Prometheus Data Cube

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by ob1al, Apr 30, 2012.

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  1. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    After seeing the extended trailer a few times this prop jumped out at me:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It seems to be some sort of "data cube", a hard drive of sorts.

    It kind of reminds me of a Rubik cube. Could this be an influence over it's design or the base for a good replica?

    It looks like it would be a great replica project for someone to tackle.
     
  2. Udermeister

    Udermeister Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I was actually just thinking about this. I think I have a rubik's cube sitting around not being used that is just asking to be made into this prop... May have a go at it.
     
  3. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    What are those two little design details on top? What are they?

    The problem with using a Rubiks as a base would be installing the lights, as I remember it, rubies cubes are solid? Or is there space in there for a lighting cavity to be created?
     
  4. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    No, the only parts actually attached to anything are the centers of each face. You can pop out the corners and edges.

    If you look really close, it looks like there might be some sort of material in the gaps. Look at how the light does not reach all the way to the very edge.
     
  5. Udermeister

    Udermeister Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The bricks look a lot closer to each other than on a standard Rubik as well. It's possible they disassembled one and reassembled it without the core in the middle. Some pieces of thin clear plastic that have been painted silver on the corners could provide spacing and the correct lighting effect...
     
  6. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Pic attached.


    -MJ
     
  7. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Here's a rubiks for reference:

    [​IMG]

    It looks like a very close match, except the cubes are so close together on the original that it wouldn't allow any internal light to escape.
     
  8. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    Here's something interesting I've noticed. The cube tops which spring up don't light up like the stationary areas of the cube. Look:

    [​IMG]

    Could it be some sort of EL tape or paint applied to the joints?
     
  9. Neo-uk

    Neo-uk Well-Known Member

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    Let's hope there's some better props than this in the film when it comes out.
     
  10. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    LOL and a nasty xenomorph too.
     
  11. Mr Webber

    Mr Webber Sr Member

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    I totally switched off all Prometheus info since the trailer as to keep some sense of the unexpected but had to look at this. Depending on how prominent it is in the movie, a static version would seem easy enough, a clear acrilyc cube and away you go. From the pic it looks like it is lit from the centre, top edges are darker so edges arent an issue.
    Back to the Prometheus neutral zone.
     
  12. Bowelrock

    Bowelrock Sr Member

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    IM betting the original was %90 CG anyway.
     
  13. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    It really looks like it was based on a Rubik cube, maybe they even modified one or that glow is added in post production. Has anyone noticed the glyph on the top of it in the first picture looks a lot like the triforce from legend of zelda?
     
  14. berger

    berger Sr Member

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    do the stickers on a rubiks cube actually take up the entire area of each cube? or are they slightly smaller than the surface area? it looks like they are slightly smaller, and its just the extra black around them, blending in with the rounded edges to APPEAR like there is more actual space between the squares than on the prometheus cube.
     
  15. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Use something sharp to score the lines that make up the squares. Paint it, then scratch away in the lines again, but don't go all the way to the edges. Once lit from inside, it should give an almost identical look.
     
  16. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I am actually thinking of having one of these 3D printed. :love

    The engraved details in the center button can be replicated, as can the very subtle edge detail that seems to run all around the cube. I'm pretty sure the glow could be achieved as well but it might not fade out towards the edges as nicely without a lot of work, UNLESS a single light source in the center succeeds in doing all the work. It would also be perfectly symmetrical, which is kind of a staple for the prop. I've got some ideas down on how to do it all...

    (Though I would be very surprised however if what is shown in the trailer isn't CG. Most likely the real deal is just a green box.)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  17. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thats a RUBIKS cube!!
     
  18. planet

    planet Well-Known Member

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    It looks to me like they stripped all the stickers off
    then painted each of the cubes . The cubes can each be taken out by hand easily then reattached to a lighting unit as what it looks like .
     
