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Prometheus trailer is finally up!


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#1 Freya Black

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 03:03 AM

WARNING:

!!!!!!! Be sure to watch the trailer in at least 720p minimum. (You probably need to select this) The trailer looks horrendous at standard def. It exhibits weird colour fringing and IMO looks nastier than Inland Empire. It looks a lot better at 720p. Maybe the extra res hides the fringing or something. !!!!!

_________________________________________________________



http://trailers.appl...fox/prometheus/


Lovers of cinematography be prepared! They have gone for something of a nasty video look in at least the trailer. I strongly suspect this is what the film WILL look like. The look is sort of interesting being cleaner and more detailed than district 9 (which I think it resembles in the cyany shots where the spaceship is falling) It's not a sort of fake betacam look like they used in district 9 but it shares some kind of qualities with that film. It's not what I expected and I'll be honest it's a big shock for me visually and I feel somewhat dissapointed. I also feel dissapointed by the CGI which seems really sub-par and doesn't feel realistic at all. The sets OTOH do look fantastic!

Okay the cinematography is dissapointing to my eye but I'm still excited by the prospect of this movie and rooting for Ridley in his attempt to revitalise his career. I'm very ready to forgive Ridley, I mean it's not like he directly abused any children or anything, and I feel he has contributed a lot to cinema. The guy deserves a second chance! I'm expecting this film to do way better than the Fox execs are expecting with their laclustre attempts at publicity. I expect they aren't expecting that much, after all, those alien vs predator movies weren't huge hits?

I have my fingers crossed for this movie.
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#2 Chris Millar

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 04:06 AM

I'm really looking forward to this one as I always thought the alien universe had more to offer than just the xenomorphs and Ripley...

I was always intrigued with the androids (Bishop, Ash, Call, etc...) - and the space jockeys which from the trailer make a reappearance at least as corpses again.

Vincent Ward, a local kiwi director was once involved in Alien III which if I recall was to delve backwards potentially into the same area as Prometheus may do.

oh yeh +++ there is talk on various freewheeling forums of a potential link between the Blade Runner and alien universe to be revealed in Promethus - heh heh - oh the agony!

Bladerunner vs. Predator

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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 04:19 AM

Ah yes, of course, that's not an Alien movie in any shape or form.

I love sci-fi, though.

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#4 Brian Hulnick

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 06:24 AM

Of all the movies coming out in 2012, this is the one I am most looking forward to.
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#5 Michel Hafner

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:03 PM

I see no nasty video look, just very high resolution grain free digital cinematography.
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:26 PM

I see no nasty video look, just very high resolution grain free digital cinematography.



I must admit that the ultra clean digital look is something of a turn off for me. I was hoping for something of Derek Van Lint's work on the original, so the lack of texture is a disappointment. Still, in every other way it looks great. I can't wait to see it.
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#7 KH Martin

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

I must admit that the ultra clean digital look is something of a turn off for me. I was hoping for something of Derek Van Lint's work on the original, so the lack of texture is a disappointment. Still, in every other way it looks great. I can't wait to see it.



I was disappointed with the look, but that's true of most shot on digital stuff for me. Between that and DIs that only leave a monochromatic-like final product, the look of a high percentage of flicks is just really off-putting.

The movie is probably awesome, just wish they'd shot on film and left out the 3D.
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:14 AM

Tough to tell from sixty seconds of fast cutting, but it does lack a little texture. I don't think it's (much) to do with the photography. The people who designed both Alien and Aliens (which I have always understood to be Scott and Cameraon respectively) understood that to build a sci-fi set you build a sci-fi shaped box then put ten layers of cut-out and see-through detail on it in mesh and cable and inset boxes and all kinds of paint effects and weathering which give you huge variation in the way the surface looks. High res cameras and lots of CGI do not do that for you and I felt as if it was badly overlooked, both in Avatar and this. A lot of the time, all of that texturisation and detailing is explained away in the behind-the-scenes as an attempt to cover up something that was basic due to budget limitations, but I think it's more fundamental than that. When it comes to CGI, there seems to be a tendency to assume that since anything that can be imagined can be reasonably cheaply built there is no need to do that, and people just tend to build that sci-fi shaped box and slap a dented metal texture on it. Yes, CGI people do spend a lot of time putting dents and scrapes on things, but I have a feeling that too often it's just about painting detail onto a flat surface rather than actually designing what that surface would look like and building it. The aircraft in Avatar were a particularly egregious example of this in my view.


Does this rather rambling train of thought make sense to anyone?



