Ambitious, jaw-dropping “The Roddenberry Archive” project launched

Ahead of celebrations of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s forthcoming Centennial, the Gene Roddenberry Estate, OTOY and iconic Star Trek artists Denise and Mike Okuda, Doug Drexler and Daren Dochterman have unveiled ‘The Roddenberry Archive’ – a multi-decade collaboration to collect and preserve his legacy at the highest levels of fidelity and historical accuracy.

The associated imagery teased so far is, simply, incredible, and this looks like a project to watch.

The Roddenberry Archive is cataloguing key texts and documents from Gene Roddenberry’s life and career as well as canonically memorialising quiescent reference 3D models of the Starship Enterprise – including studio models as filmed on set and life-size 1:1 scale ‘in Universe’ versions.

A preview of The Roddenberry Archive will be announced at Creation in Las Vegas later today, on a panel at 3.45pm PT (Friday 13th August 2021) featuring Rod Roddenberry, Denise and Mike Okuda, Daren Dochterman, and OTOY’s Jules Urbach.

In the years ahead, the archive will continue to map out iconic reference designs from the Gene Roddenberry era of Star Trek – which includes the original Star Trek television series, the original six Star Trek motion pictures, and Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as its direct spin-offs.

Mapping out the life-size USS Enterprise in maximum detail. The Roddenberry archive includes records of covering the 8-foot/11-foot physical studio models shot on film (in the possession of the Smithsonian and Jeff Bezos, respectively), as well as a 1:1 scale in Universe model with all sets and rooms seen on film. An additional layer includes areas of the ship not on seen on film, but that the curation team collectively agrees reflects the likely continuity of such assets being placed there, from reference designs, blueprints and 30 years of research, as noted in the weekly meeting minutes which are stored in the archive.
WIP 1:1 scale cutaway of the Motion Picture USS Enterprise; bottom: Captain Kirk’s coffee mug on the USS Enterprise. (Neil F. Smith/OTOY)

The archive will capture deep 3D asset metadata from assets, images, blueprints, and models using RNDR, OTOY’s blockchain GPU computing network. In order to capture original studio and physical assets at the highest level of photographic fidelity, the archive will leverage OTOY’s LightStage Academy-Award-winning facial scanning service, generating the first comprehensive lighting and reflectance data set for future archival use.

Iconic artist Mike “Beeple” Winklemann is joining the Roddenberry Archive project as a creative consultant, and, alongside legendary painter and illustrator Alex Ross, will help commemorate the Roddenberry Archive and cross-link it to both the Alex Ross and Beeple RNDR Archives announced earlier this year.

Art by Alex Ross

The Roddenberry Archive team is further collaborating with holographic display pioneer, LightField Lab, to recreate a projected life-sized representation of the Starship Enterprise indistinguishable from reality on one of the world’s first fully immersive holographic installation experiences.

According to Rod Roddenberry, “I cannot think of a more capable and innovative company to trust with these materials. OTOY’s work will allow generations to experience my father’s contribution to humanity with the greatest historical accuracy possible. This project will protect an optimistic vision of the future, that has inspired so many and remains so important today.”

Scanning Star Trek “Planet of the Titans” physical model prop in OTOY’s LightStage

Denise and Mike Okuda, Star Trek artists and authors of the Star Trek Encyclopedia, said, “we are delighted that Gene Roddenberry’s work is being collected and preserved for future study. In particular, we are excited that reference models of his most famous creation, the Starship Enterprise, will not only allow future fans to experience the magic of Gene’s imagined universe, but it will allow this icon of science fiction to be preserved so it can be re-created authentically in years to come.”

The Okudas added, “Gene’s work was not only an important part of popular culture, but his creations – including Star Trek – have to show us that science and technology can enable a brighter future for humanity if we work hard, and if we are ethical and compassionate.”

USS Enterprise (c. 2272) – Cutaway (Neil F. Smith + D. Dochterman, Mike Okuda/OTOY)

Founder and CEO of OTOY, Jules Urbach said, “When watching Star Trek, I was inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s belief in human ingenuity, creativity and imagination to leverage technology to push the boundaries of what we can accomplish as a civilisation.”

Urbach added, “At OTOY, our mission to develop technologies that empower artists to realize their creative visions is deeply inspired by Gene. It is an absolute honor to use these same technologies to preserve and bring his legacy to life for future generations.

“Growing up with Rod and spending so much of my formative years in the Roddenberry household makes this a deeply personal project for me as well.”

USS Enterprise (c. 2272) – Recreation Deck (Neil F. Smith + D. Dochterman, Mike Okuda/OTOY)

Founder and CEO of Light Field Lab, Jon Karafin noted, “There is no better way to commemorate Gene Roddenberry’s legacy than recreating his vision with holographic technology. Imagine one day being able to experience iconic moments from Star Trek as if you were aboard the Enterprise.”

Karafin added, “We are on a mission at Light Field Lab to redefine the way people experience media with real holograms that until today existed only in science fiction. We are honoured to take part in the Archive project.”

Discussing his involvement with The Roddenberry Archive, Beeple said, “I am very excited to support Gene Roddenberry’s and Alex Ross’ respective RNDR archives, which like my own, help preserve a creator’s lifetime of work and concepts on the blockchain in maximum detail.”

• Visit roddenberry.x.io to view an introductory video about the project and get additional details about the archive – including blogs, behind the scenes production photos, and more

Read the full announcement, with many more photos plus videos here on OTOY

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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