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Final Fantasy - CGI flaws noticed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Eric Huffstutler, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Well-Known Member

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    Having not seen it at the theater, I am one who bought Final Fantasy sight unseen. I was interested in the ground-breaking CGI of human characters after viewing some early shots.
    I started noticing flaws in individual character's CGI with the cover of Yahoo Magazine. Some of the same problems I saw exist in Dinosaur, especially with flesh to flesh contact (or lack of it due to a floating appearance).
    Take for instance when Aki's hand touches her face. When someone's hand touches their skin, the skin shifts, stretches, and the fingertips sink into it. Not here... all you see is a hand which apears to be floating just above it.
    Some characters were more believable than others. Body language, arms, hands, and even head movements seemed to be overly exaggerated as though they were trying to show off their CGI skills in every frame of the shot?
    Aki was plastic in several ways. Her hands looked as though they had latex gloves on them (lacked texture) and her suit was too rigid. The hair swings were delayed or not fast enough as though it was weighted down, in slow motion, and overly animated. This was very distracting! The eyes were too big and in profile, looked flat. The skin was extremely pale and with such pale skin, you would see veins, but none showed.
    Doctor Sid's character was more convincing but his upper lip was too stiff which gave him an "animated" look while speaking.
    The Jane and Neil characters were the least convincing to me as though not enough time or same level of detail went into them. In many scenes they looked like video game characters (blockish and cartoonist) and Jane's mouth never seemed to be in sync or articulated enough. Both talked as though their voice was dubbed over on a foreign film.
    Gray was better 90% of the time but he too looked un-natural in some scenes, especially with 3/4 facial shots.
    General Hein had the same problems where he looked better in some shots than others. His bottom lip seemed to fall too far below his bottom teeth when talking though.
    Both of the black characters were of the better quality. The mouth and facial expressions on Council Member #1 moved more natural than any of the other main characters and believe the design team should learn from this character's artist in that respect.
    Council Member #2 on the other hand was the worst of all and looked like she was talking through a face mask.
    Three final things that bugged the hell out of me and the first is that everyone has a false teeth "horse smile". The dental structure was too wide and was the same on every character, the lips did not slide tightly against the teeth, all were dark or heavily outlined, and drawn too perfect. When the mouth was an issue in the first place, this only accentuated the problems.
    The second is that the characters were not genetically correct. Sure, the women had breast that never bounced or shifted, but men had no sign of a bulge. Even when their spirits left their body staked naked, they were built like Ken dolls. Even a vague outline would have been more realistic. Jane's nipples were inconsistant in scenes wearing the same tank top. Sometimes they showed through and sometimes they didn't.
    The last is that you never saw perspiration beads on their faces or foreheads even though their shirts were wet from it.
    Don't get me wrong here. I totally understand that this is a first attempt to pull off anything like this and the character's body movements were quite natural and the overall look (when not speaking) was realistic. I am just wondering if other people noticed the same flaws that I did... and maybe the studio will also take note?
    I believe with work on facial expressions, mouth movement, and hair movement, flesh and blood actors may have something to worry about!
    Just my $1.98 worth [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Steven Page on October 23, 2001 at 01:22 AM]
     
  2. Sean Oneil

    Sean Oneil Well-Known Member

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    Well you can definitely tell that it is animation, that's for sure ...but it is technically the best yet.
    [Edited last by Sean Oneil on October 23, 2001 at 01:38 AM]
     
  3. Greg Robertson

    Greg Robertson Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you went into it expecting to not be able to tell that these were cg characters. Well, there was a lot of hype about that... I suppose that could leave you feeling a little underwhelmed.
    I agree with Sean in that this is the best human CG I've seen yet. Or at least that I know of.. Maybe Tom Hanks has been a computer generated effect all this time. [​IMG]
    Greg
     
  4. TimW

    TimW Active Member

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  5. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Well-Known Member

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    This discussion seems more suited to 'Movies.' Where discussion of the inconsistency of CGI nipples belongs, I've no idea. [​IMG]
    Dan (UK)
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You know, I might actually be able to stay awake if I looked for all the CGI flaws in this film. [​IMG] On my theatrical viewing, the storyline bored me, and I did in fact doze off at a few points in the film. The only character that looked real to me was the good Doctor who was Aki's mentor (voice by Donald Sutherland).
    ------------------
    PatCave; HT Pix; Gear; DIY Mains; DIY CC; Sunosub I + II + III; DVDs; LDs
     
  7. Matt Perkins

    Matt Perkins Well-Known Member

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    Oh, no!! I actually loved this movie when I saw it in theatrically ... I couldn't wait until TODAY when the DVD comes out to watch it over & over. And then, TimW posts this:
    I've also heard really bad dialogue and seen really bad mimes.
    The mouth animation, I can live with. Heck, I'm used to the Starship Troopers series, I'm fine with it. But when someone says "really bad mimes," damn! Now, it's ruined.
    My biggest animation pet-peeve: the god-awful gesticulation with every freaking syllable. (Tim, maybe you can explain to some of your lesser colleagues that not every letter and punctuation mark needs the "perfect" eyelid/chest/shoulder/knees/forehead movement to match?)
    Now I'm gonna watch this movie, and all I'm going to see is "really bad mimes!" I hope I can turn on my denial mode, perfected by years of watching The Phantom Menace ...
    [​IMG]
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    While I didn't notice the all the details that Steven pointed out (and I doubt I will, even looking for them), I did feel like things were "off" at times.
    My explanation is that I (as do all people) unconciously know, from a lifetime of experience, how people should move, look, talk, etc. The visuals in FF were close enough to life-life that I mentally interpreted them as real. But then all the subtle differences between the animation and how real people behave didn't "click" in my mind. This gave me a vaguely unsettled feeling at times; knowing something wasn't right, but not able to figure out what it was.
    One example, that I did notice, was their eyes. In an extreme close-up on Aki's eye (I think), it struck me that the blood vessels were not present in sufficient quantity.
    I think this is where traditional animation may have it a bit easier. Cartoon characters are clearly not real, and are also expected to move in exaggerated or stylized ways. So the missing or incorrect details FF is faulted for, are usually not expected or looked for in more traditional animations, be it Toy Story or Bugs Bunny.
    But I felt the flaws were minor compared to the overall accomplishment of FF. Especially since, unlike TimW:
     
  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I refuse to watch any "dramatic" CG series (Starship Troopers comes to mind) on television. The animation is just awful, and usually they spend so much time trying to make it work intheir limited time and budget that the story flushes. Cel animation for TV!
    Jeff Kleist
     
  10. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Well-Known Member

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    No offense, but you're being too nitpicky. There have been way worse films with way worse problems. Nobody seemed to complain that the humans in every Pixar movie look like total crap, but when there aren't enough blood vessels in someone's eye in Final Fantasy, everyone is complaining! Yes, there were problems, but how many other CG films had moments where it looked real or at least looked as good as this film?
    The reason nobody liked it is probably because they thought it was slow. Its not an action movie and never was. I went into TSW knowing that it wasn't all things blowing up and people swearing, and I loved it. You could blame Square for false advertising, but had they not advertised it as such, it would have bombed even worse.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  12. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Well-Known Member

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    I admit that there were problems with the animation at some points and that the lip sync might not have been perfect, but everything was pretty good. When you look at someone, you don't look for the little stuff, like how many hairs are on the back of their hands. You are supposed to watch this movie and see it as CGI while accepting the characters as humans. If they improved the mouth movements and some of the animation (and a little on the facial expressions) then it would be perfect.
    I've seen live action movies with faker characters than this, so I consider this to be a huge achievement.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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