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Re-Uses of the Angel One Matte Painting
by
Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

The matte painting of a cityscape originally made for TNG: "Angel One" is the probably most often re-used planet view of Star Trek. It could be seen in six episodes of three series, however, with a number of subtle modifications.

The Angel I matte painting is composed of two parts. The ancient-looking building on the left edge, the tree on the right and parts of the closer buildings are on a separate level, giving the whole scenery more depth (a slight 3D effect) when the camera zooms in. The tree is transparent between the twigs and leaves in order not to impair the effect. In addition, people were inserted into the scene. They can be seen walking around on the square on the main building in the center.


The two levels of the Angel I scenery

(screen capture by Jörg)

There are two versions, one day and one night shot, but not all episodes make use of both of them. In all appearances of the matte painting the camera zooms into the center of the picture, whereby the left building disappears from the field of vision. The duration of the take and the zoom depth is different in the six episodes. 

 

Analysis

Angel I In its first appearance as Angel I's capital in TNG: "Angel One" we can see the day as well as the night sequence.


Angel I, day, far, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)
 

Angel I, day, closer, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Angel I, day, closest, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)
 

Angel I, night, far, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Angel I, night, closer, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Angel I, night, closest, in TNG: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Brush strokes are recognizable in HD, giving away that this is a painting. Still, it looks stunningly realistic.


Angel I, day, in TNG-R: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Angel I, night, in TNG-R: "Angel One"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Starbase 515 The matte painting was re-used without changes for the planetside facility of Starbase 515 where Picard's heart surgery takes place in TNG: "Samaritan Snare". It is only remarkable that the initial zoom is a bit farther away in the day and closer in the night than in the respective shots from "Angel One".


Starbase 515, day, in TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Starbase 515, night, in TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

(screen capture by Jörg)

The matte painting of Starbase 515 was modified to look less like Angel One for TNG-R. Three rounded roof tops were added, and most notably a helix-shaped tower. The tree in the foreground was changed as well. In addition, a flock of birds was added, the tiny human figures which were part of the original matte painting are moving now and the Einstein can be seen landing on a platform.


Starbase 515, day, in TNG-R: "Samaritan Snare"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Starbase 515, night, in TNG-R: "Samaritan Snare"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Malcor III While the painting remains substantially the same, the colors are more intensive on Malcor III in TNG: "First Contact". The hue is overall more green compared to Angel I. Moreover, the building on the left and the tree on the right are not visible at all. The night shot does not show up in this episode.


Malcor III in TNG: "First Contact"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Malcor III, new painting, in TNG: "First Contact"

(screen capture by Jörg)

It is also noteworthy that a completely new painting was made to represent another part of this planet. But the style was quite obviously inspired by the existing Angel I scenery.

Both appearances of the matte painting remain unchanged in the remastered episode.


Malcor III in TNG-R: "First Contact"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Malcor III, new painting, in TNG-R: "First Contact"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Krios In order to credibly represent Krios, a Klingon colony, in TNG: "The Mind's Eye", the night version of the matte painting was extensively modified. The tree was removed from the foreground. The building on the left was modified by changing the window style and adding a slanted supporting wall. Vertical struts were added to the horizontal window rows of the central building. A story was added to the smaller building sitting on its top. The most changes can be seen in the background of the painting. The characteristic red building was cut down and a number of new buildings were inserted, most prominently the one with the big Klingon emblem that unmistakably demonstrates who is in charge of the planet. There is no day shot in TNG: "The Mind's Eye".


Krios in TNG: "The Mind's Eye"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Several elements of the matte painting were modified for TNG-R. Most notably one building in the background was replaced with a pyramidal one that looks more like the buildings on the Qo'noS matte painting. Also, the hills in the background were reworked to appear sharper.


Krios in TNG-R: "The Mind's Eye"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Klaestron IV The night shot in DS9: "Dax" begins a bit earlier than the one in "Angel One", now showing four full windows of the building on the left. It seems that the matte painting appears in its original state. But there are two exceptions: The tree has lost some leaves, and a new tall building was added in the right half. Curiously, this new building is missing in the following day shot of the same episode, and the tree has all the leaves again. The obvious reason is that the VFX people just forgot to modify the day shot likewise and most likely just used stock footage for it. But we must be amazed how the inhabitants of Klaestron demolish large building in a matter of hours. And how fast the local trees can grow new leaves. ;-)


Klaestron IV, night, in DS9: "Dax"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Klaestron IV, day, in DS9: "Dax"

(screen capture by Jörg)

Banea There is nothing special about this appearance of the matte painting in VOY: "Ex Post Facto", which is essentially the same as in "Angel One", except that maybe the day sequence is a tad longer (with the camera zooming in a bit more). The night shot is not re-used here.


Banean Homeworld in VOY: "Ex Post Facto"

(screen capture by Jörg)

 

Summary

Here is a summary of all appearances of the Angel I scenery:

Planet

Episode

Day shot
close

Day shot
far

Night shot
close

Night shot
far

Modifications

Angel I

TNG: "Angel One"

yes

yes

yes

yes

-

Starbase 515

TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

yes

yes

yes

no

Stock footage from "Angel One"

Malcor III

TNG: "First Contact"

yes

no

no

no

More colorful, missing elements in foreground

Krios

TNG: "The Mind's Eye"

no

no

no

yes

Extensive modification of night shot

Klaestron IV

DS9: "Dax"

no

yes

no

yes

One new building (night shot only)

Banea

VOY: "Ex Post Facto"

yes

yes

no

yes

Stock footage from "Angel One"

 

More about Re-Used Matte Paintings

Observations in TNG: "Angel One"

Observations in TNG: "Samaritan Snare"

Observations in TNG: "First Contact"

Observations in TNG: "The Mind's Eye"

Re-Used Planet Sets - different planet surfaces that are amazingly alike

 


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Last modified: 27.10.14  
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