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Author Topic: CGI and how do you value whats real?  (Read 773 times)
Melooon
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« on: January 07, 2024 @773.82 »

I'm curious about people's opinions of reality!

When it comes to movies these days I find I'm so bored of CGI that I actually get put off when there's a big action scene that I know is entirely simulated by a team of VFX people working in some office with no real risk.

At the same time I'm a big fan of early CGI for the very same reason; I know it's simulated and I understand how radical and difficult it was to create computer images in the 80s, so it has a greater sense of reality for me.

Likewise, with websites, I see a person's hand-coded homepage as being much more "real" than one generated by a service like Squarespace, even if the information on the site is just as interesting.

So perhaps what I define as real, are things that are somehow more effort per individual, more cutting edge, higher risk, or more experimental - reality is usually connected to the idea of truth, do those things make a piece of media truer? I'm not sure about that!

What's your feeling towards the idea of reality in media? Is it important to you and if so/not why?  :dunno:
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Fish
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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2024 @130.46 »

Not the most serious issue when it comes to this topic, but I feel like when movies use CGI too much we loose out on a lot of cool behind the scenes stuff (insert marvel/disney green screen joke)

But with practical effects you get really funny bts stuff like this

Spoilers for Orphan and Orphan: First Kill

Spoiler

Very quick explanation: These movies are about an adult pretending to be a kid played by Isabelle Fuhrman who was a child for the original movie but now as an adult they would obviously need to do some stuff to actually make her seem like a small child.

They had child body doubles and also just had everyone else wearing platform boots which led to this amazing pic



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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2024 @171.81 »

i love practical effects over anything else! i'm a pretty big tokusatsu fan and i love earlier kamen rider and super sentai seasons because of the gratuitous practical effects and "bad" CGI.

i'm not sure if i'd describe it as more real but i do think the practical effects and sloppy CGI make a piece of media more human. hardly ever when i watch newer movies with over done, "perfect", CGI effects do i look deeper into who made those effects, how those effects were made, etc etc. it's hard to care. i feel more engaged with what i watched, even well after i've finished watching.
 
i like the comparison between hand-coded sites and a generated site; whenever i see a hand-coded site that really impresses me i look more into who created it, how it was created, etc. can't say i've ever done the same for a boring "perfect" website generated through squarespace or similar services.

i think maybe it feels more real just due to the imperfect, and we can all recognize we are imperfect! that sort of connection is very important to me.
:4u:
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larvapuppy
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2024 @201.64 »

I think CGI has its place in movies when used mindfully! Practical effects are often more.. practical.. and if 90% of what's on screen is CGI then you might as well go the extra 10% and make it a 3D animated film.
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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2024 @247.58 »

I'm a MASSIVE fan of practical effects, so you can probably imagine how bored I am with the current state of visual effects. I have massive respect for CGI artists and I'll never deny that it's a beautiful art form in its own right, but practical effects are so impactful because they're real in almost every sense of the word. Real lighting, real textures, and real contact with the actors. Also, practical effects work the best for horror, and I love stop motion and puppets by extension for their creepy, uncanny aura.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2024 @999.84 »

As someone who works in 3d programs a lot I find modern CGI use endlessly frustrating bc it has soooo much more potential than what it's used for! this is because the people who make the creative decisions don't actually know how CGI works. it's just a magic thing you outsource to 20 different vfx companies you never meet and they give you what you ask for. Good visual effects in films are always characterized by an intimate creative relationship between the people with the vision and the people who realize it.

I feel like it's not the medium of CGI that sucks, but the increasingly segmented, assembly line approach to production.

There have been times when a director actually is a vfx artist and the results are super interesting! Mirror Mask, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and Gankutsuou come to mind.
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Melvian
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2024 @188.97 »

I also am a huge proponent of practical effects but...

In my opinion, if you have to advertise that your film "has no CGI" to get people to watch it then it's not a very good film. A film is about the story and the messages and as long that's good and it's executed well, that's all that really matters. Every creative decision is either in service of telling a good story, or it's a gimmick (gimmicks are not inherently bad, but they can be).

But for context, everyone is entitled to their opinion about films. Most films aren't for me anyway.

As someone who works in 3d programs a lot I find modern CGI use endlessly frustrating bc it has soooo much more potential than what it's used for! this is because the people who make the creative decisions don't actually know how CGI works. it's just a magic thing you outsource to 20 different vfx companies you never meet and they give you what you ask for. Good visual effects in films are always characterized by an intimate creative relationship between the people with the vision and the people who realize it.

This literally could be said about so many things with film. I particularly feel this way about music.
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2024 @928.67 »

i love practical effects over anything else! i'm a pretty big tokusatsu fan and i love earlier kamen rider and super sentai seasons because of the gratuitous practical effects and "bad" CGI.

I've watched a bit of earlier tokusatsu, and I also love to see all the practical effects, especially in comparison to more modern super hero movies / tv shows. The actors are in real sets! When they fall down, they get real dirt on their real costumes! I'm glad I'm not alone in this, because I've definitely shown some of this kind of media to other people and they're like, 'this looks bad' and I'm like... yes? that's the charm? that's why I'm watching it?

