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Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? - TV/Movies - Nairaland

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Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by Seun(m): 5:54pm On Mar 17, 2008
Supposing your film is an action/adventure/science fiction/horror film, which requires:

- Vehicles you can't obtain on your budget such as helicopters, space ships, fighter jets, submarines, missiles, ships, et cetera. Should you use scale models of these vehicles and move them with wires or stop motion techniques? Should you buy simple look-alike models or functional models that actually fly and move? Or should you just create them on your computer (CGI) and combine with your live-action footage?

- Interesting non-human creatures such as spiders, insect-like aliens, giant beatles. Do you create them using photorealistic 3D modeling, expensive animatronic models that can be controlled like puppets in real time, or static but photorealistic models controlled using stop motion photography (like the original King Kong)?

In general,should you use the computer for everything or is there a use for scale models and other old-school methods of creating special effects? What's ideal for those of us who don't have millions of dollars to spend on our action/adventure films?
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by jemit(m): 7:23pm On Mar 18, 2008
i personally would prefer to use CGI to create scenes and characters in my movies if need be. there may also be need for scale models and old-fashion traditional special effects depending on the effect needed.

simulating a helicopter crashing into the mm2 airport may be better using cgi.
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by grafikdon: 6:17pm On Mar 19, 2008
@comrazor, I agree CGI is not a magic bullet but people have pulled it off successfully several times. In most cases they employ a lot of diversionary tactics to divert your total attention from the computer generated sequence. I can assure you that some of the shots you believe are the handiwork of stunt men are simply flawless live action/cgi integration. It becomes 'cheezy' when there is no diversion (speed/action/fast paced camera switch etc) or when there's a long establishing focus on the CGI elements. I observed you find CGI absolutely repulsive and have refused to acknowledge it has its uses (especially when applied in the right sense). I know people go overboard with Cgi (which I find despicable) but nevertheless, it is something you cannot rule out entirely, no matter your personal taste.

In my own case I will combine both; Use miniatures where they are most appropriate and Cg where it is most appropriate.
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by grafikdon: 8:37pm On Mar 19, 2008

oh, i know CGI has been used effectively quite a lot . . . but in most of those cases, it is used (as you said) in combination with real elements, as well as distractions to keep the eye from lingering too long upon.

At least we agree on this one. grin grin

while that approach may have worked for 300, Sin City and Sky Captain, you'll notice that all of those movies were either based on or paid homage to comic books, and as such they benefited from having a slightly unreal, cartoonish, exaggerated reality.

if you're making such a film, then i guess it could work for you. but if you're doing something that involves even a semblance of realism, i think it's going to be a cheesefest.

That's exactly what I was driving at when I mentioned using CGI reasonably. Either you employ integration (CGI/live) with distractions or all out Cgi world with exaggerated reality (300, Sky Cap, Sin City, Preacher . . . etc)). Anything else will do little to prevent your eyes from lingering too long or from passing crude judgment. I guess we're saying the same thing in different tones. undecided
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by Seun(m): 8:43pm On Mar 19, 2008
however, unless i misunderstood, the vibe i got from Seun's original post was the idea of using CGI to create vehicles, monsters, locations--basically to create the entire world, a la 300.
You misunderstood. I mentioned props, vehicles and monsters.
The one about locations is the green screen topic, and not this one.
I have a book titled "how to create killer action movies on the cheap",
written by a guy who does special effects for big Hollywood movies.
I created this thread because i found the effects created with miniatures
and puppets far more convincing than those created with consumer CGI.

I agree with what grafikdon said. When you linger too long on a computer generated image, you begin to see the flaws. For some reason, I just don't feel comfortable with the idea of delving into the CGI world.
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by grafikdon: 9:04pm On Mar 19, 2008
Hahahaha!!!! It was an underground rumour but there has to be some truth to that. It will get the Sin City/ Sky Captain treatment, so I heard. Preacher is . . . I am not sure how to describe it. . . totally unconventional and mind blowing. shocked shocked shocked It was a unique experiment that really paid off. I devoured everything like hot moi moi and akamu. . . I can't wait for more live action evidence to surface. . .
Re: Special Effects: CGI Versus Animatronics, Models, Stop Motion? by grafikdon: 10:04pm On Mar 19, 2008
Well, I have no idea the style they want to adopt but I have no doubt they will do a good job. Preacher is not something they can afford to mess with, perhaps they'd be able to get away with any ugly stunt (style) considering that majority of the audience wouldn't know anything about the real Preacher. . . undecided

Whatever they do, I hope they don't screw up 'cause I will take it personal.

I am waiting for a Spawn movie. cool cool the first one. . . well, It didn't do it for me, I enjoyed the MTV animated series more (too bad they axed it). That's got to be one of the best animated shows out there (IMHO).

grin grin I didn't mean to take the thread down to Jerusalem, just couldn't resist.

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