CGI Is Starting to Suck

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Vidiot, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    and it made for a better movie...I love being entertained...when one expects reality in a fantasy we have problems...
     
  2. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    guess it didn't matter too much...800 million dollars later...
     
  3. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Exactly. Success on a movie like this driven by audience expectations, advertising, story, direction, and acting (among many other factors). Consistent VFX quality is low on that list. But my points are still true.
     
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  4. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    to you yes...valid as hell.
     
  5. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    And I had a good time during Thor as well, and thought it was one of the funniest films I'd seen in awhile. From a script point of view, it was a lot of fun. VFX alone can't kill a movie this good.
     
    Michael likes this.
  6. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I agree unless one tries to not enjoy it...LOL. sometimes ppl just love to hate blockbuster movies...something I never understood...
     
  7. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I like blockbuster movies provided a) they aren't too stupid, b) they have characters I empathize with, and c) the plot makes sense. It's very hard to get that these days.
     
  8. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    I agree somewhat, but I go in it to enjoy the movie and since I am not as educated in the business as you are i can have fun with it easier...I don't look for mistakes, etc unless they are blatant like the one in Shallow Hal comes to mind: Gweneth falls back of the chair in the restaurant and she is spread eagle (naked beaver crotch shot!) as she falls she has no panties on and by the time she hits the ground she miraculously has a pair of RED panties on! LOL! DAMN!
     
  9. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Yeah, I did all the trailers on Shallow Hal and I think that was a shot in the theatrical release. Continuity errors are problematic, but the editor always says, "we gotta use the take with the best performance -- hell with making it match." I see mistakes like that all the time, particularly in eating scenes, where the glass is half-filled, then almost empty in the next shot, then still-full in the wide shot. This stuff is a nightmare on set. In some cases, we can cover up the flaws in post so they're not as obvious, like if it's a boom mic in frame or a reflection in a mirror or something like that. I have also had to cover up nudity (or even underwear) in some scenes with a well-placed shadow, or digitally smooth out a jarring camera bump. Whatever tells the story, if it works, it works.

    I tell ya, though, even when I was 10 or 11, I'd be watching a movie in the theater and scowl whenever I could see obvious blue fringing and bad matte work in movies. Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang is a good example: just horrendously-awful VFX (which some 1968 critics mentioned during its original release). Compare that to Mary Poppins, and it's amazing how well the latter holds up over time.
     
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  10. The Hermit

    The Hermit Forum Resident

    Forgive me if I'm wrong here, but it occurs to me that bad and/or shoddy CGI has more to do with the fact that VFX companies (and it's artists) are essentially treated like s**t by the studios; set-in-stone release dates, indecisive directors, insane workloads, no overtime or benefits, craaaazy hours hunched over a computer, etc.

    Maybe if they were unionized, they wouldn't be treated so much like cattle, and maybe we'd get better output as a result... it's not the artists to blame is what I'm saying.
     
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  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I hear ya. Totally the filmmakers' fault, not the VFX artists' fault. I worked for Cinesite for 2 years and ILM for four months, so I get the gist of the realities of the VFX business, particularly in America. We colorists and mastering engineers often work under the exact same conditions.
     
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  12. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    And I just caught this clip today: a 1933 movie that proves that bad special effects goes back a long, long time...

     
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  13. Higlander

    Higlander Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida, Central

    As bad as that is in several parts, the sheer work of making that many model buildings seems staggering in a way!
     
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  14. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    So true... Whether or not CGI was either good or bad, doesn't seem to have any effect on the box office draw of most modern movies.

    I do have to give them credit on what they were attempting to do. CGI and any SFX's are what the technology of the time will embrace. Because of that, I never have trouble watching an otherwise well made movie, from way back when.

    The biggest thing that bothered me in the movie, which I do happen to like, otherwise, was Steve Buscemi's character. His voice is so recognizable, that they should have modeled his character to look like him. It's one of those things where the face does not match the voice. Somewhere, during production, someone should have come to this realization. Since it is Steve, voicing the part, why not make the actual character look like him as well? I thought that the story line and the characters, otherwise, were a natural part of the story telling.

    Everyone who grew up with sci-fi and action/adventure movies, watched Ray doing some fine creative work. Without his work, those movies could never have been made, back in the day. They are great movies, and I like all of them, that I have seen.

