Dochterman To Complete His “Enhanced Doomsday Machine”

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.

 

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January 25, 2007 6:37 pm

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

January 25, 2007 6:48 pm

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.

JB
January 25, 2007 6:56 pm

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.

January 25, 2007 6:57 pm

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. :)

January 25, 2007 7:17 pm

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

JON
January 25, 2007 7:28 pm

excellent.Very comparable to the cbs work.

Magic_Al
January 25, 2007 7:34 pm

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!

January 25, 2007 7:49 pm

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+

Ross
January 25, 2007 7:50 pm

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.

JON
January 25, 2007 7:50 pm

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.

JON
January 25, 2007 7:53 pm

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

January 25, 2007 7:54 pm

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.

January 25, 2007 7:56 pm

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

Kelvington
January 25, 2007 7:57 pm

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!

jonboc
January 25, 2007 7:57 pm

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!

New Horizon
January 25, 2007 8:00 pm

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.

January 25, 2007 8:18 pm

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=

New Horizon
January 25, 2007 8:38 pm

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

JON
January 25, 2007 8:44 pm

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

CmdrR
January 25, 2007 8:56 pm

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

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

Nelson
January 25, 2007 8:58 pm

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?

T Negative
January 25, 2007 9:03 pm

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.

CmdrR
January 25, 2007 9:12 pm

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.

Chunkay
January 25, 2007 9:21 pm

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

Old School Trek Nerd
January 25, 2007 9:22 pm

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.

January 25, 2007 9:27 pm

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.

Jim J
January 25, 2007 9:34 pm

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….

Jim J
January 25, 2007 9:37 pm

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?

January 25, 2007 9:37 pm

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

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.

January 25, 2007 9:43 pm

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.

CmdrR
January 25, 2007 9:47 pm

#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.

January 25, 2007 9:52 pm

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

chris
January 25, 2007 9:52 pm

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.

Buckaroohawk
January 25, 2007 10:03 pm
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)
Dan Siciliano
January 25, 2007 10:14 pm

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….!

Michael Hall
January 25, 2007 10:17 pm

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.

New Horizon
January 25, 2007 10:24 pm

#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.

Michael Hall
January 25, 2007 10:34 pm

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.

Cranston
January 25, 2007 10:41 pm

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….)

January 25, 2007 10:47 pm
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… Read more »
Josh T. (The Final Frontier) Kirk Esquire'
January 25, 2007 10:51 pm
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… Read more »
Michael Hall
January 25, 2007 11:10 pm

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. :-)

CmdrR
January 25, 2007 11:16 pm

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

Commodore Z
January 25, 2007 11:43 pm

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.

January 25, 2007 11:47 pm

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.

A.L.
January 25, 2007 11:55 pm

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

Nelson
January 26, 2007 12:03 am
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… Read more »
Gsmarty Pants
January 26, 2007 12:04 am
#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… Read more »
Duane Boda
January 26, 2007 12:08 am

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!

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