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

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Old October 19 2013, 01:54 AM   #16
ZapBrannigan
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

Mark 2000 wrote: View Post
Zap, I'm pretty sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that in SD and even b/w it wasn't apparent. I don't know how they were checking the footage, but it couldn't have been on a wall projector. I never saw all the blue screen errors on the E until I saw the HD footage.
Nah, Melakon and Trevanian are right. We saw the wavering, transparent nacelle defect for years on our old TVs. HD and a big flatscreen just make it stand out even more.
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Old October 19 2013, 04:09 AM   #17
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

Blue screen spill is frequently caused caused by having the model too close to the screen, the reflectivity of the object (why ILM dulled down the refit), or improper lighting. If you overdrive the light on the bluescreen and don't put enough light on the model to overcome any bounce, you're asking for trouble. Also, lab work can improve/degrade a matte, so chances are they eyeballed the shot and it looked ok, but when they went to the matte-pass step it wasn't as clean as it could have been.
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Old October 19 2013, 04:30 AM   #18
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

I followed the development of the R2 1/350 Enterprise on Hobbytalk as well as received updates on the kit's progress (prior to release) because I was one of the 1701 Club members to get a Premire version of the kit. Gary Kerr, who researched the TOS E for the model (and is now working on the Galileo shuttlecraft kit) mentioned that there had been some talk of adding a light effect to the inboard sides of the nacelles, but it was deemed to expensive to go back and rework the 11 footer so the idea was dropped. It doesn't look like they were hellbent on doing it, but for the sake of completion R2 decided to include the option for lit nacelles for those who might like to explore the "what if" option. I don't recall a specific colour being mentioned so it really is up to the individual modeller.

Many years ago I played with the idea in Photoshop and did some images with blue or cyan lit nacelles along the inboard trenches. To me it just never looked right, but then I could easily be conditioned to seeing it the way it has always been onscreen.
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Old October 19 2013, 04:42 AM   #19
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

ZapBrannigan wrote:
Nah, Melakon and Trevanian are right. We saw the wavering, transparent nacelle defect for years on our old TVs. HD and a big flatscreen just make it stand out even more.
On some of the Galileo 7 shots back in the 60s, you could even make out the garbage mattes against the starfield backgrounds. I think they tried to clean it up a little bit, but in those first season episodes, they were still trying to adapt motion picture techniques to television and it didn't always work.
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Old October 19 2013, 06:50 PM   #20
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

I've seen the memo, I can't remember where. I think it was from Roddenberry to Justman asking how much it would cost to add the lights to the trench. I think it was around $300 back then and the money was not available.
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Old October 19 2013, 11:19 PM   #21
Mark 2000
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Many years ago I played with the idea in Photoshop and did some images with blue or cyan lit nacelles along the inboard trenches. To me it just never looked right, but then I could easily be conditioned to seeing it the way it has always been onscreen.
If I ever get around to building it I'm considering just lighting it white with the photoetch mesh in front of it. Could be a nice. subtle effect, but I'd have to see it to decide.
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Old October 19 2013, 11:24 PM   #22
Warped9
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

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Old October 19 2013, 11:39 PM   #23
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

^That^ looks awesome!

Thanks, Warped9.
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Old October 20 2013, 05:34 AM   #24
Maurice
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

mach7 wrote: View Post
I've seen the memo, I can't remember where. I think it was from Roddenberry to Justman asking how much it would cost to add the lights to the trench. I think it was around $300 back then and the money was not available.
Somewhere? There aren't that many places production memos have been printed.
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Old October 20 2013, 06:23 AM   #25
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

TMOST has some memos about adding lights (I think to the windows), but I don't even remember them addressing the nacellecaps in that book.
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Old October 20 2013, 03:11 PM   #26
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
I followed the development of the R2 1/350 Enterprise on Hobbytalk as well as received updates on the kit's progress (prior to release) because I was one of the 1701 Club members to get a Premire version of the kit. Gary Kerr, who researched the TOS E for the model (and is now working on the Galileo shuttlecraft kit) mentioned that there had been some talk of adding a light effect to the inboard sides of the nacelles, but it was deemed to expensive to go back and rework the 11 footer so the idea was dropped. It doesn't look like they were hellbent on doing it, but for the sake of completion R2 decided to include the option for lit nacelles for those who might like to explore the "what if" option.
I enjoy thinking that was because of my suggestion to Gary that they make the trench grills separate parts molded in clear, which triggered an insane tirade from another poster who was an "expert" on plastic molding and insisted such a thing would make the kit cost skyrocket and the nacelles become too fragile. That poster's tirades pissed Gary off and made him WANT to do the trenches as separate parts just to piss HIM off.
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Old October 20 2013, 08:30 PM   #27
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?


