Forced perspective, painted backdrops and the refit Enterprise

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

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The bridge viewscreen was rear-projected in "The Cage" and portions of "Spock's Brain," as well as in several of the TOS movies. TMP used rear-projected film loops for the small display screens on the bridge consoles, which is why the lighting had to be so dim and the audio dubbed. From TWOK onward, they switched to video monitors.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    IIRC, the observation room windows in STV were rear projection, too. I found it very effective to see them gradually close on the Great Barrier during Sybok's scenes with Kirk, Spock and McCoy.
     
  3. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Very interesting post. Thanks alot, sir.


    Indeed, I'm aware, also, of rear-projection being used in the TOS movies. The endless voiceovers in TMP because of the monitor motors, become very distracting. When Spock first boards ENTERPRISE and says, "I offer my services as Science Officer," the very quality of the reading is almost as bad as Shatner's uttering "ohmygod ..." in the transporter room. Interestingly enough, this did not seem to be a problem for TFF, which used rear projection quite extensively. Most of the dialogue in the lounge room scenes sounds sampled directly from the set. I believe rear projection was even used to make Enterprise-A reflect in the shuttle window, as Kirk, Spock and Bones prepare to board her, the first time. Anyway ... I find I prefer rear projection to bluescreen, what with that technique's harsh edges and overly sharp clarity.
     
  4. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Here is a visualization of how the curvature would place the main engine room aboard the refit Enterprise if we were to make it "parallel" to the exterior hull:

    [​IMG]

    Since we don't have good side views of the sets, I asked Donny if he could recreate a side view from his fabulous 3D renderings (here is the BBS link for those that haven't seen his work, yet: http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=206626).

    Keep in mind that Donny was merely trying to recreate the actual studio sets and did not pay attention whether or how these might fit into the actual ship (as fas as I know).

    Therefore, I found it rather fascinating how the alignment of the power lines feeding the warp nacelles and the matching of the curvature fit so well together.

    An older BBS thread I found today featured similar conclusions in regard to the placement of the main engine room within the engineering hull:
    http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=92307&page=11

    I'm working on a couple of visualizations for a new thread related to this topic, hope I'll be done soon, stay tuned. ;)

    Bob
     
  5. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly right. In fact, even today in big budget motion pictures there's a tendency to "fix it in post" because directors and producers are under so much pressure to come in on schedule and budget. Trouble is, you end up creating a ton of extra post work for the film that drives the budget up anyway, but the director can say "Hey, I got my part done on schedule."

    What you're referring to is ADR or dubbing or looping. Voiceover means something very specific in film production, as in narration or dialogue voiced over a scene, e.g. the captain's log.

    It may surprise people to know this, but in many films over half of the dialogue is looped in post.
     
  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    Hmm. Did you "idealize" the ceiling curvature? A quick comparison you can see that the curvature changes the further you go back and only the curves nearest to the bow comes close to paralleling the outer hull while the one furthest back do not.

    It is also interesting that the production folks built a set that looks like it might need to be pushed one deck lower necessitating a larger ship just to fit the vertical shaft.

    (Click to enlarge)
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Are the change in curves not due to the nature of the FP set?

    (BTW, a higher res version of Bob's picture is in my Photobucket)

    Incidentally, what do you make of the non-symmetrical conduits at the shaft end? They appear to go through different angles into the ceiling, but I wondered if that might not be an optical illusion caused by them tipping diagonally backwards as well as left/right.
    Is this possible?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't do the engine room schematic, but it looks indeed that the ceiling curvatures closest to the camera were the one to "set the rule" for the others following "in-universe".

    I really think the engine room set can't be interpreted literally. Although Donny was merely trying to reproduce the actual set as good as possible, you can also see that he brought the ceiling curvature to a conjectural end on the starboard side (behind the vertical wall).

    If we were to believe the ceiling is exactly parallel to the outer hull, than this would place the horizontal shaft of the engine core outside the center axis of the ship.

    And to make matters worse, the Y-split tubes at the end are also anything but symetric to one another. :sigh:

    Bob
     
  9. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I dunno. I'll render out what it would look like if the curve stayed consistent to the end for you to visualize. But I do recall when I was building my set that the curve changed going back.

    Thanks!

    I'm thinking it is likely and optical illusion as you're thinking because of the tilt backwards but I'll check it out.
     
  10. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Outstanding! That's exactly the concept I was thinking, the red/green/purple interior curves not matching the exterior hull curve.

    It seems the engine room ceiling curve is intended to match the exterior hull curve, but that may not be so.
    The interior ceiling may curve in a general sense following the hull exterior, but the interior may have a different slope allowing for hidden conduits or whatnot in the ceiling.

    The diagram above leads to another issue (perhaps).
    The angle of the pylons with the conduits leading into the secondary hull intersect at a point nearly in the middle of the hull, about the midpoint of the shuttlebay.

    But the engine room layout shows the pylons/conduits intersecting right at the top of the secondary hull. It seems the angles are way off.

    Do the conduits not follow the angle of the pylons into the hull? Are they bent sharply as the enter the engineering section? That would not match the tubes and conduits we see in the rear of the engine room.

    Or is it all a matter of perspective?
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    I think we are looking at the filmmakers' intentions to convey to general audiences that the main engine room is in the engineering hull, therefore the curvature of the ceiling was exaggerated.

