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sean hargreaves
07-07-2008, 06:32 PM
Can't take it any more!!!! C aa aaaaaaaaa aaa nnn n nn' ttttt t aaa kkkke iiiiiiiiii t tt t ttttttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!

If I see another CG character look into the camera and scream, I'm going to...............(sound of something terrible, like a loud snap and muffled scream)!

I am Legend did it enough.

I noticed that Hellboy 2 has its fair share of it.

And NOW they're doing it in The Mummy 3.

WTF

ENOUGH I tell you!!:mad::mad:

ps Another thing they're continuing to do is make cg characters, and they look like cg characters. I mean, Harryhausens creature looked like stop motion, but it was accepted. Ridley did Alien with a man in a suit, but shot it beautifully. But these characters are like, friggin' brightly lit nightmares.

adamredwoods
07-07-2008, 09:29 PM
Aw, man! You're right! Just saw the Mummy trailer....

It makes the movie so... cheap...

jin choung
07-07-2008, 10:49 PM
ugh, what about the hulk?

jin

danielkaiser
07-07-2008, 11:02 PM
For this very reason I think NewTek should take the initiative and remove all CA tools from Lightwave. :devil:

Matt
07-08-2008, 03:57 AM
ugh, what about the hulk?

jin

Yeah that was ridiculous, every other minute! Raaaarrrrrrrrrrrr!

Nangleator
07-08-2008, 10:34 AM
The slow motion bullets are starting to rankle. Particularly when the cartridge is still on the bullet! They did that in Get Smart, an otherwise enjoyable movie.

But multiple bullets flinging past, particularly from a handgun... Do a little math. A machine gun firing 300 rounds per minute. 2,400 ft/sec muzzle velocity. The bullets should be spaced at... 480 feet apart. Think you can get them closer with your Glock? Or your revolver?

And yes, brightly lit monsters. The director does a shite job of shooting the backplate, and he insists that his backlit monster isn't muddy brown, like everything else in the scene. "Dammit, I'm paying for CG, the audience will see every texel!"

iconoclasty
07-08-2008, 10:42 AM
But multiple bullets flinging past, particularly from a handgun... Do a little math. A machine gun firing 300 rounds per minute. 2,400 ft/sec muzzle velocity. The bullets should be spaced at... 480 feet apart. Think you can get them closer with your Glock? Or your revolver?


I always love that. Who thinks they can pull the trigger and fire off another round before the first bullet hits the target? Let alone send a group of bullets inches apart.

cagey5
07-08-2008, 11:03 AM
Well I'll play devil's advocate on behalf of The Matrix. I saw it as NEO affecting time in relation to how close the object was to him. So as the bullets got closer to him they slowed more and more having a logrithmic like speed of trajectory. So an inch at close proximity could equal 480 feet at a further distance.

But that's just me playing devils advocate. And yeah, CG characters generally suck and stick out like a sore thumb.

JamesCurtis
07-08-2008, 11:15 AM
Let's face it, we're sofisticated and intelligent enough to know it isn't real in the first place!! But yeah, I think lots of monster and cg character shots fall short because of lighting, speed of character movement, weight of gravity, dynamics, and the whole shooting match!! I know we're supposed to suspend our disbelief while watching a movie though. It's not like we actually see these things right in front of us [in the flesh] for real!!

adamredwoods
07-08-2008, 11:50 AM
I'm going to blame it on the directors.

It's them showing the special effects, trying to WOW us. But that's not what cinema is about; rather, trying to get us to believe that something that doesn't exist is actually exists and is threatening.

sean hargreaves
07-08-2008, 12:49 PM
Well, the problem is beyond the fact they are cg even. Its the fact that the characters are'nt there, and it affects the acting, the direction, and the audiences reaction.

Its the same as Disney compositing the penguins into the dance in Mary Poppins, albeit, we are now seeing very very sophisticated versions of that, but still, they are'nt there.

The thing about the Harryhausen stuff, is the movements looked cool. But I'm not at all suggesting we go back to that.

I always say, imagine a creature film you liked before cg. I think a prime example would be Camerons Aliens. If they did it now, the whole friggin staion would be covered in aliens autside and in, like ants.....I mean, where does it end? Theres no subtlety. Its the most primitive of decision making: "Make a lot of em, like, thousands...!" Its numbing, numbing, numbing!!!!

Imagine if they made John Carpenters The Thing now. One word: Nightmare! Poor Rob Bottin!!

Also, what is the deal with all these overlit creatures? I mean in Hellboy 2, you can see everything. I don't want to see everything of every 100 plus creatures. Show me some wierd s--t and let me make up the rest in my head.

Its unfortunate that 13 years after Jurassic Park, the Tyrannosaur sequence still is fantastic, and is a great meld of live action, animatronics, and cg, and the directors and studios hav'nt learnt that.

Like I've said before, I like cg enhanced films. But there's this obsession with turning everything into cg. Then we're watching an animated film! Its different!

I don't have an answer for the cg problem. But the technology certainly has spawned a lot of bad looking films, not scary, and it does'nt seem to end. But I guarantee the fanboys will go no matter what, and the studios will continue to believe themselves, and there is no end in sight. I don't think we're going to see any acceptable change for 10 or 15 years.

I think we live in a disposable world and this is one of the products. Cars last 3 1/2 years, houses maybe 30, movies.........uuugghhhh!

sean hargreaves
07-08-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm going to see Wall-E in 1 hour.

Boy there better not be a lot of cg in that film or I'm going to...........(sound of squeals, laughter, then screams, a few pummelling sounds, a loud snap, a bark, a giggle followed by a slap, then what sounds like someone throwing themselves down the stairs!).

Jim_C
07-08-2008, 02:04 PM
I'm going to see Wall-E in 1 hour.

Boy there better not be a lot of cg in that film or I'm going to..

What happens if he looks into the camera and blips??? :devil:

Andyjaggy
07-08-2008, 02:07 PM
Walle was great. I wasn't sure how to take the underlying political global warming message but the actual movie was really well done. I liked it.

Agree. I can't take any more CG characters screaming at the camera. Bleh.

Qexit
07-08-2008, 02:22 PM
The thing about the Harryhausen stuff, is the movements looked cool. But I'm not at all suggesting we go back to that.
Funny you should mention that...remember this scene where the animated skeletons turned to camera and screamed .... ? :D

Jim_C
07-08-2008, 02:27 PM
Funny you should mention that...remember this scene where the animated skeletons turned to camera and screamed .... ? :D

Fourth wall not broken. Scene may pass....

:D

Mr Rid
07-08-2008, 06:16 PM
Can't take it any more!!!! C aa aaaaaaaaa aaa nnn n nn' ttttt t aaa kkkke iiiiiiiiii t tt t ttttttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!

