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Old December 22 2008, 11:01 PM   #1
The Creeper
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Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Have you ever noticed how phaser streams almost always seem to go out the emitter at an odd angle relative to its aim, why is that?
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Old December 22 2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

The real question is how the user tells the phaser where to direct the beam. There's nothing strange with a "steerable" particle beam or laser.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

"Steearable" beams may be possible but, IIRC, that idea is not canon, at least not yet.

How hard can it be for the FX Co. doing the effect to align the beam with the shooters aim?
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Old December 22 2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

It's quite simple, the actors aren't pointing the props in exactly the right direction... they should stick laser pointers in them.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:21 PM   #5
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

I could have sworn there was a scene in Deep Space Nine where Kira was reviewing the features of various hand weapons and she hefted the Federation rifle and one of the features she mentioned was the tracking servos/system... and she mentioned this was a remarkable feature but one of the reasons she preferred "simpler" weapons when "in the field..."

One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:31 PM   #6
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Mr. B wrote: View Post
It's quite simple, the actors aren't pointing the props in exactly the right direction... they should stick laser pointers in them.
I thought of that, (actors not pointing in right place) but dismissed it. That means the SFX person doing the shots knows better than the shooter what is being aimed at, & that doesn't make sense. His presumsumntion should be the shooter's aim is as true as can be thus lay out a straight beam along the phasers 'barrel'.

Union Elf wrote: View Post
I could have sworn there was a scene in Deep Space Nine where Kira was reviewing the features of various hand weapons and she hefted the Federation rifle and one of the features she mentioned was the tracking servos/system... and she mentioned this was a remarkable feature but one of the reasons she preferred "simpler" weapons when "in the field..."

One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
Interesting. I don't recall that but will check on it...

However, the effect is not limited to rifles, phasers have been seen doing it as well.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Union Elf wrote: View Post
One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
Actually, that was season 4's Return to Grace. Kira was travelling on a Cardassian freighter commanded by Dukat, and she was explaining the various weapons and their features to Ziyal in case they got boarded by Klingons.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Union Elf wrote: View Post
One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
Actually, that was season 4's Return to Grace. Kira was travelling on a Cardassian freighter commanded by Dukat, and she was explaining the various weapons and their features to Ziyal in case they got boarded by Klingons.
Ah! Thanks! So I guess that means "self-aiming phasers" are canon? (cannon? BUAHAHAHAHA)

As for aiming, perhaps slight pressure with your finger on the firing button steers the emitter and you get feedback through the same button telling you when the emitter is pointed at a target... Wouldn't be hard to set up actually... it'd require a bit of user-training to master but that holds true for "normal" firearms as well.
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Old December 22 2008, 11:55 PM   #9
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Simple answer? Actors dont honestly care where theyre aiming as long as it looks close. If the FX guys put the beam in straight to where the actor was aiming, it would most likely MISS the other actor who is pretending to be hit.
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Old December 23 2008, 12:05 AM   #10
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

In TNG's "The Vengeance Factor," Riker phasers some girl and the beam goes at an extreme downward angle to hit her in the chest. However, it appears that Jonathan Frakes was aiming at her head, so the outrageous angle was because the guys in post decided that having a girl get shot in the head wasn't family friendly or something.
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Old December 23 2008, 12:19 AM   #11
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Union Elf wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Union Elf wrote: View Post
One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
Actually, that was season 4's Return to Grace. Kira was travelling on a Cardassian freighter commanded by Dukat, and she was explaining the various weapons and their features to Ziyal in case they got boarded by Klingons.
Ah! Thanks! So I guess that means "self-aiming phasers" are canon? (cannon? BUAHAHAHAHA)
Yes, thanks f0r the clarificati0n.

As for aiming, perhaps slight pressure with your finger on the firing button steers the emitter and you get feedback through the same button telling you when the emitter is pointed at a target... Wouldn't be hard to set up actually... it'd require a bit of user-training to master but that holds true for "normal" firearms as well.
Sounds like a good idea but don't you still need to see the target to hit it..? And if you can see it then you can shoot straight at it thus eliminating any need to steer the beam.

I suppose a steerable beam could be an advantage for a moving target if the beam steers faster than swinging your arm or jerking your hand but again, has it been specifically stated phaser beams are steerable?

bullethead wrote: View Post
In TNG's "The Vengeance Factor," Riker phasers some girl and the beam goes at an extreme downward angle to hit her in the chest. However, it appears that Jonathan Frakes was aiming at her head, so the outrageous angle was because the guys in post decided that having a girl get shot in the head wasn't family friendly or something.
That is exactly the strange behavior from phasers I am talking about.
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Old December 23 2008, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Ghost Of Christmas Future wrote: View Post
bullethead wrote: View Post
In TNG's "The Vengeance Factor," Riker phasers some girl and the beam goes at an extreme downward angle to hit her in the chest. However, it appears that Jonathan Frakes was aiming at her head, so the outrageous angle was because the guys in post decided that having a girl get shot in the head wasn't family friendly or something.
That is exactly the strange behavior from phasers I am talking about.

F/X error. Apply a healthy dose of "suspension of belief" and remember it's pretend.

Riker is actually an unsporting bastard, he shot her in the head with a phaser set to SUPER-MAXIMUM ASSBURN and the real reason he did it was because he hated her cooking. OF COURSE they are going to "edit" the historical tapes to paint the Humans in a good light.
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Old December 23 2008, 12:39 AM   #13
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

From what I've read the design of the early TNG 'dustbuster' phaser made it very difficult for the actors involved to correctly line it up with the target, hence the odd angles as the SFX team tried to make it look right.
There's a couple of examples at
http://www.phasers.net/2360/type2db.htm
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Old December 23 2008, 12:46 AM   #14
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

The Badger wrote: View Post
From what I've read the design of the early TNG 'dustbuster' phaser made it very difficult for the actors involved to correctly line it up with the target, hence the odd angles as the SFX team tried to make it look right.
There's a couple of examples at
http://www.phasers.net/2360/type2db.htm
Great. Thank you. I'll accept this as a satisfactory explanation to my question.
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Old December 23 2008, 12:53 AM   #15
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Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Ghost Of Christmas Future wrote: View Post
Union Elf wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post

Actually, that was season 4's Return to Grace. Kira was travelling on a Cardassian freighter commanded by Dukat, and she was explaining the various weapons and their features to Ziyal in case they got boarded by Klingons.
Ah! Thanks! So I guess that means "self-aiming phasers" are canon? (cannon? BUAHAHAHAHA)
Yes, thanks f0r the clarificati0n.

Y0u're welc0me.
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