Prometheus Data Cube

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Jonny B

Active Member
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.
 

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BrundelFly

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Used an actual CUBE or NOT...

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

ComedicHistory

Active Member
Let's hope there's some better props than this in the film when it comes out.
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 :-\
 

exoray

Master Member
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...
 

CJS

Well-Known Member
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.
 

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JOATRASH FX

Master 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):


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:



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.
 

planet

Well-Known Member
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):


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:
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 .
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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.

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 .
 
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JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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.

 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Two more variations. One "static", with no holo emitters activated and the other completely open.
 

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JOATRASH FX

Master 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.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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...
 
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superfreak1000

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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!
 

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NormanF

Master 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.
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Here are a couple of shots. The cutouts of the symbols were a bit fiddly but I managed to do them.

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

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.

(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.)
 

JOATRASH FX

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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...)
 

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