Scott Chambliss Reveals Into Darkness Design Sketches And Behind The Scenes Images

Star Trek Into Darkness production designer Scott Chambliss has updated his website portfolio with dozens of images from the movie showing both design sketches and some behind the scenes images from the movie. Check outi some highlights below (spoilers).


Chambliss shares behind the scenes look at Into Darkness

Scott Chambliss has updated his official website with a portfolio of 66 images from Star Trek Into Darkness. Some are previously released publicity images, but most are new images of either design sketches or behind the scenes shots of locations. Here are some of the highlights.

Sketches/models of the USS Vengeance (exterior and interior)

Exterior design render/sketches of San Francisco and Kronos

Mudd’s civilian ship and San Francisco Barge

Designs for Nibiru planet

Enterprise sets (including new Warp Core)

Much more at

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Mudd? Is this something that I would have wanted to stay away from being I have not seen the movie yet?

I like the pre-imagined Vengeance better than the final version! Nice work butbmy issues with the film are purely script and story construction. Production design was beautiful.

1. Just a very brief one liner tie in to the comics

Amazing work!

Wow. That first concept drawing of the Vengeance is even uglier than the ship we got in the movie.

#1 Qcjoe: the ship is shown in the Countdown to Darkness comics so its not really a spoiler.

Didn’t like the Vengeance design or colour. (A bit like the Narada, it would have been nice to see it all FULLY).

And why did the Vengeance at warp sound like my petrol lawn mower?’

Wow great image’s

7, Cannon, Heh-heh, I always think that sort of thing, especially as there’s no sound in space. I remember remarking something similar in Wrath of Khan ;)

I don’t think I’d call these “sketches;” maybe that’s an industry term, they look like full-blown paintings to me, but CGI has changed so many things.

Two things that struck me:

Doesn’t Mudd’s ship carry cargo? Think I’d have made the pax compartment smaller and the cargo space bigger, but the ship is hardly seen from the side, so so what. And how many people know this anyway, b/c Mudd appears only in the comics.

“Bay Bridge next 2 exits”! And here I thought everybody had magic flying cars and wouldn’t need roads any more. So I guess they still have traffic jams

In all, though, Chambliss is a master; I’ve been impressed with overall production design since Day One, and I LOVE the new Enterprise. She looks so sleek. The dreadnought looks like it’s fulfilling its purpose, though I can’t say I understand the big hole in the middle, looks like a vulnerability to me on an otherwise super-solid ship. Super-solid not-pretty war machine.

Vengeance is a great ship. I like the movie Vengeance very much, but I don´t like the first sketch version.

There is a picture on there of a different, unmasked Klingon holding Kirk down with his foot, from a portion of Kronos cut out of the final movie.

Will there be an “Art of” book? I love those.

I really don’t get some of the hate the JJ Enterprise gets. She’s stunning and looks great in the artwork.

I guess the Vengeance was doomed to be hideous from the get-go.

#1 No

OUTSTANDING design sketches and behind the scenes images..THANKS!

I think the concept of the Vengeance is better, although it is still much too large. Still ugly, but at least it has a bit more character and not just tries to look like the Enterprise.

I liked most of the production art better than in the last one!
I hope we get to see some Eaves props soon ;)

Hope there is an art of book.

Although I do not like the exterior of the Vengeance, I love the interior. Also, yeah, is there going to be an Art of Book?

That’s the warp core? Wow, I’m really impressed. For the first time it looks like a device actually capable of powering a starship, rather than being just a tube with flashing lights. It fits with the Budgineering aesthetics yet it looks very high-tech and futuristic. They talked about how the engineering received a “cool upgrade” for this film, this must be it?

Can’t wait to see how it looks like in the film. Dammit, why can’t it be June already!

Regarding the Vengeance being ugly, I’m sure it was supposed to be. The aesthetics are intended to be a clue as to its purpose. Ugly.

I loved Vengeance. It was just so angular and odd. I actually like how it was squared off in places. It was so anti-Enterprise.

Plus when it was crashing it just looked gigantic

@ 19. Tuomas – May 17, 2013

That’s the NIF. An *actual* Nuclear Facility !!

After insurrection and nemesis. then the dead years of no trek! the haters come out of the woodwork as if trek has been perfect for the last 20 years.
Get a grip guys and gals. Trek has been reborn and yes it’s not perfect but the next gen wasn’t perfect for 2 years and then all of a sudden….. just be patient. Paramount have at last put a lot of faith and Dollars into this project and Jj & co have put a lot of time and love into this project as well. We will get the perfect Trek movie soon.

@ 24. David Oakes – May 17, 2013

Oh, I didn’t know that. Pretty cool they used that for the film!


The Vengeance, I wager, is meant to look ugly. It is a perversion of Federation virtues, being a straight up kill mobile. Therefore angular and over weaponed, like the Enterprise E which I have always loathed for that reason.