"Blue spill" can happen in a variety of ways—not just when the model is "too close" to the background. First, one must understand what bluescreening is all about.

If one tries to make a composite shot, like the above shot of the Enterprise in front of a planet, by taking a double exposure, then then the two will be seen through each other, like ghosts. However, if one can "cut out" the Enterprise and stick it in front of the planet, the two won't show through each other. Masks to control this sort of exposure are called "mattes." When the mattes move, it is called a traveling matte. The oldest way of creating traveling mattes is with rotoscope, a manual technique named after a device invented by animator Max Fleischer.

Bluescreen is just one of perhaps hundreds of different "automatic" traveling matte techniques invented by filmmakers. Bluescreen became popular because it would be done with common film stock, and did not require any special lights, film stocks, or other exotic materials.

Bluescreen works on the very simple idea that blue things look dark through a red filter, and red things look dark through a blue filter. Take note of the blue background in the red and blue plates (top row) in the image below.


Now take note of what happens when the red plate is turned into a negative: the background becomes "white." Since the foreground subject is dark and light in opposite areas from the blue plate, placing the two plates on top of each other (called "bi-packing") results in the silhouette in the middle frame. This is one half of the matte.

Since film is clear where it appears white in this example, light will pass through. To create the composite, the black-on-white matte is bi-packed with the background and rephotographed. The film is rewound (without developing) and run for another pass, this time with the white-on-black matte bi-packed with the foreground subject. When the film is developed, one has a composite shot with no ghosting.

Of course, it's easier said than done. Bluescreen composites can suffer from a number of artifacts, like matte lines, "jigsawing" and other alignment problems. I won't go into detail about all of that here. In a pre-digital age, good mattes were a combination of art and science.

The "bite" taken out of the Enterprise's warp engine (top) resulted from some form of "spill light." Light might have bounced off the studio floor and shone on the darker underside of the model. One can try to control spill with additional white lights, or lights with a faintly orange filter in them, but then the model appears to glow, as it has no actual shadows. "Spill" might also result from "specularity," as 3D modelers call it. Take note of the composite below. The table has a shiny finish, which allows us to see the white screen as it appeared on the set.


(The DP should have used a black screen. Then, budget permitting, the compositor could have exposed the "video" image inverted and blurred out on the table to make it look like a reflection.)

If even a little blue appeared on the Enterprise model, the lab tech would have a hard time extracting a clean matte. The solid black mattes of the woman shown above (last two frames) were printed on "litho" film, which is absolute black or white. (Black areas on color film are actually semi-transparent, and thus no good for mattes.) Any gray areas would cut to either black or white, or produce speckly noise—like the bite taken out of the warp engine.

Today's compositors, working with digital tools, have the ultimate in control. I've gabbed too long already, so I won't go into digital tools. However, if you want to know how the old-timers did it (pardon the pun), I highly recommend THE TECHNIQUE OF SPECIAL EFFECTS CINEMATOGRAPHY by Raymond Fielding, Focal Press. The book is available in print and ebook format.
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Old October 21 2013, 08:40 PM   #28
mach7
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

Maurice wrote: View Post
mach7 wrote: View Post
I've seen the memo, I can't remember where. I think it was from Roddenberry to Justman asking how much it would cost to add the lights to the trench. I think it was around $300 back then and the money was not available.
Somewhere? There aren't that many places production memos have been printed.
Yah, I know.

I'll try and find it. I seem to remember it was in the last few years. It might have been in one of the R2/Enterprise articles Gary Kerr wrote for Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I'll check.
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Old October 21 2013, 08:52 PM   #29
Warped9
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

mach7 wrote: View Post
Maurice wrote: View Post
mach7 wrote: View Post
I've seen the memo, I can't remember where. I think it was from Roddenberry to Justman asking how much it would cost to add the lights to the trench. I think it was around $300 back then and the money was not available.
Somewhere? There aren't that many places production memos have been printed.
Yah, I know.

I'll try and find it. I seem to remember it was in the last few years. It might have been in one of the R2/Enterprise articles Gary Kerr wrote for Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I'll check.
Thats right. Thats where I recall reading it as well.
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Old October 21 2013, 10:09 PM   #30
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Re: Lit nacelle trenches?

The trenches should be an easier lighting job than the naclle domes. In not too many years curved displays will be the rage, and it might be easier to do a computer graphic skin on a dome shaped screen showing the TOS effect rather than having an actual electromechanical system.
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