Scaling the Excelsior Filming Model

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by Praetor, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, I don't entirely agree on that one. We don't actually know how deeply the hangars go, and if they interconnect, it makes for a simple ingress/egress pattern, for landing cargo, personnel, or really anything.

    Perhaps there are docks inside some shuttlebays especially for the travel pods, similar to how Mr. Probert envisioned the workbee berths?
     
  2. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    So it's not "solidly established", fine. ;)

    My point / analogy is: Just because I use my garage to put our family's bicycles and my junk in there doesn't establish that this is what the garage had been designed for originally (i.e. just because the Saratoga stores escape shuttlecraft there 80 years later, doesn't indicate what these doors on Reliant were originally designed for).

    If we take a look at Tim Ketzer's faithful and accurate reproduction there is one unique thing that can't be ignored:
    The embayments on the upper side mirror the shape of the doors below. What is this good for and what's the purpose of these upper embayments anyway? I've made a suggestion, let's hear some others.

    Bob
     
  3. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    That was actually part of the 2286 Magic of David Copperfield special. This is not a camera trick. What you are seeing on the screen is exactly what the guest audience is seeing. :p
     
  4. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  5. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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  6. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think space shots like those can be used for scaling because we don't know where the ships are. Unlike two ships on water where you can at least lock them down on the water surface plane, there isn't a way to do this in these shots as the scaling is uncertain as well.

    Are there any shots of the Excelsior (and sister ships) docked to something and another ship docked to same? You could use what they are docked to as a reference scale.
     
  7. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Yes! It fits and it's cannon!
     
  8. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    Or it's just a smaller cousin of the Excelsior (like with the Klingon Bird of Prey, the Oberth Class etc.) :devil:

    Bob
     
  9. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    It certainly looks that way in that shot!
     
  10. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    I get the impression that the first shot is actually the remastered HD version of Farpoint. The latter Tin Man shot is actually a stock re-use of the original SD Farpoint footage. And reshooting the exact same two ships, flying the exact same formation in a slightly different way does not make sense from a financial standpoint. I don't think we're seeing a difference in how the miniature was filmed here, rather I think the first one is all CG and the second one is the original.

    Edit: Yep, here's the original SD (DVD) version of the Farpoint footage. You can see it's identical to the SD version of the Tin Man scene, but with the planet included.
     
  11. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Good catch.... the recompositing process in the TNG-HD could likely lead to small scaling issues. Not that I have serious complaints -- it is a massive arduous process CBS and others have undertaken.

    This does beg the question, just how accurately can they scale composite images? Are they able to get down to a micron or is it more of an approximation that is just roughly "eyeballed." I don't know enough about the process, but I wonder if it is even possible to size these images with the precision needed for accurate scaling.

    With regards to what ILM did, I think they also provided just the raw element of the Excelsior in EoF. So for future appearances in TNG, the producers had a choice of just reusing the footage from EoF with the E-D and Excelsior already together in frame, or use the raw Excelsior footage to do a whole new composite. I am not sure which of these they did from episode to episode, though for TNG-HD I imagine that they were recomposited more often because of how the seasons were farmed out to different companies.
     
  12. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Fantastic catch! :rommie:

    "Starships in mirror may be smaller than they appear." ;)

    Ah, crap. Thanks for catching that. Throwing the HD version out, and going by the original, she seems smaller to me... or at least of sufficiently ambiguous size to go either direction.

    I don't know as much as some might, but I know with CGI, a lot of it is contingent on what scale the models were made. If they were made to the same scale, fine, it's easy. If they weren't, it's INCREDIBLY easy to just get it wrong, actually even moreso than it was in the physical miniature days.

    I suspect you're probably right on those counts.
     
  13. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Here's my 2 cubits' worth on ship scales in different mediums:

    • Physical models - VERY problematic. They all need to be filmed separately, with multiple passes and composited in a generally "eyeballed" fashion. Scales can be arbitrary and overly flexible. The amazing shrinking/expanding Klingon Bird of Prey is probably the most infamous example in all of Star Trek. Despite ILM's best efforts, nothing ever seemed quite right from scene to scene.
    • CG models: So long as the research is done up front to establish consistent scales, everything can be rendered simultaneously, easily and accurately. If an error in size is found, it can be easily rescaled and re-rendered with a couple clicks of a mouse button.
    While I prefer the "look" of physical models over CG, I would personally choose CG as a means to proper scaling, all day long.
     
  14. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Interesting. I tend to agree with you regarding physical vs. digital. Thanks for shedding extra light on that.
     
  15. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Which, unfortunately as far as the optical/photochemical effects are concerned, we will have to accept them with some degree of license on scale. Much as we are to assume there is actually nothing wrong with the moon's orbit in E.T. We know Excelsior is bigger than the Enterprise refit. We know it is smaller than the Enterprise D. Somehow first two fit through the space doors.
     
  16. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Alright so, I think I have a plan to resolve this.

    I think I'm going to do the revised comparisons I mentioned earlier (Enterprise to Excelsior, particularly) to see how that stacks up.

    Then:
    1) Deck alignment based on ILM model (which will probably end up matching King's 622 meters)
    2) Deck alignment based on Jein model
    3) Deck alignment based on 467 meters
    4) Deck alignment based on 622 meters

    And then throw in some major components and compare. I'd like to put this guy to bed. I feel like we now know for certain the scales of the ILM and Jein models, although we just haven't exactly put numbers to them.

    The remaining question that I hope to answer, of course, is what is the real size?
     
  17. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    Followed of course, by the next most important questions: Did the Excelsior bridge in TSFS have those chasing lights under the viewscreen? :lol:
     
  18. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Naturally. :D
     
  19. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    On second thought: What we saw in ST IV is the bigger spacedock type we also saw in TNG.

    If its space doors are big enough to have the Enterprise-D pass through than passage of an Excelsior Class Starship should be child's play. ;)

    Bob
     
  20. Herkimer Jitty

    Herkimer Jitty Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In TOS and TMP, sensors seem to be housed in the saucer domes, but TNG-beyond sensor setups are bays or trenches cut into the hull with greebly bits in them. Might the Miranda's greebly bays be an early form of a TNG-style sensor setup?

    And could the greebly cutouts on the front of the Excelsior's neck be similar gear?