Why don't phasers shoot straight?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Keeper, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Have you ever noticed how phaser streams almost always seem to go out the emitter at an odd angle relative to its aim, why is that?
     
  2. kv1at3485

    kv1at3485 Commodore Commodore

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    The real question is how the user tells the phaser where to direct the beam. There's nothing strange with a "steerable" particle beam or laser.
     
  3. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    "Steearable" beams may be possible but, IIRC, that idea is not canon, at least not yet.

    How hard can it be for the FX Co. doing the effect to align the beam with the shooters aim?
     
  4. Mr. B

    Mr. B Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's quite simple, the actors aren't pointing the props in exactly the right direction... they should stick laser pointers in them.
     
  5. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    I could have sworn there was a scene in Deep Space Nine where Kira was reviewing the features of various hand weapons and she hefted the Federation rifle and one of the features she mentioned was the tracking servos/system... and she mentioned this was a remarkable feature but one of the reasons she preferred "simpler" weapons when "in the field..."

    One of the 7th season episodes where she was trying to set up a resistance cell against the Dominion.
     
  6. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    I thought of that, (actors not pointing in right place) but dismissed it. That means the SFX person doing the shots knows better than the shooter what is being aimed at, & that doesn't make sense. His presumsumntion should be the shooter's aim is as true as can be thus lay out a straight beam along the phasers 'barrel'.

    Interesting. I don't recall that but will check on it...

    However, the effect is not limited to rifles, phasers have been seen doing it as well.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, that was season 4's Return to Grace. Kira was travelling on a Cardassian freighter commanded by Dukat, and she was explaining the various weapons and their features to Ziyal in case they got boarded by Klingons.
     
  8. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    Ah! Thanks! So I guess that means "self-aiming phasers" are canon? (cannon? BUAHAHAHAHA)

    As for aiming, perhaps slight pressure with your finger on the firing button steers the emitter and you get feedback through the same button telling you when the emitter is pointed at a target... Wouldn't be hard to set up actually... it'd require a bit of user-training to master but that holds true for "normal" firearms as well.
     
  9. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Simple answer? Actors dont honestly care where theyre aiming as long as it looks close. If the FX guys put the beam in straight to where the actor was aiming, it would most likely MISS the other actor who is pretending to be hit.
     
  10. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In TNG's "The Vengeance Factor," Riker phasers some girl and the beam goes at an extreme downward angle to hit her in the chest. However, it appears that Jonathan Frakes was aiming at her head, so the outrageous angle was because the guys in post decided that having a girl get shot in the head wasn't family friendly or something.
     
  11. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, thanks f0r the clarificati0n. ;)

    Sounds like a good idea but don't you still need to see the target to hit it..? And if you can see it then you can shoot straight at it thus eliminating any need to steer the beam.

    I suppose a steerable beam could be an advantage for a moving target if the beam steers faster than swinging your arm or jerking your hand but again, has it been specifically stated phaser beams are steerable?

    That is exactly the strange behavior from phasers I am talking about.
     
  12. Plecostomus

    Plecostomus Commodore

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    F/X error. Apply a healthy dose of "suspension of belief" and remember it's pretend.

    Riker is actually an unsporting bastard, he shot her in the head with a phaser set to SUPER-MAXIMUM ASSBURN and the real reason he did it was because he hated her cooking. OF COURSE they are going to "edit" the historical tapes to paint the Humans in a good light. :D
     
  13. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    From what I've read the design of the early TNG 'dustbuster' phaser made it very difficult for the actors involved to correctly line it up with the target, hence the odd angles as the SFX team tried to make it look right.
    There's a couple of examples at
    http://www.phasers.net/2360/type2db.htm
     
  14. Keeper

    Keeper Commodore Commodore

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    Great. Thank you. I'll accept this as a satisfactory explanation to my question. :beer:
     
  15. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Y0u're welc0me.
     
  16. The Badger

    The Badger Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Glad I could help!
    There's also things like actors aiming off screen, or at some non existent target that will be put in with special effects later. They may not even know where they are supposed to be aiming. So they may be aiming downwards slightly on a target that might be slightly higher than them, or vice versa.
     
  17. cultcross

    cultcross The truth is precisely the opposite Moderator

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    Which is one reason why the only time the 'dustbuster' ever looked like they were shooting where they were aiming was in the 'firing range' set where the targets were all CGI anyway ;) They could place them where the actors had aimed.
     
  18. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only problem I have with phasers, as I see them used, is that the beams take too long to reach their target. You can actually see the beams moving. This shouldn't happen; it should be near-instantaneous. The only time we see THAT happening is in "Future's End", and even that was a 29th-century model.
     
  19. Marie1

    Marie1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I prefer the Dominion phasers that snap off a bolt, instead of a long line that seems to need to hit the victim for a while. It slows down the firing. The Dominion weapons can hit multiple targets/areas faster, so I'm not sure why SF doesn't steal that.
     
  20. cultcross

    cultcross The truth is precisely the opposite Moderator

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    We also rarely (if ever :confused: ) see a phaser being 'swept' as a weapon based on a beam of light could be, to take in a much larger target area.