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Episode VII in 2015 [spoiler thread]
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:14 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Jedi Joe wrote:
Caedus_16 wrote:
Jedi Joe wrote:
So why don't people complain about the green screen , and the traditional rotoscoping done in the OT? Those certainly aren't "practical effects". Are those included under the "loose CGI" label too?


There were still models used and such, adding a more 'real' feel to the CGI usage. What was done in the prequel trilogy looks like a video game.


I disagree. Even with the fact that the PT used a lot more practical effects than many give it credit for, the CGI usage was warranted for what it was used in, and it excelled in those areas.

Take, for instance, Yoda. The CG Yoda looked like a legitimate living being, rather than the puppet Yoda's rubber skin and limited mobility. Now this isn't a slam on Frank Oz' puppetry at all, and I will be the first one to protest if they change the Yoda in ESB and RotJ to CGI in the next re-release, but in my opinion, the CG Yoda was better in every way, visually.

Also, anyone who tells me that these scenes would have looked better without CGI are kidding themselves:

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CGI is here to stay, because Star Wars Episode VII is coming in 2015, not 1977.


They're very pretty, but they don't look real. Not even a little.

The models in 1977 looked more real, practical special effects often do even if sequels and such use shiny CGI. I personally hope they only use CGI for the space battles, and even on that I hope it looks less video game-like than the PT had it.

Don't get me wrong, the use of CGI with Lucas was always bold and groundbreaking, but by RotS entire sets were just green screens. I want to see them move away from that, it makes it difficult for the actors to portray anything when all the environment they have to work with is a warehouse that has the interior covered in green.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  Jedi Joe
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Sure some of the still, close up scenes of the ships looked realistic, but none of the space battles did. The movement of the ships was very choppy and the pace was uneven throughout. There was no sense of fluidity at all.

However, I do agree with you that there needs to be more physical sets. Interior scenes don't need to be shot on green screen.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:32 pm Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Interior shots being sets is a must for me in this next film, you could tell a lot of it was green screen in the PT and it killed some scenes, not to mention the acting ability of several decent actors (Portman is fantastic, but her performance in the PT is a travesty).

I'll say that some of the choppy shots could have used some work but the ships looked used, they looked like something that someone would fly in battle. Every single ship in the PT looked too sleek, too new, and even though the models used in the originals moved a bit clunky I bought that they were there because...well there was actually something there. I think fusing the two technology options could fix so many problems Using models and then CGI to correct movement (or JJ's hyper-realistic CGI which would also be ok with me) would be best in my opinion, but I can't handle what we saw at the beginning of RotS again. It was just too fake looking because it was 100% CGI, there was absolutely no realism to the shots.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:05 pm Reply with quote  
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To anyone comparing the "CGI" of the OT to the modern crap Rolling Eyes just watch the OT Special Editions and you will understand the difference.

Sure CGI was a huge leap for movies...when it was first widely used in the early nineties. Unfortunetely it really hasn't gotten very much better and is often worse. For another comparison check out Terminator 2 and Terminator: Salvation.

First one 80% real, 20% CGI. Second one reversed. First one looks amazing and real, second one looks like video game crap.

Or how about comparing Aliens to Aliens Versus Predator. I could go on.
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:10 pm Reply with quote  
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90s CG looked terrible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yehCJ076_zI#t=1m35s

Aliens didn't have CG, and I'd argue that the CG in Terminator 2 doesn't hold up all that well. The fact that it looked like crap is why they didn't use it as much, and the fact that they didn't use it as much is why the films hold up better. If you want to use an example of 90s CG, use Alien Resurrection.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8GMsS-INko#t=50s

They look like video game crap too, they just realize it and don't use it unless it's required for the shot. Now that it on occasion looks passable, they use it more frequently, including for shots that don't require it.

That's one of the reasons why I like Prometheus. It's one of the few movies where as much is done in-camera as possible and CG is used to supplement practical effects. And it's a gorgeous looking film.


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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:01 am Reply with quote  
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Jedi Joe wrote:
So why don't people complain about the green screen , and the traditional rotoscoping done in the OT? Those certainly aren't "practical effects"

Cause the movies are old, so you cut them some slack.

