Season FOUR OFFICIAL TNG Blu-Ray Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by Savage Dragon, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    This is a relatively minor point, but Douglas Trumbull's and Richard Yuricich's company Future General Corporation finally took over the effects for TMP in March 1979 after the final filming miniature had been designed (by Andrew Probert and Richard Taylor) and built (by Magicam) while it was being painted by Paul Olsen. So Trumbull and his company were only able to add finishing touches to the model.

    Believe it or not, Trumbull states in his interview in Cinefex #1 that he believed the Enterprise miniature was one-fourth as big as it should have been: "In 2001, the Discovery spacecraft was fifty-four feet long. But in Star Trek, the Enterprise is barely seven feet long; and it was just an enormous struggle to get not only a sufficient degree of detail, but also camera angles and depth of field and lighting that worked."
     
  2. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's the first I've heard of that. Do you have a source?
     
  3. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can read about it on Memory Alpha, the article on the Constitution class model.

    For instance, the following shots are the "smoothie" AMT model:

    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/twokhd/twokhd0427.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/twokhd/twokhd0843.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tsfshd/tsfshd0143.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tsfshd/tsfshd0154.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tsfshd/tsfshd0650.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tsfshd/tsfshd0980.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tuchd/ch12/tuchd2266.jpg
    http://movies.trekcore.com/gallery/albums/tuchd/ch12/tuchd2298.jpg

    I may have missed a couple, but that's the vast majority. Basically, if ILM shot it, and the Enterprise was small, it was the model kit. It sold at auction a few years ago, still with the battle damage from Star Trek VI.
     
  4. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thanks for the info. Ya learn something new every day ;)

    What's interesting is that while most of those shots show the Enterprise far away, some others are quite close to the camera. It is a credit to the VFX crew that they made a plastic model kit look completely convincing as the full-scale shooting model. It makes me wish that we would have seen plastic model kits built of this caliber for early TNG as guest starships, but in kitbashed configurations like what they did with the Stargazer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  5. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    That was the thing - when they needed the ship to look small, the main model was too big. Magicam had built a one-foot model for TMP, but that went missing and ILM didn't know anything about it, so built the AMT model.

    That's why the 2-footer Ent-D was built. However, that backfired since Image G found the 6-footer too cumbersome, so they used the 2-footer during season 2 in situations that should have required the 6-footer (like when the ship flies into the anomaly in Time Squared).

    As ugly as I think the 4-footer is, Image G did manage to use the model to create some really good shots of the ship. You can tell how much easier it was for them as the complexity of shots increased.

    Most of the new 6-foot shots done by Image G involved the ship moving slowly or standing still. The only time it was used for a complex movement was Booby Trap, I think.
     
  6. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I much prefer the six-foot model.
     
  7. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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  8. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    On the other hand, there's the argument that any attempt to modernize the effects (rather than the high-quality, faithful restorations we're getting from CBSD) would result in an incongruous viewing experience, akin to the Star Wars Special Editions. It's a late-80s, early-90s TV show after all and nothing is ever going to change that.
     
  9. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    That much is true - the actors are still wearing what look like late 80s couch fabric in several episodes.
     
  10. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    The TOS fans are still bitching about the new TOS CGI effects looking horrible.

    But I'll take good model work over bad CGI any day.
     
  11. JJohnson

    JJohnson Captain Captain

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    I don't want too much from an update, other than:

    *better looking planets (TOS-R was awesome in this regard)
    *alternate 'Enterprise at warp/flyby' establishing shots (again, TOS-R was great for this, and the next one)
    *alternate 'Enterprise entering orbit' shots
    *make shield effects look more modern, like the latter TNG movies
    *make the transporter effect look more three-dimensional (the ST09, whatever else, did well with this)
    *correct any FX that looked cheesy or just bad in the original, or could be improved (the end of season 1 creatures, etc)
    *whenever practical, add in ships other than Oberth, Miranda, and Excelsior in a shot.
    *whenever practical, make on-planet sets look like they're on a planet (the outpost in Arena was one example of this)
    *add detail work to ships (Constellation in Doomsday Machine...the little asteroids bouncing off the hull, great detail)
    *when practical, correct ships that were affected by lack of budget to restore the original intent.
    *when practical, give the ships more motion during fight scenes. They're all too often static images of Enterprise firing phasers.

