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

Ron-P

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Yeah, your right. If the out come is good, then the method is really no big deal. It's when it is done poorly that it affects the movie viewing experience.
Peace Out~:D
 

Charles J P

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Ron, maybe I consume enough beer while watching movies that I just cant tell that Wato (or whatever his name is) is not real. BTW, CGI has been around a lot longer than most people think. Isnt that thing that farts at Jar-jar the same thing they ride in Lawrence of Arabia? ;)
 

Seth Paxton

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First, I think Peter nailed a big point on page 1
Stop-motion animation, by its nature, is organic (while CGI is by nature artificial).
Seeing STUFF filmed, real existing things, has an appeal. I mean stop-motion animation even in it's simplest forms draws people into it, despite its extremely obvious fakeness.
I even LOVE great matte paintings, many of which people don't even know exist. One of the best is in Escape from NY when they bring in food via copter to that field near the city toward the end of the film. Except that it's nowhere near the city, it was filmed in a field and a matte painting of a city used as the background. The LD shows the before/after and it's very effective.
But I also agree with Dana that less-than-real CGI can be tolerated a lot more when the story goal is being accomplished. Spidey has problems (like the rooftop jumping early on) and a lot of his movements look like the CGI they are, but what is being animated is still the "truth" of the story.
Legolas jumping on the troll's back in FOTR is another great example of something that isn't quite right but is correct in what is being shown. Plus FOTR committed to a lot of optical effects throughout the film (like forced-perspective).
It is films that seem to discard ALL non-CGI methods and then do much of the CGI poorly (and treat it like the showcase of the film rather than the story) that make people complain about CGI.
btw, one other great in-camera effect - Camelot in Excaliber. Faked with a model via in-camera tricks.
 
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This thread has been a really interesting read. Here's my thoughts on the subject...

To me, it isn't about CG vs other F/X, or realism vs non-realistic. It is all about immersiveness, how well does the effect "fit" with the rest of the world presented? Good effects blend seamlessly into the movie, while bad effects jump out at you and say "here I am!" Has anyone ever seen a scene where people are driving in the car, and because of focus or color or something, it is just painfully obvious that the background is a video that was cropped in? Or how about a scene with bad blue-screen, where you see sharp edges on the actors or objects? Or, something that has been portrayed by a real object is suddenly and obviously CG. Or, hand drawn animation is use alternately with CG. These sorts of things all fall in the same category for me... bad effects. By failing utterly to "fit" with the movie, they pull me out of being immersed and can often ruin the experience.

It's not about being realistic, it is about blending with the movie. For example, do you complain that the characters in Toy Story are not realistic? No, of course not! Because they fit in perfectly with the world that is presented.

With respect to the original question about older movies with cheesy effects... For me I think it is a combination of two things. First of all, I probably subconsiously give them more leeway since I know they were made with lower tech. Second, the very nature of the effects being cheesy lends it's own flavor to the movie, and that very often fits in well with the rest of the movie. Godzilla was obviously not real, but the cheesy effects fit in perfectly with the cheesy movie

On a side note, the effects in Spiderman were a lot better than I expected. I'm not sure if the clips I saw were just not finalized, or if they just did a good job of blending the CG into the movie, but I rarely got the feeling of being pulled out of the movie. I think part of what helped was that the scenes where spiderman was done with CG were generally distance shots, so you couldn't see too much detail.
 

Jacob_St

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I like 2001 but get real. Many of the special effects are dated. It's obvious that some of the space ships are paintings in some scenes. To say special effects haven't gone past 2001 is utterly ridiculous. There are plenty of fake looking shots in that flick.
 

Mike Broadman

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Mike, I think you expressed it very well. Yes, it is about how everything fits together and how smooth the various elements of the production are.
 

