"Stalingrad" VFX breakdowns

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  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Dillster: What I didn't like was that after the initial opening scenes, what promised to be a movie set on a city wide scale of epic proportions turned into one localized in a square.


From what I understand the film is a prelude to the battle of Stalingrad proper, centred around Pavlov's house. Your sentiments seem to be shared people on IMDB. Pity really.

Originally Posted by Dillster: Basically, all the props including CG assets are exceptionally good with proper attention to details.


Except that the tanks have small errors in them (wouldn't have known myself, but saw it pointed out on another forum for a WW2 game). Given the amount of reference out there for WW2 tanks and the cost of modelling relative to the rest of the VFX, I don't understand how mistakes could get through.
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  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Ordibble-Plop: From what I understand the film is a prelude to the battle of Stalingrad proper, centred around Pavlov's house. Your sentiments seem to be shared people on IMDB. Pity really.



Except that the tanks have small errors in them (wouldn't have known myself, but saw it pointed out on another forum for a WW2 game). Given the amount of reference out there for WW2 tanks and the cost of modelling relative to the rest of the VFX, I don't understand how mistakes could get through.


The point I am trying to make is that they could have made so much more with this movie, so as to reflect the scale of what was an absolute huge battle that swallowed up a huge chunk of a generation from both sides. I would have thought that few families in Germany and Russia were not affected by the loss of life incurred at Stalingrad, but this movie gives little indication of that.

The tank detail errors I can't comment on as I know nothing about tanks. But you are right about the amount of references available, so mistakes shouldn't have been made.
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  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Dillster: But you are right about the amount of references available, so mistakes shouldn't have been made.


This statement is absurd. Even from my old plastic modeling days I saw people who were fanatical about ridiculously tiny details on historical models, but the (sad) truth is, the only person they are pleasing with such mind-numbing attention to detail is themselves. And that's fine if you're not on a deadline or budget. In a production environment, it's a luxury rarely afforded. And honestly, if you put two so-called historical "experts" in a room, it's unlikely they will agree on what was historically accurate anyway.

Sure, they should get the right tank type, Tiger II or whatever for the Germans, Shermans for the US, etc., but to nit-pick beyond that is just silly. 99.99% of the people watching aren't going to notice that the hatch style was different on the later models or that the drive wheels had 14 tangs instead of 16. That level of detail is only necessary if you're making a historical documentary and hyper-accuracy is a relevant point.
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  12 December 2013
Well .... i noticed that the German tanks shown in the breakdown couldn't have been in Stalingrad battle since they had the big schürzen armor skirts covering the sides and tracks.
That upgrade only started to be employed by Spring/Summer 1943...
In graphics terms the difference is big so this error should have been detected
 
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Bullit: Well .... i noticed that the German tanks shown in the breakdown couldn't have been in Stalingrad battle since they had the big schürzen armor skirts covering the sides and tracks.
That upgrade only started to be employed by Spring/Summer 1943...
In graphics terms the difference is big so this error should have been detected


That is correct. Also, those are Panzer Mk IV 'H' tanks which were nowhere near Stalingrad in November 1942, only coming into widespread service the following summer in time for Kursk.
Details like that are important for a film where expectations are high. This 2hr 10 minute effort cost over 30 million to make. They could have taken the time to research properly and come up with the right tanks for the time and place.
 
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Artbot: Sure, they should get the right tank type, Tiger II or whatever for the Germans, Shermans for the US, etc., but to nit-pick beyond that is just silly..


I don't agree. Nit-picking movies VFX and artists work is what we all do here.
War movies by their nature need to get the details right. A large % of people watching war movies have more knowledge about history than you appear to give them credit for. We are not all gullible and we look closely for attention to detail, or nit-picking as you call it.
How much more work would it have taken to have the Panzers look like the proper 'G' types that were used in Stalingrad? Not a lot I think. A casual search on Google would have provided the information needed to get it right.

Last edited by wildjj : 12 December 2013 at 01:19 PM.
 
  12 December 2013
???

maybe there was a reason to use a other tank?
the best thing is to ask the producer why they didn't use the correct tank. :-)
 
  12 December 2013
Ok, about the tanks.
There were two actual tanks on set, these were T-44 decorated as PzKpfw IV.
Why not real PzKpfw IV? There are very few actual German WWII tanks left, and even fewer can move on their own. So it's not likely you can get real German tank for your movie from some museum, no matter what. Using type with side shields isn't historically accurate (and the crew knew it), but it helped to cover the wheels a bit, so the T-44 parts showed up less.
The VFX team had to match their CG-tanks to the ones that were live-shot. It was possible to replace all live tanks with historically correct CG-ones in every shot, but that would be a lot more work: number of shots with CG-tanks would triple, including close-ups and actor and props tracking for lighting. So to lower the costs it was done the way it was.
 
  12 December 2013
Tanks Pz4

Hi guys! My name Arman Yahin and i am VFX supervisor of this movie and want to answer about tanks. There is no German WW2 tanks that we needed in Russia that can ride through the set and crash decorations. So that was a desicion of the production designers to do like that. This replica has different size and propotions than real Pz4, but as you said before, 99.9% of people don't care about this. So for CG tanks we've done same tanks as on the set.
 
  12 December 2013
Thanks for chiming in here, guys. Always good to hear real-world production reasons for this sort of (very minor) "historical discrepancy." Anyone who's ever worked in production knows it's not always about getting it perfect but simply getting it done.

Your VFX work is gorgeous, by the way.
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  12 December 2013
Thanks! It was very hard project for us.
 
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Artbot: Thanks for chiming in here, guys. Always good to hear real-world production reasons for this sort of (very minor) "historical discrepancy." Anyone who's ever worked in production knows it's not always about getting it perfect but simply getting it done.

Your VFX work is gorgeous, by the way.


+1

And the fact that nobody twigged that the tanks were actually T-44s, not even the ones complaining about the mark and details of PzKpfw IVs, just proves what a great job you guys did.
 
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by grahamef: And the fact that nobody twigged that the tanks were actually T-44s, not even the ones complaining about the mark and details of PzKpfw IVs, just proves what a great job you guys did.


I think it's actually more important to be consistant than to be right. Apparently not many here are as old as I am and had to suffer through old tv shows that used stock footage of multiple different fighter jets to make up one sequence (one for the taxi, one for the take-off, one for the peel-off, one for the cockpit close-up, etc.). I'm not talking about an F-4D cutting to an F-4C, either. They would regularly cut from an F-4 to an F-106 to an F-104, 3 wildly different-looking aircraft. But I can also understand that there were probably people who didn't notice or care about such things.
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  12 December 2013
There is a running condition Pz IV at Russian Kubinka museum . Several others around the world.
But there are many legitimate reasons to not get a proper running tank to the set like cost, bureaucracy etc.

Quote: And the fact that nobody twigged that the tanks were actually T-44s, not even the ones complaining about the mark and details of PzKpfw IVs, just proves what a great job you guys did.


When the tanks are more than 50% covered by plates that is not difficult.
 
  12 December 2013
Originally Posted by Bullit: There is a running condition Pz IV at Russian Kubinka museum


This place is awesome , a heaven for tank lovers .I was there last August and couldn't believe my eyes !
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