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Some of the matte paintings done for 1954's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea look absolutely real to me. I am thinking of the scene at the opening of the show where you see all the old sailing ships in the harbour. There may be a couple of other similar examples in that Disney flic.

Huzz
 

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Prince of Styrene II said:
We have a 8 foot dish on our big satellite truck at work. It can get interferrence easily. Tree branches & snow piling up on the dish are two that I can think of offhand.
Well... yeah!

You need a clear line of sight of course. :lol:

I have an uncle who has a "mesh style" 8 foot dish who has weathered many hurricanes out in the last couple of decades. I think the highest winds he's had were around 90mph. Had zero destortion the whole time.

I'm aware that tornadoes, hurricanes that are stronger and/or that come much much closer then the ones that have come towards New Orleans(thank God!) in the last couple of decades generate WAY stronger winds.

But they are way less likely to give you problems during "ordinary" storms then the small dishes.

Moose and tree issues aside. :)

Now back to our regularly scheduled subject... the Defiant!
 

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sbaxter said:
I heard the same as you say -- but the described reaction certainly mirrors my own the first time I was able to see reproductions of the matte paintings, and it is true for those I've seen from other movies as well. It is amazing at how you rarely notice it in context, but they are really obviously paintings when you can examine them at any length. Many are quite unabashedly "painterly" in style.

Qapla'

SSB
A lot of it has to do with how big the painting is and how close you are to it (or how well it is reproduced in the case of books.)

When I've seen actual matte paintings in person, they all look to have the same rez as the art you see on the wall at Bob's Big Boy ... I don't think I've seen any matte art that looked photoreal in person (though I have seen non-movie art that seemed photoreal -- go figure.)

A lot of the Whitlock art in EARTHQUAKE that I've seen reproduced in books looks like documentary photography, very convincing, but recently I got a book on FX that showed one of these paintings with a lot more detail, and all of a sudden it looked like a painting (for the first time in 20+ years!)

The matter of how convincing a matte painting looks in the actual film often has to do with how it is printed ... I mean, from what I recall of ESCAPE FROM LA, the matte shots were so OFF from the way the live action looked in terms of contrast, you'd have though they were done for an old student film. Yet the folks involved (including the aforementioned Ellenshaw jr) were pros, which leads me to think that the comping was done in a hurry by somebody who didn't give a hoot (and Carpenter must have been nose-deep in blow to approve the finals.) I think a few of the BLADE RUNNER shots in the final sequence have similar issues, but not to the same degree.

the first shot on the hull in TMP (not the totally sucky dish profile shot, but the one where you see them rise up onto the hull) was totally credible in the theater, but when you saw it on video, esp on LD, it looked awful, presumably because it was brighter and showed TOO MUCH detail.
 

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nx01Rob said:
I am going to get to the Defiant soon, believe me. WARNING: I think you will be disapointed in her in some ways. I know there were inaccuracies that we did not have time to fix, but didn't matter for the shots we did. Once you have those orthos, your going to start pulling out the diagrams and I bet she starts failing in many ways! That's ok though, enjoy them and feel free to point out all flaws. I won't mind and Koji may use the info to correct whatever they may be. (Only real one I notice is that decks 2-3 don't have the right shape in my eye. Just had no time to fix it before delivery)

Keep reminding me about the images you want to see. It's actually better if you PM me as a reminder as it is more direct and doesn't get burried in a board posting. The half saucer is almost done...
Funny thing about time, the more you look at something the more flaws you see.

Everyone has their take on how it should have looked where it should have been located. Drawn diagrams are no different. Every one that have been drawn since the original show was broadcast has had changes made by that artist. Some are corrections on design flaws others are additions of something that was never thought of before.

The few of us that were around for the orginal broadcast were quite young then. Science Fiction back then was Star Trek. We didn't care how many flaws the ships had we watched it anyway. We didn't know that Main Engineering wasn't in Engineering section. We just knew that it existed. We didn't know that the Shuttle Bay interior didn't fit the exterior of the ship. We knew that it extsted. We didn't care what color it was painted and that the windows were in the wrong place. We it was painted and that it had windows.

