The Great CGI Debate

New movies! Old movies! B-movies! Discuss discuss discuss!!!

I want to see...

MORE CGI
18
32%
LESS CGI
22
39%
None, I hate it!!
3
5%
Don't bother me, I'm busy watching porn
14
25%
 
Total votes : 57

The Great CGI Debate

Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:19 am

I'm always wondering what movie fans think about CGI being used in films today. Is it a good or bad thing. I can see where it helps alot esp in fantasy films, but overall do you think the CGI based films will ever be regarded as classics or masterpieces? Whats your thoughts on CGI? Overall does it hurt or help films?
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Postby Peven on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:28 am

there needs to be another choice for the poll. it isn't a simple matter of more or less or none at all, in my book anyway. it is a matter of application; high or low quality, what kind of story is being told, etc. for example, i like sugar, i like a lot in my dessert, some in my coffee, but not any on my steak, so a poll asking me if if i want more sugar, less sugar, or none at all would have to specify what i would be putting the sugar ON.(yeah yeah, i just ended a sentence with a preposition, so what) make sense?
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:31 am

I am biased since I am a "3D artist" but I see no reason why movies with CG won't be considered classics in time (or do you mean 100% CG films?). Like any FX work one can point to the minority of films which represent excellent CG work or the majority of mediocre to subpar work to make their case. Bad CG is no more prevalent now in film as bad makeup, puppetry, man-in-suit, stop motion, miniatures, compositing etc FX work has been for years. It does seem to get undo attention for being "bad" though.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:33 am

Well its too late, I cant redo the poll. I'm talking about general Star Wars/King Kong CGI or CGI based films with the poll. If you want to get really particular about it, explain your thoughts.

I really don't know what to think about CGI at this time, I mean I can see where it helps certain kinds of movies, but theres always that thing in the back of my mind saying: "They did this on a bunch of computers, its not really filmmaking".
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Postby Peven on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:43 am

fair enough, i voted more, because in the long run the more they use it, the more it will be tweaked and improved, and open up more possibilities to make quality movies based on fantasy/sci-fi material that wouldn't be feasible using "conventional" means.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:47 am

Fair enough Pev. Dont get me wrong, Im not trying to start some battle, I just want everyones honest opinion of the whole use of CGI in film.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:49 am

CGI is evil and should never be used, ever.
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Postby Pudie on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:49 am

WinslowLeach wrote: "They did this on a bunch of computers, its not really filmmaking".


I don't agree with that at all. It's still film making. When they shoot the scene with CGI to be added later they are still taking account whatever CGI elements are there. This goes for acting, directing, design, etc. Like Kaga said, it's just like using animatronics or whatever. It gives you something that doesn't really exist but is still a part of your movie. CGI is just better looking and easier to do then dealing with older forms of creating the same thing.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:51 am

i don't think it is a problem per se - as long as they spend their time on it to make it as good as possible - and not just put some cgi uo there cause it was "easier" - some movies have benefitted greatly from cgi - look at Kong himself (but not some of the other scenes) or gollum - they were both examples of how cgi can add to a film - or when it is added in with practical f/x - say what you will about Titanic - but the part where some boat sinks was done quite well i think - mixed with Cameron's pretty much life-size replica ship and some cg elements like stuntmen etc - it comes off natural - but then when you get stuff like the mummy returns and van helsing - where everything was rushed to meet a specific release date - i think it hinders the film - cause it pulls you out of the moment and makes you say :"hey - looking at that crappy fake looking cg shot) - they need time and effort to pull them off so that they mix in with the rest of the film - there's almost more bad cgi today then there was in the early to mid 90's when it first started being used alot more - look at T2 and Jurassic park - then check out something like The Core and ask yourself if we're moving forwards or backwards... so - in closing - it's a double edged sword - if the filmmaker/fx guys put in the time, effort, passion to make it as photo real and believable as possible - than i think cgi in films can be great - but if they just throw a shot in because they didn't feellike doing anything else and because - they can do it on a computer now - so who cares - then it will affect the film and all of us as a movie-going audience... right now there is only a small handful of filmmakers who seem to either really care or really have the ability to make the cgi look good and flawless - and as much as people rag on spielberg and/or cameron and/or jackson - those 3 are right near the top of that short list -
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Re: The Great CGI Debate

Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:54 am

WinslowLeach wrote:do you think the CGI based films will ever be regarded as classics or masterpieces?


