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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

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

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Old April 5 2009, 10:06 PM   #1
Ronald Held
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planet/globe size

Does anyone know how large the globe was that they used for their planets? Also, was there one size or several?
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Old April 6 2009, 01:08 AM   #2
alchemist
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Re: planet/globe size

From American Cinematographer, October 1967:



(LEFT) On shooting stage of the Westheimer Company, Joseph Westheimer, ASC, prepares set-up for filming one of a multitude of vari-colored planets involved in the "Star Trek" series. Wide range of colors can be added to black-and-white planets by means of filter in front of the lamps, or by adding color during optical printing. (RIGHT) Planet model is geared to rotate slowly for filming at 24 fps...

This is a terrific article, BTW, and a must read if you haven't already.

Hope this helps,

Dave
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Old April 6 2009, 01:34 AM   #3
Praetor
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Re: planet/globe size

Funny that it's an 18" planet sphere for compositing with an 11-foot and 3-foot ship.
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Old April 6 2009, 01:37 AM   #4
trevanian
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Re: planet/globe size

Praetor wrote: View Post
Funny that it's an 18" planet sphere for compositing with an 11-foot and 3-foot ship.

Can't see how that is any more strange than a 6 ft rebel frigate model being drawn into a tiny 2" part of a 3 ft star destroyer, or pretty much any other matting situation. How big does that dumb spacedock interior have to be to look decent? I don't think the hemispheres used for slide projection earth planets at the end of TMP was more than a couple feet in diameter.
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Old April 6 2009, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: planet/globe size

trevanian wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Funny that it's an 18" planet sphere for compositing with an 11-foot and 3-foot ship.
Can't see how that is any more strange than a 6 ft rebel frigate model being drawn into a tiny 2" part of a 3 ft star destroyer, or pretty much any other matting situation.
Funny ≠ strange.
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Old April 6 2009, 02:02 AM   #6
Praetor
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Re: planet/globe size

NCC-1701 wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Funny that it's an 18" planet sphere for compositing with an 11-foot and 3-foot ship.
Can't see how that is any more strange than a 6 ft rebel frigate model being drawn into a tiny 2" part of a 3 ft star destroyer, or pretty much any other matting situation.
Funny ≠ strange.
Bingo.

The planet always looked tiny to me next to the Enterprise, no matter what planet it was supposed to be.

Generally, I wish the technology in the 60s had existed to film the 11-foot miniature in greater detail, at close and more interesting angles, with less loss in detail in the matting process.
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Old April 6 2009, 02:59 AM   #7
trevanian
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Re: planet/globe size

Praetor wrote: View Post
NCC-1701 wrote: View Post
trevanian wrote: View Post
Can't see how that is any more strange than a 6 ft rebel frigate model being drawn into a tiny 2" part of a 3 ft star destroyer, or pretty much any other matting situation.
Funny ≠ strange.
Bingo.

The planet always looked tiny to me next to the Enterprise, no matter what planet it was supposed to be.

Generally, I wish the technology in the 60s had existed to film the 11-foot miniature in greater detail, at close and more interesting angles, with less loss in detail in the matting process.
Geez, the TOS planets (except the RandMcNally ones) looked better than most TNG season 1 &2 planets. They had weather and depth and visual interest, instead of looking like an out of focus texture map.

As for shooting the ship, they DID get in close (and according to at least one account, the closer shots, which do NOT have matte problems, were shot against a practical starfield, not matted.) But some people bitch about the lack of detail on those shots because of the surface of the model, so you're exchanging one set of complaints for another. If you look at THE INVADERS or some of the better stuff in Allen shows, that is more clear evidence for the notion that superb closeup visual effects were achieved at that time (though possibly for more money.)

Going by your def, I still don't get the 'funny' part in the slightest with respect to planet shots, unless you are specifically relating to those terrible earth without clouds planets I refer to as RMcN. Then again, I speak English not Emoticon, so something is presumably missing in the translation.
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Old April 6 2009, 03:18 AM   #8
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: planet/globe size

Praetor wrote: View Post
Generally, I wish the technology in the 60s had existed to film the 11-foot miniature in greater detail, at close and more interesting angles, with less loss in detail in the matting process.
The technology existed; Star Trek didn't have the time or the money to get the work done well. Yeah, the ship image itself often looked as if it had been "printed" through several generations, and it wasn't at all uncommon for the matte elements to be misaligned such that the ship was leading or trailing the matte by a frame or two.

