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FX Models Computer Animation Suite

When we embarked on the creation of a CGI [Computer Generated Imagery] suite, we wanted to have an office space that would be enjoyable to work in, exciting, and inspiring. What you see here is the realization of a number of ideas we had for what such a space should look like. We built this office space using traditional means, but then utilized our further background with ships and movie set design to turn our office into a full blown battleship office complete with a number of authentic details. Ed Miarecki and Marc D'Antonio spent long hours contemplating the design essentials to figure out the best tradeoff between 'look' and practical use and most of those hours were after hours! And then Rosey Marshall, the General Contractor would raise an eyebrow and say 'you want WHAT?!' ...

The battleship theme was utilized because we needed natural light flowing in from outside, courtesy of real WWII portlights or 'portholes' as they are typically called. Since submarines do not have windows we figured a surface ship or 'target' was the next best thing...

What follows is imagery of the suite. The imagery was taken at night so the portholes are dark! Currently there are three workstations tied in with room for a number more. Network connections are all built in and wired as well as broadband internet connectivity, and satellite. The Render farm [see CG section] nodes will be housed in a separate room in racks.

Still under construction [hence the tools on the eventual built in shelving], this view shows the entry hatch to the left complete with fully operational handwheel and door 'porthole'. To the left of the door is a much stylized 'bullseye' navigation square indicating the mess hall, Shipping dept, and Shop directions. Great. Now we cant get lost! The SECURED room opens to the electrical room and fan room where the LAN and render node racks are going to be set up.

This is one of the workstation spaces. Note the I-beams, red cage lights, and portholes. The Portholes are real, heavy, WWII destroyer portholes and are all bronze. These are screened to the outside and open and close to allow air in and out. There is a full size window in the space as well and it has a hinged battle shutter that can cover it so as to retain the 'look'. To the right of center is a drop down conference table, upright, hinged, and stowed vertically against the wall. To the right of that table you can just make out a row of rivets, that run ceiling to deck below the green ductwork. There is another row of rivets just behind the computer monitor on the desk left of center too. A portion of the ceiling cabling can be seen. More about that later.

Ceiling detail. The cable runs you see across the ceiling are recreated from a US Destroyer we visited and photographed. These are GNDN lines. GNDN? Oh, that stands for "Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing". Yeah we have a sense of humor! More later on that. Cage lights are lower wattage to keep the mysterious ambient light atmosphere!

Wider view looking toward two of the workstations

Detail. Rust and 'leakage' was painted on, along with highly realistic 'paint blisters' on the seaward side under and near the portholes such that the steel plating appears in need of maintenance. Fake weld beads and fake nuts, bolts, and washers complete the illusion of steel construction. Note the mismatch of gloss on the right side of the image. This is fully intentional as is every paint drip that is visible. Sailors paint quickly and sometimes they miss a spot, leave drips or both. We simulated this by creating areas of high gloss and lesser gloss and by letting paint drip in other areas. This adds tremendous realism to the steel plating simulation. Most people who see the office space tap the walls thinking they are steel! [The fake rust does the trick too...]

Here is where the GNDN lines we mentioned originate! We actually have special effects gear behind the wall for additional effects so the GNDN moniker is MOSTLY true...

This hatch to the left with working hatch dogs is an important feature as you will see.

Close up of the hatch imaged to the left. Why cold storage? See the next picture!

Well THAT's why... its actually the refrigerator.

I-Beams are fake. Each 4 foot length weighs less than 2 pounds! The nuts and bolts? Fake! Weld beads? FAKE! Its all fake! But it looks absolutely real! Right down to the nicked and banged up I-beam edges.

Dont believe me? Here you go. Fake nuts and bolts cast in resin, and the heads below to the right!

Closeup detail of the "Uptake Space" cover. I think it needs some maintenance or whatever is behind that will probably start leaking in here! The aluminum identifier plate lettering was laser cut here in our shop and follows shipboard naming conventions so that this plate is located at "01-76-0-E" which means 1st deck, compartment located just aft of frame 76, and is an E space or Machinery space. The plate itself is painted as it might be found aboard ship, with the panel hastily painted and a bit of paint getting on the label plate. Not uncommon!

Here is a detail of the rust to the left of a rivet line. These little rust blisters do wonders to seat the illusion of rusting steel solidly in the viewer's mind. Several people suggested that we waited too long before sealing in the office space from outside elements! Dont be hard on them. It looks VERY real.This is the type of detail you would find throughout the office space.

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