FAULTY - the two worst TOS remastering mistakes

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Mister Atoz, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The state of CGI rendering at the time TOS-R was done was just a little too primitive, cutting into the available budget. As such MOST of the lighting looks wrong, in some places very noticeably so. Your comparison shots exemplify this well.

    In reality, any time the Enterprise is viewed in deep space it would be barely visible (aside from lit windows, running lights, and nacelle caps), because there is NO LIGHT SOURCE aside from the distant stars. Any time it is in a solar system, it would have to be lit up by ONE light source, not multiple. TOS-R should have actually tried to darken shots of the Enterprise, rather than lighten them. I'm not saying they should try making it completely realistic, because it wouldn't look good and detract too much from the original series. Going slightly darker rather than prominently brighter would have been a good thing.
     
  2. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    Actually, the lighting issue is very secondary to me. One of my biggest beefs about TOS-R is that they took some of the best starship images and botched them.

    My all-time favorite angle of the TOS Enterprise was what some fans call "aft"; I call it "fantail perspective". (Here is a TAS equivalent of this angle; the live-action model shot was first used in the second half of Year 2, if memory serves.) With the exception of "The Immunity Syndrome", this "fantail perspective" angle and the related "banking" motion shot were largely eliminated from TOS-R. I was very disappointed because I love these particular images so much.

    Also: despite some legitimate criticism of the famous "four starships approaching" image from the TOS footage of "The Ultimate Computer" seemed to result in the imagery being completely changed in the TOS-R version. I know that the original image showed essentially four copies of the Enterprise grafted into the same frame, even down to their running lights strobing in sync, and it looked cheesy. I get that. But the only thing that really needed changed with those strobing lights. Everything else about the original image looked great. The new TOS-R image looked completely different. Whereas the original multi-ship image made it look like the task force was approaching at warp speed, (very striking) the TOS-R animation looked like almost a dockyard close-in maneuver. This was even more disappointing.

    Overall, despite my criticisms of TOS-R, I still like the higher-definition footage. Many TOS-R images of the Enterprise, especially those of the ship in planetary orbit, are a great improvement.

    (We have to keep in mind that that TOS, by its very nature, avoided the typical sci fi heavy reliance on special effects. So in TOS we have an early sci fi TV pioneer which, relatively speaking, has few visual effects. So the TOS-R footage still wins praise because of the visibly improved non-effects live-action images.)
     
  3. Hambone

    Hambone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I own two DVD sets of the show, and I always find myself drawn to the "remastered" version. Not so much because it's an "improvement" in my estimation, but because there's something new to be seen. Little surprises here and there. After watching the original for 47 years it's a nice little change.

    I'm in agreement with Bob Justman on this:

    http://trekmovie.com/2007/03/18/bob-justman-talks-tos-and-tos-r-with-trekmoviecom/
     
  4. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I'm so glad they got that interview in when they did... as sadly, Robert died about a year later. Thanks for citing it, Hambone.
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Something that annoyed me about TOS-R: The colour of the Enterprise. It always looked very white in the original version. The redone SFX gave the ship a very generic grey colouration and I think it detracted quite a bit from it's uniqueness.
     
  6. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Me too, especially his messages between the lines (he spoke like a true diplomat). Now, did the CGI effects "make the show better"?

    Bob
     
  7. BrownShatner

    BrownShatner Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The Botany Bay looked like a prop from some ancient video game like Quake II.

    I guess they were trying to be gritty, but it ended up looking like primitive CGI.
     
  8. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes! I thought the exact same thing, especially after seeing the texture "wrap" around some of the geometry. But I thought others might consider me too nit-picky to say something like that.

    Then Kirk and company beamed aboard and found Duke Nukem, the best alien fighter the galaxy ever saw, tucked away in suspended animation. After staring at the sleeping giant for several minutes, Duke suddenly cracked his knuckles and said, "What are you waiting for—Christmas?"
     
  9. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I just watched this episode last night and noticed that right away. When the Galileo is getting ready to launch, you can see the shuttle Columbus in the lower right corner of the scene, but when it shows Galileo leaving the shuttle bay, Columbus has vanished.

    [​IMG]

    One shot I did like was the rear landing strut retracting after launch. :techman:

    Also, I had to wonder, why they only launched one additional shuttle to help search for the Galileo? Wasn't the Enterprise supposed to have at least 4? For example, in The Omega Glory, it was mentioned that "all 4" of the shuttlecraft were still on board (The Exeter) so it implies that a Constitution class Starship would normally carry 4 shuttles.
     
  10. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I really dislike the way they make the shuttlecraft and and the hangar deck look in TOS-R. It all looks clunky and dark, more like a video game. :censored:

    Hmm, this board needs a "thums down" emoticon.
     
  11. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:I never noticed the missing shuttle! But every time I see that shot, I do notice the flat, undetailed back wall of the shuttle bay and think "Haven't you seen STV? Put the some hanger doors and a turbolift in there!"
     
  12. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree. The darker lighting scheme looks like OpenGL lighting in a game. Perhaps the artists were attempting to force some scale and perspective into the scene with pools of light—a common gimmick. However, bright lighting can work, too. Many of the brighter, almost "over-exposed" shots in WALL*E looked "more realistic" than darker shots because they brought out all the grungy textures.

