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U.S.S. Potemkin - NCC-1711

Set a few years after Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, this exciting fan film series takes place aboard the starship Potemkin, an up-rated Constitution III-class heavy cruiser. It's on a five-year mission of exploration in deep space where its crew encounters strange new worlds while seeking out new life forms and new civilizations. The Potemkin is an older ship, one of the original twelve. She's been refitted a few times, but she's one of the last of her kind. Its captain, a forty-year veteran of Starfleet, has a unique crew, mostly comprised of inexperienced officers, the occasional cast off from another ship, and a feisty chief medical officer.

Our episodes focus on science fiction as well as action-adventure, humor and drama. Each production varies in its length; we don't restrict ourselves by following a typical four-act television format. Instead, our writers think outside the box. We've produced many vignettes (ranging from 6 to 15 mins), a half-hour episode, and even a full-length episode. Filming takes place in various locations in Southwest Georgia in order to take advantage of the wide variety of unique locations throughout the region. In addition to the studio we've built in Albany, Georgia, we've filmed on a river front in Lee County, in the historic Radium Springs Gardens in Dougherty County, in downtown Americus, and we're looking at other exciting, unique locations throughout the region.

All of this helps make Project: Potemkin a unique Star Trek fan film series!

Star Trek ~ Project: Potemkin "Red Sky at Night" S02-I Now On-Line!

Now On-Line for Your Entertainment:

The Potemkin visits the planet Skidola to pick up xenosociologist Lawrence Colby, who has spent two years studying this arachnid-like race of latent telepaths. An overture to diplomatic ties between the Federation and the Skidoli hinges on Colby's report, but is Humanity ready to embrace a completely alien culture?

Starring Jeffrey Green. Guest Starring: William C. Searcy and Sean Mulkey. Written by David Eversole. Directed by Bill Mackenzie. Edited by Rick Foxx. VFX by Chris Cameron and Rick Foxx. Matte painting by Sean Mulkey. Music by Tony Lunn. Co-Executive Producer: Rick Foxx. Web Series Creator/Executive Producer: Randall Landers.

Running time: 8 mins 4 sec

Star Trek ~ Project: Potemkin "Red Sky at Night" S02-E from Project: Potemkin on Vimeo.

We hope you enjoy this production! Be sure and like us on Facebook at: The Official Project Potemkin Facebook Page and for daily updates and behind-the-scenes info, join The Official Project Potemkin Facebook Group. And remember, you can always see all our episodes and vignettes on-line at The Official Project Potemkin YouTube Channel. Just always be sure and select the highest available resolution for the best viewing results!

Our next release, "Holding Pattern," is scheduled for on or about November 14th!

Retexturing the Potemkin

by Chris Cameron (c) 2014

The constitution class refit is arguably one of if not the best design in Star Trek history. At least I think so. Not only is she a gorgeous design, but she's a magnificent marvel to film. As a CG artist, there are times when you have to simply admire the fact that a physical model can be superior to digital effects. The constitution class refit is one of those times. But that doesn't stop me from trying to make the ship as magnificent digitally as she was physically.

(c) CBS-TV, Inc.

My digital model of choice is Dennis Bailey's beautiful model. But there's one thing that seems near impossible to recreate, and that is the pearlescent hull. I have been trying for well over a year to nail the pearlescent hull that the model in The Motion Picture had. Now I say The Motion Picture because although the same model was used for all six Star Trek films, the model was altered during and after The Motion Picture. When the model was first painted by Paul Olsen, he used a high gloss pearlescent paint which essentially made each panel reflect different hues of light. This gave the model a beautiful glow about it. However, it proved too difficult to shoot and therefore had to be dusted down. Then after The Motion Picture, the model ended up being repainted in matte paints. By the time The Undiscovered Country rolled around, the hull painting was essentally completely different from the first paint job it received. Mind you the matte painting of The Undiscovered Country is still an interesting look for the ship, but it's the pearlescent look that really jumps out.

To recreate the pearlescent look of the ship digitally, I first had to do a fair amount of research on the original model. Then after that a fair bit of research on how light itself reacts. The Sci-Fi Meshes forum proved an invaluable resource. I'm not quite up to speed on 3DS Max as some of the people there, but I had enough of a knowledge to try and come up with my own cheat so to speak. It involved a lot of experimenting. My first attempts utilized specularity maps and compositing them in After Effects. The result was decent, but it ultimately made the hull shine in only one color. I wanted the hull to reflect some of the different colors based on the light source and the camera location.

For Season 2 of Project: Potemkin, I only used the Max/After Effects method I just mentioned. With Season 3 coming up and the production value of the show going up, I wanted something more inspiring than the Max/AE method. What I came up with is a method that uses composite falloff maps in the specular color channel. The result is now far more interesting. Essentially I've layered several falloff maps which change the color depending on the angle of view. I'm going for a more blue tone to the hull as opposed to a golden yellow like The Motion Picture. The hull shader is now an Anisiotropic material as opposed to the original Blinn shader. This gives me more control over the specularity shape and size. Although this still doesn't look quite as impressive as the physical model, it's definitely a step closer.

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