Lucas is sooo out of touch

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Vermithrax 4, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, yeah, I know, some of us just can't get enough of * 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
     
  2. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    I agree and have been saying this for years.
     
  3. Monster Dave

    Monster Dave Sr Member

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    [​IMG]


    LOL!!


    I agree - the sooner he retires the better!!
     
  4. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    BAHAHAHA!!!!!!

    (Dropping into the voice of Winston Churchill) "I shall NEVER accept it!"

    :lol
     
  5. Judge Max

    Judge Max New Member

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

    Jayn Sr Member

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    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.)
     
  7. INDY

    INDY Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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?
     
  8. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    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."
     
  9. Roland

    Roland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    (I know, it's from Star Trek, not Star Wars, but it's just an example.)
     
  10. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  11. Qui-Gonzalez

    Qui-Gonzalez Master Member

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    This thread amuses me. The brachiosaur in Jurassic Park is still one of the most awe inspiring CGI scenes to me.
     
  12. Roland

    Roland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wouldn't you say, the same also applies to CGI? The more money you spend, the better your CG model will look.
     
  13. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    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!?!!!
     
  14. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Also... whether you go for quality over quantity with the money you pour into it.
     
  15. Roland

    Roland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  16. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. rodneyfaile

    rodneyfaile Sr Member

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    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.
     
  18. Roland

    Roland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I bet, if you give to the computers another 20 or 30 years, they will no longer need living persons.
     
  19. SSgt Burton

    SSgt Burton Sr Member

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    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
     
  20. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    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?!
     
  21. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Jurassic Park is a good example of cgi used the right way and amazingly the cgi quality is light years ahead of what you see most of the time these days. In Lucas' defense i think it's pretty easy to get out of touch when all you have around you is people kissing your butt and telling you how great you are from your employees all the way down to fans.
     
  22. frosty

    frosty Sr Member

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    We are just old farts who were brought up with actual practical effects,stop motion, motion control, makeup effects, which looked great, nowadays kids are so used to computer games with cg characters, that they see no difference in the cg they see on screen and are willing to accept it more.
    Lucas keeps tinkering because he can, and i think he will keep doing it, whenever some new bit of kit comes up, he'll redo something else, how many times has he redone the han and jabba scene in ANH now, 2 or 3 times?
     
  23. Predian

    Predian New Member

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    When the special editions were released I saw them at the cinema and found myself mainly watching excitedly for all the new scenes and changes. In A New Hope, additions like the little flying droids in Tatooine and the Jawas having a funny moment on the Ronto were distracting and changed the feel of those scenes, making them feel more aimed at keeping the attentions of younger viewers. Jabba didn't have the believable shadows with Han so close to him and Han stepping over his tail could have been better running the dialogue but cutting away to Fett doing, well, anything.
    I was still a teenager when I saw Jumanji and noticed the grey shadows underneath the elephant and again inside the monkey's mouths showing them up so much as being fake, but it seemed like the animators didn't want to hide any of their work by having them dark in dark places.
    More recently the shadows have definately improved but you always find yourself looking for them.
    The CGI on buildings and removing pilons etc is always good because you don't know that it is being done, the latex puppets and costumes of the '80s usually felt real and relatable because they were really there and had a hell of a lot or artistic creativity to them. Henson projects always had a believability to them, I think that Lucas lacks artistic vision in some areas but hit gold with pioneers like Phil Tippett and Rick Baker. It's harder to think of CGI artists who's work you adore.
     
  24. JD

    JD Master Member

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    I agree with Lucas on this one. Good cgi can be seamless just as a bad model/miniature/make up can pull you out of a flick.
     
  25. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Heh-heh. I would say that the horrendous makeup on Palpatine pulled me out of "Revenge of the Sith"...but there was so much lameness up to that point that by then it was irrelevent. :lol

    You know, I was thinking: back in the day of the Original Trilogy they would put out those wonderful documentaries about how each film was made and you got to see them shooting in Tunisia, the huge sets that had to be built, the lifesize Falcon, the Yoda puppet, the building of the models and shooting them against the bluescreen with the explosives, the stop motion of the tauntauns and walkers, the sculpting, creation and bringing to life that huge Jabba puppet, the making of the creatures, and on and on and on, SO much diversity of artistic talent involved.