And because the poorer a movie is, the more anger it incites on account of other things, the more petty and intolerant people become of the whole. I virtually never used to hear people complain about the plot convenience of the OT. But people jumped at anything in the PT that wasn't completely credible. I have only one explanation for that difference.

Funny thing is, much of the bad special effects in the OT was fixed up surprisingly well by the various revisions, proving that Lucasfilm is capable of using CGI that blends almost seamlessly into an oldschool genuine set. And still the PT couldn't manage to look like anything other than a video game or Pixar movie. I'm still baffled by that, for it suggests it was intentional.

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Are those included under the "loose CGI" label too?

Hm. Interesting question.

Given that they were created prior to actual CGI being a thing, and a term used for these things, I would guess not. They would be left in the broader header of "special effects".
But since having been enhanced with modern CGI, they would obviously fall under that header as well.

But I sense that you are trying to make a point underneath the question. That being how the existence of non-CGI special effects in older SW works robs the inclusion of such under the modern CGI label of legitimacy. "These things weren't called CGI in the OT, so why conflate it with actual CGI now?"
To which I answer: Welcome to human heuristic and language. It ain't rational.

When the OT was released, people could surely differentiate the special effects from the real sets as easily as we can spot digital creations. But they were impressed by it, and willingly suspended disbelief. By contrast, we are used to it, spoiled, and know better and more convincing special effects exists, so we complain instead.
Also, actual CGI is the newest and most impressive invention, and the special effect that is easiest to spot, while being the biggest sinner in making the PT look fake. So from there on out, it unsurprisingly became the posterchild for the unconvincing special effects that contributed to ruining SW. As a result, it got the older, existing stuff rolled into its category, stuff that now was unacceptable instead of impressive.

A simple evolution of language. As soon as fake-looking special effects became a bad thing instead of impressive, it became natural for laypeople to bunch them all toghether with the obvious poster-child of CGI. Especially when these older special effect types were now obviously done with computers, being in some sense indeed "computer generated imagery".
There is no denying that the term allows for more than stuff like Jar Jar Binks, after all.

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Take, for instance, Yoda. The CG Yoda looked like a legitimate living being, rather than the puppet Yoda's rubber skin and limited mobility. Now this isn't a slam on Frank Oz' puppetry at all, and I will be the first one to protest if they change the Yoda in ESB and RotJ to CGI in the next re-release, but in my opinion, the CG Yoda was better in every way, visually.

I couldn't disagree more with this. CGI Yoda was so very easily identified as a digital creature. The puppet had its occasional weak moments, but it was by far the better representation of what such a creature would appear like in the physical world IMO.

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Also, anyone who tells me that these scenes would have looked better without CGI are kidding themselves:

I am not kidding anyone saying they would have. I can with one glance tell that these are fake. Had GL somehow built these things as physical models, and had them act out their scenes in actual locations similar to those depicted, it would have looked completely different, and completely believable. In other words, better.

It is not a matter of quality. It is obviously a matter of practicality. GL can't create these things for real, so he gives us the next best thing. You can't seriously be suggesting that these CGI constructs would look better than the real thing, were this somehow possible.

Though maybe that isn't what you are suggesting. Maybe your point is that when GL had the choice between using feasible models and practical effects, or the current CGI solution, the option he went with was superior for the purpose of making the scenes he wanted. And I agree with that.
Where I disagree is with him needing those particular shots in the first place. He could have evoked the image of galactic war with a smaller scale, less CGI. And if he couldn't, then he should have changed the story to something he could convincingly portray with then-possible special effects. He didn't have to show us the scenes he did. He wasn't forced to use special effects so easy to spot as fake.

Needing a 10 million page book to tell your story does not justify forcing the reader to devote a decade of her life to its completion. Neither does having a certain story and vision justify the end result looking completely unconvincing. The creator can and must limit himself to the realities of his medium and audience.
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:40 pm Reply with quote  
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Caedus16 wrote:
...Every single ship in the PT looked too sleek, too new...


The ships in the Battle over Coruscant definitely looked a bit banged up. But the reasons the ships had a sleek look was because the point of view of the story was told from the high-class Republic, the establishment of the galaxy that had wealth and power. The OT was told from a worn-down rebellion fighting against a corrupt establishment, so the technology will reflect that. And the podrace shows that CGI can create a "lived-in" worn-down effect on vehicles.

