Posts Tagged ‘visual effects


note to military: we have CGI now



Yesterday morning, New York and New Jersey residents had the felgercarb scared out of them when F16 fighter jets and a 747 painted up like Air Force One buzzed lower Manhattan and New Jersey’s Goldman Sachs Tower (the state’s tallest building).  The planes flew at low altitude, rattling windows, stopping traffic and panicking thousands who spontaneously began evacuating their homes, offices and bowels.   Was it another terrorist attack?  No, thank god.  A plane in distress?  Nope.  A training exercise intended to safeguard American soil?  Wrong again!  The reason for the flyover that struck fear into the heart of a city still on edge was a photo op.  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, the armed forces sailed these planes dangerously close to occupied buildings – without issuing an advance warning – so they could snap a couple of cool publicity pictures.  Not only was this stunt thoughtless and cruel, it was totally unnecessary – haven’t the US government heard of CGI yet? Continue reading ‘note to military: we have CGI now’


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’


happy new year!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Many thanks to all of you happy-go-lucky, loyal Darth Mojo readers.  I really do enjoy sharing all this neat stuff with you, and it truly makes me smile when someone tells me they learned something from a post.  I hope all of you have at least a few moments worth remembering from 2008 (aside from the day you discovered this blog) and let’s all work together to make sure 2009 kicks some serious ass.  For me, finding a project – and a crew – that tops Battlestar Galactica sounds like wishful thinking but, then again, having BSG come back and finding myself working on it was a dream come true itself, so it just proves that we never know what’s hiding around that corner. 

Speaking of boldy going into the future, the image you see above is just a small section of a poster I recently did for a friend’s Star Trek-related project.   If you click on it, you’ll be treated to a hi-res picture that seems fitting for our charge ahead into the new year…  

Continue reading ‘happy new year!’


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 – extras

Wow, response to “Anatomy of a Cylon” has been overwhelming!  I’m holding  back tears of joy as I read all of your enthusiastic comments, emails and forum posts.  Pierre is so thrilled by the feedback I think he’s getting ready to hand out cigars as all of you fawn over his new baby.  By popular demand, I’ve been digging through the files to find a few more tidbits that didn’t make it into the main body of the article…

Continue reading ‘bsg vfx: anatomy of a cylon – extras’


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’

June 2023