Dochterman To Complete His “Enhanced Doomsday Machine” | TrekMovie.com
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Dochterman To Complete His “Enhanced Doomsday Machine” January 25, 2007

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Fan Productions,Uncategorized , trackback

Daren Dochterman, the Visual Effects Supervisor on the Directors’ Edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, has been working on a CGI-enhanced version of "The Doomsday Machine" for many years. He even presented a version of his work to Paramount TV over 2 years before they decided to give Star Trek Remastered the go ahead. That version has been available at his site (TrekEnhanced.com) and on YouTube for over a year, but Dochterman has been quietly working on a ‘final version’ which he announced at his site today.

 

Getting it out of his system
Daren talked to TrekMovie about why he has decided to complete this labor of love. "I just need to get it out of my system," says Dochterman,  "in a way I need to make this part of my life complete." Dochterman is hoping to have the full ‘Trek Enhanced’ version of "The Doomsday Machine" available to view before the CBS Star Trek Remastered version is aired on February 10th. Daren says that he isn’t trying to compete with CBS, but just wants fans to see how he would have done the show. Besides the preview image above, he has also released his final Trek Enhanced version of the opening titles (see below). In a week he will release a preview, with the full episode appearing a week later. Once complete Daren can get focus on his real work, he is currently doing designs for the upcoming Get Smart movie.

 

click image to play QT movie

Previous Story: Daren Dochterman Talks ‘ST:TMP Directors Edition’ And His ‘Trek Remastered’ Pitch  

Comments

1. Adam Cohen - January 25, 2007

Daren,

First of all, I am a huge admirer of your work. I appreciate everything you’ve done professionally and in particular all your work on Star Trek. It is very clear that you love this show.

Second, I cannot wait to see what you’ve managed. The Enhanced opening looks thrilling, and that’s the simple stuff! I’m glad you’re doing this also as a catharsis. While I personally enjoy TOS-R, I also know that I am not a trained professional and your criticism of their work in the past is extremely well-informed. I cannot guess what it feels like to be in your position, but I’m glad to see you’re moving on. In that respect, please don’t be a stranger to these discussion threads, we love hearing your thoughts.

-Adam

2. An olde timey fan - January 25, 2007

Beautiful work Darren Doc. I suspect you will go far in your chosen career.

Love the star field and the appropriate use of color stars. That right-to-left sweep on the Big E is also a treat! Unfortunately, my ancient T-21 ThinkPad is too slow to render smooth motion.

And that version of the theme song still sends chills down my spine, especially the muted trumpets near the end before the final arpeggio. They fall off a third and the harmony is so sweet… ah, sweet music!

(This love of the trumpets in no way diminishes the gorgeous, syncopated work of the saxophone section — in five-part harmony!)

There is something magical and warm about the dance band instrumentation and the cool sophistication of the bossa nova. I am delighted to this day that Sandy Courage used both in this composition.

3. JB - January 25, 2007

Very well done. I love the attention to detail, e.g. the way the ship skids right and left (who’s driving that thing, Sulu or Steve McQueen?). Looking forward to the finished product.

4. Plum - January 25, 2007

Gotta say… his enterprise seems more accurate in details and colour than the CBS teams efforts, though I love the new remastered work. That Dochterman is one mean animatin’ machine. World class work. :)

5. Scott Gammans - January 25, 2007

ALRIGHT!!! I am thrilled that Daren has decided to finish this.

6. JON - January 25, 2007

excellent.Very comparable to the cbs work.

7. Magic_Al - January 25, 2007

I, too, love the starfield, it’s one of those things rarely gets enough TLC but this one got it. The Enterprise model is beautiful and lit beautifully, including nice running lights which are way too dim on CBS’s version.

I’m less crazy about the flight paths and the planet spinning so fast. The main titles are so iconic any changes in movement stick out.

Something I’d really get a kick out of would be if Darren would render main titles for Star Trek Phase II (or a hypothetical TV spin-off of TMP if that’s easier to imagine) using the movie model and the Courage/Goldsmith music combo. Basically TNG but with the original cast!

8. Father Rob - January 25, 2007

Just some thoughts…

Love the Starfield.
Particularlly love the coloured stars.
Love the Enterprise coloration choices.
Love the fluid motion.

Engine Nacelle ‘balls’ look too big.
The ‘skid’ looks a bit cartoonish.
Planetary rotation is too fast to be believeable for me.

Rob+

9. Ross - January 25, 2007

uhm, that is pretty outstanding. I hate to say it but I like those effects more than anything I’ve seen from CBS (and I was pleased with them).
I wish they had gone with you seeing your work.

10. JON - January 25, 2007

These animated models (in general)are cool but they lack detail in closeups and don’t convey sheer mass.no disrespect ,but they re the same toy shot from different angles/atmospheres.Great work,but they ve really whet my appetite for more.More believability.like close ups with people at windows ,fittings between where surface feautures meet ,surface features,metallic texures etc.Easy for me to say.It’d be cool though.

11. JON - January 25, 2007

I imagine that mangled starboard engine on “the Doomsday Machine”starship would be quite a challenge to the animators

12. Adam Cohen - January 25, 2007

Folks, you haven’t seen Daren’s final work yet. The man is more than qualified in this realm. Go watch Star Trek: TMP Director’s Edition if you want to see what Daren is capable of doing.

13. Ron Jon - January 25, 2007

This is good news, indeed. Now Daren will put his money where his mouth is.

14. Kelvington - January 25, 2007

All I can say is WOW! I hate to admit how much better this looks than CBS-D’s stuff, but it really does look better. Personally I suggest you get a team of animators/fans together and fix every single nitpick and effect shot in the show, starting with the Charlie X shirt thing, and then give the DVD’s away on the internet for free, just to shame CBS for making their people do too much too quickly.

Keep up the great work!

15. jonboc - January 25, 2007

Nice job. That starfield is absolutely gorgeous. Aside from the balls that appear lit (or maybe they’re just white and lit too brightly) on ends of the nacelles, the ship looks really great. I look forward to seeing this episode as well as the CBS version…can’t get enough of Matt Decker!

16. New Horizon - January 25, 2007

Quite beautiful. Actually looks and feels like it might have been the physical model, rather than CGI. The lighting plays a big part in pulling this off, as do the details…..nice to see the deflector dish looking correct. Can’t wait to see what you have done with this Daren….and best of luck with your future work. I’m sure it will be a relief to leave this behind you.

17. hitch1969© - January 25, 2007

Yo, Doc™

Mac in the pants work.

My next comment is to CBS. And to them, I say that to show respek® to the mothergrabbin’ Doc™, they should use his version of this one episode for the remasters. I dont think its a money thing with the cat, but cut him a check for a fair amount that wont break you. Let CBS-D instead use the extra week tweaking the greatest Trek episode ever in my opinion, “The Cloudminders”.

Or even let them go back and spend a week re-working and tweaking and adding to the episodes already done. It doesnt matter to hitch1969©.

The point is the THE DOC™ packs a mac in the pants and as he walks down the street, we here at TrekMovie dot com watch his Steve Jobs® boner grow. And we think to ourselves in our minds, “wow, what what a mac mercedes of mac in the pants I just saw right there”.

SO CBS, big up yo self and listen to me main geezah and what he be tellin you about dis doomsday machine and star trek wif all dem ears and all dat. respek™.

aiiiiiight!

=h=

18. New Horizon - January 25, 2007

hitch,

You are not Ali G. I respek your attempts, but enough with the ca in the pants dude…it’s getting really old. lol

19. JON - January 25, 2007

Yeah,no more in the pants fixation,please.Really tired

20. Anthony Pascale - January 25, 2007

I concur

21. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

amen, just enjoy the party like the rest of us.

And Daren, my Trek buddies talk about your work a LOT. Good things.

22. Nelson - January 25, 2007

Wow, I was away all day. What cool news, dueling Star Trek Enhanced.

I very much like Daren’s new titles. The stars have the same feel as the opening of Star Trek 2, sort of slow rotation. I like the new fly-by interpretation.

I have to admit, and this is not a knock on Daren’s skills, but I wasn’t sure I liked Daren’s interpretation of how the Enterprise is rendered. I thought one of the stills I saw had the plating on the hull too strong. But in motion here, it looks pretty darn good! The engines from what I could tell had a bit more specular effect then the rest of the ship. But this is art, and art is based on interpretation and every artist has his vsion. It’s a very well done vision too. Not overlay slavish to the original.

I look forward to viewing this version. Daren, is your version going to be downloadable or view only on your site?

23. T Negative - January 25, 2007

Daren,

Great work! Your E is perfect and I love the minor tweaks to the opening credits as they come onto the screen.

I think you are pushing our friends at CBS to do better work. You set the bar, now they have to continue to match it.

24. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

Love the opening overall. I especially love the angled return on the swooshes. I do think the nacelles’ ‘balls’ are too big. The E is a woman, afterall. As for the skid, I remember a few mentions of taking a “parabolic course” in various scripts. So, the skid could reflect a standard navigation system. Whatever you’re doing on the lighting, please email it to CBS-D. It has much more of the pearlescense of the original model’s paint job.
Anyway, thank you for your efforts. You set the bar higher.

