Special and Visual Effects : The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

Many people have questioned "why does CGI look so fake?". Well, I have worked with CGI (never on a major movie or anything, just for fun), and I have the answers.

1. CGI is very hard and even more time consuming. They have to pinpoint every moment, bone, mussle, everything. Back in 1999, I was making a college movie with a CGI monster, and it took me at LEAST 9 hours to animate, texturize, and create just one leg. ONE leg. And it STILL looked pretty bad!

2. CGI is freaking expensive. Good CGI computers and animators cost more than 20 million to use. One second of CGI can cost about $500,000.

But some people ask "Why does CGI look so bad nowadays?". Well, heres my hypothosis.

Think of all the films when CGI was used for the first time, they were good now, and they're still good today. I mean, think about it! Jurrasic Park, Terminator 2, The Abyss, Twister, and so forth. Dont they STILL look good today? Well then why does CGI in older films look BETTER than CGI in newers films? Well, heres why: Back then, only the best of the best of the best of the best of THE BEST could use CGI. Only the #1, top ranked, genious minded inventors of CGI knew how to use it. But now, every studio has a CGI computer, and most of them are operated by people that can do CGI, but arent that great at it.

Make sence?

I have El Sonoma del Torra de Fiero Syndrome. Be happy you don't. Trust me.

Re: The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

CGI is a blessing and a curse. CGI gives filmmakers that ability to show anything they want and do things previously prohibitively labor-intensive or near impossible. In the process, it provides very easy temptation to show it all, diminishing suspense and viewer participation. With physical effects, not only do the filmmakers have to devise clever ways of showing the effect, they have to hold back on "showing it all" because they don't usually have it all to show. On top of that, the physical effects look more organic and real, and--in my opinion--are much more awe-inspiring because no matter the amount of physical labor (art, planning, conceptual design) that goes into creating a CG effect, the CG effect was still done with software on a computer. I think I will always find actually constructing a physical effect that much more awe-inspiring and gratifying as a viewer.


Re: The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

it will still be hard to fool us because we can instinctively identify something that is not real

I agree. No matter what sort of effects is used, miniatures, practical, models or CGI I know that it isn't real.

the whole damn picture will be digital (yes, I'm talking about Zack Snyder here).

And the Star Wars prequels are guilty of this too. It's just overused and way too obvious.

Re: The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

Yup. And not just the technicians, but the directors helming the projects. Say what you want about Spielberg and Cameron as filmmakers, but they're excellent craftsmen who pay a lot of attention to detail, certainly more than, say, Michael Bay.

Get on up.

Re: The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

The majority of CGI I see is done by ILM, and to me they're the best in the industry. Even their earlier stuff like Jurassic Park and Terminator 2 looks better then what other companies can do these days.

"Time to find out..."

Re: The reason why CGI looks so bad now...

Ever since WETA perfected the new style of motion capture CGI, ILM has paled in comparison to their work.