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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 5 2012, 07:52 PM   #1
Xerxes1979
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Why was the 2-foot model built?

In miniature photography bigger is usually better in nearly all cases.

Was the smaller Enterprise buit for quicker shooting deadlines using a smaller crew or was it needed for shooting against strange effects/explosions that would have been prohibitively expensive using six footer?

Was it filmed against the same blue screen as the six or elsewhere allowing multiple shots to be completed simultaneously?

What is the history of the two-foot model?
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Old December 5 2012, 08:05 PM   #2
evilnate
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

As far as I know, it was built primarily to accomplish far shots that would have required much more complicated and time consuming lens set ups, or a massive soundstage with the 6 foot model. It was/is common practice to build models of different scales to accomplish different shots.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

Bigger is better for close-ups, but for long shots, if the ship is far away from the camera, you want a smaller miniature, since a bluescreen stage is only so big and the camera can only move back so far. Here's ILM's model shop supervisor Jeff Mann from "Creating Special Effects for 'STAR TREK: The Next Generation" in Starlog's ST:TNG magazine issue 2, p. 28:
They asked us to build a six-foot Enterprise and a two-foot Enterprise; presumably, one for close-up beauty shots and one for long shots.
EDIT: Oops, just beaten to it.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:10 PM   #4
Xerxes1979
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

Can't you just scale a large model shot smaller in post production(I am guessing you could but it would take time and most likely look bad)?

What about movies like ROTJ? All the distance shots during the battle of Endor were done with small models or was ILM's shooting stage that big?

What about the distance shot of the Enterprise in TMP flying over V'ger from above? The TMP model was huge and massive.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:37 PM   #5
evilnate
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

I'm not sure about ROTJ, but I'd assume that it would have been a combination of different scale models and matte paintings. As far as scaling a model goes, sure, they could do that, but it's still more challenging to get a large model, shot at the correct angles into the frame. Plus, you have to remember that motion control means that you need room for the model to move. You could get better, more intricate movement with a smaller model.

In TMP, there was an extremely tiny refit-E model that was used for the V'Ger flyover. Less than a foot, I believe.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

ILM built the hero 6' model, and the 2' model. Both could be saucer separated. Both evilnate and Christopher are correct. The long shot wide-angle banking scenes of the two separate sections were easier to set up with the smaller model. To stage it with the 6' model at the same scaled distance, would require enough stage room for the camera to make that banking turn. And setting up the 6' foot model was likely more expensive on the budget. Most of the separations seen are recyclings from 'Encounter at Farpoint'.


Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
What about movies like ROTJ? All the distance shots during the battle of Endor were done with small models or was ILM's shooting stage that big?
Again, it's budget. You're asking for the comparison of a major motion picture with a single television episode's money to play with. ILM had more model makers, more effects artists, etc., to work with. I've not seen photos of the model redwood forest in years, but I think the trees were as tall as a man. Star Wars miniature sets were often fairly large. We can't always be sure if we're looking at just a miniature or one enhanced by a matte painting.
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Old December 5 2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

There's a lot of info about all the D models here: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Galaxy_class_model

I'm assuming this site is trustworthy and the information accurate.

It includes saying off-the-bat that the 2 foot can NOT saucer seper.

It's the four-footer that has always looked odd to me with its "ribbed for her pleasure" saucer.
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Old December 5 2012, 09:15 PM   #8
Melakon
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

BriGuy wrote: View Post
It includes saying off-the-bat that the 2 foot can NOT saucer seper.
I saw the 2-foot separation mentioned in a different Memory Alpha article. Your referenced article is more detailed, so probably more accurate.
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Old December 5 2012, 09:36 PM   #9
Christopher
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

My understanding has always been that only the 6-footer could separate the saucer. That's why they stopped using the saucer-sep maneuver in the show -- because the 6-footer was too unwieldy to work with, and it was the only separable one they had.
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Old December 5 2012, 09:42 PM   #10
BriGuy
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

According to that Mem Alpha entry, only the six footer can separate.
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Old December 5 2012, 11:08 PM   #11
jimbotron
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

It's the same reason ILM built an off-the-shelf AMT Enterprise model for the movies - the 6-footer just doesn't look right when scaled down.

