Thursday, June 11, 2009

Star Trek Visual Effects Story

CG Society has posted an article on their website that covers how some of the details behind the special effects done for Star Trek by ILM and Digital Domain. Below are a few of the highlights with the full article here.

- Work done in six months, 800 shots from ILM, 150 from Digital Domain
- Many discussions of form following function so attempt to get the science right were possible and give "back-stories for what the ship does here and what the crew stored there."
- Unlike the previous films and series, there are no miniature models in the film, all are digital. VFX Supervisor, Roger Guyett, realized “due to the scale of the film and the compressed schedule, we ruled out [traditional] models early on.”
- The new Enterprise is 2,357 feet (718.41m) long, it’s size much larger than previous Enterprise incarnations.
- The jump sequence over Vulcan represented 250 shots out of the 800 ILM worked on.
- 1/3 of the platform was a real set built at the Dodger Stadium parking lot, the rest was CGI.
- New program called Fracture was created to help realize the destructions sequences used in the film such as the Kelvin. What pattern used in the destruction depended on what was being blown-up.
- Despite the bump summer, budget restrictions forced the effect houses to stick to their original schedule which was why Digital Domain was brought in the help.
- DD's work included the engineer bay pipe sequences, shot at the Anheuser-Busch Company brewery which was much more complicated than you would think (not even going to try to summarize but lens flares played a part in the complications).
- Other DD work included the robot policeman whose mask was digital created as were some of the details on the face of Scotty's alien friend along with his digital tribble.

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