    This reminds me to refer again to David Kimble's cutaway drawing of the ship.
    Notice how he "solved" the mismatch of the ceiling curvature to position the engine room higher up.

    It really depends whether "in-universe" we assume that the Y-conduits extend from the horizontal shaft at a hard 90° angle (in a side view) or rather a diagonal angle (not illustrated / suggested by the engine room sketch).

    As you eloquently put it, it's "a matter of perspective", IMHO.

    According to the visualization the main engine room would run on top of the cargo bay ceiling but end before the hangar control room looking down astern (the ceiling of the hangar deck is above the ceiling of the cargo deck).

    Bob
     
  12. Patrickivan

    Patrickivan Fleet Captain Newbie

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    Just out of curiosity, why does the inside curvature of the engineering HAVE to match the outside contours of the hull? I mean, it's nice to jump to the conclusion that it has to, but really, it doesn't. Also, those nacelle conduits can change direction to match the angle of the pylons, just past the bulkheads.
     
  13. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    ^^ You are right, it doesn't have to match and David Kimble's cutaway suggested that the ceiling of the main engine room are merely struts re-enforcing the major exterior struts.

    However, to locate the main engine room near the forward bow and that high up as David Kimble suggested, doesn't address the issue that the upper level of the main engine room would be outside the ship, in particular the area on the upper level seen behind Kirk in TWOK due to the convex curvature of the forward bow.

    Relocating the main engine room one deck lower (above the ceiling of the cargo deck)

    • takes care of the aforementioned problem
    • suggests a rather parallel nature of the engine room ceiling struts in relation to the outer hull
    • allows the Y-conduits to run up to the warp nacelles in a much more elegant fashion, IMHO.
    Bob
     
  14. Basill

    Basill Captain Captain

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    Just to point out...
    In at least one version of TWOK, Saavik actually stops the turbolift completely, and only after the meat & potatoes of their little Kobayshi Maru banter does Kirk begin pushing buttons again to resume the lift's motion. Granted it doesn't appear as if he or Saavik bothered to direct the lift anywhere from the get go, but we do see Kirk barely waving his hand near the control station upon entering the lift, just as we were hear Saavik calling from off camera for him to "Hold please!" It's possible Kirk may have sneaked in a push right before his arm goes out to hold the door for her. It's funny that she steps off where McCoy was waiting, considering that she herself never input any directive. This implies she was merely using the moment to corner Kirk into answering questions (with that regulation hair no less). There are at least than 2 different versions of that elevator chit chat of which I'm certain: the original theatrical release and some alternate takes presented in the slightly elongated version aired on ABC. I tend to prefer the acting from the alternate scene; It felt less forced.

    As to the lift departing from "B" with that long corridor, I have no idea how that is possible, but the length of the ride is hardly an issue, especially considering the horizontal routes the turbolifts must maneuver through.
     
  15. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I love the juxtaposition of your remark supporting how TMP had endless amounts of everything and how that hovers just above and wholly at odds with your Welles quote (which I have appropriated for my facebook page.)

    As for the vertical core shot, I don't know if it was a translight or scenic painting, but the lighting issues made me think it must have included a mirror reflecting the section just above it, since it looks like there is some interactive light down there. The photos that show the core as misaligned (and no, I don't know where that is, maybe MAKING OF STTMP?) may give us more info one way or another. EDIT: saw this was already addressed, sorry.

    Mike Minor mentioned that the scenic backing on the rec deck that you can't really see cost thirty grand, so these set extensions did not come cheap, that's for sure, and that's for one that didn't have any lighting effects built into it.
     
  16. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    All of the TFF bridge main viewscreen shots featuring live-action were RP as well. And there was RP on TUC's main viewer as well at times.
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :)
     
  18. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Sadly, I'm a bit late to this discussion, but it brings up several other major inconsistencies aside from the fore-mentioned forced perspective issues that have always bothered me about this scene in particular, despite the otherwise-relative-greatness of TWOK.

    • Problem 1: The isolation door seemingly cuts through the intermix chamber. There should be an opening in the door that allows clearance for the chamber and a narrow secondary door to come up underneath to close off the bottom area. Otherwise, they would completely cut off all power to the warp engines.
    • Problem 2: The other problem with this is that since the door does cut through the chamber, how exactly is the plasma inside prevented from leaking out into the entire engineering compartment as the door is going down? I suppose it could be explained away by "force fields", but if true, the area of the shaft that's beyond the wall should have immediately gone dark as soon as the door was coming down and it never did - it appeared as if power continued to flow aft of the door.
    • Problem 3: The door is extremely tall and engineering is the top-most deck of the secondary hull. Where is the door kept when not in use? Based on appearances, it should be hanging around outside the external skin of the "strong-back" area, as it doesn't seem to fold or telescope in any way.
    Just a few nits that came rushing back to me while reading this thread. Love the pics of the FP scenes, BTW. Very interesting. :techman:
     
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  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding problem 1, they didn't have warp power until the very end of the film.
     
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Yes, but the door was still down when Spock repaired the "main energizer" (whatever that was). Considering how slow it was to come down initially, there would have been at least another 20-30 seconds for it to come back up and redistribute the plasma up the conduit and into the engines after the repair was complete - provided atmospheric pressure had also been restored there in the meantime. "Bless you Scotty, GO SULU!" took only about a second and a half.

    And slightly OT, who thinks the Transphasic Cloaking Device from TNG's "The Pegasus" looks like a mini intermix chamber?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014