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ssgt-cheese said:
I thought the 1st pilot E. has some kind of detail at the nacelles end caps. And check out the navigation light on the starboard side of the primary hull. Wasn't it smooth? :confused:

http://spacestationk7.eliteforce.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1179


Mike

That image is from a series recently released. They have been massively (and masterfully) retouched. As a result, some details have been lost in the effort to clean them up.

Mark
 

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Could somebody tell that guy to get the title card out of the way, please?
 

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MGagen said:
That image is from a series recently released. They have been massively (and masterfully) retouched. As a result, some details have been lost in the effort to clean them up.
Having looked at some of the before and after shots, the restoration is amazing.
While it's true that some detail may be lost due to the deterioration of the original picture. I don't believe substantial detail is discarded in the cleanup process. The guy says he spends as much as 8 hours per image manually working the restoration. He commented that some filters remove dust specs automatically, but he doesn't blithely apply them because he's noticed they mistakenly remove real details (he talked about a reflection in someone's eye). Considering all the detail that is present in that shot, there's virtually zero chance that the nacelle endcap detail was on the model but erased in the restored picture. I believe this is a shot of the model before it had the nacelle endcap detail added.
 

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uss_columbia said:
Considering all the detail that is present in that shot, there's virtually zero chance that the nacelle endcap detail was on the model but erased in the restored picture. I believe this is a shot of the model before it had the nacelle endcap detail added.
While I can't say catagorically that this is the case, I still believe the detail was removed during the photo restoration.

A restoration of this magnitude requires a lot of cloning and airbrushing. I am a professional retouch artist myself and can tell you that a lot of interpretation is called for when an original is in really bad shape. The detail that is missing is very flat. It is in essence a thin sheet of plastic bent and glued to the endcap with a half-round added at the bottom. As such, direct lighting, such as we have here, would form the same tones on the raised section as the surrounding surface. It would only become obviously visible if the light source shined across it and cast a shadow.

A retoucher unfamiliar with what this detail looked like might interpret the slight indication of something there as a flaw in the film. He would then even out the tone across the whole surface. He is more likely to do so on this image since the back of the other nacelle is blocked and thus he has no comparison. If he saw a similar slight indication on both nacelles he would have known that it was definitely something on the model, and not a film flaw.

Another point to consider is that the endcap detail is definitely indicated on the construction blueprint. The model would not have been considered finished if it hadn't been added yet. This image shows the model on the stage at Howard Anderson's studio. Since it wasn't built there, but at Volmer Jensen's model shop, it is not still under construction. We also have a photo showing the model in its completed state from December '64 showing it on the street outside Jensen's shop awaiting delivery to Anderson.

These facts all lead me to strongly suspect that we're looking at a retouch error.

Mark
 

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Hi,

I've had this photo for some time now, prior to cleanup. There are others in the set too. (No, don't ask! They are not mine.)

The nacelle cap detail is not a restoration error. This version is the other version I had mentioned in an earlier posting. It is of the 11 foot model being shot after The Cage possibly for the second pilot.

This model is still hanging in these shots. You can barely see the hanging wire which was screwed into the back of the neck about mid point here
(Spikes!)
and you can barely see this wire for about 2 frames in the opening shot of The Cage as it rolls in and pans under the camera. Look for it just behind the saucer as it passes in front of the nacelle. After the model was refit with lighting for the second pilot, it was supported from the bottom with a pole mount.

A few Cage details were changed after pilot 1 and prior to the model having lighting added for pilot 2. The end caps on this 11 foot model may or may not have had the flat panel detail on the back. The only time we saw that detail was at the end of the first pilot and it was of the 3 foot model. Instead, in the image of this version there is a small black dot at the top on center of each cap.

This may have been the inspiration for the vented caps in the second pilot. You can also barely see in that image that the arcs on the saucer top are now filled in black with a navigation light dome added. There were probably other changes made that haven't popped up yet, but I'd like to see the footage (if any) that they shot of this version!

So we have version 4. (Version 1.5 actually!)

Pilot 1 (hanging - unlit)
Pilot 1.5 (this one still hanging and unlit)
Pilot 2 (Pole mounted - lit)
Production version (pole mounted - lit)

The production version was touched up many many times. I would suspect each time it was prepped for shooting, replacing burned out bulbs, retouching scratches, and scrapes. You can see that the deflector area was definately repainted and touched up as later on there was rust colored weathering applied to the base of the deflector ring housing.
 

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Thomas,

Thank you! You always have these little nuggets of gold to dispense. While the retouch error I suspected was plausible, I'm happy to have hard evidence to the contrary. I stand corrected.

So THIS is the other version you mentioned. That explains the "Star Trek #2" on the placard as well. I was puzzled by this since the date seemed more in line for something filmed for The Cage (if a little late) than for WNMHGB. Did NBC ask for the second pilot this quickly?

What's also interesting is that it isn't being filmed on a bluescreen, but on a black background. That means they must have planned to hand paint the travelling mattes to block out the stars.

