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

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Old March 7 2012, 03:07 AM   #1
plynch
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Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

While watching a third season ep tonight on normal DVD, I noticed the nacelles spikes somewhat visible on a flyby during the opening.

This is really "inside baseball," but I'm curious, did they animate/color over them with black so they would be hardly visible? Or did they leave 'em as is, and they just don't photograph well?

I would like to think they at least tried to hide em. Though the rear nacelle caps/no caps thing was never standardized due to the inexpense of using old footage.

Anybody know? Just wondering.
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Old March 7 2012, 03:26 AM   #2
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

They were removed between the 2nd pilot and the actual green light for the series..

or so I've been able to tell... but reuse of stock footage had them appear off and on throughout the original run..(this was fixed in TOS-R)

http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Constitution_class

They look black or maybe gunmetal..on my HDTV...but as they were matted in a bluescreen process they were more obvious than if they had been filmed against black velvet
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Old March 8 2012, 01:55 AM   #3
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

plynch wrote: View Post
While watching a third season ep tonight on normal DVD, I noticed the nacelles spikes somewhat visible on a flyby during the opening.
If the spikes were only partially visible, it’s because the stock flyby shots from the pilots were constantly re-used in new production episodes, with increasing image degradation each time the footage was printed another generation. Roto-matting the spikes out would have been a waste of time and money.
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Old March 8 2012, 05:10 AM   #4
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Well, I don't know if it would have been a waste, since golden spikes are SUCH a difference compared to the spinning, lighted nacelles of production. People at some point care about continuity sometimes, don't they?
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Old March 8 2012, 05:18 AM   #5
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Not in those days, they didn't.
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Old March 8 2012, 05:36 AM   #6
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

I actually love seeing the different versions of the two models on screen. Memory Alpha's article at http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Cons...on_class_model discusses a little about when the 3-footer was used on screen, and also lists the changes the 11-footer underwent and when.

ETA: MANT! beat me to it.
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Old March 8 2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

In my mind, I just rationalized them as some sort of retractable mechanism. Sometimes they're there, other times they must have been pulled in.
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Old March 8 2012, 03:53 PM   #8
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

In addition to the idea of retracting "antennae"(?), someone in the art forum (please forgive my faulty memory as to the name) depicted a series of draft renders to even rationalize the difference of the stern-ward structure of the nacelles, demostrating a mechanism to "retract" the "hemisphere" (present upon the production era 11 foot model) and cap the cowl with those multiple rows of "dots" (used in the 2nd pilot).

Of course, someone then pointed out the higher bridge dome in the two pilots, but I don't think he got around to devising a mechanism for that structure.

Some may feel that's way overthinking the issue, but I have to applaud the cleverness of the mental exercise.

Sincerely,

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Old March 8 2012, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Kirk: "Red alert! Retract the bridge."
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Old March 8 2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

scotpens wrote: View Post
plynch wrote: View Post
While watching a third season ep tonight on normal DVD, I noticed the nacelles spikes somewhat visible on a flyby during the opening.
If the spikes were only partially visible, it’s because the stock flyby shots from the pilots were constantly re-used in new production episodes, with increasing image degradation each time the footage was printed another generation. Roto-matting the spikes out would have been a waste of time and money.
If I may add a tad...

From my studies of the film, there are several major reasons why the effects shots using models were degraded:

1. Film Stock: Interpositive and internegative film copies were struck from the original camera negatives so that the OCNs could be safely stored away. As far as I can tell, most of the effects shots were done off of these intermediates (usually the interpositive). And, although they used fine grained and low contrast film to make these copies, contrast and grain build-up resulted in a reduction of quality in the final print, even in the absence of any optical printing (see #2 below). I have many of these interpositives in my collection, and they are dark and surprisingly grainy relative to the OCN.

2. Optical Printing: When the various optical elements (e.g., film of the model, film of the planet, film with the male and/or female mattes, etc.) were composited (printed together) in the printer, the final print was degraded due to slight focus issues, slight registration errors, hair and dust, fingerprints, contrast and grain build-up from multiple passes, etc.

