The Editting discussion

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Rebel Scumb, Feb 19, 2003.

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  1. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "He also says that he uses it in all the films"

    I guess I need to be more specific...

    WHERE ON THE TPM DVD COMMENTARY DOES LUCAS STATE THIS!?!

    Clear enough?
  2. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "In the final analysis what this means is that the so-called expressiveness you refer to is really just a cheap gimmick and the character ends up being nothing more than the sum of its parts."

    "so tell us, what is it that creates expression? What abstract force does it?"


    "Personally I'm greatly relieved. I was unenthusiastic at the prospect of a totally CGI Yoda which to my mind would reduce him to a glorified cartoon and I wondered what other implications such an action might have. I am pleased that LucasFilm recognizes the need to link the personality of important characters to live performers since it is the spontaneity of such artists that breathes life into these extraordinary arangements of inanimate materials. Many production companies see CGI as a cheap alternative to opticals, stop motion, animatronics and to some extent prosthetics but the strength of CGI, (it's versatility), is also its weakness. Part of what makes living creatures believable is their frailty and physical limitations... imposed by their inner structures. For years we struggled to put the human element back into robotic figures because our brains are very sophisticated processors and sense the difference between muscular generated movements, automated movements and graphic images. Since CGI's have no physical limitations nor any inner structures it is very easy for their actions to become less than 100% believable. Budgets and time frames often restrict a designer's ability to produce work to the standard that he would ultimately like to see. I personally feel that the best illusions are those (such as Stan Winston's work on TERMINATOR II and JURASSIC PARK) which combine CGI with animatronic figures, live performers and prosthetics. In including an animatronic Yoda clearly George Lucas agrees when the Official Star Wars site says "The mechies pour themselves and their personalities into their work, infusing personal, hand-held nuances to their projects. These subtleties and this physical, human touch help transform creatures into believable characters, making them - and the story - come alive for the audience." - Building Yoda for Star Wars and other insights


    The Composite Identity of a Jedi Master has some good info as well.



    And lastly....

    LUME: Did it seem to you a bit incongruous to have a puppeteered Yoda amongst a sea of CGI?

    OZ: I was a little surprised that George would want Yoda back ? but he feels that there's an organic quality to Yoda that's endearing to people. Not to say that the next one he does won't be CGI, but he felt that Yoda needed to be live (for Episode I). That could change next time, but it didn't seem incongruous at all.

    I was asked to do the job...I love the character...I really like working with George because he knows what he's doing and knows what he wants ? and it's wonderful to be part of film history. So I just go there and work my ass off.
    -
    Interview with Frank Oz


    From "the Man" himself. Whatever that "abstract force" might be, Lucas certainly saw "it".
  3. Jedi knight Pozzi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2000
    star 6
    `But thats so stupid'

    You have no idea how much of a rise that got out of me before I read the next part. :D
  4. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Sorry, that was not my intent.


    "Well I'm sorry too, Rebel Scumb, but I didn't really post my comments so that they could cut it with you. I posted those comments because they cut it with ME."

    Of course, and thats the only person they need to cut it with, I'm just responding.


    Regarding MeBeJedi's lengthy and interesting post:


    I'm glad you found those quotes because its something I've been trying to articulate for a long time. Animals and people have physical limitations, and thus puppets and robots are more alike us in this way. \

    Yes Yoda walks like a muppet, but honestly IMHO if you have a problem with that then your problem is that you don't like Yoda. You can say whatever you want about ESB and ROTJ memories tainting our views of CG yoda, but the fact remains those movies came first and we've all seen them, the burden is on the new movies to emulate what came before, not the other way around. So if you don't want Yoda to be a muppet, then what you want is not Yoda.

    The other thing I don't get, is if they were so hell bent on doing Yoda CG in AOTC, why didn't they build the mechanics of the puppet, then rig them with motion capture devices, and have Frank Oz perform the skeleton of the puppet, then all of the CG Yoda's performance would of been pure Oz, and it would of saved the animators alot of time.

