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Wolfie!
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cgi?

Post by Wolfie! »

I personally don't like CGI much...
generally it ends up looking like a video game [anubis in mummy 2]
and I feel a sense of... ok, someone's playing their nintendo, instead of
a feeling of the character being someone I *feel for* and I don't care how
the effects of a movie look, if I don't feel something for the character then
the whole thing is a waste of time.

Try that big monster, Ludo, from The Labyrinth, wasn't he lovely...
wouldn't you just like to stroke his fur and hear him rumble in pleasure?

I think it's nice when a real actor can actually hold a characters hand or
pat him on the head..

Sure, a little CGI here and there, but be careful... we all use computers
now and we can spot the effects... oh I think I could do that in photoshop...
you don't want to be thinking about photoshop, nintendo, megabytes and
crap in the cinema.


Wolfie!

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Post by ABrownrigg »

I'm in total agreement. Currently, I'm working with Timothy Albee on getting just the right effects, and a mix of prosthetics, animatronics, and cgi. In some instances CGI will only be a suppliment, as opposed to a replacement to prosthetics. And in some cases, there will be only prosthetcis. I'm wary of CGI myself, but tim has really shown me some things that have made me think there are some new things on the horizon.

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Post by Wolfie! »

as long as it doesn't lose that warm feeling, I mean, a werewolf
is a hot blooded *animal* we must not forget that word!

I'm not against CGI, I just feel it should be for support when strings
and wires can't do the job.

Wolfie!

I suppose I should put an avatar up somehow.

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Post by Figarou »

I know some people hate CGI. But you need to remember that things can be easily done in CGI compared to a mechanical costume.

With advancements in CGI, things are looking more realistic. Just look at Shrek 2. The trees look realalistic, even though its CGI.


I really like CGI. It made the werewolves in Van Helsing look really cool. If claymation was used, then the werewolves would look terrible.

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Post by What Mafia »

CGI always looks very fake to me, and I agree like a video game.
It's a shame an entire family can be torn up by something as simple as wild dogs.

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Post by Terastas »

Both have their strong points and their faults. Like Figarou said, CGI can render some amazing visuals (Shrek, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within).

And animatronics... Well... Ludo was perfect for a movie like The Labyrinth... But could you imagine trying to do a movie like Freeborn with a werewolf that looked like a muppet?

I know costuming is going to play a large portion in this since its harder for actors to interact with CGI creations, but I still wouldn't write CGI off altogether. Sure, Darkwolf was a fiasco, but that was the absolute bottom of the creativity barrel.
:wink: This will be different.

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Post by Figarou »

Terastas wrote:I know costuming is going to play a large portion in this since its harder for actors to interact with CGI creations, but I still wouldn't write CGI off altogether. Sure, Darkwolf was a fiasco, but that was the absolute bottom of the creativity barrel.
:wink: This will be different.

Its easy to interact with a CGI character. The actor can look at a person wearing a blue costume. Or have the whole set blue. Or is it green? It'll be easy to had elements using CGI by removing the guy wearing the blue costume and replacing it with a CGI character.

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Post by Mitternacht »

just a thought here. I know the werewolves in Underworld were right downere on the wasted space list....somewhere between headcheese and toaster ovens....BUT it did give me this to offer. What if the Mid form was an animatronic asisted outfit worn by the actors themselves? That way, their personality somes through in any form? Just my 2 cents

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Since I work in the industry .....

Post by Redstorm »

I'd have to say, the best effects that I have seen so far are a blend of suits and CG. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive.

One good example was Hellboy. True, a mediocre movie in terms of plot and substance - but the fish guy was amazing. A lovely creatire suit, with CG breathing and blinking effects. Just innovative and very well done. It ranks right at the top of my "best monsters in a movie" list, even though it's not my preferred form of critter ;o)

You have CG people on staff, use them. But yea, full CG werewolves have failed even with huge budget flicks, and i'd recommend against that. Full suits look great in the shadows, but lose something up close and in the light.

So I vote for both. :D

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History of CGI, with a point thrown in somewhere

Post by Scott Gardener »

I've felt ever since CG tech was decent enough to consider at all that in my dream of making my own novel into a movie, I'd use it as a polish on top of traditional effects. Yes, the CG looks pretty good in the new Star Wars movies, but it still looks like an effect; you can tell it's not real.

CGI's first break, of course, was in the original 1977 Star Wars, as digital rendering of, well, digital rendering. The Death Star plans were quite possibly the first use of CGI to depict something other than a TV playing in the background. (I could be wrong on this.)

