July 31, 2018 at 11:27 pm #235355July 31, 2018 at 11:31 pm #235357
If we’re talking actual favourite special effects and not Jawscvmcdia’s Shit Jokes, i’d say it’s way too hard to choose. Red Dwarf is full of amazing special effects, picking just one seems cruel.August 1, 2018 at 1:41 am #235360
I really liked a lot of the visual effects in VI. There was some surprisingly sophisticated stuff going on there.August 1, 2018 at 1:52 am #235361
>I really liked a lot of the visual effects in VI. There was some surprisingly sophisticated stuff going on there.
Series VI is the best looking series by miles, even the visfx look better than a lot of the stuff in modern Dwarf to me. The Legion tractor ball for example. And the teleporter.
Models are almost beyond reproach.August 1, 2018 at 1:59 am #235363
WarbofrogAugust 1, 2018 at 6:33 am #235370
Pete Part Three
Probably Abel’s crash in Beyond A Joke, which seems especially good because it’s surrounded by wall-to-wall shite.August 1, 2018 at 7:22 am #235373
The crashed Starbug in Dimension Jump always looked utterly believable to me.August 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm #235385
Lister chloroform in Give & Take.August 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm #235393
The various laser beam, teleport and hologram effects from VI. I liked that the bazookoids now fired an energy beam instead of just sparking and making a bang noise.August 2, 2018 at 6:55 am #235435
star bug in the rats bottom. It’s the only time I can think of where I thought “what a cool effect” and wasn’t just taking it as part of the story.August 4, 2018 at 3:55 pm #235535August 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm #235536
Bargain Bin Holly
The dust storm in Confidence and Paranoia, the Polymorph in… Polymorph, and the crash in Back to Reality are also highlightsAugust 4, 2018 at 9:26 pm #235547
Even in that screencap, the whole image looks really CG and false to me. Gimme an old fashioned model crash any day.August 4, 2018 at 9:38 pm #235548
It’s rather astonishing how the Starbug crash sequence in Twentica looks worse than the Starbug crash sequences in episodes made 20 years earlier
I think it’s partially down to the use of CGI/bluescreen backgrounds in the Twentica crash, which add a certain fakeness to it allAugust 4, 2018 at 10:01 pm #235549
It’s everything being a little off that makes the new model shots look a whole lot terrible.
Frame rates – there’s an equation. Square root of the scale x the frame rate you’re showing the footage in, which helps add mass to the objects. You also have to take into account the weight of the models because gravity doesn’t scale. So if you have a light and bouncy model or a heavy and stationary one, it’s not going to look right. I think at times they ignore both of these things. The models look like they’re in an arbitrary slowmo not like they have mass, this was not the case when Peter Wragg (RIP) was in charge.
The models themselves are worse.
There’s no interactive lighting. Look at Series VI and the Starbug flybys for example, red sun? Red light on Starbug from the correct direction. Dave Dwarf model lighting in general is poor but there’s absolutely no interactive lighting, look at the scene where Starbug is fleeing the exploding station in Give & Take. The fireballs have no effect whatsoever because they’re not there with the model, which is fair enough but they haven’t been accounted for in the model shoot, which is the kind of attention to detail that Red Dwarf model shots used to have.
Compositing shots that don’t have enough movement within the shot or no movement is also another sin in Dave Dwarf, say a Starbug flying away shot, it’ll fly away a certain distance from camera but then it’ll stop looking like it’s flying away and just start getting smaller. It looks like PowerPoint.
Focal distances are also off. Everything is in sharp focus, in real life you wouldn’t be able to resolve all of something the size of Red Dwarf, foreground should be sharper than background.
The models really get on my tits to be honest. It’s a sort of do it properly or don’t do it at all situation for meAugust 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm #235550
The FX shots that really annoyed me in the Dave era were the ones where they wanted to do a shot of Red Dwarf from a distance but didn’t actually record any model shots for such an instance, so it’s just a stock .png of the ship (the exact same one each time, and also the same one used in all the promo images) slowly being dragged across the screen. I mean come on, I could put that together in Flash in 5 minutes. It just feels a tad lazy.August 4, 2018 at 10:37 pm #235551
The awful greenscreen on the Planet Rimmer scene in Timewave really annoys me too. I realize that’s not a model shot, but it is a crap Dave era special effect, so I feel like it’s worth mentioning. You can clearly tell they’re just standing in front of a green cloth, and it’s painfully obvious where the actual sand used in the scene ends and the composited-in background starts. The actual sand foreground used is so small too, that the characters never actually move around in the shot. They’re all stood in a perfect line with each other along with the flag, which creates a complete lack of depth. You can definitely tell they only have about 5cm of ground to stand on
I realize maybe it’s not cost-effective or worth going to a quarry to shoot that one small scene, but there are surely ways of making it look less like 3 men in front of a greenscreenAugust 4, 2018 at 11:31 pm #235553
I like how quickly this has become the ‘most hated special effects’ thread.August 4, 2018 at 11:35 pm #235554
A notably excellent Dave-era special effect is the moment Lister steps on an invisible beer can in M-Corp, which then spews its contents. It’s utterly flawless and convincing, and arguably the most perfectly executed visual effect the show has ever done.