If I see another CG character look into the camera and scream,


To the CG cliche list I would like to add: crap flying at camera as if we are still suppose to be amazed the camera wasnt smashed, and a flock of birds in every single CG landscape, and big giant gratuitous shwooping zero-G camera moves.

danielkaiser
07-08-2008, 10:37 PM
Talk about Zero-G camera moves, now that's soft body dynamics!

jin choung
07-08-2008, 11:36 PM
y'know, if i'm honest with myself though, i am CONFLICTED.

there was an issue of cinefx a little while ago where a seasoned vet (NOW) encountered a dp or vfx guy during the making of DIE HARD 2. they were look at the shot where bruce willis ejects out of the chair and into camera. obvious fx shot.

the vfx guy at the time asked the newbie what he thought of the shot and the guy said that it must be hard because it's obviously fake. there's NO WAY THAT COULD HAVE BEEN FILMED FOR REAL.
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that's THE ISSUE:

cg can show you things that look ABSOLUTELY photo-PERFECT-real and yet everyone in the audience will yawn, "CGI... clearly". NO ONE will be fooled.

and the reason is because it's attempting to show you something that YOU KNOW IN THE DEEPEST PART OF YOUR RATIONAL MIND that it cannot be filmed.

imo, the "VALLEY OF THE UNCANNY" doesn't just apply to cgi people but tangentially affects visual effects in general - under certain situations, especially if it's a show boating, summer movie shot, the brain, which is intimately familiar with reality and physics, simply tunes you out and registers "cgi".
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the zero G (or 1000 G) camera moves that - gaeta's odious notion of "virtual cinematography" where violating every law of physics imposed on a PHYSICAL CAMERA is gleefully violated exacerbates this.

cg characters like the hulk exacerbate this.

for some reason, the dinosaurs in jurassic park 1 do NOT exacerbate this. while most of the sequels do (i think it has to do with apparent vantage point of the cinematographer relative to SUPER FING DEADLY dinosaurs... the first one was realistically distant or in an enclosed space, the rest kinda go nuts).
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having said all that though - if i'm honest with myself, i don't really subscribe to the CGI or VFX or whatever cannot exist for its own sake - it must all be a servant to story.

another way to look at that statement would be - "would you make a story like that if you knew you didn't have vfx?"

most of these stories are CALLING FOR BLATANT VFX and to a greater or lesser degree, i like it.
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i'm gonna go for taboo here -

most harryhausen movies suck....

not a single one would appear in an AFI list of greatest movies ever made... not even fing close. if you took HIS WORK out, if you took out the nifty vfx and stop motion animation, what's left is a bunch of z grade actors and a camera that is so static as to be cemented permanently in place... for some reason.

and yet, these movies are NOT trash because of the vfx. the vfx adds interest - especially for kids - and heck, inspired a kid that will become me to buy an awful lot of books and magazines on how to make latex molds and make armatures out of wooden doweling and wire and epoxy and how to make rear projection screens with frosted glass, etc etc etc.

as a kid, i dug the fx for the fx themselves. almost INSTEAD OF the story.

and later in my cinegeek days, i really DUG raiders of the lost ark for those moments in the movie that SUCKED ME OUT and made me ogle the screen going - gee, that's NIFTY SPECIAL FX!!! that's something i wouldn't see in a movie lucas isn't involved in (like the second jeep getting rammed out of God's highest mountain road that came out of freakin' nowhere during the truck scene) same thing with star wars movies.
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although, imo, raiders of the lost ark is in strong contention, very few of these fx movies will be remembered as GREAT CINEMA.

just like melies is not remembered as a great master of the cinema ala eisenstein or pudovkin or murnau or etc.... this is the stuff of vaudeville... this is the stuff of gimmicky hacks.

but gimmicky hacks have their place too.

so i'm just saying, i'm honestly CONFLICTED and that i can't in my heart of hearts say that the end all be all goal is completely invisible fx either.
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but i will say that some things would be much much STRONGER and impart a greater sense of peril if they were filmed in such a way so that it does not trigger the "oh cgi" switch in our heads.

THAT is why stunts and stuff is still necessary - because most vfx people tend to try to push it to a level like in die hard 2 where it could not possibly be filmed for real... cuz it looks nifty.

confessionally, i LIKED the bruce willis shot... for me, at that time, that was like the cliff shot in raiders. took me out and made me think of the vfx.

but i DIDN'T like the fact that the camera was going THROUGH trucks and cars during the motorcycle chase in matrix2. i know aesthetically why they might do it and what story points it could emphasize but it COMPLETELY sucked the drama out of that sequence. cuz the film makers were waving it in my face "this is fake".

because of the gaeta and early jackson legacies, we've been jumping the shark for quite a loooooooong time now with vfx... (yes, i'm looking at peter fing jackson with his mach 2 camera dives into a dungeon in a medieval style movies for some reason!)....

and while i do not advocate eliminating the obvious effects shots, i think we could use a period of restraint... at least to the point where the audience doesn't immediately go "cgi".

jin

Sekhar
07-08-2008, 11:55 PM
To the CG cliche list I would like to add: crap flying at camera as if we are still suppose to be amazed the camera wasnt smashed, and a flock of birds in every single CG landscape, and big giant gratuitous shwooping zero-G camera moves.

There's one example I can think of though where this was actually kind of funny (in a good way) - remember the thwack of the fly/insect onto the windshield at the start of Men in Black? :)

danielkaiser
07-09-2008, 02:31 AM
Jin I agree.
There needs to be a balance between the Effect and the practical and some times photo real is not the way to go,,, you can give the human mind to much information, there was an old TV show called Movie Magic that had an ep. concerning matt paintings you know the kind, oil on glass, the main thing that came across was that at the very root of the painting process was Abstraction and upon close inspection the paintings looked any thing but real, the mind is very good at doing allot of the work for you as long as you give it enough space to breathe, then superimposing reality over illusion is an easy task.

danielkaiser
07-09-2008, 02:43 AM
There's one example I can think of though where this was actually kind of funny (in a good way) - remember the thwack of the fly/insect onto the windshield at the start of Men in Black? :)

That's because POV of the bug makes sense, if any here have read Kafka (please raise your Tarsi) you know what I mean.

jin choung
07-09-2008, 02:52 AM
Jin I agree.
There needs to be a balance between the Effect and the practical and some times photo real is not the way to go,,, you can give the human mind to much information, there was an old TV show called Movie Magic that had an ep. concerning matt paintings you know the kind, oil on glass, the main thing that came across was that at the very root of the painting process was Abstraction and upon close inspection the paintings looked any thing but real, the mind is very good at doing allot of the work for you as long as you give it enough space to breathe, then superimposing reality over illusion is an easy task.

oh yeah, it's nuts just HOW impressionistic those matte paintings look up close... in the big ILM book (there are two - in the first one) there's a big fold out for the painting of the last shot in raiders of the lost ark and it's extremely "painty".... there's also a foldout for the last shot in diehard2's matte shot and that too is super painty... in the book, they say that you gotta step back and blur your eyes to see how it will look eventually.

but that's just a function of how small those details end up being on-screen, how brief the shots are (usually, not in that shot) and how film grain obscures.... but the effect on-screen is photoreal (usually). basically, the same principle as stage makeup - david sedaris commented that when he was on the daily show, he was wearing more makeup than a corpse.

so yeah, stuff that looks really unreal if you were there in person "plays" for the camera.

alas, film grain ain't gonna be around forever so it's good that they have newer matte painting techniques now... if you can see a makeup stroke on an actresses cheek, you'll see the impressionistic brush stroke on an mp too....

jin

danielkaiser
07-09-2008, 03:05 AM
alas, film grain ain't gonna be around forever

jin

Yea Yea Yea, that's what they said about tape hiss, a CD recorded AAD sounds much better than one recorded DDD, I say film grain could be considered an art form.

