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Old June 14 2013, 05:51 AM   #1
GalaxyX
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Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

So out of sheer boredom, I've been watching Enterprise, and I'm loving the style of the phaser beams.

I love how they are instantaneous, like an energy beam should be. They are clearly not "light speed" as we saw from "Broken Bow" (We could see the carrier beam hit first before the actual energy beam rode on top of it in that temporal chamber room) but at least they don't take 5 second to reach a target that is 2 meters away like every other Trek series (including JJ Trek, which so far, has the weakest incarnation of phaser energy)

Star Trek 6 was almost as good as Enterprise in the way it depicted phaser beam now that I think about it as well. I wish those beams would make it back to Trek
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Old June 14 2013, 08:35 AM   #2
Mario de Monti
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Yeah, absolutely. I also like the fact, that in ENT you actually get to see the phase cannons. They´re a real piece of hardware, not just some bump or strip on a vessel´s surface.
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Old June 14 2013, 10:10 AM   #3
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

The phaser and photon(ic) torpedo effects in Enteprise were exactly the same as the ones in TNG, DS9 and VOY, weren't they? I recall thinking it odd in-universe that Starfleet would change the look of their weapons a couple of times in the 23rd century (the Abrams' movies' effects are based on the ones seen in TMP and WoK), then switch back to the way they used to be - and incredibly lazy IRL that they ignored the way they looked in TOS and the classic movies and just reused the old effects for a show set 200 years before.

Also, the USS Kelvin's TOS-style red ship-mounted phaser beams seen at the start of STXI were instantaneous. And the ENT phase pistols unfortunately looked to me like futuristic hair dryers :-/
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Old June 14 2013, 11:22 AM   #4
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Five seconds is an exaggeration.

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
Also, the USS Kelvin's TOS-style red ship-mounted phaser beams seen at the start of STXI were instantaneous.
They weren't quite that fast. If you look at any shots where we get to see the phaser both firing and hitting, it still takes a moment to reach the target. Still pretty quick though.
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Old June 14 2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
They are clearly not "light speed" as we saw from "Broken Bow" (We could see the carrier beam hit first before the actual energy beam rode on top of it in that temporal chamber room)
That wasn't a "carrier beam." Remember, everything that happened in that room was echoed/doubled. You'd see a person start to move, and then there'd be a second image that would be delayed by a beat before it started to move. You'd hear echoes when a person talked. And, by the same token, you'd see a phase pistol beam get fired twice.



King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
The phaser and photon(ic) torpedo effects in Enteprise were exactly the same as the ones in TNG, DS9 and VOY, weren't they? I recall thinking it odd in-universe that Starfleet would change the look of their weapons a couple of times in the 23rd century (the Abrams' movies' effects are based on the ones seen in TMP and WoK), then switch back to the way they used to be - and incredibly lazy IRL that they ignored the way they looked in TOS and the classic movies and just reused the old effects for a show set 200 years before.
There you're confusing the way the filmmakers chose/were able to represent the effect with how it would've looked in-universe. It stands to reason that the less sophisticated FX animation techniques of the '60s would've produced different results. Roddenberry himself saw the designs and FX of TOS as merely the best approximation he was able to achieve with the available techniques, which is why he was happy to change them when better techniques came along (as in TMP, where he redesigned the Klingons and asked fans to accept that they'd always looked that way).
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Old June 21 2013, 06:43 AM   #6
OpenMaw
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

I dunno. I think TWOK had the best mix. The phaser pulses felt very dangerous as they cut into the ships. The hand phasers had a very nice effect. (The vaporize was quite brutal and made the phaser actually seem like a truly deadly weapon.)

The thing I did like about Enterprise era beam weapons is that they weren't long duration blasts like in TNG/VOY/DS9. They were just quick FSST shots.

Slightly OT, but all the weapons and gadgets used by the MACO's were well done, too.
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Old June 27 2013, 09:05 AM   #7
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

The ship phasers used most in nuTrek seem to be some variation of the pulse cannon type phasers on the Defiant in DS9...

