CGI Versus Traditional effects

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  shadowolf 13 years, 10 months ago.

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    After watching the fairly recent Star wars films,I have nagging Nostalgic feeling that all this Computer generated stuff just cant hold a candle to the old Model/painstaking traditional method such as a “new hope” first WOW’ed us with
    Ok,Blakes 7,even though I loved that show and the old Doctor who etc may not have been Super great,but they still had “Soul” unlike some of the new films and shows
    War of the Worlds is deffinitly an exception as far as im concerned as it looked terrific,but the new star wars,while being enjoyable just left me a little cold
    so now we have seen lots of CGI stuff in tv and film Does anyone else think im barmy or right on the mark?



    I’m with you .. in a way. ๐Ÿ™‚ Movies today have a tendency rely on CGI rather than using it as a tool.
    The end result becoming as you said, Soulless. I think a merging of old and new, is the way to go. One thing I hate about the use of CGI, is the use of Bad CGI. If they can’t get the good stuff then they might as well forget it. For example I prefer a monster never seen, and hinted at, rather than a bad CGI- .. thing. It’s a mood killer.



    hmmm….I enjoy CGI but years later, when you watch it again, it’s like “How did that seem realisitc to me at the time??” Like if you watch Terminator again.

    I also hate when CGi gets excessive, like SW3…it took away from the story..I can’t watch it. There are stupid spaceships in every background whipping by the windows making noise. I was wishing someone would just shut the curtains already…

    I do enjoy the CGI if the character is essential to pushing the story along, like the rock creature in Galaxy Quest. I don’t think it could have been modelled very well, but what do I know about Special Effects?

    I would have like some better modelling or CGI in some of the old Dr. Who’s though ๐Ÿ™‚ I was watching an ep the other day where the Daleks actually had toilet plungers for arms..with the plunger ends still on them!!



    Yes, the CGI is often so bad they should just forget it. And that is referring to the top Hollywod movies.

    Like the CGI in the big fight scene in “I,Robot”. What the Robots do iis impossible for any metal’s stuctural integrity and the CGI ignored the effects of gravity. It was even more so for the Humans depicted in the action.

    So, yes we can suspend disbelief just for entertainment but the feeling is like watching a Roadrunner Cartoon.

    It’s even worse for martial arts films where it’s not even meant to be Science Fiction. Sometimes, or often, the bodies of the fighters are completely distorted in their actions, which totally distroys the illusion.

    Speaking of which, I still have to see ONG BAK, the Thai boxer movie where he does all his own stunts, and from the commercials they are awesome.

    So what CGI has been good or useful? Or what orther methods have been good?

    The effects of wire-work and bullet-time photography in such movies as the Matrix are pretty awesome. It comes down to being willing to do hard work for a good illusion.
    Yes the spaceships are often making noise in space. I think i even heard them whipping around in BSG mixed in with the other sound effects. I suppose De Rigour for space travellers is a good pair of ear plugs so they can get a good cycle’s sleep.


    Space = no sound, tech/directors have said that you have to fake this for the audience other wise ppl wont watch it. Means add sound!

    I like the mix of th two and the hybreds. Hybred like lord of the rings Trolls, they were sculpted and then scanned into cgi. You get a higher lvl of detail to the model with normally less time to complete.

    There is alot of movies still using hand done models, It seems the the stop action claymation style has been replaced with cgi. It looks better and faster, other is to replace stunt actors. This is where it can go wrong and looks very bad. Poor models or animation will show it as a fake.

    The most common is the use to cut costs, they fall into the wanting cgi to make up the effect but not paying the top dollar for it to look good. This is from smaller cgi effect companies that is cheaper than the old hand modeler and way less experienced than the higher end cgi effects companies. I call fly-by-night cgi, they often employ new to industry artists and crossovers, doing sub-contracts for the bigger ones and look to add to its profits.
    Or paying a higher CGI company to do it but wants the bare min effort to be cheap.

    The most hazzard to this is the director or the producer, its being a good story teller, plain and simple. If you suck at it, it will show! Go watch someone old wedding video that hired a 1 man company to do it for them….. lol



    [quote=”Shiroekitsune”]Space = no sound, tech/directors have said that you have to fake this for the audience other wise ppl wont watch it. Means add sound!
    That is far too vague for me. What is meant by “people”?
    And how did they come to this conclusion and under what circumstance? How is it tested. How is it determined? What examples are used to test “people”?
    What is the true meaning of this, how is it determined?

