a small portion of the adjoining room which saves me from having to build another set. About to tackle the Bridge set. Going to allow myself a couple of days for that. It is the most dense set, but it's also the one with the most reference material out there. I'll be building the wedges individually and assembling the set in a choreography. That way I can remove sections (just like the real production did) to position the camera. It's going to be a ton of work, but fun work. :-)

#41 TheSpleen

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:02 AM

OMG what ate their legs???????????????????
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#42 largento

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:38 AM

OMG what ate their legs???????????????????


The budget. :-)

#43 Gerry

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 05:59 PM

mark, can't say enough about this. it looks great!
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#44 largento

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:44 PM

Thanks, Gerry! I'm definitely calling this a labor of love. I love the source material and I think that shows. Finally "finished" the bridge set! I'm going to have to revisit it prior to episode six, but this has everything I need for episode two. This is just a screengrab of a realtime render. Once I have the dummy legs made for the characters I'll set up the lighting and do a decent render. finished_bridge.jpg Hard to believe I'm only two weeks into this project! :-)

#45 MJL

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:23 PM

Great stuff, Mark. Incredible "look". You have upped your game to the next level. I'm looking forward to what's to come.
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#46 largento

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:29 AM

Thanks, Myron! This particular part of this whole crazy project was so daunting. I wasted a lot of the first day, researching photos and blueprints and the like, just because I was so intimidated by the size of it. When I was first starting out with A:M and working on Stalled Trek, creating the bridge set seemed nearly impossible. I managed to build the captain's chair and a couple of horrible attempts at some of the other bridge pieces, but couldn't imagine doing what I've done now ...and in only 3 days! As a bit of superstition this time around, I purposely held off modeling the captain's chair until last. A sort of, you can do the fun thing when you finish everything else. :-) Goes to show what perseverance and a whole lot of hard work can accomplish.

#47 agep

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:12 AM

This is very cool stuff, I love the puppet style
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#48 MMZ_TimeLord

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:27 AM

Excellent work! Your research seems very complete. I was and still am a big fan of the original series as well as a few of the newer ones. This is looking better all the time!
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#49 largento

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:18 PM

Thank you, gentlemen! Much appreciate it! I'm counting on there still being a bunch of old TOS fans out there. :-) bridgeshot0.jpg

#50 agep

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:19 PM

I must say that the DOF fits your renders very well
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