Forced perspective, painted backdrops and the refit Enterprise

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Mytran, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    Here's the photo from the book The Making of Star Trek The Motion Picture, in which the camera was positioned incorrectly to sell the illusion.

     
  2. drt

    drt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Other than the angle of the vertical tube, the rest still looks OK, so I guess there was some utility to using it with different angles as long as the bottom of the tube couldn't be seen.

    Also, I never appreciated until some of the photos in this thread is that the room is asymmetrical and the starboard side much shallower than the port. I wonder if the idea was a turbolift shaft could run along that side. It also has a nice synergy with the original series engine room and it's asymmetric ceiling.
     
  3. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Looks to me as if they were trying to hide the shadow the physical / "real" engine core element was casting "towards" Scotty.

    Good thing they realized the engine core looked weird and instead went for the correct angle, where that shadow was noticable (but sill hard to see):

    [​IMG]

    Please notice that the page excerpt (thanks Maurice) refers to the whole thing as "engine core". That's also what the screenplay said, so I shall use that term henceforth.

    Since it powers both engines (i.e. impulse and warp drive) that term makes a lot of sense where in contrast TNG's "warp core" was exclusively powering the warp drive. ;)

    That was my first thought, too. I shall make of couple of graphic sketches to see how turbo lift transfer from the saucer into the engineering hull could work.

    Bob
     
  4. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    This pic just made a memory explode in the back of my head. Many years ago, The Mirror Universe Saga comics, a picture that bewildered me at the time. Now I know what the artist was looking at when he drew a bent warp core on the refitted 1701!
    [​IMG]
     
    JonnyQuest037 likes this.
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I don't think they were trying to hide anything as the "making of" photo is to the left of the actual filming camera which is visible to the bottom right corner of the photo. It just looks like a behind the scenes photo of the camera and setup that also exposed the forced-perspective painting in a clear way.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I always figured that was just Tom Sutton's usual loose rendering style, but you're right, it does look like he was using that photo as reference (although perhaps "inspiration" would be a better word).
     
  7. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I think you would only need to accommodate for that space in TWOK only as the tell-tale gap in the raised flooring doesn't exist in TMP which suggests that the bulkhead door wasn't there in TMP and added prior to TWOK, IMHO.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    It would have been easy enough to get a couple of lights in to kill the shadow. They probably just didn't notice it. We only do because we're staring at stills.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  9. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    That need not always be the case--although it would be a trick I would use on smaller ships for psychological reasons--in much the same way a mirrored wall makes the space seem bigger. The engine room tubing behind the screened wall? I tend to think that is due to conduits actually getting smaller--more focused.

    If we ever house a lunar crater over--I fully expect a projected sky above on the fabric.
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Location:
    Walking distance from Starfleet HQ
    "house a lunar crater over"? That's one weird phrase. :)
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Can we be really sure this was supposed to be B-Deck (Deck 2) and not Section B (or even an abstract "8")?

    I thought that the elevator sign in TMP would designate Deck 5 (officers quarters where Ilia just disappered into her cabin).

    Wasn't there a "3" on the wall outside of Spock's cabin in ST III?

    If the B was a deck designation, one could wonder how the Klingon boarders in ST III just missed the turbo lift up to the Bridge...and went the opposite way to get there. ;)

    Of course, it could be a change from numbers to letters between TMP and TWOK but then I'd have to ask if director Nick Meyer was ever able to make up his mind: In TUC we're back to numbers.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  12. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    TMP used numbers for the decks fairly consistently. From TWOK onwards though, we have a large "A" on the Bridge doors, Spock's line about the elevators "they're inoperative below C-Deck" and two instances on Kirk's little turbolift ride (a "B" when he enters and a "D" or "O" when he leaves). Kirk also tries the elevator after being rescued and there is a "D" or "O" on the doors then.

