Babylon 5. Something new about something old.

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Old 05 May 2012   #16
Originally Posted by TripleF: Was feeling a bit pissed off when I started writing that due to spending way too much time with hardcore B5 fans that had a, singular, view of things.

Hehe, guess I'm not a "hardcore" fan. I just love the show and everything about it but choose to simply enjoy it and not dwell on it.
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Old 05 May 2012   #17
@Wizdoc
The likes of Ron has talked about reimaging a few of the designs such as the Minbari cruiser and Vorlon transport using modern kit. Even mentioned his ideas on what a Vorlon planet killer would look like – the one seen in the show was designed by Luc Mayrand. Actually you’ve given me an idea! ; )

@RobertoOrtiz
I’ve mentioned an Art Of book to a few of them. Complicated subject, and not necessarily because of copyright issues. Apparently there’s been talk about it for years, on and off. Needless to say, there’s a LOT of really beautiful work that wasn’t included in the website, and covering a lot more than just the ships. Personally, I really like the stuff drawn on black stock.

@WyattHarris
You, me and the vast majority of folk. ; )
 
Old 05 May 2012   #18
I'm home sick with the flu and this has cheered me up substantially. Thanks for posting!

I always loved that "x-wing" on steroids.
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Old 05 May 2012   #19
Originally Posted by TripleF:

@RobertoOrtiz
I’ve mentioned an Art Of book to a few of them. Complicated subject, and not necessarily because of copyright issues. Apparently there’s been talk about it for years, on and off. Needless to say, there’s a LOT of really beautiful work that wasn’t included in the website, and covering a lot more than just the ships. Personally, I really like the stuff drawn on black stock.



Well tell them that I bet the book would be well recieved.

Originally Posted by TripleF: @Wizdoc
The likes of Ron has talked about reimaging a few of the designs such as the Minbari cruiser and Vorlon transport using modern kit. Even mentioned his ideas on what a Vorlon planet killer would look like – the one seen in the show was designed by Luc Mayrand. Actually you’ve given me an idea! ; )



Well I can open one HCR modeling challenge just for this sort of thing. What do you think?
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Old 05 May 2012   #20
An HCR challenge would be intereesting. I think it should be broken into two categories, characters from the show and ships, or ship desgins inspired from the show. The caveat being no existing fan made models can be used.
 
Old 05 May 2012   #21
Mentioning the possibility of a challenge reminded me of something over on Foundation3D.



There’s a few nice modern takes on some of the ships that are included in their download section. Especially like seeing Tim Earl’s badger fighter coming to life. ; )



http://www.foundation3d.com/index.php?categoryid=38&p13_sectionid=441

 
Old 05 May 2012   #22
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: Well I can open one HCR modeling challenge just for this sort of thing. What do you think?

I was thinking the same thing at first but, and I mean this with absolutely no disrespect intended, hardcore modeling does not come to mind when I think of B5. You would just need to think about how to re-envision the originals to make it so. Then again the characters would be challenging but to me B5 was iconic for it's spaceships.
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Old 05 May 2012   #23
There’s speculative stuff as well, I guess. What would the interior of a vorlon ship look like for example.
 
Old 07 July 2012   #24
From the facebook page:

"B5 is often described as ground breaking. But by that, most folks are just referring to the story arc. Truth is, however, those working in and around the show broke a hell of a lot more ground that many fans realise. It’s also all kinds of sad, that about the only place – online, I’m assuming it’s in print somewhere – that you’ll find this stuff is on a facebook page pointing to a fan made website that most (interested) folk will never find.

Many fans know two Emmy awards are associated with the show. One was presented to a few folk in Foundation Imaging for the FX on the (original version of the) pilot movie, while another was presented to a few of the “guys” at Optic Nerve for the prosthetic makeup on the season one episode, Parliament of Dreams.

Two other Emmy awards were handed out around the same time. One was presented to Alan Hastings, Stuart Ferguson and the crew from Newtek for lightwave, the other was to a guy called Perry Kivolowitz. A name not many will be familiar with.

In fact, if you’re a fan of Babylon 5 – and I’m guessing most folks reading this are ; ) – you really owe Perry Kivolowitz a great debt of thanks. He created the software MorphPlus which allowed things like this to happen.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=311617335593333&set=a.283248628430204.70587.178490865572648&type=1&theater

But he also wrote a piece of code, without which, Babylon 5 would never have been made. Ron Thornton being approached by John Copeland, and subsequently suggesting CGI for the FX, is what finally got the pilot movie the green light. But when the initial demo was presented to Warner Bros., Ron and Paul were basically bluffing it.

They neglected to tell Joe Straczynski, the other producers or the studio, that there was a very VERY big problem to overcome - as Paul Bryant explains, during his ‘interview’.

“That’s right, we could do very nice demos with our spanky new writable laser disk but it wasn’t broadcast standard and we were stuck on finding a way of delivering this stuff to the Post Group. We couldn’t afford to lay it off onto a D1 deck (they cost a bloody fortune) and in any case the technology didn’t exist to get it out of an Amiga or Mac platform onto the D1 even if we wanted to.

The standard method was to output from an SGI box into a Solitair film recorder and then Telecine back onto video. You can imagine just how cost effective that was going to be. Then when I was at the Post Group nosing around (sorry, visiting) I was introduced to an Abekas digital disk recorder. It could record up to an amazing THREE MINUTES of video. It was used for doing action replays and quick and dirty slo-mos of video shots. I asked Peter the owner “can you store a shot for later use?” and he magically gave me the answer “sure, we lay it off onto digital 8mm tape”. I asked him to show me the device and lo and behold it was a standard Exabyte tape drive.

As soon as I got back Ron called Tim at Newtek who put us in touch with a guy whose name I’ve forgotten who wrote a complete abortion of a translator. I was moaning about it to Perry Kivolowitz who immediately said ‘If I write it for you, can I sell it as a product?’ obviously I said yes. He got the format from Solitare somehow and produced a brilliant plugin for his amazing image processing package. And the rest is history.

B5 got done because we faked an Abekas D1 disk recorder into ‘restoring’ B5 shots onto its drives and transferring out that way. The only thing we had to buy was an Exabyte tape drive and for a while this method became the standard for delivering broadcast video into and out of desktop computers (predominantly PCs) for FX processing which in turn revolutionized the television post production industry which in turn killed off Silicon Graphics. Perry definitely deserved that Emmy.”
"

http://www.facebook.com/#!/B5Scrolls
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Old 04 April 2013   #25
Just a FYI type thing. Those hosting the site renewed their agreement last year, so it should stay up for the next two. Plus I just added an update, new interview as well as new production concept art.

The links at the start of this thread still work. ; )
 
Old 04 April 2013   #26
Originally Posted by TripleF: Just a FYI type thing. Those hosting the site renewed their agreement last year, so it should stay up for the next two. Plus I just added an update, new interview as well as new production concept art.

The links at the start of this thread still work. ; )


Thanks for creating that website - it's a fascinating read!

Babylon 5 (and the Amiga/LightWave 3D) was a big influence in getting me into 3D graphics and I had the great pleasure of working for Ron on Gerry Anderson's New Captain Scarlet so I'm delighted to see Foundation's side of the story getting told.

Irrespective of the misinformation and assumptions that've gotten out there over the years, B5 was a landmark in television visual FX and its story and the stories of all the creatives responsible for bringing it to the screen are as much a part of CG history as as Pixar, Lucasfilm and Disney - thanks for preserving some of that history
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Old 04 April 2013   #27
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