Posts Tagged ‘CGI


coolest CGI shot of all time (with video)


A few months back we showed you how we created a brand-new CGI Viper from the original 1979 Battlestar Galactica.  Using a model built by the talented Derek Smith, I painstakingly recreated the lighting and studio look of the TV classic just to see how close a match we could get to the original.  But what about the Galactica herself?  Not too long ago, FX veteran Lee Stringer enlisted a few cohorts and spent quite a bit of personal time building an exact replica of the original filming miniature (as seen above – yes, he did this on his own time) so I thought I’d take a crack at creating a brand new shot of the girl and see how close I could get it to looking like a scene from the original series…

Continue reading ‘coolest CGI shot of all time (with video)’


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…

Continue reading ‘Viper redux: turning shinola into shit’


will the real viper please stand up?


So, you think you’re a sharp-eyed DarthMojo reader?  Do you have what it takes to spot the difference between real and CGI?  In the above image, one Viper is a frame-grab from an episode of the original 1979 Battlestar Galactica  and the other is 100% computer generated.   Can you tell which is which?  Click the image to get the full-size picture, put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and give us your best guess in the comments section.  On Tuesday, we’ll reveal the answer and give you a glimpse into how we produced the forgery!  May the Lords of Kobol be with you…


movie review: clone wars (spoiler-free)

Imagine you’ve just suffered through the worst possible three-course dinner; the salad was soggy, the appetizer cold and the main course was a dry, burnt, flavorless steak. As you force yourself to finish chewing that last bit of gristle (after all, you were hungry), you happily put the fork down, toss your napkin on the plate and just thank god that it’s finally over. You look forward to spending the rest of the night at home, snuggling up with a nice, smooth, pink bottle of Peptol Bismol. Suddenly the host reappears with yet another covered tray and proudly proclaims, “dessert!” You slump back in your chair, prepared for the worst. The cover is lifted up and what do you see? Twinkies! You happily pick up one of the spongy, yellow treats and scarf it down with glee, savoring every bite and thrilled as can be that it wasn’t yet another failed attempt by the host to reach beyond his means. And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s the best way I can describe Clone Wars – a much welcome Twinkie.

Continue reading ‘movie review: clone wars (spoiler-free)’


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! 

Continue reading ‘BSG VFX: A Thousand Points Of Light’


BSG VFX: “Guess What’s (not) Coming To Dinner”

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of working on Battlestar Galactica  is the creative freedom we’re given; Ron Moore encourages his team to go the extra mile by always being open to new ideas and concepts.  Many writer/producers expect to see their script produced verbatim on screen,  while Ron sees the entire film making process as very fluid.  In a sense, the final draft of the script  becomes the first draft of the show; on stage, contributions from the cast and director begin to evolve the process, while the editing suite becomes Ron’s typewriter for the final draft of the episode.

Continue reading ‘BSG VFX: “Guess What’s (not) Coming To Dinner”’


bsg vfx: anatomy of a cylon

It’s no secret that I’m the biggest fan of the original Battlestar currently working on the new incarnation; you could almost say I’m the “ambassador” of the 1979 version, always looking for opportunities to include classic Galactica material on the current series. It was maybe two years ago that I was talking to [writer/producer] David Weddle and hypothesized, “you know, if we ever did a flashback to the first Cylon war (maybe something that showed us what Adama was like as a young pilot), it would showcase the original hardware! Remember the miniseries museum scene?” He thought about it for a second and said, “yeah, I suppose you’re right.”

Of course, a flashback like that would be a wet dream for any fan of the original series, but would it ever happen?

Continue reading ‘bsg vfx: anatomy of a cylon’


sci-ficandy: hi tech trek

Way, way back in the footloose and fancy-free year of 2001, fellow Star Trek visual effects alum Rob Bonchune and I created renderings for a book called “Starship Spotter,” a guidebook to the magnificent flying machines of the Trek universe.  We were both CG Supervisors on Voyager at the time and used the actual computer models from the various Trek series to liven up the book with all sort of tasty imagery.

Continue reading ‘sci-ficandy: hi tech trek’

June 2023