    That's pretty much descending order of priority to me. I just want the effects monotony broken up, and the 'staying true' feels like a wasted opportunity to me.

    The first three especially, and the first five are what I would have expected from a half-hearted effort.
     
  12. Start Wreck

    Start Wreck Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I dunno, unlike in TOS, I've never felt Next Gen had any real "effects monotony". They had a far wider variety of shots, particularly from S3 onward when they started using the 4-foot model.

    Also, unlike TOS, there are no original HD masters in existence, so I am rather more... I suppose... protective of the show. These new versions are going to be the de facto master copies for the next twenty-odd years, if not forever, so I want them to preserve as much of the 1980s craftmanship as possible.

    Of course, if they want to create alternate extended cuts as well, with updated visuals, and make them a viewing option on the Blu-rays, that's fine with me. But largely, I want to see 1980s models, 1980s sets and 1980s explosions... because that's when it was made and it's a piece of history.
     
  13. Tosk

    Tosk Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Considering the amount of money that has been poured into this unprecedented effort, I'm very happy with the "same but better" approach...with just a few very specific screw-ups fixed. :)
     
  14. TV's Frank

    TV's Frank Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Indeed, if CBS went with JJohnson's list of requests for the FX, we would only receive one season set a year on Blu-ray, due to the sheer volume of new work needing to be created from scratch and have it integrate seamlessly into other scenes of the show that would still retain the original model shots. It would be all or nothing - either re-do all FX for every scene, every episode, which would take many more years and much more money or continue with what they are doing now. It's cost prohibitive for CBS to fund such a project for years on end, continuing to pay its staff and market these sets for as long as it would require to re-do the FX at the extreme level JJohnson is asking.
     
  15. Aatrek

    Aatrek Rear Admiral

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    That's all, huh? :wtf:
     
  16. Maxwell Everett

    Maxwell Everett Commodore Commodore

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    Nothing wrong with, as a fan, having a wish list. But I think characterizing what CBSD is doing with TNG-R as less than "half-hearted" is a bit much. Because they aren't doing what you'd personally like them to do, their efforts aren't even half-hearted? So what are they, quarter-hearted? Third-hearted? I think what they are doing is nothing short of spectacular, given the unprecedented nature of this remastering effort -- a level of care that no TV show had ever been given before. It shows respect, not half-heartedness.

    You'll acknowledge that in practice there's quite a big gap between what one may want or what is conceivably possible and what one can do given specific resources, time and money. CBS realized that they had most of the original assets on 35mm film vaulted safely away in good condition in a salt mine for 25 years, so spending money on all new CGI effects to replace them makes no sense from either a financial point of view or an artistic point of view because you'd be throwing out the hard work of Emmy and Academy Award winners.

    I am quite sure either the TNG project was going to happen as it has happened or it was not going to happen at all. They certainly didn't have the budget or time to both restore the original shots and replace them with CGI. TOS-R utilized CGI because the original effects elements had been lost and the opticals that were already cut into the negatives looked very, very poor, so they wanted to give fans a choice to watch something that looked more uniformly high quality.

    With TNG, pretty much everything was already uniformly high quality... thanks to those aforementioned Emmy and Academy Award winners. :)
     
  17. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ...or we might not have received any sets...ever.
     
  18. FrontierTrek

    FrontierTrek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's very hard to quantify or qualify the ENORMOUS amount of work that is involved with the remastering project as it is. It's truly unprecedented and CBS Digital have a huge team working tirelessly to stay to a tight schedule and keep quality high. There is so much work that goes on behind-the-scenes that we don't hear about, things we take for granted when we watch a final 45-minute episode on Blu-ray.

    If they were to go down the line of your suggestions, JJohnson, the project would take twice as long, be impossible to finance and suffer in quality.
     
  19. OneBuckFilms

    OneBuckFilms Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I personally am stunned at just what has been done, and grateful to see the show given so much "extra love" as one compositing artist said on the special features.

    There are always tweaks or enhancements that one can think of, but this is not the goal. The goal is one of restoration rather than revision.

    I want TNG to be what it is, what it was originally designed to be. And we're getting that here.
     
  20. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Very nice!