PT Practical Effects in the Prequels- Sets, Pictures, Models, etc.

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Han Burgundy, Dec 28, 2013.

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  1. TX-20 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2013
    star 4
    You just know Rick McCallum is going to come into this thread and be blown away.

    "I thought it was all digital!"
  2. Gallandro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    No, Rick McCallum would be more apt to say:

    "This is f@&%#ng awesome!"


    Yancy
  3. Han Burgundy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    It's so dense, you guys.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Apr 19, 2014
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  4. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 6
    love this thread. so sick of people saying "cg this and cg that".
    Darthman92, Thomo93, B99 and 6 others like this.
  5. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    It's always funny to tell people about all the things that look plastic and fake because it was all CG that "Actually that was a combination of models, minatures and matte painting galore as well as lots of background plates shot around the world."

    Then this and this was CG added in. This was a digital set made of photos of the real set that is indistinguishable from being on the real set.
  6. Gallandro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Yeah, it's pretty amazing that for people who call themselves "fans," how little they know about the practical effects work that went into the PT. For example there was an interesting exchange in the Sequel Trilogy forums on a thread about the now infamous set pic from Abu Dhabi showing workers rolling out an AT foot. Someone in the thread had commented that "this was an eye opener" because the Prequels were filled with CGI sets and very few models. I then commented that "practical effects were everywhere in the film if people bothered to look for that info. It became more convenient (i.e., lazy) for those who disregarded the films to dismiss the PT as a CGI-fest. For example most of the Kamino interiors and exteriors are model work."

    Of course the haters appear with comments like: "It was a CGI fest. There were just also a bunch practical effects as well." And the final one that took the cake: "There were plenty of models in the PT but they were mostly miniature sets. Therefore actors had little to interact with on set. This pic gives me hope."

    Below is my reply:


    Of course no one had a response to that reply....
    Last edited by Gallandro, Apr 21, 2014
  7. yodafan1031 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 15, 2014
    star 1
    I really like this thread. For a while after originally watching TPM, I thought that there was a lot of CG. It didn't bother me, I just thought it was there (including Yoda). I re-watched the PT again recently and caught myself thinking that things looked a little more..."solid" I guess is the best way I can put it. Seeing this thread confirms that. Love, love LOVE all the pics!
  8. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 6
    part of the brilliance of the work is making it seem like there is none. the downside is haters and noobs not recognizing the work.
  9. BunkMcNutty Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Posting pictures of sets and miniatures doesn't really invalidate the argument though. Although I am of the opinion that this falls under personal preference for the most part. Some people are happier with the results of the often-CGI PT effects over the 'practical' effects of the OT.

    I will say this though, I think the biggest difference is watching scenes where actors are interacting with digital character models. Examples are prevalent in the PT. I'll argue to my grave about the superiority of the ESB Yoda puppet to the digital models of the prequels. Something about the existence of a real-life representation on set coupled with just masterful puppeteering/acting just works so much better. Those scenes are still some of the best in the series and I never doubt the illusion of reality.
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  10. Samnz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 3
    It surely invalidates the "argument" (which was actually just a baseless claim) that the Prequels "were all CG". That's simply not true. It also invalidates disrespectfil attacks like "they were just lazy on the Prequels".
    Although it certainly doesn't invalidate (and I think that was your point but, imo, not the thread's point) that some people don't like the general "look" of the PT.

    Then again they also hated TPM's puppet Yoda, even though it was moviemaking consent at the time that the material they used for the TPM puppet was superior to the material they used in the 80s and Yoda was still puppeteered by Frank Oz.
    They still hated the puppet, simply because it looked differently.

    Apart from that, I find it sad in some ways that the CGI work on the PT was never really appreciated. The digital Clone Troopers have become the most strinking thing of what supposedly "went wrong" and while I absolutely see the reasons for making the big mass scenes CG, I also struggle to understand why they didn't built a single white suite for Temuera Morrison (they even could have used his old Jango suit and painted that suit white, almost no costs).
    Still, that fact alone leads many people to disregard the whole "Clone project" and claim it looks "all fake" which, I think, is just not true.Consider this shot, for example:
    [IMG]
    Doesn't this Clone's arm look absoutely real?
    Different materials, cloth, fabrics the armour's demage, the illusion of 3D.... It looks absolutely realistic for my eyes. And this was done 12 (twelve) years ago!

    I short: I just want to say that the CG work in the Prequels deserves more respect. If just for the fact that it cleared the way for even more advanced work in the years to come!


    Back to topic: Some additional pics from TPM.

    Planet Core:
    [IMG]

    Pod Race:
    [IMG]

    Set Pics:
    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Samnz, Apr 23, 2014
  11. Boba_Fett_2001 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2000
    star 8
    Last edited by Boba_Fett_2001, Apr 23, 2014
  12. Big_Benn_Klingon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2013
    star 3
    lol nice. And of course the irony of that whole discussion is that it's completely unlikely that the ST will even come close to the PT in the amount of practical effects it uses. It just isn't nearly as practical to use practical effects in 2014 as it was a decade and a half ago.
  13. Gallandro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Exactly. Some of these folks will be shocked. I suspect the ration of CGI vs. Practical effects will be virtually identical between the PT and the ST.

    Yancy
    Last edited by Gallandro, Apr 23, 2014
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  14. Luukeskywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
  15. thejeditraitor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 6
    regarding the clones. no one at the time even knew the clones were cg until it was let out. that's how realistic they are.
    Last edited by thejeditraitor, Apr 23, 2014
  16. SimitarLikeTusk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2014
    star 3
    my response: the cinematography is a hell of alot better/more convincing, and as I think youre well aware instances of actors on set with partial sets or little more than a blue screen were rare in the originals and the majority of the latter two prequels.
    Seriously the aim of this thread to "expose" the physically made stuff is completely idiotic. It either was convincing or not.
  17. Gallandro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    LOL. Really? convincing... Go watch some of this.