Slightly related, I think some of my discomfort, personally, with modern visual effects comes not from the cgi but from the lighting and colors of the entire shot... Maybe the object itself looks real enough, but then the lighting and colors look 'better and stronger' than what I would perceive in real life. I don't know much about film, so maybe I'm not explaining this well, I've just started to notice that media from the 90's or early 2000's almost looks more 'realistic' than some of what's being made today, because the colors are more well defined in modern movies than what I would see in real life. (I notice this in particular with sitcoms... it always throws me off when I see a recent sitcom, because no one's house has lighting like that... but maybe that's a rant for another day.)
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2024 @144.12 »

i'm not sure if i'd describe it as more real but i do think the practical effects and sloppy CGI make a piece of media more human.
i agree there is something kinda special about this. i love looking at cool practical effects but i also think CGI is awesome. for me, i just find a lot of big fancy movie CGI boring cuz they don't usually try to do anything super fun or crazy with it... but this is also coming from an inexperienced place cuz i do not watch a lot of movies hahaha. i love fully animated movies though and i've noticed that i enjoy them a lot more when they do something fun with the animation (eg what they did with spiderverse or the peanuts movie) so i am generalizing this to all movies using CGI
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2024 @87.67 »

What's your feeling towards the idea of reality in media? Is it important to you and if so/not why?  :dunno:

Every media is a fabrication, isn't it? So I don't mind the techniques at use, as long as it is done well; however, I have the feeling that newer CGI is often used in a slapdash-manner ("We don't need no effort, the technique will solve the problem for us"), while people really gave a shit when they had to do things by hand; take the comics of Herge, or the special effects done by Lucio Fulci (trigger warning: brutality/gore).
Examples of the opposite are the newer Ghibli-Movies: Even though they apply CGI, it nearly never concerns me.
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2024 @913.11 »

CGI as a shortcut to interesting visuals has led to a lot of dull and silly looking scenes. And production pipelines create rough working conditions for VFX artists only for none of the VFX to be visible. I still think about how poorly lit that one scene in Cruella was, just because they didn’t want people to see the botched green screen backgrounds.

In terms of reality, boo! I’m done with it! I’m not coming to most media for realism. Whenever I see something with loads of CGI, I ask if this is the right medium for this story. Like the new Last Airbender series, which I think does pretty good CGI, but ultimately can’t capture the wonder and fluidity of an animated style.

I find that people place too much value on how media adheres to reality. I see this a lot in science fiction or video games. Hyper realistic graphics usually equate to very muted and dull visuals. High fidelity has never pushed the medium forward but does costs millions of dollars for almost no return (looking at you Sony Spider-Man 1 and 2).
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2024 @104.42 »

I greatly value that human touch to things you can really feel, but I think its kind of a conflation to put CGI entirely on the side of lacking "realness". Obviously in the literal since its fake since its computer generated, but in my opinion, CGI can have just as much soul behind it as practical effects and sets. I just don't really think the squarespace metaphor works the way you used it because CGI/VFX can be and often are hand-crafted. I think a good example would be the effects in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Very clearly CGI throughout the film, but there is something undeniably human to the effects in it. Strongly recommend that movie if you somehow haven't seen it yet. It is one of the "realest" feeling films I've watched in a long time in that respect. (The Oldest View by Kane Pixels is also stand-out in this respect in my opinion. The essence of hand-crafted CGI!)

That being said, I do understand what you're talking about.
Like the new Last Airbender series, which I think does pretty good CGI, but ultimately can’t capture the wonder and fluidity of an animated style..
I think the new Last Airbender series is just in general a good example of that soulless CGI. I think it has a lot to do with the kind of production and budget that goes into it. I'm definitely immensely put off by the CGI in that. But I'm also really put off by the practical effects and sets in Star Trek and a lot of 80s movies! Ultimately, I think this is a lot more relative than you imply.
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2024 @346.28 »

I love CGI dudes!!!!!!! CGI is fucking movie magic. It's made the unshootable possible. I have nothing but praise for the technology... even while being realistic about its limitations, of which there are many. You get nothing for free in CGI, including realism.

I find CGI movie effects as magical as practical effects, but for different reasons. This post is mostly in praise of CGI but don't get it wrong I love all special effects.

CGI has also greatly increased the palette of practical effects. "You can remove the strings" has done wonders for practical effects. They work together.

Both mediums have their strengths and weaknesses. They need to work in concert to mutually maximise each other's strengths and minimise each other's weaknesses.

Don't hate the CGI, hate the bad movies  :cheesy:

When it comes to movies these days I find I'm so bored of CGI that I actually get put off when there's a big action scene that I know is entirely simulated by a team of VFX people working in some office with no real risk.

Do we want to talk about real risk. Do we want to talk about how people have been seriously injured and died performing stunt acting. The unions for stunt actors are strong for a reason. Oh boy is the risk real. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_film_and_television_accidents

Any physical act is going to come with a level of risk. Stunt acting is a honed art over decades, with risk minimised. Stunt actors take all precautions and are very safe, but they need to do some very extreme acts with an elevated level of risks. The people who did those stunts are very cool, but they're not all unscathed. Leaving some stunts to a computer animation seems like a good thing for safety, to me.

...And we should also discuss the safety risks in creating CGI animation. The damage to the body crunch and overwork cause are far less imminently dramatic than stunk work accidents, but vfx people in an office still face real physical risk. I hope they get their strong union sooner rather than later.

Spoiler
Quote from: wikipedia
[Nightcrawler (2014) During filming of the intense mirror scene. Jake Gyllenhaal improvised smashing the mirror and subsequently cut his hands. He was discharged from the hospital with 46 stitches and needing surgery. The take was kept in the final film.[327][328]

haven't seen the movie, but this sounds badass ngl
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