Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Lee_, Nov 18, 2012.
You must be in minority. All I heard was how crappy the Yoda puppet was in TPM after it came out.
The OT Yoda is a masterpiece
It is, and it looks real. The CG Yoda does not.
I get that puppet Yoda would have looked stupid fighting, but why not simply make Yoda CG when fighting and have a puppet the rest of the time?
If WETA can make Gollum look as real as he did using CGI, ILM should be able to get a Yoda who looks like the OT version
Squibs, smoke, dry ice, fireworks. I hope for some of them blood packs that burst when a dude gets shot.
I see what you are saying, but its not necessarily a hard rule. I think it has more to do with how believable the elements come together. When I was a kid and saw Empire, there was no way that I thought that there wasn't actually a giant 4 legged metal beast bearing down on the shield generator. Its not like they actually built a scale working AT-AT (though how awesome would that be!) or even had a point of reference for the actors. They just told the guys through a megaphone as they shot the scene in the snow something to the effect of, "OK! Rebel extras, in this scene there is a large robotic dog moving towards you at a lumbering pace. Everyone shout and jump into the trench and point your gun in THAT direction."
So while I agree that it helps to have a physical presence in the scene, its not completely necessary all the time.
I think the problem with the Gollum vs Yoda thing is that Gollum was more human-like in his body, skin color, facial features, and mannerisms (thanks of course to the wonderful work of Andy Serkis), whereas Yoda was a small alien being with a disproportional body and green skin. We know how a deformed human should look and move and Gollum matched it perfectly, but Yoda had only been seen before shuffling around. And I love the OT, but even I can look at the scenes with Yoda walking and tell it was very muppet-like. I like your idea of mixing the puppet in for the "acting" scenes and doing the CG Yoda for the fights. That puppet Yoda in Episode I looked like something that would sneak into the girls shower and hide in the corner for hours just giggling maniacally.
In theater actors often work with minimum or no decorations. A professional actor/actress should be able to use their imagination. Having a good script and director is more important than physical presence. Ironically, that has been Star Wars weakness from day one (yes, even in the OT).
Maybe some motion-capture aliens are a solution, Gollum was Serkis in a mo-cap suit after all and TinTin had animation mo-cap actors which looked good.
The big battles in the PT were fine, such as Naboo and Geonosis. The problem was with scenes like ROTS when the Jedi crash on Greivous' ship and jump out dramatic style which looked really dodgy and fake. And the big fight between Obi Wan and Anakin was OTT and should have been scaled down more to OT levels. But Mustafar itself looked good IMO.
I think part of the reason SW is big on thespian actors, and why they always deliver the best performances in the movies, is because they have a theatre background and so are used to improvised acting. A lot of the younger US actors (or big American Hollywood names) are not used to that and so struggle at acting with something that isn't there.
I don't think mixing puppet and CGI would have worked. It would have looked too inconsistent.
Perhaps. That may be the problem that many have with some of the Special Edition changes. The mix of old and new in the same scene is often just to contrasting and jarring.
Having CGI Yoda in one trilogy and a puppet in the other is incosistent anyway, they don't look the same.
SHHH! George Lucas might read this and decide to make a few more "changes".
Yeah, but at least they're contained within the movies. Going from a shuffling puppet in one scene to the feisty CGI warrior in the next one would be very jarring (remember, the majority of the viewers are not die-hard fans and don't have a special attachment to the OT puppet). TPM Yoda was just weird.
Frankly I thought the CG Yoda looked a lot more like OT Yoda than the TPM puppet ever did. That was the main appeal for replacing that ugly, lumpy puppet. If I remember correctly, even Stuart Freeborn, creator of the original Yoda puppet, raised hell about the TPM Yoda looking off, despite the fact that it was made my Nick Dudman, one of his former "apprentices."
Yeah, he looked on crack or something.
I'm a big fan of practical effects but I would like to see some motion capture technology utilised. Just look at Rise of the Planet of the Apes and how amazing the apes looked.
