Special and Visual Effects : CGI Advancement

CGI Advancement

I am in my second year of film studies at A-level and am currently researching the advancement of CGI and its impact on audiences.

I'm focusing on Avatar, The mask and Jurassic world to show the positive aspects on CGI and i was wondering what other people think about how Computer-generated imagery contributes to films.

I would really appreciate different views on whether or not CGI is making films better or worse and determine just how far CGI has come since its first appearance in film and if it's time for the directors to stop.

I would also greatly welcome views on any films that were ruined by the use or over-use of CGI.

Any views are greatly appreciated and will help me a lot. Thanks.

Re: CGI Advancement

I´m probably far away from being an expert on cinema effects, cinematography, production design and the likes, but here comes my point of view if it helps you:

CGI are an artistic step backwards; certainly some movies make a better use of it than others; in general though they convey an impresion of fakeness and artificiality. The reason for that is very simple, namely that the CGI don´t exist in the real world, they only exist on the computer screen, which is bidimensional. This is, they are really nothing short from drawings, and no matter how well a drawing is done, it will never be as effective as something that really exists; props, scale models, puppets, they do exist in the treedimensional world, let alone the natural landscapes. This is more so when compared with movies from the 70s or 80s, when practical effects reached probable their peak - the Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, Alien, Blade Runner, The Thing, or even lower budgeteed movies like Conan the Barbarian still look as fresh as they did back then. CGI´ed movies, on the contrary, look inevitably outdated.

Re: CGI Advancement

If cgi looks "inevitably outdated", why so many people claim that CGI of the past( Jurassic park, terminator 2, star ship troopers, to name a few) looks better than today CGI ?

Re: CGI Advancement

First thing first. Drop the "i" in CG ,your fellow artist won't make fun of you but it does show how green you are, actually you're better off just calling it visual effects when talking to the general public.

As for whether or not it's improving the industry, it most definitely is a positive. Put aside the sharknados and the Jackson's King Kong flicks and instead focus on all the things that are possible now that weren't just 20 years ago. Matte paintings are not longer static and instead they can be moved through and over. Green screen can be properly keyed out instead of worrying about a white shirt looking green. The cost of a movie requiring effects have become so affordable that a person can do it from home with software that will run on their home system.

With that being said the downside of VFX is abuse of it. a lot of times a director will be so set on doing everything in post that they just make a sloppy film or they don't realize that some things just look better when in shot and practical. Hopefully these are things that will get sorted out soon.

Off topic note: if you're a VFX student in the US then I recommend after you finish school that you gear up to move to Vancouver BC asap since that's where all the studios and work is going and will probably stay. SF is dead, ILM is just a showpiece in the Presidio and studios are constantly going under, plus unless you're in BC, you'll spend way too much time unemployed... The same with Los Angeles.

EOL

Re: CGI Advancement

I'm of the opinion that CG works best when augmented with practical effects. Practical usually looks best, but there are some illusions that are so fantastic they can only be done in computer. Plus, the last great thresholds, water and fire, seem to have been conquered, and now look pretty much real in CG.

As far as CG in older movies like Jurassic Park and T2 looking better than in today's movies, if that's true, I think it's a reflection of the passion of the directors at the time, a passion that we the audience can still tap into and partake of in these now "period" movies, when CG was new, in its infancy, and they were really pushing the envelope with it. Now it's become expected by directors that anything they can imagine can be realized.

Re: CGI Advancement

Art of any kind includes what's necessary and omits what it isn't. CGI is a tool like all others in the artist's supply, which in the hands of the artist provides what is needed in an expression of art and in the hands of someone else interferes with that expression. A good movie maintains the suspension of disbelief. Good CGI does that and bad CGI fails that.

Re: CGI Advancement

Art of any kind includes what's necessary and omits what it isn't. CGI is a tool like all others in the artist's supply, which in the hands of the artist provides what is needed in an expression of art and in the hands of someone else interferes with that expression. A good movie maintains the suspension of disbelief. Good CGI does that and bad CGI fails that.
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