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Star Trek: Of Gods and Men Act 1


enterprise.png'Star Trek: Of Gods and Men' is an amazing project - officially a 'fan film', it is produced by a very professional group of people, including many cast members from the original TV series and movies (see the Wikipedia entry for ST:OGAM for more details on this). The first act (26 minutes) has been released last Saturday.

Of course, such a project leans heavily on special effects. We talked to Bill Thomas, Digital Effects Supervisor of ST:OGAM, and found out Blender played an important role in the production!

Bill writes:

I'm a software tester by trade, but I've been doing 3D off and on for almost 20 years (yikes!). I started out on the AtariST with Cyber Cad, moved to Windows and trueSpace, then to Imagine, and for the last seven years I've been using Blender. I've tried learning other platforms since then, but I'm just so very very happy in Blender. Blender might want to change their slogan to something like "Our interface: You'll get it or you won't." I'm one of many Blender users no doubt who has tried to delete something in Word with the 'X' key.

I got picked to work on Of Gods and Men after posting my Star Trek 3D on various Sci-Fi related boards. [Here is] one of the animations I did a couple years ago that got some notice in the Trek community.

The movie

To describe Star Trek: Of Gods and Men as a "fan film" isn't entirely accurate, since there are many professionals working on it. Almost all of the cast has appeared in one Star Trek show or movie (and in some cases more than one.) But it's being distributed for free and most of the production crew is working for free. It was originally conceived as a celebration of Star Trek's 40th anniversary. Well, things can run a little late when nobody's being paid and real life rears it's ugly head. I read on Wikipedia that we're being called Star Trek: Forever (after Duke Nukem). But we're finally hitting the web on Saturday, December 22nd.

enterprise.png missileload.png vulcanshuttle.png

The FX Team

Our FX team is a group of dedicated artists / nerds who's experience runs from "I've worked on Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean" to "I do 3-D in my spare time because it's fun!" I'm in the latter category. One of the really fun things has been to show off my Blender work to the pros and invariably hear "You did THAT in Blender?" Our team also used the approach of using "whatever we're good at and whatever we can get our hands on" when it comes to tool set. So "plays well with others" has been a big requirement for our work. Blender has improved a lot in that category in the 18 months we've been working.


We have a handful of meshes that were created for this film in Blender. Some of original design, some based on existing Star Trek designs. If the mesh was only going to be used in Blender then I textured it and rendered it out in Blender. Otherwise I would port it to an OBJ file and it would be textured and rendered in Lightwave or 3DMax. One of our professionals was greatly impressed with how well Blender elements would composite with Lightwave (his weapon of choice).


There are shots that were created completely in Blender. Obviously I'm very proud of these. Another group of shots composite elements rendered in Blender with elements rendered in Lightwave and/or Particle Illusion. (I don't think we have any shots that combine Blender, Particle Illusion, 3D Max AND Lightwave!)

There is a shot (it's in our tease trailer) that relies almost entirely on Blender's particles. It was enhanced for the final film with Particle Illusion. (Due more to my inexperience with some of the fancier Blender particle features than anything else. I wish we had had the new particle system a year and a half ago). I'm told it got an ovation when it was shown at the big Star Trek convention in Las Vegas in 2006. (We've been working on this for a while.)

A real treat for me was getting to jump on scene that was added at the last second to reproduce one of my favorite shots from the original Star Trek series. (I can't say what it is, because it's a fairly pivotal plot point in the third act. It also meant that I got to use my own U.S.S. Enterprise modeled and textured entirely in Blender!

blendershuttle.png bigbad2.png desktop.png


We used Blender for a LOT of the animation of our big space battles. I'd say at least half. Since that's the stuff I love doing the most, this worked out nicely. We determined a good workflow was for me to set up our camera moves and object movement in Blender, render out a really quick and dirty animatic ("Render this window" in the 3D view - doesn't get any faster than that!), post it for the group to critique and approve, then export by way of the FBX file exporter to 3D studio. Our process got a tremendous boost with the addition of this export script in Blender 2.45. Our exports became not only easier but also more accurate. We had been using another format - I don't recall which - to get to Lightwave and THEN Max, but it was very manual and took a lot of tweaking. And it hated path animation. So things are much much easier now.

That's all I can think of. The website is and our release date is December 22nd. Thanks!

