Special Effects & CGI in Film
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Ok apart from being a drunk irishman all the time, i happen to watch films and read lots of manga. But i was watching the trailer of van helsing and realised how crappy the CGI (computer graphic something or other) was. And then i realised how cool the old models used to be.
Take starship troopers for example. The special effects were amazing almost life like, and that kind of thing could only be done with models in that film. In starwars (episodes IV,V and VI) all the ships were models not CGI and they looked great.
So why use CGI when models look so much better? the only thing i can think of is because you can do more with CGI. But some films are simply famous due to their CGI like league of extrodinary gentlemen, i dont know about anyone else but that sucked. It used CGI to make the film not the acting i mean whats the point?
Maybe i dont get out enough or something. O FFS dropped my damn beer. Er anyway please Reply
CGI can be good. They have problems when its suppose to be human like. They never get the face right
In Ven Helsing, Mr.Hyde, IMO, is the only special effect that looks crappy.
I always think of "The Thing". When that was being filmed the actors were acting alongside heads sprouting legs and huskies exploding so part of the shock they were portraying was real. With CGI theres no way you can get the actors to react the same with something they can't see. "OK mate, theres a big monster in front of you that you can't see but you'll see it when the film comes out, we don't know what it looks like yet coz the computer nerds haven't designed it yet. Act scared, Action!"
'The Thing' was one of my all time favourite horror films. But yes your right, there was abit of clay model effects at the end but my point with CGI is that you can always tell when a thing is CGI whether models look so life like.
If you want more proof look at star wars, look at the difference between the yoda in empire strikes back compared with the one in attack of the clones and he just looks crap.
Although yoda kicks ass whatever the weather.
Yeah I guess after Yoda died in Return of the Jedi they had to use CGI to replace him in the prequel trilogy. A bit like when Oliver Reed threw a seven midway through filming Gladiator.
CGI can be one of the most effective tools in movies, if used correctly. In Van Helsing it was very effective, except for Mr Hyde (agreeing with Kes). Lord of the Rings was an example of the pinnacle of effectiveness.
Often times, however, they're just used to try and make the movie look cooler, which end up making it look crappy. If someone REALLY wants to make a movie great, then they would try using special effects in real time, instead of adding it in post. Underworld did that, and the result was it looked incredibly realistic
I agree. CGI is a good tool of moviemaking, but i think nowadays, they are used excessively. and i think it limits the directors creativity because they can depend on CGI so they don't think as much to achieve the look they want. Does that make sense?
And Lord Soth, can you change your font and colour to something simpler cos i find it hard to read. thank you.
I totally agree, Soth. Also, yes IV-V-VI Star wars were awesome, i can see your point Aku with that, but that's how it's done nowadays, it's easier and a great tool.
CGI is just like any other tool available to the director. It's not really the CGI per se that has a problem. Most often than not, it's the director.
The thing is, most directors think that CGI 'is' the whole movie. They forget about their story and their characters.
I too am irritated by the seemingly never-ending releases of movies with weak stories and pumped up CGI effects. The only thing I think I can do is not watch these movies and hope others don't too. In that way, maybe movie producers and directors will eventually "get the picture".
Lord Shadow Z
Although becoming an animator is something I want to be I am really disapointed the way that films have neglected the 'old school' approach like working with real-life models like the Alien films and Dog Soldiers. Films like the new Star Wars trilogy are basically a pile of dog turd because of overuse of CGI, when you consider the originals were made with the minimum of technology and finances and are still rated much better. The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions are basically negating plot and characters for this overload of CGI, when I ask anyone about the good points of the two movies all I get back is ' the 100 Agent Smith fight scene' and ' the attack on Zion' both well versed in the art of CG.
true but then again the fight with the agent smiths was not completeley CGI they had to do like 125 shots of that part just filming agent smiths reactions to each punch and kick. But starship troopers.....the aliens look amazing, even the brain bug looks incredible im sure its either brilliantly done CGI by someone who knows what there doing or models. Not like Van Helsing where they god some Univeristy student to do it (probably)
If you look at Gollum, then you really can see what can be done.
Its incredible! but that also had alot to do with Andy Serkis, acting his arse off... One of the worst examples iv'e seen is the Warlocks from the time Machine Re-make.
