Star Trek: Artefact – Week 3

The second part of this project was to create an artefact based on our assigned movie which can literally be anything from a painting to interpretive dance.

In J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek”, Scotty (Simon Pegg) tells Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy) that he tried transwarp beaming Admiral Jonathan Archer’s prized beagle from one planet to the next but had no idea where it ended up!

“So, I tested it out on Admiral Archer’s prized beagle.”

“Wait, I know that dog. What happened to it?”

“I’ll tell you when it reappears. Ahem.” – Scotty to Kirk.


It’s a reference to the Star Trek Enterprise TV series, just a few lines of dialogue but it’s a real nugget for major Trekkie fans. I’ve seen a few Enterprise episodes myself and I always loved seeing Porthos the beagle!

So my team have decided to do a lost dog poster for our artefact. It will feature Porthos along with text in English, Romulan and Vulcan. Being able to distinguish between written and spoken Vulcan, Romulan and Klingon is now a very valuable skill of mine.

The Romulan language has three dialects and is difficult to distinguish from the Vulcan language. This site shows you how to pronounce Romulan words as it uses a rectangular alphabet. It is read from the top of the page to the bottom.

Romulan Alphabet

The Vulcan language has three different text formats and is read from the top left to the bottom right of the page:

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 20.21.59.png
Vulcan text

The traditional calligraphy as pretty as it is looks more like a design rather than a written language so I would prefer to use the handwritten version. However, if we are having three languages on the poster we want to be able to distinguish between them and the traditional vulcan is much more different to the Romulan alphabet.

I also looked at layouts for the poster:

Typical lost dog posters (google images):

Some posters I took inspiration from:

Holographic posters:

Movie enterprise monitors and DVD menu (based on monitors):

These posters are promos for the original TV series:


They are mostly visual with little text. What stands out to me most is that they are very colourful! Dark blue and/or violet seem to be the more dominant colours.

As the poster would be for the lost dog of a Star Fleet Admiral, posted presumably by Star Fleet, we wanted it to look more “professional” than a typical lost dog poster.

Some of my layout concepts:

So here is our artefact! Hollie painted up the beagle and Niamh drew the beagle outlines within the text. I did the background, layout, text and then edited it, all in photoshop.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 22.05.44.png

I wanted to go a step further and make a holographic poster by rotating a beagle model, adding in holographic effects of some sort and turning it into a gif.

A hologram in the original Star Trek: Enterprise series

A hologram is a 3D structure made from diffracted light from an image.


So I started with a cat base mesh from the visor, took off the head and tail and then sculpted the new head and tail as well as editing the legs using the reference images.

In the middle of this, John suggested making an actual hologram genius. He showed me some examples:

So I rotated my beagle model and duplicated it three more times to make the holographic video. As long as each of the models rotated in the same direction at the same time, it would work:

An actual holographic video (used as a reference):


All I needed to do was then attempt to make the pyramid! Instructions on how to make the plastic pyramid. I cut out four equilateral triangles from a plastic package then taped them together. If you cut off the point you can sit it on the screen.

Pyramid construction:


Pyramid protoype:


Protoype hologram:

I was really surprised this actually worked for me the first time! Once the poster was finished I turned it into a holographic video as well. Although you get the clearest image in the dark, I find that when there is ambient light the hologram looks better!
An actual hologram!
The holographic poster

Our presentation.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s