I don't really think that any existing CGI-heavy films will be regarded as masterpieces, but eventually somebody will make one. Probably in the next 10 years or so.

Then again, let's wait to see what The Fountain is like. Maybe there is a third way
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:57 am

I think it was Dino De Laurentiis in some thread recently who pointed out how well the CGI in Starship Troopers stands up 10+ years after the fact - and I agree, but if you look at say, the 'burly brawl' in 'The Matrix: Reloaded'... well, even when I saw that at the movies I thought it wasn't so crash hot - it's all a matter of good design and execution, don't you think? In any developing field there's going to be some trial and error, right?
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 11:58 am

the CGI in TRON still holds up pretty well too.... unfortunately the oscars at the time wouldn't nominate them cause they figured using computers for fx was cheating...
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:00 pm

Good points havoc. I can see what you mean by those examples. I guess it really depends on who's making the film for the CGI to be used in the best way. I definitely don't like the lazy aspects of CGI use. Like making CGI shots because its simply easier and not has hard to direct. I think thats not good for film as an artform. It begins to errode what film is about and takes away from the experience. Dont forget we're paying to see this stuff too.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:05 pm

tapehead wrote:I think it was Dino De Laurentiis in some thread recently who pointed out how well the CGI in Starship Troopers stands up 10+ years after the fact - and I agree, but if you look at say, the 'burly brawl' in 'The Matrix: Reloaded'... well, even when I saw that at the movies I thought it wasn't so crash hot - it's all a matter of good design and execution, don't you think? In any developing field there's going to be some trial and error, right?


Thanks for bringing Starship Troopers up. I actually love that movie and the CGI in that was exceptional. So theres one I can honsetly say I liked alot. I also like Spider Man alot. The Hulk I didnt really like, I felt that was too fake looking. They tried, but it just didnt look right to me. The Matrix Reloaded Burly Brawl also looked like a video game onscreen. I really didnt like the 2 sequels to The Matrix.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:06 pm

ya... now it's like anybody can make a "big budget" movie cause they'll just throw in a bunch of CGI and some teen heart-throb - and it'll make money... but in the end - if the director is not a good story teller - than all it is is just a bunch of cartoon people riding around in cartoon cars and bleeding out cartoon blood while running from a cartoon explosiong... don't get me wrong - i love cartoons - but this ain't roger rabbit - and you shouldn't be able to pick out the cgi shot standing alone from the "real" action... somebody like Zemeckis - who used CGI to incorporate old footage and tom hanks together in forrest gump was done well cause you couldn't tell - WOTW (as long as you stop watching about 10 minutes before the end - but that's a whole other discussion) is enjoyable enough and the cgi doesn't take you out of the film - it adds to it... i watched that crappy straight to video WOTW remake the other day (sue me - it was a cheap xmas present from an uncle) - you know - the one with C. Thomas Howell where he looks like Campbell Scott in the sequel to Dying Young - now that was some bad CGI - but it was a cheap straight to DVD movie made for maybe a couple of hundred thousand - what's these other guy's excuses...
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:06 pm

havocSchultz wrote:the CGI in TRON still holds up pretty well too.... unfortunately the oscars at the time wouldn't nominate them cause they figured using computers for fx was cheating...


Yeah, I remember reading that. Stupid academy putzes.

Although to be fair, Tron contained the first uses of digital in a feature film, rather than CGI - it was too early for any significant CGI. I think that honor goes to Young Sherlock Holmes. A lot of Tron's look came from them painting stuff onto the actual celluloid. It was a painstaking process - but I agree that it still looks cool even today.
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:08 pm

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:
havocSchultz wrote:the CGI in TRON still holds up pretty well too.... unfortunately the oscars at the time wouldn't nominate them cause they figured using computers for fx was cheating...


Yeah, I remember reading that. Stupid academy putzes.

Although to be fair, Tron contained the first uses of digital in a feature film, rather than CGI - it was too early for any significant CGI. I think that honor goes to Young Sherlock Holmes. A lot of Tron's look came from them painting stuff onto the actual celluloid. It was a painstaking process - but I agree that it still looks cool even today.


ya - i think there was a bunch of rotoscoping involved too...

