Acknowledging the blood, sweat & tears that went into making a head explode on film, among other things.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Multi-Tangent Observations

Some CGI is not completely crap. My big problem is the disregard and or utter lack of knowledge of physics when making a CG character move. They never seem to get it right. The whole basis of CGI is to make the unreal blend with the real. If it wasn’t, then we’d still have stop motion and cartoons with live action. So why all the fakey jumping and flying around? (I’m looking at you Spider-Man & Transformers)

When a well done CG character is still, it seems more effective, but when it starts jumping around, the realistic illusion is completely shattered. The best example for me was Gollum from the Lord of the Rings films. The facial detail was marvelous. His expression was very well rendered. Even when he crawled along the ground he almost seems to have some mass to the image. When he started jumping around, that’s where the flaws became apparent.

Look, CGI is never going to look 100% real. I know that, but the artists that use it for the sake of wanting it to be “more realistic than a puppet or stop motion” are just fooling themselves. Nobody watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit for the graphically accurate depiction of cartoon and real life co-mingling; they saw it for the fun story told a creative way.

CGI added for the purpose of creating something unreal real, is not creative. It’s a lazy illusion that seems hollow to the viewer. We get nothing from it. It’s like eating a pot pie full of air.

So next time you young filmmakers want to add a giant monster in your shot, set the mouse down, got to the hobby store, get some models, get your hands dirty and read up on forced perspective techniques.

Us the viewers appreciate seeing hard work up on the screen.

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