It’s nowhere near my favourite Red Dwarf special effect, but in terms of being visually realistic and authentic I can’t think of a better one.August 4, 2018 at 11:39 pm #235555
One of my favourite special effects that I actually really like is the Starbug approaching Red Dwarf shot in ‘The Inquistor’.
Not flashy but executed perfectly. I like how the model is tracked as it flies parallel to the camera and then off towards Red Dwarf.August 5, 2018 at 12:05 am #235557
Bargain Bin Holly
I don’t think I’ve disagreed with that many consecutive comments before
btw, unpopular opinion, the chase in Bodyswap has always looked like shitAugust 5, 2018 at 12:20 am #235558
The shot of Nova 5 crashed on a lunar surface. Everything works perfectly; the camera glides smoothly, the focal depth is somehow spot on, lighting moody and atmospheric and a great spaceship miniature as well. Also lots of little details like the scattered debris, the visible name markings and the dimly lit interior window that help to tell a story.August 5, 2018 at 12:39 am #235559
RoboCop Lister throwing the lager is quite impressive even though the scales are all over the place and there’s some 1970s Doctor Who level bluescreen artifacts just because they must have built a 4 foot tall lager can and it’s identical to the prop.August 5, 2018 at 12:46 am #235561
>btw, unpopular opinion, the chase in Bodyswap has always looked like shit
>A notably excellent Dave-era special effect is the moment Lister steps on an invisible beer can in M-Corp, which then spews its contents. It’s utterly flawless and convincing, and arguably the most perfectly executed visual effect the show has ever done.
Yeah, the invisible stuff in M-Corp is pretty excellent. It’s one of those scenes in Red Dwarf that you look at and think ‘how the hell did they manage to do that?’. Right up there with the ‘full-sized’ Starbug in Psirens in terms of clevernessAugust 5, 2018 at 12:51 am #235562
Bargain Bin Holly
It’s Starbug and Blue Midget flying in a straight line for the first half than they show you the same shot of Starbug crashing into a rock twice. The crash look good tho, and the wreck looks great, but like I said its the chase that looks like shit.August 5, 2018 at 12:51 am #235563
Also, the Mill’s Red Dwarf movie test shot. Lighting, compositing, tiny floating astronaut, some nice lens flares on the boosters – all good. I’m not going to mourn The Pencil, but it really did look excellent in that one shot.August 5, 2018 at 12:52 am #235564
Bargain Bin Holly
The crash of Starbug hitting the ground I meanAugust 5, 2018 at 12:54 am #235565
That movie shot is worth the price of the Bodysnatcher DVD alone. Gorgeous.August 5, 2018 at 4:09 am #235570
There are one or two fucking shite model shots in VI and probably V, where they just bluescreen/composite a Starbug flyby on top of some Dwarf model footage, and you can see the outline around the ‘bug. Happily it only happens once or twice, though.August 5, 2018 at 10:40 am #235579
The awful greenscreen on the Planet Rimmer scene in Timewave really annoys me too.
It’s worse than the Deathday party scene in Thanks for the Memory, which again shouldn’t really be the case with two shows made almost 20 years apart.August 5, 2018 at 11:18 am #235581
Even VII with its (mostly) absolutely dreadful special effects managed to pull off a more convincing other-planet scene, in Blue.
That said, the one in Blue isn’t great either. But the one in Timewave is so much worse. Everything looks so flat and two-dimensional- it’s incredible how bad they managed to make it look.August 5, 2018 at 11:28 am #235582
The moon scene in Thanks for the Memory is fantastic. I’d put that up there with favourite special effects.August 5, 2018 at 11:41 am #235583
I’d put the Observation Dome scene up with favourite special effects as well. Maybe not the most extravagant or flashy sequence, but it’s one of the rare scenes in Red Dwarf where I’m convinced that it’s a genuine life-sized object rather than quite a small model which some actors have been composited into. The scenes it features in are absolutely excellent too, so that raises it up even further in my opinion.August 5, 2018 at 12:31 pm #235584August 5, 2018 at 9:38 pm #235616
Oh I like that one too. I like the opening of Quarantine as wellAugust 6, 2018 at 6:21 pm #235657
Starbug taking off from the Low ship in Demons & Angels with the explosions around it.
