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Um, that's not what I read at all. What I read was that TNG's FX was all rendered with computers at the time, at NTSC resolution, so it was all useless when they did the remastering, and they had to make all-new FX shots. The place where the film was invaluable was for all the live-action stuff (i.e., anything with actors and sets, or on-location). It's much like what they did with ST:TOS, except TOS actually did film real models, but they were so awful by today's standards they redid them with modern CGI.

That's true of some effects, but in TNG the core spaceship / space station models were shot on film, and then composited with other effects like phaser shots.

In DS9 / Voyager as I understand it, they transitioned from using models to directly generating the whole shot with CGI at NTSC resolution. See https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/CGI#Acceptance

This means that in TNG they just had to recomposite the film with a newly created high-res phaser shot; whereas for DS9/Voyager they would have to recreate the whole shot in high-res CGI.

while I can't disagree with your conclusions, I would add that some of those models were not necessarily built with HD in mind, and could look just as crummy as old CGI when viewed in very high definition. Not all, of course, but I imagine experienced directors and model-builders would have constructed it for the duties it was expected to perform on the media of the day and not build/shoot to perfection in the off chance it might be remastered someday in the future. Small imperfections accruing from time-constrained model-building would get dramatically amplified in HD.

That's a reasonable supposition, but having seen the remastered TNG and the documentary about it's creation, I don't think it's true. The models are very detailed and look great in HD. One could surmise that the model creators knew their models might be used in TNG feature films (as indeed some of them were). Or maybe they were just super-dedicated and liked making really detailed models.

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