Qexit
07-09-2008, 03:58 AM
i'm gonna go for taboo here -

most harryhausen movies suck....

not a single one would appear in an AFI list of greatest movies ever made... not even **** close.Define 'not even close'. Both 'It Came From Beneath the Sea' and '7th Voyage of Sinbad' were nominated in the AFI 100 Years 100 Thrills list :D

jin choung
07-09-2008, 04:09 AM
yeah, it's implied somewhat but not made explicit in my post - "WITHOUT HARRYHAUSEN'S vfx... "

my point is that those movies live or die not based on the human drama or innovation of cinematic language and storytelling but the spectacle of his vfx.

take those away and you have z grade actors, cutrate story etc etc... not great cinema.

and in the context of this discussion, i'm saying that such showboating vfx is fine and has its place but doesn't make for citizen kane.

jin

p.s. or put another way, if they had a compilation of harryhausen's movies with NOTHING but his vfx work, i would buy that dvd and think nothing of what is "missing".

jin choung
07-09-2008, 04:15 AM
actually, scratch that - i DID say this in the context of my original post... second sentence on the section about harryhausen. i think the meaning of my post is clear.

jin

mattclary
07-09-2008, 06:38 AM
At the risk of being burned at the stake, I think the Hulk looked pretty good, much better than Ang Lee's. Also, the CG critters in Hellboy look pretty good based on the trailers I have seen.

I am hoping that the bullet-in-the-casing shot in get smart was intended as humor. I almost blew a head gasket when I saw that...

sean hargreaves
07-09-2008, 08:40 AM
Well Jin, you're basically saying the same thing I said but with different words. I think we're all on the same page here.

Bottom line...........theres no relief. No relief to the amount of creatures, types, way they're filmed, what they do............I mean, its endless, and has become an endless yawnfest.

This obsession with cg being a 'tool' to enhance the story has quickly become 'Write something, we'll save it with cg, people will come'! AND PEOPLE DO COME.........CONSTANTLY! We go to movies to be relieved from the daily grind, but watching these films becomes a grind. I'm in the theatre looking around saying to myself 'Are you guys enjoying this, cos I've seen it a thousand times'. So I don't go to Spiderman, Hulk, Hellboy 2........I did'nt even go to see the new Raiders.

Just very very jaded I guess.

But.......I DID see Wall-E yesterday..............and all I can say is................................................ ...............................Wow-E!!!!:D:D

Qexit
07-09-2008, 09:21 AM
yeah, it's implied somewhat but not made explicit in my post - "WITHOUT HARRYHAUSEN'S vfx... "

my point is that those movies live or die not based on the human drama or innovation of cinematic language and storytelling but the spectacle of his vfx.

take those away and you have z grade actors, cutrate story etc etc... not great cinema.Where some of his films are concerned, I would agree entirely but not all. Also, 'human drama' is a bit limiting. In 'Mighty Joe Young' and '20 Million Miles to Earth' in particular the main character wasn't human but did have screen presence and character. Their stories relied on the performance of the animated creature in the main role. Neither could have been made without VFX.

Equally, there a quite a number of much more recent films that if you take away the VFX are just low grade/cheap/unknown actors, reading dreadful scripts badly. The first Star Wars movie springs straight to mind as one :thumbsup:

One thing I would personally like to see in future CG FX movies is a bit more use of the old maxim: Less is more

At present there is some kind of rule that states each film must try to have more on screen than anything previous as this is perceived as being better. A good example being the V-Rex vs King Kong sequence in Peter Jackson's recent remake. When Kong fought three V-Rex's for way too long, I kept thinking why couldn't he just have done one much more believable and really effective one on one fight ? The original version got it right in that respect. Kong put the girl out of harms way so he could concentrate on the fight while in the remake he hangs on to her and jerks her around in a totally unbelievable manor in a scene that is three or four times longer than it should have been. I think one of the reasons I enjoyed Iron Man so much was that they didn't go over the top with things most of the time.

OK time to eat :D

sean hargreaves
07-09-2008, 11:06 AM
Oh no, oh no, oh no..............

I just saw the trailer for Journey to the Center of the Earth.............

Real original stuff like:

1) CG things flying at the camera (it will scare anyone, ANYONE under 5 years old).

2) CG creatures scraming into the camera.

3) A friggin Tyrranosaur. Aaaaarrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....!!!!

Why did'nt they give the damn thing spikes on the back or something, and / or some kind of interesting coloring...NOT THE SAME DINOSAUR WE'VE SEEN IN JURASSIC, KING KONG, AND A MIRIAD OF OTHERS!!!! :twak:

Oh please............wheres my sedatives............

Nangleator
07-09-2008, 11:35 AM
Will it have sleestacks so slow that a granny with a walker can outrun them? How about a pet pre-human? Actors horribly comped into a miniature? (I mean really miniature. Like a waterfall that looks like my bathroom sink.)

Actually, with the CG cliches you mention, I'm beginning to see a common thread behind it all. Damn, I think Brendan Frasier is behind all this!

jin choung
07-09-2008, 11:51 AM
Equally, there a quite a number of much more recent films that if you take away the VFX are just low grade/cheap/unknown actors, reading dreadful scripts badly.

totally disagree.

nowadays, you only have movies, even the least regarded among them, where if you take away the vfx the movie totally stands on its own as a paragon of cinema.

: )

OF COURSE you're right. and that's my point. sometimes, the sole virtue of many of these things (my point - including harryhausen movies) is the vfx.

you're probably right that some of his movies stand up pretty well as movies and not just as fx movies but even still, they're not something that would be held up in film school for a class of aspiring directors who have no fx bent.

jin

jin choung
07-09-2008, 11:53 AM
Will it have sleestacks so slow that a granny with a walker can outrun them? How about a pet pre-human? Actors horribly comped into a miniature? (I mean really miniature. Like a waterfall that looks like my bathroom sink.)

Actually, with the CG cliches you mention, I'm beginning to see a common thread behind it all. Damn, I think Brendan Frasier is behind all this!

nononono, that's land of the lost....


jin

Nangleator
07-09-2008, 12:01 PM
Aaah... Then this is a remake of the James Mason thing with Pat Boone and the duck?

colkai
07-09-2008, 12:52 PM
Oh no, oh no, oh no..............

I just saw the trailer for Journey to the Center of the Earth.............

Real original stuff like:

1) CG things flying at the camera (it will scare anyone, ANYONE under 5 years old).

2) CG creatures scraming into the camera.

3) A friggin Tyrranosaur. Aaaaarrrggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....!!!!

