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Edmonton AOTC: The IMAX experience: A view from the booth. Warning-Lengthy

Discussion in 'Canada Discussion Boards' started by Starbender, Nov 7, 2002.

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  1. Starbender

    Starbender Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 18, 2002
    After viewing AOTC IMAX over a dozen times from my little viewport, here's my shot-by-shot crit. This mostly concerns its re-formatting and editing, but also includes stuff I like and hate. So there.


    >7.4 miles of film
    >172026 frames
    >3 severed limbs

    * 60 foot SW logo. Woo Hoo! The starfields are also rock-solid on IMAX, no jitter here!

    * Intro trim: Anakin's awkward introduction to Padme. Thankfully gone.

    * The Coruscant night scenes are amazingly detailed. Just look at all that stuff going on in the background! The chase has a bigger impact too. Still looking for the X-wing and TIE. Zam's a babe too!!

    * Dexter's diner: Why didn't they leave the library bit and trim this embarrassing scene? Technically it's not up to snuff either, in the scene where Obi hugs Dexter, Ewan is staring off into space instead of at Dex. Terrible.

    * Arrival at Naboo: Too bad they didn't pan over a bit more so we can see the Correllian Transport.

    * Kamino: The Kaminoan skin texture is superb, very detailed on IMAX. Bad P+S in the PM's office. Obi is out of frame when he is being introduced and Lama Su is blurry. The clone factory is great, you can see the individual Kaminoans riding in their flying pods.

    * Arrival of boat on Naboo: Glaringly bad compositing on the two-towered building. The domed towers they tacked on to the existing building are flat, like sprites in a video game. Yuck.

    * Inform the senate that we suck scene: Thankfully gone.

    * The Kiss trim: Not bad. Not great. Padme got back!

    * Jango and Obi fight trim: I hardly noticed so it's all right. I also think it's ludicrous that anyone can grab a steel cable to stop from falling. Twice. Your arm would come out of it's socket and your hand would be meat!

    * Meadow scene trim: Yippee! It's gone. Also, I have a beef with every single scene that shows someone riding a beast of any kind, and that includes TPM. It looks just like it is, someone riding a green screen sawhorse that only tilts from front to back. Very obviously "digital", and lame, Lame, LAME! My biggest beef ever.

    * Anakin's Mom dream trim: Thankfully gone.

    * Morning on Naboo "I have to help her" scene. Here's where the dreaded "wiggle" rears its ugly head. Notice how sometimes the foreground elements move around a bit in relation to the background? This is bad compositing and is extra-noticeable in the IMAX format. It happens at least a dozen times throughout the movie! Bad, very bad.

    * Asteroids: Kickass, I found myself wanting some more music though, what would TESB's asteroids scene be without the sweeping score? Here it doesn't start until Jango fires the missile. The BWANG of the seismic charges, I thought would blow the speakers for sure.

    * Tattooine: The intro of Lars and Beru was trimmed; I'm only mentioning it 'cause Beru Whitsun is HOT!

    * Tusken camp: When Anakin is sneaking up on the camp, check out the two small moons for obvious pixellation problems. Anti-alias them, boys!

    * Senate vote: Wow, look at all them little boxes.
    I think they should have left in the earlier scene where Jar Jar is manipulated into calling for the emergency powers. This was an important scene and shows Palpy's scheming. Come on, you know you want more BINKS!!!!!!

    * Conveyor belt: Spectacular in IMAX, great lighting. The music really shines in this sequence. I assume the Geonosans are not ISO 9002 compliant, droid quality control is terrible. Trims are Ok.

    * Execution arena: The intro is cringe inducing. "I truly...madly.... deeply...." What the hell is that? Aw well, that wide shot as they are being brought out, with the Geonosans fluttering down and the love theme playing is wonderful in IMAX. Looks like you can count every bug! Love that Acklay, one of the coolest SciFi beasts ever. Check the look on Obi's face when he finally despatches it. Padme's jump down is awful, she kind of pops onto the Reek, looks FAKE. The usual "beast riding" beefs apply, see above. There is also a fair amount of "wiggle" around the actors' feet throughout the whole sequence, which i
  2. YoungJediNiagara

    YoungJediNiagara RSA Emeritus FF Canada star 4 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 23, 2001
    LOL, very VERY well done.

    I also think it's ludicrous that anyone can grab a steel cable to stop from falling. Twice. Your arm would come out of it's socket and your hand would be meat!

    LOL..I totally agree, not even a Jedi has skin of steel.

    Another beef is "Out of rockets". I count SEVEN gun turrets on the gunship, and there's always RAMMING SPEED!!

    I found that odd too. There was also the troopers guns on board.

  3. astrozombie

    astrozombie Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 19, 2002
    wow! what a comprehensive dissection! kudos!
    In regard to clipped and altered scenes, I remember some of the digital C-3PO footage in the droid factory being shortened, and Padme's 'recovery' from her fall from the gunship being much less crisp...although her action is the same, she doesn't respond an unafflicted and serious 'yes' to the clonetrooper, but grunts an '...uhmhum...' a non-superheroine answer. They also chop droid dialogue. The R2 - 3PO debate before following Anakin and Padme into the factory seemed to be lacking quips.

    am I crazy?

    oh, and Starbender. I cannot agree more with your 'beast riding' observation and annoyance with the Dex and Execution scenes. ARG! Actually, I can't agree more with all of your points! nice post.
  4. Darth_Haggis

    Darth_Haggis Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2002
    * Balcony clone viewing: The clone army is stunning in IMAX, watch out for lots of "wiggle" on the balcony. It's quite appearant when you watch Bail Organa's hands in the front view.