    Does it mean they think they will make 53 million instead of 52.6 million. Does “people” mean 53 percent of an audience?
    What are the demographics of the “people” sample in terms of income, cultural classs and so many other factors of the polled sample?

    Is this the process of major corporations “levelling” society. What that means is suppose we give a movie classification of “M” for the Moron social class. So the corporations determine that making an “M” class movie will get a 678% return on investment and making a “N” (Normal to one Standard Deviation above ) will only get a 525% ROI. So they make the “M” class.

    But that is not all, they have to control the market, so they try to elimate their own studios and other studios from making any competitive movies. They want control of the market and so snuff out any “N” or superior class products. Thank God they can’t completely and thank God for Indies, but they do try.

    Now if you think that idea is Science Fiction, rest assured that Miramax bought up the rights to the Chinese movie “HERO” (tricked the original producers) in order to snuff it so it couldn’t win any Oscars for Foreign Film in that year against Miramax’s other products. Then they took the movie released it two years later for American audiences and changed it to dumb it down for the “M” class…. citing “the original wouldn’t go over”.. whatever that really meant.
    No Scifi story there.

    Now about sound and silence, sure movie makers can make effective use of silence or they can use music scores, but using wind effects is totally unnecessary. And another factor, Aren’t they in fact conditioning audineces to become ADD and “M” class? By not allowing anything else they are training the audience to expect the “M” effect. It is not a one way street, what audiences see, is what they learn to expect.
    I’ve seen bad CGI on top of the line Hollywood movies. It still has a long long way to



    I think it was better with CGI when it was new, novel and far more expensive to include. Take Wrath of Khan as a picture book example, the ships are all models, the Mutara nebula is a cloud tank (yet they still use those scenes they took then) and they only used CGI for the “Genesis effect” were the original effect would have been poor (they were going to show a brick going into a microwave and coming out as a flower), the point is the technology was to expensive and time consuming to use for anything other than that.

    And with regard to sounds, 2001 anybody? beautifully filmed, no CGI, no sounds in space (unless you count the Blue Danube).



    Talking of Bad CGI,I really hate the shots of the guy jumping/standing on a giant Monser’s back….for example,when obi-wan rides on the back of the craeture in episode 2,or worse still the bit in Starship troopers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Shadowolf I hear where you are coming from…

    Think Doctor Who where it is always telling us there is a HUGE Invasion army going about it’s Conquering business and only five Daleks turn up…But we just have to imagine they are all over the show ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    As far as good CGI goes I am with anyone who said Lord of the Rings perhaps even Minority Report was decently done too,it is mainly the ones that have an over-relliance on it that put me off a little
    Just sit back and close your eyes,then Imagine the Battle for Hoth Computer Generated only

    Then think how lucky we were that it was not ๐Ÿ˜€



    I didn’t realize that my accent was that apparent ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyone have any fears/hopes on the effects in the new Narnia-film?



    While I do agree that the people doing the CGI should pay a bit more attention to physical rules… think of the things that could not have been done without it.

    My favorite show Lexx was only conceived as an example of what CGI could do. There were lots of things done on this show that budget wise just could not have been done with models or old style composited shots.

    One of my favorite scenes in the whole show was in season 4 when Stanley and the Science Club kid were clamped to the wall. Looked excellent! But think of how much that quick little shot would have cost had the set been constructed.

    I think what everyone can agree on is that using CGI to paper over a thin plot is a recipe for disaster.



    Just saw King Kong yesterday. Dr When loved it, but for me it was a film ruined by its own special effects. I sat there thinking Oh look! People are being chased by a CGI, Oh look, people superimposed over a CGI! I hardly ever felt Oh my God! Monsters! They’re all gonna die!

    Kong himself seemed to scamper around like a gerbil at times, though for the most part he was the best of the graphics.

    I have seen Om Bak and it is awesome. He can do real things that make wire work look total crap. I’m not a fan of wirework at all. I though the beautiful drum dance scene in ‘House of flying daggers’ was visually superb until people starting flying around on wires.

    Regarding Blakes 7, the old fashioned model filming of the Liberator was superb and still looks good today. However, series 4 used CGI for the Scorpio which was more expensive and looked like a pile of garbage. The ship had a halo around it and was 2 dimensional. The Liberator left it standing.

    CGI can be good. Golum was utterly real, but on the whole, I can spot a CGI a mile off and it leaves me cold.

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