The alien movies are a good example of CGI. The first two were done completly with suits and minatures. The third ushered computer generated alien and the fourth was a mix between both.
Alien 4, most action shots were done completly in CGI. Ex. The scene underwater. But, scenes upclose were done with a guy in a suit. Ex. When the aliens were in the the cells. You tell me which aliens look better. And thats why i think Alien Vs Predator is going to good is because the directory is not using CGI very much.
I love the old way in doing action movies, or horror movies without extensive use of CGI. James Bond is example on where stunts and props make the movie alot better. I think CGI is only effective if its part of the story.
has any1 seen "Dreamcatcher"????? its based on a Stephen King book
and has good f-x in it! the aliens look really believible 2!!!
i recomend it 2 ppl who luv aliens and fx!!!!!
O yeah and independance day has amazing effects in. Or should i say MODELS. Ah cant people see? Van Helsing isnt just a crap story line but the CGI IS CRAAAAAAAP.
I like old cinema. Is more like theather. Of course special effects are good. Things like Blood pumps, make up, latex limbs, is cool. But lately movies care too much for CGI. I feel is boring! I want to see actors playing parts and having dialogues. Not a bunch of computer animation. Keep the CGI for Anime, not for the Cinema.
A really good example of CGI gone wil is Star Wars Episode 2: AOTC. It's virtually a handful of human actors in front of CGI environments, characters, and vehicles. Case in point, the entire "Clone War" battle on Geonosis is CGI.
As mentioned before, LOTR features some of the most seamless CGI ever, in Smeagol/Gollum. It's all good in moderation, but to have it carry your film. i.e. AOTC or that failure of a Final Fantasy movie, spells certain death.
I guess its ok to have enitre scenes with all CGI, for instance the clone war, it was all in CGI so it blended in, but when they have human actors fighting cgi oponents, now thats just f**king annoying
meh.......i thorght van helsing was ok but i can think of worse movies.....and better 1's!!!!
That is where you are wrong. The special effects fro Van Helsing were done by Industrial Light and Magic Inc, one of the foremost CGI people in the biz. Also, some special effects shots were done by Weta Workshop, the same people who did Lord of the Rings....think before you speak, eh?
I dont care who did it, the point is it looked crap.
And what are you basing this on? Is there anything specific that was crap?
you mean from van helsing or LOTR?
Well the point is that it SHOULD have been done on models. Film companies pour literally thousands of dollars into special effects when models are cheaper and look more life like. I can give you some examples if ya like.
Terminator 2 the robots at the start are all models and look great. Starship troopers all the ships, aliens look amazing.
Idependence day. When you see the alien in the vault, the mothership, the mini ships, all models.
And they all look spectacular.
Now CGI, spider man have done just about the best job with it but you can still tell when its the actor and when its CGI.
this is all true but it is rather dificult to do something like all i can say is i'd like to see you try and do a better job .
Well thats not really the point though is it? I mean true i cant do better but the thread is about film compaines. The film companies should use Models coz they look better in films. Now you point would be valid if i was to say, the sprinter is well slow but not when your talking about companies decisions. Savvy?
i know that but you cann't complain about other peoples work when you can't do it yourself...it is a difficult thing to when your under pressure to get it done for the finish day......AND don't call me savvy...darling...
Lol ok savvy
. Just for the record, im not taking the mick or anything, or im not complaing about their work im complaining about the decisions they are making. savvy?
i believe you ......darling.....but i have to admit the are some shite graphics out there in some movies....
aaaw thnx i'll by the drinks....
cgi has come a long way. the effects are quite realistic but not as real. the werewolves in van helsing could've been done by models (see underworld) but the stunts they pulled required cgi effects, much like the matrix. but for a ,pvie whose sole purpose is to entertain, i say it pretty much did what it was suppose to do...
CGI is great for spaceships and inanimate objects.
It isn't good enough to do living tissue like people just yet. That's why Van Helsing looked so fake.
Puppets and Anamtronics mixed with more subtle CGI looks incredibly realistic.
Jurassic Park, I think is the perfect mix between animatronics and CGI - because everything looks stunning and incredibly realistic.