    I must disagree with your synopsis of this scene. Viewing it again this afternoon, I believe that any sort of movement in the scene is caused by joint movement of the camera itself and the low frequency vibrations created by the launching of the ships. Basically: there is so much bass that the balcony is vibrating.
  5. Starbender

    Starbender Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 18, 2002
    Hmmmm...Darth, you may be right, I'll have to give it a closer look. As I recall, the left side was wiggling and the right side was relatively stable, which was what drew my attention.

    The wiggle afflicts many scenes, some with camera movement, others in a static shot which REALLY makes me notice it.

    Why does it wiggle in the first place? I don't remember anything squirming around in TPM, but then that was shot on good 'ol film instead of 1's and 0's.

    I can do something similar in Adobe After Effects, I believe it's called motion key and is used to kind of "glue" pixels together making for quick n' easy fake UFO videos. Why can't ILM with millions make it perfect? Gripe gripe. To be fair, nearly every shot has been extensively massaged digitally, what I'm nit-picking is the shots that were "made on a Friday" A dozen mistakes in 700 or so shots is still purty good.

    Lucas has been working on his digital backlot since Radioland Murders. He experimented with entirely CGI sets, now it seems he's using extensive miniature sets, Peter Jackson seems to be going the same way in LOTR. I like the idea, making natural environments is hard as hell in full CGI, I've tried it. Scaled sets allow for those happy accidents that happen when you are handmaking something, and rich textures that are hard to duplicate.

    Yes, I am biased in favour of models, I've built models for years. When ANH came out I was amazed by the quality of the miniatures and still am. ROTJ is the pinnacle of Models and optical printing.

    I don't know how got rambling on about this topic so I'll start a new post with some more annotations.

  6. Starbender

    Starbender Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 18, 2002
    * Film stock: I'm pretty sure the film was shipped on Kodak film, which responds really well in the warm part of the colour spectrum. Look how good the daylight exterior scenes on Geonosis look, rich and vibrant. Very nice.

    * Padme packing, Ani whining scene: Ok, I had a bloody long day, yes it was watching Star Wars but when I run the 9.40 Pm show I start to get a little...punchy. I swear I saw the dresses in Padme's closet wiggling...or were they swinging back and forth while she packed them? Aieeee.

    * Queen Jamillia scene trim: Too talky anyways, glad it's gone.

    * Digital Yoda: Whoa. The texture and detail on his skin is superb, easy to see when he's forty feet high. The more I see him, the more I like him. And I thought I would never like a non-puppet Yoda. Great job.

    * Spaceport departure area: Hmm, some "gliding feet" here. Some of the people walking around's feet do not match their pace along the ground, looks like they are skating. They also have crappy shadows added to them, a big diffuse blob. Come to think of it, When Padme emerges from the Lars' garage, the swoop bike has the worst shadow ever, just a big oblong. In the next scene it has a much more defined edge. Jeez.

    Hey, how come the clonetroopers arrived on Geonosis all scuffed up, with dirty and dented gunships and armour? I thought Yoda went to pick them up "factory fresh" on Kamino. How'd they get so dirty so fast?
  7. Indigo_Jade

    Indigo_Jade Jedi Knight star 5

    Apr 23, 2002
    I noticed the armor thing too, before, and the explaination I came up with was that this was the same armor they trained in, so therefore it got a little beat up during the training? :)

    As far as I am concerned the whole spaceport/refugee ship scene should have been stricken from Star Wars history forever.

    Who ever heard of refugees having their own R2 unit? Not to mention the "we have R2 to protect us" line, possibly one of the worst in the Saga. I liked the vulnerability of Anakin during this scene, however, as he expresses his misgivings about being on his own for the first time, but like you said, that is a subject for a different post... :)

  8. Darth_Haggis

    Darth_Haggis Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2002
    *Outside Lars Homestead: When Anakin is standing outside and Padmé comes and gives him a hug, their shadows seem to move all over the building, even though they don't move from where they are standing. When Padmé comes out, Anakin's shadow is low on the wall, with his head touching the adobe formed ledge, but when all you see are the shadows of them hugging, there is no ledge, then when we pan out to see them break the hug, their heads are on the ledge again.
  9. JawaGirl

    JawaGirl Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 19, 2002
    Wow, cool thread guys!

    There is so much I will be watching for in my next viewing!

  10. geekgirl76

    geekgirl76 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Mar 29, 2002
    I definately share your bias for Models Starbender, I always find they have a solidity(is that a word?) you don't see with CGI. CGI is great when called for but I think it tends to get over used in some cases.
  11. Darth_Haggis

    Darth_Haggis Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2002
    When it comes time to create a fanfilm, we should definately look into using models. It might be cheaper than trying to animate some vehicles...
  12. Ky-Wan

    Ky-Wan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 19, 2002
    Models rock!

  13. Starbender

    Starbender Jedi Youngling star 1

    Oct 18, 2002
    It seems we are in agreement, models it is. How who has a STORY? I have always wanted to do a fanfilm.
  14. Ky-Wan

    Ky-Wan Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 19, 2002
    I think we all share that want my friend :)

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