OTHER SCIENCE FICTION SERIES

CGI, where it works and where it don't.

POSTED BY: CHRISISALL
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 13:52
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VIEWED: 1421
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:38 AM

CHRISISALL


Obviously, In FF/Serenity it works just fine...in Iron Man & the Spidey flicks, I have to say not so much...
I think the key for me is that CGI is great for solid objects, but living beings and water have problems still...

The Day After Tomorrow boasted some of the finest CGI to date, yet those wolves just didn't cut it, I'm afraid. Even the armoured wolves in Riddick screamed fake.
Hulk? Eh... can't really be done another way so much, so I guess there I can deal...

Opinions?

Chrisisall


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:58 AM

IMNOTHERE


Where it works/worked:
Babylon 5 when it was first on TV
Star Trek TOS remastered (from what I've seen of it)

Where it doesn't work:
Babylon 5 10 years later on DVD (the price of being a pioneer)
Red Dwarf Remastered (Nooooooooo!!!!!)
Most "transformation" scenes - morphing doesn't look real c.f. doing it all with models and prosthetics (as per "American Werewolf" - has that been topped, yet?)

However, its continually improving, and a whole generation of actors are learning to cower convincingly at the sight of a green-painted tennis ball on a stick,

I notice that there's a bit of a backlash in advertising, though, with Sony, Honda et. al. going for "real life" stunts as an antidote to all the CGI'd cars and supermodels.



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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:06 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:

However, its continually improving, and a whole generation of actors are learning to cower convincingly at the sight of a green-painted tennis ball on a stick,


LOL of the day, my friend!!!

*choke*isall

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 4:14 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:
Where it works/worked:

Star Trek TOS remastered (from what I've seen of it)


Oh yeah, boy does it work there, I have the entire second season, and not a bad FX addition to the bunch- even "The Apple" seemed better...


Let me list character failures:
Jar Jar Binks
Yoda (when talking, anyway)
Superman in Superman Returns (close up)
Roaming animals in I Am Legend, as well as 'the infected'
Most shots of Spidey, unless you sit real far from your TV

And, many individual shots of Iron Man worked, but as a whole, I kept getting that sense that I was watching a 'toon..., look at Robocop 3 for cool Tippet stop motion that would have served Iron Man better, IMO. Flashy pixel manipulation is a tool, and like most tools, relying on just ONE limits the visual playing field. For instance, Robocop 2 had a stupid budget, and the stop motion dominated the FX in the final battle- result: I felt like I was watching Rudolf & the Abominable at moments.

Analyzing Chrisisall

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:17 PM

CYBERSNARK


The problem with a lot of CGI is that it makes it too easy to show off.

On a CGI creature's face, EVERY MUSCLE can (and will) move independently. Eyebrows raise and lower, mouths twist, eyeballs bulge, nostrils flare, cheeks raise, ears twitch, chins jut, brows wrinkle, and individual hairs will stand on end --ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It's like they're trying to outdo Jim Carrey.

Look at how real people move. Whole muscle groups --whole faces can occasionally remain perfectly stationary. A slow blink or millimetre quirk of the mouth can say more than bug-eyes and a jaw-drop (check that scene in Serenity where Inara realizes that the Operative isn't a "guest." Her whole face changes just by narrowing her eyelids ever so slightly. No CG entity can match that). There's a subtlety and economy to real life forms that CGI is unwilling to match, but that animatronics and puppetry can capture.

Compare the Asgard in Stargate with the CGI Yoda and Jar Jar. Thor has a wider emotional range and more screen presence than cartoon-Yoda ever could.

It's not just faces either; check out the video game clonetrooper models in AotC and RotS. The armour is too shiny, and it fits too well. There's no sense of weight, or of there being a separate body underneath that armour (because the armour itself is just "painted" onto the motion-captured wireframe). The home-made cosplay the 501st Legion wear looks more like realistic combat rig than Lucas' professionally-done CG.

Quote:

Originally posted by ImNotHere:
a whole generation of actors are learning to cower convincingly at the sight of a green-painted tennis ball on a stick,

They will learn FEAR!


-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:58 PM

LWAVES


I think the best CGI isn't the big stuff. Spaceships, monsters, aliens we all know to be fake however good they may look.
Even in the original Jurassic Park the dinos blew everyone away, but deep down you knew it wasn't real. The blend between CG and model was seamless for it's day, but still dinos didn't exist so that would always be there once the initial reaction had worn off.
Don't get me wrong though, the big stuff is great and I like it as much as the next person.

But for me the best CGI has to be the tiny stuff. A tear rolling down a cheek. Frosted breath on a cold morning when it's actually a warm day of filming. Not being able to tell which is real scenery and which is a location or set (thinking in particular of Lord Of The Rings with that one).
I've often heard in documentaries that this is the stuff that FX guys are most proud of but rarely gets the attention it deserves because it is overshadowed by the bigger stuff.

I liked I Am Legend but the CGI did suck. The creatures were too washed out.
Some may disagree with this but I thought the CGI worked well in Pleasantville. It was only basic colour changing but after it began you had to look to see what had changed it didn't force it on you and take you out of the movie.



"I don't believe in suicide, but if you'd like to try it it might cheer me up to watch."

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Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:32 PM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by lwaves:
I think the best CGI isn't the big stuff. Spaceships, monsters, aliens we all know to be fake however good they may look.
Even in the original Jurassic Park the dinos blew everyone away, but deep down you knew it wasn't real. The blend between CG and model was seamless for it's day, but still dinos didn't exist so that would always be there once the initial reaction had worn off.
Don't get me wrong though, the big stuff is great and I like it as much as the next person.

