Sunday, May 17, 2009

TECH-ing the (TECH): 1998 Hutzel VFX ship scales

By request from Boris at Memory Alpha:

I'm opening up the vaults a little early—before we formally launch the site and its archives section—to share the actual shorthand note from onetime TNG & DS9 visual effects supervisor Gary Hutzel, now famously the VFX producer on revamped Battlestar Galactica and soon Caprica.

It was May 5, 1998: We had just done our annual end-of-season wrap-up interview for his shows from DS9-6, and Gary provided his note sheet for my Fact Files research (and the legacy of all future techheads). The bottom four entries are my writing, added from Gary's verbal addenda that day— fresh from the "Operation: Return" episodes and the season finale's First Battle of Chintoka. Here you see the intended ship length, the models' actual length (or foam-core CGI stand-in), and the resulting scale and ratios needed. The list itself goes back to the end of Season 4, obviously—note the little tug and the Curry (stay tuned!).

Part of the duty of latter-day ship ner-- er, archivists -- is to contrast and compare the varied VFX chiefs' scale with the final onscreen effort to try to make sense of it all. Ha!

In the future, I'll just blog about these photos and notes here as "TECH-ing the (TECH)" —all you script and technobabble fans should get that one!—or TTT, and link you to the archive page.

But for now ... Enjoy! And comment away!

LN Photo (above): Gary Hutzel, Judy Elkins: Cooper Building, Trek post-production offices, 5/5/98.


Mark A-C said...

Hey, nice blog.

Just found you via Drex Files.
Question for all those involved in DS9 production, (and others)

Is it just me, but after converting the feet length on this list to metres, there are different lengths given for several of the well-established ships from the ST Encyclopedia: eg Reliant (too Big), Excelsior (too Small), Enterprise(D?)(too small).

Obviously the ST Encyclopedia is the older of the two lists, and based on the ILM lists from Star Trek III, so which is the more accurate?

2nd question, if these sizes are scaled against the Ent-D length (given here as Andy Probert's original 2000ft) are they not inaaccurate, as the Ent-D was re-sized to 2108ft at Gene Roddenbury's own request?

Sorry, just when you thought you had appeased us tech heads.

Larry Nemecek said...

Heh--Hey Marc, We Are All Techheads Now.

Why do you think I glommed on to this back in 1998? (And why did I save a list of graduating seniors AND their parents' names in high school during senior week? For hunting them down for the 10 year reunion, of course!)

Yeah--memos, notes, and lots of photos... You only live once, and I learned the hard way early on with Trek that you grabbed the moment when you had the chance. Details would never be just so again.

Larry Nemecek said...

Oh, and see my late note at Doug's blog... it's all in context.

Chris Dawson said...

Found your list from the Drex Files, cool site

I have a profile diagram of all the ships, something I was given on a visit to Image G.

It's pretty cool showing DS9 and the Defiant and other ships from the series