Our look back at TrekCore’s best stories of 2013 continues with a set of top-notch features focused on the production of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager — with exclusive documents, photographs, video presentations, and CG renders!
As we approach the end of the Next Generation and Enterprise Blu-ray releases, fan anticipation of seeing Deep Space Nine in high definition is growing by the day — and the biggest Deep Space Nine news of the year came in the form of a huge TrekCore exclusive: the surprise that all of the computer-generated effects created for DS9 still exist! We were fortunate to speak with Rob Bonchune — the CG supervisor who worked on who worked on three Trek series — and he revealed that just about everything created for DS9 and Voyager lie in the hands of the digital artists who built the effects.
Rob Bonchune: If they ask one of us – and if they use a team that uses LightWave – it’ll be much easier for them to redo… because the guys who worked on it, like me, have the assets. We have the original ships; we have most of everything that was used [in the making of the series]. That would eliminate a ton of the cost of rebuilding.
Exclusive Report: Deep Space Nine in High Defintion: One Step Closer?
We spent a lot of time digging into the making of The Next Generation this year, covering several angles not included in the new Blu-ray documentaries. In August, we managed to get our hands on a set of rare behind-the-scenes photographs taken during the production of Season Four’s “Identity Crisis,” showing LeVar Burton being transformed into a wild Tarchannen III alien.
Two veteran artists who worked on the prosthetics — Gil Mosko and Jill Rockow — spoke to us about the tricky, multi-hour makeup process needed to complete the job.
Interview: Inside the “Identity Crisis” Makeup Process
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We also took a look at the anamorphic widescreen photography used on TNG, utilized when combining visual effects with moving live-action footage. Our reported featured not only time-consuming widescreen image reconstructions, but a before-and-after video comparison showing off some of the original footage taken from TNG production video.
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One of our more challenging behind-the-scenes features this year came in the form of three in-depth examinations of TNG’s visual effects, courtesy of rare production workprints made available exclusively to TrekCore. Using this previously-unreleased video, we were able to create direct transitions from the raw, bluescreen-laden footage to the completed, high-definition effects which made it to the final version of each episode.
July’s popular Voyager Week included several special reports, including a special editorial by Voyager CG Supervisor Rob Bonchune, where he told the story of how the first all-CG Voyager model was created. From the earliest beginnings involving scans of the studio model to the evolution of the CG model during the series run.
The biggest part of Rob’s presentation, though, were a set of all-new Voyager renders created exclusively for TrekCore — complete with a ton of fresh digital upgrades!
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We presented a look at the visual effects used in Season Four’s “Scientific Method” thanks to an unfinished episode workprint provided by one of our readers. By comparing annotated and bluescreen-laden raw footage to the completed effects in the broadcast version of the episode, we were able to show off some of the hard work that went into making the episode great — with special comments from Rob Bonchune!
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Voyager Week also included an inside look at the making of “False Profits” with episode writer George Brozak! Not only did George provide an enormous amount of insight into the story development process that went into the making of the Season Three episode, but he also supplied several rare production sketches, internal casting documentation, filming schedules, and set photographs.
The most special part of this material was video taken directly from the raw shooting footage — never seen by fans before our article — which included a look at some of the visual effects work as well as all new outtakes from the sets.
Come back tomorrow as we wrap our year in review, covering our biggest and most important stories of 2013!