I hate it in films like Star Wars and The Matrix when they replace the actor with some fake-looking CGI - that's just rubbish!
CGI hasnt mastered the human face yet. And when they do all those stunts, like the fight between Mr.Smith and Neo in Revolutions (in the air) it just looks really fake because we all know ppl cant do that.
rather freaky if they could...
human cgi's movements are too fluid. real human movements are n ot like that. again as an example, the burly brawl. when the real neo fights, there is break in the movements, the cgi moves too smooth.
I didnt think that spiderman cgi was that good. It looked really fake to me.
I think the main problem is when film makers think "oh, computers can do everything these ays, we'll let them do all the work".
Look at the first Matrix - I think every single piece of special effects in the first matrix is ten times better than that seen in the sequels, despite the fact that Keanu Reaves et al went through ten times the training. Why? Because it used REAL stuntwork.
The Matrix sequels had some brilliant uses of CGI - the bit where Trinity is on the bike going up the wrong side of a freeway is a prime example of how to use CGI properly - because the cars (CGI) were going too fast to be noticed as fake.
The slo-mo sections in particular, give an audience waaaay too much time to go "now thats CGI" - like several bits of the Burly Brawl. The original fight between Neo and Smith in the subway, is for me, far more impressive, because it looks completely real - like it's truly happening, and therefore it's more immersive as a film.
The huge problem with CGI is that animators tend to make actions seem very "cartoony". Looking at certain obvious CG bits in Blade 2, Spiderman, and The Matrix show that the CGI "stunt-doubles" animate differently - too flawlessly and out of synch of the character, and the animations look too "bouncy", adding to a cartoony fake feel.
Not only that, but when CGI is "noticed" - it cheapens all of the REAL LIFE efforts for a particular scene.
Like in The Matrix Reloaded, there are some truly awesome fight scenes during the Burly Brawl, completely marred by pretentious and over-ambitions CGI, and the audience focuses on these bits rather than the GOOD bits.
I think some of the best uses of CGI have come from the likes of Terminator 2 (T3 was CG overload), and Jurassic Park for sure.
I know I much prefered the Star Wars puppets in the originals to the cgi in the prequels. Everything just seemed more real and believable. I so miss Yoda's little shaking ears when he hobbled along. It's easier for the actors too being able to see what they're talking to instead of a green screen.
T3 was overloaded. But i still enjoy what CGI brought to it. Ex. the nuclear explosion and hunter-killers. I enjoy CGI to an extent. CGI humans or animals i dont like...but machinary i dont mind.
Another point well made.
No matter how much processing, re-processing and aligning, re-aligning etc they all do, the actors STILL don't look they are looking into the CGI characters eyes. For me that also destroys the whole thing.
And, for the record, I still think puppet Yoda looks ten times better than anything in the new trilogy. Yes, he needed to do all those flips and everything else, which would mean CGI would be useful - but in the close-ups and stuff, it's so fake looking. Puppets rule!
I was watching independence day yesturday i dont know why but the bit when they're trying to disect that alien and it comes alive and kills them all. Look at how incredible it looks. It was shockingly realistic and in jurassic park the T-Rex when its bashing those cars around, Its incredible.
Do film makers just say...ooo this is the new age lets use CGI. I mean if i went to a place where they make films, then i would probably understand how hard it is to make some things without using CGI but it doesnt make sense to me. Why the heck dont they just stop screwing around and use models?
I think one of the best bits of CGI use in Terminator 2. I liked how they used real robots in Terminator 3, but they went and ruined it with obvious CGI and TOO MANY CGI explosions and crashes.
I still think the T-1000 CGI is some of the best I have seen, mainly because it works so well, and they knew when to quit and use real-life props and actors.
It's getting that balance just right. Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park are probably the best examples I can come up with right now, on how to balance CGI with good old-fashioned techniques.
I thought of another example - Alien. The way they used real models in the first 2 and good old compositing, it looks so much more realistic than any of the CGI rubbish from the 3rd and 4th films.
It is really good but i reckon independence day did it perfectly. They only used CGI on the stuff which would not look life like for instant the shields around the ships and the laser beams it shoots. But apart from that its all models and you just cant complain coz it looks just amazing.
