Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The decision to go CGI.

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • luvB5
    replied
    I was at a small con in San Diego back then. B5 was heavily represented/ Let's see, Jerry Doyle was there along with Larry Ditillio, Bill Mumy, Claudia C.. John Iacovelli the production designer and quite a few production people. Among the others was Adam (Mojo) Lebowitz, one of the original fx guys from the show. At that time they were using about 20 Amiga 'puters and a toaster, but had just gotten into Lightwave. Mojo was raving about it. Said it was the "wave of the future" amd going to revolutionize the industry. Guess he was right

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    Truth, I think the article I cited came out before the one you mentioned. I haven't looked at it in quite some time, but I think it had more to do with the CG aspects of the project.

    Leave a comment:


  • Truth66
    replied
    Well Joe after your post I just to find that darn magazine. Of course my wife instantly knew where it was, in a box outside in our shed. Considering it's more than 20 below Celcius here,I was reluctant to go back outside. But it's with regards to B5, so why not and yes I found it (Brrrr I hate winter cold).
    It was Starlog, September #182 and the cover is dominated with Universal Soldier and a small caption which reads:"Babylon Five TV's newest space station".
    The article was written by Lawrence V. Conely. For clarification the article mentions on page 36, "Straccynski thinks B5's visual FX are so good "you won't be able to tell computer-generated from non-computer generated images"".
    The article does mention about the series having its effects done with CGI. I thought that it was referencing that it was using both models and computer generated. My appologies, but it has been a really long time since I read that article and it was quite interesting to read it again.
    It was interesting to read that Lyta Alexander was originally Lyta Kim.
    The article is approximately 5 pages long which contains several of the early artist drawings.
    Obviously B5 eventually got alot bigger because in the article it mentions, "It is three kilometers long, one kilometer wide and armed to the teeth."
    It was fun reading the original article once again that got me hooked on B5 even before it aired and seeing that early art work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    This is what really bugs me about coming late to the whole fan thing surrounding B5. Articles and mags like that are something IÆm never going to see. For example, is there a picture of that ruddy Vorlon transport sketch (in the hotel thinking about garlic) that seems to get mentioned in every interview Ron Thornton did.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    I don't have the issue to hand, but I think it was actually an issue of Starlog Spectacular (with the B5 cover). It was a short-lived but separate magazine published concurrently with Starlog, edited by the late David Hutchinson. I remember it quite well, because Hutch not only bought some of my interviews before I sold any to Starlog a short time later, but he was also the editor on my first book, which was about the makeup of TNG. It was a weird hybrid of a magazine, that sometimes ran really long fold-out interviews, including that B5 piece if I recall.

    Leave a comment:


  • Truth66
    replied
    Interesting Thread. I'm going to have to look up that old issue of Starlog (even before B5 actually aired), which I'm hoping I still have. If I remember correctly, in that article it mentioned that B5 was going to be using a combination of both miniatures as well as CGI and that it was going to be done in a way that the viewer wouldn't know which was which.
    This article is where I first learned of B5 and was hooked on it from then on and eagerly awaited it's debut on PTEN.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    Yeah, a decade was a definite over statement on my part, but I also got the impression that lightwave (and the video toaster) had been kicking around in one form or another since something like Æ88 (maybe earlier), and Ron Thornton was friends with the two guys that were developing the package.

    IÆd imagine there was a fair chance he was doing beta work on it for anything up to two or three years before the final CGI assisted pitch to Warner which was Æ91 (I think).

    Either way the answer to the question appears to have been Doug Netter, etc decided digital was the answer after Ron Thornton showed them what could be done (by producing the demo that also helped convince Warner), a year or so after the system became commercially available.

    As for Trek and models. I guess it was labour intensive. Plus wasnÆt there a thing about over at paramount there was too many executive fingers in the VFX pie that wanted to OK (and tweek) the things, thus limiting the amount of final shots that could be produced.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    Zeno, I seem to remember Ron Thornton telling me that he was beta-testing Lightwave early on; if so, he would have access to that software even earlier, wouldn't he?