It is your model of the Enterprise. It might the orginal Enterprise. It might be the refit 1701 or 1701-A. If it is a CGI, draw it the way you think it should be. If it is a model, paint it the way you think it should be painted. If it is a kitbash, make it the way you want it to look like. Half the joy of our hobby the finished model, the other is the making of the model. Enjoy it for what it is YOUR HOBBY. :thumbsup:
 

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AMEN e-fan. I'm one of those who was watching then too and I've never heard it said any better. Thank you !!
 

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Oh! And nx01Rob thanks for all your hard work on all your projects. It has saved all of us countless hour of research. (in the voice of Peter Faulk) "One more thing..... where are the rear photon torpedo tubes located?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 · (Edited)
enterprise_fan said:
Oh! And nx01Rob thanks for all your hard work on all your projects. It has saved all of us countless hour of research. (in the voice of Peter Faulk) "One more thing..... where are the rear photon torpedo tubes located?"

I posted it somewhere before, but the intention was that the rear torpedoes where from the little round port right betwen the impulses engines. We tried to make it logical with what existed so we didn't have to make a new hole on the ship. Everyone agreed, except that apparently if you frame by frame it, they actually come from the hangar bay phaser mounts. Someone in the chain etiher decided against it or didn't know. Even one of the writers was surprised it hadn't been done as discussed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Oh and thank you for the nice compliments. I feel compelled as a model builder to help out where I can. If I would have had access( and the internet!) when I was younger to this kind of stuff, I would have really appreciated it. I will do the best I can to help out.
 

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This has been one of the most enjoyable threads ever. The insight into the production of a CGI shot in a TV show is great. I loved the model, and appreciate the effort that went into building it and making it as accurate as possible to the intent of the original. I watch TOS in first run and to see the Connie again on the screen simply thrilled me.

Thanks, Rob, you made a lot of old guys like me very happy. Just please post some more renderings.
 

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Nx01 Rob,

I was trying to PM you but your PM box is full. :(
I'll send you an email and cross my fingers.

If it helps, I just noticed that in the lower right hand
corner of the PM page there is an option to download all your messages.

I used the plain text option and it works great!
I'm emailing myself a copy so I'll have one available at both work and home.
As the only possible negative thing I can think about downloading them is wanting to read a message and not being on the same machine you downloaded from. The self Email thing solves that.

Hope this helps, you're just too damn popular I guess! :thumbsup:
 

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nx01Rob said:
I posted it somewhere before, but the intention was that the rear torpedoes where from the little round port right betwen the impulses engines. We tried to make it logical with what existed so we didn't have to make a new hole on the ship. Everyone agreed, except that apparently if you frame by frame it, they actually come from the hangar bay phaser mounts. Someone in the chain etiher decided against it or didn't know. Even one of the writers was surprised it hadn't been done as discussed.
Can't cover all the bases. But whoever did the overlay effect at the FX house kinda doubly screwed the pooch. In one shot it looks like they probably come from the phasers. As they pull away and fire the volley on the station, though, the dispersion pattern looks way to wide to have come from two launchers so close together.

But what the heck, the Defiant still looked Gorgeous.
And besides, it's just a TV show, right?[ducks and covers as he runs out of the room]
 

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My two cents...

First of all, I'd like to chime in and tell Rob and Nova that their stuff looks great! It's obvious that you guys have a lot of computing horsepower behind you to be able to do what you do...not to mention an unlimited love for the Constitution-class design (as I do).

I can relate to the production dilemma of time versus money. I deal with it on a daily basis in my job, so I understand the problem of wanting to do more (or better) but being unable thanks to schedule or budget constraints.

As some other posters in this thread have mentioned, I also dabble a little in both physical and CGI modeling, and yes, many of the techniques are the same. When it comes to what people call "photorealistic" CGI images, though, I have to ask one question: To what are you referring?

There are many kinds of "photos," from the sharpest, high-quality portraiture to happy snaps somebody takes with a disposable camera. And there are almost all kinds of lighting involved as well. To say that something is "photorealistic" implies more than just saying the scene was shot with a camera. When you involve filmmaking techniques like bluescreen compositing, "photorealistic" takes on a whole new meaning.

Like, for instance, what kind of lens are you using? What type of film stock? Or, if it's video, what's your focal length? If you're rendering for TV or film, you also have to take motion blur into account, and it's different between television (30 fps) and film (24 fps). Also, film has more color saturation than videotape. There's lots to take into account when trying to create something "photorealistic," and it's no wonder that folks like Rob run up against that brick wall each week. To do it that way takes more money and time than a weekly TV show will allow. That he's able to do it at all simply speaks to his skill (and the skills of his co-workers) as CGI artists.