Starbug flies towards and under the camera and the camera spins above and then flips to a shot of Starbug flying away from the camera
Starbug landing in the lava in Gunmen. You expect to cut away and not actually see the ship impact the surface but you actually do, which is a nice surprise as you’d expect them to be able to pull up in the nick of time but yet they don’t.
V and VI really did have some gorgeous model work. Shame it’s actually rubbish now in comparison.August 6, 2018 at 6:30 pm #235658
Not a special effect but I’ve always wanted to eat that cake in Balance of Power. Looks delicious.
I like the boots in Justice. Funny.August 6, 2018 at 6:38 pm #235659
The grey cake? With far too much whipped (shaving?) cream on top? I’ve always been rather put off by that. Did they really have to paint everything grey, including the food?August 6, 2018 at 7:32 pm #235661August 6, 2018 at 7:38 pm #235662
I always loved the shot from Psirens of the scouter knocking down the door of the derelict. The _only_ thing that betrays the scale is the way the door hits the ground, but other than that I can basically buy it as real. And I say that as someone who always just see models in model shots.August 6, 2018 at 7:51 pm #235663
>Why was this effect so dodgy?
Because they zoomed out on a shot of the Red Dwarves(?) with one out of the frame and put the scanner around it instead of having a shot of the Red Dwarves where they’re both in frame and zooming into it with the scanner effect on top.August 6, 2018 at 8:39 pm #235664
Bargain Bin Holly
I think you can just say Red Dwarfs and not Red Dwarves when referring to multiple copies of the ship reallyAugust 6, 2018 at 8:51 pm #235666
>V and VI really did have some gorgeous model work. Shame it’s actually rubbish now in comparison
Why is it “rubbish” now?August 6, 2018 at 9:20 pm #235667
And what’s it rubbish in comparison to? Because if you think XI and XII has better models I want some of what you’re taking.August 6, 2018 at 9:49 pm #235668
Psirens crash scene is fantastic. Both the flaming going down bit and the hitting the rock bit.August 6, 2018 at 9:51 pm #235669
> And what’s it rubbish in comparison to? Because if you think XI and XII has better models I want some of what you’re taking.
I am pretty sure the point he was trying to make is the exact opposite of this.August 6, 2018 at 10:17 pm #235670
Bargain Bin Holly
I think the special effects of the Dave era get a pretty bad rap, yeah I love the model effects of the first six series as much as the next guy but nothing is especially bad about the new series’s effects. Hell, I think they reach greatness in several episodes such as the one I pointed out earlier in Twentica where you really feel the weight of Starbug as it bounces off the ground.August 6, 2018 at 10:21 pm #235671
Bargain Bin Holly
Not even speaking strictly effects, the sets and makeup work of the Dave era can be so good too. The mechanoid battle arena in SIliconia, the moist corridors in Can of Worms, the expansive shot of the hanger in Back to Earth Part I and the camera trickery they used to make the corridors seem longer (I wouldn’t mind if they brought that back)August 6, 2018 at 10:24 pm #235672
Bargain Bin Holly
Also that Polymorph corpse in Can of Worms, how slimy and disgusting it looks, you can see the ooze dripping of it. FantasticAugust 6, 2018 at 10:42 pm #235673
Hell, I think they reach greatness in several episodes such as the one I pointed out earlier in Twentica where you really feel the weight of Starbug as it bounces off the ground.
That final crash sequence actually made me cringe the first time I watched it, the compositing of it looks so plasticky and fake.
But you’re right, the non-model stuff in the Dave era is generally excellent. As I mentioned above, the Lister chloroform moment in Give & Take is superb, everybody’s also mentioned the invisible stuff in M-Corp, and the general look of the show is strong, including a lot of the fantastic CG ships. But almost all of the model sequences just look really, really badly put together.August 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm #235674
Stabbim the Skutter
That split-second effect in Gunmen of the Apocalypse as Kryten plugs himself into the mainframe is absolutely stunning, and it looks impossible for its time.
I’m also stilled wowed to this day at the shot where Cat high-fives himself.August 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm #235675
Apart from the design of the sets, which is great but not quite Bibby great, I’d say Dave Dwarf is excellent in everything but the space ships. Kryten in XI and XII is very well done even though it looks odd to some, but that’s out of their hands obviously since it’s Robert changing shape. The costumes, make up, lighting, creature effects, graphic design and most of the CG is tremendous in general and especially for what it is (a Dave original TV show) but the models and their filming can’t hold a candle to 1-VI (and the few model shots in VII)August 7, 2018 at 1:29 am #235676
Why does the 24 foot bigature look no bigger than the 8 foot original Dwarf?August 7, 2018 at 1:50 am #235677
>Why does the 24 foot bigature look no bigger than the 8 foot original Dwarf?