DarthMRN wrote:
I couldn't disagree more with this. CGI Yoda was so very easily identified as a digital creature. The puppet had its occasional weak moments, but it was by far the better representation of what such a creature would appear like in the physical world IMO.


I could use the same argument and say that the puppet Yoda was easily identified as a puppet. His movements and expressions were stiff and clunky, and mobility didn't look convincing at all. That hardly looks "real". It looks like a puppet. And that was the best option at the time, and Frank Oz did an absolutely wonderful job. The CGI Yoda, however, has the subtle change of expression, the breathing, the ability to move around onscreen without any camera tricks. Granted, it didn't look completely real, but I found it much more convincing than the puppet. The CGI Yoda, to me, is what I would expect an organic alien being to look like.

DarthMRN wrote:

I am not kidding anyone saying they would have. I can with one glance tell that these are fake. Had GL somehow built these things as physical models, and had them act out their scenes in actual locations similar to those depicted, it would have looked completely different, and completely believable. In other words, better.


Even on the green screen, the actors did have physical objects to react to. Watch the behind the scenes features on the PT DVDs. There were still plenty of props and objects to give the actors clues of what's going on.

DarthMRN wrote:
It is not a matter of quality. It is obviously a matter of practicality. GL can't create these things for real, so he gives us the next best thing. You can't seriously be suggesting that these CGI constructs would look better than the real thing, were this somehow possible.


No, I am not suggesting that. The CGI space battle at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith looks far more convincing than the one in Return of the Jedi, though. When I think of an epic space battle that suspends all disbelief, I think more about the Battle over Coruscant than the Battle over Endor. (Visually, that is. Endor is still my favorite space battle of all time)

DarthMRN wrote:
Though maybe that isn't what you are suggesting. Maybe your point is that when GL had the choice between using feasible models and practical effects, or the current CGI solution, the option he went with was superior for the purpose of making the scenes he wanted. And I agree with that.
Where I disagree is with him needing those particular shots in the first place. He could have evoked the image of galactic war with a smaller scale, less CGI. And if he couldn't, then he should have changed the story to something he could convincingly portray with then-possible special effects. He didn't have to show us the scenes he did. He wasn't forced to use special effects so easy to spot as fake.

Needing a 10 million page book to tell your story does not justify forcing the reader to devote a decade of her life to its completion. Neither does having a certain story and vision justify the end result looking completely unconvincing. The creator can and must limit himself to the realities of his medium and audience.


Are you suggesting that Lucas go back to primitive techniques even though innovation was already being made by Spielberg and was about to be made by Peter Jackson at the time? George Lucas isn't a legendary filmmaker because he bathes in the status quo. He's a legendary filmmaker because he took risks and reaped rewards from it. And while I have my problems with the PT (specifically Attack of the Clones...), the VFX is not one of them.
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:56 pm Reply with quote  
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Even though I prefer the visuals in the OT, I agree with Joe that the digital Yoda looked more lifelike than the puppet Yoda. That said, the puppet Yoda had so much more character! That said, it probably had a lot more to do with the script.

I was amazed when I saw the opening of RotS in theatres. I don't think it looks as realistic as the space battles in the OT personally, but the CGI in that scene allowed the film-makers to do things that they couldn't using models. It looked gorgeous. Not entirely believable, but gorgeous (and believable enough).

Down with the CGI sets though!

In the end, I want exactly what Kathleen Kennedy has suggested, a combination of physical sets/props/creatures and CGI. Use physical materials as much as possible, but use CGI where needed - not just for the sake of using it. Christopher Nolan balanced this really well in Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy and Peter Jackson balanced it very well in LOTR (which made the over-reliant-on-CGI The Hobbit that much more jarring).
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:15 pm Reply with quote  
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^ I can agree with Kennedy wanting more real sets for interior shots, of course. I doubt anyone could replicate the beauty and the depth of the Obi-Wan vs. Vader duel on Mustafar without the use of green-screen, though. Although as I've said before, much of that scene wasn't CG at all. I thought it was the perfect blend of practical and digital effects.
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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:33 pm Reply with quote  
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I think everyone will be happy if the effects are handled like they were in Prometheus. You can't really tell what was done CG and what wasn't.


