Synthetic actor in the Cage???

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Cheapjack, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    The original plan was to have a slide projector behind each of the screens, automatically changing the image every few seconds. Unfortunately union rules demanded that each machine be controlled by its own technician, which the budget of a weekly TV series couldn't afford. So sadly, it was dropped in favour of the still images (and occasional use, as mentioned above)
     
  2. ahkyahnan

    ahkyahnan Captain Captain

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    Here's how I understand it, though I could easily be mistaken.

    The chronometer replacement was a close-up shot done completely in CGI. Not just the device itself, but the helm housing and everything else. If you saw a hand nearby that was CGI too.

    My understanding is that CGI was mostly used only when the entire shot could be replaced (i.e. no live actors in the scene). Exterior shots, matte painting replacements, close-ups, etc.

    It was a more difficult and expense process to insert bits & pieces of CGI into the original footage with the live actors and so forth, so it was rarely used.

    I think in most cases, any given frame is either 100% CGI or 100% original remastered footage, with only a few exceptions here and there.

    Like the example that started this thread for instance. All the actors in the Cage scene were CGI apparently, not a case of inserting CGI elements into a live shot.

    I'm not saying it can't be done...Luca's did that Jabba The Hut scene for Star Wars...but probably wasn't in their budget to use very often. Especially since those Bridge monitors are in every episode.

    Again I could be wrong, but that's how I understand why some things got replaced and others didn't. If it was original footage they generally left it alone, except for the remastering of course.

    Not sure if anyone has more detail on this aspect or not.

    Mark
     
  3. Gil T.Azell

    Gil T.Azell Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This was Space the other night it looks to me like he turns to the left of the turbo lift as the doors close and he just goes out of sight of the camera.
     
  4. Sycho Nosk

    Sycho Nosk Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    its funny. i was just saying on another thread how much i liked the remasterd eps... then i saw this tiny nugget... and it FREAKED ME OUT! its true they do look like corpses.. but they still move? OMG THE APPOCALYPS!!! ship of the living dead!!! they crave brains.... luckally theyl take the red shirts first ;)
     
  5. DrBob

    DrBob Commander Red Shirt

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    I think the walk-cycle on the turbo lift guy looked like keyframe animation and it can look a bit odd if the animator was rushed or not given enough time/budget for revisions, or drunk :*) Because he's moving in the middle of the shot it catches your eye a whole lot more before you scan around the rest of the scenery.

    Maybe they don't have the equipment to create some mocap or it was deemed too expensive to farm out for a three step walk. Critique aside I think the other models transitioned very nicely as they were mostly in shadow.

    Does anyone know if the turbo lift doors were shut in the original, or just barely closing before the cut? I forget.
    Even if they were just closing it might have worked better if they tracked in some shut doors and avoided putting in a synthetic guy altogether since they're already altering the scene directing within the remastered sections. It does looks like a reason just to fill in the space or to (tr)explain why the doors are shutting, or to show off a bit.

    It's still harmless and done for entertainment/remastering purposes but it's a little disappointing to see the boards pick up on some of those things, specially cgi that's supposed to be invisible. Sometimes that walkcycle will work depending how you view the scene, hopefully its not a deal breaker for some. I try not to break down these shots when I'm watching the actual show but when its noticeable I start thinking how I would approach the shot myself.

    I thought a partial 2d solution for the actors might have worked for that scene but it would be fairly expensive to implement compared to the minor miracle the guys pulled off there :)

    Last nitpick is I don't think I like the shader on the model or its a lighting issue, but youtube is not a fair way to view that kinda detail.

    Anyway I'm sure once its seen full screen in hd the scene will flow along nicely & be gone before you know it. Even in big budget Hollywood films I can always spot the synth actors a mile off, so I don't think the Trek versions could have been done much better given the current software and ridiculous deadlines the cgi guys have to hit.

