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Babylon 5- The Lost Tales *SPOILERS*

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  • Shabaz
    replied
    Well, it depends on the director of course. But from his descriptions of himself as a fairly hands on writer/producer during B5, the fact that he knows his way around CGI and how to use it having worked on 2 shows pioneering the use of that technology in television (Captain Power and B5), and the fact that one of his explicitly stated goals when asked about him choosing to direct is to take on the CGI and get that right, I think it is a well founded assumption that JMS will not be the kind of director who can't be bothered to exert directorial control when it comes to the work the effects houses do.

    However, even if he would let Atmosphere use things like "shake, zoom, and pan motions" at their own discretion, I doubt they would go the BSG way. They did work on Dead Like Me, on the Stargates, on Andromeda. Each of them free of BSG's recognizable style of camera direction. And the reason why BSG does have that is not because the effects houses added that at their own discretion. It is because the creative team, the writer/producer and director, made a very clear and concious choice to approach the space shots in a certain way. They intentionally didn't do the beauty shots, and didn't want it because they felt it worked better in a dramatic way and worked better with the narrative they were trying to tell. I don't know if you have the DVDs, but they talk a bit about it in the miniseries commentary track, and it is very clear that the specific style of camera direction originated at the main creative team, not the effects house. It's not something that the effects house inserted because they felt it increased realism.

    And finally, even if it was the effects houses that thought up the iconic BSG space camera style (which they didn't), it would've been ZOIC, not Atmosphere who would've done so. ZOIC did the miniseries and most of the early season 1 episodes, where the style could've been established, where Atmosphere took over only later.

    In short, I think your fears are unfounded, and I wouldn't worry. We've known JMS would direct for ages now, and he will be the one most likely responsible for the camera style of the CGI. If this didn't make you apprehensive before, it shouldn't do so now.

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  • B5_Obsessed
    replied
    Originally posted by Shabaz
    I know you're probably joking around, but the way the camera is handled is a function of the direction, not the effects house. And since JMS is handling the direction, it's not a question of JMS letting them do this or that; if JMS wants the camera to shake it will, if he doesn't it won't.

    I'd like to talk a bit more on the CGI camera direction though, since I think it is an interesting topic. I finally finished up my season 1 boxset of new BSG, having watched the finale a few days ago (the final scene is still ringing through my head). And having seen the entire season, I can say that the only place I was really bothered by shakeyness was the miniseries. There I can remember even some dialogue scenes that happened to take place on a spaceship using unstabilized shots.After that, they toned it down a good deal, and the things that did work about the camera style they chose to experiment with in the mini were polished up a bit and made to work really well for the show, I think.

    Now, I wouldn't want TLT to try and replicate BSG, since B5 is its own thing. But I do appreciate that they decided to experiment a bit, and try to do some new things. Some of it worked, some of it didn't, but experimenting a bit in the beginning is a good thing. I hope TLT will do so too; try to reinvent itself, and maybe do some new things in television CGI direction again like the original did. And I think they might, looking at this quote by JMS:


    One of the things I'm looking forward to as far as the CGI direction goes (and the directing in general, of course) is how JMS makes use of the modern day "openness and experimentation in television directing" he perceives. Some of it might not work, but despite that I welcome experimentation.
    No I wasn't joking, Shabaz. I assumed the shake, zoom, and pan motions were tools at the discretion of the FX house to increase realism, much like blur and lens flare. I assumed the director gave the FX house descriptions of the action in a scene and then approved or rejected ideas based on test video. If that's the case, I guess I should say I hope JMS doesn't adopt the too-shaky-zoomy style of Galactica.

    IMHO, there are never any "beauty shots" in Galactica because the camera doesn't linger ANYwhere long enough to have one. B5 had loads of beautiful imagery. Galactica has bits and fragments of what could have been beautiful imagery... if we'd actually gotten to see it.

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  • Carl Sagan
    replied
    Originally posted by frulad
    Waitasec--- If Carl Sagan is posting here after he's died, does that mean he was wrong in his belief that there is no afterlife?


    Seriously, though, welcome to the boards CS. (Wherever you're posting from.)
    I have always been here...

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Sagan
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    So say we all.

    Welcome, Carl Sagan!

    Jan


    Cheers, it's good to finally be here, there are far too many B5 fans in my life these days.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shabaz
    replied
    Originally posted by B5_Obsessed
    I just hope JMS doesn't let them shake or zoom the virtual camera too much. A little is good, but really...
    I know you're probably joking around, but the way the camera is handled is a function of the direction, not the effects house. And since JMS is handling the direction, it's not a question of JMS letting them do this or that; if JMS wants the camera to shake it will, if he doesn't it won't.

    I'd like to talk a bit more on the CGI camera direction though, since I think it is an interesting topic. I finally finished up my season 1 boxset of new BSG, having watched the finale a few days ago (the final scene is still ringing through my head). And having seen the entire season, I can say that the only place I was really bothered by shakeyness was the miniseries. There I can remember even some dialogue scenes that happened to take place on a spaceship using unstabilized shots.After that, they toned it down a good deal, and the things that did work about the camera style they chose to experiment with in the mini were polished up a bit and made to work really well for the show, I think.

