SVC Television showreel 94-95 (Inc. Red Dwarf)

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    Might be interesting to some.

    Personally, think there’s a case for the video FX/ CG in series VI being the best of any series, even the new ones, when tied together with the rest of the production.

    The glowing orb and tether from Legion, and the effects from Gunmen still hold up very well indeed considering their age, and their showreel shows some very decent CG, just limitations in texturing obviously.

    Would have loved to have been a bit older when VI was on because I’d have probably been blown away by the visuals.

    Anyone remember their reaction at the time?



    [Insert Space Corps Enforcement Vessel here]

    In all seriousness, V/VI is peak Red Dwarf when it came to set pieces. Had it been shot on higher quality footage it’d pass as a movie production at times.



    I don’t remember really noticing how good the effects were when i was a kid. the only one i remember being impressed with was the silver effect on Kryten in Gunmen of the apocalypse after he infected himself with the virus. but thats because it always reminded me of the effects in Terminator 2, which always seemed far too advanced back then.



    Although i say “silver”, metallic is probably the better word to use.



    I remember thinking the final shots of Gunmen with Starbug and the lava were pretty amazing and thrilling when it first went out.



    In terms of the CGI stuff though I often felt like it changed the feel of the show, and not always for the better. The Polymorph is a good example – the morphing stuff in Emohawk is more impressive looking, but I think the simple cuts in the original Polymorph are funnier.

    Stuff like the teleporter effects were cool though.



    I never thought the original Polymorph itself was funny, maybe that’s just me, but I very, very rarely find sight gags in Red Dwarf funny. I laughed out loud once at one and it was at the end of Timeslides when Rimmer is blown-up. That’s hysterical. Otherwise, they’re chuckle-worth at best.

    Honestly I actually Emohawk way funnier than Polymorph, so many memorable moments in that episode compared to one or two I can name off-hand from Polymorph.



    Interesting to hear comparisons about the Polymorph/Emohawk VFX, as for VI SVC worked entirely on the HARRY suite, which was previously used on III, albeit for one day. In theory… they could have used it on Polymorph transitions instead of the moving photos sequence. Who knows.

    The HARRY stuff done in the first few years on TNG by the way – none of it is as good as that Timeslides shot. Saying that there’s a HARRY showreel from the late 80s on YouTube which is flawlessly impressive even now. It’s just beautiful.



    I rewatched Timeslides a couple of nights ago and was still impressed by those shots.



    I’m still impressed by the heat-seeking laser bolts in Polymorph. the effect quality of the bolts still looks good today and the tracking is impressive for its time.



    I *think* that is HARRY as well. I’m not 100% though so just guessing. But there’s nothing as good in McCoy Doctor Who suggesting it probably wasn’t Paintbox. If it is Paintbox then it’s virtuoso stuff. But I agree, it’s a very impressive sequence.



    That ‘in-smeggin…credible’ shot in Timeslides is one of the niftiest things across all of Dwarf. Of course, Craig does an amazing job of selling the effect, and it’s one of those occasions where you’re watching with a big grin on your face cause it’s clever, funny and sci-fi. It’s everything you want to see happen.



    Here’s a little HARRY thing

    You can see something very similar to the Kryten virus effect in the surprisingly nipply shower sequence.



    Darrell, as you seem to know, any chance that Henry was used for series VI? All the documentaries seem to say it was new and cutting edge and whatnot, and Henry came out in 92 according to a bit of Google Fu.

    It’s all super interesting this stuff, I’d love a really detailed “Making Red Dwarf” book one day, all the VFX and pointing out the tricks used, what various bits are etc.

    I’ve always wanted to know what machines the motherboards are from that are littered around Starbug for example, they have a few banks of RAM, and two edge connectors on the bottom, and there are a fair few of them, so I immediately thought of 80’s micros, but they’re not. Made me wonder if they were from some BBC editing tech, like some daughter boards of a massive suite.

    Also wondered what the keyboards are around Starbug, they’re weird, I think they again might be character generator keyboards or vision switcher keyboards.

    That’s the kind of detail I want haha, maybe I’m a small audience.



    Not sure about Henry – possible as you say! Seems like Henry was just a more powerful build of Harry, and pioneered the ‘layers’ system we now know from Photoshop etc. It would certainly make sense for SVC to be taking on some extra ‘paying for our Henry suite’ work around that time.

    Not sure what was powering the morphing in Emohawk – those are proper morphs aren’t they? A couple of early attempts at that done for TNG on Harry are essentially manually animated, so maybe this is indeed a clue to use of Henry…!


    International Debris

    VI was the first series I taped from TV so I’ve seen in the most. When working backwards through the series afterwards it was kind of disappointing to find that the effects were never as good.

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