Alas, it was made with 3D Cinema in mind, which always, always means as many "throw stuff at the camera" shots as possible to justify the "3d experience" ..sigh.

j__
07-09-2008, 01:30 PM
"I don't have an answer for the cg problem. But the technology certainly has spawned a lot of bad looking films, not scary, and it does'nt seem to end. But I guarantee the fanboys will go no matter what, and the studios will continue to believe themselves, and there is no end in sight."

It would interesting to know how others see The CG Problem, I see it as multi-layered. The bit you guys seem to be talking about is an over-reliance on it as a vacuous wow factor in movies, that's based on the last set of technical clichés whether they are good or bad, work or don't (overlit monsters, weak or uninspired animation, poor or derivative character designs, rubbish art direction to try to carry a rubbish plot to begin with and so on....) .

"I don't think we're going to see any acceptable change for 10 or 15 years"

Unlikely to see any institutional change on the horizon at all unless it's initiated by others preferably as far away from those 'standards' as possible, but possibly in the future, software improvements may make that easier too,

"having said all that though - if i'm honest with myself, i don't really subscribe to the CGI or VFX or whatever cannot exist for its own sake - it must all be a servant to story."

yah well there are exceptions, but things that tend to justify themselves on their existence for their own sake usually echo that strongly in what they produce, and that's pretty much the case with CG.

Jake
07-09-2008, 06:47 PM
Hellboy was mentioned a couple times in the vein of being overlit, not scary, etc. Haven't seen the second one yet, but I'm a big fan of the comic and I liked the first movie. First of all it's not horror, it's more along the lines of an action superhero comic. So if you complain to me that it's not scary, I think you're missing the point. Also with the creatures being overlit--they look pretty good to me in the trailers and they are obviously meant to be seen. The Hellboy world is filled with creatures and they don't generally hide. I think Del Toro's done a really good job with the source material. If you want a suspense film where something lurks in the shadows then pops out to scare you---go see something else.

sean hargreaves
07-09-2008, 09:09 PM
To each his own I guess!

ghostlight
07-10-2008, 12:36 AM
I thought Batman Begins and Iron Man are great examples of using well-executed CG sparingly and in concert with other tried and true techniques, like miniatures and animatronics respectively.

Other GOOD examples?

jin choung
07-10-2008, 02:22 AM
yah well there are exceptions, but things that tend to justify themselves on their existence for their own sake usually echo that strongly in what they produce, and that's pretty much the case with CG.

totally agree... but that impetus goes back to melies... spans to harryhausen... goes to the CONSPICUOUS VFX of raiders' jeep drop... and bruce willis ejecting out of a plane on the runway. and now with cg.

and as loudly and persistently as lucas has touted "all vfx serves story", his work itself violates that mandate - moreso now than ever.

the mantra is the "proper answer"... but as i say, if i'm honest with myself, it's not really true for me.

jin

p.s. iron man was full of shots that looked completely synthetic... the shots where he dodges the tank round, shoots back, walks away, tank blows... that looked 100% cg in my eyes - and this is not even because "there's no way it could have been done otherwise".... as good as iron man was (and there WERE a lot of really good shots), there are a lot of "cgness" to the stuff.....

jin choung
07-10-2008, 02:33 AM
Other GOOD examples?

as has been mentioned - jurassic park1 trex scene. (though spielberg jumps the shark too with NON DIGITAL vfx by doing the "behind the legs" shots of velociraptors running with very obviously rubber legs).

davey jones in the pirates of the carribean... it's amazing to me that NO PART OF THAT CHARACTER is actual costume - from eyeball to boot, 100% cg! one of the only cg in recent memory that had me COMPLETELY fooled.

(oooh, this is a good point about cg too - if it's not AS GOOD as davey jones, the "conspicuous vfx" loses one of the things that make conspicuous vfx neat - it doesn't make you ask "HOW DID THEY DO THAT?!" ... instead you just DISMISS IT as "oh, cg"... and at that point, all virtue of conspicuous vfx evaporates)

some good examples in cloverfield (though i liked the statue of liberty head roll MUCH BETTER in the original preview than in the final movie! the original called much less attention to itself (no little rattling spike, etc) and looked the more real for it. i read the film makers were very unhappy with that original shot and i think they're dead wrong.

the groundhogs and monkeys in indiana jones and crystal skull.
kidding. that was fing horrible.

jin

down_in_black
07-10-2008, 07:33 AM
Maybe some of you have seen this before, but here is some words from Frank Miller on this topic. Reguarding the production of The Spirit.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/articles/4704.asp

Andyjaggy
07-10-2008, 08:23 AM
Yeah Davey Jones was done really well, really really well in my opinion.

I don't bother to see half the movies these days either. I'm tired of forking out ten bucks and then walking out of the theater being disappointed.

danielkaiser
07-10-2008, 09:07 AM
Beowulf, there I said it, from Hopkins' firm flab (believe me from experience, when a fat man moves, all of him moves, call it load shift,) Malkovich's wooden stare and Jolie's stiletto heels, all this was so distracting as to what was/could be a great story.

Pixar has got it right, stick with the Fantasy, it looks so much more real, my favorite moments in their movies is when I suddenly realize, that my God this is CG, even at their worst, they never cease to amaze me.

Andyjaggy
07-10-2008, 09:11 AM
What ever happened to the art of showing things by not showing them.

I really liked I am Legend up until the end. They did a really great job of building suspense and creating atmosphere and believability up until the end. When they suddenty ruin it with, yep you guessed it, a close up shot of the zombie looking into the camera and screaming.

Nangleator
07-10-2008, 09:19 AM
Maybe we should just give up and load up our demo reels with nothing but the CG clichés that are so hot now.

Screaming monster faces
Slow-mo bullets
Brightly lit monsters in dark places
Insane camera moves
... anything else?

j__
07-10-2008, 07:48 PM
"totally agree... but that impetus goes back to melies... spans to harryhausen... goes to the CONSPICUOUS VFX of raiders' jeep drop... and bruce willis ejecting out of a plane on the runway. and now with cg"

Jin I understand and nothing wrong with that if that's the case, but whether CG today generally represents an extension of the 'sprit of special fx' or can lean more towards a gray goo that has all but replaced it I think one has to look at rather carefully. Again there are exceptions, and you've pointed to some, but things made under the gray goo reasoning tend to be 'gray goo first' if you know what I mean...

Mr Rid
07-10-2008, 08:12 PM
Maybe some of you have seen this before, but here is some words from Frank Miller on this topic. Reguarding the production of The Spirit.

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/news/articles/4704.asp

Yes, thank the Gods some supers like Stu understand, 'less is more.'

And I understand when everyone says how 'the story is everthing' but I dont see that it necessarily is. Most movies retell the same basic archetypal themes endlessly. Nothing remarkable going on in 99% of studio scripts. Its more about the 'how,' or the style in which you tell it that can make all the difference, which brings us back to the possibilities of CG. And some rare films transcend the need for traditional narrative where the style can actually become the substance that transports us.

danielkaiser
07-10-2008, 08:32 PM
Maybe we should just give up and load up our demo reels with nothing but the CG clichés that are so hot now.

