EP 21 – Robert Bonchune Part 2 – VFX Artist – Winner of 3 Emmy Awards – Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Babylon 5…

In this follow-up to last month’s podcast, we continue our interrogation of senior artist and visual effects supervisor Robert Bonchune. You can read a description of Robert with some of his credits in the previous episode. He started as a physical model maker and transitioned to CG during its television debut on seaQuest DSV and Babylon 5. As one of the pioneers of CG and VFX and having worked on most of the top sci-fi shows of the last couple decades, Robert is in an excellent position to share some industry insight and some juicy Hollywood stories.

“[When you worked on a shot on Star Trek], there was no pipeline. You did the whole shot – from start to finish.”

In This Episode…

Robert talks of his early aspirations and hobbies and his sudden plunge into the entertainment industry. We hear about the software, methods and techniques that VFX artists and animators use for a single shot. We also learn more about what it was like working on Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek. And we have some geeky discussions about ship designs, classic sci-fi shows, Hollywood dramas and even conspiracy theories!

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Who is Robert Bonchune? [00:15]
  • His early hobbies and aspirations: model kits, legos, drawing and reading. How Robert went to Hollywood. [01:00]
  • The popularity of Lightwave in the early days and the problems with the other available software [03:45]
  • His beginnings on Star Trek [07:15]
  • The main difference between working for broadcast television and for a feature film [09:00]
  • Working on Star Trek: Enterprise with Paramount and the level of creative control given to the artists [15:45]
  • Robert’s early days as practical modeler and his transition to CG [18:00]
  • What it was like working on Battlestar Galactica being a fan since childhood [23:50]
  • CG animation in BSG compared to Star Trek and the work behind a single shot. [28:30]
  • Ship models in BSG and Star Trek: what makes them look realistic [31:05]
  • The CG department on BSG and the roles of the artists in the development of the story [34:15]
  • The K’Tinga – Voyager fiasco [39:55]
  • Conspiracy Theories and life in Hollywood [43:25]

Links you’ll like…

Concept Art Masterclass

The Shaddy Safadi and Eytan Zana Concept Art Masterclass

Robert Bonchune

Bonchune Robert (Rob Bonchune on IMDB)

The website of Robert Bonchune

An article ‘making of’ by Robert

Television and Film

Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

Battlestar Galactica

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)

Star Trek: Odyssey (2007)

SeaQuest 2032

Brandon M. Bridges (director)


LightWave 3D

Adobe After Effects

Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


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