digital fx in films....just thinking out loud

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  1. #1
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    digital fx in films....just thinking out loud

    am i alone on this one? i just watched the hulk trailer and just couldn't stop thinking.

    digital fx like these have always been a turn-off for me. i like my digi-goodness in an all digi world such as a video game or an all digital movie, cartoon, whatever.

    the melding of digital characters in film, interacting with the real world and real people has never convinced me. for example, i would much rather watch the old skool yoda puppet talking to luke than watch digi-yoda talk to obi-wan. or fx in a movie like "the thing", imo, blow away most of the digital fx in films these days because everything today looks like a tech demo. the fx in "the thing" have character.

    when the actor has something tangible there in front of his/her eyes, the result seems to be a world better. i mean it's THERE.

    spaceships and the like can get away with it because it's inorganic material (although the idea of an old-skool model maker punching away w/plastic parts and a glue gun is pretty kick A$$).

    just thinking out loud during a drawing break

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    I think I would have agreed with you.. until I saw Gollum.

    I always liked the idea of CG in movies but characters never looked quite believable. Now that I have seen how Gollum was handled (granted, this really is the only instance of a CG that worked for me that comes to mind.. although the cave troll in FotR was well done too) and how he interacted with the actors and the environment, I am excited to see how much this will raise the bar. Hopefully we will never have to see some crappy Jar-Jar type character again.

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    in about ten years the cg stuff will probably be integrated into live action to where we cant tell the diff

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    Everything is too shiney. Add dirt.

    The thunder of guns tore me apart.
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    Already in The Matrix: Reloaded the effects have gotten significantly more convincing. I mean it all looks so much better there especially the people.

    Yes The Hulk for the movie does look a tad overdone as far as real people are concerned, but that's just because it is lower budget than the next matrix flick.

    A joke from the Family Guy comes to mind, well this is something like it: "We have the money to rebuild him, but I don't want to spend a lot of money."
    Well they do HAVE the tech, simply not the time or budget.

    Aslong as it beats watching chimpanzees pick ticks off each other in some documentary

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    I don't like the addition of computer effects when you can tell that they're not real. I agree that the Star Wars movies use too much CG. I like those puppets from the old movies a lot more.

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    CG generally sucks in movies. It almost always looks copy-pasted. LOTR pulls it off because they mix CG with miniatures, mattepainting and real props and at the same time, making it seem realistic.
    The new star wars movies looks like hell. In the third episode of the new films the entire universe has to explode, because in the fourth episode (mmh, the first in the original trilogy) everything is pretty low-tech.
    Episode 2 is just some shiny CG show-off in reflection and gloss...maybe went off topic here.:ranting:

    :clapping1 Viva las models, props and thing you can touch

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    Thumbs up

    Gollum is at the top and where to set a minimal standard. As for the Hulk... it really makes me sad when people say they don't like it. I will be the first to say Yes the Hulk is a bit too green and could use some translucencies, a bit more neutrals and he even could look a bit more grimmy. And at the same time I'm thinking S#it! the animation is top notch and even as green as he is, he still looks damn good! That may have been a higher up calling the shots, saying to make him more green. I was thinking it was the high chroma level that was the main factor turning people off of the look and is the reason perhaps why he may not fit into the environment as well as some may hope. But after watching the trailer again I realized the chroma level really isn't that high. It has more to do with how flawless his skin is, the chroma doesn't really fluctuate that much. When it comes down to the pure animation I can't get over it. Last summer during my internship with LucasArts I was fortunate enough to have dinner with one of the animators on the Hulk. She told me about the painstaking effort going into just the animation. They even had to go through many hours of extra anatomy classes to really understand the muscle structure and how it works. They did a test comparison of a cgi eye and a real eye and most people picked the cgi one. I'm not singling any one person out, I'm just trying to say NO the Hulk is not pure crap and NO the compositing is not pure crap(hah! if you wanna see amaazing compositing check out that D&D movie Everyone's problems would be solved simply with some tweaking of the colouration.

    btw...When I saw the Hulk trailor during X2 I was tripping over that last shot where they show the Hulk's full body and he flexes and yells...s##it-ta! Oh yeah, the Matrix trailor melted my brain! Too dope!
    -Joshua

    http://www.apple.com/trailers/univer...ulk/trailer_5/

    digital fx in films....just thinking out loud

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    i can totally appreciate the painstaking hours that go into creating anything. i hear ya JTJ. just not my cup o'tea.:p

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    hey, if a cg actor is better than a real man walking around in a rubber jar jar suit, i'd know where i'd go...

    3yrs to go......
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    I have to agree with you all on the use of special effects in movies today. It seems most directors today do not really know how to use CGI in films. One of the first things that come to mind with an effect movie today is how they'll use it to hide a really horrible script. Look at that turd fest called 'Independence Day.' It was nothing more than a F/X house demo reel with a script by some mental patient. (I’ve read more compelling things on the backs of sugar packets than that drivel.) You're trying to tell me a computer virus will stop an alien invasion? Maybe if they were using Windows...but come on! Also, why didn't any astronomers see the mother ship ahead of time? Scientists can take pictures of tiny comets hitting Jupiter in the ass millions of miles away but not see a ship the size of the moon approaching the Earth?! Fuck, I hate that movie.

