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Early Babylon 5 concept art June 12, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This fascinates me. Watching on YouTube a panel comprised most of the surviving cast members of B5 at a con a year or two back (there’s been a sad attrition rate in the intervening years) in a short video accompanying the panel some images of unfamiliar spacecraft appeared. These, it would appear came from very very early concept art when the idea was being pitched to networks.

Here’s one page on same. Here’s more. Easy to see elements that would survive, others seemed extravagant given the level of CGI technology at the time, though the idea of a balcony overlooking the interior of the station is a nice one. The exterior seems very 50s in style, doesn’t it? The design of the B5 logo is at an early but not unrecognisable stage.

The illustrator was Australian Peter Ledger who also worked on a lot of computer game materials.

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1. dmoc - June 12, 2016

Love the 1999 design! The site is interesting in itself…flashback!

I remember reading about the B5 pilot episode. They used Amiga 1500s (which had no hard drives, so boot from floppy). A version of lightwave did the CG. No single amiga could render an entire shot, so one did the stars, another the ships, another the texture, etc., these were then composited in a video toaster presumably.

The director of the FX described that pilot experience as “hell”. But after that, I they must have gotten their hands on some hard drives and ram chips. A1500/2000 had a maximum limit of 16 megs if memory serves.

B5 is a great show. I finally saw it for the first time 2 years ago. Some clunky dialog, and the FX are not exactly primary, but the large story arc was fantastic. One of the first shows (maybe the first) to set the example of long form story telling on TV .

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WorldbyStorm - June 12, 2016

Very true dmoc. I still love it, doing a rewatch after perhaps ten years or so, and while Season One is ropey, and Season Five perhaps equally so, Two, Three and Four are brilliant and the constraints aren’t so grim as to make it unwatchable. I’ve heard some of the podcasts interviewing those involved on the CGI. Sounds like a wing and a prayer, though there were problems from Season Four onwards IIRC when the company was replaced.

Great site isn’t it?

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