But I think they have the cutting-beam type too, we just don't see them as often, unfortunately.

The hand phasers in nuTrek seem to fire in pulses too, rather than in beams - which I don't think we've ever seen before in Trek. (I like to imagine that with all those knobs and dials we saw on the TOS phasers, different settings and different *combinations of setting* can change the way the phaser fires, not only from "stun" to "kill" - and "heat" - but from a beam to a pulse, or from a thin to a wide beam, etc. Unfortunately, for all the Alternate Universe's advanced technology, the nuTrek phasers, just like the Eneterpise-era phase pistols, just seem to have two settings - stun and kill.)
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Old June 27 2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

bryce wrote: View Post
The ship phasers used most in nuTrek seem to be some variation of the pulse cannon type phasers on the Defiant in DS9...

But I think they have the cutting-beam type too, we just don't see them as often, unfortunately.
On the Kelvin at least, the classic TMP-style dual mount phasers still fire in beams. The pulse phasers on that ship seem to be a sort of additional CIWS (close-in weapon system) like the Phalanx on modern ships. Rapid-fire last line of defense anti-missile phasers. The Enterprise, at the end of the first movie, uses the main phasers like that in pulses against both Nero's ship and his torpedoes.
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Old June 27 2013, 03:57 PM   #9
bullethead
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

bryce wrote: View Post
The hand phasers in nuTrek seem to fire in pulses too, rather than in beams - which I don't think we've ever seen before in Trek. (I like to imagine that with all those knobs and dials we saw on the TOS phasers, different settings and different *combinations of setting* can change the way the phaser fires, not only from "stun" to "kill" - and "heat" - but from a beam to a pulse, or from a thin to a wide beam, etc. Unfortunately, for all the Alternate Universe's advanced technology, the nuTrek phasers, just like the Eneterpise-era phase pistols, just seem to have two settings - stun and kill.)
The First Contact phaser rifles could fire pulses or beams.
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Old June 27 2013, 09:16 PM   #10
GalaxyX
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

That wasn't a "carrier beam." Remember, everything that happened in that room was echoed/doubled. You'd see a person start to move, and then there'd be a second image that would be delayed by a beat before it started to move. You'd hear echoes when a person talked. And, by the same token, you'd see a phase pistol beam get fired twice.
I don't know if I agree with this. We see two separate beams, one skinny beam that actually hits Archer but doesn't harm him, then a secondary, much thicker beam rides on top of the first beam, and this is the one that Archer avoids.

First time I saw it, it reminded me of current tests to try and channel electric bolts with a carrier laser that ionises the way, creating a current path. Theoretically you could fire beams of lightning this way in the same style you see phasers work.
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Old June 27 2013, 11:50 PM   #11
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

^But everything that happened in that chamber happened twice, echoing. However the beam may have been rendered, there's no reason to doubt that it was echoing in time the same way as every other motion and line of dialogue. The apparent thinness of the original beam relative to the second beam was most likely an illusion. The beam grew dimmer toward the edges; the first iteration of the beam was dimmer overall, half-faded out, and thus its edges were dim enough not to stand out from the background illumination (though, checking a screencap of the shot at TrekCore, I can see them faintly). But when the whole beam was seen more brightly and clearly, then the edges were bright enough to stand out against the background, thus creating the illusion that the beam was wider. It's pretty common for the human eye to perceive brighter lights as "spread out" more than dimmer lights because of this effect.