    [​IMG]

    The shuttle bay in TOS had a diffuse light covering most of the ceiling. One would also expect a landing bay to be brightly lit, no matter what sort of computer and/or tractor beam aids are in use.

    Also like WALL*E, perhaps the shuttle bay should look a bit traveled and grungy—not worn, but the pristine look automatically shouts "computer generated!"

    Perhaps the bay would have bright, "afternoon" lighting during a landing and red lighting during a launch. I'm not suggesting red lighting for night vision, since the shuttlecraft cockpit is lighted, and it's doubtful the shuttles are flown by sight anyway. When Decker steals a shuttle in "The Doomsday Machine" he apparently took off "blind" and did not open one of the window shutters until approaching the planet killer.

    Just the same, many things in STAR TREK were done for audiences, whether or not "realistic" (e.g. the "swish" of the ship passing, or people being thrown out of their seats by a near-miss in battle). If they wanted the bay darkened during a launch, perhaps some spill light from the viewing galleries would have added some dimension. Anything. But that dark, almost shadowless light looks too much like a videogame.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Did you really have to bring the TOS-R shuttlebay scenes up again? I just had breakfast and there it blows: :barf:

    For the more moderate Trek BBS members I strongly recommend these: :thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown::thumbdown:

    Bob
     
  14. Kinggodzillak

    Kinggodzillak Commander Red Shirt

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    On the whole I'm okay with the CGI effects; they're not great, but they do their job well enough and help sequences that weren't much to look at originally. Occasionally they're a bit disappointing, as in Doomsday Machine, and seeing the Enterprise twisting and turning like a fighter jet is always going to be wrong.

    The one aspect of the new effects that does irritate me at times though is the way in which the new shots have clearly been pasted over the original shots.

    What I mean by that is - for example - say it's the end of the episode. We have a shot of Kirk standing on a planet looking pleased with himself, which then dissolves into a shot of the Enterprise orbiting the planet, along with triumphant music. Now, in the Remastered version, the shot of the Enterprise has to appear earlier than it did in the original, in order to avoid the viewer spotting the original effects underneath during the fade from Kirk to the Enterprise. But that then means that we can get up to five seconds of the Enterprise before the 'look it's the Enterprise, hooray!' music comes in, and we may even still be able to hear sounds from the Kirk-on-the-planet shot while we're looking at the ship.

    So basically what I'm saying is a CGI/extra effects shot has to appear earlier/disappear later than it did in the original, and this often throws the soundtrack off.

    It was difficult to track down an actual screengrab to show what I mean, but there's a good example of when this process goes awry in A Taste of Armageddon, in the scene where Ambassador Fox beams down to Eminiar VII.

    This is how the shot appeared in the original episode;

    [​IMG]

    And this is how appears in the Remastered version. They've zoomed in substantially, and the pretty decent matte-painting has been given a bit of an (unnecessary, IMO) CGI makeover, adding a monotrain and extra people milling around in the background.

    [​IMG]

    Staying with the Remastered version, watch what happens as we fade to the next scene;

    [​IMG]

    Oops! During the dissolve the original shot is now visible alongside the new one, so we now have two cities and two sets of figures walking along.

    Interestingly, the CGI'd shot completely disppears before we've even finished fading into the next scene, leaving the old one visible underneath.


    [​IMG]

    9 times out of 10 they managed to avoid that problem by starting the fade earlier and trimming the start of the following shot, but occasionally baffling moments like that crept in... :rolleyes:
     
  15. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    One other thing I noticed...and this may just be a problem with streaming Netflix, but in the opening credits, when Shatner does the "Space...the Final Frontier" voiceover, the volume is very low, I can barely hear him.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What does this even mean?
     
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Thumbs down, rather than pukey.
     
  18. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Is there such a thing as a moderate TBBS member? :lol:
     
  19. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The "error" in the original that is all the more pronounced in the TOS-R version is the lack of hard shadows in the live action area. The original matte painting had the same shadows, but they were not as dark. With the enhanced contrast, the TOS-R version should have some rotoed shadows and shading on the actors.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Considering that I find the series fine as is, then not really. Only one episode was really improved by the new effects, Tomorrow is Yesterday. During the finale, the lack of technology truly let the episode down. The slingshot method made zero sense as depicted back then. However, the new effects not only cleared it up, it made the sequence exciting.

    That was the only episode that was completely improved. Even the Doomsday Machine was always an awesome episode with the AMT models and such. Star Trek did not rely on effect - if couldn't - so it was always the writing and acting that kept it afloat, And no amount of CGI will change that.

    Did the CGI harm Star Trek? Well, it wasn't always accurate and they didn't always actually listen to the dialog to get it right, but for the most part, nah it didn't harm anything. Did it make it better? Aside from that one example, no. It was ALWAYS good! It never would have stayed alive this long if it wasn't. People who "suddenly like it because the effects are better" are, IMO, missing the point and probably can't watch any series that vintage. A shame, but that's their privilege. However, I do appreciate that people enjoy the new effects because they hold up well in HD where the originals do look worse. Which is why I don't like HD for old shows with optical effects.

    If anything "harmed" Star Trek visually, it was High Definition.

    Bob Justman's comments were evenhanded, which I also appreciate.