As new Star Trek series is announced, an ambitious virtual U.S.S. Enterprise project

[Coinciding with the announcement that a new Star Trek television series is going into production, this Daily Mail story describes an ambitious project to create a complete, navigable virtual version of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. The story includes more images and a video about an effort to build a real Enterprise (!). The 12:10 minute demo video for the Enterprise 3D Construction Project is available on YouTube and see the project’s website for much more information. –Matthew]

Enterprise 3D Project hallway screenshot

Take a tour of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise: Video lets you walk through the ship’s maze of corridors and explore its iconic bridge

  • The tour is a demo of the ongoing Enterprise 3D Construction Project created by 3D artist Jason Briney
  • It shows viewers sights such as the holodeck, space port and bridge and lets them land in the Enterprise
  • The aim is to eventually let wearers of Oculus Rift wander around the fictional ship and interact with its crew

By Sarah Griffiths for MailOnline
23 September 2015

Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and take command of the USS Enterprise-D?

Now there’s a video that lets you do just that by taking you on a tour of the famous Star Trek ship, from landing in the port to navigating its maze of corridors and looking out from the ship’s deck.

The tour is a demo of the ongoing Enterprise 3D Construction Project, which will one day allow wearers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset to wander around the ship as if they are a member of the crew and fully immerse themselves in the famous fictional surroundings.

The demo begins with the viewer inside shuttle craft Gallileo, which comes into land in the landing port of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D – the craft that featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The viewer then steps out and walks towards the iconic bridge control room, via the holodeck.

As users ‘navigate’ the corridors, the video plays snippets of character’s voices but none of them are visible. This is said to be part of the next phase of the project.

The demo has been lovingly created by Jason Briney, who works as a lead 3D artist at a post production studio in Detroit, as well as teaching at a university nearby.

‘I have been a fan for a long time. I used to lay out the blueprints on the floor and envision myself walking around the ship,’ he told MailOnline.

‘I got into 3D art and video game creation [and] in my spare time I started building the bridge of the ship.

‘When I finished that, I thought it would be neat to build the conference room and then I kind of just kept going down to the main shuttlebay and out to the exterior.

‘Each time I finished a new section, I would try it out in the Oculus Rift so I could walk around in it virtually. I’ve been working on it on and off since March 2014, when Unreal 4 was released.

‘I’m using the blueprints made by Ed Whitefire and the official blueprints made by Rick Sternbach as a guide for all of the ship but I’m also taking some liberties, and will probably seek fan assistance in what rooms to create.

‘There are cetacean rooms for the intelligent aquatic guests like dolphins, giant malls with shops, and a full arboretum full of exotic plants. The ship is larger than the pentagon, so there is a lot to build!’

Mr Briney said the ship is Oculus Rift-ready and that the project aims to place a viewer on board the ship.

‘Walk the corridors. Explore the unseen rooms and communal areas. Hear the engines. See the screens. Fly the shuttlecraft. Exist as a member of the crew,’ he wrote on his website.

He aims to create the entire ship in 3D in the Unreal Game Engine and added ‘the Enterprise would serve first and foremost as a virtual museum.’

He also wants to populate the ship with its well-known crew, played by actors such as Patrick Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg and Jonathan Frakes among others.

And he may also extend the tour to other locations, add different planetary systems and Deep Space Nine.

There could even be added functionality allowing viewers to interact with other Star Trek fans, take on challenges from the bridge and fight off alien invasions.

The exterior is 80 per cent complete and accurately represents the proportions of the ship, which has 40 decks and carries 1,000 crew members.

Decks 1 and 1.5 are 60 per cent complete and contain the bridge, conference room, and various support rooms and lounges.

There’s a chance the project may one day launch on Kickstarter so it can be completed with the help of other professionals, but Briney is keen to seek approval from the license holders before this happens and said he may raise cash on Patreon – a crowdfunding site for artists – first.

The Enterprise D was the fifth ship to carry the name Enterprise and was imagined to carry a large crew and their families across space.

At 2,106 feet (642metres) long and with a saucer section as large as the US Pentagon, the fictional ship had functional rooms such as cargo bays and holodecks to bars, gyms and malls.

It famously featured 250 photon torpedoes and 16 Type X phaser banks to blast enemies with and a top speed of Warp 9.2.


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