Screaming monster faces
Slow-mo bullets
Brightly lit monsters in dark places
Insane camera moves
... anything else?

Are you saying these have become the new lens flairs?

jin choung
07-10-2008, 08:52 PM
Jin I understand and nothing wrong with that if that's the case, but whether CG today generally represents an extension of the 'sprit of special fx' or can lean more towards a gray goo that has all but replaced it I think one has to look at rather carefully.

aha...

but i think that's the distinction that i'm making - that personally, if i'm honest with myself, "vfx for vfx sake" is not an automatic disqualifier.

that THAT SOLE CRITERIA is not something i use to dismiss.

BUT - there has ALWAYS BEEN BAD MOVIES! : ) absolutely, there are really bad cg movies that start out as gray goo but i would say there are as many if not more older movies whose optical (or miniature or prosthetics, etc) fx started and ended life as gray goo too.

but at that point, the distinction we're making is about whether it's good and inspired and have saving graces or not. not whether the fx (cg or traditional) are completely absorbed and unconspicuous.

jin

Mr Rid
07-10-2008, 11:33 PM
I thought Batman Begins and Iron Man are great examples of using well-executed CG sparingly and in concert with other tried and true techniques, like miniatures and animatronics respectively.

Other GOOD examples?


Favreau (Ironw Man) is also one of the very few studio directors who understands less is more. Zathura was a big surprise. I thought the robot was the most realistic CG I had ever seen. Turned out the success of the animation and integration was due to a real performer in a torso (limbs and accessories integrated in CG) actually stumbling around and knocking things over with subtleties that you would just never get by any amount of mouse pushing. But the director is an advocate of doing in camera wherever possible, and relying on the performance to drive the plot, not FX.

sean hargreaves
07-10-2008, 11:47 PM
I saw the new Cinefex, and I was surprised at some of the things I thought were real were actually cg, particularly 'some' of the shots inside his lab with his suit.

I agree with Jin in that others were obviously cg.

Its a matter of integrating and compositing elements. But you see, the studios just want one stop shopping. They want a Walmart or Target of movie making where you go and everythings done. They dont want to shoot elements. They don't want to spend money shooting live action, miniatures, cg, etc, etc, and then composite it. Its too fiddly. They want the minimum for the maximum, and they think CG is the Holy Grail.

And I say, come here............aaaannnnnnnddddd.................. ...................


>slap< :twak:

sean hargreaves
07-10-2008, 11:49 PM
wait..............


WWWWWAAAAIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTT DAMN YOU.........................


Hav'nt finished yet...................


and..............


>slap again< :twak:

j__
07-12-2008, 06:49 AM
Hi Jin! , Sure the conspicuousness of a special effect is not a criteria I would define its 'worthiness' by either. In fact I think that as a criteria that some cg types hold up is actually a really bad one in the round, so I hear ya.

"vfx for vfx sake" is not an automatic disqualifier."

As a personal angle of course it's totally cool. I guess I would like to 'feel' the same way, but the possibility of vfx as self-validating in principle then, I have an issue with, and where I would find agreement within that is so narrow and peripheral, it seems pretty inconsequential from my own pov. And whether and how those graces are 'saving' I would have some questions, hence my own curiosity.

"the distinction we're making is about whether it's good and inspired and have saving graces or not"

Sure I get you, in practice ... well I don't disagree there may be some saving graces in that scenario, however anything that the gray goo manufactures for its own sake is immediately intellectually and artistically problematic if not irretrievable. And any saving graces would be of almost infinite peripherality.

"BUT - there has ALWAYS BEEN BAD MOVIES! : ) absolutely, there are really bad cg movies that start out as gray goo but i would say there are as many if not more older movies whose optical (or miniature or prosthetics, etc) fx started and ended life as gray goo too."

For sure, and I think part of this is defining gray goo. For me, "vfx for vfx sake" is gray goo. It's context-less, meaningless, and self-propelling and self-fulfilling and even 'dangerous' if it's deciding the movies that get made and gobbling resources and worse becoming an 'ethic' for the viewer. Sci-fi or horror stuff that used a medium like prosthetics may be problematic for other reasons, repetition within the genre etc etc, I'm not sure it's quite gray goo though, as it at least had a context and some artistic destination that wasn't arbitrary or undefined.

Do ya see my point ?

sean hargreaves
07-12-2008, 10:19 AM
People going to the movies to see special fx and accepting the fact the story is minimal is a major problem.
It becomes a gimmick, and I tell you, we are on the cusp of a whole load of crap coming our way in the coming emergence of digital 3d films. Everyone will go to see what they can throw at the camera lens next.

It'll be madness..................but people will go, and the studios will continue to make those kinds of films.....etc...etc.........

sean hargreaves
07-12-2008, 10:23 AM
Its like going to the circus to see the 3 armed man. And every year the circus comes and everyone goes to see the 3 armed man. Everyone knows what he looks like after a while, but they still go, again and again, year after year, and the circus stays wealthy.

FX movies nowadays are our 3 armed man.

Jim_C
07-12-2008, 10:34 AM
People going to the movies to see special fx and accepting the fact the story is minimal is a major problem.


This is what I did with Cloverfield.

Did I contribute to the decline of something? (again?)

:devil:

adamredwoods
07-12-2008, 12:38 PM
This is what I did with Cloverfield.

Did I contribute to the decline of something? (again?)

:devil:

HAHA I did the same with IJ4, and I was STILL disappointed!

shrox
07-12-2008, 02:05 PM
I don't go to movies, movies come to me, Netflix!

I did not realize that Beowulf was animated until I was watching it. I thought, wow, that just does not look right. Duh! It's CG!

shrox
07-12-2008, 02:07 PM
...the coming emergence of digital 3d films. Everyone will go to see what they can throw at the camera lens next...

Maybe they could just mount debris cannons in the front of the theatre to shoot stuff at the audience. Then you would get the impact too.

sean hargreaves
07-12-2008, 02:47 PM
Brilliant.....ha ha! :ohmy:

Jim_C
07-12-2008, 03:12 PM
Maybe they could just mount debris cannons in the front of the theatre to shoot stuff at the audience. Then you would get the impact too.

Wellll.... :hey:


One of the best times I had at the 'theater' recently was watching 'A Bug's Life' at California Adventure. It is a 3D thing but they also have air cannons and pneumatic rods hidden thru out the seats and the theater. So when a bug flys into you or past you etc, the air hits you or the rod pokes you a little in the back.

It was great. Removed any real use of imagination ya know cause when they wanted you to feel something... they made SURE you felt something.

shrox
07-12-2008, 03:19 PM
Wellll.... :hey:


One of the best times I had at the 'theater' recently was watching 'A Bug's Life' at California Adventure. It is a 3D thing but they also have air cannons and pneumatic rods hidden thru out the seats and the theater. So when a bug flys into you or past you etc, the air hits you or the rod pokes you a little in the back.

It was great. Removed any real use of imagination ya know cause when they wanted you to feel something... they made SURE you felt something.