@ 26. Tuomas – May 17, 2013

Not sure if you are familiar with the TRON movie from 82. But I have seen STiD and for me the nuclear facility looks as futuristic as the ENCOM laser lab in TRON. Which means, as mundane as the brewery.
Sorry, I really liked STiD, but the Enterprise sets still look as fuggly as in ST 2009, and far from futuristic. Not to mention they don’t make any sense at all.
As an example, the sets in TMP, while not as impressive as they once looked back in 79, still make a lot of sense. They are functional, they match the exterior of the ship in size and shape.
That is the problem with the new STs, they nailed the characters so well, the cast is wonderful, but even Star Wars is more scientifically accurate and more consistent in terms of inner logic. I trip from Tatoine to Alderaan takes hours at least, while in nu Trek it takes only a couple of minutes from Earth to any other place in the galaxy (if you have seen STiD you know what I am talking about), always using unspecified warp speed. Sure, average joe would get confused and leave the theater in a hurry if something like ‘warp 5″ was going to be mentioned.

Thanks 3 and 6. Freaked me out for a sec.

Your mileage may vary but I love the use of real locations for engineering. It makes all kinds of sense to me that these are the areas where there are actual valves to turn, pipes carrying stuff, and no need at all to cover them up.

Budgineering aside, I loved the new warp core. Like Tuomas said above, it looks like it could realistically power a starship. I never liked the big fluorescent tubes, especially the ones prevalent in the TNG era shows and films.

I get what they are going for with the engineering of the JJ-prise but still wish it was a little cleaner or had at least some resemblance to the previous versions. Out of curiosity at the end of the movie did the ship have any changes? Not sure if I was mistaken but the impulse engine looked different and was curious if they made any other changes.

I thought JJ Abrams nailed it again. Still retains the vibe of the original. The characters are great and he knows how to tell a story. Love his take on Trek.

Hey enjoyed movie. It’s something Roddenberry would’ve done as far as story telling about what’s been happening in today’s world but in trek world. I like that the warp core looks too like something real and using less bud factory as main engineering and having two parts of engineering now.

I think as others have said Vengeance is meant to be big and bad. It’s for war and stealth whereas the enterprise is built for exploration and not just to destroy everything in its path.

Overall I’m impressed with the designs including the walkway, the, bridge, and sickbay. It has that original series feel but modernized as far as interior sets costumes. Oh also the shuttles really look like the original series.

@7: yep, that sound was weird, but fitting. It definitely carried the “I’m evil and more powerful” vibe.

those pics on his site are outstanding!

It may be too early to talk spoilers yet, but there’s some comments here I don’t understand so, can I leave a jump?

First Anthony is dead on when he says the Vengeance is SUPPOSED to look like the Narada. The lesson is that you can become too invested in fighting that which you fear and then BECOME that which you fear. I won’t get into the who and why, but the Vengeance in many ways IS the Narada, and the Fleet needs to learn why that’s wrong.

I see people say this isn’t a story Roddenberry would tell, and yet, he did. Elements of this story are plainly visible in “The Apple,” “The Omega Glory,” “Space Seed,” “Bread and Circuses,” and in several later incarnations of Prime Trek: “The Undiscovered Country” and “Insurrection” in particular. There is no version of Star Trek, even that from the pen of the Great Bird, in which humans or even Starfleet is perfect.

Damn! This First Concept of the Vengeance looked Freaky!
The Warp Core was a nice surprise in STID.

Original title of TWOK was “The Vengeance of Khan.” Don’t know if that was pointed out during discussions yet.
Designs: Too Star Warsy and random for my taste. Lacking in functionality. But that’s Chambliss. He’s no Sternbach or Drexler… or Eaves…or…
Wish the Narada Borgification (which made sense) would have been mentioned in the films. The reverse-engineered tech of things would make MORE sense then.

I kind of like the early design of the USS Vengeance in that it looks insect-like and predatory, sort of like a praying mantis. Not sure with how it fits in with traditional notions of Federation ship design, but as an enemy hero vessel that initial design, I feel, works better than the one we got.

“that’s Chambliss. He’s no Sternbach or Drexler… or Eaves…or…”

Star Trek ships have always been rolling sculpture, kind of like great car designs. The JJ Trek ships (and interiors for that matter) are just bad art. Just as much as most people have a bad reaction to an AMC Pacer, Gremlin, or Pontiac Aztek, that’s how the JJ Trek stuff was done. JJ just has no eye for this stuff.

@41 and @42 The point of the Vengeance in the film was that it was big and ugly and unworthy of being a Federation Starship. That’s part of the allegory.

Whoa, that’s cool! That’s REALLY cool! So they actually built a set piece AROUND the NIF? Love it!

I sure wish Chambliss would credit the Artists that did these paintings.


I’ve got to admit, I was much happier with engineering in this movie than I was with the last. It seemed more realistic and a lot less hokey than in the previous movie. Still a lot of open space and exposed piping, but much less brewer”esque”.

Overall, I’m going to say I liked the movie. It was wrapped up quite neatly and was overall very believable. Can’t wait for the next one.

@46 All caps and misspelling the word “definitely”? Seriously?

I forbid you from posting anything on the internet for 1 year.

Weerd1. You actually get it. Well done.

Chambliss is “okay” with image, but SUCKS at functionality… =(

…a microcosm for jj-trek… =(

In the previous movie, the engineering section looked like a brewery with flashing light swirling around the tanks. I discovered later that that scene was filmed at a brewery.

I am glad that in this film, they created a new set for Engineering.