What's new

CG Bashers - How do you stand watching old movies? (1 Viewer)

Mike Broadman

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,950
I don't understand the argument that claims that you couldn't make a Star Wars or Spiderman movie nowadays without CGI today. They made Empire Strikes Back and Superman without it, and they looked fine and did well, and are two of the most beloved films of all time.

As for the "event" movies, I personally feel that the movie business would be better off without them anyway, but that's a whole other issue.

Yes, there are those who are against the whole idea of CGI just to be contrary. These are the same types of people who shunned the personal computer and said, "a typewriter and my own brain is good enough for me, thank you very much," and thought the internet was a passing fad.

I also don't see Jurassic Park as being the landmark for judging films as "realistic." 2001 was considered realistic way before JP, and even some of the epics like Laurence of Arabia, Spartacus, and Ben Hur.

The problem with focusing on CGI character and sequences is that it creates a cartoonish effect. As a kid, I liked He-Man and Voltron, but I never really felt the characters were in danger, because they were "only cartoons." CGI characters are kind of like that sometimes.
 

Terrell

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
3,216
Yes, Lucas can make a Star Wars film without CGI. But it sure wouldn't look anything like AOTC. He'd have to limit his imagination. He'd have to cut things out of the film that he wanted in. So basically, he'd have to alter his vision. But yes, he could make one without CGI. But he couldn't make AOTC as it is without CGI. The scenes are just too huge and too complicated to pull off.

As for cartoonish effect, that's not an automatic, which seems to be what you're implying.
 

Kami

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Messages
1,490
Another project WETA deserves credit for is Contact. There was some good special effects in that movie. LOTR's special effects were very organic, and I can only think of one scene that made me think "CGI!!" and that was Legolas jumping off the Cave Troll.

I'm still amazed by Starship Troopers as well. It's fairly old compared to today's stuff but the effects are very well done.

In the future when we can realistically create humans on screen that are industinguishable from the real thing, I still think the limitations will ALWAYS be there. Facial expressions, mostly subtle stuff. In the future having real flesh and blood actors may be a "special feature" rather than standard.

I am also really interested to see how Gollum turns out in TTT. He might be one of the turning points for human interaction with a CGI character.
 

Mike Broadman

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,950
As for cartoonish effect, that's not an automatic, which seems to be what you're implying.
Not at all. I was trying to put into words the feeling that causes many to make some of the more common complaints about CGI effects, and is often the result of focusing on the CGI, rather than using CGI for "support."

The cave troll example is a good one: the troll is the focus of the scene, with the "camera" on his for long periods of time. The CGI-ness of it is clear. When you add Legolas, a real actor, next to him, the contrast is very noticeable. This, then, can take one out of the story, as he is looking at the "cartoonish" aspect of the troll.

However, when you look at the fighting before the cave troll enters, the CGI is used with more restraint, with the action focusing on the people. While some or all of the orcs (or goblins, whatever) are CGI, it's not that in-your-face, since they're in shadows and on the side. Those sequences look really good.

The last Star Wars movie (or the first one? Argh. The one with the kid and Liam Neeson) got criticism because there were a lot of moments like that of the cave troll described above. The army of droids looked very cartoony. At the theater, I didn't feel a sense of urgency watching CGI Jar-Jar and his crew face-off against cartoon robots. It was like watching Batman on Saturday morning- fun, but not anything like the engaging battle sequences of Empire Strikes Back.
 

Ron-P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2000
Messages
6,300
Real Name
Ron
It was like watching Batman on Saturday morning- fun, but not anything like the engaging battle sequences of Empire Strikes Back.
Agreed. The battle scenes in TPM were not near as realistic as were the battles in ANH or ESB. They just did not look real. For example, when the X-wing fighters were flying over the Death Star (ANH) compared to the fighters flying over the Droid contol ship (TPM). The X-wing fight scenes looked so much more real.
My biggest problem with CGI is the shinny, clean look it has and the lack of a solid 3D look, sure it looks 3Dish, but near as good as a real model does.
Now, CGI backgrounds and such, yes, they can be made to look good and believable. But stay away from CGI people and ships. If a model can be used, use it.
Peace Out~:D
 

Brian Kaz

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 31, 2000
Messages
313
A lot of people here seem to want film makers to leave some things to your imaginations. Now I must ask you that, after you watch Yoda kick ass in AOTC, let me know if you would have rathered Lucas use a puppet & different camera techniques to block what you saw so you just get the implied scene. Because after seeing some of that footage, I want to see the WHOLE picture. I want to see Yoda do his thing and I bet you will to. CGI is the ONLY way you are going to show that.

