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roger
07-26-2003, 01:21 AM
Interesting article........HERE (http://www.msnbc.com/news/943726.asp?cp1=1) from Newsweek.

Self-Designer
07-26-2003, 02:22 PM
I agree with the article. Even as a graphics lover, i prefer good story movies with great FXs then great FX movies without a good story. I think that the best example is when "Independence Day" came out and everybody said "Wow what a great effects!!! I've never seen such a massive attack on Earth" or something like that... I thought "yeh, nice effects, but that movie is a... well... can i say "shit" here?" It seems as if ppl start to understand now, that the effects are not important anymore, but the story.
I think that u can see that thing in amateur cg artists too. They use the templates of bryce, the filters of photoshop and all those as the purpose for the image and not as a tool for having the result and I can't blame them, becasue i did it too when i started. I think it's the only way to start learning. However you can't say that those ppl who do "The Hulk" or any other hollywood movie are amateurs...
Anyway, I wonder what's the different between 3D model made with the greatest technology (high model, good texture, sss, Motion Capture, bones and flash moving below the skin...) and the real thing. I mean, I can see there are differences, but i just can't put the finger on them. Anyone?

GRMac13
07-26-2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Artist 3D
I wonder what's the different between 3D model made with the greatest technology (high model, good texture, sss, Motion Capture, bones and flash moving below the skin...) and the real thing. I mean, I can see there are differences, but i just can't put the finger on them. Anyone?

From the article:

"...we are evaluating something we know to be synthetic on the basis of how near it comes to a goal it canít reach."

That's the problem for 90% of the movie-going public. 9 times out of 10, they've walked into theaters knowing that what they were about to see on-screen was created in a computer. So the FX crew must not only create believable work, but also break down every pre-conceived notion these folks have about "CG." A word that has been used waaaay too often in the popular press if you ask me. Studios need to STOP emphasizing how much CG is in a film or how "ground-breaking" the FX are supposed to be, and start emphasizing the quality of the overall FILM itself. How many times did we hear how the HULK would be 100% CG before the film was released? How "ground-breaking" it would be? For those of us involved in graphics, it's a no-brainer, but does the public really need (or care about) this information? What's the difference which techniques were used? The only thing that matters in the end is what's on-screen.

I always use an analogy about a magician when discussions like this come up. Imagine you go to see a magic show in Vegas (or wherever), but before the show begins, there's a pre-show that gives away alot of secrets about all the tricks that are going to be done. Maybe it doesn't go into detail about exactly how the tricks are done, but simply informs you of which techniques will be used. For example: "When 'Benzini the Magnificent' makes this Fiat seem to disappear, it's actually done with mirrors." 90% of the audience is going to try and spot the mirrors during that trick, and if 'Benzini' hasn't done a flawless job (which is impossible), it will ruin the illlusion for the alot of the audience.

The difference between a film and a magic show is that a magic show relies entirely upon the magician's bag of tricks. Whereas a film (a good film), is made up of much more than the illusions the FX artists are trying to create. Filmmakers can get away with less-than-perfect FX (which most are), if they play-up the other aspects of thier film (performance, story, etc.). But when you tell an audience "Hey, you're going to love the digital FX in this flick" It's the same as saying, "Hey, you're gonna love how I saw through this rubber dummy that's standing in for my assistant." Studios need to start creating films that concentrate more on the story they are trying to tell, rather than the method in which they are trying to tell that story. And they need to promote the film based on that.

Self-Designer
07-26-2003, 07:36 PM
Here go the flamboyant movies! I'll drink for that!!! :beer:
Well, I'm one of those who always disagree with ppl and try to show the other side of the coin (and it's not because i disagree, but because i always like to see the two sides of it), but I have only one thing to say: "Yup! I agree!"
Anyway, do you say it is psychology? ppl know they see CG so they say: "Hey it's fake?!" I wonder.... It can really interesting to make a movie with a 3d charachter - regular one like me and you, playing among other real charachters, not advertising it at all (if secrets can be kept), and half a year later, after everyone saw the movie, to expose that fact and see the reaction!
Anyway, I still believe there's more then pscyhology... I've seen that trick with mirrors, and yet i havn't seen the mirrors - a good magic looks true even if the viewer knows it's a magic and tries to find the so called "bugs"

Self-Designer
07-26-2003, 10:13 PM
more then that, i've remember a picture of a glasses (of wine) made by Brazil that i've looked at them knowning they are 3d and i thought, and i'm still thinking that they look 100% photoreallistic. Ofcourse they were made with noise like in a film and high contrast which makes it more easy to fake, but i don't think that we did arrive to the end-line of making photorealistic human beings.

richcz3
07-26-2003, 10:20 PM
I really have to agree with this article. Since Twister and the Original Jurrasic Park, the 3D and effects industries have started chasing ther own tails.

