RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (Full Version)

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Spaldron -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 12:14:34 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: superdan


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nexus Wookie

Also, out of the two SFX powerhouses, ILM and WETA, i'd have to say that ILM are just a step ahead of the chasing pack. Some of there CGI work over the years has been excellent.


I'd have to disagree with this point, pretty much all the best and most groundbreaking CGI in the last decade have come from WETA bar a few exceptions.


They're also guilty of some pretty shoddy work too though.


Absolutely, one that comes to mind is the Dino stampede in King Kong, rubbish. But most of their output has been superb imo.




Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 6:10:43 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
Pretty much anything Andy Serkis has done, from Gollum to Caesar has been the best examples of living and breathing CGI creatures or persons.


I will agree that this has given the CGI character. But it still looks like CGI. The only difference is it's CGI with a heart. But it still doesn't look anywhere near as real as good pratical effects from 30-odd years ago. Because they are real (in that they are there and in that space and time with the actors, or whatever) and made with tangible things. CGI isn't.


Any specifically? Only because I often have the same problem with models etc as you do with CGI in as much as they look like practical effects, and am having trouble thinking of practical effects that obviously don't seem to be.




great_badir -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 12:41:25 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf
Any specifically?


The Thing and Jaws have already been mentioned a few times. Aliens and Alien 3 (purposely leaving out Alien [a masterpiece though it is, it's obviously a man in a suit and, once you get over the initial shock of "that scene", the baby alien, I think, is actually quite comical], and Alien 3 does suffer from the odd matte lines nightmare). I'm also thinking good model, miniature and super-imposing work in the likes of Temple of Doom, Close Encounters and Blade Runner. I have to say pretty much all the effects in 2001 still stand up to scrutiny now, in my opinion - even the monkey suits, thanks to the "Andy Serkis but for real" attention paid to the physical performances. Speaking of monkeys, absolutely appalling though the film is, Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes has some sterling practical work in it, compared with the awful CGI in the same film and the "good, but still obviously CGI" CGI in (the otherwise billion times better) Rise of...

Hell, matte lines be damned, I think Ray Harryhausen's stop motion work from 60 years ago looks better and more realistic than 99% of CGI being used now.

And, yes, before anyone points out, for every one of the examples I've listed above, I acknowledge that there is at least one Jaws 3. My point is that, in comparison, for my money there are a lot fewer examples of good CGI. Or perhaps I should say CGI which looks real.




DONOVAN KURTWOOD -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 1:25:28 PM)

I dont think one is better than the other. I agree with DPP in that if done well, both can be amazing. I'm a big fan of CG and a big fan of practical. I even really like The Scorpion King from The Mummy Returns, the 'worst CGI ever' as most would say, although its more of a design preference, but i can tolerate it. Van Helsing is one of my favourite guilty pleasures, and most, if not all people seem to loathe the CG in that. I recognise CG as the natural progression from Harryhausen's old techniques (which i have always loved). Basically i'm more interested in seeing cool/ amazing things realised on screen, and less bothered with how they do it.

I do think in this day and age though there is little excuse for poor CG in a new film, unless of course its a budget/ time issue, which it usually is.

A recent example i'd like to cite is The Thing remake. It's not that i minded the CG, it's just that i really disliked the fact that they'd covered over the amazing practical work that had been done on set (visible in behind the scenes footage). Those creations looked amazing, and to my eyes, the CG was not nearly as effective. Sure it allowed more freedom of movement, but it looked worse than the practical FX. We;d been promised a combination of both techniques, but what we got was a Director who didn't/ was too afraid to stand up to the Studio and a movie that looks worse off for it.

Peter Jacksons King Kong has some of my alltime favourite FX, all of the FX in that movie (bar a few compositing issues of live actors into CG/ model environments) look amazing to me. Despite it having some of the most suspect compositing in the whole movie, the dino stampede sequence is actually one of my alltime favourite action scenes.

I'd like to add that the CG in Prometheus looks jaw dropping. Particularly the thing in that guys eye.




DancingClown -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 1:32:59 PM)

Here are a few of my favourite 'old-school' practical effects:

The twister from Wizard of Oz - simple yet brilliant and still convincing seventy-odd years later.