  19. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I would be extremely super-duper mega-surprised if what we're seeing in those shots is a Rubiks with light inside. Rubiks are made of thick black plastic and would not allow light to pass through. It's also much rounder in the edges. There would be no practical reason for having anything than a static cube stand-in on-set. If you look real closely in the trailer, you can see the cube react ever so slightly to it being pressed, which makes me think that they did have a static piece there. (Yes, such movement could also be added by animation but the easiest method would be to just add the light and flip-up tiles.) A good CG artist will add those effects in much less time (and for less money) than it would take to build the thing, and it would actually look less nice with a practical effect there.

    Also, the static prop appears to be somewhat reflective as can be seen in the briefing shots before the lightup sequence when it gets twirled around. Sure, that COULD be a Rubiks with spray paint on it but for a "hero dummy" in the closeup it would still be easier to do a 3D print and add blend in a few animation elements than replace an entire Rubiks painted green or something.

    I'm already a good ways in to having a finished 3D model of the cube as I write this (will upload a pic later)...

     
  20. planet

    planet Well-Known Member

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    They could have molded one very easily but you could be right .
    Remember the miniature Alien queen from AVP the prop store sold they used a Mcfarlane figure but beefed it up a lot who would have believed that :)
     
  21. Jonny B

    Jonny B Active Member

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    My 2 cents...

    They made a mold of a Rubix or a "made" cube that had access to the middle. Possibly one of the squares is removeable.
    Then they cast it in clear resin, added a battery and a few LED, hand painted the squares....done.

    That's how I'd have done it, simple and easy.
     
  22. BrundelFly

    BrundelFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Used an actual CUBE or NOT...

    Of all Designs....they should have gone with something else.
     
  23. ComedicHistory

    ComedicHistory Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm really excited to see what, if anything, comes from the film. I'm fairly new to the hobby but don't companies like Sideshow, eFX, Factory Ent, Museum Replicas etc usually promo some of their upcoming props from a film? Like they did for the Avengers? Or could it be that they were told to keep it hush-hush until the film's release? I was hoping to see something by now :-\
     
  24. exoray

    exoray Master Member

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    Quick and simple you can get one of the 'clear' knock off cubes, a little paint and an LED...

    There are clear, transparent, translucent colors and even glow knock off cubes out there...

    http://cube4you.com has a lot of different kinds, but the search engine isn't the best due to the fact they abbreviate a lot of stuff in the descriptions... So browse vs search...
     
  25. CJS

    CJS Well-Known Member

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    I think it was simply a real Rubiks cube that was used as a cast, made a mold and then a transluscent part was pulled out and lit inside and silver panels added. Thats the way I think it was done.
     
  26. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    C'mon guys... that really doesn't look anything like even a heavily modified Rubiks in the closeup. Casting a Rubiks, or otherwise modifying it would be MUCH more of a hassle and costly than simply printing one. IF they used an "existing" cube (Rubiks or otherwise) anywhere in the scene then it was either as:

    1. A dummy that was replaced ENTIRELY by CGI
    2. A stunt prop for the actor to hold and play around with during the briefing, as seen in the trailer. (That cube looks a bit thicker and rougher, even in the few frames we get to see it in, so that may very well be something else.)

    Also, the the shape of the one in the closeup is much more angular than a Rubiks and there are bevels and extrudes going around EACH square. Look at the Rubiks above... it's MUCH softer all around. Look at the image I've attached to this (please excuse the extremely sloppily drawn lines... I was in a hurry):
    [​IMG]

    I've also almost finished modeling the outer surface of the cube that I'm thinking of printing. I'm going to make it hollow with a loose bottom and model some sort of holder for a LED or bulb into it so that it will be dead center and hopefully create the fading light effect.

    Here's a quick snapshot:
    [​IMG]


     
  27. planet

    planet Well-Known Member

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    You may want to contact a professional prop company first . Tell them lets see just as an example you want a predator helmet made from scratch
    and then ask them what the cost would be if they molded one you already had completed and worked off that

    You will fall off your seat when they gave you the price .

    The other way is not cheap nothing is when you make a prop for a film but it sure saves a LOT of time and money .
     