    Specifically the stars in the background, shifting out of focus and into focus incorrectly. In certain shots the stars in the background are completely in focus while elements just behind the foreground are out of focus. That shouldn't be happening, the stars should be out of focus as well. Go look at 6:15... please explain how the stars are in focus yet the window frame is out of focus?

    In addition in some shots where the stars should be in focus ILM introduces an artificial blur to make them appear out of focus... again incorrect with the lenses used in the shoot. Go fast forward to 1:53... the shot is embarrassing, and I'm still stunned these effects were never fixed over the years.

    So please... stop talking about what's convincing or not... it's all in the eye of the beholder. Plus at the end of the day, whether it's PT or OT:






    Yancy
    Last edited by Gallandro, Apr 24, 2014
  18. FRAGWAGON Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    You need to see Carrie's interview on Carson (1983). She jokes about having to "act to nothing" so much that she's almost forgotten how to act on a normal set.

    Except funnier of course (Carrie Fisher, what can I say).

    Maybe someone else can post that video, I have technical issues.
  19. Han Burgundy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    To be clear, as the OP of this thread, I started this because I had heard a lot of users on this forum mentioning and posting pictures of practical effects instances that were not common knowledge, and I was interested to find out more. That's it. I wasn't trying to prove anybody "wrong", and I don't think this thread should be seen as some grand statement about the prequels being misunderstood films. All I wanted to do was shine a light on the incredible work that some of these artists put into the films, work that a lot of people, myself included, didn't even know about until some of the great users here posted their massive picture galleries for us to enjoy, and for that I thank them.

    Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder... I think the nitty gritty of what makes something look "real" or not to a person is an incredibly subjective thing. But what we can all agree on is that some guy hand painted a 3 centimeter vine crawling up the side of a wall in a massive, sprawling model of Naboo that we would see on screen for less than 5 seconds, and that's incredible.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Apr 24, 2014
  20. SlashMan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2012
    star 4
    Whoa, awesome! Having this thread get mainstream attention is the best thing that could happen. It's not to force everyone to like the prequels, but rather it allows people to make their own opinions after seeing the actual work that went into it, as opposed to jumping on some bandwagon that they know little about.

    Also, the article is well-written, but the shot of 3PO is from Attack of the Clones; the 3PO skeleton went unused in the final film, but Tony Daniels requested to be the puppeteer that time around.
  21. Gallandro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    Ask, and you shall receive:



    This of course was a common complaint with actors in the OT, and certainly not exclusive to the PT.


    Yancy
  22. TX-20 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 2013
    star 4
    Real Haters wouldn't even care about this thread.

    They'll be all like: "Meh, I hate it."
    While we'll be all like: "Haters gonna Hate"
    To which they'll respond: "Fake!"
    Which will force us to yell: "REAL!"
    This is what they will say: "Get out of your Mom's basement."
    But we know a great comeback: "Actually, she lives in my basement!"

    And when they don't respond, it will be because we won. And they know that we won. That's why they didn't respond.
  23. Ditolus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 22, 2005
    star 2
    But then u also have scenes like this that are all cg except for mace and obi. It looks ultra fake. (although this pic doesnt look too bad) the scene in the film looks much worse.
    [IMG]
    Last edited by Ditolus, Apr 26, 2014
  24. Han Burgundy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    I believe that's actually a matte painting, not a CGI background, but I do think there is a little bit of the "digital effect" going on here that was mentioned earlier. This is a film shot on digital cameras with digitally composited effects elements, so the end result does look different than, say, the ESB shot posted above of the two Rebels standing fun front of the Echo Base hangar. I don't know that one looks noticeably more fake than the other, but I think the shot in AOTC does stand out more because it's a newer film, and modern movies have typically strayed away from such "in your face" usage of matte paintings as was prevalent in the time of the OT.
    Last edited by Han Burgundy, Apr 26, 2014
  25. Qui-Riv-Brid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2013
    star 5
    I appreciate your personal preference of the presentation but I am of the mind that's all it really is. I don't think there is anything at all to "Something about the existence of a real-life representation on set coupled with just masterful puppeteering/acting just works so much better."

    The point is that it isn't a real life representation. It's a puppet. The person who should get major credit for Yoda working is Mark Hamill. He's the one that at the end really sold it as being real.

    The larger point to me about those scenes isn't the puppet itself per se but the fact that everything was crafted around trying to get the thing to work from Hamill, Oz and the other puppeteers and basing the whole environment around trying to make it work. It tooks weeks and weeks of work to get a relative few minutes out of it all and then all kinds of editing to piece together what ended up in the picture. I think it's far less about the means to get the puppet to work than creating the scenes it's actually in.

    If you recreated the scenes with the CG model it wouldn't lose any of it's impact because it'd still be centred around it. If anything it would do more because all the material they wanted to do and had to abandon and the things they could only dream about doing could be done.

    Even if they puppet in TPM was exactly the same it still wouldn't work well in comparison to a movie where you have Jar Jar, Watto and the like fully interactive then a puppet that doesn't seem alive because they weren't centering all the scenes it was in around it. The different look was used as an excuse to why it didn't work. I wish it had been exactly the same and then people would see that it still didn't work. No because the puppeting was bad but because the context to make it work wasn't going to be used.
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