Lucas is sooo out of touch

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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
Yeah, yeah, I know, some of us just can't get enough of bitching about George Lucas but I had to comment about this. This morning I was finally getting around to watching the commentary version of the "Jedi" Special Edition and I just had to shake my head when Lucas remarked that he was always "amused" at the people who bemoan CG creatures as just looking too "fake", opposed to on-set rubber creatures which those people felt look more real. What amused him is the fact that both types of creatures are technically fake and that the people criticizing CG seemed to be overlooking that very obvious fact.

But here's the thing: what Lucas seems to be overlooking is the fact that rubber, mechanical, on-set creatures ARE real in the sense that they EXIST in the same physical environment as the sets and the actors and they are affected and react to REAL external physical forces, such as gravity, lighting and every other existing aspect that gives the sense that it's actually THERE, i.e. REAL. When you compare the Jabba puppet to the CG Sy Snootles, Sy just looks like a bunch of undulating Jell-O because she exists in cyberspace and is not affected by gravity or on-set lighting, etc. and as a result she looks totally FAKE and out of place, like any other animated image dropped into a real environment. The same applies to the CG Dewbacks, the Rontos, Dexter Jettster, the CG Yoda...they just look too much like cartoons and not real, in-existence beings. Just my two cents, of course. Let the backlash begin. :lol
 

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Judge Max

New Member
Totally agree too- even the inserts in the special editions- look out of place in my book- So prefer them untouched in original format...
 

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Jayn

Sr Member
LOL! I'm at the acceptance stage.. I'll probably go see Episode 1 in 3-D too..

Agreed about the puppets. I like both versions, CG and puppets. Both take the same levels of skills to bring the creature to life and sometimes the two overlap, but I agree that the actors give a better performance with the live version. takes the combo of VERY good director & actor to pull off a CG performance. (I think Gollum was the best example so far.)
 

INDY

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I agree with you. But I have a question. I have been watching the extra bonus features from the SW Blu Ray discs. I have enjoyed them. One of the things that I learned from whatching these is some scenes had a lot of matte paintings and that I never noticed before. I wonder why Matte paintings don't stick out as much as some CGI does?
 

Solo4114

Master Member
Yeah, yeah, I know, some of us just can't get enough of bitching about George Lucas but I had to comment about this. This morning I was finally getting around to watching the commentary version of the "Jedi" Special Edition and I just had to shake my head when Lucas remarked that he was always "amused" at the people who bemoan CG creatures as just looking too "fake", opposed to on-set rubber creatures which those people felt look more real. What amused him is the fact that both types of creatures are technically fake and that the people criticizing CG seemed to be overlooking that very obvious fact.

But here's the thing: what Lucas seems to be overlooking is the fact that rubber, mechanical, on-set creatures ARE real in the sense that they EXIST in the same physical environment as the sets and the actors and they are affected and react to REAL external physical forces, such as gravity, lighting and every other existing aspect that gives the sense that it's actually THERE, i.e. REAL. When you compare the Jabba puppet to the CG Sy Snootles, Sy just looks like a bunch of undulating Jell-O because she exists in cyberspace and is not affected by gravity or on-set lighting, etc. and as a result she looks totally FAKE and out of place, like any other animated image dropped into a real environment. The same applies to the CG Dewbacks, the Rontos, Dexter Jettster, the CG Yoda...they just look too much like cartoons and not real, in-existence beings. Just my two cents, of course. Let the backlash begin. :lol
Yes, especially as a general comment on CG vs. practical effects. Personally, I can recognize the freedom and creativity that CG offers filmmakers, but reliance SOLELY on that over practical effects can hurt performances, and leave images looking fakey. Moreso than actual physical objects.

I think the best balance is a mix of the two, like what they did in the first Jurassic Park, which STILL looks better than about 90% of current films in spite of its age.

I also find it interesting that Lucas seems to use that as if it's some sort of argument against using practical effects. It strikes me more as a weak justification/tapdance to avoid criticism than a true defense of his chosen medium. Like, ok, yeah, they're both fake, but you're completely ignoring WHY people like the OTHER "fake" version better than YOUR "fake" version. What's your response to that? I guess we don't get one because they're "My movies."

Also, the chart above is inaccurate. Acceptance can also end up with "Ok. He's gonna do whatever he wants...but that doesn't mean I have to buy any of it."
 

Roland

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh yeah, rubber creatures always look sooooo real! :rolleyes

Can't wait the day, when they replace this ugly Gorn by a good CGI model:



(I know, it's from Star Trek, not Star Wars, but it's just an example.)
 

Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
I didn't say that ALL rubber creatures always look more real, it depends on the money and the skill that goes into them. The budget to create the Gorn was lightyears beneath what was sunk into Yoda and Jabba, Dude. Star Trek TOS had to make due with what the studio gave them. "Jedi"'s creature budget was astronomical.
 

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Too Much Garlic

Master Member
Well, Lucas is funny. On the one hand he updates special effects because they to him could use updating, then leaves in other effects and justify them with "that's how far the technology had come back then". :facepalm

Why update one... and not the other? He updated the rebel fighter approach and dive towards the Death Star, but didn't update the commodore 64 looking Death Star plan trench run simulation. WTF?