The fundamental point is story and substance over flash and excess. If more movies used subtle filming techniques instead of in your face because "we have the budget to do so", movies with effects would do allot better.
Anyone remember Forrest Gump? The characters and story came first, effects supported the story and were not center stage.


richcz3

holosynthetic
07-27-2003, 02:07 AM
i assume i am one of few that actually have liked most of these movies everyone is claiming to have a bad story?..i liked the storys just fine

perhaps everyone is concentrating on the FX that you don't have time to notice the good story?..just a thought

Chris_Wallace
07-27-2003, 11:23 PM
For the record, I liked ID4. I thought the story was decent enough, there was character growth, and in a couple of places at the end I cheered (not out loud of course).

For the most part, I have to agree with the article tho. I find it most ironic that Uncle George is probably the worst at too much FX, too little story.

Films- even VFX films- were better when the technology was limited. The attitude seems to be "computers make it cheeper to do these scenes, easier to do these scenes, and we can make more of these scenes". So now more time is being spent behind the 3D app. and less time behind the word processor.

CW

specs44
07-28-2003, 05:10 AM
QUOTE]Originally posted by GRMac13
[B]From the article:

"...we are evaluating something we know to be synthetic on the basis of how near it comes to a goal it canít reach."

That's the problem for 90% of the movie-going public. 9 times out of 10, they've walked into theaters knowing that what they were about to see on-screen was created in a computer.



yeah i totaly agree. how many people seen the making of a movie before the movie even came out? i think thats one thing thats really different compared to those days where the superman's and star war's movies came out. you could watch the 10 o clock news and see a film critic bash the movie and then reveal all the tricks of the best sequences of the flim.

personally i liked the hulk, i enjoyed the story, i was impressed with the overall gesticulations of the hulk. Besides some of the running scenes, i loved every bit of the animation. I'm big Hulk fan or usta be (have'nt read it since Peter David and Dale Keown) but overall i enjoyed Ang Lee's intrpation.

I think the masses really have no interest in seeing photo realistic human beings. subconsiously i think it reminds them of the age old industrial war of man VS machine. Thats probably why that final fantasy Bombed. people feel uncomfortable about human characters being replaced with artificial ones. if limited it does'nt offend as much. but this summer has been bombarded with fx up the bunghole!!!

i have friends that get happy now to watch an action movie with out any 3d in it. thats sad to me because i''m trying to make this a career and the more movies the better the chance to get work...but sometimes to much can really be to much.

Chris_Wallace
07-28-2003, 05:30 AM
I think Final Fantasy bombed because of the story. The Gaia thing doesn't resonate with the overall audience. That, and it was too... cerebral. Too many weird things to figure through.

I thing a FF type movie would do fine if the story and direction was more mainstream.

CW

specs44
07-28-2003, 06:58 AM
the whole FF movie could've been done in live action, it did'nt really take advantage of being in cg. yeah the scripts subject matter was to complex. but if the movie was closer to the game models in lets lets just say FF 8 and the storyline was easier to follow it wouldve been a bigger hit

urgaffel
07-28-2003, 02:17 PM
Regarding the pre-show explaining the tricks analogy...

When I saw the first Matrix movie, I didn't know shit about it. I heard from a friend that it was cool, then I didn't hear anymore, I actively avoided everything that had anything to do with the movie. So when I walked into the theater, and the movie started, I was totally unprepared for the absolute and utter coolness of it all. I walked out in a daze ffs.

Now, if I had seen all the making-of, the articles, the whatevers, I wouldn't have been as impressed. I would probably have said "damn, that was cool" and not much more. Instead I was speechless.