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 PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:21 pm Reply with quote  
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Crash Override wrote:
I think everyone will be happy if the effects are handled like they were in Prometheus. You can't really tell what was done CG and what wasn't.


Prometheus was amazing. If the ST could get a notch ahead of those amazing visual effects... Oooh boy we'd have an absolutely superb trio of films, visually speaking of course.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:16 am Reply with quote  
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Crash Override wrote:
90s CG looked terrible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yehCJ076_zI#t=1m35s

Aliens didn't have CG, and I'd argue that the CG in Terminator 2 doesn't hold up all that well. The fact that it looked like crap is why they didn't use it as much, and the fact that they didn't use it as much is why the films hold up better. If you want to use an example of 90s CG, use Alien Resurrection.


First of, all Aliens didn't use any CGI?
Well then why the **** do we need it now? If that was ever a case for anti CGI there it is!

I think that you're wrong about T2. Which scenes don't hold up? The T1000 morphs? Sure both the fully CGI "metal" version and the actor switch could have been a bit better, but that is mostly due to the limits of the film technology to blend those animations with the live footage, rather than the computer models themselves. But the partial morphs with the main actor, EG., arms to knives, etc. and the ending sequence look as good as they ever could. And it still looks better than T:S.

It's debatable if A:R looks better than AVP, but that just proves my point. They both looked bad, but the new one should have looked better.

My point wasn't that CGI was better in the nineties, it was that nineties movies which used CGI effectively look better than modern ones because they didn't ONLY use CGI for everything.

Reepicheep wrote:
That said, it probably had a lot more to do with the script.


Specifically the fact that Lucas wrote it.

AND that's why we love the OT even if the technology sucks now. The bad CGI was the least of my problems with the PT, it's just what makes it so that you can't appreciate it on any level unlike most popcorn CGI fests like the Avengers, Transformers, Avatar, etc. where they are at least interesting to look at.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:03 am Reply with quote  
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Jedi Joe wrote:
I could use the same argument and say that the puppet Yoda was easily identified as a puppet. His movements and expressions were stiff and clunky, and mobility didn't look convincing at all. That hardly looks "real". It looks like a puppet. And that was the best option at the time, and Frank Oz did an absolutely wonderful job. The CGI Yoda, however, has the subtle change of expression, the breathing, the ability to move around onscreen without any camera tricks. Granted, it didn't look completely real, but I found it much more convincing than the puppet. The CGI Yoda, to me, is what I would expect an organic alien being to look like.

I don't think it is the same by far.
Yoda was easily identified as a puppet because we know he can't be real. He is clearly a physical object. And this being a fantastic story where we see this creature for the first time, the puppet was defining for the creature. You speak of breathing and subtle expressions and organic-looking motion, but with no real point of comparison for an alien, the audience is expected to accept the genuine creature as having the mobility and texture of the puppet. Here is a creature that looks like a very lifelike puppet. "This is Yoda, deal with it".
Adding supposedly more realistic trats after the fact by sacrificing his weight and physical presence, is nothing but a huge retcon, and not worth the tradeoff IMO. It's like digital Yoda makes puppet Yoda look fake by adding traits the original didn't have, a state that was taken at face value no problem and didn't need any fixing.

GL clearly disagree, though. He felt the addition of these subtleties were worth it, even with all they took away. So you have him on your side at least. But me, I think he should have waited until he could produce CGI instinguishable from the puppet, before making the switch. Stay true to the character he created.

Quote:
Even on the green screen, the actors did have physical objects to react to. Watch the behind the scenes features on the PT DVDs. There were still plenty of props and objects to give the actors clues of what's going on.

I have. One glaring example is the conveyor belt in AotC. It looks absolutely silly and unthreatening in its prop version. No wonder Portman looked about as worried as if she was participating in a japanese game show.

I have also heard and read enough interviews from greenscreen actors to know they don't find a monocolored, plastic and padded room a good substitute for live sets and locations.

Actually, one example that comes to mind regards Jar Jar. Ahmed Best was given bluescree props on his head to help the actors make eye contact. But the end result was that because these were not real eyes, the others kept staring into them really creepily, as if they were constantly shocked or angry. People don't stare unflinchingly into each other's eyes in real life, and while movies are bad at this as a rule, Jar Jar eye contact got ridicilous even by those standards.
Maybe it just reflects poorly on the actors, but I don't think the PT ones did a very good job with the CGI props, suggesting they don't help as much as you think they do.