And I totally agree that CGI can look real... IF care and attention is put into making it look real, like was done in Jurassic Park and with Gullom. There are just some CGI cliches that needs to be put down like the rabid dog they are - such as the CGI swirl around the effect, the toppling/wobbling fake death tumble and the fast moving camera sailing through the effect. KILL those and some of the CGI issues go away, when you aren't constantly made aware: "Hey, look at this neat effect and how much it cost to make!". Hidden effects are usually the most effective and will keep you wondering: How the hell did they do that!?!!!
 

Roland

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
... Why update one... and not the other? He updated the rebel fighter approach and dive towards the Death Star, but didn't update the commodore 64 looking Death Star plan trench run simulation. WTF? ...
You have to think more economically. Maybe he holds some updates back, just to make them in one of the next editions. So you need to buy the same movie again and again. Star Wars is a cash cow. ;)
 
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Vermithrax 4

Well-Known Member
In my opinion, no CGI creatures have quite matched those in "JP" yet. The only ones that come close are Gollum and Jackson's King Kong. But I believe the reason for this is the same reason that JP's stand out as more realistic: it's because they MOVE realistically with the aid of the Dinosaur Input Device that was developed to make use of Phil Tippett's skill as a stop motion animator, which they didn't want to lose on that film even though the dinos themselves were CGd. All their movements were inputted through the D.I.D. which Tippett used to give them lifelike movements. So the same applies with Gollum and Kong, the CG creatures each had the benefit of Andy Serkis's motion-capture performance and that made all the difference. It doesn't matter how awesome the CG rendering is, if you don't have a skilled animator or living person to impart realistic movement to the image then it just comes off as obviously fake.
 

rodneyfaile

Sr Member
CGI has its place. I don't think the Balrog on LOTR would work any other way. Sometimes a green screen is better than building a set.

But I don't care how much you spend, I think we are a looong ways off from having a CGI Yoda that comes close to TESB.
On the other side, you couldn't have Gollum without CGI.

You just have to know when and where to use both.
 

Roland

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
... It doesn't matter how awesome the CG rendering is, if you don't have a skilled animator or living person to impart realistic movement to the image then it just comes off as obviously fake.
I bet, if you give to the computers another 20 or 30 years, they will no longer need living persons.
 

SSgt Burton

Sr Member
He updated the rebel fighter approach and dive towards the Death Star, but didn't update the commodore 64 looking Death Star plan trench run simulation. WTF?
And neither were the Falcon's target screens updated, nor the X-Wing's/Y-Wing's targeting computers-

Think of it this way: that was the level of graphics the Alliance had at the time in the SW universe (unsophisticated). No need to enhance it.


Kevin
 

Solo4114

Master Member
This thread amuses me. The brachiosaur in Jurassic Park is still one of the most awe inspiring CGI scenes to me.
In my opinion, no CGI creatures have quite matched those in "JP" yet. The only ones that come close are Gollum and Jackson's King Kong. But I believe the reason for this is the same reason that JP's stand out as more realistic: it's because they MOVE realistically with the aid of the Dinosaur Input Device that was developed to make use of Phil Tippett's skill as a stop motion animator, which they didn't want to lose on that film even though the dinos themselves were CGd. All their movements were inputted through the D.I.D. which Tippett used to give them lifelike movements. So the same applies with Gollum and Kong, the CG creatures each had the benefit of Andy Serkis's motion-capture performance and that made all the difference. It doesn't matter how awesome the CG rendering is, if you don't have a skilled animator or living person to impart realistic movement to the image then it just comes off as obviously fake.

I thought JP was a mix of practical rubber dinos and CG'd dinos.

Regardless, movement is a big part of it, but lighting is also a HUGE part of it. Most of the time, CGI just looks too...glossy to me. And I think it looks that way because nobody's bothering to shade it properly. When people say the PT "looked like a cartoon," I think it's because of (1) the color palette they used, and (2) the fact that so much of it is SO brightly lit all the time. When everything is bright 'n' shiny like that, it lacks depth and therefore doesn't feel "there." There's also often a lack of attention to detail for things like weight.

I remember watching the Ed Norton Incredible Hulk film a few years ago, and just shaking my head at how, in a scene where the Hulk is walking across wet ground, carrying Liv Tyler....no footprints, no sense of him displacing anything on the ground or pushing a wall of air ahead of him or anything like that. I mean, when I walk through the office and go past a secretary's desk, sometimes if I'm moving fast enough I'll blow a page off the top of it or something and I am definitely NOT Hulk-sized. So, how come we aren't getting any sense of THAT in the film? Right. Because animators aren't that sophisticated or don't care enough to make it look that real.



I suppose, however, that I get Lucas' belief that you're trading one version of "fakey" for another. In that sense, I think he's absolutely right. CGI can look every bit as crappy and fake as bad rubber suits. It's just more aesthetically acceptable to us from a modern perspective.

But his comments still beg the question of, if they both look fake and crappy, WHY'D YOU F**K AROUND WITH IT?!
 

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