    Leave a comment:


  • moreorless
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    (Hmmm . . . Hindsight does make many a genius doesnÆt it.

    Of course, but before B5 it had NEVER been done even though the "video toaster" had been kicking around for nearly a decade before hand, so no one knew for sure if it was possible. Besides, what little cg work that had been done in the movies and tv was very very expensive and/or of dubious quality. Another reason why Babylon 5 was ground breaking.

    IÆm not sure linking all of those involved with captain powers so strongly with B5 FX is totally accurate though û at least as far as the decision to go digital was concerned.

    Remember that they (the producers) had been punting the show for something like 5 years (using models) and getting nowhere. It looks like (based on what JoeÆs interview says) that it was Ron Thornton who introduced the idea into the equation which jms, netter and copeland hadnÆt previously considered û after all they're only producers not tech heads.

    [edit]
    Besides those figures mean nothing as who knows what the VFX budgets were for B5. I believe things like the wardrope and make-up departments might have cost a few quid as well.
    Its guess that Trek may well have paid a little better but werent the big FX heavy episodes very expensive? I remember reading somewhere that DS9's Way Of The Warrior(the most FX heavy episode I can remember when they still used mostly models) came in at something like $5-10 million.

    JMS's aim to steadly incrase the number of arc episodes ment that B5 had those kind of FX heavy shows much more fequently than even DS9 which could oftset the cost better thoughout the season.

    Leave a comment:


  • ZenoParadoxus
    replied
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    Of course, but before B5 it had NEVER been done even though the "video toaster" had been kicking around for nearly a decade before hand, so no one knew for sure if it was possible.
    Actually, the Video Toaster wasn't released commercially until 1990, but it was truly Lightwave3D that made B5 possible at all. So at the time that B5 was being pitched, this was extremely new and exiting technology that simply wasn't possible only a few years earlier (except at great expense).

    Zeno

    Leave a comment:


  • frulad
    replied
    Thanks for sharing the interview excert Joe. I hadn't realized that the specter of V still hung around Warners all those years later...

    Leave a comment:


  • frulad
    replied
    Originally posted by Joe Nazzaro View Post
    Even if his dog did pee on my briefcase.
    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
    I need glasses.
    So does John Copeland's dog.

    Leave a comment:


  • Triple F
    replied
    Originally posted by luvB5 View Post
    Why CGI only? Hm . . . let's see.
    One Trek episode = Million to A Million and a half bucks.
    compared to
    One B5 episode (thanks to CGI fx instead of modeling and animation and matting etc.) = 750,000 t0 850,000 bucks.
    (Hmmm . . . Hindsight does make many a genius doesn’t it.

    Of course, but before B5 it had NEVER been done even though the "video toaster" had been kicking around for nearly a decade before hand, so no one knew for sure if it was possible. Besides, what little cg work that had been done in the movies and tv was very very expensive and/or of dubious quality. Another reason why Babylon 5 was ground breaking.

    I’m not sure linking all of those involved with captain powers so strongly with B5 FX is totally accurate though – at least as far as the decision to go digital was concerned.

    Remember that they (the producers) had been punting the show for something like 5 years (using models) and getting nowhere. It looks like (based on what Joe’s interview says) that it was Ron Thornton who introduced the idea into the equation which jms, netter and copeland hadn’t previously considered – after all they're only producers not tech heads.

    [edit]
    Besides those figures mean nothing as who knows what the VFX budgets were for B5. I believe things like the wardrope and make-up departments might have cost a few quid as well.
    Last edited by Triple F; 12-07-2007, 07:25 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • luvB5
    replied
    Why CGI only? Hm . . . let's see.
    One Trek episode = Million to A Million and a half bucks.
    compared to
    One B5 episode (thanks to CGI fx instead of modeling and animation and matting etc.) = 750,000 t0 850,000 bucks.

    Leave a comment:


  • moreorless
    replied
    Has there ever been any comment on the nature of the show affecting the choice to go GC? Compaired to your say typical trek episode B5 did tend to be more active and destructive with its FX which is I'd guess more expensive and limating when models are used.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X