    It just blows my mind that they would take the most beloved puppet character in cinema (excluding Kermit and his crew) and just take the puppet out of the equation.

    Everyone liked Yoda the way he was, and for those few who didn't, well like i said they just don't like Yoda. WHy cater to the people who don't like a character? Why change perfection to win over those people?
  5. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    " The other thing I don't get, is if they were so hell bent on doing Yoda CG in AOTC, why didn't they build the mechanics of the puppet, then rig them with motion capture devices, and have Frank Oz perform the skeleton of the puppet, then all of the CG Yoda's performance would of been pure Oz, and it would of saved the animators alot of time."

    Actually, somewhere in the first link shows that they were using puppets and forms for comparison. Also, it apparently took a lot of convincing to get George to accept the CG version.

    For Episode II, Lucas again took a gamble by taking a beloved character and recreating him not as his original puppet form, but instead as entirely computer-generated. Early in production, it became clear that the show-stopping duel between Yoda and Dooku could only be carried out with a CG Yoda, but Animation Director Rob Coleman determinedly pursued realizing the Jedi Master as an animated character throughout the entire film.

    Coleman's crew secretly developed animation tests using key scenes from The Empire Strikes Back . They animated Yoda delivering memorable lines of dialogue, but also shots of the Jedi Master without dialogue, to demonstrate the ability to convey a performance even when silent. Based on the strength of these animated tests, Coleman's crew got the greenlight to create a digital Yoda.

    The ILM animators took great efforts to not outdo Frank Oz's puppeteering skills, so they actually toned down the biological realism in their animation. Rather than have true, realistic lip sync and eye blinks, Yoda would instead have more of a "jaw sync" and slower blinks. Other imperfections, like the constant wiggling of Yoda's rubber ears -- which Oz always viewed as a mistake on his part -- were painstakingly recreated in the computer-generated form.
    - OS: Yoda - Behind the Scenes


    Lucas clearly preferred the puppet. The only real reasons he went for CG was because 1) the extent to which ILM tried to recreate the OT puppet as much as possible, and 2) the fact that Lucas' intent for the fight scene was unworkable with the puppet.

    Had Lucas toned down the fight scene (or, conversely, kept it as it was originally planned), the CG Yoda wouldn't have been necessary.

    That being said, between the choices of the TPM puppet and the OT-ish CG Yoda, I'd have to say that the CG Yoda is much more visually pleasing, in an overall aesthetic sense. The lesser of two evils, so to say. ;)
  6. Chancellor_Palpster Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2003
    star 2
    I disagree with the lenthy GL quote. The quote only proves the potential for CG to really suck. There is the same amount of potential for a puppet to suck.

    Just as the puppet armature needs to be structured so that it moves according to the inner structure of an animal in the human world, so must the design of the CG creation. Either way, if a skilled artist is behind the creation, it won't suck. In the best CG yoda scenes (some moments were questionable), it is clear that there was a very skilled artist behind him. In the best puppet scenes, you can see that there was a very skilled artist behind him. The Yoda puppet is great, but, I still prefer the CG yoda because he is more believable to me.

    You telling me that its because I don't like Yoda in general has the same weight as me telling you that the only reason you prefer the OT yoda is because you're being blinded by nostalgia.

    If Yoda is ONLY a puppet, then you've pretty much said that his character is so poor that when you see him, you are constantly thinking "puppet - puppet - puppet" instead of "yoda yoda yoga yoda yoda". To me, yoda is a character, and CG and puppeteering are two ways of realizing him, CG being the most believable.














    *did you notice the yoga I slipped in?
  7. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    " I disagree with the lenthy GL quote."

    Which one, specifically?

    "did you notice the yoga I slipped in?"

    [face_laugh] I had to go back and look. I kinda blew through the second "yoda". :D
  8. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    "If Yoda is ONLY a puppet, then you've pretty much said that his character is so poor that when you see him, you are constantly thinking "puppet - puppet - puppet" instead of "yoda yoda yoga yoda yoda". To me, yoda is a character, and CG and puppeteering are two ways of realizing him, CG being the most believable."