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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:46 AM

Phil, I know exactly what you mean.
I was watching the old show "Movie Magic" on youtube recently and the FX supervisor of Deep Space 9 was talking about models -v- computer graphics. Now, this is obviously a few years ago way before the computer systems we have these days. But he was talking about the "happy accidents" you get with lighting which just cannot be recreated on a computer, the way it reflects and refracts and bounces to give an object a feeling that is it real. The same is true of textures; done in a computer, it's a texture, but no matter what, it is just a 2-d texture (perhaps made in 3d space) but none of it is real. And, as the wold we live in is so complex, it's foolish to think a computer could ever really give enough detail, light effects, and texture to really fool us. Perhaps there is an uncanny valley beyond just humans, and into something as simple as a blade of grass.
Furthermore, I personally find that there aren't enough variations in color, or saturation, or luminance in computer generated things. There is always something, no matter what the model is, which seems like the color is "off," and no matter what it always kills the effect for me.
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 01:38 PM

I'm not sure it's technical so much as a design thing.

First off, two reasonably recent innovations have taken a lot of the curse off CG. High dynamic range imaging now allows computers to achieve the extremes of lighting that were always approximated in the past with rather unsatisfactory things like Blinn-Phong shading models. Really burnt out highlights and dark shadows can be achieved in a way that much more accurately mimics reality, and I think it helps enormously.

The other thing, which I posted about recently, is global illumination. It makes a huge difference to the realism of scenes by making soft light much easier and more accurate in the simulation.

The problems I see are not really about the realism of the simulation, it's just design choices.

Which is why I don't much like this, which is mainly real, as far as I can tell:

prometheus_shiny_small.jpg


It has the same problem. This movie clearly had a lot of money, so people stopped thinking, just as they do when they have CGI. That door, for instance. It's just a big trapezoidal door, and they thought, oh, OK, it's sci fi, we'll paint some yellow warning stripes on it. It has no depth, it's just a big flat plate. Likewise the APCs - at least, I assume they're APCs, as they look rather like they're based on the MOWAG Pirahna. That rather unconvincing silver paint is straight out of the can. It looks like a child's toy. Where's the wear and tear?

I don't think this is specifically a CGI problem, it's a lazy production design problem. Being short of money forces people to be creative.

P

Edited for reasonable picture width
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:15 PM

The last "Star Trek" movie sort of turned me around on the whole CGI spaceship thing, that computer model had a ton of texture and you could move from extreme near to far, from seeing people moving around inside the ship out to a long shot, complete with not only lens flares but even dirt and dust visible on the "lens" when "sunlight" or some other bright light was in the frame.

So now it's my theory that CGI spaceships are great IF they are willing to spend the time and money to texture and light them properly. Trouble is that when you skimp on those things, it looks like computer animation, whereas if you skimp on a physical model, it just looks fake but it also looks like it is physically there. It's the same thing with CGI monsters versus mechanical puppets and whatnot.
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#12 Darrell Ayer

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:08 PM

My favorate thing about this trailer is that they're going back to the look and feel of the original movie. Even if the Nostromo had a data card punch key based computer and everything in this has giant graphical interfaces... but I digress.
I'm impressed with the ash rain look of the planet surface and that they found a way to maintain the original Giger design elements of the alien ship while making it functional (who knew flipping it would be the way to go). I am cautiously excited about this film.

In the CG versus model arguement, I feel that both work well nowadays. Especially now that the animators are paying attention to lens defects and the life that brings to a shot. As a kid of the 80's though, something is to be said for the Stan Winston, early ILM days of practical effects. I feel in coming years that CG will be less overdone in the same way that all inovations in film calm down after the first decade or so of use.
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:22 PM

I'm not so sure about the whole lens dirt thing. Perhaps it's just because it's trivially easy to do, it just comes off as a bit desperate to me - desperate to add in every possible degradation you can, just to roughen it up a bit. Of course all that flare was in keeping with the rest of the film, but just slapping a bit of this:

Posted Image


over the whole thing smacks slightly of desperation.

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#14 Freya Black

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:27 PM

Which is why I don't much like this, which is mainly real, as far as I can tell:




It has the same problem. This movie clearly had a lot of money, so people stopped thinking, just as they do when they have CGI. That door, for instance. It's just a big trapezoidal door, and they thought, oh, OK, it's sci fi, we'll paint some yellow warning stripes on it. It has no depth, it's just a big flat plate.

I don't think this is specifically a CGI problem, it's a lazy production design problem. Being short of money forces people to be creative.

P


I think you are spot on with this Phil. My understanding is that those truck things are in fact both real and lifesize! However they do look a bit like they are moulded from thin cheap plastic, but hey maybe they would be IRL, I dunno.

I don't think the cinematography helps here either. It could be that the noise in some of the older films helped people to imagine texture there that was in reality absent. Also the way both light and colour are reproduced in this shot also give in a look of unrealism, which is ironic as it is AFAIK real! It might also be that just as people moan that HD video creates problems for makeup people, perhaps it also exposes how much detail is absent?

IMO the scenes that look best are all scenes that exist within the internal alien environment, where the production is working better.

