Energize: Origin of the Transporter Effect

Transporter2According to The Making of Star TrekStar Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s original plan did not include transporters, instead calling for characters to land the starship itself. However, this would have required unfeasible and unaffordable sets and model filming, as well as episode running time spent while landing, taking off, etc. The shuttlecraft was the next idea, but when filming began, the full-sized shooting model was not ready.

Transporters were devised as a less expensive alternative, achieved by a simple fade-in/fade-out of the subject. Transporters first appear in the original pilot episode “The Cage”. The transporter special effect, before being done using computer animation, was created by turning a slow-motion camera upside down and photographing some backlit shiny grains of aluminium powder that were dropped between the camera and a black background.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_(Star_Trek)

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