[image]http://www.tapestryinstitute.org/tornado/images/oz4.jpg[/image]


The 'nightmare hallway' sequence in one of my favourite movies, Poltergeist - again, a simple technique but used brilliantly.

[image]http://gifsoup.com/view4/1929011/hallway-run-whole-o.gif[/image]


The 'breathing door' from The Haunting (1963) - CLICKY


And say what you will about the film I just love the giant space-scorpion - aka The Dark Overlord - from Howard The Duck.

[image]http://braindeadradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/howard-the-duck-6.gif[/image]




matty_b -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 2:15:10 PM)

Yeah, that tornado in Wizard of Oz still freaks me out today.

One shot that still really impresses me is in the original King Kong, and it's that long shot of Kong climbing up the Empire State Building - amazing stuff, really.




directorscut -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 3:00:37 PM)

The flooding scene in The Rains Came is still breathtaking:

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tw5hXrbf1kg/TRgSadFu2tI/AAAAAAAADes/JYLzqPm46k0/s1600/rains-bridge.jpg[/image]

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tw5hXrbf1kg/TRgTcuvXCtI/AAAAAAAADfk/TU8yJtb2TtU/s1600/Rainscame13.jpg[/image]




timmytwotimes -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (13/4/2012 9:33:06 PM)

Always loved the grotesque practical effects in From Beyond (1986) and seeing it again recently reaffirmed it... I would post a screen shot but I'm seemingly incapable, grrr




Gimli The Dwarf -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (14/4/2012 5:48:31 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

The Thing and Jaws have already been mentioned a few times. Aliens and Alien 3 (purposely leaving out Alien [a masterpiece though it is, it's obviously a man in a suit and, once you get over the initial shock of "that scene", the baby alien, I think, is actually quite comical], and Alien 3 does suffer from the odd matte lines nightmare). I'm also thinking good model, miniature and super-imposing work in the likes of Temple of Doom, Close Encounters and Blade Runner. I have to say pretty much all the effects in 2001 still stand up to scrutiny now, in my opinion - even the monkey suits, thanks to the "Andy Serkis but for real" attention paid to the physical performances. Speaking of monkeys, absolutely appalling though the film is, Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes has some sterling practical work in it, compared with the awful CGI in the same film and the "good, but still obviously CGI" CGI in (the otherwise billion times better) Rise of...

Hell, matte lines be damned, I think Ray Harryhausen's stop motion work from 60 years ago looks better and more realistic than 99% of CGI being used now.

And, yes, before anyone points out, for every one of the examples I've listed above, I acknowledge that there is at least one Jaws 3. My point is that, in comparison, for my money there are a lot fewer examples of good CGI. Or perhaps I should say CGI which looks real.



I agree about the model work in Close Encounters etc. That stuff's frequently amazing but creature-wise, I just find it very hit and miss. To me, The Thing looks no less like a model than The Scorpion King looks like CGI. Of a better quality by far, very much real in their construction but still obviously not reality. Same goes for Jaws and the brilliant Harryhausen creations. Only rarely, the Rex in Jurassic Park and Alien 3 (I had forgotten that one) do I find creatures look so good I can forget they are practical effects. And the same happens with CGI too, but when they work out well they just tend to look just as good as the best practical stuff and a whole lot better than most of the rest. Again the T-Rex or Davy Jones, Serkis' Kong and the Balrog,. Interaction with real actors might look squiffy at times, but in making the impossible look like it might actually exist, I just find them hard to beat.




Dpp1978 -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (15/4/2012 3:41:23 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

The Thing and Jaws have already been mentioned a few times. Aliens and Alien 3 (purposely leaving out Alien [a masterpiece though it is, it's obviously a man in a suit and, once you get over the initial shock of "that scene", the baby alien, I think, is actually quite comical], and Alien 3 does suffer from the odd matte lines nightmare). I'm also thinking good model, miniature and super-imposing work in the likes of Temple of Doom, Close Encounters and Blade Runner. I have to say pretty much all the effects in 2001 still stand up to scrutiny now, in my opinion - even the monkey suits, thanks to the "Andy Serkis but for real" attention paid to the physical performances. Speaking of monkeys, absolutely appalling though the film is, Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes has some sterling practical work in it, compared with the awful CGI in the same film and the "good, but still obviously CGI" CGI in (the otherwise billion times better) Rise of...