All that aside, I feel the shot of the little yellowy spaceship landing, looks like terrible fake cgi, and I'm even not that convinced by the look of that spaceship flying through space sequence.
Visually it seems deeply flawed to me in a lot of ways, just going by the trailer but I'm hoping the film will be great enough to overcome the way it looks.

love

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Edited by Freya Black, 29 December 2011 - 03:30 PM.

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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 05:02 PM

The last "Star Trek" movie sort of turned me around on the whole CGI spaceship thing, that computer model had a ton of texture and you could move from extreme near to far, from seeing people moving around inside the ship out to a long shot, complete with not only lens flares but even dirt and dust visible on the "lens" when "sunlight" or some other bright light was in the frame.


As you seem to imply, I've definitely seen a lot of films with spaceships where the spaceships looked more real than in this trailer. I find it ironic as the little models in the original films also looked great to my eye!

It's a surprise and dissapointment but I'm able to suspend my disbelief for those scenes, so hopefully I will still enjoy the film. Maybe if we are lucky they are still working on the cgi for the finished movie and it won't be like this!

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 29 December 2011 - 05:02 PM.

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#16 Chris D Walker

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 06:47 PM

Despite what Ridley Scott, Damon Lindelof or whoever else says it is not, this film is an Alien prequel. That is the space jockey, that is H.R. Giger's spacecraft before it crashed, that is a Weyland-Yutani decal sprawled everywhere. This is where the comparison to the Star Wars prequel trilogy comes in. I suppose it's unavoidable but the design and technology in both Scott and Lucas' films is an advancement rather than being a progenitor; the spacesuits especially are leaps and bounds ahead of what appeared in Alien with the skin-hugging fabric that replicates atmospheric pressure among other things. The "truckers in space" idea has gone out of the window. The Prometheus ship is also a lot more glossy, less angular and less pointy (I remember there being a heap of antennae) than the Nostromo.

As far as CG versus miniature photography, the amount of time to build a finely detailed and painted CG model over a physically existing model is considerably shorter (provided that you're trained professional) and may require only a single person to do it. A physical model can be broken and take days to repair by a team of modelmakers before it is back to the needs of a shot and cannot be easily replaced during the interim. Tell that to a producer and it's easy to understand why CG is prevalent, even to the detriment of suspension of disbelief. Shots of the Millennium Falcon, the Discovery and the Enterprise are burnt into the back of my skull looking so cool.

Lastly, who's seen and read about the mysterious 12ft tall humanoid featured in the trailer? Nerds love to theorise. I have a theory...
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#17 Freya Black

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 01:13 AM

I see no nasty video look, just very high resolution grain free digital cinematography.


You say tomayto, I say tomato. *shrug*

Anyway, here is an interesting new trailer for the original Alien.

New Alien Trailer

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Freya
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#18 Markshaw

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:28 AM

I think you are spot on with this Phil. My understanding is that those truck things are in fact both real and lifesize! However they do look a bit like they are moulded from thin cheap plastic, but hey maybe they would be IRL, I dunno.

I don't think the cinematography helps here either. It could be that the noise in some of the older films helped people to imagine texture there that was in reality absent. Also the way both light and colour are reproduced in this shot also give in a look of unrealism, which is ironic as it is AFAIK real! It might also be that just as people moan that HD video creates problems for makeup people, perhaps it also exposes how much detail is absent?

IMO the scenes that look best are all scenes that exist within the internal alien environment, where the production is working better.

All that aside, I feel the shot of the little yellowy spaceship landing, looks like terrible fake cgi, and I'm even not that convinced by the look of that spaceship flying through space sequence.
Visually it seems deeply flawed to me in a lot of ways, just going by the trailer but I'm hoping the film will be great enough to overcome the way it looks.

love

Freya


I do remember reading that the trucks used in ALIENS (presumably the same vehicles) were in fact old British military vehicles transformed by a company in Norfolk England. Cameron spotted them in a scrap yard.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:33 PM

As far as I'm aware there's only one practical vehicle in Aliens, the Marines' APC, which is a converted aircraft tug (apparently sold to the production by Heathrow). The multi-wheeled tractors seen in the opening sequences of the extended version were models, and a partial full scale replica - not real vehicles.

The vehicles in the Prometheus trailer look rather military and there are several personnel carriers on which they could conceivably be based, although I share the previously aired view that they look a bit injection-moulded.

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#20 Markshaw

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 08:24 AM

As far as I'm aware there's only one practical vehicle in Aliens, the Marines' APC, which is a converted aircraft tug (apparently sold to the production by Heathrow). The multi-wheeled tractors seen in the opening sequences of the extended version were models, and a partial full scale replica - not real vehicles.

The vehicles in the Prometheus trailer look rather military and there are several personnel carriers on which they could conceivably be based, although I share the previously aired view that they look a bit injection-moulded.

P


I stand corrected. :D
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