-- Bill Thomas
Digital Effects Supervisor, Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

View Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Wow cool how could it be that i never heard of it! A unofficial star trek series made by pros and with blender, thats really cool. I'll watch it as soon as possible. seems to by great work.

  2. "I'm one of many Blender users no doubt who has tried to delete something in Word with the 'X' key."

    Never say never. I did... * blush *

  3. Schweet.

    I've done worse than use X in Word. I tried to save a paper with CTRL+W, which happens to be the hotkey for exit in Word.

  4. "I'm one of many Blender users no doubt who has tried to delete something in Word with the 'X' key." Oh, I've had even worse: I select a part of a document, then, to select everyything, I press "a". I din't quite do what I wanted :D

  5. This is really great! I am so impressed and eager to see the next installment. I too have tried to delete with the X key in Microsoft Word. Microsoft needs to get on the ball and fix that. ;-)

  6. Cool. Did anybody else get confused by the story though? I'm not a big Trekkie (I prefer Star Wars) so maybe somebody can enlighten me on what happened when the psychic guy went through the portal thing? Why did everything change?

  7. Roofoo: A quickie youtube preview of the original story is here:
    The story is called "Charlie X". A ship called the Antares rescues a boy named Charlie Evans from the planet Thesus. A ship had crashed there 14 years earlier, and Charlie was the sole survivor. The Antares crew praises Charlie, and hastily depart, leaving Charlie on the Enterprise. When nearly out of communication range, the Antares tries to warn the Enterprise about Charlie, but then the Antares disintegrates. Charlie makes (unwanted) advances to Yeoman Rand. His affection is unrequited. After a series of events where Charlie shows both bad temper and dangerous psychokinetic abilities, Kirk and Spock try to confine Charlie (without success). Charlie then takes over the ship. Kirk and Spock then try to overwhelm Charlie by turning every function on the ship on. This is not successful, but the Thesian ship arrives to rescue the Enterprise. The dialogue follows:
    I have taken my form centuries ago,
    so that I may communicate with you.
    We did not realize until too late
    that the boy had gone.
    We are saddened that his escape
    cost the lives of the first ship.
    We could not help them,
    but we have returned your people
    and your ship to you.
    Everything is as it was.
    Oh, I won't do it again.
    Please, I'll be good.
    I won't ever do it again.
    I'm sorry about the Antares.
    I'm sorry!
    When I came aboard!
    I want to go with you.
    Help me!
    The boy belongs with his own kind.
    That would be impossible.
    We can teach him to live in our society.
    If he can be taught not to use his power...
    We gave him power so he could live.
    He will use it always,
    and he would destroy you and your kind,
    or you would be forced to destroy him
    to save yourselves.
    Is there nothing you can do?
    We offer him life,
    and we will take care of him.
    Come, Charles.
    Oh, please...
    Don't let them take me.
    I can't even touch them!
    They can't feel.
    Not like you!
    They don't love!
    I want to stay...

  8. Ya, I seen it the first day it came out... after holding my breath for over a year. Kinda sucked, and very amatureish for someone like Tuvok (Tim Russ). Sorry to have to flame like that. Robert out.

    • Tim Russ should be embarrassed to have that "directing" credit on his resume. I've seen fat, teenaged AV Club neckbeards do better camera work with shittier equipment. Don't quit yer day job, Tuvok!

  9. Great to see so many Trek Actor´s in this movie! Seem´s that they are very open for new idea´s, like fanmovies
    providing via Internet, acting in this "internetmovies" and so on.
    Great work - waiting on Part 2 :)

  10. Sorry to say this but the ships didn't seem up to par with the quality of the TV series... They seemed like something out of a video game, not very realistic or detailed.

  11. I was what....15 when the TV series started. Now I'm 57. I've been a fan all those years.
    (note to Shatner: I know it's not real....I do have a life), But, oh the fun of dreaming of being on the ship.....part of the crew. Now, this wonderful gift back to me (and the other fans) proove that there really was something SPECIAL about the show(s)....and the lucky, talanted people who were a part of it all.
    God bless you and thank you for all your hard work, great acting, and for keeping it all going. It's been a pleasure moving throught life, if not together, then parallel with you all.


  12. Blender? Whatever. Is the script any good? Star Wreck: In The Pirkinning kicks "Of Gods and Men"'s flabby, pimpled *rse.

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