With the main version of the Ajax almost completed I thought it was time to turn my hand to some animation. I took some reference footage of TOS Trek VFX and ran it through my aging copy of MatchMover to get a feel for how the shot was originally filmed. Interestingly, it seems that the original studio only had a very short dolly track and some of the apparent motion was generated by varying the FOV of the camera.
I took this information over in to Cinema 4D and set up an automated camera rig and a model rig using C4D's scripting tool, Xpresso. I also have Xpresso controlling the blinking lights and bussard animation as well.
The aim is to replicate the look of the original 60's footage so a fair amount of post work has been done in After Effects - including, paradoxically, trying to replicate the dark matte outline around the ship. The processed version is below, along with the 'clean' version for comparison.
Ajax - Orbit - 60's style from Henry Gibbens on Vimeo.
Ajax - Orbit - Original Clean Footage from Henry Gibbens on Vimeo.
Still needs some tweaking, but as a proof of concept, I am happy so far...