But for me the best CGI has to be the tiny stuff. A tear rolling down a cheek. Frosted breath on a cold morning when it's actually a warm day of filming. Not being able to tell which is real scenery and which is a location or set (thinking in particular of Lord Of The Rings with that one).
I've often heard in documentaries that this is the stuff that FX guys are most proud of but rarely gets the attention it deserves because it is overshadowed by the bigger stuff.

I liked I Am Legend but the CGI did suck. The creatures were too washed out...



I totally agree about I Am Legend, the animals and zombies were almost unrealistic.

Also, IMHO the last 20-30 minutes of The Crystal Skull. It was CGI for CGI's sake. It was "look what we can do with our computers."

And the Jericho bomb sequence from Ironman was awesome. I saw it Sunday in Best Buy on a 62 inch plasma TV in BlueRay. Wow it looked real.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:57 PM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by ncbrowncoat:

I totally agree about I Am Legend, the animals and zombies were almost unrealistic.


I dumped it and bought Omega Man.
Way better flick.

Damndirtyapeisall

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Thursday, October 16, 2008 5:49 PM

OPPYH


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:
Star Trek TOS remastered (from what I've seen of it)

Oh yeah, boy does it work there, I have the entire second season, and not a bad FX addition to the bunch- even "The Apple" seemed better...



What's wrong with "The Apple"?

That episode fucking rocks.

And by the way CGI is never appropriate in any movie other than animation. Studios need to get back to using huge sound stages, and model makers. If you can't make it physically then it should be an animated feature.
Imagine if Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, or Legend were done today You'd have Harrison Ford in front of a green screen, and part of Blade Runner was the atmosphere while filming. It was depressing, and because of this we got a better performance from Ford who slagged through the shooting being completely drained. Darkness from Legend would be a cartoon nightmare.

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Friday, October 17, 2008 3:57 AM

CHRISISALL


Quote:

Originally posted by OPPYH:
Darkness from Legend would be a cartoon nightmare.

You know it.

Chrisisall

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Friday, October 17, 2008 8:13 AM

STORYMARK


Quote:

Originally posted by chrisisall:


And, many individual shots of Iron Man worked, but as a whole, I kept getting that sense that I was watching a 'toon..., look at Robocop 3 for cool Tippet stop motion that would have served Iron Man better, IMO.



Personally, I think stop-motion looks even worse than CGI.

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."

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Saturday, November 1, 2008 8:30 AM

CHRISISALL


Incredible Hulk rocked, and the CGI was pretty good...with movies like Hulk, I'm prepared for a CGIfest, there's just no other way to do it. ALTHOUGH, the attack helicopter was pretty bad- very video-game-y.

Hungry Chrisisall

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:06 PM

JAYNESMANE


My philosophy has always been simple: do it real unless you physically CAN'T. Too many hollywood movies these days freakin AVOID models even though they can afford them and go right for the cgi!! The CG NEVER looks anywhere near as good as models.

On a TV show it's understandable due to budget, but comon..

In the long run so long as you can enjoy the story that's all that counts.

---
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Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:30 PM

PIRATENEWS

John Lee, conspiracy therapist at Hollywood award-winner History Channel-mocked SNL-spoofed PirateNew.org wooHOO!!!!!!




Best Air Race Pilot Evar!
2-million hits this week:



Pilot interviewed after losing a wing, with airshow video:
www.jamesandersson.com/video01.html

www.killathrill.com/killaworlds/kw3.action
www.killathrill.com/start.action
www.jamesandersson.com/photos.html

Reverse engineering: Is it real, CGI, RC model, nobody knows

www.avweb.com/blogs/insider/AVwebInsiderBlog_ViralVideo_KillaThrill_Lo
stWingLanding_199096-1.html

www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?p=939531
http://aido3n.blogspot.com/2008/10/c-the-best-pilot-ever.html

Real:

RC 33% aircraft lands with one wing:


www.avweb.com/avwebflash/votw/VideoOfTheWeek_OneWing_RCLanding_199066-
1.html


Here's another 33% RC landing with one wing:



Israeli F15 lands with 1 wing:
http://www.videosift.com/video/One-winged-F-15-flying-and-landing-afte
r-midair-collision


CGI:

Airliner ditches for beach bums and viral marketing:




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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:26 AM

CLJOHNSTON108


Great topic! All good points being made.
Just to add a few notes of my own...

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within - No chest expansion from breathing, or movement of the throat muscles really killed the lifelike effect they were going for.

Van Helsing & King Kong - Wild "virtual camera" moves during the big set-pieces (ala The Matrix) killed any sense of reality.
It worked fine in The Matrix because that was actually a virtual world!
I never saw King Kong, only the scene where Kong is fighting 3 T-Rexes (on the HDTVs at Best Buy), and after about the fifth time Naomi Watts got tossed into /snatched out of midair, I just threw my hands up and walked out, because her neck would've snapped each time.
And don't get me started on Van Helsing!

But I really liked the CGI in I, Robot!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 1:52 PM

ALLIETHORN7


I have to say, the CG in Cloverfield worked for me. Say what you will about the movie, but those little tick things worked for it. And, to their credi, they tried puppets, but that proved impossible.
However-many-ing the Star Wars CGI, and every single goddamn Sci-Fi Original Movie.

-Danny

It's bugging me
grating me
and twisting me around

yeah I'm endlessly
caving in
and turning inside out

because I want it now
I want it now
give me your heart and your soul
and I'm breaking out
I'm breaking out
last chance to lose control

The Band of the week is... Muse

Gott weiƟ ich will kein Engel sein.
http://www.myspace.com/otherrandomdude

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