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Memph, TN The Force of CGI (down our throats)

Discussion in 'South East Regional Discussion' started by DarthMule, Jun 22, 2004.

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  1. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Heya, Gang!

    Over at MuppetCentral.com forums we started a discussion about CGI taking over puppetry, and I was discussing the possibility that it could one day take over The Muppets even, and that bothers me.

    http://forum.muppetcentral.com/showthread.php?t=14850

    Some are for, some are against, some are torn about the use of CGI.

    Anthony Daniels made a mention at Adventurecon 3 about how he could be on the set working on a scene and George Lucas would say, "...just stand over there and do the lines and we'll CG you in later." He would let in about it when Anthony would say, "I'm here, I'm in costume, I might as well do the scene."

    But, I think about Yoda. He was solid and real in ESB and ROTJ (for the most part) as a puppet. Sure, he was stiff because of the mechanics and wires used for the puppet's expressions. When CG'd he becomes less real, with the artists adding too many expressions and movements to try and make him "look real."

    I feel they should have used a puppet for close-up shots, and CG'd him for far away shots. What do you think?

    Kev
     
  2. WonderPants

    WonderPants Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Mar 6, 2003
    There's a story of how Martin Scorsese was showing Lucas round the huge sets he built for Gangs of New York. Lucas listened as Scorsese took him round, then once they'd finished, he turned to Scorsese and said "You know, this would have been a lot easier to do with CGI". Says it all, really....

    The problem is that Lucas goes way overboard on unnecessary CGI, which often as not looks cartoony and obvious. The actors suffer because they're acting to thin air, which shows in their performances, and how often they actually interact with the scenery.
     
  3. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    I loved hearing Anthony Daniels talk about that at AdvCon. He does a GREAT GL impression!

    I like cgi that's not so obvious- like in 'The Patriot'.

    As far as Yoda, loved him outdoors in TESB, but not so much indoors, except when he tells Luke, "You will be, you WILL be..!" He was good and creepy there! Didn't mind the cgi one in AOTC- looked better than the one in TPM, but I hated the Dooky fight. When he put down the cane and used the force to pull his saber out- cool. When he started playing leap-frog- bad!

    Same for a few scenes in DareDevil, Spiderman, Blade2, and the Hulk.
     
  4. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Lin: I loved hearing Anthony Daniels talk about that at AdvCon. He does a GREAT GL impression!
    ==================================================
    He ain't so shabby at that voice of C3PO either.
     
  5. Qui-Gon Tim

    Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep star 5

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    Apr 1, 2000
    It depends on what the CGI is used for. I prefer the puppet Yoda much more than the CGI Yoda. Even the emotional performance is better, IMHO. But, I honestly wish they'd replace that crappy TPM version with CGI. That sucker was horrible. He had sideburns, for Pete's sake!

    As for backgrounds and stuff, I really don't mind, and even on some of the aliens. When it really does bother me though, is when it's used for a main character, or when they're replacing an actor with a CGI mockup for some action sequence (such as Anakin riding the bucking Reek, or Spiderman jumping/climbing on buildings).
     
  6. WonderPants

    WonderPants Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Mar 6, 2003
    The PT CGI is all bright colours and in your face. As a result, it just makes them look like cartoons (as I think I said earlier).
     
  7. Smokem_Alien

    Smokem_Alien Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Aug 2, 2002
    I hope they never change the muppets to CGI, that'd just be stupid, and there's no good reason to do it.

    Maybe this is because I'm a little bit younger and therefore a bit more used to CGI, but I don't think CGI is a bad thing. I like the puppet Yoda for the original trilogy, but the TPM Yoda was about the ungliest thing I've ever seen. To me the AotC Yoda was awesome, he looked more real to me than any of the puppets, and I also enjoyed his fight seen. Yoda's a short guy, he's got to jump around if he's going to take away the advantage his opponents have with height and leverage.

    To hit on something Lin mentioned, I thought the CGI Hulk was awesome, there were some shots, mainly when he was changing between hulk and Banner, that made me groan, but using a real actor for hulk wouldn't even come close to looking right. As for spiderman, you got to use CGI for his web-swinging, especially if you want to get the scope and essence of the comic.

