star trek "film cells" for tricorder view screens

qwavemi

New Member
Hi all. any thought on where I might obtain star trek related transparent film/cells - of a technical nature - planets, stars, ship, geo survey etc. for use in the "view screens" of my tricorder props which have electronics/backlights. I am new to the prop building community. Should have joined years ago - could have saved me a lot of grief.
 

Cadeus

Sr Member
Once you find the images you want, you can reduce them to the size you need... practice printing them in grey scale on plain paper to save you some money... then when you are satisfied, print them in full color on a transparancy. If you don't like the quality of your printer, you could go to a print shop and have them do it. If the transluceny isn't enough to alow the appropriate light thrue, you can adjust. :) Hope that helps a little.
 

feek61

Sr Member
I have many of the graphics meticulously re-created . You can check some of them out at tosgraphics.com (I have many others if you don't see what you are looking for)

If you see anything you would like to use please PM me.
 

norbauer

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi all. any thought on where I might obtain star trek related transparent film/cells - of a technical nature - planets, stars, ship, geo survey etc. for use in the "view screens" of my tricorder props which have electronics/backlights. I am new to the prop building community. Should have joined years ago - could have saved me a lot of grief.

I generally find printing on transparency to be disappointing quality for something like a tricorder display where the image is small and is generally going to be inspected very closely. Your best bet is to get a high-resolution very high quality print on something opaque and then take it to someone with experience in traditional analog photographic techniques and have them image it for you on film and then make a slide from that. It's so far as I know the only way to get continuous pigments without seeing printer artifact dots for something that demands up-close detail like this. I believe this is also how the originals were produced.

If anybody has others ideas, however, I'd love to know a better (less antiquated) technique.
 

Cadeus

Sr Member
I generally find printing on transparency to be disappointing quality for something like a tricorder display where the image is small and is generally going to be inspected very closely. Your best bet is to get a high-resolution very high quality print on something opaque and then take it to someone with experience in traditional analog photographic techniques and have them image it for you on film and then make a slide from that. It's so far as I know the only way to get continuous pigments without seeing printer artifact dots for something that demands up-close detail like this. I believe this is also how the originals were produced.

If anybody has others ideas, however, I'd love to know a better (less antiquated) technique.

That is an interesting point. While I didn't consider it, I would have thought that current printing technology would not produce such defects. If this project were mine I would have a difficult time finding somewhere to process a film cell. Everything in the Houston/Galveston area is now digital. But I am familiar with film, and your idea would work perfectly. great idea! :)
 

norbauer

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That sounds great, but THIS would be much better!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj0aMlvsHlU&index=31&list=PL6CA9E51E430EFD29

:)Spockboy

I honestly prefer it to look like the originals. There are a number of super expensive TNG Mark VII replicas around (they go for like $2500 and up on eBay) that have interactive LCD screens. I appreciate the work and artistry that goes into those and highly approve of their existence, but personally they have never held sufficient appeal for me to want to buy one—
they just strike me as somehow wrong; we never see anything that looks like that in the series on screen.

That is an interesting point. While I didn't consider it, I would have thought that current printing technology would not produce such defects. If this project were mine I would have a difficult time finding somewhere to process a film cell. Everything in the Houston/Galveston area is now digital. But I am familiar with film, and your idea would work perfectly. great idea! :)

Printer technology has greatly improved, and if you're not too picky for something large to be viewed at a decent distance like an LCARS system display, you can easily get away with a printed transparency. However, my guess is that for an up-close prop you'll be disappointed with the results. It's cheap and easy though, so maybe give that a try before investigating the more difficult film approach? I'd love to hear you report back your findings here. :)

FWIW, I have a Stapleton tricorder (I think the best replica available right now, especially since Roddenberry isn't selling the HMS vacuformed ones anymore) and as best as I can tell it uses a printed film cell slide, and it looks really great.

I'm currently getting ready to do a desktop viewer build sometime next year probably and I've also been debating whether to try to get a transparency printed or whether to do it in the traditional way the production designers did (b&w screenprint on transparent clear film with hand-cut rosco lighting gels for the colors adhered to the back with contact paper).
 
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