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Design Thread: Nostromo interiors and deck configurations
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joberg
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See? Sometimes intentions put into words have a way of back-firing (wrong/unintended interpretation Confused ).

I think that everyone should stand back and re-read previous post and only then make the decision to leave/stay.

I'm for one to continue the discussion about Nostromo blue-prints created from the first idea "Nostromo, Commercial Towing Vehicule" (CTV for short).

Very good work has been done here already, no need to scuttle everything and everyone in one ill fated sweep.

If somebody/group of people wants to explore other avenues and ideas, producing their own blue-print, far from me to keep them doing just that

While the World around us is in turmoil, let's be civil with one and others when possible. Cool
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Friends,

After some brief correspondence between Darrell and I, we have both come to the agreement to clean up posts of the last day or two. On my part, Propsummit will be the only place of discussion for the movie we all know and love.

To better explain my forthcoming work, I am under contract for a forthcoming project, which means that unlike in 2009, unfortunately I cannot post images of my work as I once did to the extent that I did. However I can post sketches to aid the overall conversation. I'm sure we'll figure something out to accommodate.

Looking forward to future comments, critiques and discussion from all to make this the best it can possibly be to create something we can all enjoy.

I would like to discuss the approach corridor to Narcissus as it is an absolute git. (!) I've a feeling we'll need to make some changes on it to get it to work, as Adam and others have touched upon so look out for that in the coming days.

Best wishes,
SJ
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joberg
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to the discussion of that famous corridor and where could it be situated in that ship Confused
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is tricky for sure.

Over the weekend I was working on the area on B Deck and how that appears in the movie just after the scene where Dallas and Ash attempt to cut off the facehugger and the acid runs through, and this is difficult as ideally I would like to have the different areas on each deck - and how they appear - line up with each other vertically as the acid appears and runs through the decks of the ship.
I think I have B-Deck where the acid appears and hits the spacesuit boot, and a solution to how they get Kane up to the Autodoc, figured out.

What I cannot figure out is the orientation of the ladder, which seems to change on each level. All I can assume is that perhaps there is a small landing / room between decks, maybe it's for safety reasons where the ladder changes direction. Or, maybe I just leave it as one of those things I cannot resolve.

C-Deck is again tricky as in the distance as the crew jumps down, we see a garage. As others have pointed out we know it's the same set as the one/s depicted in other scenes, so here I'm going strictly by what we see in the movie. We don't see the sides of the garage here like we do in later scenes, just the doors at the end. So, theoretically, I can change the shape of this particular garage to fit and as long as the end wall with the doors are where they should be, it should work. We'll see as it progresses.

Other fun stuff:
To help me research the set, I've changed the picture on my monitor to black & white and adjusted the brightness / contrast settings. By not being distracted by color, it seems easier to pick out various details.

Also Alien: Isolation - there is a mod when playing the game on PC to switch off the 'attacks' - so with the mod you can play the game and all the civilians with guns, and the alien, just stand there and do not attack. Same with the androids. It's great! I can just take my time and look a the game environment, which has been great inspiration for the deckplans.
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Cold Canuck
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to download a mod from Dropbox, but it said the account had been frozen because it generated too much traffic. Maybe later :-{

I'd really enjoy being able to take SShots without the threat of being alienated :-}
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Vader
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we must give up the ladder orientations as a lost cause. They seem to vary arbitrarily, depending on the requirements of the composition of each shot. You may for instance see quite often how eg. Ripley comes climbing up a gangway, peers over the rim facing the camera, with the ladder continuing up ... behind her! Now, how would that be supposed to work...?


Now -- I've worked a bit further on the rough sketches I outlined several pages ago, and didn't really believe in anyway.

I've put in more effort towards trying to match positions and scale, so here is something that I feel I can actually start to believe in, at least to some degree...

While it is, as you clearly can see, still very much a work in progress, and it offers some radical and perhaps controversial solutions, it may also offer solutions to some of the conundrums that have been discussed over time.

Enjoy!






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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I'm inclined to agree on the ladder thing you mention in the scene with Ripley. Unless I do some major modifications, the design starts getting a little funky. Last night I was thinking about it and thought to myself it would work so easily, with the existing set layout, if the Narcissus - 'E1' was on the other side of the ship. Bam, it's done. And I could get it to work with the ladder we're talking about. I'm not worried about the ladder going up behind her, that doesn't necessarily have to lead anywhere. Probably just connects at the ceiling to make it stable.

