Ares IV Mars Orbiter design by Sternbach
Foundation Imaging render; ©2001 Paramount Pictures
Rick Sternbach has been a space and science fiction artist since the early 1970s, often combining both interests in a project. His clients include NASA, Sky and Telescope, Data Products, Random House, Smithsonian, Analog, Astronomy, The Planetary Society, and Time-Life Books. He is a founding member and Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), which was formed in 1981. He has written and illustrated articles on orbital transfer vehicles and interstellar flight for Science Digest. Beginning in the late 1970s Rick added film and television illustration and special effects to his background, with productions like Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Last Starfighter, Future Flight, and Cosmos, for which he and other members of the art team received an Emmy award, the first for visual effects. Rick also twice received the coveted Hugo award for best professional science fiction artist, in 1977 and 1978.

With the rebirth of Star Trek, beginning with The Next Generation, Rick was one of the first employees hired to update the Trek universe. He created new spacecraft, tricorders, phasers, and hundreds of other props and set pieces. Using pencil, pen, and computer, Rick added Deep Space Nine and Voyager to his spacecraft inventory, and kept his hand in real space design with Voyagers Ares IV Mars orbiter (blessed by planetary scientist Dr. Bruce Murray).

Rick contributed graphic designs for the recent Star Trek Nemesis feature film, including the new Romulan bird of prey and Senate chamber floor. He also provided computer playback graphics and animation elements for Steven Soderberghs Solaris, and is now at work on a variety of freelance projects related to spaceflight and space hardware modeling.


Scenic Artist, Solaris, 20th Century Fox, 2002. Steven Soderbergh, dir. Designed control panel layouts for the Prometheus station sets: corridors, cold room, docking bay, crew quarters; Athena 7 far-extrasolar exploration ship cockpit. Designed and rendered space hardware animated CGI clips.

Scenic artist, Star Trek Nemesis; Paramount Pictures, 2002. Designed Romulan Bird of Prey sculpture; Romulan Senate Chamber floor map; control panel graphics and signage for U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-E, Romulan Warbird, Argo shuttle, ground vehicles, Reman fighter, and various hand props.

Senior Illustrator/Designer, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager; Paramount Pictures, 1987-2001. Hardware and set illustrations, liaison with propmakers/VFX, and scientific/technical script consulting.

Major spacecraft designed:

" U.S.S. Voyager
" Future Klingon dreadnought (NegVar)
" Deep Space Nine station
" Delta Flyer
" Starfleet Runabout
" Voyager Shuttlecraft (Speedboat)
" Ares IV Earth-Mars ship
" Jupiter Station
" Klingon Attack Cruiser
" U.S.S. Prometheus
" U.S.S. Dauntless
" Cardassian Galor-class cruiser

Major props designed:

" Starfleet Hand Phaser
" PADD Data device
" Starfleet Communicator Badge
" Starfleet Tricorder
" Disruptors, tricorders, PADDs, and communicators for Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian, Bajoran, Kazon, Ferengi and other races

Senior Illustrator/Designer, Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Paramount Pictures, 1978. Designed 1/3 of all ship control consoles and shipboard plant-on graphic symbols; on-screen computer readouts for weapons station, communications, and engineering; researched and assembled computer animation from outside sources; backlit graphics of historical Enterprise vessels; prop test equipment; invented plausible 23rd century technical jargon; liaison with NASA-JPL for space hardware and blueprints.

Assistant Art Director, Illustrator, Special Visual Effects Designer, COSMOS, Carl Sagan Productions and KCET-TV for the Public Broadcasting System, 1977-1980. Original storyboards and set designs for series; planetary models and 27-field animation cells of various celestial objects for filming. Designed motion control moves and assisted in running camera systems. Supervised effects filming at MPI, Universal-Hartland, Magicam, and KCET. Produced metamorphosis drawings on JPL graphic system for human evolution sequence. As a joint project between KCET and NASA-JPL, produced first paint-system texture maps of Jupiter's moons for the Voyager Program Office, supervised by Dr. Jim Blinn. Also produced cleaned-up versions of moons after Voyager 1-Jupiter encounter.

Received Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Creative Technical Craft, visual effects for COSMOS: On the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean; 1980-1981 Prime Time Emmys, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Hugo Award, Best Professional Science Fiction Artist 1977 and 1978, World Science Fiction Society. Book and magazine illustration for works by Asimov, Heinlein, Anderson, Benford, Niven, White, Pohl, Bear, Brunner, Hamilton, Tiptree, Williamson, Schmidt and others.

Illustrator/Designer/Drafter-Encoder, Universal Computer Graphics, 1984-1986. Color artwork for scanned reflection/texture maps. Orthographic drawings for digitizing; built polygonal databases using IMI NEWENCODE; produced rendered images with Universal rendering software. Designed and executed animation using Wavefront PREVIEW on IMI 500 for vector and raster filming. Designed lighting situations for raster animation. Programmed animation for television on Amiga, Apple II, and IBM PC-XT.

Illustrator/Visual Effects Art Director/Miniature Construction Supervisor, Future Flight; Arnold Shapiro Productions. Designed and constructed future spacecraft miniatures and planned effects sequences for five types: Lunar Shuttle, Solar Sails, Asteroid Mover, Outer Planet Explorer, and Interstellar Vehicle.

Illustrator/Designer, The Last Starfighter, Digital Productions for Universal Studios and Lorimar Productions, 1983. Complete restoryboarding of spacecraft motions and other simulated scenes; original drafting of "Ko-Dan" enemy mothership for encoding; Starfighter base mountain contour drawings for encoding. All planetary surface texture maps: Earth, Rylos, Earth's Moon, Rylos Moon, Saturn, Pluto, plus close-up section of Rylos capital city.

Author and Illustrator, Starships: Blueprinting the Next Giant Leap, feature article for Science Digest magazine, May 1983. Wrote and illustrated lead section covering four different interstellar spacecraft concepts; coordinated related articles by Dr. Robert Bussard and Dr. Robert Forward.

Amazing Stories; Amblin Entertainment
Rich and Famous; MGM Film Company
Enola Gay; The Production Company and Viacom Enterprises for NBC.
World War III; Finnigan Associates for NBC Television.
The Black Hole; Walt Disney Productions.

Gallery Hangings and Collections:
Visions of Other Worlds; Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater, San Diego
Visions of Other Worlds; Gates Planetarium, Denver
Traveling Exhibition, Other Worlds; Association of Science and Technical Centers, various locations around United States
Society of Illustrators Science Fiction Show, New York
Earthlight Gallery, Boston
Dream Masters, Los Angeles
Noyes, Van Kline, and Davenport, New York
American Museum of Natural History, Hayden Planetarium; one-man show, New York
National Air and Space Museum/Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
University of Melbourne
University of Connecticut

Other Clients and Employers:
Data Products
Random House
Smithsonian Magazine
Analog Magazine
Astronomy Magazine
Science Digest
Time-Life Books
Sky and Telescope
G.P. Putnam's Sons