Young Sherlock Holmes - spielberg mentione dthat in the Jurassic Park special features (i got the cool 3 disc pack for xmas) and they showed the clip from it - he mentioned that was pretty one of the first uses of CGI - he also said after the Abyss - and even more so T2 - he realized that the alot of the dino shots in JP could be done by computers...
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:11 pm

I'm all for responsible, controlled CGI that doesn't become so apparently artificial that it loses the audience.

The best CGI filmmakers understand its limitations and work them to their advantage. That's why the stuff in Jurassic Park, AI and Minority Report (to name only one filmmaker) looks photo real: it's a combination of set, props, lighting design, camerawork, etc. Spielberg makes the CGI fit into the real world as opposed to making the actors fit into an artifical one.

CGI-happy filmmakers need to learn restraint. Just because it says on paper you CAN do something doesn't mean it will be executed okay, and it doesn't mean you should. Emphasis needs to stay on the story and away from the whiz-bang.

EDIT: As such, I voted for Less CGI.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:12 pm

WinslowLeach wrote:I also like Spider Man alot. The Hulk I didnt really like, I felt that was too fake looking. They tried, but it just didnt look right to me.


That's a funny you mention that, eh? I thought it was a quite a the opposite... the Hulk, he look a very real a to me, anna Spidey was a so apparently a the digital double... his a physics, they were alla wrong. Compare a the any scenes of a the Spidey 1 (anna 2, which was a better, but still not a quite a right) against the scene of a the Hulk inna the desert anna him beating uppa the tanks anna stuff, anna it's a not even a the contest, eh?
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Postby tapehead on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:12 pm

Yeah Tron got nominated for Best animated film and best special visual effects for the BAFTAS and Saturn (I looked it up) - but I gues the 'tron'cycles and that big red dude were early cgi, yeah - the bit where jeff bridges gets hit by a lazer and 'scanned' looks very 80's now
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:14 pm

Dino, I agree about the Hulk, but only for that scene in the desert and a handful of other shots. The rest of the time, he looked like a big, not-fully-rendered-or-composited green blob.

Spidey 2 was a HUGE improvement over Spidey 1. There are a few missteps in both, but I think the train sequence in 2 is a work of art.
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Postby Ribbons on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:16 pm

DinoDeLaurentiis wrote:That's a funny you mention that, eh? I thought it was a quite a the opposite... the Hulk, he look a very real a to me, anna Spidey was a so apparently a the digital double... his a physics, they were alla wrong. Compare a the any scenes of a the Spidey 1 (anna 2, which was a better, but still not a quite a right) against the scene of a the Hulk inna the desert anna him beating uppa the tanks anna stuff, anna it's a not even a the contest, eh?


I have nothing to add to this argument, I just thought that "compare a the any scenes" was a funny turn of phrase.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:19 pm

havocSchultz wrote:Young Sherlock Holmes - spielberg mentione dthat in the Jurassic Park special features (i got the cool 3 disc pack for xmas) and they showed the clip from it - he mentioned that was pretty one of the first uses of CGI - he also said after the Abyss - and even more so T2 - he realized that the alot of the dino shots in JP could be done by computers...


Yup - and I think so far, Spielberg has used CGI in the way it should be used - to SERVE the story, not to BE the story!

MasterWhedon wrote:CGI-happy filmmakers need to learn restraint. Just because it says on paper you CAN do something doesn't mean it will be executed okay, and it doesn't mean you should. Emphasis needs to stay on the story and away from the whiz-bang.


I was talking to DogLips about this the other day, and apparently for Ep III, Lucas had his CGI artists create several different planet-environments, which were going to be a big feature of the film, but changed his mind at the last minute, and all that remains is the 5 minute Order 66 scene. I think this sums up what you're talking about - directors shouldn't be allowed to treat CGI as an outlet for whimsy.
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Postby WinslowLeach on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:19 pm

I just didnt like The Hulk CGI or the movie. He really looked like a big green video game character. I do think Spidey looked better than The Hulk as far as movement, much more believable.
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Postby DinoDeLaurentiis on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:21 pm

MasterWhedon wrote:Spidey 2 was a HUGE improvement over Spidey 1. There are a few missteps in both, but I think the train sequence in 2 is a work of art.