A very old "3D" effect was a night at the Rocky Horror Picture Show. People spray water and throw toast in responce to the movie. The girls I went with also added breast flashing. I was OK with that.

Jim_C
07-12-2008, 03:26 PM
and rice....

jin choung
07-12-2008, 03:39 PM
howdy j,

fun discussion. : )



For sure, and I think part of this is defining gray goo. For me, "vfx for vfx sake" is gray goo.

right. and that's the point that we differ on - totally cool by the way. to each his own. and certainly, the film critics and historians agree with you.

this is the answer that i have been taught and has been ingrained in me ever since starting to learn about this stuff. but for me, on retrospect, if i'm honest - this is the principle that i find is ultimately NOT true. at least for me.

i'm saying that jeep shot in raiders is precisely vfx for vfx sake. that that shot in die hard 2 with the ejection is vfx for vfx sake. the whole idea of shooting something either in subject matter or manner (especially manner) that is IMPOSSIBLE in the real world not only screams out - i am a vfx shot - but is essentially vfx for vfx sake. and as with the jeep shot and dh2... i must confess i dug it.

It's context-less, meaningless, and self-propelling and self-fulfilling and even 'dangerous' if it's deciding the movies that get made and gobbling resources and worse becoming an 'ethic' for the viewer. Sci-fi or horror stuff that used a medium like prosthetics may be problematic for other reasons, repetition within the genre etc etc, I'm not sure it's quite gray goo though, as it at least had a context and some artistic destination that wasn't arbitrary or undefined.

Do ya see my point ?

absolutely. i see your point. but i would say there is virtually no vfx shot that is COMPLETELY contextless then... : ) that would be bizarre indeed! everything is more or less in the vein (pun most decidedly intended!) of the horror movie fx.

that's why i brought up harryhausen before... most of those movies are - in my eyes, horse before the cart - chicken before the egg - vfx concept to write a script around.

so i would say there is more vfx for vfx sake out there. and that a lot of it is in movies that are really worthless trash. but again, sometimes, the vfx for vfx sake shot is the thing that made me take note of vfx when i was a kid and made me wonder "how DID they do that?!"

and even though that is a discussion quite apart from the movies "as a whole" and the aesthetic of cinema - "how did they do that?" and the concerns surrounding that is a satisfying part of watching movies for me.

jin

sean hargreaves
07-12-2008, 05:39 PM
Jin,

The problem with how did they do that now is different from then.

Then: Harryhausen made films on a regular basis, there was breathing room. You were'nt hammered over the head. And although his films were'nt necessarily very good, you loved the fx. And no one else was doing it like him, he carved a niche.

Now: Kids see the same fx over and over again, and most of it is'nt good. And its from all over the place.

So, when saying that people go for the fx, this is my whole point in the thread, we have hit a titration point! Like Lucas said, "Now we can do anything with digital technology!" Well, maybe.....but lets make it good for Petes sake!

I have to say, a lot of the films I loved as a kid I still love, despite knowing what I know now. Theres a charm to miniatures and matte paintings on glass. But again, I'm not saying we go back to that.

What I say is: Look at the shot, and decide what the best way of getting what you want out of it is. Do NOT go to one stop shopping..ie. the nearest viz fx shop. And if you have to combine elements, do it. Theres just something crap about seeing EVERY fx shot as a cg shot. Break it up, confuse the audience because you know what....they're on to you.

And I'll tell you, people will say, 'oh but they want to save money'. To that I say 'It looks like it'.

jin choung
07-12-2008, 06:53 PM
hey sean,

i don't disagree that we're up to our gills in cg. we are indeed over saturated.

but i'm not arguing that we do everything cg....

the discussion with j_ is about a slightly different topic - about whether vfx (of any kind, cg or miniature or optical) for its own sake is (as they say in the books - kill your babies) inherently bad.

and what i'm saying to that is that personally, i don't find that to be true for me.

jin

shrox
07-12-2008, 07:07 PM
Well, I am sure that Wall-E will clean up at the box office, and Wall-EMart will clean up with the merchandising.

The Thing, better than any CG movie so far.

Ironically, the Wing Commander movie, a CG heavy movie based on a computer game, had some of the worst rubber mask aliens ever.

j__
07-13-2008, 09:13 PM
Hey and thank you Jin, it's a cool topic, thank you for discussing it.

"i'm saying that jeep shot in raiders is precisely vfx for vfx sake. that that shot in die hard 2 with the ejection is vfx for vfx sake. the whole idea of shooting something either in subject matter or manner (especially manner) that is IMPOSSIBLE in the real world not only screams out - i am a vfx shot - but is essentially vfx for vfx sake. and as with the jeep shot and dh2... i must confess i dug it"

As a theory, I guess for me strictly 'vfx for vfx sake' as part of a principle of judgments remains as problematic as if you make 'gray goo' part of a principle of judgments, BUT yes I hear you, I enjoyed them too, and for sure I'm not saying there is no case for extravagant vfx in context, and if you judge 'vfx for vfx sake' like that I don't have a problem at all. I guess what I am saying is I would like to judge the final result, and not try to make gray goo part of the answer.

From my pov those shots were shots as part of action movies, not necessitated by a vast separate shared factor that was intrinsic to the film being made or who's presence defined the overall experience of the film and many others like it to the point where I wasn't persuaded that it wasn't largely about that the availability of that other factor. And in that sense, for me, cg vfx's apparent 'on tapness' today has far exceeded its utility.

Now in practice, for me there are films that when you take into account all their factors, their 'best qualities' include just the fact they use vfx itself. In this case for me, yes their context is almost abstract, they are huge turn off for me at least.

Now even within that, there may be other graces that I am dismissing, but I personally don't feel compelled to pick through a set of vacuous decorative judgments that we are supposed to make sense of somehow...

"Absolutely. i see your point. but i would say there is virtually no vfx shot that is COMPLETELY contextless then... : ) that would be bizarre indeed! everything is more or less in the vein (pun most decidedly intended!) of the horror movie fx"

...and if I guess if I feel that strongly about a film, it is not unreasonable to strongly suspect that a lot what I am watching is driven by 'vfx for vfx sake', and in the worst scenario any context if not being 'draped around it', is virtually overwhelmed by (what I read as) the sheer availability of, and motivation to implement vfx.

With HH I hear you, and I would I tend to defer to Sean's observations, but if the intent is to repeat HH on the principle of horse before cart, it simply isn't working in the round.

Similarly, if we are 'over saturated', and if there is a lot of repetition with vfx today, that suggests that there is a 'vfx for vfx sake' going on, that to me is far more detached and more abstract and successful at self-propagation across the board than any individual effect in say Raiders or DH, and that yes is largely independent of context.

Thanks Jin!

shrox
07-13-2008, 10:02 PM
Sometimes though, a single shot changes everything. Remember the first time the Star Destroyer lumbered overhead in the first few minutes of Star Wars? or the dive into the trench on the Death Star? It was FX just for fun, but it was very fun.

Mr Rid
07-14-2008, 12:44 AM
More CG creatures screaming into camera in Hellboy II.

