Babylon 5 2×01 Effects Update Part 002- Paying Off Karma

So, I’ve still been fiddling with this in the background, conducting some research and prep-stuff. Just to make myself happy, I found an on-line calculator for centrifugal artificial gravity and got a spin-rate for B5 that I could use with authority (once every 90 seconds). I added more of a self-lighting rig on Rhys Salcombe’s Minbari Warcruiser based on Sheridan’s ship in “The Lost Tales,” with lights in the recesses between the ribs, and one of B5 Scrolls’ interviews mentioned how the high deffy Epsilon 3 map was made for TLT (a recolored Mars with a bunch of gouges added from topographical surveys of the Grand Canyon so there’s somewhere for the Great Machine to go) so I shamelessly ripped off that tactic because I don’t trust my own painting ability and it looked fine in the movie.

I noticed something while splitting out the rest of the shots for this episode which amused me. The last establishing shot before the rogue Minbari ship arrives is the sun going down behind B5 and the station lights coming on. The first one after the Minbari are taken care of is the sun coming up. So, I have three choices, near as I can tell.

1- I can ignore it, like they did in the episode. 2- I can keep the establishing shots and redo all the scenes with the Minbari ships to be in local night, which will look cool and/or be an enormous pain in the butt, or 3- I can flip the establishing shots so it’s morning when Lennier explains Season One to Sheridan and Ivanova and evening when everyone meets up at the officer’s club and Sheridan gives his speech to an empty C’n’C. I’m leaning towards the last one as making the most logical sense.

Yesterday I cranked out the next shot in the episode, an establisher of Babylon 5. When I was looking at it, I realized that, as nice and proportional as Ed Giddings’ B5 is (the benefit of being the first one released after plan drawings of the original were released, IIRC), it’s really ’90s in terms of detailing. Since I’d want to replace it as soon as I could with a HD-level version anyway, I decided to phone it in a little and not do a proper shot breakout for this one yet, and just use it as a placeholder for now. Since I didn’t go through all that work, it meant I wasn’t really that upset when I looked at the finished product and found that I’d forgotten to reset my fake nebula radiosity from 30 fps to 24 fps, so the fill light is flickering, and that the red light in the center docking bay has shadow casting on, so the bay flickers off then back on when the little shuttle flies through it.

Babylon 5: Ed Giddings
“Epsilon 3”: Starbase1
Epsilon Nebula: Amras
Starfury: Mark Kane
Starfury Wingart: Chris Guinn
Freighter: Dave Hribarm
Shuttle: Alexander Shareef