If it was ILM mo-cap, or ILM working with WETA (like on the Avengers Hulk mo-cap), I would have faith. But WETA mo-cap always looks like rotoscoping in a Ralph Bakshi movie. Strong mo-cap performances grafted on to lower quality CGI. Apes, King Kong, LOTR, always look b-grade to me. On the other hand, the Gollum in the Hobbit trailer is looking really strong.
That's one of the parts I would have preferred to be a bit different, though not necessarily in that scene, next to rapid-fire unpersonal shootouts which aren't quite on one level with the shootouts in the OT. The best example for an unnecessary cgi-jump was Count Dooku early in ROTS. Here we have an elderly gentleman who is supposed to have a certain standard in etiquette, well, count-like. Instead of having him walk slowly down the stairs to confront Anakin and Obi Wan, which would be fitting to such a character and allow him to hold his small speach at the same time, he makes a weird flip over the railing for no apparent reason. Meanwhile the superbattledroids walk slowly down the stairs in the way Count Dooku should have.
That's actually another point. The normal battledroids are supposed to be a bit stupid, but you would think that at least the superbattledroids would have enough sense in them not to go into close-combat when they have a long-range weapon and are facing someone who is a short-range fighter, but that's not really about special effects.
Overall I find the criticism a bit overblown. I don't know how often I have heard people complain about "bad cgi" in places where no cgi was used. Seriously, if you can't properly identify the method used in a certain scene, it doesn't make much sense to criticise it.
That being said, on some occasions more set and less blue/green screen could have made sense.
I think in the attempt to make every scene 'epic' and 'sweeping' with impossible numbers of fighters, robots, ships etc it made the CGI stand out. It also made it less personal.
A good example of how it would be better handled is the Hoth battle in ESB, you got to see actual humans just setting up their defences, saw their faces, there weren't millions of them on screen but you saw enough to imagine that there was a reasonable sized battle going on and you cared for the people involved.
I didn't say that they did do that for the OT.
Both Gollum and Yoda always looked great in CG to me.
Of course, one thing here is that we're all under the assumption that the next trilogy is going to be live action (Which it had better be.) but there's no tell either way yet.
It seems that the audience doesn't mind if most of the movie looks like a CGI cartoon (just look at Avatar's box office).
hmmm .. maybe most parents don't mind sitting thru a crappy cgi cartoon with their pre teen children .. i am talkin bout both lord of the rings and the prequels .. simply put .. the cgi in the prequels was NOT believable .. it looked like humans mixed with cartoons .. might as well be a roger rabbit movie .. the puppets in the OT were far more believable as characters .. jabba .. yoda .. compared to jar jar yoda n jabba ... ps .. yoda didn't need to fight dooku .. he was like 800 years old .. he could still have been in a more docile role ... there is so much wrong with the prequels but the cgi is likely 90 percent of the reason the prequels are so lifeless and dull .. well maybe the script had a lot to do with it too ..
Seems like most of the movies have had some kind of chase, often with hazardous terrain of a kind.
Vader chases starfighters down the trench
TIE-fighters chase the Falcon numerous times, including through the asteroid field
Leia and Luke chase and are chased by Imperials with bike, on Endor. Also Lando is chased through the Death Star by TIE fighters.
Anakin chases and is chased by Sebulba in the Podrace. Obi-Wan & Qui-Gon are chased through the sea by monsters
Obi-Wan chases Jango. Anakin & Obi-Wan chase Dooku
Droid starfighters chase Obi-Wan and Anakin. Obi-Wan chases Grievous
It seems likely there will be more.
Not to mention, most major blockbusters have some chase too. It's one of the easiest way to get adrenalin pumping.
That was what Lucas wanted. He says that during the OT, he had to "rein himself in" because technology did not allow massive numbers of everything, it had to be sparse (e.g. the final scene in ANH when they attack the deathstar, so few ships); but with new tech, he didn't have to, he could go wild with the scenes. I don't know that it is the numbers though, I think it just needs to be well done. I'm sure some disagree, but I think the opening space battle in ROTS looked great, at least the space part of it.