The time machine in back to the future was just a DeLorean covered in ______. What's the word for _____?
October 8, 2009 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Prompted by the success of a previous post, I have another special effects question. Is there a term of art for the stuff like extra model kit parts and other doodads glued to a model to give it a sense of scale and complexity?

Most often seen in sci-fi stuff.

Think the Death Star: if it was just a smooth ball, it would have looked kind of silly and would have given no sense of proportion or scale. But spend a month gluing _______ to it, and now it seems like a giant space station. Or the opening of the original Star Wars, that long pan over a Star Destroyer? That was one long shot of ___________ that made it seem huge, when it was really just a 6-foot scale model.

Or the time machine from Back to the Future. Rather than design something from scratch, why not just take a stock DeLorean and cover it in _________ ? See, now it looks like a time travelling car.

Is there an industry term for _________ ?

I want to say "cruft", but that's bloated or unnecessary computer code. Another word? Better one?
posted by bartleby to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: greebles
posted by fake at 2:49 PM on October 8, 2009 [16 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow, that was fast, thanks, fake!

From the article and a little more googling it would seem that physical instances are greebles and CGI versions are nurnies?
posted by bartleby at 2:56 PM on October 8, 2009

Somewhat related, "technobabble" could be the literary equivalent, a way to texturize fiction with meaningless sciencey fluff.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:58 PM on October 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

Since the question is already answered, you might also be interested in "Greebles, Nurnies, Tiles, and Flair", a great talk by Michal Migurski about design and details in software.
posted by dreamyshade at 3:00 PM on October 8, 2009

Awesome. I had no idea there was a term for that.
posted by yeti at 3:03 PM on October 8, 2009

So was the whole set of Mystery Science Theater 3000 made out of this stuff?
posted by Neofelis at 3:15 PM on October 9, 2009

Well, the MST3k set was made out of that and toilet seats.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:49 PM on October 9, 2009

Wow, that was fast, thanks, fake!

You're welcome. :)
posted by fake at 5:07 PM on October 21, 2009

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