Although there were many versions of the bridge I created with various 3D rendering programs in the past, for the sake of clarification, we'll just simply say this is my third version of the bridge using the Unreal family of real-time rendering engines
I've spent the last few months, in various bits of free-time, updating
my previous build of the bridge of the TOS Enterprise. Version 1.0 (click here for images) was my first and only attempt at the bridge in Unreal Engine 3, and Version 2.0 (click here for images)
was my first attempt in the Unreal Engine 4. This, Version 3.0, is my
second attempt in Unreal Engine 4, employing more complex yet cleaner
geometry, more realistic and effective materials and textures, more
accurate-to-the-show post-processsing, a working chronometer and a
raising/lowering helm targeting scope.
I had originally planned to just update all the shader materials, but
decided I wanted to go a little bit further and get a little more
detailed than my last build. I ended up reconstructing all the geometry
from scratch, using previous models as a template, making corrections
here and there to provide more accuracy.
In the previous two builds, I paid very little attention to the various
control panel setups at each of the different stations, and had such a
limited knowledge of Unreal's shader/material setups that I didn't know
how to achieve the look of the colored back-lit semi-transparent resin
buttons that populated all the bridge control panels. After a few years
more experience with creating my own shaders, I decided to try and get
each of the unique panels looking as accurate as possible given all the
references available to me (mostly blu-ray captures).
I also completely re-lit the bridge to give a more true-to-show look,
and also achieved better results this time around emulating the
trademarked shadows from the grating in the turbolift alcove. I
substantially toned down the bloom post-process I used in Version 2.0 so
that it better represents how the set looked through the cameras and
film stock used on the show.
I added an actual working chronometer to the helm console, which
consists of 3D dials actually rotating in real-time, and employed some
basic animation skills to have the helm targeting scanner raise and
lower when a keyboard button is pressed near the helm panel. You can
see both of these details in action in the video.
A special thanks to Trekbbs member feek61,
whose research into the original sets has been an invaluable reference
to me over the years when creating various bits of the bridge, including
the console screens, control panel surfaces, and the entire helm