You use some of the very cream of old school effects to make your point. 2001, Close Encounters and Blade Runner were all supervised by Doug Trumbull, who is one of the great visionaries in visual effects. His website has some really good stuff about the history of effects and his vision for it in the future.

Some of the miniature shots in Temple of Doom were quite poor: I'm thinking in particular some of the mine cart chase.

quote:

Hell, matte lines be damned, I think Ray Harryhausen's stop motion work from 60 years ago looks better and more realistic than 99% of CGI being used now.


Really?

I love Harryhausen's stuff as much as anyone but it isn't remotely realistic. It is really not much more advanced as far as technique goes than King Kong. By the time he made Clash of the Titans it was very outdated. The matte lines are the least of the issues as far as realism goes.

1933 Kong is an awesome film, far better than the remakes, but anyone who says the ape in the original is more realistic than the ape in the 2005 Peter Jackson film is looking through very thick nostalgia glasses. The ape was the best thing about the Peter Jackson film; one of the best creature effects ever made. I wonder if they spent so much time and effort getting him right they let much of the rest of the film slide.

quote:

And, yes, before anyone points out, for every one of the examples I've listed above, I acknowledge that there is at least one Jaws 3. My point is that, in comparison, for my money there are a lot fewer examples of good CGI. Or perhaps I should say CGI which looks real.



if I put my critical head on I can pick holes in the examples you've given for good practical effects as to why they don't look entirely "real". In 2001 the shots of Earth are obviously paintings. The lens flares in Blade Runner are spherical when the rest of the shoot was anamorphic. I've already mentioned the Temple of Doom shots.

You praise the Aliens in Aliens: have you seen how crappy the costumes look in real life? they are basically unitards with a few bits of foam latex stuck on, and a fibreglass headpiece. But properly lit and seen through the lens of a camera they are entirely convincing. My brother's friend worked on Prometheus and she said the spacesuits looked cartoony. From the footage I've seen they look anything but. Was she wrong or is something else going on?

If you are looking for "real" the cinema, or perhaps photography in general, is one of the worst places to look. Black and white films don't look real, nor do those who undergo any sort of colour grading. Camera lenses often magnify, skew and distort the image in a way our eyes never could. Film and/or digital sensors react to light differently to our eyes so "see" in a different way to how we see. None of this matters unless our suspension of disbelief is broken.

A bad effect can do that. A bad model shot or an unconvincing man in a suit looks just as bad as a bad CG element. I believe good CG matches or exceeds what can be done with a purely practical effect. The best uses of CG have something real as a reference point.

To paraphrase Mr Kurtwood, I don't care how it is done as long as it looks good. Looking good is not necessarily the same as looking real.




great_badir -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (16/4/2012 1:29:22 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
A bad model shot or an unconvincing man in a suit looks just as bad as a bad CG element.


But that's my point - to me and my eyes (as I said all along, this is just my opinion) an unconvincing man in a suit looks a million times better than some of the best CGI because the man in the suit is, at least, there.

Oh, and when I mentioned Aliens, I was actually referring more to the queen and the facehuggers, and the miniature work.

So yeah - practical MUCH better than computer...

...cough1978 King Kongcough




DazDaMan -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (19/4/2012 10:45:27 PM)

The 1976 Kong? Really?




NCC1701A -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 10:09:26 AM)

Star Trek II: The wrath of khan
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Poltergeist




williamsmith518 -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 10:38:20 AM)

There's that shot where Grant & Malcolm are looking up at at the T-Rex from their car and the head is practical, and then the camera pans down to windcsreen level and the shot of the Rex moving towards the other car is CGI. The transition is flawless and for me it's one of the best special effects shots ever. So while I understand the compulsion to deify practical effects (and as a movie-child of the 80s I adore practical effects) I think it's a little unfair to dismiss the CGI in this case. It was groundbreaking. But as is almost the case with pioneering others ran with it and overused it and fucked it up.

-------------------------------------
[URL=http://www.travestibestmodel.net/]Travesti[/URL]




DancingClown -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 10:54:00 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: williamsmith518

There's that shot where Grant & Malcolm are looking up at at the T-Rex from their car and the head is practical, and then the camera pans down to windcsreen level and the shot of the Rex moving towards the other car is CGI. The transition is flawless and for me it's one of the best special effects shots ever. So while I understand the compulsion to deify practical effects (and as a movie-child of the 80s I adore practical effects) I think it's a little unfair to dismiss the CGI in this case. It was groundbreaking. But as is almost the case with pioneering others ran with it and overused it and fucked it up.