Matt Pelham

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Well, I'd just like to add that no one seems to be taking into account the complexity of the CG shots and how they have evolved over the years. I mean, look at T2 and Jurassic Park. You have mostly static shots with bullet holes closing up or a dinosaur running by, which were very impressive for the time. Now you have a fully CG human swinging from building from building with the camera swinging around every which direction or a furious action scene such as the Mines of Moria cave troll scene from LOTR with many fully CG characters running around. I was extremely impressed with both movies. Nothing that complex could be done in 1993 or any time before that.

Are CGI techniques overused? Yes, sometimes. But I agree with everyone who thinks CGI has brought us movies that could not have been made otherwise. It blows my mind to think what will be possible in another 10 years.
 

Morgan Jolley

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If CGI is needed for something (like Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, etc.) then they should use it. If its being used just to show off what they can do (and its not in a fully CGI film) then it can become overkill.
 

David Echo

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Actually guys, you know what?

Mostly in this thread we've been talking about predominately fantasy oriented films. Just to spin this in a slightly different direction I'd like to give credit to the following films for excellent CGI work:

Forrest Gump, Thirteen Days, Apollo 13

AND they added to not DETRACTED from the narrative.

Dave
 

Duane Robinson

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That's the thing with CGI, most of the time it's used in fantasy films and that already lends itself to certain problems. The film is gonna show actions or creations that we know can not be real so our brains are already primed to look for flaws and judge it harsher than some other type of effect where we either have no idea how it was exactly done or if it was real and filmed in the real world. Take Spider-Man for example. We are familiar with the human body and how it moves and we place those constraints on the movements of Spidey as he swings and does his thing.

Who here can say that they have actually seen a man with the abilities of a spider swing around there city? If you haven't then you can't really judge how Spider-Man should really move since his movements could be completely different from how a normal human being would look. Unless there was some incredible flaw in the animation of the character where his bones bent to the point of breaking but didn't or something like that and it wasn't covered by the movie's rules then I personally don't see why the suspension of disbelief should be any harder than seeing a bunch of model spaceships fly past a black curtain and believing that a dogfight is taking place in deep space.

Take the roof jumping scenes for example, we know how a human runs and jumps so we impose those rules on how it should look but we could be wrong since none of us have ever seen a human being actually run and jump thirty feet from building to building and continue running and do it again without cracking their asses. I'll admit that I was guilty of the same thing when I first saw the movie. I thought that the rooftop running scenes looked "fake" until I asked myself have I ever seen anyone actually do what Spidey did in real life. Now if they had CGI'd Tobey walking down the street and it didn't look utterly convincing then I would be drawn out of the movie since it's something that can be done practically in the real world and it's something I am familiar with and have seen numerous times and have a basis for comparison. As long as the animation, appearance, and actions of what they are trying to portray isn't too far from reality (if it's an existing item) then I'm pretty cool with it.

In most cases (fictional creations and the like) these decisions are determined by the animators' taste and style, which might conflict with yours or someone else's take on what it should look like and cause a person to pick at it and view it negatively. Then of course there is CGI that is just crappily generated imagery and is just plain bad and deserves to be derided (Scorpion King from the Mummy Returns) but for the most part a lot of CGI that gets bashed gets bashed undeservedly. As for me I love the stuff and I'm pretty damn happy that it's here to stay until something vastly superior comes along. As long as talented directors and animators use it wisely and in creative new ways I'll be willing to drop my dollars down and be taken to places and see things that I thought were never possible to be caught on film.
 

Morgan Jolley

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I thought that the rooftop running scenes looked "fake" until I asked myself have I ever seen anyone actually do what Spidey did in real life
Nobody has actually seen a cave troll before, but that didn't keep the one in Lord of the Rings from looking and acting REAL.

The Spider-man shots in question looked fake because of how the CGI meshed with the film AND the fact that the movements didn't look realistic. Jumping extremely high and running fast can look unreal if they simply don't match the way a real human would be able to do those things.

