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  • TLT 'New Look' queries

    Does anyone have any more info other than what we've seen on the boards as to what this new look for The Lost Tales will include? Anyone have anything they'd like to see?

    Let's start with me: despite being a dedicated fan of everything content-wise in the original 5 years, I always thought the look could be improved by a few minor visual elements. One such thing is the central corridor set- a little unconvincing, albeit very impressive given the budget.

    I'm wondering what the CGI will entail. I'm guessing higher res models (can't wait!) and maybe some big, long elaborate sequences. I wonder if they'll finally find the time to animate those top guns on the Starfuries.

    I do hope though, that they don't use those new jumpgate/hyperspace effects from Legend of the Rangers (not to mention Star Wars esque fire extinguisher gas flying from Minbari ships).

    Don't get me wrong, the effects guys on B5 are geniuses. It's ultimately about story and character and with JMS at the helm the overall 'look' is just a bonus- I'm just being deliberately picky!
    Last edited by therichieboy; 11-18-2006, 07:33 AM.

  • #2
    I'm afraid I really just don't notice effects all that much (well, okay...I do like a good explosion ). For me they just exist to service the story so as long as a jumpgate is recognizable as such, I'll never notice much in the way of changes.

    That said, while I don't know of anything other than what JMS has posted, I know he's given the look a lot of thought. Even as far back as when he announced TLT at ComicCon, he said that there'd be a new look but still keep the flavor of the original. I think it was in the Dreamwatch interview that he said that the SFX budget was over a million dollars? That's more than the budget for an entire episode back in the day.

    What I actually expect is much more in the way of virtual sets in addition to new looks to the Station and vessels.

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by therichieboy
      Does anyone have any more info other than what we've seen on the boards as to what this new look for The Lost Tales will include? Anyone have anything they'd like to see?
      As far as I know nobody who posts here is actually working on the film or for any of the post-production subcontractors, so pretty much all anybody has or is going to have is what JMS puts out through the newsgroup or interviews.

      I'd like to see them refine the virtual sets in general. The central core always had an unavoidable CG look about it, I'd love to see some shots from the core shuttle that really give a sense of the scale of the place, who the view would be like looking down at a city from an airliner on final approach or take off. Also the diorama in the commander's office never really looked like a the window it was supposed to be. A rotating starfield in C&C would also be nice, if the money is there.

      I do hope though, that they don't use those new jumpgate/hyperspace effects from Legend of the Rangers (not to mention Star Wars esque fire extinguisher gas flying from Minbari ships).
      I'm pretty sure the jumpgates/points in Rangers were pretty much the same as those in ACtA and Crusade, so I doubt they'll change much for this outing. And JMS has said the look of hyperspace in the Rangers pilot was closer to what he had always intended but had never been able to achieve with given the technical and budegtary constraints of years past. There may be some further refinement, but I suspect that TLT will look more like the later projects than the original series in this respect.

      You kinda lost me with the Star Wars "fire extinguisher" thing. Are you talking about landing thrusters or manuerving thrusters? I don't recall seeing them, which indicates how little they bothered me. (And, or course, there's nothing especially "Star Wars" about them - that sort of thing has been used forever in SF movies to "sell" the fact that thrusters are being used, even though the exhaust would be invisible in most cases, just as visible beams of light are used to show what should be invisible energy weapons.)

      Don't get me wrong, the effects guys on B5 are geniuses. It's ultimately about story and character and with JMS at the helm the overall 'look' is just a bonus - I'm just being deliberately picky!
      Well, this time around, as with Rangers, most of the CG and other visual FX guys are going to be new, since the job will again be done by Canadian companies rather than the L.A.-based outfits the did the original series. (One of which, Netter Digital, went out of business after Crusade in any case, its staff scattered to other FX houses as they found new jobs.) I don't recall seeing who he is going with, so I don't even know if TLT will be done by the same guys who did Rangers.

      The important thing is that the man at the top will be the same, and I trust him after all these years.

      But I don't expect to see/hear many details about the final look of the film until early next year when post is complete and they're ready to start publicizing the project.