No argument a from a the Dino onna that one, eh? The essence of a the character fully captured anna realized onna the screen right there...
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:23 pm

another thing i can't stand in CG heavy scenes/films is if there's supposed to be a chase scene or a space fight/chase scene or a scene with Famke Janssen standing in the middle of a lake holding back water - but all the CG stuff and background stuff is just a blur and fuzzy and you're supposed to kinda know what it is - why can't we have clear shots - CG or not of the background moving by or a big storm and what-not - it's makes me feel like i'm looking at a kid's coloring book notepad and he just threw all the colors he had on the page and is flipping through the pages really fast to create and "effect"...
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:23 pm

It depends on how you classify what you're watching as a 'film' still or how willing you to no longer admit to watching a 'film' when CGI is introduced. Also to what aspect was the CG effect actually filmed.

Because a lot of the time, what you're watching will cease ot be a movie form of media and will then become a computer art form. Therefore in my opinion it ceases to be a movie, and in a way that's cheating, as part of movie making and it's movie watching experience is to see how well or how good a movie can be. You gasp at how well it was made or how well the movie plays. It's the reason why you watch them in the first place.

But when CG is introduced you gotta understand that a lot of the time, your wiewing has now transcended to computer animation. Wether or not you like what you're seeing is perhaps beside the point, because if it can be done by film, then it should still be done by film, if it isn't then it's more necessary but you really have to understand that the movie has ceased to be at that point.

The fact is that in many ways, we have reached the limits of film making and we simply cannot put a lot of the stuff that we want on screen anymore by this means, so when we reach this brick wall, we HAVE it seems, to resort to another method which of course is CGI. But by that time, film has failed to deliver something on screen, therefore it's not a film at that point.


If you're happy that SW is a good % worth a computer animation and not really a 'movie' anymore than fine, but like it or not, CG is wiping out a lot of real film making in certain ways or from certain points of view, and if it continues and with a lot of film making attitudes not realising that it's not film makign that they're really doing anymore, then obviously film making is gonna dissapear or fade away.

Sorry for the waffle, I can't be arsed to edit or draft. Personally I'm STILL having a tough time making my mind up over CGI, I always have.

Another way of looking at it, is this; How necessary was the CGI? You can't put a lot of LOTR style fantasy and battles on screen physically, OK you have a certain point in it's use. But forfuxake George, how hard is it to film 1 real Clonetrooper? JUST 1!?? That's just lazy - and movie making murder.

I for one would hate to see my Superchick contest of Supergirl Vs She Hulk to be done in CGI. If you wander what I'm on about go over to that thread right now. Cough cough co-PLUG!-ugh!
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:24 pm

Where do people get the idea that using CG is lazy? Someone please cite me an example of someone using CG in a film for a shot wherein they stated "We did this because it's easy". I can understand them stating some aspect was made easier or less costly ut I don't think any production would act as if it is a snap.

What CG gives the director on a film is one single tool that gives them essentially absolute control of everything within a shot. Is this level of control a bad thing?
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Postby Shane on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:25 pm

use it when you need to
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:27 pm

ThisIsTheGirl wrote:

Yup - and I think so far, Spielberg has used CGI in the way it should be used - to SERVE the story, not to BE the story!


and Cameron i believe as well... those 2 are arguably the best right now at CGI - i'd need to jackson do it in something a little smaller to be completely sold on it - but i know at least he's putting the effort in - Rodriguez i believe is still a little hit n' miss - for example - the CG elements in Once Upon a time in Mexico (gun shots - wall hits - blood hits for example cause the guns were all rubber) and Johnny Depp's eyes at the end - for example - don't pull you out of the movie - but then there's the Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl and the Spy Kids movies - which had some good fx in them - but also had many moments that yanked you out - but i guess it might be a little more forgiveable for a kids movie - but then again - i think kids these days can probably pick out a bad CG shot as well...
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Postby havocSchultz on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:30 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:Where do people get the idea that using CG is lazy? Someone please cite me an example of someone using CG in a film for a shot wherein they stated "We did this because it's easy". I can understand them stating some aspect was made easier or less costly ut I don't think any production would act as if it is a snap.