    But look at it this way, if for episode III George lucas decided to replace Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine with Anthony Hopkins, wouldn't it bother you?

    Even if AH gave a better performance then IM ever did in the other three films, and was completely sensational as Palpatine, wouldn't it really irk you?
  9. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Sorry for the double post, my edit option expired.


    I was just going to add to the comment about seeing Yoda as a character and not a puppet, part of my problem is I don't like the portrayal of his character in the prequels either, he doesn't seem like the same character, and the backwards talking has been blown out of proportion.
  10. Kryatt_Dragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 2
    MedBeJedi - From "the Man" himself. Whatever that "abstract force" might be, Lucas certainly saw "it".

    I'm not so cynical toward Lucas as to say that he never had good priorities. I just think that in the end he may have compromised his "old priorities" for what amounts to cosmetic and less meaningful considerations. I just get this sense that he was so irritated with not being able to realize his vision "perfectly" with the OT that he refused to compromise this time.

    The fact that he in essence tried to replicate everything that went into making the puppet a viable character in ESB doesn't guarantee that, despite good intentions, something didn't get lost in the translation to CG. I've already outlined all the reasons why I think a puppet is better than CG (in it's current state of development) and I think they're pretty solid. And they're solid, ironically, for exactly the reasons Frank Oz himself outlines:

    I am pleased that LucasFilm recognizes the need to link the personality of important characters to live performers since it is the spontaneity of such artists that breathes life into these extraordinary arangements of inanimate materials. Many production companies see CGI as a cheap alternative to opticals, stop motion, animatronics and to some extent prosthetics but the strength of CGI, (it's versatility), is also its weakness. Part of what makes living creatures believable is their frailty and physical limitations... imposed by their inner structures. our brains are very sophisticated processors and sense the difference between muscular generated movements, automated movements and graphic images. Since CGI's have no physical limitations nor any inner structures it is very easy for their actions to become less than 100% believable. Budgets and time frames often restrict a designer's ability to produce work to the standard that he would ultimately like to see. I personally feel that the best illusions are those (such as Stan Winston's work on TERMINATOR II and JURASSIC PARK) which combine CGI with animatronic figures, live performers and prosthetics.


    I agree with Oz on just about everything he says here, especially the part about combining CGI with animatronics figures, live performers, etc. Yoda in AOTC could've been CG'd for purposes of walking around and nothing more.

    One thing I do disagree with Oz about is that CGI's have no physical limitations. While I understand what he's saying --cgi's can do a lot of things real things cannot-- it also holds true that they CAN'T do everything real things can do. After a decade in development photorealism with CGI has improved in leaps and bounds but realistic motion hasn't. If you look at how real things, animate and inanimate, move around and compare them with CGI's you'll see what I mean. If you take a real inanimate object, such as a ball bouncing up and down, and compare it to a CG ball, for the life of it the CG ball can't mimmick that simple rate of acceleration/deceleration. There's some strange limitation in the animation software that keeps it from doing so.

    The same goes for living things. Every CG critter I've ever seen gives itself away instantly because it moves too fluidly and too consistently. Whatever it is...heads bobbing around, necks craining, arms gesticulating, jumping, falling, whatever it is the bastards just aren't able to muster the realism! They all look more or less like so much seaweed flapping around in an ocean current.

    That physiological motion, needless to say, can make or break a character. Particularly a character that has to do heavy lifting in the drama department. How an eyes rolls, how a mouth curls, how an ear twitches, a nod or shake of the head. It doesn't have to be perfect but it needs to have that crisp, snappy, not-so-fluidic quality to it.

    In the last scene in the Jedi temple for instance Yoda says something like "fallen, the shroud of the dark side has." It's a classic example of CG folly. The head moves up slowly and fluidly, then
  11. Kryatt_Dragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 2
    This thread can't be dead already, can it? :(
  12. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    "This is interesting because it could be a statement either for or against CG when you think about it. Truth be told if the dialogue and direction had been better the CG character may have been able to approximate the puppet more than we thought. I'm pretty sure it still would've come up short but it would've been interesting to see."

