Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Dave Scarpa, Jul 27, 2015.
These are screencaps from the video Dennis posted upthread.
What strikes me about these shots is how they look so much like what TOS might have been able to do given some extra time and money. But also that while looking sharper and cleaner than the original f/x footage they still retain that particular aesthetic that fits seamlessly with the remaining live-action footage.
It simply fits in.
The other thing I was impressed with was how ships were shown to move. TOS couldn't manage to show the ship fly about like a airplane and that kind of motion wouldn't be seen in SF until Star Wars. But this enhancement maintains the motion style established in TOS and doesn't try to shoehorn in something that couldn't have been done back then.
I was also impressed by the phaser beam f/x even though as a quibble I'd have preferred blue coloured beams. Nonetheless they retain that distinctive look the Enterprise phasers had (for the most part) and that really won me over. I also like the yellow impulse engines rather than red--it simply looks more fitting somehow.
Overall I came away with only two real nitpicks. I think the shuttlecraft flight sequences weren't as I'd have done them and I'm not sure about the planet killer's antiproton beam f/x. That said the hangar deck sequence was light years beter than what was done in TOS-R.
This video isn't merely a showcase for proof of concept, but also a solid template for how it should have been done.
A pity CBS didn't get that.
P.S. I'd like to see what they could have done with the Klingon ship.
I love the new editions because it is like a rediscovery in a way, and they do it in a way that really honors the original versions.
Even so, I still prefer the original credits sequence. Just something about the way the Enterprise looks in that original sequence.
One's mileage will vary because I don't see that at all.
It's made extra weird in that some of the changes are flashyflashy and some of them are just basic updates to the effects as presented.
It can come across as very strange; either go all out and George Lucas it, or reign it in, more akin to TNG-R (which, granted, didn't exist at the time). Trying to do both somehow always does come out weird.
Well, there certainly are a few things that got changed that I found "disturbing".
I wished they had the original space and visual effects elements like they had for TNG.
But I don't think CBS did a "terrible" job. I think they did the job without enough time or funds. I love my Blu-rays. Watching "The Cage" and I never realized there is a small trickle of water coming off of the rocks just below the Talosian elevator on the planet surface.
One day I might get the BluRays just so I can see if there's something in the live-action footage I might have missed all these years.
Hey, wait a minute... That could make an interesting thread.
Almost every one of these CGI things miss on getting a compatible look because they don't get the contrast and black levels right, and they also don't light the CGI models like you'd light a miniature, meaning multiple lights within a fairly close range of the model and no far off light sources. You also need to simulate some bounce light.
Another problem with most of these things is the animators in question don't know basic cinematography rules and mess up simple directional continuity and framing.
I watched it and it was very well done. I think I would have liked something in between the two approaches....but the posted video makes a point.
Thing is, if they had the time and money, they could have done better effects than the video shows. They were more than capable of shooting something like the opening scene of Star Wars with the practicals they were using. So, going a little further would not bother me.
But I think the problem with ST thru time is that Paramount has never understood their own franchise (right down to failing to understand it as a franchise until others made it so). Case in point the cheap and perpetual license with Amarillo DB. They have never gotten it. And when they approach ST, the top "deciders" are folks that just don't understand ST. STOL (Game) is a great example of what I mean, although it was not Paramount. The programmers and designers were tasked with doing the project, but generally were not "Trekies". They were great at their skill, but even late in the beta (I participated) they were watching episode after episode of ST ....for some, it was the first time they had seen ST. And unfortunately, the final product showed it. It showed a great of understanding of modern multiplayer space games. And almost no understanding of ST other than pretty ships. There are multiple reason for that - but basically Paramount has the same problem IMO. They can't get past treating it as generic "product" and following the trite rules of handling such "product".
You can sell them an idea, but they just cannot resist opening the oven and poking the cake.
I'm a little vague on the tech history here so hopefully someone can correct me. But didn't Star Wars coincide with advent of the motion-cam which allowed them to do shots of spaceships zooming about like aircraft?
My point is that resource simply didn't exist back on the '60s. Filming large studio miniatures against a bluescreen was a very cumbersome and involved process at the time. And to that end there's a limit to what you can do with not too much range beyond what we saw in TOS. More time could have allowed for more polish and to create more sequences, but they essentially wouldn't have been drastically different from what we are familiar with.
The Opening sequence to Star Wars was possible in 1965. 2001 after all was made in the same era using the same tech. And they were using practicals like star trek (and star wars) did (an 11 foot Enterprise in fact). Dog fights between x-wing and tie fighters? No. but camera fly bys yes. In fact, I can do a fly by sequence with my phone. Given time and budget they could have done far better. But they didn't have it.
Yes, the standard flybys were doable given it's essentially what TOS already did. It's the dogfight style maneuvers that were ushered in with SW.
It was not the extact same tech. Star Wars utilized a more sophisticated motion control rig which allowed for multiple passes of the same shot which could be properly lined up in an optical printer. One of the reasons it was so hard to get the Enterprise shots done in 1966 was precisely because it was a manpower driven dolly, subject to all the variances that any human propelled device has. And variability in speed or any camera shake becomes extra apparent when shooting minatures.
Thats what I was thinking about, but it's been so very long since I read about it (probably in Starlog magazine). Wasn't it called the magic-cam or something like that?
Ok, yes - not exactly the same. I am not saying they could have done better under the circumstances they had. I just assume they did the best they could.
But was any of that a question of available tech - or just budget and time?
If you watch from about 32.5 minutes you can see SFX of a decade earlier. A bit cheesy, but it shows certain shots were were doable (with a long lead time a movie allows).
So the question I guess I was addressing - I thought was asked - was "given the money and time what could they have done?"
You merely have to look at what else was being done in film of the era.
Back in the '30s you could see Flash Gordon spaceships flying in a circle onscreen, but those were small miniatures on wires or strings. For something more polished look to the Jupiter II flight and landing on Lost In Space as well as the Flying Sub in flight on Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea in production at the same time as TOS and the vehicles of U.F.O. at the end of the decade. But again those were manageable sized miniatures much smaller than the mammoth 11ft. Enterprise. The techniques used for small miniatures on other shows could have been used for the TOS shuttlecraft, Klingon ship and Romulan ship miniatures given enough time (and consequently added money).
So while more could have been done I don't think it would have been radically different from what we already got. It would have been somewhat more polished and finessed.
This shows how the TOS shuttlecraft could have looked launched similarly off a planet surface.
Yeah. The size of the original model always made me wonder. It was explained to me (or I read it some place) that the size was meant for detail options...but also maintenance. Unlike movie props, the show props had to be maintained. And it was maybe 200 pounds? But they also had a 3 foot model and the AMT 18" they used in a few episodes.
I don't think it would have been radically different either....but noticeable.
The 3ft. Enterprise miniature was used more in "The Cage," but after that I think its appearance occasionally throughout the series was reused footage from "The Cage" (and WNMHGB) until its appearance in third seasons's "Requiem For Methuselah" on a tabletop in Flint's lab.
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