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Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old January 27 2013, 11:22 PM   #46
Metryq
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Sometimes "less" actually yields "more" but try telling this to the CGI artists.
I'm glad this hasn't turned into a general "I hate all CGI effects" grouch-fest. And I've heard many people make exactly that statement. Yet I can guarantee that hundreds of CGI and digitally composited effects have slipped under their radars, and they never knew it.

I like many of the new digital effects for TOS, especially the "scene extensions" (aka "matte paintings"). I just don't like most of them in context because they don't match the rest of the show. And there's more to matching up the new work with the old than a "noise" or faux film grain filter.

Many artists have made an effort to "grunge" up their textures and apply other weathering to their renderings. This helps greatly in minimizing the ultra-clean look that CGI is notorious for. But one can still go another step further.

Older cameras and technology have certain artifacts that we have become accustomed to seeing. While engineers have been busting their butts to eliminate such artifacts (dirt, grain, scratches, lens distortions, compound lens flares and "bokeh," etc.), computer artists have been busting their butts to emulate it. It's crazy. The Blu-ray or collector's edition DVD of Pixar's WALL•E has an excellent supplement on this subject titled "The Imperfect Lens."

One "artifact" of real locations (as opposed to studios) is the quality of the light—too strong highlights, too deep blacks, etc. Field DPs fix these problems with diffusers and reflectors, but they never completely eliminate that distinctive quality of real outdoor lighting. Likewise, the look of outdoor lighting is rarely recreated in the studio. CGI is another matter entirely. If the artist is willing to make the image less-than-perfect, they may find the key to shots that look more "realistic" to the audience.

Photo-realism may not be the key, however. TOS has a very stage-like feel to it—the sets that look like stage flats, the theatrically colored and patterned lights, and often a very stage-like "blocking" of the actors. The diffuse, "non-directional" light in most of the miniature shots thus matched the theatrical look of the live action.

From the posts I've read, it is obvious that many members here are either production professionals, or are serious hobbyists. If you wish to tinker with 3D rendering and animation, but don't know where to start, take a look at Blender, an open source "free" 3D animation package. There are abundant tutorials and animations on-line. And Blender is easily the peer of many commercial packages costing thousands (plural) of dollars.

POST SCRIPT—Whether or not a digital image or effect flies may not be the fault of the artists who created it. I know of many instances, some from personal experience, where a micro-managing director or producer "knows better" than the artist who has been doing the work for a long time. A director should at least give his artists enough elbow room to demonstrate their point-of-view. If time and money are tight, and the director is unwilling to trust his artists even a little, then good artists might still turn out crap.
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Old January 27 2013, 11:59 PM   #47
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I've always loved this sequence seen rarely. The ship comes right at you and really conveys a sense of size and mass. Love it!

That's one I actually don't care for (if it's the one I think it is), because it looks to me like a zoom
on the model, instead of an actual movement of the camera, which would give a better illusion
of depth.

lt's too bad forum software doesn't automatically resize images over certain dimensions.
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Old January 28 2013, 03:38 AM   #48
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Melakon wrote: View Post

This was the angle I was thinking of. I couldn't find it at Memory Alpha as they seem to be replacing a lot of the original studio model shots with remastered versions.


This is a case where the original is tough to compete with. They should have taken another pass at it.

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Old January 28 2013, 03:41 AM   #49
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post

This was the angle I was thinking of. I couldn't find it at Memory Alpha as they seem to be replacing a lot of the original studio model shots with remastered versions.


This is a case where the original is tough to compete with. They should have taken another pass at it.

The cgi version looks bland and uninspired. It does indeed look like a plastic model.
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Old January 28 2013, 04:15 AM   #50
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Grant wrote: View Post
And Scotty's lack of a phaser beam in Naked Time, etc, etc
This is the only shot that literally pisses me off. When I was six or seven, that invisible beam seemed incredibly cool and futuristic. An ability to cut without a visible flame or beam.

Sometimes they killed the viewer imagination part of the show.
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Old January 28 2013, 04:18 AM   #51
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post
Melakon wrote: View Post

This was the angle I was thinking of. I couldn't find it at Memory Alpha as they seem to be replacing a lot of the original studio model shots with remastered versions.


This is a case where the original is tough to compete with. They should have taken another pass at it.

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.
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Old January 28 2013, 07:02 AM   #52
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

I have a beautiful Enterprise 3d model (which I did not build), and I think even I can light it better than that cgi one above. But then again, I don't call myself an artist.
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Old January 28 2013, 11:21 AM   #53
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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.
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Old January 28 2013, 11:43 AM   #54
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Melakon wrote: View Post
I have a beautiful Enterprise 3d model (which I did not build), and I think even I can light it better than that cgi one above. But then again, I don't call myself an artist.
Go for it! In the professional world, CGI artists usually specialize, just as live action production people do. There are specialists who build models, "rig" models, texture models, light scenes, animate objects and cameras and so on. While one artist may do more than one job, it is common for bigger productions to have specialists at each stage of the "pipeline."

While it may be hard to nail down any one "most important" artist, lighting is certainly high on that list. How one lights a scene may depend on the rendering engine used. CGI artists can actually do many things real world DPs cannot do—such as apply "negative" lighting.

If CGI lighting directors have so much control, why don't more CGI shots look better?

"Better" is a subjective term, and lighting is an art. Older rendering engines may require the lighting director to know more about the physical behavior of light and demand more work to emulate it. Newer rendering engines may emulate the behavior of light more realistically, and thus require the artist to unlearn old habits and learn how real world DPs do their lighting. Andrew Price mentions this in his excellent "Introduction to the Cycles Rendering Engine." (I recommend all of Andrew's tutorial videos, even if one is not using Blender.)
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Old January 28 2013, 01:11 PM   #55
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

[QUOTE=Metryq;7602850]
BillJ wrote: View Post
the Orion III shuttle from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

45 years later, and the Orion III still competes with decades of sci-fi ships that followed it.

Remarkable, beautiful design.
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Old January 28 2013, 01:33 PM   #56
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

TREK_GOD_1 wrote: View Post
45 years later, and the Orion III still competes with decades of sci-fi ships that followed it.

Remarkable, beautiful design.
I concur. Interesting, though, that the artist used the Airfix model kit and not the superior Aurora model kit as reference. The erroneous square windows of the Airfix model kit (in contrast to the correct slim windows of the Aurora one) are quite a give-away (first thing I corrected on my Airfix model...)

Bob
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Old January 28 2013, 01:42 PM   #57
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

The Orion III and other models are available from the 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 3D Modeling Archive.

http://www.2001-3d-archive.info
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Old January 28 2013, 07:20 PM   #58
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

ZapBrannigan wrote: View Post

What's with the checkerboard pattern?
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Old January 28 2013, 09:02 PM   #59
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

A beaker full of death wrote: View Post
What's with the checkerboard pattern?
Spock threw a tantrum the last time Kirk beat him at 3D chess, and broke the board. So now they're going to suit up and play a game out on the hull. (Kirk would be advised to double-check his magnetic soles before going topside. It's not wise to upset Vulcans or Wookiees.)
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Old January 28 2013, 09:49 PM   #60
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Re: FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Metryq wrote: View Post
Spock threw a tantrum the last time Kirk beat him at 3D chess, and broke the board. So now they're going to suit up and play a game out on the hull. (Kirk would be advised to double-check his magnetic soles before going topside. It's not wise to upset Vulcans or Wookiees.)
At least that's an explanation.

Now, can these large CGI displays of the Enterprise please stop? My stomach feels very upset again.

Bob
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