“That was CG!?”

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Completely CG Raptor cockpit shot in Episode 411 \"The Hub\" of BSG

How many times did you ever ask yourself that question? These days, it’s becoming more and more common to ask that question, as Visual Effects (VFX) for television and feature film are making extraordinary advancements. And the Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica Emmy and VES (Visual Effects Society) award winning VFX artists are certainly leading the way. You know a VFX shot is a good one when you didnt know it was computer generated and you thought it was the real deal.

I was listening to the new Podcasts of episodes, 411 “The Hub” specifically, when something that Ron D. Moore said at the very end hit me like a brick in the stomach. He said that the shot from inside the Raptor looking out towards the Base Star at the end of the Hub was completely done in CG. This shocked me, because when I first saw the episode, and saw the cockpit shot right after they show us Edward James Olmos sitting there inside the full scale Raptor prop, well I assumed the shot of the cockpit was also the full scale real world model composited with a CG of the base star and stars. However, RDM himself was pretty surprised that it was indeed a full CG cockpit and Raptor interior, with the camera motion making it look like EJO was walking towards the cockpit from the back of the Raptor. Well, to say the least, we are just as surprised and in awe of the amazing CG work as Ron Moore is. Kudos to whoever modeled that Raptor interior and did the lighting. Spectacular work.

Here are 2 more images of the shot.

 
I personally had always wondered whether some of the shots from inside the Vipers and Raptors was CG or live action plate composited with CG of the background. Well RDM answered that question for me in the podcast. It seems the BSG VFX team is so talented that they make CG look like the real thing, and we cant tell the difference, which is when you know a CG shot was done very very well.

I cant wait to see what the VFX team will throw at us in Season 4.5 next year. Also keep your eyes peeled on Darth Mojo’s blog, as he said he’s going to be talking about the VFX of each episode so far in Season 4 in reverse order, from the last to the first.

~Adalla

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