    And I agree with you Keith about the interactions of live actors and CGI. Look at the diner scene in ‘Attack of the Clones’ with Obi-wan and that Dexter character. Did Lucas really need another all digital character in that scene? Why not create something like a Gamorian Guard suit from ‘Return of the Jedi’ and use an actor? The CGI character was so distracting that I didn’t pay attention to a word he said. And Ewan’s interaction with him hardly convinced me that Dexter was really ‘real.’

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    My two cents (rupees, rubles, etc.):

    - The best effects are, and have always been, invisible. The shot in the first LOTR film that still makes me gasp is the subtle handoff of Gandalf's staff and hat to Bilbo, stitched together using two motion-control camera passes and digitally-swapped props. Truly astounding, and just glossed over like it's no big deal.

    - Indeed, ILM and Digitial Domain must've s**t a brick when they got horribly outdone by Gollum. It just goes to show that sharp writing, collaborative ingenuity, and fine acting can overcome any amount of computing power.

    - Digital characters are a long way from being useful in primary acting roles. In the "Final Fantasy" movie, it took no less than five people (voice actress, motion-capture actress, 2 animators, director) to get one digital performance from ONE character...and that is not including any concept artists, texture artists, programmers and modelers. Digital characters are just not cost-effective for primary actors in mainstream films.

    - As anyone can see, though, digital characters are great for utilitarian purposes - massive crowd scenes, robots, inorganics, etc. - but anyone who's seen Batman or Daredevil can also attest that, if not done with extreme care, even digital stunt doubles can look awful and destroy all suspension of disbelief.

    - I encourage everyone to watch "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and then watch any new-series "Star Wars" film...the interaction between digital and real actors has not improved much in 10+ years! (additional homework might include watching Kevin Spacey's acting in "A Bug's Life" and then watching -any- character in "Final Fantasy;" guess where the better story and acting are?)

    -Atomick

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    I finally got quick time installed properly and honestly that hulk doesn't look too bad at all...I think I'll enjoy the movie and lot and for a giant green skinned monster that transforms from a scientist...well done imo...then again I am young and easy manipulated by media

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    Yo keyth im glad you brought this up. Ive always thought EXACTLY what you said but most people (non-artist) dont understand what the fuck im talking about, they dont have the eye. Ive always thought the real modles looked better and now that we have better blue screen technology, they could be the shit.

    I always wanted to be a special effects artist, but CG crushed it cause its cheeper. It kills me. I mean some shots need to be CG like matrix shit but, leave um to that. Pretty soon producers wont want to pay for the real samual L jackson so they will just make him CG instead...

    And I still think the aliens in the orignal star wars look more believable than the new shit. The dinner scene was a fucking joke! And the fact that all the clones in their dope ass designed armor was CG... I fucking puked!
    Even though it is getting better.

    Last edited by nardfrog; May 5th, 2003 at 09:36 PM.
    BLAST ON YOU!
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  16. #15
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    special effects used to feel real but not look real ( king kong, clash of titans)


    now they look real---but dont feel real--(not tangible)



    i have hopes that in the not too distant future technology will catch up and things will look and feel real---i think the star wars diner scene was done with animation becasue you cant get a performance like that out of a puppet---unless you did just prosthetics---but you still cant get all the animation in the face the same--and your limited to human proprtions--( eyes)

    some of that stuff may look weird---but its an important step in special effects and in the end the technology will allow artists like us to create stories without any restraints on the vision


    i agree though that there are certain times where we could use tangible materials for effects---

    they used salt falling for the waterfalls IN episode one --and q-tips for the people in the stands in the pod race scenes looked great


    I AGREE WITH WHAT YOURE saying about hulk---but this is all still so new---its still alittle ackward for us---were getting the hang of it though--

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    I think its still far too early in the evolution of CG to judge it. I mean, the puppets and what not are an era in movie history that spanned between 40 and 60 years. there have been special effects artists who have been able to dedicate 20 or 30 years of their careers to prepare such epics as Terminator one, Dark crystal, ET and whatnot.

    CG is only like 10 years old! personally i consider CG to be brought to existence by T-1000 in Terminator 2 back in 1991. so I'd say they have come a long way- and it takes time for perfection. So FX gets 60 years and CG gets 13 and you guys wanna judge...there arn't any CG artists with more than 15 years experience!

    ....I say, we are still in the infancy of CG. take a step back and TRY to imagine what CG will become in 2, 5 or even 10 years from now, it will be unbelievable.

    but if it wasn't fer all the whiney movie goers...i guess there wouldn't be as much pressure to "raise the bar". so bitching brings quality, i suppose.

    and yea, the recent star wars movies have tarnished the good name of CG forever.

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