But there is a mix for instance in starship troopers, and the mini ships in independence day, they used CGI to move the models and to change the models positions which is quite effective although while in movement, you can see the CGI surrounding it.
Yeah Independance Day was awesome.
Also, I love it when CGI is used in films that don't make it obvious at all.
I'm sure we've all seen The Rock, with the fighter jets at the end. My jaw dropped when I found out they were all CGI - they were so well editted into the picture I didn't notice.
Also - a quick thought here - has anybody seen Dog Soldiers? It's a completely low budget movie about werewolves, with mainly puppets and costumes. Compare the likes of this movie to something say, An American Werewolf In Paris, you'll notice the awful CGI a lot more, and real puppets look a whole lot scarier, because they actually look like they are on the set, and not just floating over it.
Yeh dog soldiers did it really well. I mean it was just a guy in a suit most of the time but it looked really good. Compared to when you see wolf man in van helsing. It would be like replaceing the zombies in 28 days later or dawn of the dead with CGI zombies there would be no point.
I do not really enjoy today's modern Special Effects, done by Computer mostly, It looks too Fake, i don't care what they can Acheive, I much rather the 80ies / late 80ies efffects Done with Rubber, A good Example of this is in the Movie "BeetleJuice" or the First "Evil Dead",
I'm sure youc an think fo other movies, Such as Alien, Where they sued Giant Scaled Models, And the Alien That poped out of the guys chest, IF it where done today, It would of been "Most Probly" Done on Computer, / Majorly Touched Back on Computer,
So i am Thankfull That it was not done today. Its Seems to me that with the explaoitation of computers, movies have septn more and more on The Special Effects, whichw as somewhat okaya t first, taking the most out of it, but Its time for them to wake up, "Its been done" Now work on the script, Which nowadays mostly Sucks.
That is why I rather Movies that have Less Effects but more Of A Good Plot, Like The MAnchurian Candidate, Wait Bad Example, its A Remake From And Older movie... Then Shawshank Redemption, Not really and Special Effects there now eh? Don't get me wrong, tehre are still some good movies with high Special effetcs throughout.. Like theReturn of the King And... Well eyah thats just about it (Star Wars has gone bad Not the same anymore) And Fight Club was only a bit in the bigining and in the end.
forgetting the Matrix are we? or how about Jurassic Park? Or Terminator 2? Computer animation looks much bettter than the methods they used in the 80's and it makes it much easier for them to make the movie they want to make.
I agree with both of you.
CGI is excess looks like absolute turd - look at the Matrix sequels and the Star Wars prequels for proof of sh*tty expensive effects.
Jurassic Park used a successful combination of anamatronics and CGI - same goes for Terminator.
Those movies were perfect because they knew when to use each method successfully, and were done with such mastery that you couln't really tell the differences.
Terminator 2 used CGI to show off T-1000, and that was it. Everything else was real. Real explosions, real stunts. It looked real.
The golden age of Special Effects is, in my opinion, now behind us. It seems as though people don't know how to use them efficiently any more. Look at Day After Tomorrow, they used CGI for common wolves, that's just plain lazy, and it looked fake.
The first Matrix movie was brilliant because it used brilliant stuntwork and choreography to drive the action scenes. In the sequels, however, they used CGI cartoony rubbish stuntmen and focussed a few of the major moves on them. It looked absolutely awful.
Lord Of The Rings is one of the few movies that managed to pull off a load of CGI scenes, but that was because there was very little alternative.
Used in correct moderation, they are both brilliant tools. Terminator, Jurassic Park, the Original Star Wars movies, Lord Of The Rings and the first Matrix movie all demonstrate how conventional effects and CGI can be used in perfect unison, sometimes having one and not the other and still pulling it off. Using CGI for dogs/animals and humans out of laziness is pathetic.
and the spiderman movies also did good with special effacts for the most part. except in 2, spiderman looked pretty bad.
Lord Of The Rinsg was Actually A Novel, A Series of Novels remeber?
First Jurassic Park , Well They Actually Made the Giant Brachiosaurous Head, adn they Actually Made A T-rex they used, Same for the Second one.
