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Just a ôquickieö question about FX on original show.

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  • Triple F
    That’s something I’m not sure about. The old Amiga’s (never used one) “might” not have been able to produce things at a very high resolution, and if they could it would have probably been impractical due to the increased rendering times anyway.

    But I remember reading that it was a bit of forward thinking on someone’s part to do the filming in “letterbox” or whatever so it could one day be easily ported over to widescreen.

    Yet it was never considered (or seems that way) for the CGI to have been created to emulate the widescreen ratio, if not the resolutions. I’d have thought that would have been relatively easy to do by essentially making their working area the same dimensions i.e blank out a little strip at the top an the bottom. Because I as understand it (I could be well wrong on this) that on the DVD’s they’re zoomed in slightly as well as cropped.

    Scrub most of that, I’ve just read the timely reply by Shabaz. So it’s more or less down to this “loosing” stuff by Warner. Got to luv ‘em.
    Last edited by Triple F; 08-17-2007, 12:20 PM.

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  • Shabaz
    To be slightly pedantic, it was filmed in Super35, with indeed the intention to eventually release it in widescreen. Super35 has the advantage of also allowing for a comfortable 4:3 cut of what you've shot however (the frame is a bit bigger than either a 4:3 frame or a 16:9 frame).

    The video was done by Toasters really only for the first season IIRC. But render times were an extremely limiting factor. I'm pretty sure they could do about 1 frame per hour then, which means you have to wait a day for a second of footage. A week for seven seconds. And this was for the 4:3 frame; rendering for the full Super35 frame could've easily added days to each shot. You can see why they were reluctant to do so at the time, since the potential wide version was far off.

    Instead they opted to do this:
    We record all of our CG elements to hard drive and optical disc. The
    images are created "resolution independent" meaning they could be
    rendered for anything from video game to Imax, based on user input. For
    the NTSC version, we output to digital tape, eventually.
    Not a bad plan. So then these CG elements were turned over to WB on their request, and all other copies were destroyed at WB's request. And when it came time to dig these files up years later... WB had lost them.

    We only have 480i versions of the composited and space CG shots now.
    Last edited by Shabaz; 08-17-2007, 02:50 PM.

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  • B5_Obsessed
    The fx were created using old Amiga computers and video toaster systems. I don't know if they lacked the ability to format in widescreen at the time or whether it was simply an oversight. Bear in mind, it wasn't technically an oversight at all since there was no such since as widescreen tv being broadcast at the time. As it was first aired, the live action scenes were cropped on the sides to fit normal televisions, upon re-released in widesceen, the fx were then cropped top and bottom instead.

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  • Just a ôquickieö question about FX on original show.

    Reading the comments made recently about B5, Hi-Def and doing or not doing the original cgi in a new format I couldnÆt help wondering something.

    Given that the original show was filmed in widescreen (with the intent of eventually being released like that), does anyone know why the original CGI scenes were created in a different aspect ratio (4:3 or whatever it was). Seems a bit of a strange oversight - if that's what it was.