    A longtime friend was visiting me from NC, a few weeks ago. The year or so before, I gifted him the necessary audio equipment to set up a nice HT in his home. He has five children that are now grown and all but one, live in the area. I asked him how they enjoy movie nights, with this nice HT system. He replied, that his children, don't get excited about anything. I thought that kind of odd, as I have always enjoyed a nice HT, with a good surround sound. I even gave him a nice Polk sub for the LFE's channel.

    Yes, I think that CGI is more effective when there is more "real" stuff in the frame. Although, I have seen some CGI backgrounds that I didn't know where the action was entirely shot against a green screen background and I never thought differently about it, at the time that I watched the movie. I would only find out, when watching the bonus features on a disk.

    So right!

    I hate the "shaky" camera stuff and the way too numerous cuts, during action scenes, like during a fight scene. It is just a technique that substitutes bad choreography of the scene. I shot a small amount of 16mm work some years back. most everything had a hand held look. Not because it was intentional, but when off of the tripod, I lacked the access to a dolly or a Steadycam.

    BTW... T-Rex car scene, was not CGI.



    When I watch a major action or sci-fi motion picture, I am expecting gratuitous use of CGI, more or less, depending on the production.

    I do prefer, most movies to have subtle use of CGI along with the non-overuse of LFE's. If you go to see a movie named Earthquake, you pretty much know what to expect from the CGI and LFE's.

    When you have a movie, where you have no reasonable expectation of intense CGI action shots, combined with accompanying LFE's, I find the combination to be much more effective.

    Even though I have a pair of legacy theater speakers, the Altec Lansing A7's, I don't use them often for HT (they are being used for stereo). This is because of their placement in the room, which is at a 90-degree angle to the regular HT set up.

    Through the years, I would hold movie nights for my personal guests. Sometimes, I would as a guest if they have ever seen the Twilight saga. The typical response would be, that is a teenage vampire movie, why would I want see it?

    I would explain, that I is overall a well done franchise. Every guest who has watched the first Twilight movie with me, has come back again and again on different nights to end up watching the entire saga. I have that one friend from NC, who simply refuses to watch any of the movies. But, of all of my guests that I have invited to see the entire saga, every one was very satisfied with the entire series.

    One aspect of these movies that endured them to me, was the filming in and around Fork's Washington (and other actual locations). And, the movie was full of practical effects. And intelligently done CGI effects, that were in keeping with the story line.

    Since the movies were based around the best selling novels, the plot and most of the dialogue already existed, like the highly successful Harry Potter franchise. All that was required, was an intelligent adapted screenplay.

    To that effect, the studio's were hand's off and allowed both Harry Potter and the Twilight movies to closely follow the books, for which there were already many fans, enough to fuel the fire on opening weekend's.

    And in a quote from the thread:
    Predicting the Movie Hits and Bombs of 2017
    In the above examples, each book and each movie in the franchise, was different.

    Both franchises made judicious use of existing locations, practical and CGI effects. I felt that all of these things were integrated successfully into their various movies.

    And... in the 2nd Harry Potter movie, the blood on the wall was CGI blood.

    Both franchises used two movies to tell the tale of the final books in the series. Which was dedicated to preserving the details as they were originally written. Both of the authors were consultant's for the movies, Stephanie Meyer, more so than Rowling.

    Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight, was determined to keep the movie faithful to the book. The opening weekend took in 70-million, which was the highest grossing premier, from a female director (at that time).

    Both movies, kept their casts, largely intact, throughout the entire franchise. How many different "Batman's" have we had?

    I think that both franchises used CGI properly and as necessary, to supplement the practical effects.

    Both franchises had climatic endings.

    One very important item that I believe is not generalized by the viewing public is how important the sound effects are that accompany the CGI. How would a dramatic light saber CGI fight be, without the sound of the light sabers, as they move through the air?

    My favorite movie, for showcasing how powerful both CGI and sound can add to a movie is Breaking Dawn - Part II.

    Having both the visual elements and audio to properly recreate the movie, within the HT environment can really illustrate things that are done right.

    Throughout the last 20-minutes of Breaking Dawn - Part II, I turn up the sound of all five primary HT speakers. I then turn up the volume even more, by lighting up the A7's. And, finally, to further enhance the CGI, I crank up the LFE's channel and let the 1,600-Watt Crown amplifier (in bridged mono mode), make the commercial sub, come alive in the room.

    It's about having all of the elements, properly presented, that make for a successful screening of a successful movie.

    During the last 20-minutes, every eye was glued to the screen and afterward, my viewing guests were suitably impressed with both the movie and its "better than in the theater presentation". That is what really makes CGI and general SFX work their wonders, most effectively.

