CGI in Movies/TV Discussion

Huntn

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Who loves CGI? If it’s good, supporting a worthy story, I do. How about you? :)

Movies Mentioned:
  • Alita: Battle Angel (posts 47 & 65)
  • Ant Man (post 26)
  • Avatar (post 11)
  • Beauty and the Beast (animated 1992, post 11)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (post 28j
  • District 9 (post 4)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (post 69)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (post 27)
  • Inception (post 2)
  • Interstellar (post 36)
  • The Irishman (post 104)
  • Iron Man (post 14)
  • Jurassic Park (post 18)
  • Lord of the Rings (post 5)
  • Oliver and Company (1988, post 24)
  • Starship Troopers (1997, page 3, post 72)
  • The Last Jedi
  • The Matrix (post 2)
  • Titanic
  • Transformers (post 17)
 
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Huntn

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Inception (2010), a spiritual sequel to Dreamscape (1984), sharing dreams, influencing other people, in this case it’s about corporate espionage.

Mostly live action with outstanding CGI visuals mixed in, intriguing story with twists, especially a guy’s dead wife, whose projection haunts him in his shared dreams. The good thing is that the dreams are not dreamy, but mostly look like reality as we know it.

However one of the requirements to enjoy this story is going with the flow, and having a hefty dose of suspension of disbelief, because the technology involved in sharing dreams is kept vague, and dreams within dreams, along with the idea that the reality in dreams, closely resembles actual reality, and things like physical injuries and gravity transcend dream levels and effect us the exact same way as in reality, which is not true much of the time. If you can accept these things, you are good to go! Enjoyable movie. A clearly filmed, mind bending, climatic plot.




The Matrix (1999)- Tour de force use of CGI to propel the story: our reality is not what it seems, the rules can be bent in the Matrix.

 
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Mac'nCheese

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Did Inception have that much cgi in it? I thought the director was more into camera and set tricks than cgi.
 

hawkeye_a

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When I think of movies which were heavy on CGI, District 9 always comes to mind. The CGI looked "real" to me (unlike Avatar which came out around the same time...and IMHO looked 'cartooney' in comparison).

District 9 is a great Sci-Fi too.



 
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C DM

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Who loves CGI? If it’s good, supporting a worthy story, I do. How about you? :)

Movies Mentioned:
  • Inception
  • The Matrix
What exactly do we mean by CGI? There are movies with special effects, ones with fantastical characters, and ones with all kinds of environments and settings that are simulated. Even movies without much in terms of actual special effects (as we typically refer to them) can often have a lot of simulated environments and all kinds of elements throughout, which don't necessarily look all that fictional or anything like that, but actually blend in and look very much realistic that we often don't realize that things weren't actually shot in the way that we end up seeing them. In a sense that's CGI too.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Lord of the Rings had mostly solid CGI, and those movies are classics. I especially love the extended cuts. Gollum was a revelation its day.
There, I would agree with you.

This was an example where the CGI did not interfere with - or detract from - or (wise), distract from - the story.

Rather, the CGI enhanced the story and served to support it, and did that very well by offering a visual treat and a stupendous view of that universe and world.
 

D.T.

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When I think of movies which were heavy on CGI, District 9 always comes to mind. The CGI looked "real" to me (unlike Avatar which came out around the same time...and IMHO looked 'cartooney' in comparison).

District 9 is a great Sci-Fi too.

The CGI in Avatar is far more sophisticated, D9 had the advantage of just needing a few scenes (vs. the entire movie), and the CGI content was pretty simple. Both terrific movies on their own merits.


What exactly do we mean by CGI? There are movies with special effects, ones with fantastical characters, and ones with all kinds of environments and settings that are simulated. Even movies without much in terms of actual special effects (as we typically refer to them) can often have a lot of simulated environments and all kinds of elements throughout, which don't necessarily look all that fictional or anything like that, but actually blend in and look very much realistic that we often don't realize that things weren't actually shot in the way that we end up seeing them. In a sense that's CGI too.
I __think__ the topic is movies where there is significant CGI that provides some kind, I guess let's call it, "fictional visualization", and where the movie concept could not be executed without it.

Clearly Inception and The Matrix (in the versions we saw) would not work without CGI (two of my faves), and I'd guess there's a significant amount of sci-fi and fantasy films/TV that relies on CGI.

To be honest, I'm sure I totally "get it" either :D
 
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Scepticalscribe

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The CGI in Avatar is far more sophisticated, D9 had the advantage of just needing a few scenes (vs. the entire movie), and the CGI content was pretty simple. Both terrific movies on their own merits.




I __think__ the topic is movies where there is significant CGI that provides some kind, I guess let's call it, "fictional visualization", and where the movie concept could not be executed without it.

Clearly Inception and The Matrix (in the versions we saw) would not work without CGI (two of my faves), and I'd guess there's a significant amount of sci-fi and fantasy films/TV that relies on CGI.

To be honest, I'm sure I totally "get it" either :D
I think - I cannot second guess @Huntn - but I think this thread came about as a result of a conversation on the movie thread.