25. Chunkay - January 25, 2007

Wow, finally a redone Trek that doesn’t look like plastic. I’m very impressed!

26. Old School Trek Nerd - January 25, 2007

I wonder why it is always “Doomsday”? Between the old Digital Stream attempt, Daren’s, and Scott Gammans’ reels, we’re literally overrun by marauding planetkillers.

I must admit, I’m looking forward to viewing this.
The Hi-Def is stunning.

27. Mark 2000 - January 25, 2007

I’m sorry, but I know Doc is worshiped around here and his work on TMP is great. However, I never really liked this piece. I think his model looks as plastic as the CBS one. The way he lights the ship with all these primary colors is inappropriate and cartoony. Plus his model has the same fatal flaw that still kills the CBS model: little to no specular highlights. The original ship had a little bit of shine to it because it was supposed to be metal.

28. Jim J - January 25, 2007

I’ve always liked Daren’s work too, and am looking forward to this version along with CBS-D’s…

Three things struck me about the opening credits, however. No offense intended as I do always like your work, BUT…
1). The “BALLS” are too big and too light, IMO.
2.) Call me crazy, but I seriously think in that one orbit shot, the Enterprise is flying “downhill” or crooked, again…IMO.
3.) I must be the only one, but what I don’t like is the “swoosh” effect. Way too curvy and cartoon looking to me at the beginning of each swoosh. Was Sulu drunk that day? LOL But, unlike CBS-D, perhaps you aren’t trying to COPY the credits as closely as possible.

I hadn’t really noticed the planet spinning so fast until someone else mentioned it, but it’s bugging me now, too.

But, the nacelles are great-LOL! Sorry, I just had to.

Daren, please know I am not knockin’ your work. I’m certainly no effects expert, just a life-long TOS fan. Just thought you might want to know what an average Joe (or Jim, in this case) sees in your work so far.

Best of luck. It takes real guts to do something like this and throw it out there for people to look at and compare, and criticize, and praise,,,and….

29. Jim J - January 25, 2007

OOPS-it’s getting late and I posted wrong words:

On my point #2, I meant to say the Enterprise is flying “uphill” or crooked. Also, what’s with the “paint-like” looking thing on it’s belly for that shot? Just noticed that after watching one more time. Or is that some type of reflection from the planet?

30. Matt Wright - January 25, 2007

Saw your little tease announcement a couple of days ago, and I thought this was what it was going to be. I for one cannot wait to see it.

I agree with the others you have the balls too big and the whole credits video you posted feels like it has a slight speed up to it, the E moves a smidge too fast and so does the planet. It also looks too clean, I know wierd eh? but it should have film grain sampled on it to fit in with the 1960s filmed content.

Here is quick comparison of Daren’s vs. CBS-D’s intro, note of course that Daren’s is 16:9 while the screencap of CBS-D’s work is 4:3
http://www.trekmovie.com/wp-content/uploads/ddvscbsd.jpg
I prefer CBS-D’s contrast, but Daren’s work seems to mimic the brightness of the lighting we all know from the filmed model, but of course his does so with light reflected off the planet and not that of a halogen bulb on a bluescreen stage. I have to say I like that Daren’s version gets actual coloration from the planet, CBS-D\’s looks like it could be anywhere in space, not specifically in orbit of a planet.

31. Matt Wright - January 25, 2007

I agree with #29 what is with the white and the yellow splotch on the bottom? Those decals appear to be too big, you cannot normally see those markings from that angle.

EDIT: I take it back… your version is banking more, so I guess you could see them more.

32. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

#29 & #31 – I remember those yellow markings from the Estes rocket models, though I never noticed them on the show. I think Estes added size to the balls, too.
Maybe a trip to the Smithsonian is in order.

33. Matt Wright - January 25, 2007

Those decals on the bottom are there on the filming model, I went and checked the behind the scenes pics from startrekhistory.com, they have been there since the pilots, you just don’t see ‘em normally as they are on the very bottom of the secondary hull. Take a look at the 3rd picture down:
http://www.startrekhistory.com/restoration/bluescreen.html

34. chris - January 25, 2007

It’s ok I guess. But the hyper sharp, stylized look that D.R. seems to be going for combined with some strange looking movement of the Enterprise definitely puts me off his take here. I don’t find it an improvement on what CBS is doing.

35. Buckaroohawk - January 25, 2007

Daren,

I simply cannot wait to see your completed, enhanced “Doomsday Machine” episode. I’ve been looking forward to this since I saw the scenes you originally enhanced a few years ago. I’m glad you finally decided to finish it so all Trek fans can enjoy it.

It will be interesting to compare/contrast the unaltered episode to the Remastered and Enhanced versions. It should provoke quite a bit of debate for all sides.

I, for one, have been generally happy with what CBS Digital has been doing. After a rough start, they seem to be hitting their stride with consistancy. Given a choice, however, I’d have to say that Daren’s work is of a higher caliber overall. His Enterprise looks awesome and the clarity of the images are breathtaking. Of course, he didn’t have the time/budget constraints that seem to be the albatross around CBS Digital’s neck.

The main thing for me is that Daren’s work shows a true and honest passion for Star Trek, both visually and historically. The same can be said of his work with the Director’s edition of ST:TMP. I was amazed by how faithfully the new footage blended into the film, and I expect we’ll see the same thing for his “Doomsday Machine.”

Now, if only Paramount would let him fix the effects for ST V: TFF. Ah, well, I can dream, can’t I?

Kudos to you, Mr. Dochterman! Now I can honestly say that I can’t wait for Doomsday. (cue ominous music)

36. Dan Siciliano - January 25, 2007

I have been watching for while now and can’t wait ofr his completed version. i have always believed that daren’s work is far better than what we are getting on TV. Thanks daren for actually completing an episode for the fans to enjoy. I sure we will be able to download it and make our own personal copies. Keep up the great work, the whole Trek world is waiting….!

37. Michael Hall - January 25, 2007

Just my $.02:

Love the starfields–the best Trek starfields ever, IMHO, series or movie. Wonderfully dimensional, and actually much better than the computer generated starfields that opened TWOK.

Likewise, love the Enterprise-approaching-planet-shot, which feels just incredibly dynamic and 3d. Though I agree, the damn nacelle balls are too big , just as CBS’ seem too small. And can someone tie this point down–were the things originally lit-up or not?!

I prefer the original (and CBS’ rendition) of the angle depicting the side view of the ship in orbit, though I like Darren’s lighting better than either.

The shot of the ship in orbit heading towards the camera is simply terrific, as it pretty much duplicates the original with modern techniques, and the overall look is far superior to CBS’ flat lighting and shadows.

On the other hand, I totally dislike the fast ship flybys–the banking motion is unrealistic and destroys the sense of scale of the ship in flight. Actually, it reminds me of nothing so much as the original flybys at the end of “The Cage”–and that’s not a good thing, as the ship’s flight path just seems out-of-kilter from the starry background. Overall, though, I got a real kick out of watching this intro, and will probably run through it again several more times before I turn in. Can’t wait to see the whole episode online.

38. New Horizon - January 25, 2007

#34- Depends what style you’re looking for. Personally, I prefer Daren’s style over that of CBS digital. CBS-D is going for a more contemporary, Next Gen, DS9, Voy, ENT, Movies look…and it doesn’t really fit with the original show…where Daren’s work is carefully crafted to look like it’s truly an ‘enhancement’ of the original style. I think Daren’s take fits with the original footage.

That’s not to say CBS-D’s style is bad, it certainly isn’t…they do fantastic work…it’s just not in keeping with the look of the original series, and it tends not to fit with the original footage as well as Daren’s. Daren seems to have taken great pains to make the effects look great, but yet stay within the look of the original series. It takes great talent, and great restraint to do that.

39. Michael Hall - January 25, 2007

Can’t say as I agree. Whatever the virtues of their work (and my own mileage has varied considerably from week to week), I wouldn’t call CBS’ look “contemporary” at all, and think it mostly integrates with the original footage pretty well.

40. Cranston - January 25, 2007

OK, that was awesome.

Daren, please tell me that I’ll be able to download this, burn it to DVD, and watch it over and over on my TV?

(Well, I realize that you can only really speak to the first point, and I’ll have to handle the rest….)

41. hitch1969© - January 25, 2007

You dudes are absolutely breaking my heart with your comments here. Especially you, big dawg AP. I think I have FINALLY found a place in the Star Trek interWEB community where I am atleast accepted – never mind LIKED – but atleast allowed, or even tolerated. I’ve spoken of this before.

This site meant alot to me.

I’ve been nothing but majorly positive about all the goings on and news items. I friggin love star trek and have not only tried to have a pos attitude about the site, also the new movie (ok ok Grunberg™ but if you followed any of that, I admitted that I was wrong), remasters, Rossi and the Zero Room Posse, all that.

I’ve tolerated personal attacks on my person WHILE NEVER COMPLAINING behind anyone’s back about it to AP, althewhile trying to address people who complain about me directly and turn their frown upside down. YES, my euphemisms are redundant. YES, I speak in forked tongue. YES, I say stupid shit here and there. YES, you might think that reading my 3rd grade mentality is beneath you. NO, me not Da Ali G.

