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Ba'ku kolibri

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Baku Kolibri

A Ba'ku kolibri

The Ba'ku kolibri is a type of bird native to the Ba'ku planet. The bird bears a strong resemblance to Earth's Hummingbird.

Captain Picard and Anij watched a kolibri fly in slow motion while experiencing the "perfect moment" in 2375. (Star Trek: Insurrection)

Background

Ba'ku kolibri

From concept to featured effect

The Ba'ku kolibri seen in the Insurrection movie, was not footage of a real world bird, but rather a full-fledged CGI effect, constructed at Blue Sky/VIFX, they being responsible for the planet-bound visual effects for that movie. The animators at Blue Sky used high-speed photographs taken from real-world hummingbirds as reference for modeling the "slowed" flapping of wings. (Cinefex, issue 77, p. 79) The bird evolved from "too predatory" to a "kinder, gentler" kind of bird, representing the Ba'ku world (The Secrets of Star Trek: Insurrection, pp.158-159). Animation Supervisor Mark Baldo recounted, "When the hummingbird was moving in real time, the wings were just a blur, so Doug Dooley, who animated the hummingbird, was literally posing them into completely different positions from frame to frame. The hard part was doing the 'slow-motion' animation. In real time, the wings would beat completely in just a few frames, but in slow-motion, they would probably take about five seconds to go from the bottom-most position to the top. We were still only working at 24 fps, but it's the positioning of the wing in each frame that creates that illusion of a super-slow altered reality. In order to make the hummingbird a very iridescent creature, one of our senior technical directors, Dave Walvoord, wrote a special procedure. The hummingbird's feathers looked almost black, but whenever the light hit them, the feathers went green." (American Cinematographer, January 1999, p. 44-45)

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