Stooch
07-14-2008, 01:08 AM
I loved hellboy2 great effects and love the german steam character. one of the more enjoyable movies of the summer. more so than hancock even and definitelly better than wanted.

awesome character design in general. the death angel (with all the eyes) was my favorite all summer.

Mr Rid
07-14-2008, 04:22 PM
I loved hellboy2 great effects and love the german steam character. one of the more enjoyable movies of the summer. more so than hancock even and definitelly better than wanted.

awesome character design in general. the death angel (with all the eyes) was my favorite all summer.

Easy to see Double Negative walking off with Best FX. They really put themselves on the map with this.

adamredwoods
07-14-2008, 06:37 PM
hey sean,

i don't disagree that we're up to our gills in cg. we are indeed over saturated.

but i'm not arguing that we do everything cg....

the discussion with j_ is about a slightly different topic - about whether vfx (of any kind, cg or miniature or optical) for its own sake is (as they say in the books - kill your babies) inherently bad.

and what i'm saying to that is that personally, i don't find that to be true for me.

jin

Hmm.... now that I think about it, I'd like to add this:
Perhaps its the expectations that we bring when we enter the theater.

If you bring expectations for big FX, like in say Matrix, or Wanted, (or even someone's FX demo reel) you're going to be ok.

But if you go in for story and design, but see gratuitous fx shots, then yes, disappointment abound.

The studio's marketing I think helps shape expectations. If you expect a great story from the guy who brought you "Pan's Labyrinth" and you get gratuitous fx shots.... then eh.

sean hargreaves
07-14-2008, 11:27 PM
I'm not talking necessarily about gratuitous fx shots, I'm talking about fx shots in general.

In terms of a film such as Hellboy 2. I know nothing of it other than the previews. And from what I can see, theres a red guy and some creatures, but no, theres more creatures, but no, even more creatures, and guess what, he has to fight a bunch of them. Make sure that theres a lot of creatures that he has to fight. In Hellboy 3, there'll be even more creatures. They'll be hacked, slashed, stabbed, burned, thrown, and oh yes.........punched even.

There'll be a lot of wild camera moves, better than before, and it'll go on and on. The creatures will look cool, and you'll see every inch of them.

But no matter what they throw at you, you know it is'nt real....thats the point I started the thread for. And also the point I don't have the answer to.

I'm not being a grouch here, because I love scifi and fx films as well, but the last 15 years has been numbing.

Everyone goes and sees the same fight sequences, and come out generally saying "Yeah, it was pretty good, I like that bit here, and that bit there, but there was some pretty bad stuff in there, the story was crap, the fx was so so........hey, lets get some lunch!"

The thing is, a lot of these fans are is playing video games, which are 3d, and they go to the theatre and kind of 'accept' the 3d in the theatre as being good, or great even.

Bottom line, if I see creatures coming at our hero in a film with 'knives and stabbing weapons', I don't care because its not convincing.

I just hope Cameron does'nt screw up Avatar. Ohhhhh....why did he make it in 3d.....why Jamesy, whyyyyy.......!!

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-22-2008, 08:29 PM
I think the the thing you guy's are forgetting is that these movie making "artists", aren't making these cgi abominations for people like us who know what the man-behind-the-curtain is doing. They are made for Joe Lunchpail and his undereducated, unwashed, overflouridated, eyes-to-close-together, furry handed, unibrow, Mcdonald's huffing brood.
You can't be to subtle for folks like that, or the $100,000,000 box office weekends dry up real quick. Anything deeper than a mud puddle, or more clever than Larry the Cable Guy...........forget it. That's why, incidently you are seeing the same rehashed story lines over and over ad nauseam (a point brought up in the Dark Knight thread, I believe).

warmiak
07-22-2008, 08:40 PM
I think the the thing you guy's are forgetting is that these movie making "artists", aren't making these cgi abominations for people like us who know what the man-behind-the-curtain is doing. They are made for Joe Lunchpail and his undereducated, unwashed, overflouridated, eyes-to-close-together, furry handed, unibrow, Mcdonald's huffing brood.


They make these movies for all people to enjoy... not just for some arrogant pricks, you now.

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-22-2008, 08:46 PM
That's what I just said...........

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-22-2008, 09:04 PM
Not that anyone here in particular is an arrogant prick, unless of course you are referring to me, in which case that must leave you in the other column.......your not a Larry fan are you?

warmiak
07-22-2008, 10:36 PM
They are made for Joe Lunchpail and his undereducated, unwashed, overflouridated, eyes-to-close-together, furry handed, unibrow, Mcdonald's huffing brood.


Hehehe.

I am sure it was meant with love.

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-22-2008, 10:52 PM
Of course. Can't get enough of them..............good thing they're everywhere you look. In fact, I hope to one day pull up to the trough myself and wring every cent out of their minimum wage stuffed wallets with a mundane creation of my own.............

danielkaiser
07-22-2008, 10:56 PM
Hehehe.

I am sure it was meant with love.

I live in Memphis and you're talking about my neighbors, Inbred Ned and his sister Nelli with their two children, Jim and Jim and Mary.

There Ain't no love here.

My motto "Hey!! Get Out of the Gene Pool!!"

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-23-2008, 02:05 AM
YEEEHAWW, stick it in yer granma..........
Unfortunately, they are the future of the "human" race, and......the audience for anyone who does the kind of art we do. Yaaay!

jin choung
07-23-2008, 02:15 AM
But no matter what they throw at you, you know it is'nt real....thats the point I started the thread for. And also the point I don't have the answer to.

right. neither do i. and as i've said, i'm conflicted.

but i think it wouldn't be horrible if there comes a period of restraint which i think is what you're leaning toward. if vfx (especially digital vfx) are used, incorporate it and shoot it as if it was really there.

take no additional liberties because it is an fx shot.

to take a really disciplined approach would be neat.

and actually, the only "sore thumb" effects i can think of in dark knight is the cerebro radar fx thing and a crowd pleaser where the batpod mounts a wall and rebounds.

the skyhook aftermath shot just looked kinda badly done though.

but most of the other fx - especially since they were full scale stunts [semi flip] or miniatures really gave the film a "legitimacy".

two-face was fing perfect use of digital. and no showboating... at the end, the scarred part is not showcased... it's recessed in shadow.

jin

STEEL TOE MEDIA
07-23-2008, 02:37 AM
The vfx in dark knight, were in my opinion, fairly subdued considering how overboard it could have been.Which is exactly how vfx should be approached. They should compliment the story, not the other way around. a good example would be 2001-2010. If those were made today, I have zero doubt that they would suck on a level I can barely fathom. The acting would stink, it would have more action than necessary, the cgi would look.........well cgi. Utterly tasteless and classless. Mostly because Kubrick wouldn't have done it, but that is beside the point. As much as I love this art, miniatures evoke more realism, if done right (I'm saying in sci-fi here), than cgi, because they are real. I haven't the foggiest notion how to change that. Just an observation. Wall-e,was quite good I thought, because it is a cgi animated flick, and it works cause that's it's whole environment. They just haven't quite mastered the blending of cgi to real film, as someone said earlier.Unless the budget is right off the scale, and even then.........

sean hargreaves
07-23-2008, 10:17 AM
I agree with you both!!

virtualcomposer
07-23-2008, 10:28 AM
I totally agree. I hate it when people use computer graphics on everything. I think the Incredible Hulk should have been played by a real person. The 70's tv show is much more convincing then some CG character. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a truly convincing CG character. WHY DO THEY USE THEM THEN????!!!! They usually look like plastic and the personality isn't there. I think the only two CG characters that I can give good credit to is the Lion from Narnia and King Kong. I also thought Star Wars was more convincing in the first trilogy. It felt organic, not over done.

warmiak
07-23-2008, 10:51 AM
I live in Memphis and you're talking about my neighbors, Inbred Ned and his sister Nelli with their two children, Jim and Jim and Mary.