Quote:
No, I am not suggesting that. The CGI space battle at the beginning of Revenge of the Sith looks far more convincing than the one in Return of the Jedi, though. When I think of an epic space battle that suspends all disbelief, I think more about the Battle over Coruscant than the Battle over Endor. (Visually, that is. Endor is still my favorite space battle of all time)

Funny. My biggest problem with Endor was always the lackluster CGI (or whatever that was used to create the fire and explosions and force field around the DS generator) and the method by which the models were integrated into the background. Stuff I would today all categorize as CGI. Not that the models lacked the flexibility of motion of a theoretical spacecraft, or that there weren't enough of them on screen at a time.

Admittedly the RotS approach is unrivaled in its ability to portray an epic scope, but given that SW grew popular without such, it wasn't strictly necessary. And the tradeoff of a cluttered, incomprehensible mess, that all looks very digitized and Pixar-ish, along with completely overshadowing the originals in the process, doesn't seem to be worth it. GL should at least have waited until he had CGI quality that could actually blend into the physical sets seamlessly.

You've seen the Plinkett reviews, I assume? He makes some good points about too big a scope being a hindrance to emotional connection, not an asset, because our minds aren't equipped to process the stakes involved in a 1000 vs 1000 ship battle, the same way it can get involved with a 1 vs 1 ship battle. It becomes a statistic instead of a tragedy, to paraphrase Stalin. Which leads to the conclusion that the scenes in question has only one asset: They are cool-looking spectacle.
Not worth the many tradeoffs IMO.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that Lucas go back to primitive techniques even though innovation was already being made by Spielberg and was about to be made by Peter Jackson at the time?

I assume you mean at the time of making the PT. If so, then yes. That is what I'm suggesting. Ideally he would not have made the leap to 95% CGI in TPM until test audiences reported being unable to spot the difference. He settled for mediocrity.

Quote:
George Lucas isn't a legendary filmmaker because he bathes in the status quo. He's a legendary filmmaker because he took risks and reaped rewards from it. And while I have my problems with the PT (specifically Attack of the Clones...), the VFX is not one of them.

I'll give you that GL did push state of the art special effects both times around, and it looked fake both times. Sure.
The problem is that he only started from scratch once. He defined the look of SW with the OT, only to completley deviate from it with the PT. The expectations were different. Not least in terms of special effects.

Taking risks isn't a virtue by itself. What he attempted to do also matters. With the OT, we can safely assume he used special effects in an attempt to blend the unrealistic into the realistic as best he could. In the PT, it seems he tried to go for a cartoony, unrealistic look, cause even the obviously live action bits somehow carries the cartoony gloss and color palette of the CGI.
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 PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:15 pm Reply with quote  
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DarthMRN wrote:
I don't think it is the same by far.
Yoda was easily identified as a puppet because we know he can't be real. He is clearly a physical object. And this being a fantastic story where we see this creature for the first time, the puppet was defining for the creature. You speak of breathing and subtle expressions and organic-looking motion, but with no real point of comparison for an alien, the audience is expected to accept the genuine creature as having the mobility and texture of the puppet. Here is a creature that looks like a very lifelike puppet. "This is Yoda, deal with it".
Adding supposedly more realistic trats after the fact by sacrificing his weight and physical presence, is nothing but a huge retcon, and not worth the tradeoff IMO. It's like digital Yoda makes puppet Yoda look fake by adding traits the original didn't have, a state that was taken at face value no problem and didn't need any fixing.

GL clearly disagree, though. He felt the addition of these subtleties were worth it, even with all they took away. So you have him on your side at least. But me, I think he should have waited until he could produce CGI instinguishable from the puppet, before making the switch. Stay true to the character he created.


Yoda was created as a puppet because that was the best way to represent him at the time. CGI is a better way to represent him now. Making a CGI model that has the same clunkiness as the puppet would be redundant. ILM created a Yoda that was better than what was done in the OT and TPM. His skin resembled skin, not rubber. His expressions looked like legitimate muscular movement. It was a much warmer and lifelike presentation of the Jedi Master.

