Musings & Interests of David Stipes
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  • Restoring Terry’s figure with Vis Efx

    Posted on September 12th, 2009 dstipes 20 comments

    Terry Farrell’s contract was up on DS-9 and she was leaving the show. The story going around was that she did not wish to leave but the producers would not grant her contract requests. As the visual effects supervisor, I was on the DS-9 set to oversee the effects needed for her last scenes on the series. Terry was not very happy and was giving tearful goodbye hugs to her production crewmates.

    I have seen actors who were really obnoxious and uncooperative when they didn’t get what they wanted so I was watching Terry with interest as the day unfolded. For every shot when called, she dried her tears, went on set, became her character, Dax, and delivered the best performances she could. She did not give an attitude, whine or make excuses. She did her job.

    To give Terry an exit from the series, the DS-9 writers had bad boy Gul Dukat kill Jadzia Dax in the episode called ‘Tears of the Prophets’. Dukat, possessed by the Pah-wraiths, uses an energy force to lift Dax off the ground then kill her.

    tearsofthephrophets_595

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • Digital vs. physical Jem’Hadar

    Posted on June 23rd, 2009 dstipes 14 comments

    In the last posting I shared images of the Jem’Hadar cruiser model. RKW asked for some comparison shots between the physical model and the CGI model used on DS-9.

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    Physical model from episode, "Ties of Blood and Water" (Gary Hutzel, vis efx supervisor)

    As you could see from the photo above and next below, the physical model was pretty good looking and would have been used as long as possible on the series.

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    Physical model from episode, "Call to Arms"

    With season 6 episode  #546,  “Valiant,”  we were forced to create a CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) version of a Jem’Hadar ‘Battleship.’  The main reason was compelled by the story. If possible we would have used the physical model for both the cruiser and the Battleship, with the scale of the model being the only difference. Read the rest of this entry »

  • John Eaves’ Jem’Hadar for DS-9

    Posted on June 20th, 2009 dstipes 20 comments

     

    Jem Hadardesign

    Since John Eaves posted his excellent designs for the DS-9 Jem ‘Hadar battle ship, I thought I would let you see it as a model.  

     

    John’s design translated into a terrific looking model that was fun to light and photograph. Read the rest of this entry »

  • “The Emperor’s New Cloak” vfx

    Posted on May 29th, 2009 dstipes 14 comments

    John Eaves has published drawings of the portable cloaking device for Star Trek Deep Space-Nine episode, “The Emperor’s New Cloak” on his blog, Eavesdropping with Johnny at: http://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/klingon-cloaking-device/

    When this episode was photographed I was on set as the vis efx supervisor.  It was decided that since the cloaking device was “cloaked” or invisible, we didn’t need to do any visual effects. I wondered if the pantomime was going to really sell that they had a mechanical device they were stealing. I kept asking if the producers were sure there would not be an effect; that they didn’t want me to take camera measurements and documentation of the set up just in case.  I was repeatedly reassured there would be no visual effects.

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    We did set up a rectangle of string that the actors playing Rom and Quark held in their hands. This enabled them to keep some semblance of size and distance between their hands and each other as they moved along.  After all, they were supposed to be carrying a rigid heavy device of a specific size together.  I am so glad we did that.

      Read the rest of this entry »

  • Romance, Deep Space Nine style

    Posted on May 1st, 2009 dstipes 7 comments

    Romance between a “changeling” and a “solid” was not going to be easy on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For the episode, “Chimera,” Odo and Kira decided to take their relationship to a new level. Because she was a solid, Kira could never “meld” into oneness with the changeling, Odo, so they did the next best thing which was ….  what? 

    At this point the DS9 production team was stumped. What could Odo do?

    “Uh, anybody have any ideas?”  “How about Odo becoming a cloud and snowing on Kira?”  Nope. The women in the production thought it too cold sounding.  “Kira could snuggle into Odo as he morphs into a pillow or a blanket.”    Hmmm, Odo would have to morph through his goo state to become a pillow or blanket.  That didn’t sound warm or cozy. Nothing suggested felt visually beautiful or romantic. So production filming began without this sequence finalized.

      Read the rest of this entry »

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