How about using a videogame-engine for the rendering of 3-D CGI environments? Why? Once you build the various ships interiors and exteriors CGI models the actual animation would be done by motion capture data and rendered by a game console.
As a plus alien characters such as The Borg would be easily duplicated as the humanoids all mostly look alike. Lots of 'extras' in the background for production value...
What about the idea of selling a Trek videogame for PS3 and XBOX360 for $20. and then instead of game expansion packs you have 'scripted episodes' that are sold afterward for $5. as downloads and the in-game engine renders these WATCH-ONLY episodes?
If a Trek animated series could look like this:
43 screenshots that show off what level we are at of actual gameplay in 2009.
or this video of it:
'graphic and physics demo' of the environments
It is not just a 3D CGI environment but now it is lighting effects and atmospheric effects (smoke, fog, haze, mist) that adds a lot of realism.
this video shows off the animation of characters in closeups at 36 seconds as well as slow motion action shots:
A whole series could be created in a much cheaper way. The PS3 and XBOX360 doing the playback.
At the end of the 'season' of episodes a Blu-ray/DVD disc is sold with all of them.
I'm not talking about the upcoming 'Star Trek Online' videogame but a dedicated download scripted episode to playback.
The general model for 'Star Trek Online' videogame would be $30. for initial purchase and then a monthly subscription fee of around $15.
I'm proposing something much less costly for consumers. As a plus you would be able to explore the environments in great detail created by pausing the game and flying around like the above video 'graphic and physics demo' of the environments shows of the Alan Wake game.
Think about that. Being able to fly around the 'set' of a scripted episode for every scene and explore it. that has NEVER
been available before for a scripted series.
The only close to it was a videogame sold where you could explore the Enterprise-D.
"TNG Interactive Technical Manual"
which lets you explore the major TNG sets via Quicktime VR (photos turned into 360 degree views)
but those were only photographs turning left and right. I'm talking about being able to explore the virtual sets used for these locations and scenes in 3D CGI in detail from any angle or height on those sets.
reuse the music from TNG, Voyager, and Enterprise episodes. It's good enough...
The other thing is if downloadable episodes were done they wouldn't have to adhere to a time constricted TV schedule for 13 or 22 episodes. Each 30-60 minute episode would be available say every 2 or 3 months. So in 1 years time you would have a 4 hour miniseries total that would be 'available on BluRay'/iTunes to watch all together. Maybe customers who purchased the episodes as a download would get 50% off the Blu-Ray or iTunes download later?