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Old January 28 2013, 11:21 AM   #53
Fleet Captain
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

BillJ wrote: View Post

I think its more an issue with how the model is lit than an issue with the model itself. The CBS-D team seemed to over saturate the lighting in many of the space scenes.
I think you mean "overexpose," but that's not it either. The original shot is lit from the side, while the CGI is lit from above and behind. Angle of incidence equals angle of reflectance, so the CGI lighting is literally bouncing straight into the camera like a tennis serve. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it robs the model of scale.

I believe 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY was the first movie to use "kit bashing" as a means to detail miniatures. The riot of "nurnies" break up the light and give the eye something to fix on for a sense of scale. The "windows" on the Enterprise were added for this reason. (One could otherwise argue how unlikely it would be to find actual windows on a starship, no matter what exotic materials and force fields they might have.) Since the Enterprise can't be nurnied, the artists should have turned to specular mapping.

"Specularity" is the term for glossiness. A high specularity with very little diffusion suggests a hard surface that is extremely smooth, like a billiard ball. Lower the specularity a bit and diffuse (spread out) the spot of light and the billiard ball becomes a plastic ball with a faintly rough surface. And so on down the line until there is no gloss at all for surfaces such as cloth, or matte finish paint.

The specularity of a model does not need to be uniform. In the example below, the Orion III shuttle from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, there is a specular spot on the starboard wing from lighting very similar to the CGI Enterprise shot. First of all, there is a color map giving the model lighter and darker panels. In this case, the very same texture map was applied to the specular channel. Thus the lighter and darker panels give the wing more or less "gloss."

The specularity map can be different from the color map and still make a visible difference. Naturally, the specular effects will show only when catching the light. So specularity is easiest to see with movement.

But the original Enterprise model is smooth!

So it is. Perhaps futuristic construction techniques will produce hull plating that is seamlessly smooth, thus making a starship look deceptively small or "unreal" (like CGI) even to the naked eye. But some concession must be made to 20th century audiences expecting certain cues—such as windows, or a "swish" as the ship flashes by.
"No, I better not look. I just might be in there."
—Foghorn Leghorn, Little Boy Boo
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