Just to verify it, here's the original episode script:

Archer hears the footsteps again, but this time he sees
something --a slight DISTORTION against the far wall. He
quickly FIRES! A blurred PRE-ECHO of the shot precedes the
blast itself.
...
Silik FIRES the pistol! The PRE-ECHO HITS Archer square in
the chest, but before the real beam can reach him, Archer
DARTS to his left and the blast MISSES him by inches!
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Old June 28 2013, 04:06 AM   #12
GalaxyX
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Christopher wrote: View Post
^But everything that happened in that chamber happened twice, echoing. However the beam may have been rendered, there's no reason to doubt that it was echoing in time the same way as every other motion and line of dialogue. The apparent thinness of the original beam relative to the second beam was most likely an illusion. The beam grew dimmer toward the edges; the first iteration of the beam was dimmer overall, half-faded out, and thus its edges were dim enough not to stand out from the background illumination (though, checking a screencap of the shot at TrekCore, I can see them faintly). But when the whole beam was seen more brightly and clearly, then the edges were bright enough to stand out against the background, thus creating the illusion that the beam was wider. It's pretty common for the human eye to perceive brighter lights as "spread out" more than dimmer lights because of this effect.

Just to verify it, here's the original episode script:

Archer hears the footsteps again, but this time he sees
something --a slight DISTORTION against the far wall. He
quickly FIRES! A blurred PRE-ECHO of the shot precedes the
blast itself.
...
Silik FIRES the pistol! The PRE-ECHO HITS Archer square in
the chest, but before the real beam can reach him, Archer
DARTS to his left and the blast MISSES him by inches!
Lol! shite! And here I thought that Bermaga had done their research into channeling energy into coherent beams, but it was all supposed to be some kind of time distortion effect instead?

Damn, I'm disappointed

I still like the beams thruout the series though. I'd kill to have those beams in TNG instead
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Old June 29 2013, 08:47 PM   #13
publiusr
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Now I love the attention to detail anime gives to directed energy beams.
http://www.itcamefromjapan.com/SHMon...dai_p_277.html
The toho superweapon books were nice--I wish I had picked them up

My favorite so far was from the remake of Invaders from Mars where you had rings surrounding the beams.

Sadly real beams will be invisible active denial beams. Very contentrated beams might be rather like an invisible Jason Voorhees looping through victims with monofiliment lines.

You see people silently cut in two, limbs falling off perhaps. Ugh.

Laser/phser fights seem more like squirt gun fights with the beam splattering on contact with people, where they just grad their chest and fall down stunned.

I wish that was all that ever happened on the battle field.

The electrolaser is about as good as it will ever get with non-lethal weapons that don't have wires, shotgun shells.
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Old July 1 2013, 09:31 PM   #14
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Talos wrote: View Post
bryce wrote: View Post
The ship phasers used most in nuTrek seem to be some variation of the pulse cannon type phasers on the Defiant in DS9...

But I think they have the cutting-beam type too, we just don't see them as often, unfortunately.
On the Kelvin at least, the classic TMP-style dual mount phasers still fire in beams. The pulse phasers on that ship seem to be a sort of additional CIWS (close-in weapon system) like the Phalanx on modern ships. Rapid-fire last line of defense anti-missile phasers.
The problem with this is Kelvin's pulse weapons were never used to shoot down Nero's missiles and appear to be aimed at the Narada itself. They are, accordingly, more likely to be some kind of quick-firing multi-turbe torpedo launcher in an anti-ship role (with possibly smaller-than-average torpedoes).
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Old July 2 2013, 01:45 PM   #15
Timo
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Re: Enterprise had the best looking phaser beams

Those white pulses were Captain Robau's first choice for meeting the Nero threat, though. George Kirk in the second exchange of fire added the red beams, which had more success in the task of defending the Kelvin and later also the shuttles.

We might speculate that the pulses are an old-fashioned CIWS system, perhaps a successor of the similar looking "plasma gun" peashooters we saw on Archer's ship in "Broken Bow" and later on various civilian ENT vessels. Until the Narada encounter, these would have been good enough for dealing with incoming sublight projectiles, so Robau would base his defensive stance on these weapons. But Nero's missiles would be tougher and more maneuverable than the average projectile, so Kirk would have to start using weapons theoretically more suited for antiship use.

Sure, these might be offensive weapons, but Robau would have little reason to use such - and Kirk didn't seem to have time to spare for firing at Nero.

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