Archive for the 'TV' Category


BSG birthday bash continues…


Perhaps the greatest gift for fans of the original series has just gone live over at GALACTICA.TV (if you’ve never checked it out, it’s easily the best BSG site on the web – especially for original series fans).  Curators Marcel Damen & Mike Egnor have put together a huge post of never before seen interviews,  images and info about the making of the show and they deserve three cheers for their tireless effort in continuing to unearth great material.  If seeing that above image of the tiny landing bay matte painting gives you a stiffy, you better have a change of shorts on hand before you click over!  



happy birthday battlestar galactica (audio post)


On September 17, 1978, ABC television first aired “Battlestar Galactica” and in doing so (damn them), sealed my fate.  Ever since then I’ve had a special place in my heart for the show and, for reasons still unclear, my enthusiasm for the beast simply will not wane.  For a while there, being a Galactica fan was something you kept to yourself (even the Star Wars and Star Trek fans looked down on us), but, thanks to Ron Moore, BSG fans can once again wear their T-shirts proudly and in public.  To help celebrate this auspicious occasion, I’ve dusted off a rare piece of Galactica memorabilia that each and every one of you can download and enjoy on this special day…

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bsg vfx: anatomy of an (ancient) cylon


SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched the second half of the Battlestar Galactica’s 4th (and final) season, you may want to stop reading now.

After discovering the depressing wasteland that turned out to be Earth, the crew of the Galactica did some digging as part of their search for answers about the burnt-out planet’s past. One key find was an excavated, centuries-old Cylon head (as seen below in a scene from the episode).  This “ancient Cylon” was only on screen for a few seconds so viewers never really a very good a look at it… until now!

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how big was the colony?


Across the myriad of interwebs, i’ve seen a lot of comments from people wondering “just how frakkin’ big was the Colony?”  Truth be told, there may not be an exact figure.  See, Lightwave tends to choke if you expand the world into krazy amounts of kilometers.  The software still works, but it can get a little buggy on you when things get too big, so the CG model of the Cylon Colony was built to a scale far larger than the Galactica, but not quite as big as FX Supervisor Gary Hutzel imagined.  For the final shots, the size of ships next to The Colony had to be squeezed down to match his vision of the true enormity of the bad guys’ ultimate secret lair.  But don’t fret, here are a few images to give you the general idea, so click through for some high tech BSG action!

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my god, it full of (the wrong) stars!



A few days ago, in the comments section, I revealed that the CGI stars as seen in that backgrounds of Battlestar Galactica  were, for the most part, random.  They are an accurate representation of what stars look like from Earth, but they were randomly placed.  This greatly shocked and disappointed a small legion of fans who had been analyzing these backgrounds for clues; by screen-capturing images of the stars and overlaying constellations, they had been hoping to pinpoint the exact location of The Fleet and how close they were to Earth.  The revelation that all their time had essentially been wasted because the visual effects team hadn’t actually planted any clues left them very cross indeed…

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Viper redux: turning shinola into shit


Over the weekend I posted the above image of a Viper from the 1979 version of Battlestar Galactica; as most people are aware, when that show was produced there was no such thing as CGI, so all of the visual effects were created “old school,” meaning the Vipers were actual, physical models, photographed with real lights and a real camera.  Thirty years later, visual effects on the new BSG are created entirely with computers, but, despite all this fancy new technology, the goal of most artists is to still have it look  like good old-fashioned miniatures and cameras!  Of course, on the new series, there never was a real  Viper model, so we have nothing to compare the CGI version with to see if we “got it right.”  However, there is plenty of footage of physical Viper models in episodes from the original BSG, so I decided to see just how close I could make a “fake” Viper look like a “real” Viper…

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OMFG the best star wars chapter in 28 years!

Ok, so, for the record, I TOLD YOU SO.  Hot on the heels of the less-than-enthusiastically received Clone Wars  movie, comes the innagural episode of the series, “Ambush” (which aired last Friday on Cartoon Network).   Remember how I asked all of you to give the show a chance, no matter how you felt about the movie?  Because with all the episiodes they’re going to produce, chances are some good ones were inevitable?  Well guess what?  It freakin’ already happened. Continue reading ‘OMFG the best star wars chapter in 28 years!’


the true history of the cylons

There are those who believe that the Cylons were created by man.

Some believe that they were created by a race of highly advanced lizards who used them as foot soldiers in the war to exterminate humanity.