Know what though?

ahhhh fuggit. You guys have hurt me. I’m not going to harp on that because the record speaks for itself. You dudes remind me of a girlfriend I once had back in the day. She whined that alls I ever did was spend her money because of her rich daddy and that I intercoursed upon her person all the time for my own gratification.

The truth was that she was lovely and I loved and adored her. I absolutely would have married her (legal implications to my financial bottom line and all) and made her the mother of all my chillins. Her happiness was paramount to me. I thought of her constantly and not even in a sexual way. I cared if she was happy. I cared if she liked me, and what she thought of me. I have not these feelings since until now.

You guys devastate me with what I have read here tonight.

best!!

=h=

42. Josh T. (The Final Frontier) Kirk Esquire' - January 25, 2007

I like and admire Daren’s personal love and care for Star Trek, and his dedicated ambition to update the effects of the series are clearly a labor of love and heartfelt,

that being said in all honesty and candor I much prefer the stylized interpretation of CBS Digitals work over Darens stylized interpretation as the “official” new look for the series.

In all honesty, every single criticism I have read over the last few months about CBS Digitals efforts I am glaringly seeing in Daren’s work.
That is not a slight against Daren or his work, which is truly breathtaking, but rather an indication and perfect reminder to me of just how subjective taste and art is.

People get an idea in their heads and truth or fact aside, stick with the idea guns blazing despite often times losing the entire essence of their argument or what it is they believe.

Daren’s Enterprise and approach is no more or less fictional appearing than CBS Digitals , they are merely different.
In seeing the opening credits, I now see how “right” it is for me to see the Enterprise approach with the helicopter in motion angle slightly dipping forward. Kudos CBS for including that in your efforts.

I credit Daren more than anything else for truly getting this bold notion out there, of infact redoing the effects, and updating the show.
As to execution and actually doing the job, I’m glad CBS Digital has the contract.

Good luck Daren, I hope you get the contract to update “The Final Frontier.”

Why don’t you consider a potential FX reel demo for that film to submit to Paramount?
In order for “the Final Frontier” to truly become a part of canon for many, all that is required is a calculated final edit, and some nice CGI starship renderings.
I think the Shat would love it.
And so would I.

43. Michael Hall - January 25, 2007

Hitch,

FWIW, I personally think your comments are a hoot. But as has been stated so often and in so many ways here, art is subjective. In any case, guy, it’s just a website, and by conventional standards one devoted to a pretty geeky subject at that. Don’t take it so seriously. :-)

44. CmdrR - January 25, 2007

Geek?? Who are you calling a geek? Me, I hope. Been one all my life.
Join the party, Hitch.

45. Commodore Z - January 25, 2007

Daren’s stuff is pretty, but I think that CBS-D’s effects are much closer to the style of the Original Classic Series, and I think that Daren’s planets look a lot less realistic.

46. Ron Jon - January 25, 2007

Dochterman was hardly the first person or company to propose a reworking of the TOS special effects. He’s just the one who seems to complain the most about not getting the contract.

47. A.L. - January 25, 2007

Maybe someone should put this trailer w/ the CBS-D Season 2 opener theme… That would make this perfect IMHO

48. Nelson - January 26, 2007

This is a very interesting experiment.

We’re seeing two interpretations of Star Trek visual effects using modern technology to augment a 40 year old TV show.

Both efforts are being done by professionals who are both earnest and equally hold the series with respect and love.

The reaction by some has been interesting. It shows that either it’s virtually impossible to re-create a fictitious spacehip in CGI, or we all have such an ingrained and burned in image of what the Enterprise looks like as a solid 11 foot model, it is hard to accept a CGI version. No matter how it’s done, it’s very difficult to match expectations. All of us who grew up on the series, or have seen it enough in it’s original version, cannot simply forget it. And a real model filmed has a look that CGI cannot reproduce.

Or it’s a fact that CGI has a look that looks the way it looks. Either by the software used or the technique. If we look at Revenge of the Sith, it has a similar look. The ships have a similar flat gray appearance, no? But I have not seen any discussion about how Leia’s Rebel Blockade runner compares in Sith to A New Hope’s actual filming model.

So I think it’s possibly incompatible. But I know that CGI can be done to look absolutely real, as a static image, But I have no personal experience with moving images.

So, to end this thesis, I accept this new Remastered Version for what it is.

49. Gsmarty Pants - January 26, 2007

#42

You are so right about the subjectivity of remastering/enhancing these shows. When you get down to it, even looking at the original effects I bet none of us could agree on what it is we’re actually seeing, beyond a gross description of the action.

The original effects, while innovative for the day, seem more to serve as catalysts for the imagination in the viewer, if only because they were so limited with what they could accomplish. An earlier poster said something about the Enterprise being shiny and metallic. Maybe my own memory fails me here, but I never get that impression watching the original Original Series. I see murky shadows under the saucer, but apart from that the lighting generally seems bright, even, but not terribly reflective. I always picture it as more of a battleship grey in my mind’s eye, if I could peel away the artifacts from 60s compositing and the optical printing process.

So today, when anyone, whether it’s CBS-D, Darren Dochterman, the NV effects folks, and a host of other talented people try to make their updates to the old skool Trek look, obviously they’re trying to follow the established physical/optical logic in creating the new shots. But ultimately they’re making subjective decisions about what it is in the original image that they respond to, and they’re going to play to that personal imaginative perception, and that is where I suspect you’ll find the source of the unique strengths of each project.

To get this post sort of back on topic… most Kickass, Mr. Dochterman. Like everyone else here I can’t wait to see your completed take on Doomsday Machine…

ps I’ve been lurking here pretty much every day since the site opened…. and for a resident goofball Hitch is pretty entertaining, and dare I say it, at least as insightful as a lot of the other regular posters here. And Anthony, you are most mac in the pants for running this site and putting up with all of us, thanks for providing the articles and a cool forum for us to read and rant in.

50. Duane Boda - January 26, 2007

His work seems vastly superior to whats being done at CBS. I wonder why?
If I worked at CBS where they do their work I’d offer this man a job in a split second. Put him in charge of the team or at least make him a member of the enhancement team there. Time and $$ wise….I wonder how much resources he put forth on his project? Excellent work! To those at CBS: IF you need one more man on your crew and IF hes available….smarten up & hire him NOW!

51. Josh T. ( Tubular) Kirk Esquire' - January 26, 2007

Or, now that you are in your groove CBS , take a step backwards and alter your entire approach and ideology by bringing in new “help.”

See how relative and subjective art is?

That’s the problem with Trekdom, theres too many chiefs and not enough Indians, which is why as fanbase to be blunt and honest, we suck, are spoiled, ingrateful, and need reigning in to find a common united voice.

The problem with unrequitted love for a thing , is the penultimate ownership mentality – “my way or no way.”

We do it with women, we do it with automobiles, we do it with every aspect of our life.

Ah to be a male.

52. Josh T. ( Tubular) Kirk Esquire' - January 26, 2007

# 49

Precisely Smarty,

I happened to be raised on Star Trek in the 70′s on a black and white television.

The more I read the arguments about aesthetics and lighting, and subjective choice in rendering these shows, the one most relevant and insightful example that repeatedly keeps coming to mind second to the Original Constitution Class Enterprise, is the Imperial Klingon K’tinga class from “Star Trek – The Motion Picture. ”

I would wager money half the people that post on this forum would argue incessantly that the ship is grey, because yes, like me they have seen the film hundreds of times.

And it wasn’t until the advent of the internet and model resource pages that I began learning the truth about Star Trek filming miniatures.

The K’tinga is as GREEN as Green can get. But even with the most modern digital Monitor or LCD, you simply do NOT get that effect. That ship is GREY on screen.

So it just goes to show you, there is more truth than what the eye beholds.
Yes, the Enterprise in our memories is blue, purple, green, dark grey, light grey, white, even occasionally yellow, and all manner of incarnations through the 70s in print and media depicted the ship a veritable PLETHORA of colors.

Now, finally when someone actually did the research and created an Enterprise the way it was intended to be viewed and percieved, people were up in arms at first “That’s not MY Enteprise as I remember!”

No, it isn’t and it never will be. And that’s why you have your DVDs of the original series untouched to see the Enterprise the way you remember it.
The CBS Digital Enterprise is the Enterprise as the filming miniature appears.

I think personally for a bunch of kids sitting in a dark room week end and week out, slaving over what everyone percieves as a national treasure and DARING to be the ones to alter and touch this legacy, they are doing a DAMN fine job, and more love needs to be getting to them from the fanbase to let them know we have their back and support, instead of the perpetual crying and whining every other forum subject.

if you had the job, and hellfire was reaching you on a daily basis, would you necessarily be giving your best to an unsatisfied, whiney, completely unpleasable vocal group? Hell no, you would quit and chalk it up.

I would.

53. Josh T. ( Tubular) Kirk Esquire' - January 26, 2007

ADDENDUM

AMT had released a version of the Enterprise kit in the mid 70′s molded light blue, again, to reflect what most people were seeing on their color televisions at the time. The box art reflects this perception as well.