    Today the only thing to see in a "making of" documentary of the prequels is partial sets, the actors against green screens and the CG artists sitting in front of their computers. That that that's about it. It makes me sad.
     
  26. Feraud

    Feraud Sr Member

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    Great point!

    We've established any effect can be good or bad depending on the artist. Lucas tinkering with his stuff "because he can" doesn't hold much water as an excuse. Can you imagine any other piece of art, literature, music updated every few years because technology changes, or as I feel is the case with George Lucas, the artist gets older and their perspective changes and they want their glory days to reflect their current ideal? Lame..
     
  27. xaoslord

    xaoslord Well-Known Member

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    As an artist I have found myself to be my biggest critic. There's a point when you have to stop blending your paint or everything takes on a muddy grey hue. I have ruined may works by overworking it because I want the canvas to reflect the vision I have in my head. I think Lucas suffers from this. Now he has a digital brush and can't stop. No matter how accomplished, we all can have insecurities. Now that being said...Han shot first. Period.
     
  28. Roland

    Roland Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I know: A wise man once said "the journey is the reward". But we're not talking about mathematical equations. We're talking about movies. And what is more important - a well done movie or a "making of"?
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  29. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    Yes, but bad CGI is just as bad as bad practical effects, so....what's your point? And good CGI is no better than good practical effects. All it does is let you do different shots, perhaps.

    So, again, since they can both be equivalent in quality and craptitude, and if Lucas' changes aren't actually adding any positive quality to the films but are simply "change for the sake of change," why bother?

    Exactly. Sometimes you have to know when to stop messing with stuff and recognize that perfection is impossible. More to the point, it's often a testament to the artist's work that they achieved as much as they did with the materials they had.

    The David isn't perfect. Anatomically, it's not exactly proportional (at least, I don't think it is). On the other hand Michelangelo carved it out of a solid, 20' piece of stone. So, yeah, were he alive today, and with the technology we have now, I'm sure you could reshape the calves a little, or shorten the forearms, or maybe make the fingers a little thinner so they're more in proportion to the thumbs, and on and on and on...


    I wonder how cool people would be with that? Because, after all, it's "his statue." :rolleyes
     
  30. Predian

    Predian New Member

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    Spielberg expressed regret for making changes to ET, he only did it once. How many times can you press "undo" before you realise it was best untouched.
    As a film fan reading Cinefex the work covered is always pioneering but now it is all CGI and basically just before and after comparison shots, as is the new ILM book. I find it all very clever but not all that interesting and some movies feel more like computer games and vice versa as gaming technology advances.
     
  31. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Predian...excellent observation about Cinefex. I used to subscribe to it back in the early '90s when it was easily the best periodical about modern-day special effects in existence. They had detailed shots of everything from model work to sets to makeups and I sooo looked forward to each new issue which was just jam-packed with incredible information. But then "Jurassic Park" came out, and gradually Cinefex became like reading a * software journal, full of shots of young people sitting in front of computers and pages and pages of tiring information about what rendering and texture mapping programs they used to create something. Once in a while you might actually see a practical sculpture being produced but only so it could be scanned to create the digital model. Needless to say I let my subscription expire and didn't renew it.

    Why can't there be more Peter Jacksons in the world? He at least only uses CGI where it's absolutely needed.
     
  32. JD

    JD Master Member

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    My point is pretty much the first part of your comment. The jist of my comment was directed at the overwhelming negative attitude against CGI.

    Lucas' changes are a different matter altogether and as they're his films, well... that's his decision. Some of it's good or decent and some of it I don't like (Jabba/Han shooting first in ANH, Hayden in ROTJ), but I accept it for what it is and I don't really find much satisfaction about crying about it on message board - even as much as I love and cherish those movies.

    Those changes don't affect my enjoyment of those films.
     
  33. DARTH ANIBAL

    DARTH ANIBAL Sr Member

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    Correction: Han shot. Period.