And don't think we Have Seen the Lasto F CGi, Tehre is going to be "The Mask 2" where there is a Baby that has all the powers of the Mask, And 90% of the time he is compleatly animated.. Urgh, I've seen the teaser:
Okay so maybe jusy 75% of the time, Still attrosious..
As For Star Wars, Its Lost compleatly in the Big Ba-da-Booms, t went from A god Triliogy To a blockbusters.
I enjoy them very much , if they're done correctly and with alot of heart n soul.. look at how great matrix came out.. and lord of the rings?.. that was truely awesome.. I dont believe mere man-made props could have given that scale of war.
and I was looking at the Episode III teaser for starwars.. it doesnt look too bad actually.. I like how the clothing is geared towards episode IV (my fave star wars). and hey.. at least anakins stupid whining has turned into nothing but grunts and killing..
u didnt like the mask 2 trailer ?? it was hilarious didnt do much to advertise the movie IMO but it made me laugh
I personally, am a HUGE fan of CGI animation...it worked miracles for the matrix, without which all you would see is wire fighting at a level barely above a yawn.
also shrek 1+2, the star wars episode 1,2+3, lord of the rings....the list goes on and on
my favorite though.....VAN HELSING....hell yeah
........special effects.........haha..........i dont care if it looks fake. sure, matrix was fake, and the more real the better, but still, neo and the million smith fight was awesome. VANHELSING FOREVER. I thought the first two star wars used the special effects phenominally. sure there are movies that could have done without it, like blade 2. which i loved, but one or two shots were funny looking. Lotr did a nice job. OOO OOO The Pearl Harbor special effects ruled too.
Three movies that sucked, really bad.
That was COMPELATLY CGI and if so I don't really care about it, beacseu well, its mean't to look fake... Fiona in Shrek one was made soo life-like the animators had to step back for her to fit in.
blade 2 what sick. solo, you know it. dont lie. yes, pearl harbor did suck, BUT the special effects were done perfectly, again, hence the thread special effects, not good movies with special effects.
the over use of CGI can totally kill the atmosphere a movie sets.The reason CGI is used so much isnt because it's more efficient, but because it is cheaper. When someone actually uses CGI to achieve somthing that they couldnt otherwise, and put forth the effort of going all out, then we get some spectacular results. The best example of this to date would have to be Lord of the rings, Jurrasic park wouldnt have been the same movie if not for CGI, however, Nothing can beat good ol fashion cotumes and animatronics. I think one of the worst examples of CGI in a film is Alien 3 ( i know there are far worse examples) The computer generated alien killed the tangible feel and lagitamcy that the franchise had set in previous films. The fakness of the alien was more than enough to kill the tone of the film, it even overshadowed the terrible script.
I think CGI can be a good thing, if balanced with realism, a total CGI movie, rarely ever works.
best Example of none- CGI use that I can think of s Laybirth, By Jim Hansen. Unlike JUrrassic park or any otehr modren day movie, it had almost non CGI and fully Puppets /animatronics.
This year alone we all have seen some outstanding computer graphics in many of our new movies. I really want to get some feedback from as many people as I can, and what I want to know is which movie this year, 2004 has had the best computer graphics.
The term u are looking for is C.G.I computer generated images, computer graphics would be what u get in a game
Spider-Man 2 had the best CGI this year.
Hahaha GORO ^
I was watching mortal kombat recently.
Plus i already started a thread like a year ago on this subject. The title was CGI in Movies (i think). So ha finally someones thread is going to merge into my thread, not mine into some elses. MUHAHAHAHAHAHA.
the big army in Hero. of course the arrows shooting all in sync made it look so fake. and I like Sky Captain and World Tomorrow's graphics. too bad the acting was sad.
Yeah its a great film
Well... we havent seen all the movies yet, there are a few that look promising, such as Blade III.
The fate of billions will depend on you, hahaha. Sorry.
Yeah thats a classic moment in the film.
My favorite is:
Johnny Cage: (whispering) Sonya, you go on ahead... find out WHAT that was... Liu and I will stay here!
O NO VAN HELSING 2!!!!! MY WORST NIGHTMARE HAS COME TRUE!!!!
