Originally Posted by Maxwell Everett
This shot from Generations
is actually from the TV show and was used many times. VFX supervisor Ron B. Moore said on a recent TNG DVD set bonus disc that he went back and pulled this shot from the archives, which he notes was filmed in 35mm VistaVision and was pleasantly surprised how well it still held up... which is why they used it in the film
They still had to perform cleanup and smooth out the bumps in the original photography. ILM pulled and worked on the negative since they shot the motion control elements of the Enterprise-D for the TNG pilot "Encounter At Farpoint".
Despite the credit, I'd say Moore was more of a "Visual Effects Coordinator" since he didn't directly supervise the actual VFX created on the film. Generations
VFX at ILM were supervised by John ("My brother Thomas & I invented Photoshop") Knoll.
Paramount was cutting the budget to the bone. Many VFX sequences were dramatically scaled back or cut entirely. The real reason the reactor core on the Enterprise-D destabilized was because the burning hulk of the destroyed Bird-of-Prey was supposed to slam into the secondary hull.
Another cost cutting measure was using as much stock footage as they could (despite Berman's claim they only used "three shots"). Stock shots used:
Enterprise-B warp flyby - Excelsior warp flyby from Star Trek VI
Picard sees flash of Armagosa implosion from his quarters - beginning of Praxis explosion from Star Trek VI
Bird of Prey cloaking after beaming out Soran - from Star Trek VI
Enterprise flyover during Captain's log - from Encounter At Farpoint
Bird of Prey destruction - Star Trek VI
Initial shot of Enterprise saucer separation - from Encounter at Farpoint
Enterprise warp core breach - explosion was ILM stock explosion also used for the destruction of USS Grissom in Star Trek III
with shockwave added.
The only new models built was the Armagosa observatory and the saucer hull used in the crash. All the rest were retrofits from earlier films or the TV shows (the El-Aurian refugee ships were CG).