Graphics software in The Voyage Home

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Tallguy, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Hi. Does anyone know what computer and software was used for the displays in Starfleet Command, on Vulcan, and on the Bounty? I dimly recall reading back in the day that they were done on an Atari ST using Cyberpaint. But I have found zero reference to this now.

    Can anyone confirm or deny?
     
  2. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Memory Alpha article on STIV:

    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Star_Trek_IV:_The_Voyage_Home#Creation_and_production

    I don't see anything in that article related to system or software, but since it was Mr. Okuda's first job in Trek, he might remember. Perhaps he mentions somewhere in an article, or you can track him down and ask.
     
  3. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks. I might try that. But I don't believe that any of the Enterprise displays were animated, were they?
     
  4. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Never heard this claim before, but I know Jim Kent (wikipedia), the guy who wrote Cyber Paint (link).

    I'm fairly certain this assertion re the ST is incorrect because I worked with the Cyber Studio products (link), and I reported from the Northeast Atari Fair in Oct. 1987 that Cyber Paint was a new product (article).

    Star Trek IV came out in late '86.

    In fact, here's a late 1987 segment of The Computer Chronicles where Jim Kent demos Cyber Paint and even mentions me as he loads an animation element I created (at 3:15).

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnyAVOuEZGg[/yt]​
     
  5. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Holy name-dropping, Batman!
     
  6. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had some Atari cred back in the 16-bit days. ;)
     
  7. trekker670

    trekker670 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Very cool. I had a professor, Mark Ackerman, that worked for Atari back in the day. He worked on a number of games for the Atari 2600 (including Ms. Pac-Man).
     
  8. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    Awwww, the ol' 16-bit days!!
     
  9. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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    Wow, Maurice! Outstanding. Thanks so much.

    I cut my 3D teeth on Cyber Studio and Cyber Sculpt and did all my compositing (such as it was) in Cyber Paint. Want to guess what fictional space craft I built first?

    It never occurred to me that the time line didn't line up at all.

    Well, now I know what it wasn't...
     
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    In fact, I had lunch with Jim Kent a few years ago...hadn't seen him since the Autodesk Animator days. I should ping him again. I'm still in contact with Tom Hudson (THUD on Delphi back in the late 80s) who wrote CAD-3D for the ST and later worked on Autodesk 3D Studio, which is now 3Ds Max. Hung out with him at the Retro Gaming Expo in Portland, OR last October.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  11. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Except for the transparent aluminum screen on earth of the past, I thought they were all done traditionally, with conventional animation, not via computer at all.

    On TUC, Cimiti Arts handled the graphics and only a small portion of those were digital (I remember a thread here once that discussed how the screen graphics of the Enterprise were CG.) According to associate producer Brooke Breton, Barbara Cimiti had done screens for previous films.

    I think Breton's association with Trek may date back to TVH (she was on season 1 of TNG for sure), so if anybody knows if Cimiti Arts exists in any fashion these days, that might be who to contact.

    EDIT ADDON: I could believe the Atari reference if you're talking SFS and the GRISSOM graphics of Genesis planet, which looked incredibly crude. I'm pretty sure all of the SFS stuff was done by companies who just wanted screen credit, so they were fast freebies.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Only tangently related to the topic, but I do know for a fact that the animated screen displays seen in the background during the second season of Red Dwarf were done on an Atari ST. That was c.1988 if I recall correctly. EDIT: I can't however in all accuracy vouch for what software they used though.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
  13. Tallguy

    Tallguy Commodore Commodore

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  14. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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  15. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    This too brings back so many 16-bit paint program memories. I was an Amiga user and my Amiga work was instrumental in getting my first professional animation gig. The software I ended up using was Autodesk Animator which was truly awesome. I didn't know Jim Kent was involved in developing that software but I'm in awe of what these artists and programmers were able to do with such primitive technology.
     
  16. pfontaine2

    pfontaine2 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Regarding Amiga 3D software, I think Videoscape3D was probably the first and that didn't come out until early 1987, if I remember correctly.
     
  17. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Amiga truly was ahead of its time. Consider what could be done with the Amiga using Blitter Chips in 1985, the same year the original NES was released (just to give some context). It was a truly amazing computer capable of so much, but I never felt it got the market recognition it deserved, outside of its use in industry applications of course. It fared much better in Europe however.
     
  18. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    I can barely remember this, but Commodore (pre-Amiga) had a kind of graphics called sprites that were shapes, and I don't think they jagged. I just can't remember whether they were solids or just lines forming a shape though.

    Another possibility maybe is that these things were generated conventionally and then picked up the jags during transfer to video for playback?
     
  19. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    The graphics in these images (link below) certainly do look like a blend of computer graphics with animated/other elements added:

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd0217.jpg

    Loved these other graphics -- as old as they are, they are still my favorite. Hearkens back to that old vector graphic era in arcade games (ahhh Tempest... must have blown half my college fund on that one).

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd0218.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd0219.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tvhhd/tvhhd0220.jpg
     
  20. trevanian

    trevanian Rear Admiral

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    Just a little tidbit I found from way way back ... here's part of a paragraph cut from my article on the TUC VFX, which indirectly references TVH graphics.

    Brooke Breton was responsible for coordinating the multitude of graphic films and tapes prepared for on-set use by CimityArt. "I had known Barbara Cimity from the two previous films, when she was with Novocom," Breton recalled. "On this project I worked with Cliff Boule, who accomplished this through a combination of traditional animation and digital work using D-1."

    Me again. It turns out Novocom also worked on TUC, stuff that was generated on film:https://www.elance.com/samples/star-trek-main-title-movie-logo-film-animation-branding-/25620142/

    Novocom's actual credits on the preceding two films includes the words 'computer animation' so I guess it ain't all traditional.

    The stuff in WORKBEE's first example looks seriously uncomputergraphic like. Much more like the displays in Cronenberg's THE FLY, which were done mostly with regular animation (CINEFEX covers that aspect pretty thoroughly if you can grab an issue 28), way too pretty and graphic to be CG from that time.