54. Bart - January 26, 2007

The moving starfields look amazing!! So full of depth. In the CBS version they always look so flat and empty. In this version we have stars in all sizes and all distances which gives it the impression of deep space.

55. SithMenace - January 26, 2007

While this fits more with the original look of the show, I think CBS-D’s version is more of what Roddenberry would have done if he had the time, money and technology. I always felt that it was cartoony because of those constraints. I think TMP probably had the FX that Roddenberry always wanted, and CBS-D’s work looks very close to that.

And Hitch, stop feeling sorry for yourself man, it’s a message board. Nobody hates you, it’s just that da Ali G Schtick is old. Even when Ali G. does it it gets old. I want to know what you have to say, but sometimes I can’t even understand your posts. That’s all we’re saying.

56. Chris Pike - January 26, 2007

The starfield’s subtle rotation is nice! The ship does look better overall than CBS’s – nicer texturing, specularity, colours and lighting, especially nacelle front caps and nav deflector. Nacelle end caps are inaccurate as pointed out and should not be internally lit. Internal lighting (windows especially) is better on CBS’s. I’d go for wider shutter angle on the motion blur too. Overall Doc’s Enterprise just seems to look more like how we remember her…

57. meteo - January 26, 2007

The balls are not testicles, spack it. :-)

58. meteo - January 26, 2007

Also, why not have more ships?

59. JB - January 26, 2007

#53 – You are correct. AMT actually released several different colors. I built 3 different Enterprise kits in the 70s – one came in silver, another white, and the third was the blue you describe.

60. ZtoA - January 26, 2007

I don’t think it’s fair or useful to compare the work CBS-D has done under a very compressed time schedule to Doc’s work on a SINGLE episode. There is no doubt that Doc is a master, but in defense of CBS-D, who are not exactly lightweights, they have been working on multiple episodes simultaneously with tight air dates. Doc, on the other hand has been working on this one episode for quite some time. Given his mastery, his version of Doomsday should be stellar beyond compare. I personally look forward to seeing both versions because like everyone else here… I can watch Doomsday 100 times and never get bored… now that we’re getting revamped effects, I’ll elevate that number to 1000

Everyone who has played a part in getting TOS remastered or enhanced should be given an award. They have been and are continuing to breathe new life into a classic show. It’s making me yearn for more adventures with the original crew (re-cast) because there’s just something about the original E that cannot be replaced.

Thanks Doc… Thanks CBS-D… Now bring on Doomsday!!!

61. Jim J - January 26, 2007

Hitch-

Look at it this way, you reflect what TOS-R does on this site. Some people love it and want more, much more. Others like it at times, other times are critical, others can’t stand it or don’t understand it.

Older fans of the show (I’m guessing age 40 and above, since I am 40) maay not quite get what you are saying all the time. I often think I do, but I’m not sure. Often people get frustrated when they don’t understand something or feel like they aren’t in on the joke.

Frankly, when you say more than your “mac in the pants” stuff, that’s when I think you make some very good, intelligent, and fascinating points. Often your insights surpass those of others who whine or cheer with no “deep thoughts”. Jack Handy, anyone?

Have a good one and be of cheer. Many of us just don’t quite get it.

62. Doug - January 26, 2007

re 34…

The strange looking movement is 100% intentional. The Enterprise moved like this in TOS opening credits… It skids across the stars. I read a reason for that somewhere on this site awhile back. But it is very faithful.

re the end nacelle caps, … they seem very large to me too. Other than that small detail, I find Daren’s interpretation dead on. I am cyked for his Doomsday machine… Oh YEAH!!!!

d

63. billy don't be a hiro - January 26, 2007

FWIW, I was not the biggest hitch fan until I saw that political pie fight the other day, and in that light, I will take hitch and his patois ANY DAY OF THE WEEK over that mess. I also prefer it to Dennis Bailey’s snarky reviews but that’s beside the point.

Re: The Dochterman Project – I like his work, I respect him as an artist, and I understand he’s the hometown favorite since he posts and reviews here. I would just encourage everyone to remember when comparing the quality of his work to that of CBS’s that Mr. Dochterman tooks months to do one episode (I assume on his own) whereas CBS has a small team cranking out about an episode per week. So in that regard, its like comparing apples and Kaferian apples (i.e. colored pears). So be kind and gracious when commenting on both. Prefering one does not require crapping on the other.

64. Michael Hall - January 26, 2007

Doug,

Yes, there is a slight banking motion to the original “swoosh” shots in the opening credits, but it’s a lot more subtle than Daren’s version, and was probably more an artifact of the technical limitations of the time (pretty hard to get a long shot of an 11-foot miniature in the limited studio space Linwood Dunn had available to work with) than a deliberate artistic choice. And the fly-away shot definitely didn’t feature the big E heeling-over for no apparent reason. I thought the rest of the intro was (mostly) great, but if I were Daren’s producer I’d definitely send him back to the drawing board on those shots.

65. Doug - January 26, 2007

re 63

Daren also is one man as opposed to a team, and probably doesn’t get to devote his entire week to it. So it would probably be more relevant to compare man hours if we all feel some need to vindicate CBS-D’s team effort over Daren’s one man show.

And let’s not forget that Daren isn’t getting paid to do this either. This is his time, money and effort. I’m thrilled that he’s tackling the full episode, and find his rendition of the effects to be so much better, fuller, etc.

I really still can’t get over last weeks WNMHGB, I thought the effects were pretty weak. (although some weaks have been better than others) Still, to me there is no comparison… Except for those really big end nacelle caps, Daren’s work wins hands down. Love it.

d

66. Picardsucks - January 26, 2007

Pretty sweet no???? I just loves watching beautifully done effects shots of the Enterprise. Hell I could watch a two hour effects real of different views and angles of the Enterprise especially when done by a master like Daren or what CBS is puuting out now after they stumbled out of the gate. You all should take a trip over to Daren’s site and see some more of his goodies. I post there as well to offer my support. Now even Daren or CBS can only remaster the plot and effects of STar Trek V I’ll be in heaven.

67. Doug - January 26, 2007

btw – I don’t want to come across as a CBS-D basher, the shuttle landing sequence for Journey to Babel does look pretty great.

d

68. New Horizon - January 26, 2007

The only real problem I have with CBS D is inconsistency in quality. One week, they’re phenomenal….another week…not so phenomenal and almost back to the start. They really just need to have someone hired to come in and really watch over the lighting and overall style of the project. They have done great work, but in a lot of cases….they would likely be let go if they were on a brand new weekly series. Every FX team is under the gun, yet that doesn’t stop them from producing top notch work every week. The parent company needs to give them more time. I’ve been quite happy with a good bit of their work..but I still find Daren’s interpretation more fitting and faithful to the ‘original’ effects. That doesn’t invalidate the CBS-D approach..I just don’t find it fits with the spirit of the old show. To me, Daren’s work actually looks like the original footage has been updated.

@hitch – Take it easy man. Nobody hates you, just drop all ‘da Ali G’ crap. It’s funny in small doses, but every post is over kill.

69. Clinton - January 26, 2007

I think that both CBS-D and Daren have accomplished incredible things.

Daren’s is a labor of love And while he does not have infinite resources, he has all the time he requires.

CBS-D’s may be a labor of love for the people working on the project, but they have deadlines to meet and have done wonderful things given that restriction (and the pressures associated with being the “official” update).

I will be glad to see both versions of Doomsday Machine, as each will be it’s own vision of how TOS would have approached special effects if they had the technology we have today. (After all, this is really a great game of “what if…?”)

70. billy don't be a hiro - January 26, 2007

“Daren also is one man as opposed to a team, and probably doesn’t get to devote his entire week to it. So it would probably be more relevant to compare man hours if we all feel some need to vindicate CBS-D’s team effort over Daren’s one man show.”

Yeah I think I acknowledged that in my post.

71. Father Rob - January 26, 2007

All this being said, and my earlier complaints not withstanding, I will be looking forward to DD’s DDM in a few weeks time.

#64 – I can overlook the ‘wheeling’ in the fly-away because it looks to be headed for the bright blue star, following that it is shown in orbit of a planet. I just took it as the Big E steering towards her destination.

If, however, I was to point to my favorite current SFX, I would have to say that Dennis’ work on Starship Exeter is superior to anything out there. (Say, Dennis, when is the next act going to be up? ;) )

Rob+

72. Dr. Image - January 26, 2007

Yes, Dennis’ work is rapidly becoming my favorite version as well.

Not to take anything from Daren, but he would do well to pay attention to some of the critiques here- there are valid points (nacelle balls- why too big? You know better, D!) that he should address. After all, CBS is (finally)closing the gap.

73. Michael Hall - January 26, 2007

Again, I don’t know about “superior”–a subjective term if ever there was one when applied to work like this–but if your criteria for quality is capturing the ‘style’ of the original series effects using modern techniques, I would agree that Dennis wins, hands down. Watch EXETER and there are moments you’d swear it’s 1968, only without the mattle lines. :-) Though I found the second act of “The Tressaurian Intersection” weaker than the first or the teaser, I’m still looking forward to seeing the third almost as much as any of the remastered episodes yet to come.

