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  #21  
Old 08-16-2008, 05:08 AM
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Now, if we want to expand beyond jut TOS, I think my favorite of ALL the Trek aliens have to be the insectoid Xindi. (In fact, they are the ONLY thing about the Xindi story arc that I found interesting.) Had Berman just taken those aliens, and built them into the new Klingons, I think he would have had something!
Those "overgrown grasshoppers"?
The idea that six different sentient species evolved on one planet and nearly extincted each other was nice in theory, but the Insectoids/Reptilians and Primates/Arboreal were just too similar IMO.
I would have prefered to see more of the Aquatics and the extinct Avians, but that would have required more costly CGI.
A big problem of CGI creatures is that on a TV budget, you don't get a Gollum and thus they lack what an actor in heavy make-up can do. That and the high costs is why the Reptilians were more used than the Insectoids IMO.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2008, 05:13 AM
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Were the insectoids done via CGI in all shots? I was under the impression that most of the time, there were puppetted in frame, and the operators removed digitally... similar to the technique they used in Galaxy Quest for the Thermians in their "real" form. Only when you saw them in full frame, and moving about were they CGI...

Am I wrong about this?
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2008, 05:42 AM
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Were the insectoids done via CGI in all shots? I was under the impression that most of the time, there were puppetted in frame, and the operators removed digitally... similar to the technique they used in Galaxy Quest for the Thermians in their "real" form. Only when you saw them in full frame, and moving about were they CGI...

Am I wrong about this?
I have no idea, I only saw on the DVD that they used one motion capture performance for one show and as benchmark for CGI. Could be that they also used puppets when they only sat in the Council, but I think when you have a functioning CGI creature, it is cheaper to use that material than to build a puppet, like it would be cheaper to build no ship model if you have a CGI ship. But I could be wrong, you know more about film making

By the way, what do you think about using models or Peter Jackson like big miniatures for sci-fi like Star Trek in comparison to pure CGI? Does this work for sci-fi or is shooting a model ship too costly? I love what Jackson did in LOTR, those miniatures look so great and CGI ships look sometimes too smooth, so I wonder if shooting models works if the budget allows it.
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2008, 12:34 PM
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Well, I have my own opinion on this, and that's all it is.. my opinion. But I feel that, unless you are someone who can afford a major effects house like ILM or Pixar, you are going to get a far more convincing result by using a mix of techniques. You'll notice that a lot of films that go pure digital... 300, Sky Captain, Van Helsing, etc.... all have a very stylized look to their effects sequences. This is simply because it's easier and cheaper for computers to do a bit of "slight of hand" with the overall look, rather than render a 100% realistic image.

I must not be the only ones who feels this way. You might recall that, around the time the first Starship Troopers came out, a lot of FX houses dismantled their model shops entirely... but now, they're finding that it's still more economical to keep them around.

Computers do wonderfully at compositing. They can do matte shots that Albert Whitlock could have only dreamed about... but when it comes to creating objects, and chaotic things like rain or explosions, or simulating that ineffable quality of lighting hitting something "just so"... miniatures are still preferred.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2008, 01:24 PM
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I've always felt the new starwars trilogy shows the limitations of what computers can do. Lucas relied on them far too much, so to the point where sets, that could have been constructed were done in CGI where you have the actors standing in a blue room acting to nothing and it showed in their performances. The Lord of the Rings trilogy on the other hand had a nice marriage of CGI and practical effects and set design. They only used CGI to complete what couldn't be done in camera. Many of the shots of the white city and other locations were done using minatures and it shows. If you can shoot it, then shoot it. I think CGI is used best when it is used to accomplish what you can't do practically. Just look at the space battle at the end of Return of the Jedi and all the CGI battles in the new trilogy, that Endor space battle still blows them all away IMO. Or look at the Enterprise in TWOK and then in Nemesis, again, if you can shoot it, do it.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:34 AM
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I've always felt the new starwars trilogy shows the limitations of what computers can do. Lucas relied on them far too much, so to the point where sets, that could have been constructed were done in CGI where you have the actors standing in a blue room acting to nothing and it showed in their performances. The Lord of the Rings trilogy on the other hand had a nice marriage of CGI and practical effects and set design. They only used CGI to complete what couldn't be done in camera. Many of the shots of the white city and other locations were done using minatures and it shows. If you can shoot it, then shoot it. I think CGI is used best when it is used to accomplish what you can't do practically. Just look at the space battle at the end of Return of the Jedi and all the CGI battles in the new trilogy, that Endor space battle still blows them all away IMO. Or look at the Enterprise in TWOK and then in Nemesis, again, if you can shoot it, do it.
I agree, the best CGI does not look like CGI.
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  #27  
Old 08-18-2008, 03:41 AM
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Loved the Gorn
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  #28  
Old 08-18-2008, 04:54 AM
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The Horta? (I heard the Horta costume was a modified "amebeoa" costume from The Outer Limits.) How about Sylvia and her mate in "Catspaw" after their true natures were revealed? The Gorn? Or maybe something less humanoid, like the rock critter from the episode where they have to fight good and evil? Or the little pinwheel that fed on negative emotion? Ruk, the last of the old androids... (Ted Cassidy could seem pretty alien...)

So, which one stands out in your mind... and why?
the horta looks like a rug with plaster dumped on it, can't you see the fringe?

the catspaw creatues look like the bugs on sessame street (little bugs? whatever they're called..)

i like the gorn, or actually andorians. True, they're more 'real' in enterprise, but they actually seem belivable


For other shows, i like the xindi insextoids and the supspecies of andorian (what did shan call them? the white ones)

oh, and modern-er klinons :P(Post augment period)
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  #29  
Old 08-18-2008, 07:38 AM
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Korob and Sylvia in their true form? Yip, yip, yip... uh huh... uh huh... yip, yip, yip...
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  #30  
Old 08-18-2008, 08:16 AM
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Korob and Sylvia in their true form? Yip, yip, yip... uh huh... uh huh... yip, yip, yip...
They look like the guys from the old House Of Wax, when it burned...lol
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