What CG gives the director on a film is one single tool that gives them essentially absolute control of everything within a shot. Is this level of control a bad thing?


the Dawn of the Dead remake - near teh beginning - where Sarah Polley is driving down a long highway - and there's a part where a big truck or a semi or something smashes into a gas station and explodes - that was completely CGI - now maybe not as much LAZY as for BUDGETARY reasons - but that's a shot that SCREAMED out "let's just throw this is cause we can easily do it on CGI" - didn't really have a point to it except to add a "cool explosion..."
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:31 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:Where do people get the idea that using CG is lazy? Someone please cite me an example of someone using CG in a film for a shot wherein they stated "We did this because it's easy". I can understand them stating some aspect was made easier or less costly ut I don't think any production would act as if it is a snap.

The only instance I can think of that might fit is with Fincher and Panic Room.

There are two shots, one where a gun slides up and stop right in front of the camera, and another with a cell phone doing the same. He realized to shoot it practically would take at least half a day for a second unit team, so they built both in CG and shot plates.

But that's more because it was LESS of a pain in the ass, not because it was "easy".
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Postby Chairman Kaga on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:35 pm

See MasterWhedon that is what I am getting at. Panic Room is a great example. It saved time and gave Fincher exactly what he wanted instead of settling on the best of a series of takes. But it was still not "Push one button" easy as people like to make the field seem.

On a side note Cpt Kirks 2pay do you think fully animated films (be it Stop Motion or Traditional hand drawn or CG etc) are less "legitimate" films then live actions shot on location films?
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:40 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:See MasterWhedon that is what I am getting at. Panic Room is a great example. It saved time and gave Fincher exactly what he wanted instead of settling on the best of a series of takes. But it was still not "Push one button" easy as people like to make the field seem.

You are correct, sir.
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Postby Cpt Kirks 2pay on Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:37 pm

Chairman Kaga wrote:
On a side note Cpt Kirks 2pay do you think fully animated films (be it Stop Motion or Traditional hand drawn or CG etc) are less "legitimate" films then live actions shot on location films?


Not really an issue of being less 'legitimate' films, rather a different 'type' of 'film', which is what they still are. But they would be a Stop Motion Film, or a cartoon animated or CG animated film.

I do however find them to be less of a fully physically three dimensional filmed for real movie.

So when I see a 'live action' movie, with CG or 2 dimensional animation I find I am getting less of a live and physical movie experience, and instead end up watching an animated film - which to an extent, isn't what I really want, though I have certain understandings that do allow for this, again up to an extent.

So you know, when I go see AOTC, I'm basically expecting that I should be getting a live fully physical film more than I actually did, and not have to contend myself with making do with a CG animated film more than I should have. You know George Lucas, I didn't pay to see a CG cartoon here mate, and it's not what these films are supposed to be, so much.

If you want me to backtrack on my earlier words when I said that CG is wiping out real movie making, or words to that respect, I will, and I'll instead say that 'CG' film making is 'replacing' 'live action' film making. So if this is my upset, so be it, and if this is me expressing a preference of live action movies rather than being replaced by CG movies, then that will be what my debate is about - are live action movies dying because of all of CG, and/or, is it good/bad that CG movie making is replacing live action movie making - if it actually IS doing this?
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Postby Neo Zeed on Sat Jan 07, 2006 4:55 pm

I just don't see the point of CGI-ing everything when nothing looks as good as Blade Runner and that movie was like 20 years ago...

I think it could work tremendously in a helping capacity....superimposing images and things like that. Or if you're ILM/Speilberg, and you put the pressure on your team to be as realistic as hell.
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Postby RogueScribner on Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:02 pm

CGI is great when used properly. When it's rushed or gratuitous, it detracts from the film experience.

They have the technology nowadays to do almost anything in a movie. Films you wouldn't even think use computer effects use them to clean up shots, expand shots, or otherwise manipulate the filmed image. Where movies get into trouble is when they use the tool as a toy and don't take the time and effort to render certain computer images properly.

