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Zobrals encampment

Zobral's encampment in the Expanse

The Cygniai Expanse was a desert region on the Torothan homeworld, and the site of Zobral's encampment in 2152.

In 2152, Zobral invited Captain Jonathan Archer of the NX-01 Enterprise in a veiled attempt to win Archer's trust and thereby his assistance in attaining freedom from the oppressive Torothan clan. Archer accepted the invitation and, along with his chief engineer, Trip Tucker, joined Zobral and his clan for dinner and a game of Geskana at their encampment in the Cygniai Expanse.

After detecting the shuttlepod carrying Archer and Tucker into the Cygniai Expanse, Torothan Chancellor Trellit began an assault on Zobral's encampment. With the encampment destroyed, Archer and Trip were left stranded in the Cygniai Expanse. They were ultimately rescued by Zobral and other members of the Enterprise crew. (ENT: "Desert Crossing")

Background

Zobral's encampment was largely realized as a CGI effect. Ronald B. Moore took pictures of sand dunes that were later edited and enhanced at Eden FX. Moore remembered, "On location there were a lot of beautiful sand dunes and stuff. When we went out to shoot it was absolutely gorgeous, but on the second day a sandstorm came in and ultimately shut down production. I've been through sandstorms before but this was so ugly. Your visibility would drop to nothing and it was stinging your face, but it was gorgeous. I had planned to get out on a dune buggy, take the cameraman with me, and shoot a lot of footage we could use as background, but we couldn't do it. What I ended up with was taking my digital camera and shooting a lot of still pictures."(Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 7, p.56)

Originally Moore wanted to use the camera footage as a basis to create an as real possible shot, yet Eden FX rose to the occassion. Fred Pienkos and his team managed to embellish Moore's stills to its final appearance, or as supervisor John Gross recalled, "We ended up using the stills in a number of places. For the first shot where we see the shuttlepod coming in, everything is CG except the sand itself. In fact a lot of the sand dunes in the foreground are CG. There all these little huts; there are people walking about; there are tents blowing in the wind. Because some of the real plates had dune buggy treads in them, Ron asked us to create some kind of motorcycle thing just to establish where these tread marks might have come from. We put a little CG three-wheeled vehicle in there with a little CG person."(Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 3, Issue 7, p.56)

While most of the planet was said to be desert, the Cygniai expanse was presumably smaller, as a city at the edge of the desert was said to be 200 kilometer from Zobral's encampment.

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