Speculation Episode 7 Special effects: What do you expect/hope for?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Lee_, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think Lucas, and he has stated this in interviews, felt freed up by CG in ways that the more photochemical optical fx could never deliver.
    But it comes back to the old saying that jst because you can do something doesn't mean you should. I just think he overreached. CG is certainly a terrific new tool for the tool box but it has to be used for things that can really only be done no other way. That is paraphrasing the fx legend Dennis Muren.
    Even John Knoll when he was making Pirates 2 mentioned how he was excited to be working on sets with live action actors and then using their on-set motion capture system(imocap) rather than having to do the mocap seperately in a studio divorced from the interaction with the other actors.
    ILM has worked hard over the last half decade since ROTS to bring CG camera setups and data capture into more workable setups for live action shooting while making their "footprint" on-set less intrusive.

    I hope they really stretch that in the ST with massive on-set mo cap capture. Then you're actually working with actors with actors, regardless if an actor is going to be replaced later with a CG creature.

    The Phantom Menace started that whole process with Ahmed Best as Jar Jar, but well.....an annoying character is annoying no matter how he is realized. Ahmed playing Jar Jar would have been every bit as annoying.
    Echo-07 likes this.
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    I think Lucas, and he has stated this in interviews, felt freed up by CG in ways that the more photochemical optical fx could never deliver.
    But it comes back to the old saying that jst because you can do something doesn't mean you should. I just think he overreached. CG is certainly a terrific new tool for the tool box but it has to be used for things that can really only be done no other way. That is paraphrasing the fx legend Dennis Muren.
    Even John Knoll when he was making Pirates 2 mentioned how he was excited to be working on sets with live action actors and then using their on-set motion capture system(imocap) rather than having to do the mocap seperately in a studio divorced from the interaction with the other actors.
    ILM has worked hard over the last half decade since ROTS to bring CG camera setups and data capture into more workable setups for live action shooting while making their "footprint" on-set less intrusive.

    I hope they really stretch that in the ST with massive on-set mo cap capture. Then you're actually working with actors with actors, regardless if an actor is going to be replaced later with a CG creature.

    The Phantom Menace started that whole process with Ahmed Best as Jar Jar, but well.....an annoying character is annoying no matter how he is realized. Ahmed playing Jar Jar would have been every bit as annoying.
  3. gregvader123 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2012
    star 2
    Oh I agree he totally overreached. He's like the guy at the party who doesn't know when to stop drinking and ends up ruining the night for everyone.
  4. Doug625 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 1
    that's a good point, at one time I think I remember GL saying one reason he started with episode 4 was because the technology wasn't available yet to show the way he envisioned some of the larger scenes from Eps 1-3....it was a long time ago, but I do remember hearing him say this. Now that he could do it he may have went overboard a bit.
  5. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    I think it's undeniable that the whole mo-cap process has evolved tremendously since its fairly nascent use in TPM, and would be used to greater effect in the ST.
  6. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    I think Lucas just likes to push whatever technology he's working with as far as he can. Practical effects were pushed to the limit by Ken Ralston in ROTJ, but working digitally it's much easier to keep adding things and coming up with new ideas all the time, which is exactly how Lucas likes to work.
  7. gregvader123 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2012
    star 2
    Well I guess it's some consolation that it has evolved and we will just have to be happy with that since it's pretty much a given that Lucas will go buck-wild on episode VII with the latest special effects tech.
  8. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    The one positive sign I've seen to this point is they're lining up writers now for the entire trilogy. You want to nail the story and characters first and foremost. ILM will do their brilliance no doubt about that. But, we need strong SW stories and characters first.
    LawJedi likes this.
  9. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    I have no doubt that any new Star Wars will continue to push the limits of the technology, however I doubt Lucas will have much to do with that fact beyond having set the precedent for it.
  10. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Lucas being a "creative consultant" could mean he is there to offer his opinion of what others are doing, but will remain largely hands-off or it could mean he will be there to be ignored by all involved.

    I think they will seek his advice about certain stuff but I think he will be doing other things.
  11. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    Well considering his involvement will likely be limited, do you think this might be the first SW movie that will have involvement from a larger base of FX companies for specialized tasks? Similar to Avengers or Harry Potter? Obviously the discount of having ILM in house might dissuade such a move.
  12. gregvader123 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 16, 2012
    star 2
    Yeah you're right Lucas will be more hands off but I think at this point the names Lucas and Disney are interchangeable.
  13. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Last edited by Lee_, Nov 22, 2012
  14. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Agree. The movies were meant to be watched for enjoyment, not taken apart with a microscope based on what you know.