    Wow, long post, probably too long for cgi-turboliftguy
     
  6. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: Seriously?
     
  7. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just compared the original fly-in shot (here) with the "upgraded" one (here), and... wow. The CBS Digital gang had their work cut out for them. I'm even more impressed now than I was before.
     
  8. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. The characters all looked great, even in CGI. This included... THE WOMEN!!! :lol:
     
  9. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I doubt one per...they don't have of gaffer per studio light after all, but any added personnel to run and maintain them would have been an extravagance.
     
  10. nx1701g

    nx1701g Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. I know it's the uncommon thing here but I actually kinda like the new CGI better than the original effects. The Constellation is a perfect example of why.
     
  11. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I recall that claim being made in either The Making of Star Trek or Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.
     
  12. Mytran

    Mytran Commodore Commodore

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    Yep, that's where I got it from - but I can't remember which one either!
     
  13. GSchnitzer

    GSchnitzer Co-Executive Producer Moderator

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    Well, the "synthetic guy" is no more synthetic than everyone else in the scene. He's actually there even in the original shot. The blue-shirted crewmember (with one rank braid stripe) walks up to the closed turbolift doors, pauses ever-so-briefly to allow the doors to open, steps inside, and then the doors close. Mister Spock then walks from where he was standing between the two redshirted crewmembers seated at Engineering and Environmental Systems, respectively, crosses in front of the turbolift doors and comes down behind Captain Pike's chair to stand next to Captain Pike.

    Here's a shot (with a blow up).

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly, this "synthetic guy" who actually wasn't synthetic began his walk starting over by the Engineering station much as Mister Spock does. He actually didn't (in the original version) walk from the Library-Computer station, past communications, and approach the turbolift doors from the "back" of the bridge. You can make out his legs mid-stride between the guy standing guard right next to the doors and the guy seated at the Engineering station.

    I'm not sure why his approach path towards the turbolift was changed for the remastered version.

    (Also new to the remastered version are two display panels added to the back wall of the inside of the turbolift.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  14. NiteTrek

    NiteTrek Captain

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    Another interesting point....this image should put to rest the idea that the bridge was offset by 35 degrees. In this on-screen image, which makes it canon, you can clearly see that the turbolift doors inside the bridge do NOT correspond to the external shaft at the rear of the bridge, which may be part of the turbolift system but is not where the bridge personnel enter/exit the bridge.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm glad that this episode confirms cannnnnnnonically that the turbolift stop does not physically fit within the bridge dome!

    It's just a fun visual effect. I take it no more literally than I take the sound of the Enterprise's engines as it flies past the camera.
     
  16. NiteTrek

    NiteTrek Captain

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    It does fit within it...it's just an optical illusion which makes it seem that it does not. :)

    Besides....you have to have room for all the electronics, etc so there is obviously space between the inner bridge walls and the outer dome. Just enough space to fit a turbolift car.
     
  17. FalTorPan

    FalTorPan Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not going down the "Where Is the Turbolift" road in this thread. I have no strong opinion on this issue, because the only place that the turbolift really existed was within a studio soundstage or two. :)

    The CBS Digital gang did a great job recreating the fly-in effect from the limited material that they had. I look forward to buying the third-season TOS Blu Ray box set -- my first TOS video purchase since the full set of two-episode-per-disc DVDs -- in large part so I can enjoy the original and reworked VFX of "The Cage" at 1080p.
     
  18. Captain Robert April

    Captain Robert April Vice Admiral Admiral

    In the words of the old Bartle & Jaymes ads, thank you for your support. :techman:
     
  19. TIN_MAN

    TIN_MAN Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Then by this reasoning, it also puts to rest the idea that the bridge interior is anywhere other than in the top half of the dome, with an intervening deck below, probably containing the circular briefing/lounge.:p
     
  20. Gepard

    Gepard Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Considering that the pilot Enterprise's bridge dome is twice the height of the series' dome, that could be true.