Computer effects should be used to render images that were impossible to film. They should be used to enhance the story, not stop it cold for a little videogame cut scene or other beauty shot. The time and effort it takes to render an image realistically should always be taken; ignore release dates set before the movie ever began preproduction.

Titanic was pushed from summer to winter in 1997 precisely because of the post-production demands for the film. I'm sure if Cameron really wanted to, he could have delivered a movie in July, but would it have been nearly as good?

The cgi in Jurassic Park still holds up today, IMO. That was eight years before The Mummy Returns which has some of the worst cgi shots ever put to film. The technology itself isn't bad; it's often how it's applied to film. Filmmakers like Spielberg and Cameron seem to understand this. Others, like Sommers and Lucas, seem more interested in what new thing they can try rather than how it integrates with the story and whether it can be done well.

CGI, like any other tool, is best when used by skilled people who take the time to do it right. CGI can be pretty mediocre in the hands of someone who is less interested in quality and more interested in quantity.
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Postby dimnix on Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:03 pm

Alright, here's what I reckon.

I work in practical effects - miniatures. And, you know, I have such huge respect for the CGI artists. Those guys work HARD, there's no laziness about it.

Now, I think alot of the problems with CGI use comes down to the ways it is used. There are many things we built for King Kong that other companies and directors would have just done with computers - but with Peter Jackson, he uses a philosophy that if it CAN be built, it SHOULD be built. I think that's spot on, exactly how it should be done.

So, we built dozens of miniatures for King Kong (all of the skull island environments). And they look great, but the job doesnt end with us. We build them... the unit films them... and then weta digital take those shots, replace the blue screens with digital matte paintings and add the actors in. They make our stuff REAL, and I was completely blown away by their work in King Kong. Even seeing bits that I built... it never took me out of the movie because they made it look real.

So what we have is a great relationship between the practical effects and the digital effects. We work together, and the end result looks great.

Now, I know there are some shots in King Kong that arent quite up to scratch. But I also know how hard those guys were working... 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. So ignore the odd couple of shots that arent great - look at KONG, and realise that it isnt some lazy computer creation, he's a living breathing creature and what I feel is the greatest effect in film history. He's revolutionary.

So, I'm all for CGI - but use it WITH the practical effects. Time and time again I see ugly cgi shots in films that could have been done with a miniature and look so much better. But also, not every company has the money and artists of Weta Digital. But they try. Sure, sometimes they fail miserably and the cgi looks like arse, but they try.

It is an art, it is bloody hard work.

I think ILM got into a rut for a while where they werent trying to improve their cgi... they just reached a certainq quality and stuck with it. And you know, it just didnt look very good. So when I see a terrible cgi shot and know that it's ILM who did it...that bothers me because they should do better. They're ILM, not some little company just starting up. And they have finally vastly improved...their WOTW stuff was great.

Now, I think people have a problem with bad cgi moreso than bad miniatures, bad makeup, bad puppetry for a simple reason - if you see a bad bit of makeup or puppetry, yeah... you know it's not real. You think to yourself "ah, that's a puppet". (of course, movies ARENT real, and we all know that, but moving on...). But atleast with the bad puppet it was there, it was on set. It was physically real, a camera filmed it. With bad CGI, you know it's fake and you know it was never there... the actor talking to it was looking at a tennis ball on a stick, and it's just a computer creation. Nothing physical. So, I think it stands out alot more. But at the same time... come on, sometimes puppets and matte paintings and other techniques can look terrible too.

I also think CGI went through a few years (mid-late 90s - 2001) where it looked terrible, and those films will age really badly. But now... now things are changing, the cgi artists are getting better, improving, and I'm all for it's continued use. I cant wait to see what they come up with next.
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Postby Neo Zeed on Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:15 pm

I agree RogueScribner. If things look fake then it throws me right out of the movie....and studios wonder why more people are at home playing video games? Why go out for milk when the cow is at home.
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Postby Neo Zeed on Sat Jan 07, 2006 5:57 pm

Now, I think people have a problem with bad cgi moreso than bad miniatures, bad makeup, bad puppetry for a simple reason - if you see a bad bit of makeup or puppetry, yeah... you know it's not real. You think to yourself "ah, that's a puppet". (of course, movies ARENT real, and we all know that, but moving on...). But atleast with the bad puppet it was there, it was on set. It was physically real, a camera filmed it. With bad CGI, you know it's fake and you know it was never there... the actor talking to it was looking at a tennis ball on a stick, and it's just a computer creation. Nothing physical. So, I think it stands out alot more. But at the same time... come on, sometimes puppets and matte paintings and other techniques can look terrible too.