      Regards,

      Joe
      Joseph DeMartino
      Sigh Corps
      Pat Tallman Division

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
        You kinda lost me with the Star Wars "fire extinguisher" thing. Are you talking about landing thrusters or manuerving thrusters? I don't recall seeing them, which indicates how little they bothered me. (And, or course, there's nothing especially "Star Wars" about them - that sort of thing has been used forever in SF movies to "sell" the fact that thrusters are being used, even though the exhaust would be invisible in most cases, just as visible beams of light are used to show what should be invisible energy weapons.)
        I think they're thrusters or some kind of valve thing- reminds me of the emperor's shuttle landing in Return of the Jedi and basically hissing and steaming after landing. Great for grimy Star Wars look but not really for Minbari ships.

        I'm a complete trainspotter, I know!


        As for the CGI, I remember reading here that Warner Bros 'Lost' the models from B5 so I imagine the bulk of models would have to be remade anyway.

        (For the record my main interest in Babylon 5 is the storytelling, mythology and characterisation. I simply post geekish questions because special effects and cinematography are hobbies!)
        Last edited by therichieboy; 11-18-2006, 10:10 AM.

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        • #5
          As for the CGI, I remember reading here that Warner Bros 'Lost' the models from B5 so I imagine the bulk of models would have to be remade anyway.
          Right, they discovered the files had all been discarded by mistake at the time they were prepping the Rangers pilot, which is one reason we didn't see much in the way of older stuff in the movie. As I suggested earlier, I suspect this is one reason JMS decided to cut the first disc to two stories mostly set on B5 and Minbar, and apply the budget for story three to them - it allows him to get the most future "bang" for his first disc production buck by spending the money on elements (models, stock B5 fly-bys, virtual sets, costumes) that can be resued in later episodes. Banking a library of such things now is more efficient than spending probably more than a third of the production budget on a Mars segment that would yield relatively little that could be applied in the disc two, which was planned to focus on alien characters, most likely centered on B5.

          Regards,

          Joe
          Joseph DeMartino
          Sigh Corps
          Pat Tallman Division

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          • #6
            I liked all the new effects, ESPECIALLY the jumpgate sequence and hyperspace.
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            • #7
              In actual fact Joe, bot the FX houses who worked on B5 are now no more ... as Foundation Imaging has also ceased to be at some point in the last 8 years. Ron Thornton himself is still cropping up on a number of CGI-based animation shows, but the company is gone.
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              • #8
                From what I understand, Foundation went under because they were owed rather a lot of money from various clients, which pretty much ruined their cash flow situation. The last time I saw Ron, he had gone back to London to work on the Captain Scarlet revival, which was having huge production problems, from which Ron helped rescue them. The fact that the series was able to get back on track in terms of a viable production model is largely due to him.

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                • #9
                  Great thread. The whole new look think has me stoked.

                  The people that did the original CGI largely scattered I suspect. I also imagine that those working on the new CGI will be people that were once influenced by the original show.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Joseph DeMartino
                    Also the diorama in the commander's office never really looked like a the window it was supposed to be.

                    But that wasn't due to lack in CGI technology, but due to the fact that it was a painting Although I recall JMS saying in one of the commentaries that on a few occasions it was indeed CGI, but that they couldn't keep on doing it because of time constraints.


                    Dip

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                    • #11
                      A new look core shuttle would be good. They never quite convinced me with the low gravity areas.

                      I'd also like to see a long effect sequence connecting a ship entering B5s cargo bay to an interior shot at customs. That's just major icing though.

                      I'd also like to see more interior shots of the upper cargo bay and how it's accessed from the rest of the station.

                      Sad.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dipper
                        But that wasn't due to lack in CGI technology, but due to the fact that it was a painting
                        Yes, as I said.

                        di or ama (n.)
                        1 : a scenic representation in which a partly translucent painting is seen from a distance through an opening
                        ® 2006 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated



                        Although I recall JMS saying in one of the commentaries that on a few occasions it was indeed CGI, but that they couldn't keep on doing it because of time constraints.
                        Exactly - it should have been CGI, but it couldn't be because of time and money constraints. But that's just another way of saying the relatively primative TV-level CGI they were working with couldn't handle the job with a reasonable amount of render time. And that was due to a lack of CGI technology.

                        Regards,

                        Joe
                        Joseph DeMartino
                        Sigh Corps
                        Pat Tallman Division

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