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(written from a Production point of view)

Maximilian "Max" Gabl made a name for himself in the Star Trek franchise by becoming the lead digital matte painter at CBS Digital on the 2006 remastered Star Trek: The Original Series. He created most matte paintings and planet paintings for the series.

In 2012 he started working for the same company in the same capacity for the remastered Star Trek: The Next Generation project. On that project he worked predominantly on creating new digital planet visuals while staying as close as possible to the original footage, as the original film element were deemed too unsuitable for upgrading to high definition, or as he himself had put it, "I think most of them are total recreations. Because the planets we’re looking at from the original [TNG] series are very low-res and blurry. There's no way to put more detail into those, so it's basically all recreation. Mike Okuda tells us exactly what we need in there, and it's just back and forth – playing it and seeing what the details are going to look like and then I put them in, compare with the old, [Mike will] look at it, I'll make the changes and that's how it goes." [1]

Some of his work for the remastered Original Series project has been featured as artwork in the Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar series.


A Swiss national and educated at the School of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland, Gabl emigrated to the United States in 1996. [2]

Gabl's credits at CBS Digital also include lead matte painter for such television series as Finding Carter, The Last Man On Earth, Transparent, Mixology, Modern Family, The Neighbors, 1600 Penn, No Ordinary Family, The Big C, Galavant, Ugly Betty (starring Alan Dale, Tony Plana, and Vanessa Williams), Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies (which won the team a VES nomination), The Bronx Is Burning, and New Amsterdam, the 2007 film Underdog, and the television movie SIS.

In addition, Gabl has provided matte paintings for visual effects company Digital Domain on such films as Flags Of Our Fathers (featuring Neal McDonough, Harve Presnell, George Hearn, Len Cariou, Gordon Clapp, David Clennon, and James Horan) and Stealth (starring Josh Lucas). Other matte painting credits include the films Racing Stripes (starring Bruce Greenwood) and The Celestine Prophecy and the television movies The Curse Of King Tut's Tomb (starring Malcolm McDowell), Mysterious Island (starring Patrick Stewart), and Supernova. Gabl has also created matte paintings for Riddick (2013), Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and The Vampire Diaries.

He has also worked as an Illustrator for entertainment and advertising, and as a Scenic Artist, creating realistic painted backdrops for such films as Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (featuring Sid Haig), The Terminal (featuring Jude Ciccolella and Zoe Saldana), The Stepford Wives (featuring Matt Malloy), Mystic River, Hulk (starring Eric Bana), The Scorpion King (starring The Rock and Branscombe Richmond), The Haunted Mansion (starring Eddie Murphy and Wallace Shawn), and Spanglish.


Star Trek interview

External links