    Of course CGI isn't perfect, but the more it's used the better it gets. If you already got the actor and the costume, use him as much as you can, but sometimes you just need CGI.
     
  8. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    With the Hulk I think they could have used Lou (despite my - feelings about him personally) and just made him appear bigger like they did with Hobbits or the BIG instructor in Harry Potter. Lou was about 275lbs when he originally did the Hulk TV show, but got up to over 300lbs for the Senior Mr. Olympia contest.

    Yep, the first CGI Yoda was an ugly critter, much better the second time, and same for Jabba.

    What I don't understand is why ILM will be superimposing clone armor onto Temuera Morrison instead of just having him wear armor. Obviously if fans can create clone armor the costume shop could at least crat one outfit for him to wear!
     
  9. Qui-Gon Tim

    Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 1, 2000
    That doesn't make a lick of sense, now does it? I mean, one would think the cost of making plastic armor would be lower than paying an animator for the time and labor to add in the armor.

    If an 8-foot Wookiee running around with a bunch of 3-foot Ewoks on Endor doesn't make sense, you must acquit!
     
  10. DexterMoon

    DexterMoon Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Apr 11, 2004
    I agree that too much CGI is not good.. "In all things- Moderation" is a quote I seem to remember from somewhere.

    Using CGI to enhance characters (like the Hobbits in LOTR) I think is possibly the best use of it. That and filling in background.. but I agree with all of the points ya'll have made. :) even the one about Spidey..

    and since I have nothing new to contribute to the discussion at this point.. I'll shut up now..

    If I think if something I'll speak up.
     
  11. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    I think guys like GL get so caught up in their digital worlds that they forget that it's sometimes easier and better to do practical in-camera effects. Aslo, sostuming, sets, props, and the like really help actors pull off convincing performances by feeling like they ARE there, and not just imagining it or feeling lucky to be able to talk to a tennis ball on a stick.
     
  12. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    I think it's all a downhill slope to do that CG stuff because of the lack of performance quality otherwise.

    I was at blockbuster the other nite and they were playing EP 1 and I gotta say that 98% of the actors in that film had NO FEELING, no emotion, and were monotone the whole film. The 2% consisted of Qui Gon Jinn and Jar Jar.
     
  13. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    Sad when a CGI character can show more emotion and range...
     
  14. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    Even sadder when it's Jar Jar...
     
  15. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    Yeah, that is sad...

    It's also sad that R2D2 gave a better performance than most.
     
  16. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    But, not better that C3PO.
     
  17. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    He just had REALLLLY bad one liners this last time around. Would like to see that scene between C3PO and Padme Anthony Daniels talked about at AdventureCon. Sounded a lot more dramatic and deep- a lot more like the tone of TESB.
     
  18. Qui-Gon Tim

    Qui-Gon Tim Memphis, TN FanForce Chapter Rep star 5

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    Apr 1, 2000
    Wait.... What scene?
     
  19. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Aug 7, 2002
    Where she puts his coverings on for the first time. The novelization had Shmi doing it.
     
  20. Dork-Vader

    Dork-Vader Star Wars Sketch Card Artist star 4 VIP

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    May 14, 2003
    Yep, that's the one. Threepio feels naked without his coverings. The way Anthony Daniels explained it was really cool. It gave a bit more depth to Threepio and would have been a decent chance for Natalie Portman to act.
     
  21. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 6, 2003
    The Lin Sez: "and would have been a decent chance for Natalie Portman to act."
    ------------------------

    Which would be new to me.

    Just kiddin', the girl can act, just not in a Star Wars movie for some reason.
     
  22. WonderPants

    WonderPants Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Mar 6, 2003
    Just kiddin', the girl can act, just not in a Star Wars movie for some reason.

    L. U. C . A. S.

    ?
     
  23. DarthMule

    DarthMule Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2003
    OH! I forgot about HIM!

    The great mind that brought us The Star Wars Holiday Special.

    *vomits*
     
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