The first use of computer displays for realistic depiction of something other than computer displays would probably be the Genesis Planet footage in Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan. That was still way back in 1982, and it would be almost a decade before the industry would go haywire with similar effects, not counting the re-use of the same footage in Treks III and IV.

Yes, there's The Last Starfighter. Campy and fun, but obviously video-gamish. They admit it and even celebrate it, using a video game to recruit the pilot character into the eighties campy sci fi.

Terminator II: Judgement Day would mark the dawn of the CGI takeover of blockbuster special effects. Liquid metal is a lot easier to render than fur, however. For what they were depicting, a smooth, metallic form, the effects were startlingly realistic and very believable. It was frequently imitated for awhile, and by the mid-ninties, kids were morphing into hyped up T-1000s on Capri-Sun TV commercials.

1999's The Matrix made "bullet time" moving freeze-frames very trendy, though there are plenty of instances of this being done before then. The movie remake of Lost in Space did it, though that movie also pointed out the limits of CGI not too long ago last decade by showing cartoonish creatures like "Blarp" and the mutated evil Dr. Smith.

CGI rendering of nature is hard. That's one reason why bleak, demolished, Doom-style landscapes are so popular in sci-fi. Trees eat up processor time, and organic mammals are hard. Furless dinosaurs were done remarkably well with Jurassic Park, turning heads of paleontologists everywhere when the thing came out. By the time Jurassic Park III came out, however, people were used to CGI effects, and they hype was over. But, still no fur.

Believable CGI fur may very well be the Final Frontier of CGI rendering. The problem lies with rendering complex structures. Fur is countless individual hairs following a wave harmonic effect combined with individual motions.

But, in 30 years time, the desktop computer (assuming the concept of desktop computers isn't obsolite by then--we could be wearing them in our contact lenses or implanting them by 2035) should have about the same processing capacity, storage, and overall blunt complexity as the human brain. Not to say the same structure, composition, or processing method, so this doesn't guarantee AIs surfing the web for us (but doesn't discount it, either), but if we can imagine furry creatures, then something as complex as us specifically designed to imagine furry creatures for us should be able to do a decent job of it.

But, who wants to wait until 2035 for a decent werewolf movie? I say use live footage and old-school puppets and costumes, and use CGI to polish the look and details like shape-shifting to hyper-realistic feel.
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: History of CGI, with a point thrown in somewhere

Post by Figarou »

Scott Gardener wrote: But, in 30 years time, the desktop computer (assuming the concept of desktop computers isn't obsolite by then--we could be wearing them in our contact lenses or implanting them by 2035) should have about the same processing capacity, storage, and overall blunt complexity as the human brain. Not to say the same structure, composition, or processing method, so this doesn't guarantee AIs surfing the web for us (but doesn't discount it, either), but if we can imagine furry creatures, then something as complex as us specifically designed to imagine furry creatures for us should be able to do a decent job of it.

But, who wants to wait until 2035 for a decent werewolf movie? I say use live footage and old-school puppets and costumes, and use CGI to polish the look and details like shape-shifting to hyper-realistic feel.
Technology is advancing quicker today compared to 20 years ago. Take DVD for example. It was launched in 1997. Its not even 10 years old yet and HD-DVD is already here. (Well, in Japan, actually.)

As soon as you buy a PC, its already obsolete. The next model runs faster and has more processing power. Instead of waiting 30 years, I'd say 1-2 years. Maybe less. Let me ask you this. How does an artist get better at his drawing? By drawing and drawing and keep on drawing. The more you draw, the better you get at it. Same goes for CGI computer programers. The better you get at it, the better it looks.



Scott Gardener wrote:
Believable CGI fur may very well be the Final Frontier of CGI rendering. The problem lies with rendering complex structures. Fur is countless individual hairs following a wave harmonic effect combined with individual motions.
They did a good job with the fur in Monster's Inc. Having bits of snow in the fur in one scene. Also the fur moved with the wind. It looked beleiveable to me.

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Post by Redstorm »

Ah, yes, Terminator really was a CGI forerunner.

And did you ever catch the kids cartoon Re-boot? Amazing graphics well ahead of it's time. Even some modern stuff doesn't compare.

However bullet time is not CG. Completely different principle - although doing it badly can still give you something that looks like a bad CG puppet. You can actually make very effective pseudo-bullet time effects with a good stills camera (or 50, if you have them ;op) in a low budget movie.

But yea, puppets and suits definately as a base. Don't throw away the tried and tested for the new and glamorous. Like when they thought TV's would kill the cinema industry. Or "Video Killed the Radio Star" :wink:
Things can work in unison.