And for the record, I thought TPM space battle was way better technically than anything in the OT. It just wasn't as exciting, which has nothing to do with CGI.
 

Chuck Mayer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
8,530
Location
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Chuck Mayer
Brian,

After cheating a bit on the Yoda footage...I am happy that it looks good. It's nothing terribly new, it's just CGI, very well done. But they could have left Yoda's skills to the viewers imagination totally. Whatever George and his ILM cronies came up with...it wasn't as cool as what I imagined when I was in 5th grade. But that is not a CGI gripe, merely a storytelling/directorial one. The CGI looks good...but it does look like CGI. But so did Spidey, and I didn't care there...it served the story and the character. Hopefully, ILM is serving the story.

Take care,

Chuck
 

Terrell

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
3,216
Well, the Yoda thing was strictly for the fans. The majority of fans have envisioned Yoda with a lightsaber for years. They've wondered why he was the master. I believed Lucas put the Yoda scene in strictly to please those fans.
 

Jack Briggs

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 3, 1999
Messages
16,805
There seems to be a generational dividing line running as a subtext throughout this thread--and it anchors around one man: George Lucas. Very telling.

Seems also I recall a rather pointed remark aimed at me regarding my limited exposure to this Spider-Man movie ("thank you very much"): Hey, man, I said I had only seen clips and trailers. I grew up with this character. Started collecting the comic book with issue ("ish") number six. Loved Ditko. Loved Romita. Sold it all for good money in the '70s. Plan to purchase this movie when it reaches DVD--for old times' sake. But, sorry, none of the special effects I've seen in the clips from this film are convincing--in fact, they're distracting.
 

Chuck Mayer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
8,530
Location
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Chuck Mayer
Good point re: Lucas, Jack. It's a fact...ILM has led the way, often for George.
Terrell, I am a fan. I never needed to see Yoda in action...Yoda was so zen to me, he didn't need to fight. He was beyond it...now he's merely a badass Jedi fighter. Great for the ADD fans, or geeks who'll proclaim it the greatest thing ever, but what about the other fans, who enjoyed the stature he built up over the last two decades. Simple point...I am a fan as well. That said, it's George's story...he can show it if he wants. It certainly doesn't ruin Yoda for me...just loses a bit of mystique.
Take care,
Chuck
Edited for spelling;)
 

Terrell

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Messages
3,216
That's a valid point. But I'm just the opposite. I wanted to see Yoda kick ass at least once. And from what I've seen, he opens up a major can of asswhoopin'. Many probably needed to see proof of his mastery. But there are others that feel as you do.
 

Mike Broadman

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
4,950
Chuck, maybe the point is that Yoda, at the time of AOTC, is a "just a bad-ass Jedi," then grows to be the "Zen" dude of Empire, where he's too old to fly around with lightsabers.
 

Chuck Mayer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2001
Messages
8,530
Location
Northern Virginia
Real Name
Chuck Mayer
I didn't want to steer this off-topic...very sorry. If the films were made in that ORDER Mike, maybe it would mean more...as is, he'll be just an "a$$whomper." Which, like I said, isn't a big deal...I would have preferred his 'mastery' shown another way, but it's not my story to tell. And I realize that I am in the minority.

Back to CGI, what do folks think of the various The Minority Report trailers? Spielberg is a deft hand at maximizing effects...I think it looks great, and should be a home run of a film...or I am hoping for that at least. I enjoy the CGI usage in the trailer...Kaminski manages to make the film look 'proper' for lack of a better word, mixing the images a bit more effectively than most.

