Originally Posted by Michael5188
Just out of curiosity, since I'm not a rigger and know very little about robotics, what exactly can you learn from this that can apply to CG? And I mean from the robots and mechanisms themselves, not the film-making of the time. (such as less is more)
Just keep hearing there's so much to learn from studying them, yet I haven't actually heard any specific examples, such as I was having trouble rigging an octopus, but then I saw one built for a film in the 70s and I had a eureka moment cause this was attached to this and so forth...
The lesson one learns from old Special Effects work is to note the "threshold for selling the event". I've seen many CG modelers and riggers simply go overboard and try to "do it for real" just because computers can.
I find JAWS still has very potent impact with young audiences today who see it for the first time because while in the "soft aspect" (whether forced to or not) JAWS went with more subtle use of the FX - on the pure FX side, JAWS was also a showcase of discipline from FX crews and designers to do "just enough for what the image needs".
Before they did this because they had to. Today the lesson is we can do this today by design... rather than expending stupid energy on trying to get every aspect of a CG character right because "We have to do it for real"... The lesson is that we have to determine, as the old FX artists did, the correct threshold for the FX to render the event onscreen and expend energy on what the image requires.
In that sense, studying the anatomy of a shark to the last detail, or endlessly simulating cartilage or whatever is just a waste of energy.
Think of it in another way... What I'm saying is... given the same script.. and assuming everybody was back in 1970.... but we had today's software....
One artist will go nuts and make a fully rendered shark and all the attack sequences will have slow-mo and this really glossy, detailed down-to-the-last predator underwater with dismemberments.
But he will probably lose out to the guy who figured out the only thing the image REALLY needs.. is a trianglular plane running on a fluid sim to the right music....and that the CG shark only needs enough articulation to do what it has to do... not more.
And to wit... the guys who went with the simpler solution... would get the whole thing done faster... and faster means lower cost.