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The USS Enterprise-D facing off the Sheliak colony ship. (TNG-R: "The Ensigns of Command")

This particular shot has in the past caused some minor controversy, when some parties claimed the shot of the Enterprise-D to be an early experimental CGI element, among others on the The Trek BBS blog
While it is true that this blurred image is one of the more unusual images of the famed starship, it can be easily explained as an, either misalignment in, or generation loss of, that particular film element in the optical printer, the visual effects apparatus that composites several separate film elements into the final single one. Furthermore, at the time (in this case 1989, well before the LightWave 3D breakthrough of 1993) CGI was a too costly proposition for a television show, bootstrapped for cash, to flippantly experiment with. Also, Visual Effects Supervisor David Stipes, desperately wanted, and actively lobbied for a CGI Enterprise. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, issue 4/5, p. 79) If even a preliminary CGI version existed, Stipes would have certainly been aware of it, never having mentioned the existence of one.
The very pronounced running lights on the saucer, was the dead give-away that the model in the shot was in fact the smaller (physical) two-foot Enterprise-D studio model

Appears on these pages

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current13:16, July 2, 2013Thumbnail for version as of 13:16, July 2, 20131,436 × 1,080 (156 KB)Sennim (Talk | contribs)HD version
07:36, May 19, 2011Thumbnail for version as of 07:36, May 19, 2011694 × 530 (59 KB)Sennim (Talk | contribs){{USS|Enterprise|NCC-1701-D|-D}} facing off Sheliak vessel. ({{TNG|The Ensigns of Command}} {{image paramount}} Category: Memory Alpha images (Galaxy class starships)Category: Memory Alpha images (starships)