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

Santa Barbara Studios, or SBS for short, was a CGI visual effects (VFX) company, founded by John Grower in 1990, and located in Santa Barbara, CA. The company's contributions to Star Trek included the bottle sequence during the christening of the USS Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations (Cinefex, issue 61, p. 65), as well as the space-based visual effects for Star Trek: Insurrection, where they worked alongside Blue Sky/VIFX. They also created the D'Arsay archive and comet effects for TNG: "Masks" (their first contributions to Star Trek) and the comet effects for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series title sequence. Subsequently they worked with Dan Curry on the spatial effects in the main title sequence for Star Trek: Voyager and additional CGI effects for the first two seasons.

The CGI for Voyager's title sequence was created by using the company's own in-house developed software called Dynamation which earned developer Jim Hourihan an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in 1996.[1]

Outside Star Trek, the company has worked on productions like Spawn (1997), An American Werewolf in Paris (1997), Ghosts of Mars (2001), and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) as well as the critically acclaimed documentary series 500 Nations (1995).

SBS apparently ceased its existence shortly after 2002, as no website is available of the company and no further credits are known, whereas founder Grower has accumulated further credits outside the SBS framework.

When Project Manager Ben Robinson embarked on the 2013 British partwork publication, Star Trek: The Official Starships Collection, he discovered that SBS' digital work for Star Trek most likely no longer existed. "Santa Barbara Studios didn't archive them and used their own software," stated Robinson, in the process also implying that the franchise had failed to maintain ownership over these elements, but, "Nothing is impossible though and I do have perfect reference." [2] Robinson was referring to his earlier projects, Star Trek Fact Files and its US derivative, which SBS had provided orthographic views for. [3]


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