-------------------------------------
[URL=http://www.travestibestmodel.net/]Travesti[/URL]



Imitation is the sincerest form of plagiarism, thank you.

THIEF!!!!!!!!!

Urgh....I feel violated.... [sm=scared04.gif]




great_badir -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 12:10:13 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: DazDaMan
The 1976 Kong? Really?


I actually meant that as a sarcastic hijacking response to my own "practical better than CGI" argument. Cos, clearly, half decent miniature work aside, the '76 Kong isn't.




DazDaMan -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 12:15:43 PM)

That's OK then... [;)]




Spaldron -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 1:09:03 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: NCC1701A

Star Trek II: The wrath of khan



Tbh the effects in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are much better than the ones in this. In fact many of the effects in Khan were just recycled shots from TPM.




BoDixen -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 7:38:14 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut

The flooding scene in The Rains Came is still breathtaking:

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tw5hXrbf1kg/TRgSadFu2tI/AAAAAAAADes/JYLzqPm46k0/s1600/rains-bridge.jpg[/image]

[image]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_tw5hXrbf1kg/TRgTcuvXCtI/AAAAAAAADfk/TU8yJtb2TtU/s1600/Rainscame13.jpg[/image]


Really?

Miniature water ALWAYS ALWAYS looks incredibly fake because it doesn't compress so it scales VERY badly.

Even when they use bigatures and extreme high pressure it looks bad.

And super detailed water simulation and rendering is also complex on the computer so water effects is really quite irritating and they are also a comp nightmare for either plates be they practical or computer simulated.




OPEN YOUR EYES -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 7:55:38 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron


quote:

ORIGINAL: NCC1701A

Star Trek II: The wrath of khan



Tbh the effects in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are much better than the ones in this. In fact many of the effects in Khan were just recycled shots from TPM.


Yep.
Star Trek :The wrath of khan was working on a very small budget due to the fact Star Trek:the motion picture didn't make much at the box office.

The effects in Star Trek:The motion picture were very,very good and its still one of my most enjoyable star trek films.




Hood_Man -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 8:49:51 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron


quote:

ORIGINAL: NCC1701A

Star Trek II: The wrath of khan



Tbh the effects in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are much better than the ones in this. In fact many of the effects in Khan were just recycled shots from TPM.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
Tbh the effects in Star Trek: The Motion Picture are much better than the ones in this. In fact many of the effects in Khan were just recycled shots from TPM.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
Many of the effects in Khan were just recycled shots from TPM.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
Recycled shots from TPM.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Spaldron
TPM.





[image]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v328/wrzn_c/slap.gif[/image]




Shifty Bench -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 9:07:45 PM)

[sm=happy07.gif]

Sorry, but that was funny [:D]




Hood_Man -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 9:19:16 PM)

Spalds, I'm just saving you from yourself, I promise!!




Spaldron -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (20/4/2012 11:28:56 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Spalds, I'm just saving you from yourself, I promise!!


[image]http://gifs.gifbin.com/122009/1260528522_itcrowd-facepalm.gif[/image]

Ah fuck, I meant TMP.






jonson -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (21/4/2012 9:06:58 AM)

[:D] haha, brilliant!




DONOVAN KURTWOOD -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (21/4/2012 11:43:20 AM)

[:D]




superdan -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (21/4/2012 12:30:06 PM)

You can just imagine it can't you?

Spock: "It's life, Captain, but not life as we know it."
JarJar: "I spake!"
Kirk: "Evaluation, Mr Spock?
S: "Fascinating"
JJ: "How wude!"




DONOVAN KURTWOOD -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (21/4/2012 12:44:33 PM)

[:D] Brilliant!




st3veebee -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (23/4/2012 10:11:36 AM)

[:D] Most amusing thing I have read on these forums in ages. Good on ya




spark1 -> RE: Excellence in Practical Effects (23/4/2012 10:15:54 AM)

'wrath of khan' only used footage from the drydock scene in TMP.
the rest was original footage from ILM using the TMP enterprise model.




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