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Lazy CGI?

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by betamac, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. betamac

    betamac
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    I have just got Jurassic Park on DVD and watched it through and also watched the superb "The Making Of" and it made me think Why is the CGI so much better on a 10 Year old film over something current like Matrix Reloaded?

    The CGI in matrix reloaded is so obvious you cant fail to miss it, but in Jurassic park the CGI is so amazing that you are fooled into thinking these are real Dinosaurs, they are not obvious atall, in fact i remember when i first saw this movie i was puzzled how they actually filmed these dinosaurs :) (i was like 11)

    Was the makers of Matrix Reloaded and other new films just lazy? or was Jurassic park 10 years ahead of its time?
     
  2. Donnacha

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    Personally I thinks its easier to do "non"-humans in CGI than humans. Have you ever seen a movie where a CGI human has looked real? I haven't - then again it could've been so good that I didn't realise it was CGI!! Any examples?

    But take Jurassic Park, LOTR:TTT (Gollum), Yoda in AOTC - fantastic! They've all one thing in common - no not ILM, they're not human.

    Just an opinion.
     
  3. Sinzer

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    Yoda looks awful compared to the original, not a good example of CGI.

    CGI is becoming the bane of cinema, more and more directors are turning to it to try and cover up bad scripts and bad acting IMO.

    Shame to see that pure CGI films such as Toy Story and Monsters Inc have better acting and scripts than most blockbusters released in the last couple of years.
     
  4. FWA.jr

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    quote of the year:

    "If I'd have wanted all that computer game bullsh*t I'd have stuck my D**k in my Nintendo" - Quentin Tarantino.

    If you know about Kill Bill, you'll have probably read that it was made for a 1/3 of Reloaded's effects budget. Just saying though.

    A decent storyline, characters and actors help in the suspension of dis-belief.

    Also, Yoda wasn't all that, and the CGI in AOTC was so inconsistent. Take that guy Dex in the diner for example, he just loked like he'd been slapped together at the last minute. I'm not taking credit from the CG artists here because I know what a skill it is, but that movie was pixels and no soul.

    Was the Matrix Reloaded lazy? No, but the film was too unbalanced in many ways. The structure of the film wasnt organic enough in that action scenes rarely lead to understanding, and understanding rarely lead to new action. It felt like they were trying to constantly beat the first Matrix film, which isnt a good way to make a film.

    Freeway scene, still one of the best action scenes ever created in my opinion.
     
  5. Mr.The.Spoon

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    Except for how slow that bike was compared to your average cop car :D
     
  6. FWA.jr

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    Yes, except for all pendantic technicalities inherent in all action movies.
     
  7. Apocalypse

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    Wasn't Oliver Reed done in CGI for his final moments in Gladiator as he died during the making, I couldn't see where personally :blush:

    I agree about CGI not being good enough yet to mimic humans, Blade II also suffers from poor CGI effects Blade is fighting in front of the wall of lights.
     
  8. TheBigApple

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    Any idiot with a pc can create CGI, but to make it look real requires a talented artist or animator.

    One thing I noticed when watching Temple of Doom the other day was, how realistic the matte paintings by of the background landscapes looked, compared to CGI examples such as Gladiator or Attack of the Clones.

    Then I noticed in the credits they were done by David Fincher.
     
  9. Mr.D

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    Attacking CGI is like attacking what lens is used on a given shot: it all boils down to the director at the end of the day. I've lost count of the amount of films I've worked on where I've been extremely pleased with a shot and the director has requested non-sensical changes that effectively ruin it. Major moiton pictures these days are often driven by commitee discussions rather than having a strong director maintaining control over things.

    The best directors are the ones that give you the brief but allow you to work with the material they actually have rather than what they wished it was. That way even if the material isn't great you end up with at least a respectable result because you can play up the materials good points and draw attention away from the bad. Its when you get given something thats been badly shot , badly concieved and you are hampered with direction thats too specific given the weakness of the material.

    Once or twice I have stuck to my guns and explained to directors that what they are asking for will be extremely detrimental to the shot: normally I'll knock off a version to prove my point.