74. diabolik - January 26, 2007

Talk about putting more pressure on the CBS version! But he does have longer to tweak his work.

75. Father Rob - January 26, 2007

#73 – Let me rephrase… for me Dennis’ work sets the bar. The ships look real and credible… they have weight and presence on screen that the other efforts lack. I agree that it looks like 1968 without matte lines, but also with better resolution and a genuine attention to detail that pours out of a whole-hearted effort to honor the show just for the love of it.

I am not saying that DD does not have the same motives, and while I realize most of the CBS:D team probably love Trek, let’s face it – they are paid professionals on a timetable.

Anyway, I would love to see Dennis redo the SFX for WNMHGB… I think his interpretation would just plain rock!

Rob+

76. Commodore Z - January 26, 2007

Daren’s Enterprise has way too much glare reflecting off the hull. Makes it look cartoony. Reminds me of the old days when everyone HAD to put a lens flare into effects. Also, the balls on the back of the nacelles shouldn’t be lit.

Dennis’s ship is far more realistic, although I prefer the CBS-D ship (except for last week).

77. Michael Hall - January 26, 2007

And if I didn’t clear before, let me say that I think Dennis’ work on EXETER is simply amazing. . . for days afterwards I just couldn’t get over how well he had captured the look and feel of the original show. Other aspects of the production such as the music and sound effects ring true as well; for all that it features a different ship and crew, STARSHIP EXETER “feels” much more like a real second-season episode of TOS (albeit an only slightly better-than-average one in terms of character and story) than does NEW VOYAGES. I just don’t necessarily relate that kind of fidelity to the issue of quality, since it’s certainly defensible for the CBS-D team not to be strictly committed to redoing the effects exactly the way they looked back then; in fact, many here would be the first to express their disappointment if they did so. For others like myself, still nursing our disappointment from last week, restraint and honoring the intent of the original artists should be the watchwords for CBS to live by–but as with so much else, YMMV.

78. Tony - January 26, 2007

Its nice to see that there is a lot of interest out there in the “Doomsday Machine” episode – it was definitely my favorite. I saw it ‘live’ back in ’67.
There have been many attempts at this one – Digistream back in the early 90′s, then Dochterman and now, finally, CBS-Digital with the ‘official’ remastered version. Its going to be nice to compare – I feel like the proverbail kid in a candy shop!
And by the way, Scott Gammans did a very good job, too.
I hope he finishes his project as well.
There is also a short version entitled “Doomsday in 10 minutes” on Youtube – less ‘sophisticated” than the others, but an attempt nontheless.

79. Tony - January 26, 2007

Oops…
I forget to mention Eric Reinholt’s efforts as well.
Keep it up, people!!

80. THEETrekMaster - January 26, 2007

Excellent work, Darren!!!

And of course, your Enterprise (sorry to say) blows away CBS’.

Can’t wait to see the completed episode…

TTM

81. Lao3D - January 26, 2007

Excellent — a Doomsday smack-down! I haven’t had this much fun as a Trekkie since 1976!

82. Picardsucks - January 26, 2007

It’s a hell of a time to be an original trek fan isn’t it. We are quickly becoming spoiled with Trek goodness . I haven’t had this much fun since my dad took me to see TMP when I was 4. I won a free ticket from a McDonalds Trek themed happy meal. Star Wars who????? Lord of the Rings Who???? It’s all about Kirk Spock McCoy and our beloved NCC-1701 (No A B C D E )

83. FlyingTigress - January 26, 2007

#82

“I haven’t had this much fun since my dad took me to see TMP when I was 4.”

I feel REALLY old, now.

^_ Junior year at Cal Poly, SLO, Madonna Road Plaza theater. Special presentation, with (no host bar) champagne, and a gal in formal evening dress playing Ilea’s Theme and other score from the movie on a black baby grand piano.

84. Scott Gammans - January 26, 2007

Old School Trek Nerd, you can never have too many marauding planet killers.
Tony, thanks. :)

85. Jim Gorham - January 26, 2007

Daren,

Excellent work.

Starfield’s depth is fantastic.
The Enterprise flyby sweep is SUPERIOR to CBS’ .
You nailed the color and detail of the ship almost to perfection. (Once again better than CBS).
The red bussard collecters are DEAD ON! (Better than CBS).
Deflector dish actually has color! (Better than CBS).

but………

The Enterprise just appears as if it just decloaked.
Planet spins too fast.
Not crazy about the skid after flyby.
Engine nacells ping pong balls SEEM too large but I like the glow effect (makes it seem functional).

Damn that color LOOKS GOOD!

Can’t wait to see the rest. Been following this project on YouTube for a year now. EXCELLENT work Mister.

86. JB - January 26, 2007

While on my lunch break today, I stopped in at the Smithsonian to take another gander at the original Big E. After reading all of the critiques of various CGI work (by CBS, Daren, et al) – this is too big, that’s too bright, etc. – it was interesting to notice all of the flaws in the model once you’re up close to it. Granted, it’s over 40 years old and many of them wouldn’t have shown up on camera anyway, but they definitely have a “demystifying” quality to one’s mental image of what the starship should look like. You can see clear gaps (with daylight showing through them) between components, philips-head screws in the nacelles (I kid you not), uneven lines around the windows, the grating on the inboard sides of the nacelles looks like something taken off an office radiator, etc. And of course, they didn’t finish the port side of the ship.

Despite these flaws, which a CGI ship obviously wouldn’t have, I remain convinced that use of a well-crafted model generates superior shots overall compared to CGI. I can’t help but wonder what possibilities Trek XI could pursue if they built a new, finely detailed model the size of the original Big E, combined with modern digital technology. I would be interested in Daren’s thoughts on this, given his work on ST:TMP. I’ve heard more than once that the refit version of the E is one of the finest movie models ever built.

BTW, if you haven’t had the opportunity to see the Big E in person, it’s well worth it if you’re ever in DC. The rest of the Air & Space Museum doesn’t suck, either ;)

87. JB - January 26, 2007

Oh, and one other thing:

Having just re-examined the original, those spheres at the aft end of the nacelles in Daren’s clip really are too big . Sorry, Daren!

88. foobar - January 26, 2007

Ug. No thanks. This Enterprise looks like a cheap rendered model. It’s far, far worse than what CBS Digital has done.

And what’s with that planet spinning so quickly? Chris Rock would have a field day with that.

89. Picardsucks - January 26, 2007

Seems like the consensus is that it looks completely fabulous but Daren’s balls are too big!!!! Sorry couldn’t resist

90. Michael Hall - January 26, 2007

Foobar–

Has anyone every explained to you the, um, difference between constructive criticism and being an ass? Just curious.

JB, I would have agreed with you at one time, and while the fact that I’m now a dabbler in CG myself might prejudice my opinions a little, shows like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica regularly demonstrate that properly lit and rendered CGI can hold its own with even the best minature photography. In fact, Galactica itself is illustrative: seen 30 years later John Dykstra’s motion-control ships play on screen like finely detailed models, while Zoic’s CGI ships look like actual spacecraft, in the most realistic depiction of spaceflight since Kubrick’s 2001. To my way of thinking, anyway.

91. Jeffrey S. Nelson - January 26, 2007

How about putting this on Media Player for us? I can’t watch it for some reason.

92. foobar - January 26, 2007

#90 – Spare me. It looks terrible. It’s complete amateurish. Of course the groupthink around here all pile up against CBS Digital and go for whatever pseudo-alternative of the day happens to plop onto here.

And where the hell’s _your_ constructive criticism? What, do you think calling me names is going to change my opinion?

93. Jeff - January 26, 2007

See, now that’s a perfect starfield.

94. DarenDoc - January 26, 2007

Just a quick response to the aft Warp Domes controversy…;)

Yes. I’m lighting them from the inside. Yes, I know this isn’t how they were. But I think it looks good that way… and helps to delineate the engines in dark areas… plus they mirror nicely the fronts of the engines…

And…

The domes on the back of the engines on the Smithsonian model are not original. They were replaced in the 70s during its first restoration. Take a look at some of the famous stills from the original show, and you will see that the domes are bigger. I had them smaller too, on my model that I used for the first run of this Doomsday test, due to the fact that I was going by blueprints generated from reference to the existing model… So, I’m taking a little license here… with those domes, and the existence of aztek-ing the panels a bit. It’s just something I wanted to do in it… to give it that little extra “oomph”. I’m not trying to duplicate a real spaceship here… that’s why you won’t see people in the windows of my Enterprise… sorry. I’m trying to replicate a model ship as much as I can. You’ll also see that in my shots of the Hangar Deck… it looks like a large tabletop model. I know it will disappoint some people who are looking for complete real life representations of reality. I’m just trying to capture the spirit of the original… and then just goose it a little.

As to the planet spinning too fast? That’s how fast it spins in the original… and that’s fine with me.