    If the character was written better and given more purpose in this episode, despite prefering the puppet, I would have little to complain about.

    I think its best if we all want to keep this yoda puppet vs yoda CG discussion going that it should become its own thread, I'm enjoying it, but I'd really like to get back onto the editing and story construction.

    :)
  13. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    I really like those quotes from Oz. He does put it in a nice way.

    Also, Kraytt says:
    In the last scene in the Jedi temple for instance Yoda says something like "fallen, the shroud of the dark side has." It's a classic example of CG folly. The head moves up slowly and fluidly, then down and fluidly...and all the while he's annunciating so slowly it sounds as if he's had a stroke. Why does it sound like he's had a stroke? Because that's what Oz had to do to adapt to the "limitations of the CGI".


    That's a very good example. CG is sometimes too smooth and precise. I like some characters to have some small quirks (like the puppet) such as a little twitch here, a subtle glance there. But the PT Yoda feels too slow and labored. Yoda actually sounds older and slower in the PT than in ESB!

    And from a few pages back, there was a quick reference to a shot in ESB where Luke's X-Wing takes off and Yoda's face is in red (wonderful). Well, to clarify, it was Irvin Kershner's idea to keep that tight shot on Yoda's face. It was a quote from the main page a while ago. He felt it would heighten the emotion and he was right. (I think it's one of the OT's most memorable moments) And yes, I believe it was Lucas who wanted to show the X-Wing taking off. Nothing wrong with that, but it's just too routine -- long shot, medium shot, close-up, medium shot, long shot...The moments we remember in movies are the ones that are unique, not the ones we've seen a hundred times before. It's why The Matrix is popular these days and why Underworld is forgotten. It's why we still remember Michael Corleone's first murder in The Godfather, or Richard Dreyfuss' obsession with mashed potatoes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

    And, again, one of the reasons why I think the OT succeeds on many levels is it gives us so much that it new or different. ANH and Blade Runner were notable not only for its overall vision, but for making the future and space and its exotic locales look dirty and lived-in. (I loved the gritty look of the Cantina and Ben's home) The audience has an easier time believing in these worlds. Yoda, a main character of ESB, is cleverly introduced first as a strange annoying creature only to reveal later that he is indeed a noble Jedi Master.

    This is one of the reasons why I criticize some parts of the PT. There seems to be too many familiar things like the meadow picnic, Coruscant nightclub and Dex's diner. I wish just a little more thought could've been put into these scenes.
  14. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah sports bars and 50s diners seem a bit too real world for the GFFA.

    But then so does an elected monarchy with the same term limits as the US presidency.
  15. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    Whats everyones feelings on the cut and paste job done to the music?
  16. SWfan2002 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2002
    star 4
    I wasn't too happy about the TPM music that was "cut and pasted" into the major battle of AOTC. I was kind of expecting a "Clone Wars" march, reminiscent of the "Imperial March" introduced in ESB.

    The first battle of the Clone War would have been much more powerful, imho, if it had its own theme...
  17. a2dmusic Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2001
    star 3
    Whats everyones feelings on the cut and paste job done to the music?

    Don't get me started (I had been doing such a good job lurking in this thread!) on the butchering job on the score here.

    I'll be the first to say John Williams's scores have been weaker these days, but they're still strong compared to much of what's out there. But you'd never know it from watching AOTC, as cues are snipped apart, taped together and otherwise randomly scattered around the film...

    For shame.

  18. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
    "and compare it to a CG ball, for the life of it the CG ball can't mimmick that simple rate of acceleration/deceleration. There's some strange limitation in the animation software that keeps it from doing so. "

    Actually, that's exactly what Oz was referring to when he mentioned "no physical limitations". It's not that you can't do [i[everything[/i] with CGI, simply that CGI doesn't always take everything into account - which can be more of the programmers' fault than the actual software. By that, I mean that the effects can deliberately be made "hyperrealistic" to look "cool", but to repreated viewing they come off as unrealistic and distracting.

