Deck designs, à la Ron Cobb.



Ron Cobb’s artistry enabled him to create very realistic and believable science fiction designs, but they also endowed many of them with a mood fitting for the movie for which they were intended.

As we see here in this corridor design Cobb drew for ALIEN, the lower decks of the human spaceship (which later became the Nostromo) look like what you would expect to see on a weary freighter, either space-borne or terrestrial:


from The Book of ALIEN: “a C-level passageway designed to look like the moldering interior of a tramp steamer.”


I don’t know about you, but just seeing the placement of the fellow with the flashlight, the decrepit look of the corridor, and the “Fusion Grids” arrow indicating the creepy tunnel continues to another perhaps even creepier destination…all of these things combine into a rather dramatic piece of artwork.

But I would also point out to to you the interesting three-tiered diagram at the bottom of the drawing. Here, Cobb has sketched the layout of the three-deck ship imagined at that point in the production:


Detail of Cobb’s deck diagram. Notice the C-Deck level (in orange) at the bottom? It’s shape matches the shape of the corridor drawing.


Passageway (Ron Cobb)
Ron Cobb’s “Passageway – First Level”


Passageway (Ron Cobb)
Ron Cobb’s “Passageway – Second Level”


Passageway (Ron Cobb)
Ron Cobb’s “Passageway – Third Level”



Cobb was a master artist who told great stories with the complex pieces he drew. Production work like this proves the point quite nicely.




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