Nice job on having a go at tackling layouts - there are a few elements where we are thinking along the same lines.

I have to watch the scene specifically at the end of the movie when the Narcissus is being prepped for launch and how the surrounding exterior ship bulkheads appear. Could we assume that the shuttle / lifeboat - shown in these scenes - is Narcissus? Could we assume that the shuttle as seen in the earlier scenes with Dallas, with Kane's 'burial', are actually the other (deactivated, not working) shuttle 'E2' (Salmacis, named by a Propsummit forum member)?

Just a thought swimming around in my head right now. As said above I need to see the movie again, but what are you guys thoughts on this?

While we ponder that, I'll see if I can get some deckplans posted in the next day or two.

Cold Canuck - if you are having problems downloading that mod, I have the mod zipfile and would be happy to send it to you via wetransfer or something.
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Cold Canuck
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wetransfer or dropbox is fine, thanks :-}
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joberg
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's certainly taking shape Shocked Cool Very good work so far...and no, we shouldn't worry about that ladder. Wink
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FenGiddel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ SpaceJockey: Yep, deck plan fans will enjoy that attention to detail.

@ Vader: Nice thinking outside the box.
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Vader
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing with the ladderS this happens more than once, if I recall correctly that makes the theory that it just connects to the ceiling for stability not wash very well: Ripley is ascending a ladder, and we see her come up through a hole in the deck, nose facing camera. From that orientation, and looking at the way she obviously climbs, it is clear that the ladder she is on is on the near side of the hole in question, hidden by the collar around the gangway. Yet we see it continue upward behind her, on the far side of the hole. So, the ladder we see coming up from the hole can't physically be a continuation of the ladder Ripley is actually on, going down from the hole. And what could a ladder that immediately dead-ends in both directions serve to stabilise?

This, along with the other inconsistencies we see throughout, makes me conclude that the actual orientation of the ladders any ladder in the film is largely arbitrary; it's position reflects the necessities of the composition of that particular shot, not a thought-through representation of the ship's "true" layout.

I therefore suggest that we should primarily concern ourselves only with the position of the gangways; the orientation of the actual ladder should not be a governing factor in determining the layout, but rather itself be determined by the "consensus" of shots it appears in.

In other words: can we get it to mesh, great, but if not, we shouldn't let that worry us overmuch.


I believe we must assume that all the external views show the same shuttle Narcissus. And when you watch the movie again, you will see the footage bear this out. It is also inescapable that it is indeed suspended under the port "wing". Meaning that if the scenes at the end of the movie, where Ripley consistently takes left-hand turns to reach the shuttle access shall be made to fit the ship's layout, the access must be from the nacelle.

As for my reasoning, as I have mentioned earlier, I am unwilling to introduce key elements into the design that are invisible and/or unmentioned in canonical sources. We had for instance a discussion in the beginning where there were some arguments presented in favour for drawing in lifts, in spite of us never seeing anyone use one at any time in the film. Even though I am sure the crew of the Nostromo would thank us for adding them, the fact that they are not seen in the movie absolutely rules them out, in my book.

And for me, it is just the same with the second shuttle. The dialogue ever only mentions one shuttle. It is also very clear from the shots of Ripley prepping it that this is the same shuttle as the one we see Dallas in ergo, we also ever only see one shuttle. There is therefore nothing in the canon to support the introduction of a second shuttle.

As for the practicality aspect bear in mind that the shuttle only takes three passengers. Even if there were two shuttles, there would still too be few places for the entire seven-man crew to serve as a lifeboat solution. It therefore seems that the shuttle indeed is only that a shuttle. It can be pressed into service as a lifeboat, just like ... say ... a lunar module can be pressed to serve as a lifeboat, but that function was still never more than an excited gleam in its designer's eye.
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've a feeling that you're gonna really, REALLY hate my work. But I'm gonna post it anyway!!
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Cold Canuck
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll never be able to please everyone, especially considering the fictional nature of the ship.
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Vader
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's as may be, Graham -- and in that case, I'll just have to lump it -- but I don't see why it should necessarily be so.
Isn't the whole point of a development project such as what this discussion thread represents, to have an iterative process that creates a better result than what any of us could have come up with by ourselves?