The planets looked better than we were used to on television, but they sure weren't convincing.
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Old April 6 2009, 04:44 AM   #9
Praetor
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Re: planet/globe size

trevanian wrote: View Post
Going by your def, I still don't get the 'funny' part in the slightest with respect to planet shots, unless you are specifically relating to those terrible earth without clouds planets I refer to as RMcN. Then again, I speak English not Emoticon, so something is presumably missing in the translation.
Funny/amusing in that the planet model was tiny next to the Enterprise in real life and that is how it appeared to me on screen in the finished effects as well.

TOS effects are hardly an issue for me. They are a product of their time and I admire them for what they are. (I happen to be one who actually does prefer physical miniatures 60% of the time.)

Starship Polaris wrote: View Post
Praetor wrote: View Post
Generally, I wish the technology in the 60s had existed to film the 11-foot miniature in greater detail, at close and more interesting angles, with less loss in detail in the matting process.
The technology existed; Star Trek didn't have the time or the money to get the work done well. Yeah, the ship image itself often looked as if it had been "printed" through several generations, and it wasn't at all uncommon for the matte elements to be misaligned such that the ship was leading or trailing the matte by a frame or two.
You're right; I should have been more specific that I wished they had done so. And the examples you cite are what I was talking about.

The planets looked better than we were used to on television, but they sure weren't convincing.
Bingo.
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Old April 6 2009, 09:49 AM   #10
c5maier
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Re: planet/globe size

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Does anyone know how large the globe was that they used for their planets? Also, was there one size or several?
To answer the second part of your question: Go to http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/in...s_planets1.htm. In that spectacular group of articles you will find every answer, even to questions you never thought you had.
(Besides it shows that on TOS-R, the planet visuals are not really that much more boring than the originals - it is mostly just our nostalgic view. They are certainly less candy-colored but generally more varied.)
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Old April 6 2009, 01:57 PM   #11
alchemist
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Re: planet/globe size

trevanian wrote: View Post
Geez, the TOS planets (except the RandMcNally ones) looked better than most TNG season 1 &2 planets. They had weather and depth and visual interest, instead of looking like an out of focus texture map.
I couldn't agree more with this. One of the best examples in TOS is Psi 2000. The original globe was detailed with "ice" frosting that gave it tremendous depth. Unfortunately, repeated trips of the film through the optical printer really muted it.

trevanian wrote: View Post
As for shooting the ship, they DID get in close (and according to at least one account, the closer shots, which do NOT have matte problems, were shot against a practical starfield, not matted.) But some people bitch about the lack of detail on those shots because of the surface of the model, so you're exchanging one set of complaints for another. If you look at THE INVADERS or some of the better stuff in Allen shows, that is more clear evidence for the notion that superb closeup visual effects were achieved at that time (though possibly for more money.)
They experimented with getting in really close to the ship, using a variety of different lenses, in front of both star fields and blue screens. And for the most part, the model detail was good enough (IMHO) that it would have looked fine on the televisions of the time. I think they just got into a rut, for time and money considerations, and re-used the same composited effects over and over again.
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Old April 6 2009, 05:33 PM   #12
Ronald Held
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Re: planet/globe size

Thanks for the answers and the x-astris.. link. Is there any reason to think that the 3" model was used for orbital scenes versus the 11"?
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Old April 7 2009, 12:12 AM   #13
alchemist
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Re: planet/globe size

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Thanks for the answers and the x-astris.. link. Is there any reason to think that the 3" model was used for orbital scenes versus the 11"?
No, not really. Richard Datin's 3" model was used in The Cage and a couple of other early first season episodes, but the vast majority of the shots of the Enterprise in the 79 episodes were of the 11" model.
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Old April 7 2009, 03:46 AM   #14
Praetor
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Re: planet/globe size

I think most of the time you see it orbiting you can see the lights on, too, which means it was the eleven-footer.
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Old April 7 2009, 04:46 PM   #15
Doug Otte
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Re: planet/globe size

alchemist wrote: View Post
Ronald Held wrote: View Post
Thanks for the answers and the x-astris.. link. Is there any reason to think that the 3" model was used for orbital scenes versus the 11"?
No, not really. Richard Datin's 3" model was used in The Cage and a couple of other early first season episodes, but the vast majority of the shots of the Enterprise in the 79 episodes were of the 11" model.
You two are implying that the models were only inches long, not feet...should be 3' vs. 11'.

Doug
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