    Now, I wouldn't want TLT to try and replicate BSG, since B5 is its own thing. But I do appreciate that they decided to experiment a bit, and try to do some new things. Some of it worked, some of it didn't, but experimenting a bit in the beginning is a good thing. I hope TLT will do so too; try to reinvent itself, and maybe do some new things in television CGI direction again like the original did. And I think they might, looking at this quote by JMS:

    It's six years after B5, and there are a number of tools available to us now that weren't available then, there's been more openness and experimentation in television directing, and I'd like to explore those in the capacity of someone who is also kind of the caretaker of that universe to set the tone for future installments.
    One of the things I'm looking forward to as far as the CGI direction goes (and the directing in general, of course) is how JMS makes use of the modern day "openness and experimentation in television directing" he perceives. Some of it might not work, but despite that I welcome experimentation.
    Last edited by Shabaz; 12-10-2006, 11:30 AM.

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  • B5_Obsessed
    replied
    Originally posted by Shabaz
    I decided to make some inquiries (i.e. simply ask one of the people listed by IMDB, Alec McClymont), and Atmosphere VFX is indeed working on TLT. Which I think is good news; they've been doing some awesome stuff on BSG, at a really high level of quality, and they seem a perfect fit for TLT's needs. I'm happy.

    I just hope JMS doesn't let them shake or zoom the virtual camera too much. A little is good, but really...

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  • TurkishZath
    replied
    Would anyone else be interested in learning some of Vir's experiences on Minbar?

    Leave a comment:


  • frulad
    replied
    Waitasec--- If Carl Sagan is posting here after he's died, does that mean he was wrong in his belief that there is no afterlife?


    Seriously, though, welcome to the boards CS. (Wherever you're posting from.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Shabaz
    replied
    I decided to make some inquiries (i.e. simply ask one of the people listed by IMDB, Alec McClymont), and Atmosphere VFX is indeed working on TLT. Which I think is good news; they've been doing some awesome stuff on BSG, at a really high level of quality, and they seem a perfect fit for TLT's needs. I'm happy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Sagan
    Me too!
    So say we all.

    Welcome, Carl Sagan!

    Jan

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Sagan
    replied
    Originally posted by Circular Reason
    Wow - I am so excited.
    Me too!

    Leave a comment:


  • Shivkala
    replied
    The outline of what the story is about sounds intriguing. Something Drakh related perhaps? I can't wait to see what the Presidential Cruiser looks like.

    Leave a comment:


  • SmileOfTheShadow
    replied
    Well then, I've been super busy with my life and I haven't paid attention for a little bit, and look what I've missed! The green screen looks so interesting, it's huge! From JMS's description, I've got a very positive feeling for this DVD, and I really can't wait for it to come out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shabaz
    replied
    Heh. IMDB is almost worse than Wikipedia in that aspect, since it is not that readily apparent to everyone how heavily dependent the site is on user contributed information, and with Wikipedia every once in a while if you're lucky an article might have some actual reference links allowing you to research the accuracy of information yourself.

    But I guess it still is a likely candidate, based on the GVFX connections you noted. I believe JMS said post-production was going to be done in Vancouver too, and I don't know how many companies there are there that could do this, and also have experience doing space opera shows, in addition to Atmosphere. Did you turn up anything besides them in Vancouver when you were "researching the possibilities" Joe? And their demo reel heavily emphasis their compositing work and BSG space shots, so it seems a good fit for TLT.

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  • Joseph DeMartino
    replied
    Originally posted by Shabaz
    Though I know that information that appears only on IMDB is not always trustworthy, they have the VFX company listed now for TLT.
    Actually somone had added two people to the crew list with the notation that they were 3D artists for Atmosphere, which I already knew was a Canandian computer FX house from researching the possibilities a couple of months ago. So when I sent in an update to correct several other things on the page (like the title, which they had as "Voices from the Dark", and the production company, which they had as "Babylonian Productions" rather than the Vancouver-based Lost Tales Films) I added the name of the SFX company on the theory that whoever posted the names knew what he/she was talking about. So the internet echo chamber lives on.

    I did note that Alec McClymont, one of the CG artists listed, formerly worked for GVFX, the company that did the FX for the Rangers pilot, and he is specifically listed as having worked on that and Jeremiah. (also for GVFX.) So I took that as confirmation that the Atmosphere info was probably correct. GVFX itself seems to be defunct. A Google search returned news stories about their closing their Vancouver and Los Angeles operations and consolidating at the original Toronto base, but their web page seems to be gone and I haven't found any recent credits. So if the company were no longer available it makes sense that JMS would seek out a lead CGI artist from there, someone he'd worked with before and who had some familiarity with the B5 universe. Daniel Osaki, the other artist listed, is also an alumnus of Jeremiah and of GVFX. The pair also worked on together on Dead Like Me, another show for which GVFX was one of the FX companies.

    Hmmm... Foundation Imaging, Netter Digital, GVFX... All gone now. Babylon 5 sure is hell on FX companies, isn't it? If I were Atmosphere, I think I'd be a little nervous about taking this gig.

    Regards,

    Joe

    Leave a comment:

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