One other thing… there have been some comments on my work for TMP: The Director’s Edition… I just want to clarify that I had a great team of artists working on that… The “A” Team of then Foundation Imaging, including Mojo, Rob Bonchune, Lee Stringer, John Teska, Doug Drexler, PJ Foley, Trevor Pierce, Bob Quinn, Dave Morton, Steve Burg, and Sherry Hitch… and I only got to do a couple of shots by myself… so most of the credit goes to that talented bunch.

Back to rendering. :) Cheers, and thanks for all the great comments, and criticisms.

95. Picardsucks - January 26, 2007

Daren is definately right about the original model. I have an old scale modler book I got when I was a kid that had many original photos of the E model. There are a few pictures of it as it arrived at the Smithonian before the first resoration and it was in quite a state of disrepair. The nacclles were gone. There was exposed wiring everywhere, sensor dish gone. and believe it or not his end cap balls are pretty close to the correct size. I do think his can be scaled down just a tad and they would be a perfect match. Also according to the article the end caps, when changed over from the original pilot look, were lighted. I don’t however believe we ever saw them lighted on film??? I like the faint lighting effect though.

96. Daystrom Lives! - January 26, 2007

Wow. That’s a lot of effort just to make the point that he wishes that CBS had awarded the contract to him. Still, it’s more Trek for me to enjoy, so I guess I’ll enjoy the fruits of his sour grapes.

97. Josh T. ( Tailor made ) Kirk Esquire' - January 26, 2007

Not that I needed much influence or anything beyond a gentle nudge but,
this whole CBS Digital remastered effort has made me completely forget about the followup series such as Deep Star Nine, Vindicator, The following Generation of persons, and En-trepid, or er, I think that’s what they were called ;) Or was it “Joanie loves Chachie?”

98. Buckaroohawk - January 27, 2007

hitch1969: I’m sorry to hear you’ve decided to depart this site. I understand your indignation, but you have to understand where the criticism comes from. Your writing was obviously an affectation (as evidenced by the clarity of your comments in your last post) and affectations are only good in small doses. You are obviously an intelligent person, but the comical nature of your incessant “Mac in the pants” attitude went over the top and stayed there too long. It was inevitable that there would eventually be some wearing of the nerves about it. Please consider not leaving and only using the “colorful metaphors” in greater moderation.

foobar: There is a big difference between constructive criticism annd the comments you made…and you apparently don’t know it. Most of the other comments about Mr. Dochterman’s and CBS Digital’s work here has had a measure of constructivity about it. People relate what they think works and what doesn’t and make suggestions about possible improvement. Your comments have none of that. Mr. Dochterman’s work is the farthest thing from “amateurish.” I know because I am an amateur CGI artist and wish that the quality of my work was half of what he can accomplish. I want my work to look like his.

If you had said “I don’t think his stuff looks as good as what CBS Digital is producing,” then the comment becomes your opinion and, in that respect, cannot be refuted. But by calling his work “amateurish,” you imply that you know more about CGI or could produce better yourself. If that’s the case, let’s see it so we can all decide. If not, choose your words more carefully. You seem to have arrived here with a chip on your shoulder. I suggest you leave it at the door before returning to this forum.

You see, that’s constructive criticism. Not hard to do at all.

99. Commodore Z - January 27, 2007

I respect the fact that Daren likes the warp domes lit from the inside. He’s entitled to his opinion, but I think they look distracting and make the ship look less realistic.

100. Commodore Z - January 27, 2007

(That’s the aft warp domes, not the dreaded front nacelle caps.)

101. JB - January 27, 2007

Hey Daren, while we’ve got your attention:

If you were in charge of the effects for the next film, would you do it 100% CGI or a combination of miniatures and CGI, and why?

And thanks for the clarification on modifications made to the original model.

102. JB - January 27, 2007

Daren was right, the originals do look bigger:

http://tos.trekcore.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=29&pos=10

103. New Horizon - January 27, 2007

LIghting the aft domes is going to make them look a little bigger as well, since you’re not getting the shadowed areas around the edges. I think it makes sense to give the rear of the engines a bit of life, there has to be something going on back there. :) At any rate, I was pretty sure it was done partly to balance the nacelles…glad to hear directly from Daren that my old ‘artist’s intuition’ is still in tune. I’m no 3D CGI artist, but I do work with pencil, paper and work on PC/ Mac making ads.

104. diabolik - January 27, 2007

Daren, Daren, Daren,

You aren’t TRYING enough here. You MUST make EVERYONE happy ALL of the time, not SOME of the people MOST of the time, or even MOST of the people SOME of the time.

105. Doug - January 27, 2007

I like that they are lit, and agree with Daren for his reasons for doing it that way… Perhaps the fact that they are lit, is adding to the impression that they are too big, because they are so much more noticeable.

My personal preference would be to scale em back a hair. But ce la vie. I think his Ent looks great… Honestly can’t understand that there are people out there that think his effects are “amateurish”. I seriously think WNMHGB looked amateurish in many shots. Bad star backgrounds with no depth of field at all.

I can’t believe how much time I spend reading this site… I want the remastered project effects to be soooo cool. I was a little disappointed that Daren indicated he wouldn’t go the next step on principal. I want to see people in the windows of the Enterprise!! But these are creative decisions I can at least appreciate.

d

106. DarenDoc - January 27, 2007

I actually had planned on finishing the episode a few months ago… with the intent always to get it out there a couple of days before the official one came out. But I didn’t have any time to work on it seriously before the beginning of the year. It was only two weeks ago that I actually knuckled down and started in earnest… working from the beginning and end… and meeting in the middle. :) And yes, it’s just me. That’s part of the fun… to see if I can manage all the various chores such as editing, animated effects, lighting, modeling… etc. all by myself. I had asked a couple of my FX friends if they would be interested in handling some of the shots… but everyone I know is really busy on their own… so I was left with my own personal albatross to deal with myself. :) lol

So, I’m not dealing with “Unlimited Time”… on purpose… that’s why I set the deadline. I never would finish it without the promise of CBS/Paramount’s episode date looming ahead. But, as Shatner says in “Free Enterprise”: “I think I can do it…”

To the question of what I would do if I were in charge of the new Movie effects?… Well, that would really be dependent on what types of shots are involved and what the budget has to be. I’m the first to admit that Effects shots done with physical models are the best way to go for a lot of things. The best approach is a skillful combination of all the techniques that are available and affordable. Heck, I’d be up for an all Rod Puppet and Foreground Miniature film, if it were appropriate. “The right tool for the right job”… as a certain engineer said in a certain film that could use an fx makeover.

To the folks that thought I was unfairly sniping at CBS Digital’s work… I’m sorry you feel that way. Every comment I’ve made has been in the spirit of wanting Star Trek to be the best possible presentation available. I have never said that the artists are not talented, or dedicated. I have only disagreed with some of the artistic choices being made. They are doing the best job possible within the restrictions placed on them by external forces, i.e. time and money and availability of personnel. I think that my finishing the DDM episode is intended to be my tangible and constructive response to the question of “How would I approach updating Trek’s effects?” Well, THIS is how. It will be out there for everyone to nit-pick and deconstruct at their leisure. :) And it won’t be just clips that were made five to seven years ago… It will be my best attempt. No excuses.

(Oh, and I too think the work on Exeter is really cool… I just want to see more of it!) What a wonderful time to be an original series fan… to see the original regain some of its due stature and attention.

Honestly, I wanna thank everyone for the comments, both positive AND negative… it’s really helping me get the drive to finish it…

I gotta go. :)

LL&P

drd

107. Doug - January 27, 2007

Way to go Daren… wish I had the expertise to do what you’re doing. -d

108. Picardsucks - January 27, 2007

Great stuff . So much wonderous stuff happening for us Original Series fans!!!! Am I the only one who finds it hilarious that we are arguing about big white balls or litlle white balls. Of course it’s better to have bigger balls but you don’t want your balls to be too big. And ACDC has the biggest balls of them all. Double entendra funny.

109. Spockariffic - January 27, 2007

I’d have a lot more respect for Daren if he’d just own his feelings here. Saying that he’s not doing it to compete with CBS-D (while releasing his a couple days before theirs) and it’s only to show people how he would have done it (he knows how he would have done it, anything else is simply trying to make a point) and he has to get this out of his system (I’m certain that’s true, but face it, he IS doing it to say “THIS is what it should look like.” not simply “This is how I’d do it.” )…come on. Are we all that blind to human nature that we’re eating this on a spoon lol? As one of the biggest opponents of the work CBS-D is putting out, he’s pissed he’s not working on this. That’s OK. I get it. I sympathize. Just own it man. His work is amazing and he probably would have been a great assett to CBS-D! I like the CBS-D ship better, but his starfields are MUCH better. Anyway, I’d just like him to come out and say “I’m doing this because I can do a better job, I think I should have been involved and I’m offering this up as my proof. THIS is how Star Trek remastered should look.”

Overall though, nice work Daren! It’s all good for the rest of us who get multiple Doomsday Machines!! WOO HOO!!

110. Ron Jon - January 27, 2007

I can’t blame the guy for being bitter. He obviously loves Star Trek, he’s obviously angry that he didn’t get the job, and he honestly feels he could do a better job.