I have just scoured my references to see if I could come up with an "11-footer" image with the pilot endcap detail. The only images I find with it are definitely the "3-footer" -- just as you suspected. While it's true that the detail is on the construction BPs which were used to build both models, I also know that Roddenberry asked for some changes after seeing the study model. Perhaps nixing this detail was one of them. Do you know?

Here's another thought. Could this be merely an effects test and the model is not a "separate version" but merely in mid-second-pilot re-fit? The holes on the endcaps could be pilot holes for cutting in the grille patterns. The date is so soon after The Cage that I wonder if they'd even decided what ship shots they were going to need for the second pilot yet. Just an idle speculation...

Mark
 

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ssgt-cheese said:
Mark said:

"What's also interesting is that it isn't being filmed on a bluescreen, but on a black background. That means they must have planned to hand paint the travelling mattes to block out the stars."


You mean something like this.

http://spacestationk7.eliteforce.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1074

Actually, that's star background being shot. It would be the same with either technique. I was talking about the compositing of the two images together.

With the bluescreen technique used later in the series, the travelling matte is generated photomechanically by separating out the blue background in the footage. This is used to make a window to print the ship through and a hold back spot to print the stars around. While less labor intensive, it has the disadvantage of alternately choking in too far on the edges of the ship; and going out of register enough to show a blue matte line.

The hand painted technique is called rotoscoping and was used to great effect in 2001. You get a much more natural look since the model is already on a black background. There is no compromise on the edge of the model. But someone has to animate a hand painted blob that matches the image of the ship frame for frame in order to print the stars in. Whenever they miss, a star remains visible through the ship's hull. They may have been able to use this time intensive technique for the pilots, but not a series with a weekly deadline. I'm just surprised they used this technique even for the pilots.

Mark
 

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MGagen said:
Thomas,

Thank you! You always have these little nuggets of gold to dispense. While the retouch error I suspected was plausible, I'm happy to have hard evidence to the contrary. I stand corrected.

So THIS is the other version you mentioned. That explains the "Star Trek #2" on the placard as well. I was puzzled by this since the date seemed more in line for something filmed for The Cage (if a little late) than for WNMHGB. Did NBC ask for the second pilot this quickly?

What's also interesting is that it isn't being filmed on a bluescreen, but on a black background. That means they must have planned to hand paint the travelling mattes to block out the stars.

I have just scoured my references to see if I could come up with an "11-footer" image with the pilot endcap detail. The only images I find with it are definitely the "3-footer" -- just as you suspected. While it's true that the detail is on the construction BPs which were used to build both models, I also know that Roddenberry asked for some changes after seeing the study model. Perhaps nixing this detail was one of them. Do you know?

Here's another thought. Could this be merely an effects test and the model is not a "separate version" but merely in mid-second-pilot re-fit? The holes on the endcaps could be pilot holes for cutting in the grille patterns. The date is so soon after The Cage that I wonder if they'd even decided what ship shots they were going to need for the second pilot yet. Just an idle speculation...

Mark
Almost definitely a test shot - and I'll bet the conversation right after the prints were viewed went something like:

"Boy, that sure looks good, but the end of the engines look kinda dull. Could you spruce it up with some kind of detail?"
 

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If you look *very* closely, there is a sort of drawn-on rectangular area corresponding to the detail to follow. I'll bet we are looking at a lighting test or some such, while that detail was to be added.
 

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Pygar said:
If you look *very* closely, there is a sort of drawn-on rectangular area corresponding to the detail to follow. I'll bet we are looking at a lighting test or some such, while that detail was to be added.
Seeing as this appears to date after The Cage, the placard says Star Trek #2, it appears to be in mid-revision, and the first pilot detail was never seen again -- isn't it more likely that it is a scar left after that detail was removed?

Mark
 

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Can I have more background on these images? I went to the thread and it seems to suggest these are not still camera shots but frames from bits of footage. And also the guy posting them made some mention of writing a book(s) that would include a lot of interesting stuff. Who, what is all this about?

By the way, the making of ST mentions rotoscoping in reference to the viewscreen stuff on the bridge (I think, without actually checking), which confused me and I tried to figure it out, whether they used bluescreen later after using RS on the pilots, or if it was a mistake by the author and not true, or whether they never used BS and I was wrong on that bit.
 

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Richard Compton said:
By the way, the making of ST mentions rotoscoping in reference to the viewscreen stuff on the bridge (I think, without actually checking), which confused me and I tried to figure it out, whether they used bluescreen later after using RS on the pilots, or if it was a mistake by the author and not true, or whether they never used BS and I was wrong on that bit.
I believe the viewscreen was just a white screen on the set. when they showed it they almost always had a locked down camera. Since it is a simple rectangle, all they needed to do was make one mask and use it for the whole scene. This same method is used with the desktop viewers. If you notice when they're "off" it's just a grayish white screen.

There is at least one time when the Main Viewscreen on the bridge was open with a painted star background actually visible through it. Kirk walks past it and the camera follows him. It's very effective, but I can only think of one example.

Bluescreen was definitely used to film the models during the run of the series. We have photos of them in front of the blue backdrop. I believe that this technique was even used in WNBHGB, as we have images of that revision of the Enterprise in front of a bluescreen as well.

Mark
 
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