I guess I'm just tired of waiting for CGI to catch up with the reality of miniatures, set design, makeup, and puppetry. Why don't they try to improve on these art forms instead? I was watching Ghostbusters and I thought the Marshmellow Man held up pretty nicely. I'm sure a studio would say "Yeah, but can he breakdance and wrestle like Rob Van Dam?" I'd be like, "Why would he do that for, what's the point? Plus it would look just as unnatural in CGI."
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Postby Retardo_Montalban on Sun Jan 08, 2006 12:55 am

The only beef I have with CGI, is how people use it. Most of the people who use CGI, use it as a replacement for art instead of a tool. Because of how much easier CGI is, alot fo the old traditional forms are dying. Classical animation for example. It's hard to find someone who can be consistant, and artistically skilled. CGI is just an easier application, that allows alot of dregs to take advantage of it and abuse it. There is alot of timing and charming human imperfection within practical effects, stop motion, and classical animation that I don't see in CGI at all. I think CGI will come along, but not with the way it's being treated nowadays.
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Postby bluebottle on Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:27 am

what bugs me is that every time there's an advance in CGI tech, six months later it's being used in all the commercials.

It's a mixed blessing. It takes the constraints off the writer and the director. Things that weren't possible 20 years ago now are.

Good example: Lord of the Rings
Bad example: Star Wars prequels.

(go ahead, bring on the hate... But Lucas wrote the effects first, the script second)
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Postby Hollywood_Bob on Sun Jan 08, 2006 3:08 am

OK here is my 2 cents on this topic. I am a firm believer in the fact that tons of CGI can be ok as long as it serves a PURPOSE. The best example I can give are the LOTR films. Great storytelling that requires the grand use of CGI. However with other films such as The Day after Tomorrow, Godzilla, and other "event" type films where CGI "IS" the story...is just gratuitous...that is the type of CGI use I thinck should be limited...but again...this is just my 2 cents on the subject.
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:35 am

dimnix wrote:So what we have is a great relationship between the practical effects and the digital effects. We work together, and the end result looks great.


It was excellent to hear your views on this subject, dimnix!

I really enjoyed King Kong, and I definitely think it has the best interaction between a human and CGI character in film history, and some of the best special effects too! I think it shows what can be acheived if a filmmaker is willing to see film as a collaborative process. It's definitely raised the bar in terms of what we should expect from a big-budget FX-heavy movie - so erm, I suppose congratulations are in order!
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Postby doglips on Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:46 am

So what is the next make or break CGI in a film?

Superman Returns?
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:50 am

Ghost Rider's arguably a big one. Fire's supposed to be the hardest thing to computer generate, right? Are the f/x sophisticated enough for a movie where the guy walks around with a flaming head half the time?
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Postby Pacino86845 on Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:54 am

thedoglippedone wrote:So what is the next make or break CGI in a film?

Bloodrayne?
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Postby ThisIsTheGirl on Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:08 am

Next big one for me is Transformers in 2007. I'm hoping that Superman will use CGI a little more sparingly. I know there will still be a lot of it, but Transformers is going to be riding on the quality of its CGI in many ways.

Presumably they have a fairly simple origins story planned, which shouldn't be too hard to get right - do we know anything about the script for the actual movie yet?
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Postby doglips on Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:18 am

And Sandman in Spiderman 3 - they have got to get that right......
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Postby Nachokoolaid on Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:31 am

Peven wrote:there needs to be another choice for the poll. it isn't a simple matter of more or less or none at all, in my book anyway. it is a matter of application; high or low quality, what kind of story is being told, etc. for example, i like sugar, i like a lot in my dessert, some in my coffee, but not any on my steak, so a poll asking me if if i want more sugar, less sugar, or none at all would have to specify what i would be putting the sugar ON.(yeah yeah, i just ended a sentence with a preposition, so what) make sense?


My feelings exactly. You put it so elloquently, though (except for that whole preposition thing).
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