    The human mind has a tendency to notice these "quirks", which are difficult to program in. Case in point, the scenes with the clonetroopers marching. While the animators made an effort to make the movements random and non-repetitive, I can't help but recall Hannibal's comment on the murder sites in Silence of the Lambs.
    "Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random - like the elaborations of a bad liar? Ta, Hannibal Lecter."
    Not saying the movements were bad, but they were still "robotic" to a small extent, despite intentional randomization.
  19. Kryatt_Dragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 2
    I think its best if we all want to keep this yoda puppet vs yoda CG discussion going that it should become its own thread, I'm enjoying it, but I'd really like to get back onto the editing and story construction.

    Lol...I know, I know. I said I was going to quit but then I saw you guys posting more on the subject so I decided to get in one last post. :p

    *Acknowledgements to JohnWilliams00 and MeBeJedi.



    Whats everyones feelings on the cut and paste job done to the music?

    Like the movie itself it felt to much like a hatchet job. Music should never be cut and pasted for a 12 hour movie series. That was totally uncalled for.

    Why did Lucas ditch the original score anyway?
  20. MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 6
  21. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    I think its best if we all want to keep this yoda puppet vs yoda CG discussion going that it should become its own thread, I'm enjoying it, but I'd really like to get back onto the editing and story construction.

    Sorry Rebel Scumb, right after you posted this, I accidently overlooked this part and went and discussed other things. [face_blush]

    I just wanted to quickly address MBJ's reference to that Silence of the Lambs quote (it fits perfectly with what we are discussing) is that that human mind really does detect these things. There's more but maybe we can continue in another thread.

    As for musical editing, I am very disheartened to hear that John Williams had a new piece of music for Geonosis that was dropped due to time. (How come this always happens with every prequel? We shouldn't have to put up with rush jobs) However, since I was not that interested in the battle to begin with, no amount of music could really save it for me. I also think Ben Burtt is not too bad with his sound effects. He does seem very resourceful and puts some thought into his sound design. I would've liked him to concentrate on that alone, and leave the film editing to someone else. I don't like the idea of a crew member doubling in two roles. There are so many worthy editors out there, so I don't see why another was not hired, unless GL really loved his communication with Burtt.

    I think the duel with Anakin and Dooku desperately needs to be reworked. There has to be deleted footage out there. The way it is now, it's still unbelievable how Anakin loses his arm so easily.
  22. Kryatt_Dragon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 2
    That's a pretty good post by Storm2904.

    I agree heartedly about there being too much filler music in the prequels, TPM especially. It felt exactly like a Jerry Goldsmith piece in an episode of Star Trek Voyager. :(

    Total nonsense, completely useless filler. [face_plain]
  23. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    I noticed that too.

    The cut/paste of the music reduces AOTC to the level of a fan film, which is pretty sad.

    Regarding the Yoda debate, I'll start a new thread so we can debate it there.
  24. Dagobah_Dude Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2001
    star 3
    part of my problem is I don't like the portrayal of his character in the prequels either, he doesn't seem like the same character, and the backwards talking has been blown out of proportion.

    I think you're right about Yoda in TPM seeming to be a different character, but Yoda in AOTC was very close to the playful little fellow we first met in ESB. ILM did a sensational job, as did Frank Oz and GL, who wrote pretty darn good dialogue for the little green guy.
  25. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    I just feel like amidst all of Yoda's talk, he never really said anything.

    Thus far in the prequels I'd have been just as happy if Yoda was not in them at all. He has yet to have one scene or line that I would really miss if it was gone, and there was nothing in the OT to indicate that Yoda was the head of the Jedi, merely that he is one of the wisest teachers. So if Mace had just been the leader of the jedi I wouldn't have had any real beef with that.
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