Take care,

Chuck (striving to get back on topic)
 

Mark C Sherman

Second Unit
Joined
May 14, 2001
Messages
300
CGI works very well when used by the right person. Give a graduate of Berkley a guitar and see what he can do. now Give that same Guitar to Al Demiola(SP) and it is going to sound a Hell of a lot better(not stepping on toes of Berkley here folks just makin an analogy)
The Best CGI is when you cant tell its CGI. (LT Dan in FG was done so well you think that Gary Senice really has no legs)
The one thing that most of these guys have to learn is BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY. Granted these guys can make some very realistic looking FX But they have to know how a camera works. Can you say DEPTH OF FEILD, I just love when everything is in focus giving the scene that lovely 1D Look :D
But without Films as JATA or KK we would never have films as AOTC or TPM. Just like we would have never have Guitarist like SRV if it wasnt for Jimmy Hendrix. Or if it wasnt for Marconi Or Tesla the world and our hobby would be a hell of alot different.:D
Later
 

chris winters

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 12, 1999
Messages
274
I worked very closely to many of the folks working on spiderman, and I can attest to the fact that there was alot of mattework and bluescreen pulls for that show. wire removal etc... There were also many shots involving a CG cityscape. Most of the comments here focus on a CG-ish aspect to spiderman himself without realizing that many of the buildings and details in the backgrounds of the shots were CG created/enhanced involving different sorts of digital camera trickery. A tremendous amount of work went into spiderman, with lots of digital artists working long long hours to create the shots being disected here. Dont ever think anything is as easy as pushing a button. There are multiple reason why any shot succeeds or fails, and unfortunately things arent always in the artist' control. He/she may want to fix somthing or realize somthing is "goofy" in concept, yet have no control/time/budget to rework said thing. Believe me, the artists working on these shots are the toughest critics, they just know a bit more about the circumstances under which most of the shots in any large scale effects/event movie were created.
 

TheLongshot

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 12, 2000
Messages
4,118
Real Name
Jason
But, sorry, none of the special effects I've seen in the clips from this film are convincing--in fact, they're distracting.
Well, as someone who has actually seen the film, I would disagree with this statement. The only effects that I think were "distracting" were the leaping scenes and the the one fight with the crooks. Other than that, I was totally into the film. I really couldn't imagine it done any way other than CGI.

Actually, this is probably one of the best examples out there of effects supporting the plot, instead of the other way around. Effects are not used gratuitously in this film, and most of the film is on the sholders of the actors, not the effects.

My thing is, there is a lot of effects work that looks obvious when it is used. Wire work is pretty obvious. Blue screen (which is often used with CGI, BTW) is most of the time obvious. Good model work is harder to see, but can be time intensive. All of these are moviemaking tools, and all should be used in their proper context.

The movie I've seen with the most gratuitous CGI work when it wasn't nessicary: Romeo Must Die. Ok, this is a vehicle for Jet Lee to show off his martial arts skills. So why the hell have all of this CGI to make him do stuff that is impossible to do in real life? It isn't anything integral to his character. He isn't supposed to be superhuman. So why portray him like that? Also, they used CGI to show people's bones breaking. Again, was that really needed?

Going off on another subject, people like to lay into George Lucas for his CGI heavy productions. Thing is, I think the new trilogy is all about pushing the bleeding edge of digital technology. It is all about doing what hasn't been done before. That being said, some of it is going to look like crap. That's a given when you are pushing the edges of what is possible. Also, dealing with a limited time frame also limits how good it can be. That being said, ILM will probably be even better from all the work they put into the SW movies. While not everything is going to be great about them effects-wise, other movies will benefit from the lessons learned.

Jason
 

Charles J P

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2000
Messages
2,049
Location
Omaha, NE
Real Name
CJ Paul
This whole arguement reminds me of a psychological test used on people. You hold up a picture of an apple and ask, "what is this?" The other person will probably say, "an apple" to which you respond, "no, its a picture of an apple." You repeat with more pictures or say a hot wheels car correcting them if they state that the representative object is actually the object they represent. Eventually the person should start picking every thing you show them apart to the point where a very convincing fake fruit must be "tested" by the subject before they answer to ensure they answer correctly.

The dinosaurs in Jurrasic Park are dinosaurs, in Superman, a man flies, in TPM, those are space ships and planets and aliens. Get over the method and watch the damn movie.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Forum statistics

Threads
357,607
Messages
5,141,948
Members
144,425
Latest member
TomReagan
Recent bookmarks
0
Top