Unfortunately, the effects team got tired of the 6-footer, so they used the 2-footer inappropriately during season 2. I don't think the janky-looking deflector was ever meant to be shown close-up. Between the 2 and 4, using the 4 going forward was the lesser of two evils. Thank goodness the 6-footer got to be used one last time in Generations (not counting BOBW).

BTW, if you are curious, the AMT Refit Enterprise was used in these shots:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...twokhd0802.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0143.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0154.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0980.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a.../tuchd2298.jpg

And here it is at auction: http://www.mutara.net/Christies/MiniEntA.html

I notice in The Schizoid Man in HD, the ship warps away from Graves' World still using the 6-foot model. The scaling gets pretty bad when it zooms away. Odd choice.

Also interesting that the 2-footer disappeared without a trace. I wonder if it will ever turn up. I saw the 4-foot model up close at a Star Trek exhibit. It looks awful. It still has scars from the All Good Things modifications.

Last edited by jimbotron; December 5 2012 at 11:23 PM.
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Old December 5 2012, 11:36 PM   #12
davejames
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

jimbotron wrote: View Post
It's the same reason ILM built an off-the-shelf AMT Enterprise model for the movies - the 6-footer just doesn't look right when scaled down.

Unfortunately, the effects team got tired of the 6-footer, so they used the 2-footer inappropriately during season 2. I don't think the janky-looking deflector was ever meant to be shown close-up. Between the 2 and 4, using the 4 going forward was the lesser of two evils. Thank goodness the 6-footer got to be used one last time in Generations (not counting BOBW).

BTW, if you are curious, the AMT Refit Enterprise was used in these shots:

http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...twokhd0802.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0143.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0154.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a...tsfshd0980.jpg
http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/a.../tuchd2298.jpg

And here it is at auction: http://www.mutara.net/Christies/MiniEntA.html

I notice in The Schizoid Man in HD, the ship warps away from Graves' World still using the 6-foot model. The scaling gets pretty bad when it zooms away. Odd choice.

Also interesting that the 2-footer disappeared without a trace. I wonder if it will ever turn up. I saw the 4-foot model up close at a Star Trek exhibit. It looks awful. It still has scars from the All Good Things modifications.
Wow, never realized they used the AMT model kit in the movies before (they sure made it look better than the crappy silver one I built as a kid!).

And yeah, it didn't really stand out much before, but in HD it's painfully clear that the 2-footer was relied on WAY too much in the second season.
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Old December 10 2012, 09:04 AM   #13
FreddyE
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

What? The 6-footer never got used again after season 1 until BOBW and Generations? Really?
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Old December 10 2012, 03:26 PM   #14
Christopher
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

FreddyE wrote: View Post
What? The 6-footer never got used again after season 1 until BOBW and Generations? Really?
Not quite. The 6-footer was used throughout season 2 and early season 3. The 4-foot miniature was introduced in season 3's "The Defector," and after that the 6-footer was only hauled out when they needed new footage of the ship in separated mode, which was basically just BOBW and GEN, yes.
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Old December 10 2012, 07:02 PM   #15
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Re: Why was the 2-foot model built?

Best part of the article for me:

The considerable efforts of ILM to outfit the the six-foot model with a new livery notwithstanding, unexpected reuse of stock footage of the model, shot for the television series, turned up in Generations in an establishing shot just prior to the scene in stellar cartography. As the model had been refurbished for the movie, its use constituted a continuity breach. "This created a problem later on, when Berman & Lauritson decided to save 12 cents and reuse a stock TNG flyby from the pilot for Generations (right before the Data/Picard cartography scene)…for that shot, you've got a very old ship element that they had to tweak like crazy to get it looking like the repainted D, not all that successfully
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