DarthMRN wrote:

I have. One glaring example is the conveyor belt in AotC. It looks absolutely silly and unthreatening in its prop version. No wonder Portman looked about as worried as if she was participating in a japanese game show.

I have also heard and read enough interviews from greenscreen actors to know they don't find a monocolored, plastic and padded room a good substitute for live sets and locations.

Actually, one example that comes to mind regards Jar Jar. Ahmed Best was given bluescree props on his head to help the actors make eye contact. But the end result was that because these were not real eyes, the others kept staring into them really creepily, as if they were constantly shocked or angry. People don't stare unflinchingly into each other's eyes in real life, and while movies are bad at this as a rule, Jar Jar eye contact got ridicilous even by those standards.
Maybe it just reflects poorly on the actors, but I don't think the PT ones did a very good job with the CGI props, suggesting they don't help as much as you think they do.


First of all, I'm not going to even try to defend the droid factory scene. That was pretty much a horrible scene altogether. Laughing

And second, of course real environments would be more convenient for an actor. However, sometimes green-screen is necessary to tell parts of a certain story, especially when you are dealing with fantastical alien environments.

And on the eye contact issue with Jar-Jar, it doesn't seem any more awkward than when Luke was interacting with Yoda, or when everyone was interacting with Jabba. Interaction with non-human characters is a very big challenge, whether you're dealing with CGI or puppets.

DarthMRN wrote:
Admittedly the RotS approach is unrivaled in its ability to portray an epic scope, but given that SW grew popular without such, it wasn't strictly necessary. And the tradeoff of a cluttered, incomprehensible mess, that all looks very digitized and Pixar-ish, along with completely overshadowing the originals in the process, doesn't seem to be worth it. GL should at least have waited until he had CGI quality that could actually blend into the physical sets seamlessly.

You've seen the Plinkett reviews, I assume? He makes some good points about too big a scope being a hindrance to emotional connection, not an asset, because our minds aren't equipped to process the stakes involved in a 1000 vs 1000 ship battle, the same way it can get involved with a 1 vs 1 ship battle. It becomes a statistic instead of a tragedy, to paraphrase Stalin. Which leads to the conclusion that the scenes in question has only one asset: They are cool-looking spectacle.
Not worth the many tradeoffs IMO.


Yes, I have seen the Plinkett reviews, unfortunately. RedLetterMedia is known to be the very definition of "rose-tinted glasses", and it shows with that point. The Battle over Endor uses the very same "1000 vs. 1000" scenario he accuses the Battle over Coruscant of using. Even moreso as the scope is on the battle as a whole. But, we can relate somewhat to the characters in the battle, such as Lando, Wedge, and Ackbar. The beauty of that scene is seeing the struggle between Rebel and Imperial forces, and even though we may not care about the loss of a certain ship, we understand the conflict and urgency that is brought on by that loss.

DarthMRN wrote:

I'll give you that GL did push state of the art special effects both times around, and it looked fake both times. Sure.
The problem is that he only started from scratch once. He defined the look of SW with the OT, only to completley deviate from it with the PT. The expectations were different. Not least in terms of special effects.

Taking risks isn't a virtue by itself. What he attempted to do also matters. With the OT, we can safely assume he used special effects in an attempt to blend the unrealistic into the realistic as best he could. In the PT, it seems he tried to go for a cartoony, unrealistic look, cause even the obviously live action bits somehow carries the cartoony gloss and color palette of the CGI.


The PT is supposed to look different. That was the point. The PT took place in the time of the Republic. War came to a galaxy of peace, rather than peace coming to a galaxy of war as the OT depicted. It's a brilliant method of storytelling. and the environments look far from cartoony. Fantastical, definitely, but not cartoony. I find the worlds depicted in the PT to be very imaginative and appropriate for a space fantasy. Sure it's a different tone than the OT, but remember it's a different trilogy and a different era. It's not supposed to be a carbon copy. Different isn't a bad thing at all.
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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:16 am Reply with quote  
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  DarthMRN
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Jedi Joe wrote:
Yoda was created as a puppet because that was the best way to represent him at the time. CGI is a better way to represent him now. Making a CGI model that has the same clunkiness as the puppet would be redundant. ILM created a Yoda that was better than what was done in the OT and TPM. His skin resembled skin, not rubber. His expressions looked like legitimate muscular movement. It was a much warmer and lifelike presentation of the Jedi Master.

