a trend i've noticed in cgi

R

RossTerry

in the newer movies with substantial cgi, i always notice birds or some creature flying in front of large structures that are indeed cgi.

for example: in the large panning scenes in Gladiator (in front of the coliseum), TPM (in front of the naboo palace), and Shrek (in front of Farquat's(sp?)castle) to name a few.

i dont know if its something i imagine or what, but my eyes are always drawn to it.

is it just for environmental effect or is it something like an attempt to mask the cgi 'look'?

edit: i should have put this in the 'movies' section i think, my apologies
 

Terrell

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1. It's there for environmental effect. It would be strange if there were no birds.

2. It's there not to mask the CGI. It's there to make it seem more real.

3. It's their to show the scope and scale of whatever it's flying in fron of, ala the Colosseum or the Naboo Palace.

You're in the right area.
 

Inspector Hammer!

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I thinks it's just to add more life to a shot. If a scene takes place outdoors, their would be birds etc..

In the case of 'Titanic', their are seagulls visible flying around the ship before departure, this is just fact, their WERE seagulls flying around.
 

Anthony_D

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I love CGI!! Models and matte paintings were so....blah...fake and obviously fake!

The bird thing is just a little thing to make it seem more realistic
 

todd stone

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I think it's because now that they have the technology to add "life" to the shots, that is what they are doing.
 

Greg_Y

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It's there not to mask the CGI. It's there to make it seem more real.
Well then they failed miserably in 2 of the examples cited. In both Gladiator and TPM, I saw the flying creatures and thought YUCK, bad CGI. Just like in Titanic, on the CGI shots of the ship, when they showed crew members walking around, it drew attention to the CGI and caused me to stop suspending disbelief. If they had simply left out the birds, etc. I wouldn't have looked as close and probably would haven't noticed the CGI.
 

Terrell

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Actually, I thougt the birds flying across the wide shot of the Naboo palace was fantastic. Without them, it wouldn't have looked as authentic. Same thing for Gladiator. Some people aren't gonna like CGI, even if they can't tell the difference between it and models.
 

PhilipG

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I love CGI!! Models and matte paintings were so....blah...fake and obviously fake!
I have the opposite opinion. I can easily suspend disbelief with models and matte paintings - it's a lot more difficult with CGI.

As for birds - it's a common trick to add them into effects shots, even over matte paintings, to add life/scale, and this has been the case since (at least) the early 90's.
 

Max Leung

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Hmm...I found it stupidly easy to tell the CGI shots from the model shots in Star Wars SE, particularly during the Death Star assault. They should've added birds flocking around the Death Star! Yeah...that's the ticket...

Models seem more natural to me in some cases. The AT-ATs in SW:ESB looked fake though, but what do you expect with stop motion?
 

Ken Seeber

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I've come to loathe this cliche, because it really is used more often than you'd think.

It isn't all that new, either. In "Speed," just before the bus jumps that gap in the freeway, there's a long shot showing the gap. CGI was used to create the gap where there wasn't one. If you look closely. sure enough there's a big flock of birds flying right in front of it.
 

Matt Stone

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I always notice CGI...always, so no matter how good or bad it is I know it's there. I can try to make myself "not notice it" ... but I always do. Good character interaction with the environment makes me focus less on it though. In none of the cases did the "birds" take me out of the film...but for me the Gladiator birds were the most noticable.
 

Dana Fillhart

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How about the birds flying by the two large statues at Amon Hen, in Fellowship of the Ring?
In the shots that panned up from the feet, it looked to me like a scaled-down model (like about 20 feet high instead of hundreds) --something about the cliffside as the camera panned up clued me in that the proportions of what I was seeing in comparison to the river were a little off. But when the camera reached the top and we got to see the island and the forked river/waterfalls, I regained my sense of balanced proportion of the statues, and the birds that flew by then assisted in giving that realism.
Of course, I immediately thought, "Gee, another add-the-birds-in effect," but I didn't think it was badly done.
 

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