I keep John Eaves blog Eavesdropping on tab by rss to my google reader account, so when I figured that I need to develop a space ship, I had a look through the blogs archive to see if I could find any thing useful. I stuck gold, finding Eaves’ work on the Romulan Warbird from Star Trek. Not only does the post offer up some stunning art work but also an insight into how he developed the concepts.
Eaves describes how he processed the problem that the design of the current backstory had been mixed, it was not clear which race had first created certain things, “I had to come up with an understory to use as a basis of how the designs would relate to both alien races”. This initiative shows that in the design world sometimes you need to be able to quickly create a story which can sit within the clients request. What is interesting is what Eaves goes on to say, the designed ship that was intended to be Romulan got changed to be a Klingon vessel as the Paramount studio had masses of Klingon outfits but no Romulan ones! “Thus the Klingons were piloting a Bird of Prey! So from there I started my idea that the Klingons stole or bought the warbird or it’s technology and made it their own…this would keep the overall look connected to the Romulans, from there the Romulan Warbird Valdore could easily fit into the design realm of what was seen before, only heavily modified.”.
Not only have a found some lovely concept designs but also a useful piece of information into the industry. Sometimes concept teams have to alter/create up a realistic story because of a minor change from the client. In this Eaves had to work around the fact that the Klingons were operating a Romulan ship, so he created a story that would fit. I guess it is all about keeping the believability of the concept.