I was looking at the BTS stuff for that bigature, the half of Red Dwarf with no engines, not the Dwarf Borg Cube one, and as far as I can tell it has no more detail than the full model, it’s just bigger. In fact some of the detail is flatter and less impressive, or missing.
Surely the point of it is to add smaller details to make the ship seem bigger, but the windows are the same size in relation to the ship, the greeblies are the same just scaled up, there’s no obvious extra anything that I can see. They could have scored panel lines in, or made the windows tiny so it seemed like a ship with thousands of floors not hundreds, little marks where meteorites have scarred the hull etc.
Genuinely don’t understand it. It has light bleed out the arse too. Which was surely one of the reasons they wanted something new to film, the pencil having warped a tad and letting the light through the parts where it’s come unstuck.August 7, 2018 at 2:26 am #235678
I was disappointed with the crash in Twentica partly because it looks a bit shite and partly because I saw people (I think on here) saying it was amazing before I had the chance to watch it. The fakest looking part is traversing the wormhole and the way the sand interacts with the model after the actual impact. Is it real sand or CG sand? I would believe the latterAugust 7, 2018 at 2:29 am #235679
The light bleed is tragic, makes it look more fake than anything else. Is it really twenty-four feet though? Christ. The original model shots from Series I are absolutely fantastic, stellar for a TV show. Only the opening shot of Trial of a Timelord competes with it, with Trial losing out because the way the camera moves in that shot makes me uncomfortableAugust 7, 2018 at 3:21 am #235680
An FX shot in the Dave era that really bugs me is the Starbug takeoff in Cured. It’s done really weirdly what with the CGI background and all, made even weirder by the way it takes off making it look completely weightless. It’s meant to be a big bulky spaceship, not a hollowed-out shell.August 7, 2018 at 3:22 am #235681
Starbug is actually a massive chocolate Easter egg in XII, presumablyAugust 7, 2018 at 11:30 am #235687
I think its unfair in some ways to compare modern Dwarf effects to early Dwarf effects due to advances in technology and stuff… but saying that, the effects of having several Rimmers and Listers on screen is impressive and the invisibility effects were also quite impressive. but thats kinda the only effects that really stand out to me. a fair amount of the Model shots don’t really compare to the early shows and the shot in Officer Rimmer where Rimmers costume changes looks quite bad for 2017/2018. somehow they lined up transition shots much better in the 90s than they do today. same with the polymorphs changing into things where the shot isn’t keeping still for some reason.
The effects that most stand out to me are the series 6 effects and thats only because it was 1993, sitcom budget with Limited CGI if any for the time and there are still effects i question how they were pulled off. the smooth transition between Kryten going for his guns and the doves appearing is one id like to know how they did.August 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm #235689
The splitscreen stuff is some of the series’ best work I think. You never even question stuff like the multiple incarnations in Demons and Angels or the Ace and Rimmer scenes as being anything other than two characters in the room at the same time.
I only ever find it slightly distracting when the two versions are identical-looking, like the two Rimmers in Me2 or the two Listers in Psirens, because it reinforces the idea that this is the same actor in the same costume being filmed separately and then put together. But having said that I still think the double-Cat in Camille is one of the best of the lot.August 7, 2018 at 1:20 pm #235691
Pete Part Three
Dona DiStefano’s hat – come on, you didn’t suspect a thing until you heard the truth.August 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm #235705
Knowing how split screen is done and and being able to see the line thanks to the joy of DVD ruins some of the illusion like in Me², but other instances like Stasis Leak still look phenomenal. Also knowing that the model shots of two Red Dwarfs is just a composite and that all the models fly in straight lines is disappointing. Ah, to be young again.
There’s a shot in a Star Trek episode where they have to show dour Constitution class starships in one shot and it’s just tragic how it’s obviously four shots of the same model slapped alongside eachother with the splits as obvious as four-player splitscreen on GoldenEye.
They’ve done much more interesting shots with two and even three ships before as wellAugust 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm #235709
The opening Samsara sequence is always utterly haunting. Before you disagree with me on this, I suggest you go back and watch it – I always think I’m going to be underwhelmed and never am. The only disappointing bit is that starfield flickering.August 7, 2018 at 4:43 pm #235711
>The opening Samsara sequence is always utterly haunting. Before you disagree with me on this, I suggest you go back and watch it – I always think I’m going to be underwhelmed and never am. The only disappointing bit is that starfield flickering
It is very good. And all CG (until you get to Red Dwarf)August 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm #235722
The CG is better than the model effectsAugust 7, 2018 at 9:51 pm #235723
Mostly. The mining torpedo in Officer Rimmer looks a bit dodgy I think
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