Trek Movie Report Talks To EdenFX About HDTV Trek…See Their Test Footage

One company that vied for the CGI effects work on the new HDTV Trek project was EdenFX. The L.A.-based digital effects house has a long relationship Paramount and Star Trek dating back to the 90s. The team has racked up a couple dozen Emmy’s for their Trek work, most recently in 2004 for Star Trek: Enterprise. Last year when Eden created a digital version of a ship from Kirk’s era for the ‘In A Mirror Darkly’ arc, fans got a taste of what the classic Trek might look like with state-of-the-art visual effects on HDTV . When word of a new HD Star Trek: The Original Series project started going around town, EdenFX was on the scene immediately. The company quickly put together a bid including test footage (see below). In the end CBS decided to do the initial CGI work in-house. However, EdenFX owner John Gross is still optimistic they can be part of HDTV Trek as the project goes along. CBS Paramount has committed to deliver ‘new’ episodes on a weekly basis, so it sounds like there is a lot of work to do over the next two years.

EdenFX Test video (QuickTime – opens new window)

Eden Knows Trek.
Although founded in 2000, the EdenFX team is made up of people who have worked on Trek over the last decade, including many who worked on Trek while with Digital Muse, Foundation Imaging and Amblin Imaging. The artists working at EdenFX were providing Paramount with digital visual effects starting with Star Trek: Deep Space 9 and then went on to both Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. As time progressed over the last decade more and more digital effects were used until Enterprise went fully digital and HD. "Over the years we have all truly become serious Star Trek fans," says Gross. The team has actually immortalized themselves into Star Trek by digitally engraving their names onto some of the ships, "My name is on Voyager’s tail", said Gross. The Eden team also seem to be on the same page as CBS with regards to making any changes. "Viewers shouldn’t notice any changes from the original show," said Gross "Mike (Okuda) and CBS are taking the right approach towards maintaining the integrity of the show, it should just look better not be different." Although they haven’t yet been called on to work on the new HDTV Original Series, they are ready to go and have fully researched the project identifying all the required new shots and opportunities for reusing shots. They have also looked into how to solve issues like mixing the exterior shots with shots on the view screen. Integrating new effects and transforming to HD ratio will be tricky for certain stock shots like the often reused ‘over Sulu’s shoulder’ or ‘view screen close up’ shots.

suluscreen.JPG screencloseup.JPG
Turning these often used shots into HD w/CGI is challenging

..And Abrams’ Lost too
Even if Eden does not work on the new HD TOS project they still want to be part of Star Trek’s future. Although it is early for Trek XI producer J.J. Abrams to start picking effects companies, he does have a relationship with EdenFX. Eden has done work for both Alias and Lost, including creating the Wild Boars, the Polar Bear and the infamous ‘smoke monster’ (aka ‘Lostzilla’). "We would love to work with JJ again, he and his team are very creative and fun to work with," says Gross. Acknowledging that Paramount may look to a bigger company like ILM for all their visual effects, Gross does note that EdenFX have done quite a lot of feature work including many shots for the recent Superman Returns. But perhaps Gross’ most compelling argument is this: "we know Star Trek, it is part of us."

Some of the EdenFX team in 2004 with their Emmys for ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’


UPDATE: More ‘Fun Shots’ from the Eden Team 


Go To the TOS in HD Subsite, for all the info on TOS in HD

(and click here for latest TOS in HD News)


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anyone know where we can get a station list?

I am working on getting that list, but for now check your local listings

Well…..this is just a guess – a mere guess ONLY!
But…..right off hand I’d say that TVLand as part of their Sept. 8th celebration will start showing Star Trek and the improved upgraded episodes.
Wouldn’t that be nice?

You guys at Paramount really need to amp up the old Trek with a multi-million dollars special effects budget…and replace sets, backgrounds, landscapes and space battles with all new special effects!!!

NOT TVLand — first, TVLand isn’t HD and second, the articles have specifically stated local broadcast, not a cable network.

My question – how will they convert the original SD footage into HD for the 16:9 ratio? I mean, unless they zoom into the footage to fill the 16:9 aspect ratio of HD, what else can they do to make it widescreen?

Aaron brings up a very good point. This to be added to this list of questions:

1) 16:9 aspect ratio?
2) Running times. Episodes edited for one hour broadcast?
3) Television Station Syndication List for the USA, where to find?

Who has these answers? No where thus far on the Internet.
But my money is on this site in the future.

First off Star Trek was shot on flim therefore it isn’t SD or HD, it is film. Film can be scanned in at various detail levels. Because TOS was shot on film means that it should make a pretty good showing at HD resolution.

About 16:9 — I notice Paramount has dodged whether they have or haven’t The Digital Bits tried to contact them and so far no answer. I have a feeling this means yes they are reformatting the series for 16:9. The test clip EdenFX did was clearly for widescreen.

How do they do it? Just like we have (awful) Pan and Scan versions of movies for 4:3 TVs there is an equivalent for 4:3 content into 16:9, it is called Pan and Tilt. Basically you choose a rectangle portion of the square to use. Hence why the EdenFX article mentions the issues with the various commonly reused shots that were clearly shot for 4:3 screens.

Today (9/I/6 herd/viewed on Fox News CBS was going to HD’ise TOS and all 79 episodes. But they did not say any thing about 4:3 or 16:9.

The question I have is in 1966 hour long shows were 51 minutes, today 2006 the are 42 minutes, where is that missing 9 minutes going. Or are they going to be like G4TV and run the shows 70 minutes per episode.

Opps … I forgot Dox News also stated it will start 9/16/2006 on network CBS affiliates.

Does anyone want a 10240x8192x24bit JPG of NX-01 wallpaper I created from a image I broused 2 or 3 years ago. It is a fractal rescaled image with the logo removed (classic Wallpaper).

I can upload it here if desired for all to have. Just need a e-mail address to send it to.

Amazing! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of colors!