DS9 Clips in HD, CGI Re-Rendering Next On Wish List for Documentary — Exclusive Details & Video Sample

Example of DS9 CGI re-render using original assets

The production team working on the Deep Space Nine documentary What We Left Behind have revealed to TrekMovie that they are in talks with CBS to not only remaster clips from the show into HD, but to re-render CGI scenes.

The What We Leave Behind production team revealed the following to TrekMovie:

The What We Left Behind documentary team is pleased to share that we have been in talks with CBS Television Studios to gain access to archival masters and original film elements from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series. Pending completion of our final crowdfunding goals and accessibility to the materials, the film team intend to provide select Deep Space Nine content for the first time in high definition format for presentation in the new documentary.

Further, the documentary team is working with Trek VFX alumnus Doug Drexler and his colleagues to remaster a number of original CGI sequences in high definition for presentation in the film, from their original 3D scene files. The remastering for the documentary is an expensive proposition, so it is contingent upon continued funding through the Indiegogo campaign.

Here’s an example of the remastered CGI in HD that was provided to us by the production folks, done by a CGI modeler as a kind of proof-of-concept for a project like this.

If you are clamoring for this documentary as we are, and clips from DS9 in HD, please visit the Indigogo page and make a donation!

UPDATE: Here’s an official video announcement of the next stretch goal from the team:

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OMG! This looks awesome! I’m not the biggest Niner, but these scenes show how great DS9 could look on Blu-Ray and beyond. No matter what, I’d love to see DS9 and VOY on Blu-Ray some day. If DSC is a success, chances might be growing, we actually get this done. If Trek becomes a mainstream success (again), streaming networks will want to offer the older content in the best quality possible and might co-finance such an endeavour. Here is hope…

Hello, Smike. I agree. Let’s also hope for a brand-new Hi-Def and 4K Ultra Hi-Def Director’s Edition of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” to be released on 4K UHD and Blu-ray Combo Packs. Here’s my Hi-Def remaster of the “Director’s Edition” trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H21Z538MJ4E

STD is a TOS fanboy prequel letdown from the get go, and is the final nail in the coffin for any remote possibility of DS9 and Voyager HD, hence why so many of us absolutely despise what the JJ films have done, and by all accounts STD is aiming for a repeat performance of Enterprise.

Please don’t call it STD, it’s DISC


And you know this because of some magical powers that let you see the future?

And your done with Star Trek? Cool. Now let us enjoy it without you.

Yeah, for people like you getting up in the morning is the last nail in the coffin for evrything…. ridicoulous

There hasn’t been story or footage released and you’re already calling it a let down failure?

Just so you know, Your opinion of Enterprise is not the definitive authority on the quality of the show. Some of us enjoyed it. There are always hits and misses with every Trek series. There will never be anything that always meets everyone’s expectations.

I am going to wait and watch the show when it comes out. I’ll judge the show on it’s quality and it’s merits.

If something does not fall in line with your values or ideals, you shouldn’t watch it. But you have to watch it to know if it doesn’t fall within those expectations. There is absolutely no way to know that right now.

This looks great, but i’m much more interested in seeing the character scenes in HD than any of the SFX.

“Niner”? Please don’t tell me that’s not what DS9 fans call themselves.

thats what one not big DS9 fan calls it self. Dont Worry..

Call me old-fashioned if you wish, but I liked DS9’s old hand-built models. The battles the original creators were able to create (all the way to season 7’s premiere) with nothing but models was very impressive. All that hard work deserves to be preserved in some fashion.

Whoa, that looks amazing! It’s a real shame that we’re probably never gonna see all of DS9 in HD. I really hope CBS changes their mind on this some day.

Maybe this will lead to a miniseries, ten or twelve episodes, called ” Star Trek, the Dominion War”, done with the latest CGI tech. It’s basically WWII in the Pacific. There must have thousands of battles fought in the Dominion War. We only saw a few of them. Perhaps the loss of, and retaking of, a Federation planet from Dominion occupation could be the theme?

WOW! I think I may have peed my pants.

That clip looks really, really good. Like, really good. How did DS9 have CGI THAT good???

Apparently the team that created the models often over detailed them even though they would be obscured by modern television quality. Apparently only some slight multiplying of polygons was required. The files themselves are still fully readable, and with current technology, you can vastly improve the lighting.

Nope. That’s a completely different Defiant model. The one used at the time was badly proportioned with a huge deflector. The reg number was also incorrect, depending which stock footage was used for either of the Defiant class ships used.

After the Sao Paulo was “renamed” the Defiant, it retained the original NX-74205 number on the hull. This was, obviously, a cost-saving measure for DS9. If you read about this on Memory Alpha, Ron Moore lobbied unsuccessfully to differentiate between the old and new Defiants by getting the new starship named “Defiant-A,” but Ira Steven Behr decided it was too cost-prohibitive at the end of the series to have the “A” added to the CG model. Unfortunately, he was probably right then. But now, if some of the battle shots are rendered in HD, somebody could finally add that “A” to the Defiant’s name.

Explosions have been swapped out with particle effects too.