  28. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, I actually work as a producer in the games industry so I do have some idea of what computer graphics work costs. I've also been around this place for quite a few years and have dealt with my share of manufacturing companies here and there so there would be very little falling off seats. Not trying to be an smart-Alec here, just clarifying my perspective. I know it ain't cheap. :)

    Without insight into the Prometheus budget and how the prop supply contract for it is structured, I suppose it's useless to speculate further. But considering that I knocked out that 3D model above in a few hours, a "real" professional modeling artist would have done it in a fraction of that time. A Rubiks-based scratch-build would still take several times longer.

    In any case, that argument is moot, because the comparison, in my view, clearly shows that we are not seeing a rebuilt Rubiks with lights in the closeup. The edges of a Rubiks are too soft and round. One might argue that the ridges going around the holocube could be milled out of a Rubiks, but that would be rather messy. I'm sure it could be done somehow but it certainly wouldn't be the path of least resistance and Prometheus likely had a cutting-edge prop house doing the work.

     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  29. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, here we go. Just finished up a 1st draft of the cube, more or less ready for printing after a few tweaks. I made it hollow, so printing in white plastic will let light shine through from inside. (I figure the easiest way to mask off the space between squares is to use wire or thick string. Layer on a fairly thick grey/black/silver coat of paint should stop the light. Then I can layer thin paint on the inside corners to create the "fade" effect. The bottom will house a battery, power switch and LED and the top will act as a lid. Alternately, the bottom can just be glued on and the symbol/button on top could be cut out and made into a REAL button. in some fashion.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Two more variations. One "static", with no holo emitters activated and the other completely open.
     
  31. superfreak1000

    superfreak1000 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that looks sic!! are you planning on incorporating the small designs into your printing or cut them out later?
     
  32. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hehe thanks Superfreak.

    I was thinking a lot about those small symbols. I'm not completely sure that they will 3d print better than if they were just masked off or something. One thing is that if I print them, they will be indented into the plastic, just like the center button. But in the trailer, they seem to be completely flat without any texture. I'll do a test and see how it looks...

    Also.. I've been thinking a bit about how some other parts will print, like the open flaps in the "open" version... Since 3d prints undergo a rigorous wash cycle, there is a VERY small risk of super-thin details breaking. After listinng an interest thread in the JY the other day I began considering if I should just do the "static" version and the model the flaps and the swivel-out side emitter separately so that they can be glued on instead. the great thing about this, as compared to doing a master and casting in resin, is that B: everything should come out exactly the same and in perfect, 1st gen condition and B: since the "master" is a software model, all the different configs can be done without any increased mastering costs.
     
  33. ob1al

    ob1al Sr Member

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    That looks great joetrash - watching this with interest!
     
  34. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I made some cutouts with the symbols and split off the flaps and emitter. I also angled the flaps so that they will be easier to glue on. So, it's now a kit that can be configured in any way the user wants to match the trailer. :) Fully closed- just fill in the symbols and paint, halfway open- just glue on the emitter, fully open- glue on the emitter and all the flaps! Will be uploading some pics soon...
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  35. superfreak1000

    superfreak1000 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    very nice! i was thinking that maybe if they were printed with the symbols completely cut out and then the negative filled with a clear acrylic to allow light to pass through would be the easiest way to go. but i am excited to see the pics of this print!
     
  36. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    However they made it, it looks more to me like they made the base out of something translucent and maybe applied something opaque over each square. Look at the gaps between each square. Whatever is filling the gap does not extend to the corners.
     
  37. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here are a couple of shots. The cutouts of the symbols were a bit fiddly but I managed to do them.
    [​IMG]
    After experimenting a bit with different options I tried doing a hole kit containing:

    Main box
    box bottom
    two "tiles" with symbols cut out
    two thicker symbols with cut symbols intended for "open" flaps
    four thick panels for "open flaps" positions
    two thin panels for use in the symbol spots if an "all open" position is chosen.
    one foldout side panel
    [​IMG]
    However, I'm not really sure this "kit" would be ideal. One of the special things with the prop are the CGI-perfect lines and details... gluing on panels and flaps could get a tad messy since the rest of the print will be super-crisp.