    I'd like to point out, that, initially, I had zero interest in either of these franchises. But, after noticing how successful the franchises were becoming, I decided to take a stab at both of them. I am pleased that I did.

    Hunger Games, did an excellent job, translating into a money making franchise (though it was a bit on the repetitive side). I thought that the Divergent series, had more action, but it petered out at the box office as the Narnia movies did.
     
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Not quite true. Any shot in which you see the dinosaur running head to toe, it's CG. They did a very good job matching the live-action animatronic with the CG (and vice-versa). Stan Winston was a very nice man and was instrumental to the visual success of Jurassic Park. My favorite "cheat" in the movie was that they had it rain during the main attack on the car, which helped further disguise the hydraulics and other mechanisms use to make the life-size T-Rex move. That, plus impeccable editing, made the whole scene work really well.

    I have to say, it's hilarious and awful and yet kind of impressive in a weird way. I think they should cut to Terry Gilliam from Monty Python and his line "it's only a model!" :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Forum Resident

    Yes, I realize that it is CG, when you see the thing running, but my point to the poster was that they actually created a life size T-Rex to use in some scenes.

    Yes, the rain. It had the unintended consequence of the water being absorbed into the skin of the T-Rex, really messing up the weight and balance, which would screw up it's movements. The assistants on set had to keep drying it off.

    The most famously remembered scene in the movie.



    I mention this because, this signed lithograph of Raptor Vision, is normally $185. It is currently on sale direct from Gallery Ariana, for $98, until January 2nd, 2018.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. And everybody also needs to understand that there's 'above-the-line talent' & 'below-the-line talent'. If you're a lead actor, producer, director, or department head, then you're 'above-the-line talent'. Your screen credit is usually at the beginning of the movie. Everybody else who works on the show is 'below-the-line-talent' & their screen credit is usually in that 10-minute crawl at the end of the movie. Usually they even get paid.
    Everybody 'below-the-line' works to actually realize all the ideas that the 'above-the-line talent' has, whether it's on-set or in post-production. And you better hop to it, because they wanted it done 10 minutes ago. Second prize is a set of steak-knives. Third prize is you're fired.
    :shtiphat:
     
  18. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    And I've worked on a ton of stuff where I didn't get credit, for various reasons. I did a fairly visible B-list film over the summer just doing "beauty fixes" to the star and got no on-screen credit. Eh, the check cashed.
     
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  19. Rocker

    Rocker Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hey, I own a copy of that movie! (What can I say, I'm a sucker for disaster flicks...) :p

    Some of the miniature work is actually not that bad.... but there are definitely several shots that look pretty awful. I guess all the best FX artists were already busy working on King Kong that year.... ;)
     
  20. Gill-man

    Gill-man Well-Known Member

    Location:
    USA
    It probably wouldn’t have taken much to make that scene more convincing. Some of it wasn’t bad.
     
  21. Diablo Griffin

    Diablo Griffin Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    It probably already got mentioned here, but I loathe CGI being used in 2D animation. It looks so jarring and artificial, especially when the characters themselves end up becoming 3D in long distance shots. This is one of the main reasons I prefer traditional animation over digital.
     
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  22. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    I think there's a lot of "it depends" on this. So much hinges on plot and story and character, I don't think the animation quality (or "realness" or "cartoonness") is really a factor as long as it serves the story. There is a point where a line gets crossed in animation and we get into a weird territory: as one example The Good Dinosaur was a movie where quite a few critics slammed it because the backgrounds and environments were almost photographically real, but the characters were a little bit cartoony. The whole thing has to gel as part of one homogenous thing in order for it to work. I think movies like The Incredibles work fine, as did Frozen, Toy Story, Wall-E, Up, and quite a few of the other Disney/Pixar projects. Same with some of the Dreamworks films.
     
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  23. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    did you see Battleship? if so what do you think of the CGI?
     
  24. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    can we have a list? love to see it...
     
  25. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    that T-Rex scene blew my mind on the big screen....saw the 3 JP at the movies...had too since my love for Dinosaurs started when I was 4 or 5 had all the cool toys, models you name it...there has been a model I've been searching for since i was around 7....it was a T-Rex...first you built the skeleton and then used cloth and plaster of paris to build the skin on the beast...I painted him green...the model was about 2 feet tall and I got it in the early 60's...never found out who made the toy......still bugs me till this day...probably never will. : (
     

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