3. Mattes: The male and female mattes they generated to isolate the foreground and background elements for the compositing were often the result of a color-separation step-printing process onto high-contrast black and white film. Generally, their quality varied considerably from shot-to-shot for reasons similar as discussed above. This was not a perfect process and did not always isolate the elements correctly. When parts of the Enterprise unintentionally appear to wink-out or vanish, it was usually a failure of the matte.

But you know, all things considered, I think it's amazing that the effects shots worked as well as they did!

Oops, sorry, maybe that was a little more than a tad...
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Old March 8 2012, 04:48 PM   #11
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Did any other shows of the mid to late 60s use optical matting for their effects? Irwin Allen's production usually relied upon "in camera" sequences like the Liedecker "flying wire" methods for the Jupiter II and other miniatures. Mattes were usually reserved for "window" shots like the crash sequence of the J2 vas seen upon the upper deck or giant octopi seen from the forward gallery of the Seaview.

But did any other series use opttical printing for spacecarft sequences? Seem,s Trek was one of the few (if possibly only) series to employ this technique usually reserved for the movies. It's rather like Babylon Five being the only TV show (at the time) to use CGI for most of their space shots. Now everyone does it, but B5 was one of the first. Was Trek one of the first TV shows to use optical printing extensively?

Sincerely,

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Old March 8 2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Redfern wrote: View Post
In addition to the idea of retracting "antennae"(?), someone in the art forum (please forgive my faulty memory as to the name) depicted a series of draft renders to even rationalize the difference of the stern-ward structure of the nacelles, demostrating a mechanism to "retract" the "hemisphere" (present upon the production era 11 foot model) and cap the cowl with those multiple rows of "dots" (used in the 2nd pilot).

Of course, someone then pointed out the higher bridge dome in the two pilots, but I don't think he got around to devising a mechanism for that structure.

Some may feel that's way overthinking the issue, but I have to applaud the cleverness of the mental exercise.

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old March 8 2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Ah ha! Blssdwlf! That's the name! Thanks, Mytran!

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old March 8 2012, 06:51 PM   #14
scotpens
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

Redfern wrote: View Post
Irwin Allen's production usually relied upon "in camera" sequences like the Lydecker "flying wire" methods for the Jupiter II and other miniatures. Mattes were usually reserved for "window" shots like the crash sequence of the J2 as seen upon the upper deck or giant octopi seen from the forward gallery of the Seaview.
Actually, all the views through the Seaview’s bow windows were done using rear projection on-set. The reason for the wide center divider between the two pairs of windows was so that two 16mm projectors could be used for the rear process shots.

But did any other series use opttical printing for spacecraft sequences? Seems Trek was one of the few (if possibly only) series to employ this technique usually reserved for the movies.
Men into Space (1959-1960) and The Outer Limits (1963-1965) used opticals for spaceship shots. In fact, Outer Limits reused models, full-size interior and exterior mockups, and stock FX footage from the earlier show.
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Old March 8 2012, 08:26 PM   #15
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Re: Nacelle Spikes on Cage Enterprise Footage

scotpens wrote: View Post
Actually, all the views through the Seaview’s bow windows were done using rear projection on-set. The reason for the wide center divider between the two pairs of windows was so that two 16mm projectors could be used for the rear process shots..
Rear projection was a common technique on Voyage, but it was used less and less often as the series wore on. Often they would have two tanks of water with bubbles rising to the surface whenever they didn't need anything in particular to be seen (this was used in the third season very often). And every once in a while, mattes were used (the episode The Mermaid for example), but mostly when we saw outside without having actors standing in front of the windows. In the last two years, you almost never saw the amazing rear projection shots of the nose broaching the surface. It was probably less time comsuming to just have bubbles and not have to worry about the footage running out and having to re-sync every new take.

My favorite aspect of Spock's Brain is the extensive (and frankly blatant) use of rear projection on the bridge as Kirk paces in front of the viewscreen. It's amazing and totally convincing.
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