    I don't see how there's any argument in favor of the glaring differences that exist in CG vs practical SW effects. Everything all the way down to the starships look more realistic as practical models.
     
  34. JD

    JD Master Member

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    :lol Then you're only lying to yourself.

    Well, and the rest of us.
     
  35. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    He's not lying to me, JD. I agree with the truth of his statement.

    Han didn't just shoot. Han blew the F**K out of Greedo!!!! :lol
     
  36. Solo4114

    Solo4114 Master Member

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    Stop right there, and go back and re-read my comment on the David.

    I'm done with that argument.

    I don't give a good ******* what IP laws say. They aren't "his" movies exclusively. "They're my stories." F**k you, no they aren't. That's art. Deal with it.

    That's less directed at you, JD, than at the argument itself. Just to be clear. I don't bear you any ill-will personally, I'm just exasperated with the "my stories/my IP" argument. And I say that as an attorney with an interest in IP law. From a legal perspective, sure, they're his. But there's the law and there's life. And yes, you can quote me on that.

    That's cool, but I think you get the point re: the notion that "CGI makes everything more betterer!" It doesn't. Lucas seems to hold a different opinion, though. In his mind, CGI = better. Period. He's wrong.


    No, he's not. Some of the effects really DO look more realistic with models than they do with CGI. The trench run is a fantastic example. When I see the CGI version, it's not that it looks BAD, but it looks far more believable to me with the models. why? Simple. The CGI looks "pasted in." The lighting doesn't match, it's too "glossy" and "clean." The models, though, look like they're really there because....they're really there. Even with the bluescreen effect, they still catch light in a more realistic way than CGI.


    I think, to me, that's the biggest complaint I have re: CGI. Certainly with structures and vehicles (as opposed to organic life, which always has issues re: movement), the objects still look "pasted in." With newer films it's less noticeable because ALL of it is CGI, but with older films that are redone, it looks...off. Models, even when they look fakey, at least look like they occupy physical space.


    Basically, Lucasfilm and ILM's efforts have not convinced me that they, at least, can effectively blend modern CGI with 70s/80s practical effects. The two don't jive with each other. So, unless you're going to refilm and completely overhaul the originals 100%, quit f***ing with it and go back to an archival version.
     
  37. JD

    JD Master Member

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    There's been video's of so-called "experts" and "fanboys" watching videos and not being able to tell the difference between practical vs. cgi. I'm so glad we have two people here who can tell the difference... :rolleyes :lol

    Again, you're only lying to yourselves. ...and I guess the rest of us in this thread.

    I'm saying CGI is better - I'm just saying it can be as good as practical effects.

    I've seen at least two videos of this... of course, I can't find a single one right now.
     
  38. JD

    JD Master Member

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    Show me your copyright/trademark/authentic dated scripts/designs and I'll believe you. ...and yeah, I'd expect a lawsuit with you vs. Lucas as well.

    Still his films, I don't care what ya say.

    Lucas is just looking at the means to make his stories.

    CGI works. We're at a point now where it's the best way to do special effects - debate and deny all you want, but I'm going to trust the professionals in this matter... they people making the money.

    You don't like, don't watch it... but again, you're only lying to yourselves.

    End of story.
     
  39. Predian

    Predian New Member

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    I agree, as seasoned audience members we know what to look for and new visuals added to old material always stand out "don't jive well" as you put it. We have been weaned onto computer effects through two decades, we have seen every step of them getting more realistic. But those earlier steps where something doesn't look quite right are why we find ourselves scrutinizing everything they put infront of us.
    In think it may be different for younger generations who have been brought up on this material not knowing any different. We used to ask "how did they do that?" these days the answer is usually CGI, end of interesting conversation.
    Gollum, King Kong and Avatar were benchmarks for me. I still subscribe to Cinefex, though mainly to keep my collection complete and read an article now and then to numb the brain.
     