    However the Director gets what they want at the end of the day unless its an emergency in which case they just want something that works. ( which doesn't always mean a poor result)

    There is plenty of CGI actor work in AOTC that you buy as real. A lot of the fight between obiwan and that fett guy on th watery planet has CGI actors. yes Fett is easy to spot as its a guy in armour but obiwan is also cgi in a lot of the shots .

    Like most things careful staging is a big help for VFX.
    There are plenty of movies today that just wouldn't have been made without extensive CGI or would have had to be drastically different to the extent that they would have been totally different films.

    There is plenty of creaky looking CGI in Jurassic Park ( the very first ones at the start are very simply textured by todays standards likewise the galamimaus (sp). Again staging helps: tthe Trex sequence at night . The Raptors are normally moodily lit unless they are in wide shots where they are small in frame. I also point out they had years to do the VFX work on Jurassic Park whereas most films have a turnaround time of about 6months or less.

    Oliver Reed was chopped out of some unused shots given a shave and composited into a couple of closeups: pretty easy stuff.

    And again I'll reitterate for every "bad" shot there will be at least a dozen where you don't even register the shot is not entirely real.
     
  10. Matinee

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    Hmm.. Probably in the top ten of tedious scenes with no believable tension IMO. Other than the bike scene at the very beginning of Reloaded, nothing matches up to the lobby scene in The Matrix.

    Now the car chase through the tunnels in Ronin - that's a different matter, and they didnt use any CGI.

    PK
     
  11. betamac

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    I thought the chase scene in T3 far surpassed Matrix Reloaded and had no CGI
     
  12. Azrikam

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    A lot of good points here.

    I agree that CGI humans is the hardest thing to do. We are so attuned to body and facial recognition, that we have a very good idea of what looks real, and what doesn't. Also, CGI lets you bend the laws of physics as it suits the character. (a la Spider-man) But, even though Spider-man could conceivably do all these high-flying things, normal humans can't, and we have no frame of reference for it. That means it looks "faker" than normal. It's incredibly difficult to make good CGI that actually looks real.

    I think a lot of directors treat CGI as a technology instead of an artform. They think they can just throw enough money into a scene to make it look good.

    Overall, I think Matrix II (or whatever they call it) tried to do too much in the CGI dept, and suffered because of it. I fully expect the third film, as well as Episode III, to have even more glaringly bad CGI scenes as the directors hurl money at the screens in great gobs, in the hopes of showing something that audiences have never seen before.

    In a few years, some craftsmen will create a fully believable CGI character for the screen and people will finally realize why a lot of existing CGI scenes look like crap. In fact, I think current tech CGI will be looked back on like bad bluescreen car chases and TV splitscreen affects, as in "What the hell were they thinking? That looks stupid!"
     
  13. Matinee

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    Apparently there was a bit - where he crashed through the building. It was very believable, however.

    I have to admit that I didnt watch out for the CGI in Matrix Reloaded, because I was waiting for some sort of plot or characterisation to exist.

    I also question the people that thought the avalanche in xXx was 'impressive CGI' - it's one of the most obviously fake things I've yet seen.

    PK
     
  14. betamac

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    Anouther terrible CGI Scene to Rival that in XXX was the surfing the wave Scene in James Bond Die Anouther Day i laughed out loud when i saw that utter rubbish

    Was you refering to the Glass House scene in T3 Chase as CGI? if so i am sure i read Arnie paid 1 Million for them to keep that scene as it was over budget so it could not be CGI,??
     
  15. Mr.D

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    No CGI!!! Thats a joke right?
     
  16. betamac

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    well Mr I know everything about film making the fact that most people think it has no CGI says a HELL of alot about the quality, (and no i was not joking if that chase sequence uses CGI i never noticed 1 second of it)

    As for Star Wars Attack Of The Clones And Matrix 2 and Die Aouther day and many others, there CGI is so terrible its makes you want to turn the movie off, if you cant do it right dont do it atall
     
  17. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Visual Effects (CGI is a meaningless term these days) are comparatively cheap with respect to other aspects of the film-making process).