Two perspectives on CGI emerged; those who loved the spectacle, - the visuals - and didn't much seem to mind a thin story - and those who felt (myself included) that many modern movies rely on the spectacle (which justified the budget) at the expense of the story to be told.

@Huntn's thread was an attempt - as far as I could see - to discuss movies where the CGI was spectacular, but which enhanced - or did not undermine or detract from - the story to be told.

Now, from my perspective, I am suspicious of CGI, not because I don't like tech, but, because the challenges of making it look good (and modern CGI looks very good indeed) can take centre stage at the expense of plot, character, narrative.

In theatre, the equivalent is to come out from a theatre muttering about how good the set was - and I have learned to distrust theatre shows with superb sets - they are usually at the expense of cast, or plot, or story, or to disguise a mistake in casting or pacing or a hole in the plot.

These days, I prefer a pared back stage with the focus on cast, script, and story. Lighting and costume should be able to take care of the rest.

Back on topic: It is a cartoon, but I think the story, cast, script and yes - CGI - were all absolutely brilliant. Shrek.
 
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Huntn

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What exactly do we mean by CGI? There are movies with special effects, ones with fantastical characters, and ones with all kinds of environments and settings that are simulated. Even movies without much in terms of actual special effects (as we typically refer to them) can often have a lot of simulated environments and all kinds of elements throughout, which don't necessarily look all that fictional or anything like that, but actually blend in and look very much realistic that we often don't realize that things weren't actually shot in the way that we end up seeing them. In a sense that's CGI too.
The title says "predominant" in other words heavily relies on it for telling the story.
[doublepost=1538167537][/doublepost]
The CGI in Avatar is far more sophisticated, D9 had the advantage of just needing a few scenes (vs. the entire movie), and the CGI content was pretty simple. Both terrific movies on their own merits.




I __think__ the topic is movies where there is significant CGI that provides some kind, I guess let's call it, "fictional visualization", and where the movie concept could not be executed without it.

Clearly Inception and The Matrix (in the versions we saw) would not work without CGI (two of my faves), and I'd guess there's a significant amount of sci-fi and fantasy films/TV that relies on CGI.

To be honest, I'm sure I totally "get it" either :D
The elephant in the category has to be Avatar, where an entire world was created using CGI. It really makes you wonder how they plopped the real actors into a scene, but mostly is was amazing adventure, about as photo realistic as you can get. :D

First half of this video, the hunting scene was included as an extra scene.
Speaking of real actors there were some ;), but it was overshadowed by motion capture and facial capture techniques.

The Crazy Tech Behind James Cameron's Avatar
https://screenrant.com/crazy-3d-technology-james-cameron-avatar/
 
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D.T.

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[doublepost=1538167537][/doublepost]
The elephant in the category has to be Avatar, where an entire world was created using CGI. It really makes you wonder how they plopped the real actors into a scene, but mostly is was amazing adventure, about as photo realistic as you can get. :D



I think it's astounding that was 2009, ~9 years ago, with tech developed years before that - I'm anxiously waiting to see where Cameron will go with the next generation.
 

maflynn

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The question is what Movie doesn't use CGI now a days?

I'll go with Star Wars, The Last Jedi. The scenes with Snoke are pretty amazing, especially the fight scene.
 

Huntn

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The question is what Movie doesn't use CGI now a days?

I'll go with Star Wars, The Last Jedi. The scenes with Snoke are pretty amazing, especially the fight scene.
How about I change the title to: What is Your Favorite Movie because of the CGI? :)
[doublepost=1538242456][/doublepost]
CGI history starts at 2:01. The fact that this was 1992 and it still holds up is the perfect example of CGI used appropriately.

Was this the first animated film that used CGI? Just asking. :)
[doublepost=1538244436][/doublepost]
I think - I cannot second guess @Huntn - but I think this thread came about as a result of a conversation on the movie thread.

Two perspectives on CGI emerged; those who loved the spectacle, - the visuals - and didn't much seem to mind a thin stay - and those who felt (myself included) that many modern movies rely on the spectacle (which justified the budget) at the expense of the story to be told.

@Huntn's thread was an attempt - as far as I could see - to discuss movies where the CGI was spectacular, bt which enhanced - or did not undermine or detract from - the story to be told.

Now, from my perspective, I am suspicious of CGI, not because I don't like tech, but, because the challenges of making it look good (and modern CGI looks very good indeed) can take centre stage at the expense of plot, character, narrative.

In theatre, the equivalent is to come out from a theatre muttering about how good the set was - and I have learned to distrust theatre shows with superb sets - they are usually at the expense of cast, or plot, or story, or to disguise a mistake in casting or pacing or a hole in the plot.

These days, I prefer a pared back stage with the focus on cast, script, and story. Lighting and cost should be able to take care of the rest.

Back on topic: It is a cartoon, but I think the story, cast, script and yes - CGI - were all absolutely brilliant. Shrek.
@Huntn's thread was an attempt - as far as I could see - to discuss movies where the CGI was spectacular, bt which enhanced - or did not undermine or detract from - the story to be told.