Now we get to judge if he’s right!

111. Skippy 2k - January 27, 2007

Now I guess there will be 5 versions of “The Doomsday Machine” :-) Looking forward to this, I know before “remastered” was announced finding the trekenhanced site and videos on youtube and think it would be awesome to see these on tv. Which I prefer flip flops I guess, I like most of the CBS shots/fx but there are a few I don’t care for, same with Darens. Most shots I like, the constellation especially but at least one I can think of I didn’t like the movement of. Can’t wait to see the new versions of both.

I’ve made animations before and started modeling the Enterprise myself several times but usually don’t finish and eventually start again. Here is the point I was at for my last attempt…well I added some things for an animation but not for a final version.

Its in color allthough it doesn’t look like it there since it wasn’t finished.

http://img256.imageshack.us/img256/816/1701wipeg7.jpg

112. Jeff Bond - January 27, 2007

I’m a friend of Daren’s so you can take anything I say about his work with that in mind–I loved the way this looked, though. Someone mentioned a lack of “specular highlights” or something–Daren’s work really captures the feeling of a classic Sixties or Fifties look, done with much better technical polish of course. His ship does look like a model and captures some nice subleties–the yellowish, incandescent tinge to the internal lights, the highlight kicks from those grooved sections on the lower part of the primary hull disk, and the flat look of the original Enterprise model’s paint job–if there were any glossy “metallic” kicks on the original they were accidental, because the model HAD to have a flat finish in order to not interfere with bluescreen photography. The specular effects as done on the CBS Digital work take that look farther to give some intended hints of a metallic look, very subtle and a nice look on its own. I also love that Daren lit the rear nacelle domes–that’s just something I always felt should have been done with those structures.

I do wonder whether Daren’s style could be cranked out weekly–we all would love for this work to be done to the highest possible standards, but we also have to recognize that this is STILL a weekly TV show with a budget just like the original, so there are limitations here just as there were on the original series. The “Journey to Babel” trailer is exciting–I can’t wait to see that stuff. And I can’t wait to see BOTH “Doomsday Machine”s. It is indeed a thrilling time for TOS fans, and if Trek Remastered doesn’t fulfill the ultimate dreams of every fan (I certainly plan on buying the Remastered DVDs myself), the way CG technology’s advancing, we’ll have a dozen alternate versions done by fans with too much time on their hands eventually.

113. Old School Trek Nerd - January 27, 2007

I think Dennis Bailey’s work on Exeter was absolutely seamless and looked like the Season 3 Enterprise.

My only problem was with the integration of CGI and Thomas Sasser’s excellent models. The composites looked faked. If you’re out there, DB, will Act IV be more fully digital or will the 50/50 approach be used again?

114. Old School Trek Nerd - January 27, 2007

My bad, Act III.

What was I thinking? >B-D

115. New Horizon - January 27, 2007

#109 -

I was in a situation similar to Daren’s once. It was with a video game modification. It is possible for a human being to do something of this nature, not out of anger and bitterness…but simply as a closing of the door. In case you haven’t noticed, Daren isn’t hurting for work. ;) I’m sure he cares about Star Trek and would have appreciated being able to do something special with it…but I doubt he’s going to lose any sleep over not having to churn out remastered TOS episodes on an unforgiving schedule. If anything, he would likely be relieved. He’s showing us a taste of what ‘could’ have been and I think it’s a very dignified, professional reaction. He clearly showed himself to be a talented, capable, knowledgeable artist. He spent years ironing out the wrinkles and perfecting his interpretation of the enterprise. CBS chose to reinvent the wheel, and it’s showing in the inconsistency of the work. It’s still good work, just not consistent.

Long story short…I seriously doubt Daren is crying in his beer over this.

116. THEETrekMaster - January 27, 2007

Um, Jeff B…when are we going to get those Third Season TOS Trek soundtracks? C’mon….I know you can pull some strings and “Make it so…” Either you or that other soundtrack producer — Ford Thaxton…I know you guys are holding out on us poor musically deprived Trek fans! That dude from GNP Crescendo…forgot his name…I’ll bet he’s sitting on the licenses for these scores! Da Bastid!!!!

Dude…I have a big fat wallet sitting right here in front of me longing to be spent on Third Season TOS Trek CDs!!!

TTM

117. Doug - January 27, 2007

re 109…

Dont understand why everyone thinks Daren D. has this big chip on his shoulder. I don’t know the guy, but I haven’t read anything from him on this site or his own that makes me think this is a vendetta project. He started Doomsday a long time ago, wants to finish it, and we get to watch and compare…

All that is…, is cool in my book. Can’t wait to see it. Doug

118. Mark - January 27, 2007

Daren – great job! Very impressive.

119. Spockariffic - January 27, 2007

117…

The guy could have 50 chips on his shoulder. I couldn’t care less really. But call a spade a spade. There’s nothing professional or tasteful about releasing his version 2 days before theirs. You don’t have to be a psychotherapist to figure this out.
“I’m releasing a video game 2 days before EA releases theirs to show you what I think it should be.”
“I’m releasing a book 2 days before his to show you my take on it.”
“I’m releasing –” You get my point.

I wonder how Daren would have felt if a bunch of fans released a version of STTMP 2 days before his because they wanted to show us their vision? It’s great for us fans, but professional? Uh-uh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to seeing what he does!Personally I think the difference here is that Daren’s goal is to pay homage to what the original series looked like, just CG’d up (ala blue model, etc.) and Okuda and company are trying to bring the effects up to date with what they think is a real looking ship, etc.

Two different tastes that taste great together!

120. Commodore Z - January 28, 2007

Daren’s timing does seem petty, considering that he bid on the job and lost.

121. Daystrom Lives! - January 28, 2007

I like Daren D’s work in the Directors’ Edition of ST:TMP. He did a good job capturing the style of the Trumbull/Dykstra effects.

Unfortunately, I don’t think he has done as good a job in capturing the aesthetic of the original series. Jeff Bond points out Daren he did some interesting technical tricks to pay homage to the original, but the overall result falls short in my eyes. Maybe he should have asked CBS-D for a little help.

122. Doug - January 28, 2007

re: 119

I don’t see it thas way at all, and I by no means have any vested interest in this. I think he is doing the episode for a couple reasons, none of which seem petty to me…

1) the timing… so we (the fans) can compare the effects work for fun on both episodes. Since he’s talked a lot about what he “would” do, now we can see and compare.

2) the motivation… so he could put some closure to a project that he clearly cared about, and wrap up the episode, which he began work on years ago and left unfinished.

To your other point…, his product is not for sale, so I don’t think that argument is particularly relevant. It in no way impacts on the work CBS-D is doing. The guy is doing this for fun, and he’s putting his money where his mouth is so to speak.

In the end, I think you’re right, he wants to homage the original series his way… he’s doing it…, and he’s sharing it with everyone. I think its’ pretty great.

d

123. Old School Trek Nerd - January 28, 2007

I think it’s more of a case of proving his point with us, the fans, than proving it to CBS-D. Daren is simply putting his effort where his mouth is. A lot of us are commenting on how good or bad CBD-D’s work is, but Daren is one of only a handful of people who visit this site who can actually present us with an option.

The rest of us can only bitch about it, but Daren can say, “Here’s my take on it.” In doing do, he runs a risk. If we prefer his work, it validates all his prior posts on the matter. If we don’t, there will be those who will mercilessly tell him so, and dismiss his comments in the future from the comfort of their armchairs.

As this is a labor of love for Daren, he may be losing sleep over not getting the job, but I don’t think he’s losing money. His resume and portfolio is REALLY outstanding and quite current. He worked a lot last year. Many talented companies bid on the job, but in the end CBS decided to keep it cheap and keep it in the family. I don’t see this as an indictment on Daren’s or any of the other bidders’ work. It was all about money and control.

I’m looking forward to it. I, for one, love to see CGI ships shooting at stuff.

124. THEETrekMaster - January 28, 2007

Whose with me on the Soundtracks???

Stand up and speak your minds, oh ye musically deprived! For there are great mover and shakers here on this here VERY board that can make your Trek musical dreams come true on CD!!!

Come on…don’t tell me you’ve never had the urge to drive around to the strains of Elaan of Troyius, Spocks Brain, Who Mourns for Adonais?, Friday’s Child….and all those other EXCELLENT scores that HAVE NEVER SEEN THE FREAKIN LASER LIGHT OF A CD PLAYER!!!!

ARRRGGHHH!!! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS THIS IS A TRAVESTY???? WAKEUP YE GEN X LOSERS! ALL THE GREAT TREK MUSIC IS IN TOS!!! Not VOYAGER! Not ENTERPRISE!! NOT EVEN the later seasons of TNG! Yet, these craptacular sonic wallpaper scores were released by GNP Crescendo on CD but has all the TOS music been released? NOOOOOOO….it OBSCENE!!!!

Search your feelings!!! You KNOW it to be true!!!

Bond…Jeff Bond. THAXTON…FORD THAXTON….WAKE UP!!! Soundtracks need to be produced….money is collecting dust waiting to be spent! You know Paramount isn’t the problem…hell, they would take ANY money they can make off Trek these days….