    In the end if might make more sense to print the box in whatever configuration is wanted... that way all that would be needed was to paint it and it would end up being more durable. I mean, once you decide on which configuration you are going for, you can't go back and redo it anyway.


    Here also are a couple of shots of the 3d print nylon plastic with a LED behind it at different distances. Note that the plastic lets light through pretty well... no need for transparent plastic. The white also acts as a defuser. All that is needed to stop the light is a coat of paint. The symbols can be masked off with masking rubber or tape and the space between tiles with string or wire.
    [​IMG]
    (There is little question however that the symbols, flip panels and lighting in the trailer are CGI. There's no mistaking the look. They were already going to animate the center button anyway and adding the rest at the same time would be a no-brainer.)
     
  38. senomar

    senomar New Member

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    Subscribed!
     
  39. superfreak1000

    superfreak1000 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    very nice! it does let light through very nicely. after paint it should glow very well! well done!
     
  40. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, in the end I settled on the "phase 1" open position. The two light-up symbols are engraved into the two plates and the "emitter" plate is extended out in a 45 degree angle. I think this will be the easiest way to succeed and have it look good. This is ready to print as it is... was thinking of putting a thread in the JY so they could be done in time for the premiere, but now I've started thinking about redoing the interior so that the center button is separate and could be hooked up to a push button to turn on the cube with just like in the trailer... I can't decide... ghaaa! Whay say you all?

    (I also think I've come up with a way to make the light "fade" more naturally in the corners...)
     
  41. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That is looking awesome! Am I allowed to ask what your 3D print cost?

    I was given a quote for a part that is about 105mm x 85mm x 65mm and they want $350 for it! I thought was way too much and it does not have anywhere near the detail of your piece.
     
  42. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    When it's done and up anyone that wants one will be able to get a print for about 100 bucks. This is just over 6cm (not counting the extended emitter). It will print in a material that can handle 0.2mm details (I believe).
     
  43. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    OK thanks for that.
     
  44. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ok, here's one final update before I wrap this up to print! I went back, made the center button separate so that it could be made into a real pushbutton OR just glued in place. A guide was added to the inside of the cube to center the button. I also added diffuser supports (see the picture) to the inside. Their main purpose it to provide a thickening wall to catch light inside the cube and help achieve the "fade" effect.
     
  45. superfreak1000

    superfreak1000 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    very nice! I am definitely interested in getting one of these printed pieces from you when they are done. The push button feature is very cool and seems to be accurate to film. very impressed with your intricate design on this! Excellent work!
     
  46. Sorenzo

    Sorenzo Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Loving the this prop, and the 3D by joatrash is reall impressive.

    I'm an old fashioned kinda guy, and I think this prop deserves a scratch build. I made a little mock-up today, can't decide if i'll commit to the build yet or not.

    What do you guys think??

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  47. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That looks pretty darn spiffy. The big challenge you will have is getting if perfectly even all around, especially getting the thin ridges in there. Are you planning to make the light fade at the edges?
     
  48. Sorenzo

    Sorenzo Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    cheers dude.
    it will be a challenge, but so long as I have accurately cut components it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
    Yeah, definetly want to keep it as accurate as possible, so yes, the light fade would be a must.
     
  49. superfreak1000

    superfreak1000 Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just saw the movie! EPIC!!! and it made me think of this build! wondering how it's going, I'd love to see what ya got now! Can't wait to see this one finished!
     
  50. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    First test print is in hand! This is the center button, about 1.96cm wide (about 0.77 inches!).

    [​IMG]

    I'm still frequently amazed at the detail that can be done with this method. Since the button printed so well, I'll be setting up a thread in the JY shortly for those that want to order a holocube kit. Personally I'm having one printed in transparent plastic but that option is a LOT more expensive (2-3X the cost) than the slightly translucent white plastic the button was done in. (I also don't know how well the cube will print in the clear stuff... it might be a lot more fiddly.)
     

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