    Interesting post earlier in the thread by someone that works in the industry saying that some of the real stuff was worked in so well that you couldn't tell. I wouldn't at all doubt that some of the stuff that people rag about actually WAS real.
    kainee likes this.
  15. Echo-07 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2012
    star 4
    This is a really great post. I happen to agree largely with it. The CG strides that were made in the mid to late 90's were great for the time but still formative. GL took them too far sacrificing sets and people. I think the clones in Eps 2 & 3 should have been real people because they weren't so extraordinary, alien or difficult. By having CG clones it shows a sort of the going too far with the CGI that don't want to see with the ST. IMO as many real actors should be enmployeed for characters. And as many sets and locations as possible.
  16. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    CGI worked best in the PT when used for backdrops, locations, cities, planets and things like ships, battles and so forth. I will, however, say that I wasn't too keen on some of the Mustafar scenes at the end of RoTS. I'm also not a big fan of CGI characters, although the technology has admittedly, of course, improved dramatically since a certain Binks first graced the silver screen. Still, I'd like Lucasfilm to steer themselves away from them, as well as some of the silly, gimmicky characters that have always been something of an achilles heel for George Lucas.

    Depending on how long after RoTJ episode VII is set, I'll be interested to see whether they opt for a shiny and new aesthetic for the sets, tech etc OR whether they will attempt, to an extent, to replicate what Lucas described as the "used future" aesthetic of the OT.

    Ultimately, though, I hope for judicious use of CGI coupled with a greater emphasis on dialogue, plot and character development. I'm also hoping, like others, that Mortis might play a role in the new films. I think that could, if done well, really add to the mythological and philosophical basis of the saga as a whole.

    Finally, please no cloned/resurrected Vader/Maul/Palpatine nonsense.
  17. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 8
    Michael Bay-type explosions. 'Nuff said. :p
    Last edited by Jedi Gunny, Nov 22, 2012
  18. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    Apparently I have to be *that guy* but I have to point out that a majority of Mustafar exteriors were elaborate models (with actual flowing "lava") and actual source photography from a live volcano.
    kainee likes this.
  19. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Hey, keep reality out of this!
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  20. LawJedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 4
    I just don't think that fooling the eye is the real purpose of good special effects. It's a fundamental misinterpretation of their purpose. It's more valid to say that they should fool the heart and capture the imagination. I never once doubted that Oota Gunga was a real place that I'd love to visit, any more than I doubt King Kong because of his rippling fur effect. Or Kermit, for not having the dexterity of a real frog. :D

    A good example: Skyfall had a certain scene that involves a jaw appliance. Now, it was obvious to most adults watching that scene that a great deal of CGI was used to complete the effect. I can logically recognize that it is not a seamless, photo-perfect effect, and judge it on a technical level. Nevertheless, the idea behind the effect worked perfectly, and the implications were suitably haunting. It was an effective magic trick that captured the imagination.
    Last edited by LawJedi, Nov 22, 2012
  21. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I was just sort of scoffing at the way people are so ridiculously overly critical of the CGI in those movies, so much so that they are criticizing CGI that isn't even CGI, or only partially so. I think it is harder in many instances to tell than most people think; it is fashionable to criticize CGI, especially in the PT.

    Some of the creatures in recent movies look pretty real in the sense that if they really existed, that seems to be what they would look like. You can obviously tell it is CGI if it is something that doesn't exist in the real world, but as you point out, that is not the issue.
    kainee likes this.
  22. Krueger Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2004
    star 4
    Visuals are incredibly important in any film, but particularly in films like this. Unfortunately, for some bizarre reason, that’s quite a dirty thing to say.

    Someone said earlier in the thread that some of the exterior Coruscant scenes should have been shot in Tokyo. Sorry? Why, can I ask? Coruscant looks breathtaking. All the “exterior” shots in Coruscant look as though they’re taking place outside. The landing pad sequence in TPM looks like it was filmed outside, high up in the air. The balcony scene in ROTS when Padme is combing her hair, the same, only at night. Sorry to pick on that comment, but I just found it to be a ridiculous statement. Real locations should only be used when you can get away with it, like with Hoth, Tatooine or Endor.

    I’ve never understood when people say that CGI takes them out of the moment. If its crap, then yes. But if it’s well done? Maybe the problem is just with their mindsets, constantly rejecting an image because they know it’s not real instead of just watching the film.
    Last edited by Krueger, Nov 22, 2012
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  23. Lee_ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Indeed.

    I love the way that balcony scene looked and the preceding moments of Coruscant at night.

    I also think the rumination scene was great, as they gaze outside into the city and at the Jedi temple; I love the way they blended the sky color, the city, and the mood in that one.

    Also in ROTS, after Ani and Obi talk for the last time before Obi goes off to find Grievous (just after Obi walks away), I LOVE that shot of the ships flying overhead; it (seemingly) looks and sounds so much like it really would if those kinds of ships existed and were flying over you (great Blu-ray with surround sound moment). I think those that are overly critical fail to appreciate some of the real qualities of that movie. As a Sci-fi fan, I must say there are some of the best special effects shots ever in that movie, you just have to watch for and appreciate them, they are sometimes brief. Some talk as if Lucas' great attention to detail is a BAD thing, but none of the 6 movies would be as good without it; you just have to look for and appreciate it rather than trying so hard to be "the astute critic."
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  24. TheManFromMortis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2012
    star 2
    _ _ _ _

    That's true. I'd forgotten that lots of that was done with models. I just didn't like the scenes of Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting on those "things" that fell into the lava or when they were on the droids flying just about the lavaflow.
  25. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    They have the Making Of docs and books. It still doesn't cure ignorance.