So yeah, Grmac's got the right end of it. They need to stop telling us how cool this movie will be, because they are using this awesome CG technique of making things seem shiny! And it's got Tom Cruise, digitally remade to look 25 years younger! And it was all made by this awesome company! And it cost a gazillion dollars! Isn't that coooool?!!!!11 (Did we mention all this cool cg? You can see a 30 minute long documentary on how it all was made on any channel you watch! Isn't that SUPER?!!)

Well you get my point I guess :)

richcz3
07-28-2003, 04:59 PM
Chris_Wallace
Films- even VFX films- were better when the technology was limited. The attitude seems to be "computers make it cheeper to do these scenes, easier to do these scenes, and we can make more of these scenes". So now more time is being spent behind the 3D app. and less time behind the word processor.
specs44
yeah i totaly agree. how many people seen the making of a movie before the movie even came out? i think thats one thing thats really different compared to those days where the superman's and star war's movies came out.
Chris,
Uncle Georges 1st Star Wars was a film he didn't like. He was over budget and the technology he would have liked did not exist for another 15-20 years. It didn't matter that the audience loved the film. Now that he has huge budgets, he can produce CG fests instead of stories. Theres something to be said about sitting behind a word processor instead of framing the CG shots first and then writing the story second.

specs,
I totaly agree with you. Whats up with the Special FX shows revealing all the tricks before we even watch the movies. That's like seeing how the Magician does all his magic tricks before seeing him perform. It's not enough that viewers are more jaded these days, revealing the magic can only take the awe out the performance.


richcz3

Chris_Wallace
07-28-2003, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by richcz3


Chris,
Uncle Georges 1st Star Wars was a film he didn't like. He was over budget and the technology he would have liked did not exist for another 15-20 years. It didn't matter that the audience loved the film. Now that he has huge budgets, he can produce CG fests instead of stories. Theres something to be said about sitting behind a word processor instead of framing the CG shots first and then writing the story second.


So basically, you're backing up what I said?

I for one am not convinced that George is a great director. From what I understand, he was unhappy about Star Wars. But it was a good story then, and it is a good story now. Same goes with American Graffiti. I tend to think that Am Gr was good because it was a subject near and dear to him, and Star Wars was just a fluke.

In any case... work out the story at the word processor, not in Post.

CW

specs44
07-28-2003, 08:22 PM
richcz3
theres nothing like a sneak preview that reveals trhe best parts of the movie. these days where so engulfed by the mass media its getting real hard to avoid it all. i guess thats probably why I've been watching more off hollywood films that don't a gizillion dollar marketing scheme but just depend on word of mouth. anybody seeen Memento?
creative and well done storylines will always take a backburner to a sure fire formula (which really does'nt exist) to convince movie goers to come the next big mega hit.

GRMac13
07-28-2003, 08:53 PM
Originally posted by specs44
anybody seeen Memento?

OMG I loved that film! What a complete mindfcuk!

I highly reccommend EVERYONE see this film. It's a perfect example of great writing, and fantastic directing. I was thinking about the plot from that film for weeks afterward.

Crap, I'm gonna have to go out and buy the DVD now.

dharmabum
07-28-2003, 11:42 PM
I really do think that the Hulk's fx were superior to Gollum and really don't know why a lot of people keep complaining about how terrible the "Hulk" was. It blew my mind away.

Don't get me wrong, Gollum was incredible but after I saw the Hulk and the beautiful stuff they did with his facial expressions, I thought the bar was raised even higher. Gollum was incredible but he also had a jucier "part" in his movie. My opinion is that people give Gollum the credit of most successful character because his part was better. Think about it. Hasn't anyone ever said, "if so-and-so was in that part the movie would have been so much better," or "this actor is incredible but why does s/he keep playing these terrible roles." I guess my point is exactly what the article is, in a way, saying, it's not the effects it's the story. Think about all the effects movies that have "failed" or done poorly; Final Fantasy, the Hulk, the Matrix 2, Dinosaur, whatever you choose it's mostly because the story was not entertaining or catered to specific core groups of people like kids(very dumb kids). But if you think about movies that have done well they most probably were entertaining in some way or another. Remember that these "good" and "bad" movies were done by a lot of the same FX houses so would it be because the fx weren't on the ball or because people didn't really like the story?

