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TrekToday - FX Expert: TOS Could Be Redone In CGI

FX Expert: TOS Could Be Redone In CGI

By Christian
August 12, 2002 - 4:01 AM

Enterprise has already shown computer-generated aliens can be created convincingly on a television budget. But in only a few years, even humans could be recreated in the computer - opening up some very interesting possibilities for Star Trek fans.

"As God is my witness, [the alien creatures] look absolutely dead real. There's no way we could have done that two years ago," Enterprise supervising special effects animator Bonchune told Michael Stroud at Wired for an article on the way computer graphics are transforming television.

Bonchune felt that in a few years it would be possible to use CGI to create completely lifelike human faces in only a few years time. "You could redo the old Star Trek series. The original mission was only three years. You could do two more entirely in CG."

While Bonchune only commented on the theoretical possibility of redoing the Original Series, three years ago an independent visual effects company called Digital Streams actually launched a campaign to create 'Star Wars'-style special editions of all TOS episodes. In an effort to persuade Paramount to fund their project, the company created an updated version of the classic episode 'The Doomsday Machine,' featuring updated effects and a reworked opening sequence. However, the company apparently was not successful in this, and its web site has since gone offline.

For now, Paramount has been very willing to use computer-generated effects to enhance episodes of the latest Star Trek series, Enterprise. According to Wired, an upcoming Series V episode will include a sequence in which "viewers [see] a shot of a spaceship's crew walking on the hull in space, then a pan to a nearby planet, then a shot of another spaceship nearby."

"Technically, you could have done these kinds of shots two or three years ago, but it would generally have cost too much and taken too much time for TV," Bonchune told the site. "Now it's become much more practical."

For more on Enterprise's use of computer-generated imagery, as well some examples from the upcoming FOX show Firefly, please read the full article on Wired.

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