SOLACE Revisited 01 – Starship Design

It’s not every day you get to revisit an old flame…




But this is one of those days! I was recently approached by Rune Davidson, a Norwegian filmmaker whom I had worked with a couple years ago on a sci-fi project (*pewpew!* This is the same fellow who introduced me to the hauntingly poetic space epic that is Yukinobu Hoshino’s ‘2001 nights’). Anyways, he is in the process of revamping his film, and asked me to dust off the Solace ship for some more VFX shots. Which is great, because she is a beauty!


He has graciously allowed me to post works-in-progress from the project here, for all NINE readers — and my mom — to see. Such awesomeness as you have never before seen will soon be forthcoming. But first, a glance at the design of the Solace:


After several early attempts to come up with a starship that was at once unique, fantastic and realistic — I happened to be walking by a posh Yaletown storefront, when I saw in the window a beautiful chandelier of cascading glass teardrops which became the basis for the final design of the ship. As seen below, the ship core is surrounded by balloonlike sails which collect and focus solar energy to power the vessel.


After deciding on the overall look of the ship, the habitable core needed to be designed. This one was my favorite (the vanes intended to act as masts for the balloonlike sails), but was considered too stylized…


A more industrial, heavyset look. Note the dragonfly silhouette common in every drawing…


The final approved design. Note several common elements of the architecture (the garden dome in front, and the humped ridge just behind it) which were intended to mirror the geometry of specific practical sets used in the film.


Later, when the project was picked up again, it fell on me to model this ship.


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