I see. Well, I can't really argue with someone who feels the creator's alleged artistic vision takes precedence over continuity between works. That is the logic that got us the various revisions, and the discrepancies between OT and PT.

Also, if Yoda's skin actually resembled skin, he would not be so easy to spot as a digital creature. I get what you mean, but that way of saying it carries entirely wrong implications. Not that I have the expertise to offer an alternative. It is a facsimile of real skin, maybe.

Quote:
And second, of course real environments would be more convenient for an actor. However, sometimes green-screen is necessary to tell parts of a certain story, especially when you are dealing with fantastical alien environments.

I gave my answer to this already. The story does not justify undermining its telling. If special effects are unsatisfactory, GL can choose to tell a different story, or his current story differently.
I may be a Lucasverse purist, but I am not part of the gusher camp who thinks the man's vision excuses whatever.

Quote:
And on the eye contact issue with Jar-Jar, it doesn't seem any more awkward than when Luke was interacting with Yoda, or when everyone was interacting with Jabba. Interaction with non-human characters is a very big challenge, whether you're dealing with CGI or puppets.

I only ever noticed it with Jar Jar, however. But to be fair, there is another aspect to it, namely camera-work. With all the other creatures you mention, eye contact was implied through face shots. But that is just obfuscation of the issue. With Jar Jar there were a lot more shots where you could see both him and the character talking to him, so their unflinching-ness became all the more apparent.

But whatever. I won't pretend this was a particularly damning example, as much as somthing that merely occurred to me. We seem to agree on the gist.

Quote:
Yes, I have seen the Plinkett reviews, unfortunately. RedLetterMedia is known to be the very definition of "rose-tinted glasses", and it shows with that point. The Battle over Endor uses the very same "1000 vs. 1000" scenario he accuses the Battle over Coruscant of using. Even moreso as the scope is on the battle as a whole. But, we can relate somewhat to the characters in the battle, such as Lando, Wedge, and Ackbar. The beauty of that scene is seeing the struggle between Rebel and Imperial forces, and even though we may not care about the loss of a certain ship, we understand the conflict and urgency that is brought on by that loss.

I don't see why the Endor scene undermines his point at all. The Rebel fleet was still pretty managable visually and mentally, with nowhere near as many ships. The bad guys and good guys were also separated into easily distinguishable camps. The actual battle was represented with shots of individual ships, not a million of them cluttered toghether all at once.
It's a substantial difference of degree at work here, one you try to marginalize by invoking broad strokes in the description of the different scenes. I'm too old to be fooled by that sort of trickery.

I won't mention the lack of emotional connection for each battle, cause that isn't solely a matter of special effects. Though it bears mentioning that the cash, time and effort spent on one could have been spent on the other.

Quote:
The PT is supposed to look different. That was the point. The PT took place in the time of the Republic. War came to a galaxy of peace, rather than peace coming to a galaxy of war as the OT depicted. It's a brilliant method of storytelling. and the environments look far from cartoony. Fantastical, definitely, but not cartoony. I find the worlds depicted in the PT to be very imaginative and appropriate for a space fantasy. Sure it's a different tone than the OT, but remember it's a different trilogy and a different era. It's not supposed to be a carbon copy. Different isn't a bad thing at all.

Looking cartoony is a cultural way of saying you are making something for kids, where the more realistic visual quality of the OT signified making something the whole family could enjoy.
I don't have expertise with the various tricks a filmmaker has at his disposal for these things, but I am pretty sure there are better ones out there for portraying decadence and peace than what we got. Ones that don't commit the cardinal sin of gross visual discontinuity with the older films. It is like a completely different franchise, rather than a later entry in the same saga.


However, it occcurs to me that since most of your justificatons for these things boil down to "GL made a story that required X, the PT special effects technically does achieve X, therefore they are justified", I dunno how much more there is to discuss here. I fundamentally disagree that any use of special effects to achieve a certain artistic vision makes sense, when it could have been done differently. I also fundamentally disagree that the creative vision shouldn't be contstrained by the quality of those special effects. Since you think different, I don't see what else there is to talk about.
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Last edited by DarthMRN on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


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