I'm working on a Big E of my own using Cinema 4D (on a laptop, no less), and I've discovered the pitfalls of trying to do "photorealistic" renders. For instance, all of my texture at this point (with just a few exceptions) is bitmapped, which makes for a pretty picture...when you're looking straight on at the subject. If it's turned to an angle, it blurs out, and destroys any illusion of realism. But modeled-in textures (such as the registry pennants and things of that nature) add to the size of the mesh, and when you're dealing with a Celeron processor and 256mb of RAM, you don't have the luxury of doing more than making sure your shapes are the correct size, contour, and relationship to each other (which I'd like to say I've done pretty well, IMNSHO :p ). It's given me a new appreciation of what folks like Rob and Nova go through to create what they do, and it's also taught me a lot about physical modeling.

I do have some ideas about a modeled-in shuttlebay, though... ;)
 

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Well I think the term "photorealism" at least in the world of visual effects is meant to describe something that looks like the real, physical object that it represents--without any of the tell-tale giveaways that its in fact computer-generated. That's even harder to do with something fictional like starships, where viewers inherently know that the thing they are seeing is not real. The other problem with something like the original Enterprise is the fact that we, in CG are recreating a model and not a real ship... and something that was filmed and lit really poorly. That look just wouldn't fit in to "reality" as in a real ship flying in space. Nor does it fit into the more modern look established by all the new Trek series.

So when one attempts to make the big E look like a real ship flying in a real space environment... people cry "ITS CRAPPY CG!!!" because it doesn't look like the big wooden model from the 60s that everyone is so familiar with. THAT is what people are looking for, not a real spaceship, because we don't know what that's supposed to look like.

In some ways its the CG artists Kobiyashi Maru--a no-win scenario. In a more open-minded sense, its an opportunuty to do something the TV artists of the 60s could only dream of: make a model of the Enterprise look and behave like a real starship. :)

BTW, I made my Enterprise on a home built PC, 2.6GHz, 200GB HD, 1GB of RAM and an off the shelf video card. I built it myself for about $800. You don't need a lot of horsepower for modeling... for calculating dynamics and particle simulation and for rendering... that's a whole different story. :wave:
 

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loneranger said:
As some other posters in this thread have mentioned, I also dabble a little in both physical and CGI modeling, and yes, many of the techniques are the same. When it comes to what people call "photorealistic" CGI images, though, I have to ask one question: To what are you referring?

There are many kinds of "photos," from the sharpest, high-quality portraiture to happy snaps somebody takes with a disposable camera. And there are almost all kinds of lighting involved as well. To say that something is "photorealistic" implies more than just saying the scene was shot with a camera. When you involve filmmaking techniques like bluescreen compositing, "photorealistic" takes on a whole new meaning.

Like, for instance, what kind of lens are you using? What type of film stock? Or, if it's video, what's your focal length? If you're rendering for TV or film, you also have to take motion blur into account, and it's different between television (30 fps) and film (24 fps). Also, film has more color saturation than videotape. ...
While I'm kind of wondering as to the reason for this question in the first place(I personally get the sense that 99.99999% of us including myself are in a general sense of stupified awe of Rob's talents),

I don't even recall the term "Photorealistic" being used too often in this forum. If it has I apologize for having missed it and being mistaken. But if I had to give a definition of photorealistic being used that way I'd have to say most people simply would mean that the object in question looks real - with all that that entails.

Most people thoroughly understand the limitations of time and budget.
Also I'd add that I didn't notice any flaws in the Defiant itself.

I did notice the chrominance and luminence levels looked different between the high def version and the standard def version. The model looked just as real, but the color intensity seemed different. Which I was curious about, but not that there was something wrong with either version. Just couldn't figure out what would cause such a thing.

Snafus like the torpedos happen all the time, but really had nothing to do with Rob.
 

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NX01Rob, I am in awe of your work..period. As others have stated, to see the Connies on the small screen again, in something new, was a heart stopping moment for me. I have always been more of a fan of the technology of ST over the characters. Show me how to use the replicators and just turn me loose on the Enterprise and that is the last you'd see of me for quite some time! The only change I would make is to add a miniature of you in the "Remington Razor" space suits standing on the primary hull, waving to all of us jealous fans! Bravo Zulu!
 
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