CGI is at an all time high right now. I understand it's also a trend, I'm sure people will get very tired of it soon. But the things we can do today are amazing. The only problem is people are just using as I means to get the attention of an audience rather than using it as a tool to tell their stories. It will always come down to that. Disney is in a slump because they haven't told a good story in while (just the same damn old story). I enjoyed Lilo and Stitch though because the story was very entertaining. Pixar is doing so well because they're movies are extremely entertaining (it's all about story). Although their "Buddy" movies are getting old really fast.

When the audience realizes that it's the same old movie they'll just get tired of it and will lose interest. That's why this summer's movie's have not made the millions they were expected to. I want to be blown away not spoon fed.

Forgive my ramblings.

cgwolf
07-29-2003, 12:38 AM
Good points,

I would have to agree with the Gollum vs Hulk comparision. I also liked the Hulk's animations better because he acted through facial expressions and actions only. The Hulk did not have the benefit of speech and still had a strong human quality. Also he was 100% compiled comic character, not based as stricty based on one particular actor's motion captured/taped performances like Gollum(Sirkis). I love Gollum, dont get me wrong, but I think ILM did a fantastic job with Hulk animation wise. Gollum so closely imated Sirkis that I didnt see any potential for artistic expression like the Hulk. (However the Hulk's transformation sequences were pretty crappy I thought.)

On the subject of the Hulk, The primary downfall was that movie seriously needed an edit! It could have been easily told in an hour and a half. People dont go to comic book adapations to sit through 2 and 1/2 hours of dramatic acting. Also it would have benefited from a director with more of a realistic edge...Lee wanted bigger than life so much that the animators had to produce movements that weren't very realistic (even for their interpretation of the Hulk) *ahem* Running in desert, *Jump sequences etc...

However as always, now more than ever it can't be stressed enough - Nothing is more important than story and character development.

richcz3
07-30-2003, 05:46 PM
I saw this Frontline episode about a year ago, it makes a good read on how Hollywood has evolved and some the big reasons behind the changes. The various articles are a very good read.

(There needs to be a new United Artists created.)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/hollywood/

I rented Daredevil last night and on the 2nd DVD the interviews of various post production effects producers were quite candid. How practical shots took too long and effects shots can just run out of time and/or money or both.


Rich

Gentle Fury
07-30-2003, 05:59 PM
hmmmm, from a totally technical standpoint i would have to disagree. If i watched a completely disembodied Hulk scene then a Gollum scene.......having nothing to do with the story, perhaps not even speaking, i would still say gollum wins, hands down! Hulk just looked very pastic and rigid to me.....not very natural at all......it would have been acceptable if the movie wasnt live action........but he just looked bad to me.......whereas gollum........it was the first time i had to really look and say.....is that REALLY cg?????

slaughters
07-30-2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by Artist 3D
... the best example is when "Independence Day" came out and everybody said "Wow what a great effects!!! I've never seen such a massive attack on Earth" or something like that... I thought "yeh, nice effects, but that movie is a... well... can i say "shit" here?" It seems as if ppl start to understand now, that the effects are not important anymore, but the story. FX is just the most recent scape goat that people are using to bash movies they do not like.

I liked "Independence Day" because of the uplifting story of a battered few overcoming a seemingly unstoppable military force through the use of cleverness and world wide cooperation. I would have seen it even if the FX was 10 times worse than it was.

People differ in what they think is a good story. Because "good" can mean "a rousing adventure", "a great drama", "a complicated plot", "a chilling message", "humerous and clever dialogue", etc..

richcz3
07-31-2003, 12:37 AM
Slaughters

Well some movies are good despite the effects used in them. That's really the whole point. The FX shouldn't carry the whole show. One would ask why. Because in (short) time movie effects will become dated and the underlying story will have to carry itself. I personaly thought the effects in Independance Day were great, just didn't care for the movie ended.

CG can almost be classed as becoming its own genre. Kinda like Horror, Sci-Fi, and Drama. There are some people need to have CG rammed in their face like a bloody horror movie. Others prefer it used more subtly in support of charcter and story development like a good drama.

richcz3

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