There Ain't no love here.

My motto "Hey!! Get Out of the Gene Pool!!"

I bet if I were to ask them about you, they would give me a similar description ...

CMT
07-23-2008, 11:54 AM
Yeah, I see VFX being used a bit much at times. And the cliché shots do get annoying. But when the script calls for a huge 14 ft green humanoid with 70" biceps, I think CGI is needed. Especially when the shot calls for him to rip a car in half.

I don't really care if VFX is done for VFX sake for the most part. It's like someone creating a sculpture just because they wanted to create it and putting it on display. It's there, I can look at it for what it is. And it could be done with a fair amount of creativity. BUT, I don't want to pay to see the same sculpture or even a similar sculpture over and over (Or the same mass fight sequences). I expect differences in style, content, etc....

So to go to a movie and see the same creature vfx shots as done in other movies, just with different creatures, it does piss me off a little bit. I want a bit more thought to occur behind the scenes as to what has already been done and see how they can change things up. It's the lack of original thinking that goes into those vfx shots that's the problem. They need to treat it as an artform, cuz that's what it is. To the actors and viewers, acting is an artform. So is cinematography. So is directing, but directing cg characters seems to suppress original thinking in most directors. Also, I think what happens in this particular "artform" of moviemaking is that when one thing works really well, they milk it for all it's worth until it becomes a cliché. If the producers think an army of creatures to fighting Hellboy will help sell it, then that's what's going to happen. A bit sad.

And they may not have mastered the art of blending CGI into film, but neither did they before CGI times master blending animatronics as being fluid as reality and capturing it to film. I mean you look at most any film with animatronics or other puppetry used in instances where human actors can't be used with makeup and you can easily tell that it's mechanical, even in Aliens. Still, you just have to do what you can to sell the story and Aliens did it in a way that really sold the story well. If I can tell a shot is CGI, it's no big deal to me as long as it was done creatively.

I wouldn't get too caught up in realizing a shot is cgi when watching a movie. Learn to let go of your cg eyes and look at it more as art like literature. I mean, what do you do when you read a book? You know it's not real because you're using purely you're imagination.

GregMalick
07-23-2008, 01:22 PM
I totally agree. I hate it when people use computer graphics on everything. I think the Incredible Hulk should have been played by a real person. The 70's tv show is much more convincing then some CG character. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a truly convincing CG character. WHY DO THEY USE THEM THEN????!!!! They usually look like plastic and the personality isn't there. I think the only two CG characters that I can give good credit to is the Lion from Narnia and King Kong. I also thought Star Wars was more convincing in the first trilogy. It felt organic, not over done.

That's what I was telling the wife months ago before we saw the Hulk. After seeing all these totally bulked up guys in the weightlifting mags... just paint one of them green and Blue screen him so he looks giant next to the other actors.

Same goes for the Silver Surfer.

Who's making all these stupid decisions?
Rich 10 year olds?
Committees of rich 10 year olds?

JGary
07-23-2008, 01:43 PM
I think the only two CG characters that I can give good credit to is the Lion from Narnia and King Kong.

Seems noboby ever mentions Davy Jones, specifically the second film...I'm still blown away when I watch a lot of the scenes with that character. In my opinion, the best cg character to date, very convincing...especially the eyes.

Mr Rid
07-24-2008, 08:55 PM
I think the the thing you guy's are forgetting is that these movie making "artists", aren't making these cgi abominations for people like us who know what the man-behind-the-curtain is doing. They are made for Joe Lunchpail and his undereducated, unwashed, overflouridated, eyes-to-close-together, furry handed, unibrow, Mcdonald's huffing brood....

Filmmakers may condescend to audiences, but what doesnt make sense to me is that they simultaneously sell their own reputation short. When they get to the page in the formula script that reads, "insert overused CG cliche here-" you would think the filmmaker/supervisor might go, "hmm, lets just try something a little different and maybe we will surprise the audience and our peers with something they havent seen a billion times before." Kubrick had a practice of trying on the exact opposite of the first or most obvious idea that might surface.

Brunson
07-24-2008, 11:29 PM
The CG in Terminator 2 (released 17 years ago) looks more realistic than most of the CG I see today. The same goes for the CG in the first Matrix film. I think it has just become easier and easier over time to omit live action completely and create entire scenes in CG that will "pass" and still get people coming to the theaters. Why? Maybe with there being more 3D artists and studios its cheaper to pay them than to pay the actors for their extra time and to pay for all the film, labor, and equipment used on all the green screen shots. And with CG, you have complete control over every aspect of the scene, albeit sacrificing the look of realism.

I think they kept the CG under control pretty well in the Dark Knight. They used a lot of live action. They even wanted to do a real jump from a building but the authorities, as I read, wouldn't let them. That's another one of the reasons there's so much overuse of CG in films these days: safety regulations. There's always new safety regulations and insurance policies, usually the result of an incident involving some idiot doing something stupid or from people trying to get rich by suing for accidental injuries. Anyways, not many accidents involved in CG. I still don't like it.

jin choung
07-25-2008, 01:21 AM
http://vfxworld.com/?sa=adv&code=57c5ed8a&atype=articles&id=3705&page=1

talks a lot about double negative's vfx work... wow... most of their stuff is completely invisible.

the chopper shot sucked imo but i would never have guess the ferries were digital or that the batpod ejection was.

jin

p.s. i disagree about the hulk... it should have been cg... but should have just looked better. color sucked. hulk was ugly and had no "charisma" that the cartoon and even the marvel kids cg version has.

silver surfer should have been cg but should have remained cg throughout and reflected more of his actual surroundings and remained reflective constantly... why the f did he become MATTE grey later?! i have a feeling a budget got cut....

thought the THING had to have been cg. going with the suit was just... it just ruined it.

jin choung
07-25-2008, 01:25 AM
That's another one of the reasons there's so much overuse of CG in films these days: safety regulations.

but if the digital doubles are framed and "shot" as if under the same conditions of the stunt, usually, the result would be invisible to the audience.

it's just that discipline tends to go out the window when a switch to cg is made and the director now starts thinking... yeah yeah, now let's start moving the camera at mach two.... NOW!

or like in titanic, you have something occur to a stunt double that makes your brain go - ok, that guy just hit that mast while in freefall - it looks completely real but i know that's cgi.

jin