  40. Jet Beetle

    Jet Beetle Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    I was watching Real Steel last night and there was a making of special on the dvd. Shawn Levy was saying that Speilberg came by and had a talk with him about the need to build real lifesize robots for the movie - not to use CG as much - use puppeteers. He went on saying Jurassic Park was a long time ago and CG was nowhere near where it is now - but they had lifesize dinos on the set and the reaction shots they got from the actors was much more authentic. I was amazed to see how many puppets were used for the movie.
     
  41. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    If you find those, I'd love to see them. Would also be interesting to know whether it was cgi vs practical in movies... or just tests made for review.
     
  42. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Spielberg has definitely seen the light, so good for him, I always knew he had a good head on his shoulders.

    As far as the practical vs. CGI....I'd say in 90% of cases I can accurately tell a CGI image from a practical one. It's really not unlike being able to spot matte paintings in pre-CG films, you simply learn what aspects to look for.
     
  43. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    Of course you have no REAL data to support that statement, do you?

    You're probably 43% wrong.
     
  44. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Mic... of all the things to say... being off by one digit is just... well... you are not even trying anymore...
     
  45. micdavis

    micdavis Master Member

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    I find it amusing the same people that rant and rave how much the PT sucks, yet they've seen it once or twice, swear they would never watch the behind the scenes stuff, then claim it was ALL CGI.

    Well, I've been around forever, watched SPFX grow from the caveman days.

    And I was blown away by how many models are in the Prequels.

    There are more practical model effects in any single PT movie than in ALL THREE of the OT movies combined.

    Most of you guys are utterly clueless about this stuff and just rant and rave.

    It's REALLY getting old.

    A lot of you should just quit going to the movies.
     
  46. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    So the problem is they're not sinking enough money into the cgi today, unlike in the good ol' days of '93 (Jurassic Park)? Sounds unlikely...

    The OP mentioned 'undulating jell-o' to describe today's weak cgi. A * good phrase for it.
     
  47. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Mic if you're getting sick of reading and hearing it then why the hell do you bother reading these threads? My dislike of the PT and my feelings toward CGI are my opinions and I'm free to state them on any message board that I feel is appropriate. If you think we're just "ranting and raving" then stop reading our rants if it upsets you so much. But your complaining about our complaints is not going to stop me from complaining about it if I feel so inclined and nothing you say is going to make me feel any better about those POS prequels.
     
  48. STEVE THE SWEDE

    STEVE THE SWEDE Sr Member

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    Mic is right. The amount of models used in the PT is just mindblowing! It's not very educated to say that the PT is just full of CG crap. Sure, there's a lot of it but they are also smacked full of some of the best miniature work ever done.

    Cheers,
    Steve.
     
  49. OldKen

    OldKen Master Member

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    Most people think that the shot of the palace and waterfall from outside are 100% CGI...

    They WERE 100% models. Even the waterfall (salt I think, shot in slow mo)

    The sets costumes and designs in the PT are AWESOME!

    It's just the writing, direction, dialogue and editing that SUCKED *.

    :lol

    :behave


    :darnkids
     
  50. Vermithrax 4

    Vermithrax 4 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm fully aware of the model work done in "Phantom Menace", that is true, but a number of those models were created and detailed merely to serve as a basis to create CG models of them. As the prequels progressed the use of miniatures dwindled to the point where "Revenge of the Sith" could nearly be considered an animated film. Yes, some sections of the Utapau and Mustafar landscapes were models, but a higher percentage was CG.

    I didn't necessarily start this thread to basically slam all CGI work nor to stir up heated and angry debate, it was mainly to point out the fallacy in Lucas's statement that there is no difference between a rubber creature and a CG creature because they're both equally fake, that being that there's a reason that a well-made practical creature looks more realistic than a CG creature that doesn't have to abide by the laws of physics and lightning, where an on-set creature naturally does.

    I know this argument has raged for years and will rage for years to come. It's merely my opinion that the overwhelming use of CGI for backgrounds, environments and creatures that interact with the performers just makes the film end up having an odd, animated quality to it that just doesn't feel real. Everything looks airbrushed and perfect, the PT just doesn't have the gritty realism that the OT had. Some will agree...others won't, and that's life. I appreciate hearing everyone's viewpoint on this subject otherwise I wouldn't have brought the topic up.
     

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