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VisionArt Design & Animation

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Vision Art Design & Animation, Inc., often referred to as VisionArt Design & Animation or simply VisionArt, was a visual effects company, founded on 10 September 1984 by David Rose and Todd Hess [1], that created computer-generated imagery (CGI) for use in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: First Contact. The company was initially located in Santa Ana, California, before moving to Santa Monica, California, in 1992, were it remained until its closure. Prior to 1992, the company predominantly worked on commission base on commercials and other promotion materials for manufacturers of consumer products, before being contracted for Deep Space Nine, which was their first major effects work, in the motion picture industry.

They worked on the Changeling morph effect, scrutinized by Dennis Blakey first seen in "Emissary", winning him an Emmy Award. They also worked on Odo's transformation into a spinning top in "Shadowplay", the Changeling sea in "The Search, Part I" and "The Search, Part II", Odo's morph in "The Abandoned", the morphs in "Heart of Stone", Odo's "melting" in "Distant Voices" and several Changeling effects in "The Adversary", including the popular neck breaking scene involving Dennis Madalone. The Changeling morphs, were predominantly worked upon by Carl Hooper, after original designer and creator Blakey left VisionArt, halfway through the first season of Deep Space Nine.

Defiant Starship Down

VisionArt's CGI Defiant

For the new DS9 title sequence which first appeared in "The Way of the Warrior", VisionArt built and rendered the USS Defiant and the Danube-class, such as the USS Mekong (both by Daniel Kramer and Carl Hooper), which both appear before the Deep Space Nine title as computer-generated models, proving to be also convenient, production-wise, for when it was necessary to see those ships go to warp. The CGI shot of the Defiant going to warp was first used in "Defiant". Other effects Vision Art worked on in that season included the artificial wormhole in "Rejoined" and the gas giant scenes in "Starship Down", where the Defiant, the Jem'Hadar fighter, the atmospheric probe and the cloud effects were all computer-generated. [X]wbm (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion). A further major contribution was the fifth season first CGI version of the Jem'Hadar battle cruiser built by Tony Sansalone.

VisionArt also worked on popular films such as Independence Day (1996), Men in Black, Godzilla (1998), Doctor Dolittle (1998), and Deep Blue Sea (1999). VisionArt entered into a joint venture with newly formed Digital Muse in 1996, but both companies closed their doors in 2000 as Digital Muse fell prey to a hostile take-over. While most of Muse's employees moved over to Eden FX to coninue working on Star Trek, none of VisionArt did.

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