    The VFX budget is rarely more than 10% of the total budget for the film and thats for major vfx films. Something like an moderate actioner will maybe have a vfx budget of about 3-5 million out of about a 70 million budget.

    Money is a factor but its having the time to take a decent crack at something that counts.
     
  18. James45

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    It's the night-time scene where Proximo speaks to Maximus through a door or window before he lets him out, you can just about tell its an effects shot, but it's very well done.
     
  19. FWA.jr

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    re: Oliver Reed. If you look carefully a shot of him saying shadows and dust (i think) is reused for his death scene from an original scene at the colleseum. Very easy to spot if you look at the background.
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Keith...can anyone say Die Another DAY......

    For all you guys having a go at MrD can I just say that he does this for a living. I've been privaliged to be taken around his "office" and seen the showreel for their work. There were LOTS of shots in that reel that I would never, ever have believed were not real! I still can't. He knows what he is talking about.

    Gordon
     
  21. CrackDown

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    I too thought the T3 chase was MUCH better than the poor excuse for a 'car chase' in Reloaded. However, the T3 chase did use CGI but it's not very noticable as some of you believe there was none. Only bits like when the TX gets thrown out the truck, and when the truck hits the deck and flies up into the air but that was mainly due to it probably being more expensive to do if it was CGI . (The truck was worth $1million and they weren't allowed to wreck it....much) :cool:
     
  22. Donnacha

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    Agreed Gordon,

    if he works in the business then he has more knowledge & experience than us casual viewers.

    But if there were no opinions it would be a boring old world, not to mention AV Forum!
     
  23. Azrikam

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    I may not know much about CGI, but I know what I like. ;)
     
  24. Mr.D

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    I just wanted to set the record straight about "lazy" CGI artists screwing up movies. Its a very competative industry and film visual effects is regarded as the bleeding edge. We go through hundreds of showreels in the course of a year from artists whose work simply doesn't cut it often from games and TV backgrounds.

    Its a very small industry and the same guys that work on things like DAD are also the same guys that work on Lord of the Rings , Matrix , Gladiator , Harry Potter , Black Hawk Down ...you name it. So if you are going to blame "lazy" cgi artists for bad films ( might as well blame the tyre manufacturer because you hate your car) the very least you can do is recognise them when they do good work ...oh but wait you can't because you didn't realise it wasn't real.

    Anyone can listen to an orchestra... that doesn't necessarily mean you can play in one.
     
  25. Sinzer

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    I know some artists and they seem pretty lazy :p
     
  26. Mr.D

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    They don't last long in this industry trust me.
     
  27. loz99

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    The CGI used in 'The Patriot' to create soldiers during some
    battle scenes looked very false, I imagine this would look
    even worse on the Superbit version.

    The movie 'Gettysburg' as I'm aware, didn't use CGI for battles.
    However, 'Glory' must have obviously used CGI for the famous 'Exploding Head' during The Battle of Antietam near the beginning of the movie and it looked very effective and believable.

    I dread what 'Titanic' would look like on Superbit, the Ship
    looks like it's made of plastic on standard dvd already.

    I honestly think CGI works best on SCFI or Fantasy Mythological
    movies.

    That is all

    loz99
     
  28. FoxyMulder

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    Its my understanding that the surf scene in Die Another Day was put together at the last minute ((in film terms)) and thats why it has about 2 seconds worth of shots which spoil the overall scene, i'm sure given a little more time it would have looked so much better, as for attacking Star Wars i think ur way off base as Attack of the Clones had some amazing CGI work, don't forget its Science Fiction and the worlds Lucas has created look amazing, the Stormtroopers during the battlescenes look simply awesome.
     
  29. Miyazaki

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    Shame about the acting though eh?

    Oh and the utter dross of the film's content.

    Buy hey it's got special effects, who cares about the story right?
     
  30. FoxyMulder

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    Well it sure beats Return of the Jedi which has lazy performances which spoiled that film completely for me and anyways this is about CGI not great scripts so don't put words into my mouth thks.
     

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