You nailed it. :) But this thread was in no way meant as a challenge to any statements you made about CGI. My point is that some movies can only be made with CGI, and in fact are greatly enhanced by CGI especially now that it has reached the level of technical, photo realism, and environmental perfection that is has.

Lord of the Rings is a great example. When you are riding along from the perspective of a mounted Ring Wraith attacking Minas Terith or watching Legolas single handedly take down an Olephant is spectacular and unlocking the camera and the visuals unlocks the door to creativity.

However, anything can be overdone, and I will acknowledge that CGI for CGI's sake is not a winner. I have loved several of the Transformer Movies, but in some cases there is so much happening on the screen at the same time, it's hard to keep track of what you are watching.

Besides the Transformers in these videos, it's difficult to impossible to tell what is real and what is computer generated. :)


 
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hawkeye_a

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How about I change the title to: What is Your Favorite Movie because of the CGI?
Jurassic Park. Sentimentality is probably a factor too though.

CGI needs to be purposeful. When CGI is the main focus, more often than not, the movie ends up sucking.... and eventually forgotten. (Episode 1,2 & 3 come to mind).
 
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Huntn

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Jurassic Park. Sentimentality is probably a factor too though.

CGI needs to be purposeful. When CGI is the main focus, more often than not, the movie ends up sucking.... and eventually forgotten. (Episode 1,2 & 3 come to mind).
A milestone in CGI... :)
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

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Lord of the Rings had mostly solid CGI, and those movies are classics. I especially love the extended cuts. Gollum was a revelation its day.
Gollum was really well made, but other than him, I find most of the CGI in the LOTR trilogy to be mediocre. It is *always* completely clear when CGI is in use to depict humans, orcs or animals.

How about I change the title to: What is Your Favorite Movie because of the CGI? :)
The first movie where I went 'Woaw, I can't tell the difference! This is amazing!" was Independence Day. It completely blew me away. Next up was Jurassic Park.

Besides the Transformers in these videos, it's difficult to impossible to tell what is real and what is computer generated. :)
Indeed. Much can be said about Michael Bays way of doing movies, but the CGI in the Transformers series is top notch.
[doublepost=1538246327][/doublepost]
The Wolf of Wall Street
For what it is, it is quite amazing how much CGI they use in that movie!
[doublepost=1538246423][/doublepost]
Was this the first animated film that used CGI? Just asking.
Fully animated movie, perhaps, but certainly not the first. See here for a list of CGI on film.
 
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Huntn

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Gollum was really well made, but other than him, I find most of the CGI in the LOTR trilogy to be mediocre. It is *always* completely clear when CGI is in use to depict humans, orcs or animals.


The first movie where I went 'Woaw, I can't tell the difference! This is amazing!" was Independence Day. It completely blew me away. Next up was Jurassic Park.


Indeed. Much can be said about Michael Bays way of doing movies, but the CGI in the Transformers series is top notch.
[doublepost=1538246327][/doublepost]
For what it is, it is quite amazing how much CGI they use in that movie!
[doublepost=1538246423][/doublepost]
Fully animated movie, perhaps, but certainly not the first. See here for a list of CGI on film.
Thanks for the link! What I was asking about the Beauty and the Beast was this tradional animation or CGI?
 

AustinIllini

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Was this the first animated film that used CGI? Just asking. :)
Indeed it was. In fact, there was a backup plan of the dancing happening with a black background. It wasn't a certainty that the ballroom scene would be the way it turned out.

Shortly after, the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin was also done with CGI.
 
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hawkeye_a

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I think Disney’s Oliver & Co.(1988) made use of some CGI, if i’m not mistaken.
 

ActionableMango

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Inception was top notch. One of my favorite films.

Christopher Nolan is famous for demanding practical effects in his VFX whenever possible, even if CGI would be a lot easier, safer, and cheaper. He does this because he is adamant that the results are better. So saying that this movie is CGI predominate is quite a bit of a poke at the director.

Yes there are a few Paris CGI scenes, and all of the crumbling city in limbo was CGI. But most of the movie was practical VFX. For example the snowy mountain fortress was a miniature, the zero-g hallway fight was a series of several sets (the most complicated being a 100 foot long hotel hallway encased in a gigantic rotating cylinder), and the train plowing down the middle of a city street was just a dressed up Peterbilt 375 semi-truck.

Nolan believes that practical effects are better not just for the final visual result, but for the actors as well. For example in most films or TV shows where there is a space ship with a window, behind the window is a green screen and whatever needs to be shown in the window is inserted there after filming with CGI. The actors see a green screen and have to pretend it's a planet, an alien, warp space going by, or whatever. By contrast in Interstellar, the view of space and planets is a projection so that it's actually there while being filmed, and the actors can see the space phenomena. It helps their imagination, it helps them to feign or feel a reaction, and they can all properly look at and point to the phenomena with the same correct perspective.

This is in stark contrast to a movie like The Hobbit, which had so much green screen that it almost made Ian McKellan quit acting.

Also, that tesseract scene toward the end of Interstellar...no green screen was used! I've read about how it was done, and I still don't understand how they did it. But it was a real set combined with practical VFX and some sort of special filming technique where they film "slits" or "slots" and then layer them together.
 
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