Well, it’s time to bring the rampant speculation and flame-wars to an end. Today, on the 30th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica,  the true origins of everyone’s favorite red-eyed, robotic menace will finally be revealed…

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little gold statues

Yes, it’s that time of year again – school’s out, burgers are on the grill and everyone gathers around at poolisde as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announces the finalists for the Prime Time Emmy Awards!  Naturally, everyone skips to the Special Visual Effects nominees, since that’s where all our favorite shows reside.  Duking it out this year for the little gold statue will be…

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the Sci-Fi Dance Mix

Every holiday season, I like to dust off the decks, dig into the Mojoplex archives and create a themed mix CD for my closest friends. It was only a few short years ago that I had spent nearly six months and my entire forture in search of the raw materials to create an epic that no DJ had dared to attempt: an entire mix of sci-fi dance music.

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eye of jupiter nachos

This is the most awesome thing I’ve seen since Bottlestar Galactica.  It’s from the Flickr album of some cat called Trioculus and if you click here you can see the full snack bar from one of his BSG viewing parties (he’s also got an algae dip).  Gods, I love this guy.  If any of you think you can beat the Eye of Jupiter Nachos  for sheer originality, send your own clever Galactica/food creations to and we’ll post them here.  I guess we need a prize… hmmm… how about this: the winner will get an extremely rare, custom made, not-available-anywhere “Cylon Raiders” T-shirt (I can’t publish a picture of it because it’s based on a copyrighted design, but trust me – it’s frakking cool).   Sound good?  Well, what are you waiting for?  Get cooking!



Who would ever guess that this cheery image would become the poster-child for one of Battlestar Galactica’s  finest moments?  Now that the mid-season finale has been unleashed, fans across the internets have been closely examining the above image, scouring it for clues and hoping to unlock the secrets of what is to come.  Well, I have good news for you!  There are indeed secrets to be had and if you’d like to know the truth behind that image, click forward to read more.  Go on, I dare you…

Continue reading ‘BSG VFX: REVELATIONS’


Why Galactica?

The single most puzzling question no one has answered about Galactica’s triumphant return is why did it come back?   When I explain the history to people, it still boggles my mind: it was on for one season  thirty years ago.  One.  On top of that, it was never very popular and no one – not even the fans – regard it as high art.  Yet it retained enough of a dedicated, passionate following to insure that one day she would return.

But why?  What kept that mediocre one-season-wonder so near and dear to my  heart that seeing it come back was literally a dream come true?  I think the answer boils down to one word:  Cheeseburgers.

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Legostar Galactica – UPDATED!

What do fans do while they wait for new episodes of Galactica?  They make their own BSG playsets out of Legos, of course!  This morning I received an email from my friend Liz, who wanted to share the Lego Viper her ten-year old son had made.  It was quite a complex undertaking for the little Viper-pilot to be, and as I sat back and stared at the Lego Viper that’s been sitting on my  shelf since the start of the third season, I began to wonder: just how many Lego Vipers are out there?

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BSG VFX: A Thousand Points Of Light

Imagine you’re driving on a moonless night in a desolate area with no street lights.  Now let’s say your car’s headlights don’t work and you’re approaching an 18-wheeler who’s decided to have some fun by turning off all his illumination.  The above image is pretty much the last thing you’d see before a bright, orange and yellow fireball reminds you to get your headlights fixed.  It’s also what you’d see on Battlestar Galactica  if we didn’t put some lights on our spaceships! 

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B5 flashback #2: The Forgotten Miniature

Babylon 5  turned the sci-fi world on it’s pointed ear by being the first-ever production to use zeroes and ones instead of film and models to create visual effects.  That’s right, folks, the CGI nightmares you must endure all summer long can be traced back to 1992 in Valenica, California!  Computer effects pioneer Ron Thornton had seen the writing on the wall and convinced Warner Brothers that it was possible to forego plastic spaceships on strings in favor microchips on desktops.  Despite being billed as the first all-CG effects show, Babylon 5  almost had a dirty little secret…

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Sci-Ficandy: 1-7-oh-wonderful!

A fistfull of years ago, I did a few covers for Star Trek: The Magazine.  Sadly, this slickly-produced, lovingly written periodical folded in 2003, but as I was digging through my archives (in other words, as I was finally looking to see what was on a bunch of old CD-ROMS entitled “label me”), I ran across the original, hi-res renders created for the publication.   Knowing how bad I am with technology, it’s entirely possible that I put the CD in my drive and accidentally uploaded them to my blog, where anyone can download and enjoy them…  

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June 2023