Sorry, this is wrong. Not sure when that info came from by any DS9 cgi would have to be rebuilt frame by frame from scratch. There’s no such thing as just multiplying polygons to make models look better.

So this is a new from scratch cgi scene with new designed ships?? Or this is an original scene as it aired “upgraded” to HD?

Cause it looks incredible. Way beyond the effects used in enterprise

The short version is “some of each”. From what I understand, the modeler who created the video has access to a bunch of the original CG assets, he’s of course also upgraded things along the way, and then done a brand new render of the scenes with modern software, etc.

Well it looks tremendous regardless.

DS9 deserves a full HD treatment.

Here’s a question, when creating HD versions of TOS and TNG (and Enterprise, which was originally made in HD, right?), are these simply scanned up to 1080P or are the negatives in such a state that they can easily get a 4K or eventually 8K treatment?

Regardless of the expense involved I’d think CBS would want to have all these series in full HD for syndication purposes.

TOS is harder because they don’t have the original negatives, just the finished product. So they basically did a restoration of the 35mm film, and then digitally cut out the old VFX and made new VFX for the 2006 TOS-R stuff.

But yes both TOS and TNG were shot on 35mm film, so they in theory could be rescanned at 4k. However, remember, especially with TNG, it was like doing all the editing and VFX work from scratch, so each of those would need a ton of post-production work all over again at that new 4k workflow. It’s highly unlikely it will happen any time soon. HD will likely be good enough for quite some time.

8k would be pointless, typically with average 35mm film (especially older/cheaper stocks from the ’80s) the common opinion from experts is that all the detail worth actually recording from the film cell, can be captured at 4k resolution.

While TOS ship models were filmed with 35mm, the TNG ship models were direct to S-VHS video. So they are SD quality at best.

Like, really. Or really really?

Isn’t that video from a fan using the CGI files? That YouTube channel posted two other vids three years back using the similar renders.

Dan does wonderful work.

You are right, these are clips that have been on YouTube for years. I believe some were created as a proof of concept by the TNG remaster team while others were made by a fan/former employee. I’m not sure why TrekMovie or the documentary crew is trying to pass them off as clips made for this documentary.

The documentary crew pointed to this as example. We at TrekMovie are well aware of the videos, and I was careful to confirm with our staff member who conducted the interview that yes this is the video they linked us to. Unlike the earlier videos which are 3 years old, this video is only weeks old.
Note that we say: “The documentary team is working with Trek VFX alumnus Doug Drexler and his colleagues.” We assume then that the author of those videos is one of the folks Doug Drexler has rounded up to help.

Wow. Do I miss DS9! In my opinion, the best TREK since TOS–movies or television. I wish more new and upcoming TREK was as daring and showed some balls. To actually present to us a whole new aspect of the TREK universe, and not just regurgitate the same format over, and over, and over again. A priceless gem in the TREK cannon!


Whhhhhhhhhhaaaatttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeverrrrrrrr thaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt meeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaannnnnnsss

Would rather they didn’t tease us like this considering it will probably never happen…

I wish it to be done, to live longh enough to watch it and to have money to buy it.

HOOOLYYY…never thought DS9 could look so good. Such an iconic clip too. I’m actually really surprised it’s so easy to upgrade the CGI, considering those files are 20 years old, and I’ve been reading for months from various sites about how difficult it would be to work with those old models. Guess it’s just a bunch of hearsay? Cuz that was breathtaking..

Good to see that lousy Defiant model has been swapped out.

I REALLY wish CBS/P would remaster all of DS9 in HD! That better be on their to-do list!

I really want DS9 in HD… :(

That looks amazing actually. Very surprised at how good that looks.

Of course it’s better than the old 480/576p CGI. But it’s not state of the art and too bad to present it on bluray disc. More and more people have UHD TV sets and this is not good enough for the next 10-20 years. They always act too short-sightedly. If they would do a 1080p scan of the negatives of rebuild the CGI with only 1080p it wouldn’t be future-proof.

Wow they showed that some sweet love, there.

Okay, that looked pretty darn good….

For HD conversion and cgi like that? I’d shell out the money CBS would charge for DS9 bluray. It’s right up there tied with TOS as my favorite Trek series

I’d buy a remastered DS9 BluRay collection. Like some who have already written here, TOS and DS9 are the best of the treks. :)

jesus, I got chills watching that

I considered funding the Documentary What We Left Behind from the get go.

The moment they mentioned they want to scan original film footage I did send money.
I am even more happy now cause they are talking about re-rendering the CGI to HD.

Please CBS do a TNG style remaster! I want DS9 in HD on Blu-ray!

Sweet Jesus! That HD footage looks amazing!

“SUH-WEET JEE-ZUS!” – Zefram Cochrane

After watching this clip 287 times, it looks like none of the other ships are even firing at each other…still impressive…but the devil is in the details!

Even if CBS is concerend about sales, why not start with releasing HD-remastered TV movie/miniseries versions of the two-/three-/six-part episodes like they did with the TNG two-parters in Europe?

That was just… wow!

Holy crap! That looked absolutely beautiful!

I think I remember watching this scene in the show!