If I present an invalid argument for some given point, I hope you will point me to the factual circumstances that make it so, so that I can incorporate that into my thought process and come up with better ideas for the next iteration.

But conversely, if the argument I present is valid -- even if it happens to kill some particular darling -- why should you not incorporate that point into your work?

Surely the ultimate goal for all of us here is to create the best possible representation of the Nostromo as we see her in the movie that we can?



Of course, there are other Nostromos that we could create ... more faithful preservations of the concept work, something that pays homage to the iterative work that preceded the Nostromo itself, something more idealised that would be the Nostromo if she were to be re-invented from the keel up with more careful thought from the outset, or perhaps just the ship we would have wanted to see ... but that's not the Nostromo we see in the movie, is it? And it's the movie we're all fans of, isn't it?
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't know about having to 'lump' it; we're each going to have different visions of the ship and what it can be. Cold Canuck is correct, it's going to be hard to please everyone, it just isn't going to happen....the movie has been around for 38 years after all, and people had had plenty of time to think about it and have figured their own ideas. And it's kind of the nature of the beast of this kind of work, one has to try to consider all these different facets, and try to come up with something that works as best they can. But there are limits, mainly because of a time constraint, I am under a deadline, so there comes a point where I may just have to run with an idea and refine it and get it onto the page. Of course when the project is done, one learns from it, wishes I'd have changed parts of it or had longer to spend on it. The four completed prints done and out there (five actually, one is coming out with HCG's Smart Gun from Aliens later this year) have been pretty well received, maybe people are too polite to pick out the flaws, but of course I see them. And it's a healthy thing to one's work, to self critique.

One other limit is the question of, when does it stop (if it does) becoming a product of my own work as an artist / illustrator, and become a work that many people have a hand in? It would be a shame if the other folks were offended somehow if the artist concerned (no matter who does it, what medium, image...whatever) chose not to include their ideas. But one cannot dwell on that....just gotta say 'sorry' and press on.

With this in mind, what I'll do when I post images, is try to answer the the hows and whys the best I can. Many times there is a reason I show something a certain way....occasionally (maybe quite alot!) there are times when I depict something a certain way purely because I'm happy with it and it just looks good. I'm not going to solve every nut and bolt on the ship, structural factors, how the engines work. I don't have that kind of knowledge or time (I know Vader both you and Darrell will have some excellent input here....though should start with 'what does it look like', so I can draw it graphically). But my hope (and goal) of the art is to present the final piece, people can discuss it, compare it to the movie which is fun (oh, so that's where that area is!), and use it for a launching pad to come up with their own ideas and refinements.

I apologize if taking a while to post images - I have one .dwg file I use to draft this up - at the moment it's a mess, parts of rooms and corridors everywhere. I'm trying to clean it up a bit so it makes some kind of sense and doesn't distract.

EDIT:
My current Nostromo interior workspace. Told you it was a mess!

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joberg
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small image and difficult to see all of the details...but, from what I see, it's looking good also
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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to highlight and/or remind everyone of an excellent blog which goes into the making of the Nostromo for Alien. Well worth a read.

http://alienexplorations.blogspot.com/2014/01/creating-nostromo.html

http://alienexplorations.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post.html
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FenGiddel
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of shots of the miniature shuttle/docking bay that might be of use.


Shuttle in partially completed bay




Shuttle in the bay miniature




Shuttle deployed, with the bay interior shown




Another of the shuttle in the bay miniature

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Space Jockey
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Darrell

What did we settle on for the primary use of the Narcissus?

As a lifeboat that can be used as a shuttle, or a shuttle that can be used as a lifeboat?

If it is the latter, that is what I'll put on the prints; it would also help explain the lack of cryotubes on board, and the fact that the additional oxygen canisters were not readily available, with Lambert and Parker trekking half way across the ship to get them. Not worried about the lack of an apparent third place for the third cryotube (Ripley, Parker, Lambert on their decision to leave the ship), already have an idea for that. Plus Ash describes it as a shuttle in one scene.

Thoughts?

Taking a break from Nostromo while I think about all this...have almost completed the 'Aliens' Dropship Hanger.
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FenGiddel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I tend to think of it more as "shuttle used as lifeboat", for many of the same reasons you listed.
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