Le’t do it! What’s the holdup! Riddle me THAT!!!

ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!

All I ask is one simple request — the complete scores of TOS on CD. Is that too much to ask??!!! GRRRRRR!!!

Don’t ignore me!

TTM

125. THEETrekMaster - January 28, 2007

Forgot to add…at the rate this is NOT getting done, I’ll be ordering those scores off Amazon when I am an old man in the old folks home!

It’s OBSCENE!!!!

Bond…Jeff Bond…in the immortal words of Parmen from Plato’s Stepchildren (played by the late, GREAT Liam Sullivan) — “How can you let this go on?”

TTM

126. Jim J - January 28, 2007

More soundtracks of TOS sounds great to me!

127. Michael Hall - January 28, 2007

Daren,

Thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to post here. Far from it being “sour grapes” I think it speaks well of your character that you’re willing to put your work out there for the same kind of loving (or not-so-loving) criticism that the folks from CBS-D enjoy, and that you take the criticism in your stride as nothing personal. Whichever version of “Doomsday” I ultimately prefer (and I can see elements in both approaches, as well as that of Scott Gammans, that are worthy of respect) it’s going to be a real gas to compare and contrast them, not to mention a real eductional experience for would-be FX artists of all stripes.

Foobar, thanks for answering my question: obviously no one has bothered to tell you the difference, though someday someone will surely get around to doing so, one way or the other.

128. nobrainer - January 28, 2007

Re: 126

DITTO!!!!

129. THEETrekMaster - January 28, 2007

#127 Daren puts his work out there cos it’s very MACINTHEFREAKINPANTS….erm….whatever the FRACK that means. LOL

130. New Horizon - January 28, 2007

What I truly enjoy about Daren’s approach, is that he has put a ton of work into making the Enterprise look like it’s a studio model, and in doing so maintains the stylized look of the original series effects. It ‘enhances’ the original series effects, but doesn’t go over the top into movie style effects. It’s quite similar to the approach used in the directors edition of TMP, with the exception that there is a bit more freedom since he doesn’t have to match his new space shots with the existing space shots. The CBS-D team are making some nice looking CGI shots, but I truly feel Daren’s approach would have been more appropriate….perhaps some perceive it as artsy idealism, but damn….Daren has truly replicated the feel of the original effects with his attention to recreating the original lighting and lens choices of the original effects.

CBS-D’s approach is equally valid…I just feel it misses the mark in honoring the original effects and paying tribute to the hard work of the original artists. When you see the enterprise pulling away from the planet in his enhanced opening titles…you can actually see the same lens effect…like the perspective is a bit forced. Always loved that shot…gives me goosebumps to see it replicated so accurately. :)

131. Jeff Bond - January 28, 2007

About the soundtracks…bear in mind that if it were up to me, Ford Thaxton or any of the number of people who have tried to do this over the years, all the TOS music would have been released years ago. GNP/Crescendo had exclusive rights to the stuff for years. Their last TOS album (“Naked Time/Shore Leave”) did not do well for them and thereafter they decided the only viable way to release TOS music was piggybacked on general Star Trek collections. Eventually the powers that be at the label lost interest, but it was always very challenging to deal with Paramount for those releases–every piece of artwork, every decision on those albums had to be approved by Paramount. The studio has been approached by numerous people over the years to revive the releases and for one reason or another the deal has never been made. At some point I think Paramount wanted too much money or too many units out there–when you have a giant corporation like this, the amount of money they might make on a specialized release like this is truly negligible, beneath notice to them–it’s not worth assigning the in-house accountants to even check it out as far as they’re concerned because they’re used to making merchandising deals that are going to net them millions, not a few grand.

At the same time, the potential audience for these releases has shriveled over the years. Film Score Monthly, where I worked for years, has run its own successful label, and Lukas Kendall did that by figuring out that the basic market for classic soundtrack releases is about three thousand people–so you limit your pressings to that number, do mail order only so you’re not dealing with large distributor, and you make money eventually. That is actually the model that would work best for TOS music releases, but that’s a hard sell to Paramount because it doesn’t mean huge numbers for them. All that said, many factors have been making it easier to license older movie and TV music over the past decade, and it has to be said that the Trek Remastered project is an excellent marketing tool for potential CDs, so there’s still a possibility someone will figure a way to do this–it’s just not happening at the moment. The good news is all the music that is capable of being preserved in good condition (a good amount of it I’m told) has been. Let’s hope we can download it all before we go gray…

132. THEETrekMaster - January 28, 2007

GAH!!!! Sounds like a real pain, Jeff….but I gotta tell ya….my hat was and is off to you and Lukas for all the fine work you guys did over there at FSM. And you raise some excellent points about the shrinking market, number of units, etc…but I really really hope Paramount will license FSM to release the discs. I know the quality would be outstanding. I have quite of few of the FSM releases (Logans Run film/TV series for example)…and they are all excellent.

And yes, I think Trek Remastered plus the new film should be a good springboard at least from a marketing perspective for future CD releases.

133. Daystrom Lives! - January 28, 2007

Bring on the Classic Trek soundtracks!

134. TrekGurl1975 - January 31, 2007

Big ups? No, not this time! I fail to see how “big D’s” work can hold a candle to work CBS-D is creating. I think if you gave CBS-D the same 2 years it took “big D” to create his version of the DDM your minds would be blown.
Darens work seems to fall slightly short of spectacular and in my opinion pales in comparison to CBS-D. I think once my drooling mouth is filled with a hot serving of the DDM Remastered that all other attempts will seem futile and childish at best.
I think a recommendation that anyone attempting to create award winning VFX should highly consider is maybe taking a few classes over at the Gnomon school of Visual Effects before posting any of their attempts online for the world to see.
Keep up the good work CBS-D!

135. New Horizon - January 31, 2007

@TrekGurl1975

Daren hasn’t been working on his version for two years. He completed a part of the episode for his proposal back in 2003, and judging from the recent credits…they have been re-rendered and tweaked. Read his post, he’s going to be working on the rest of the episode…right up until the last minute, just like CBS-D….while holding down his regular job at the same time. CBS D are paid to do this full time…he’s pulling this off on his own…in his spare time.

Daren is a professional, and in high demand. If you can’t see what he has managed to achieve with his work, then I don’t expect you ever will. He’s not aiming to create ultra realistic outer space effects, he’s creating an ‘enhanced’ TOS look, and has succeeded. He has captured the stylized look of the 60′s effects, with modern technology and it pretty much looks like his effects were done with a physical model. It isn’t ultra realistic, it shouldn’t be…it’s TOS.

I agree. CBS-Digital has done some great work in their own right, but this isn’t a pissing match about who makes the best looking CGI, what is truly being debated is who has managed to re-create the look of TOS in CGI…and that is Daren…hands down.

I reiterate, CBS D has produced some very pretty ‘modern Trek’ effects for TOS, but Daren has come closer than anyone to replicating the TOS style in CG.

Amazing how two people born the same year can have such differing views.

136. THEETrekMaster - January 31, 2007

It’s not a pissing match, but we have the right to our own preferences and the right to express our likes and dislikes…LOL…I mean, come on…

I like a lot of what CBS-D does…but when I think Daren’s work is better — like his Enterprise for example — I am going to say so. That’s not brown nosing either. If Daren’s work sucked, I would say that too!

And if there were identifiable reps of CBS-D, I would tell them point blank what I think works and what doesn’t.

I’ve done cgi as well, BTW. I know Maya, Max and Lightwave. I am not some greenhand off the street corner. Plus I know people personally who work in the industry — some of whom have worked in Star Trek.

I am not a “name dropper” so I am not going to say who. But back to topic, I don’t think anyone sees this as a “pissing contest”…we just each like what we like.

LMAO!!!

137. New Horizon - January 31, 2007

#136

What you say is true, that’s why I said it isn’t a pissing match..although some do tend try turning it into one.

I do my best to be fair to both sides. It’s one thing to ‘like’ a certain style, but it’s totally another to disregard a style…simply because someone can’t see what the artist has accomplished….CBS-D’s attempt at realism vs. Daren’s attempt at reproducing the TOS stylized look for example.

I like both, but I would have chosen Daren’s approach over a modernized look…simply because it fits better.

I think it’s silly for people to put down the stylized approach, logically it fits the show better. That isn’t putting down what CBS-D has done…that’s just recognizing that their approach is a little more sterile than the original style. It still works, just not as well.

138. tpresto - February 1, 2007

I for one cherish any chance to see “Doomsday Machine” again – IMO it was the single best Trek episode. I really don’t care about the nuances of the CG effects. I love this story. I think William Windom put in THE greatest ever Star Trek Performances in any Trek TV episode (all treks) or movie.

This episode was just a good piece of intelligent and exciting story-telling. It had some of the best dialogue. This is a good episode whether the special effects be Dochterman’s CGI, CBS-D’s CGI, or the 1960′s vintage “model on a string”.

But don’t get me wrong – I will enjoy the HD and the new effects, but that won’t be the main reason for tuning in (or checking out Dochterman’s website.)

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