    I like the notion of a stylised "8" though, reminds me of Kirk's request for "turboshaft 8" back in TMP. Other rationalisations are possible too, but the real sticking point is the big "A"s on the Bridge. What on earth could that mean?
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    Never mind, apparently the letters are deck labels, and the Klingons in ST III simply took a wrong turn (before they realized they came to a dead end, turned back and then saw the elevator to the Bridge they had just passed). :rolleyes:

    But the FP corridor extension on B-Deck still begs for explanation. If only the FP extension suggested a ramp down to the lower deck. :sigh:

    Maybe that scene takes place on B-Deck of the engineering hull (i.e. inside the connecting dorsal pylon)? Better belay that, the corridor there would have to be much shorter, too.

    Or we approach the shot from an artistic point of view. Kirk sees the young female lieutenant and suddenly his options seem bigger and longer, he feels young again (metaphorically reflecting in the FP extended corridor). A few decks later McCoy is waiting outside and the illusion vanishes instantly. :lol:

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  14. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    If you look again at the picture, there is the suggestion of a slight gradient there. However, it's not really enough to cross down to another deck.

    The whole turbolift scene is a bit silly really. Kirk never even presses a button for his destination, yet it takes off and delivers him there anyway. And if the character on his exit door is indeed a "D" then he had progressed down just two decks at an absurdly slow rate - he could have crawled down the stairs quicker!
    I realise that turbolifts often move at the speed-of-plot but this is setting a new standard.
     
  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Location:
    #istandwithcbs
    "The Enterprise Incident" is the benchmark of badness - 56 seconds to go from deck one to deck two.

    Fastest turbolift ride ever is ST'09 - Spock gets from the lower level of engineering to the bridge in 5 seconds - on a much larger Enterprise, no less!
     
  16. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Location:
    USS Berlin
    That was Engineering Deck 2 in the dorsal, but considering that was on the same level as Main Deck 9 in the saucer and remembering how fast they went up in "Day of the Dove" in contrast, the turbo lift car was really in slow motion. ;)

    @ Mytran

    There have been a few incidents where Kirk stepped into the TOS Bridge turbo lift, turned around (not holding on to anything) and the doors closed. Maybe the moment somebody steps into the lift it'll start moving into the direction most often used?

    Bob
     
  17. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    There a big difference between doors closing and the lift actually starting to move.

    However, Doctor "who's been holding up the damn elevator" McCoy WAS waiting for the lift, so perhaps he was standing there jabbing the button - which is what caused the lift to start moving with Kirk and Saavik inside.

    As for the Deck 2 weirdness - maybe when the Bridge was lowered (after WNMHGB) the main access to Deck 2 was blocked, and the only way to reach the luxurious guest quarters located there was to go the long way round (down to Deck 5, along the horizontal shaft and up again).
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    "Who are you?"
    The computer was really smart. She sensed that Spock and the Romulan Commander wanted to be alone for a minute, so she took them for a joyride. ;)
     
  19. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    ENTERPRISE was the only series that I'm aware of that actually used rear-projection, and this was later on, in the series. It was used, primarily, outside of windows, to show the stars wizzing by, to cut some corners and try to $ave some money. I'm surprised some of the older techniques weren't used in STAR TREK, all along, like the "trick mirror" or whatever it's called. The camera records a scene reflected in a mirror at an angle, while some of the mirror is clear glass, showing actors at a distance, behind the mirror, so it's like they are in the reflected scene. TOS, especially, you'd think would've done this, as it's practically a FREE effect! I picked it up somewhere that LOTR actually used this trick, in some pick-up shot, or another, when they couldn't get any more money. So, it's nice to know that even in this CGI dominated industry, the old tricks-of-the-trade can still be surprisingly useful and effective ...
     
  20. Albertese

    Albertese Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    ^^^
    In LOTR, they used this trick in The Return of the King when Gandalf was riding Shadowfax into the mausoleum to rescue Faramir from the pyre. No real life horse is ever gonna get that close to a blazing fire so the actual animal and actors were at a pyre totally sans flame, while a big bonfire was built 90 degrees away from the camera and photographed through a sheet of glass to get the flames "in-camera".

    The trouble with Star Trek using such tricks is that they aren't really "free" at all. While it's true that you are saving some post-production time, setting all of that up on the day can really slow down photography on the day and television production schedules don't often have the kind of wiggle room you need to make that work.

    --Alex