An example of a movement that regular humans can't do that came off well was when spidey jumped onto a wall and clung to it. It actually looked like he was clinging to the wall because it was done well and still within the constraints of the human body's movement.
 

Charles J P

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I thought that the rooftop running scenes looked "fake" until I asked myself have I ever seen anyone actually do what Spidey did in real life
I'm sorry, I'm a CGI supporter, but this is flawed logic. So you're saying that no one can complain about the effects in King Kong because we have never seen a giant gorilla?
 

Duane Robinson

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Yes. If the animators made the creature fit into the movie and not stand out and look unbelievable then I don't see why someone should complain since we have no clue what a giant ape would look like and how it would move. All we are doing is taking the movements of a normal size ape and blowing them up to King Kong's proportions and then making assumptions on how we believe it should look. And of course this is going to differ from person to person. If the FX people created something that had correct color, tone, and movement for what the film was trying to portray then I don't see any reason to complain. But that's just my opinion. Now if they made a human being and it had an unnatural skin tone that wasn't possible and moved in ways no human could without the film offering an explanation for it then I would see fit to complain.

Jumping extremely high and running fast can look unreal if they simply don't match the way a real human would be able to do those things.
See that's what I mean. Have we ever seen a human being jump thirty feet in the air or run let's say 50 mph? We haven't so we have no basis for comparison. Now in the case of the Spider-Man jumping scenes the problem I had with it was that the character had the typical CGI sheen that comes from not implementing proper lighting and shading techniques. This made him not fit in with the look of the other lifeforms in the film since everyone else looked like how we know a human should look while he looked different although he was supposed to be portraying a human we had just seen look just like everyone else a while ago. As for the movements I had no problems with it since no human can run and jump that far, land that hard, and not get hurt or die. Now if it was a scene of Peter dunking a basketball in a 10 foot hoop and it looked unnatural then I would complain since I've seen people dunk on a 10 foot basket and know what it should look like.
 

Mike Broadman

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No one knew what a Star Destroyer would actually look like, but it looked "real" enough in Star Wars.

Laurence Fishburn's rooftop jump in the Matrix looks pretty realistic, even though he jumps farther than a normal human can.
 

John Knowles

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Just to chime in here and echo that there is good and bad CGI--I'm not opposed to it in principle. It's a tool, just like matte paintings and models. I just would rather not see fx that look like video games. Also, after recently seeing 2001 in 70mm, I'm sorry, but much of it looks amazing to me today. It definatley holds up well even when you can see such great detail.
 

chris winters

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the roof to roof jumping scense are not very convincingly done. However, its also much easier to do a star destroyer then a CG human jumping rooftop to rooftop. A pretty nice example of CG, in my oppinion, was the shot of Peter climbing the wall for the first time. You pan up and around hum and he climbs towards camera and onto the roof. The CG character looked great. The difference was in the time and budget. The rooftop scenes got very little time and budget in comparison to the peter climbing shot. The climbing shot was one of the first done for the film, and was also part of art of the R/D cycle for the movie. Much of Spideys webs looked great, and they were largely CG. I thought many of the swinging scense were nice as well, but not all. The CG goblin was pretty impressive , cutting from the actor to the CG with little notice. Much of the bridge at the end of the film was CG and looked good. Much has been made about the rubbery animation. This was what Sam wanted, and he kept wanting to push the physicality of spiderman to make it all more exciting. Just some thoughts
 

Jack Briggs

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You know what has been bugging me about this thread? It's the provocative, challenging title and some of the "I-dare-you" posts. It alienates entire groups of people by its very existence.

As for 2001's spacecraft images looking "painted," that's interesting: Models were used in all those shots.

But back to the "tone" of the thread: I try to chalk it off to youthful indiscretion. I'm not receptive to it, though.
 

David Echo

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So change the title Jack. It's not my thread I know but it seems like all the CGI threads all take the same slant no matter what the title they start under. Why not "the Offical CGI in film Discussion Thread?"

Dave
 

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