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CGI verse models


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#1 George Ebersole

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:45 PM

I helped build the model sets and shoot the following years ago;



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I'm kind of curious, does anyone think it would look better today if done with CGI?
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:50 PM

No.

What are they, tadpoles?
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#3 George Ebersole

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 11:30 PM

No.

What are they, tadpoles?

Fishing lures. The vaginal lining and uterus were colored pantyhose back lit in a fish tank.

That sequence, to me at least, still holds up.
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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:09 AM

Fishing lures. The vaginal lining and uterus were colored pantyhose back lit in a fish tank.

That sequence, to me at least, still holds up.


Problem with GCI is that it can just look just like something generated in a computer.
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#5 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:55 AM

Problem with GCI is that it can just look just like something generated in a computer.

You trying to be funny, dude? ;)
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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 06:15 AM

yep,

cant hold up CG to this, it's pretty solid work...

CG would go crazy with camera perspective nowadays, in and out and sperm-o-scope and so on

There's something to be said about keeping camera 'real'
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#7 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 02:27 PM

Totally agree. I used to have discussions about how to emulate real world stuff during down time between takes. Eventually the conversation steered towards CGI. My friends were interns for Apple, and they were on the inside track of what was to come about (this was circa 1987). They were of the opinion that computers would do everything someday.

Where I believed that, I didn't think it a good thing. To me CGI looks like plastic. And now that it's gotten to be more expensive than shooting real actors/crowds/stunts, one wonders why it's used as often as it is.

I think CGI is excellent for smoke and water, but I prefer models or real actors for lots of other stuff.
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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 03:15 PM

I'm currently working on a Dreamworks project - %100 1:1 scale animatronic creatures with pyro !

Zero CG apart from some projection effects

Pity its not a film Posted Image
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#9 George Ebersole

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:55 PM

I'm currently working on a Dreamworks project - %100 1:1 scale animatronic creatures with pyro !

Zero CG apart from some projection effects

Pity its not a film Posted Image

Film - you know, I kind of shrug my shoulders at film verse digital. I mean, it's cheaper to store bits than to store film canisters, but every time I worked on a digital project the light's always organized differently. Like they said on another thread, you can get better diffusion with film than with chips.

One of the first thing eveybody noticed with digital cameras is the vertical light streaks shooting up and down the frame. You couldn't get regular diffused highlights anymore. I often wondered what our projects from the 80s and 90s would've looked like with digital cameras.
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#10 Chris Millar

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 05:39 AM

I meant 'a film' as opposed to on film Posted Image

But yeh, I hear ya ...
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#11 David Gregg

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Posted 21 November 2011 - 11:03 PM

Yes, that scene still holds up well. Can't say the same for those titles though!

I like practicals and models and I like CGI. Both can be done brilliantly or badly and have their place. I'm sure CGI has hurt physical modeling a lot as well as stunts.

Mars
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#12 George Ebersole

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:33 PM

Simply because I'm an unemployed former Stage Manager, AD, SFX assistant etc., and I like to name drop just to show I'm not a pathetic loser on this BBS by mining other peoples' past glories, even though I am :), I worked for the guys who did the following;



Would CGI have made this better?
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#13 George Ebersole

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:28 AM

I'll take that as a "No" :)
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#14 Chris Millar

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:54 PM

yip

but in saying that this sequence has a TRUCK LOAD of personal history wrapped around it for me...

Trying to watch it with fresh eyes I do note a bit of weird physics going on with the motion of the ships and a few slightly offset explosion and so on.

But then, you get that today even, so go figure ;)

Edited by Chris Millar, 26 November 2011 - 06:56 PM.

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#15 David Gregg

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Posted 02 December 2011 - 03:34 PM

Would CGI have made this better?

It certainly wouldn't have made it better at the time! It's a great sequence that holds up very well across these decades of change. The art is still art no matter what the tool.

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#16 George Ebersole

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:12 AM

I used to ask about filming that sequence, but the guy I used to work for would only take a drag on his cigarette, then throw it on the ground, and bitterly say "That f____ing thing." before walking off. Regardless of how difficult for him it might've seemed, it's a sterling piece of work.

To me CGI still looks like plastic animation. I saw the latest "John Carter" trailer about 20 minutes ago, and as impressive as the detail of art is, I think the motions and physics still make it look fake. With Jedi you accept that what you're looking at isn't real, but allow the action to sweep over you, convincing you it's real.

Just my take.
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#17 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:22 AM

Isn't that, strictly speaking, the version that CGI has made better?

A small proportion of of the original Star Wars trilogy had some pretty serious bluescreen extraction problems, especially in some of the pyro. The digital redo of all the compositing really did help in some cases.

Not that there's anything wrong with the original model work.

P
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#18 George Ebersole

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:00 AM

Yeah, the travelling mattes really stood out in the original telecines for the home video market. Cleaning that up is a very effective use of digital technology. But the CGI models and motions, to me at least, look inferior to actual physical models.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:58 AM

There's an interesting point regarding motion because the models used in that sequence were on motion control cranes that probably used very similar mathematics to produce interpolated motion as the computer programs that replace them. They also probably have far poorer lighting interaction with the surrounding objects, and of course there's the problem of adequately matting the whole thing together without leaving a big black outline around everything.

I think the only place the models really shine is in the surface textures, motion and lens effects, and lighting, which by definition are accurate to real world behaviour. There's always the danger of an enormous brush mark or glue line, of course, but computers are only now starting to become capable of rendering radiosity and other types of global illumniation (at least in reasonable time) that really gives things that last nudge into reality.

Certain things, like smoke, fire and other small particle effects, are still tricky.
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#20 George Ebersole

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:55 PM

There's an interesting point regarding motion because the models used in that sequence were on motion control cranes that probably used very similar mathematics to produce interpolated motion as the computer programs that replace them. They also probably have far poorer lighting interaction with the surrounding objects, and of course there's the problem of adequately matting the whole thing together without leaving a big black outline around everything.

I think the only place the models really shine is in the surface textures, motion and lens effects, and lighting, which by definition are accurate to real world behaviour. There's always the danger of an enormous brush mark or glue line, of course, but computers are only now starting to become capable of rendering radiosity and other types of global illumniation (at least in reasonable time) that really gives things that last nudge into reality.

Certain things, like smoke, fire and other small particle effects, are still tricky.

I don't know what "radiosity" is, but it sounds like simulated sunlight; i.e. brightness and at what angle the rays hit the object.
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