Yes they did use CGI and anamatronics on starship troupers. And i think ull find they did use some anamtronics or "models" as AKU says lol and make up effects in van helsing. But i have to agree with u on the mr hyde CJI
Dog soldiers is really cool!
The only people that understand the limitations of CGi are Pixar and Dreamworks.
They know that a truly convincing human isn't possible on todays technology, so they make better use of what they've got by just getting on with making those stunning movies.
In fact there's very few who know how to use CGI really well. Spielberg used to, but now I'm not so sure. George Lucas doesn't know when to stop. James Cameron has brilliant CGI integration in his movies though.
Anamatronics, Models, People in gay costumes, They all look good (not that im gay or anything). But CGI i mean how gay. Look at the CGI in MK discraceful but atleast the important bits (the fights) were all done by the use of TALENTED martial artists and stuntmen. I mean thats better than Neo just chilling while the computers do some stupid zoom around things while hes spinning a metal pole.
uh AKU you do know that more than Half of the T-rex shots in Jurassic Park was Anamatronic right?, thats why it looked sooooo good. All physical interaction done ( steppin on car, biting wheels, bashing car) was the robotic version of t-rex
but still Jurassic Park ( 1) was a visual treat, nearly seamless integration of visual effects and robotics. To me its still perfect.
NOw dont get me started on LOTR, yes there are flaws in the movies, but down to ROTK there was only one poorly rendered scene( well by my standards). The warg was done better, the Legolas taking down the Mumkail scene had MUCH MUCH better shading than his battle with the cave troll, Gollum is amazing, the nazgul( omg are u kidding me). Barad-dur collapsing. shit man, its was wicked.
Exactly. What happened to stunts? It's half the reason I respect bad boys 2 so much. There is next to no CGI in that movie. Look at the credits and theres about 100 stuntmen but as Jerry Bruckhiemer says, if special effects are out into a scene, then the dangers gone, theres no 'living on the edge' stunts only CGI and when everyone can tell that CGI is involved they know that the camera crew are probably sitting back relaxing while making this and it really brings down a good car chase scene or fight scene or whatever.
but lets face it bad boys 1 and 2 are shit films so even if they used loads of CJI even tho they had no need to they would still b shit. It would b like polishing shit whats the point ud still have shit lol
ARE YOU CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yeh well atleast i have taste monkey boy!!!
couple of examples to point out, if any of you happen to have the DVDs to run thru comparisons.
van helsing i would say did a "decent" job on all the cg except hyde. one of the main points in van helsing is watch the scene where the vamp gets pinned to the church steeple with arrows and dies. that scene was good and bad, the motion matches are so far off, the skeleton was poorly rendered, and the head is .. very well detached in movement.
vs, a pure CG mixture : hell boy, 2 scenes, any of the scenes w/ hellboy as an infant, and one of the best cg's i've seen : when the white lab coat guy gets flipped and thrown through the air. the upward path of the lab guy is human, the rest is cg , granted the immediate to follow cg scenes suck ( melting away in the portal )
AOTC ( SW 2 ) : the tall skinny aliens in there ( the cloners ) are beautifully done, nearly perfect i'd say, vs everything else in that movie.
the scenes in matrix reloaded specifically the burly brawl (100 agent fight ) at the VERY least they could have tried to make the transitions a little less ugly, items like neo losing 50 pounds when going to CG, the fact that his coat fabric becomes .1mil thick and is light impermeable. the "gray" that gray has to be fixed, it's in all cg scenes for some reason. guys are in black suits, and suddenly it's the CG gray.. wtf.. thought these people were professionals.
the Zion robot fight was done well because they actually put effort into it, if you watch the special features on the dvd they go into great discussion about the detail they put into it. versus the burly brawl is minimal.
"the Thing" is one of the best crafted movies of last century to my opinion in regards to FX, there's a few "buggy" items like poor stop animation scenes, but the rest is beautifully crafted. LOTR with the ghost army is one of the best cg interactions to date, although the movie is riddled with flukes everwhere else.
i dont know, this is right in that "area" i dont like about movies, either the movie is great with crap additions, or it's crap with great additions, the mixture of the two is very rare.
PS everyone : it's CG ( computer graphics ) for movies, CGI for programming environments ( Common Gateway Interface ) for a multi purpose tool
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