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Post by Terastas »

Hmmm... I understand fully what you're talking about with fur being the hardest part of CGI rendering... But I don't think we'll have to wait nearly that long.

A few years back, Pixar Animations had a huge animation project: James P. Sullivan, the 8 ft. furball from Monsters Inc. Animating every one of his hairs individually would have been a nightmare, so instead they attempted to develop a program that would animate his fur automatically. It took them a while to get it right, but it simplified the the animation team's work big time.

Right now, only one program exists, but if Pixar doesn't attempt to sell their program on an open market, someone else will develop the formula on their own and beat them to the market. After all, as you said, rendering fur is the biggest challenge in CGI, and lately I've seen a lot of impressive stuff coming from people's home systems. Eventually Pixar or someone else will attempt to cash in.

As for home systems... Well... I've seen what can be done with just two computers, so it wouldn't surprise me if one day I'm browsing the software section and looking at copies of Universal Man and Furball2.0 on sale.

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Post by ABrownrigg »

what I'm lookin at here is basic motion trracking compositing, real suits, with supplimental cg added. We're working on the principles at the moment. I've not been satisfied with a lot of things out there, and Tim and I are going to really work something new, and more real.

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Put that thing back where it came from, or so help me!

Post by Scott Gardener »

I thought about Monsters, Inc., but it's hard to tell how believable or not that same fur program would be, since the movie itself was done entirely with animation, showing startlingly realistic characters who were obviously cartoonish by intentional design. ("Kitty" was blue, and Mike was a one-eyed green thing.)
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Post by Terastas »

Well... Yeah, that's true... But in this case, I don't think the movie would have worked if it looked realistic.

So... Ultimately it will still be the job of the CG team to make it look realistic or otherwise. It'll just be more a question of determining length and texture than animating all five gazillion hairs correctly.

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Post by Figarou »

Terastas wrote:Well... Yeah, that's true... But in this case, I don't think the movie would have worked if it looked realistic.

So... Ultimately it will still be the job of the CG team to make it look realistic or otherwise. It'll just be more a question of determining length and texture than animating all five gazillion hairs correctly.
Like I mentioned above. The fur moved in the wind and it had bits of snow. They sure did a great job of it.

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Post by ABrownrigg »

I will direct you to this site.

http://www.worley.com

sasquatch is the software that will be utilized for the fur. See the samples.

again this is ONLY when we're doing the CGI fur, the real stuff should look identical.

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Post by Figarou »

ABrownrigg wrote:I will direct you to this site.

http://www.worley.com

sasquatch is the software that will be utilized for the fur. See the samples.

again this is ONLY when we're doing the CGI fur, the real stuff should look identical.

Oh neat!! With that program, I can put fur on these wolf emoticons!!


*Starts dodging duckies* Image AHHHHHH!! *Bonk*

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interaction

Post by Wolfie! »

when I said actors can't interact with CGI, I really meant that
although you can play your part beside them, you can't hug them or
wrestle them, the fur and the body just won't respond in the same way.

this is ok though, if the character was partially CGI then this is obviously
a suit scene.

Chewbacca was a very believable suit character, and is one of the most
memorable characters in movie history.

Wolfie!

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Post by Darth Canis »

Now i have lots of things i love about cg except for jar jar *throws duck at jar jar*. I don't know if any of you have ever seen mighty joe young it was a plucky kids movie about a huge gorilla. The suits in this movie were amazing in fact most of the movie was filmed with an actor in a wonderful gorilla suit. it really looked like a real gorilla that would be my vote for best costumed character and of course wookiees in the next starwars cuz they really look like they are going ot kick a**.
The little girl who always wanted to fly an x wing and be raised by wolves... Come to think of it she still does.

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Post by Wolfie! »

hehe, I read your geek comment...
I hate the term, because we're actually interested in something,
we get a nasty tag. over here, if you like cars, you're a "petrol head"
which is a studly sort of phrase, often said with an approving grunt in
the voice. sports freaks are overly glorified too... but they're all just nerds
like everyone else. we can use a computer or have good imaginations or
have a liking for film, be it watching or making them . I don't feel like a nerd or a geek *feels himself just to make sure*
Here, feel this... does this feel geeky to you? no, just yer average, non-gothic non-stereotype werewolf lover. who showers like everyone else
and doesn't like NIN just because all the others think I should.
(actually I love 80s pop - there, that scared the pants off them).

Applied to werewolves, why shouldn't werewolves be happy beings who
are their own person and happy with themselves, and with the same problems the humans next door have?

Wolfie!

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