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Tobias Richter

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)

Tobias J. Richter (born 1967) is a German CGI artist. He has created images for several calendars in the Star Trek: Ships of the Line series, some of which were reprinted in its 2014 book derivative. In effect, it was through the acquaintance with the chief editor of the calendar series, Doug Drexler, that Richter was introduced in the official Star Trek franchise.

Already renowned in fan circles for his highly detailed and accurate close-up CGI builds of the USS Kelvin [1] and the USS Enterprise [2] from the alternate reality movie Star Trek – both produced for a five-minute HD animation for the opening ceremony of the 2009 "Federation Convention", Europe's biggest Science Fiction Convention [3] – at a time when these were not yet made available to a general public by the franchise, Richter was an active participant on Drexler's DrexFileswbm blog, showcasing his work before his first official publication. Along with former Foundation Imaging colleague Adam "Mojo" Lebowitz, Drexler became one of the few publication editors who granted budding CGI artists a chance to create work for official Star Trek print publications. His work has since then also been featured in the official Star Trek Magazine. [4]

One of the very first, yet unrecognized, official contributions Richter made for the franchise in 2011, was an animation, featuring several by him built other Star Trek starships, as a trailer for the summer 2011 German leg of the traveling Star Trek The Exhibition-tour, at that time located in the Filmpark Babelsberg, Potsdam. [5]

An even more signature, but equally unrecognized and uncredited, contribution followed the pursuant year, again courtesy Doug Drexler, "Yes, I asked Tobias if we could use his D model, as it was one of the best I had seen. We did not use it very much while I was involved, as Paramount had taken good care of the original elements." (source) Drexler was referring to the 2012 remastered Star Trek: The Next Generation-project, on which he had served as a technical consultant, predominantly on its first season. Intent was to enhance the series without introducing newly constructed CGI elements – as had been the case with the previous remastered Star Trek: The Original Series-project – but, "[s]ome footage was just plain missing [for upgrading to High Definition]. The only time we felt justified to replace an element," as Drexler had elaborated. [6] Some of the missing elements involved footage of the USS Enterprise-D and it was here that Richter's model came into play. His model was already featured in the episode "The Inner Light" on the very first release of the project, the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Next Level sampler Blu-ray Disc. [7] In this, Richter has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Petri Blomqvist, who had six years earlier provided similar services for the remastered Original Series (and received credit for it), but ironically, while Blomqvist had constructed his models in the LightWave 3D software, which had to be converted at then Autodesk Maya using CBS Digital, the now LightWave using CBS Digital had likewise to convert Richter's model, as his software package of choice has been Maya. (source)

Most recently, he has done the book covers for the Cross Cult series Star Trek: Prometheus. In addition to that, he created visual effects for the fan productions Star Trek: New Voyages, Star Trek: Renegades, and Star Trek: Anaxar.

In order to better market his skills, Richter released much of his early work under the name of his company The Light Works.

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