Research Nugget #7


Why Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion effects were more real than CGI. (n.d.). Boing Boing Why Ray Harryhausens stopmotion effects were more real thanCGI Comments. Retrieved July 16, 2014, from

Link: Here

This part Obituary for Legendary special effects designer Ray Harryhausen and part argument for why his work was still relevant today. Almost the all of the Article is linked to discussing how because old crappy special effects were actaully something real (As in physical ) that had some tactile quality to them that has allowed them to still hold value.

Harryhausen’s trademark action sequences featuring animated model figurines — always pictured interacting with, or more often, fighting with human foes, or crushing them, or biting them in half or flying away with them — might seem clunky and old-fashioned when measured by today’s standards. But in their day, the effects Harryhausen pioneered were cutting-edge.

he shot sequences through a partially-masked glass pane. Live footage would later be superimposed on the masked portion of the frame, and voila, the creature or creatures seemed to exist in the midst of “real” human-scaled action, or even appear to move in front of and behind “live” elements. Harryausen also carefully controlled lighting and color balance to make sure the image quality of his animated sequences matched the quality of the live action. His effects were more convincing than the standard use of optical printing and mattes. This was before green screen, folks.


Look, Ethan Gilsdorf (perfect name for this type of article) is really just explaining how things were done in these two quotes, and in a way that’s all that matters. The main Argument of his entire article is based on something being lost in the transition from stuff like Ray created to CGI. I don’t entirely agree that extremely old stuff such as Clash of the Titans is something I would like to go back to, I don’t it looks terrible to my eye, but as for something being lost? Yea I agree, there is some corporeal tangible quality to these things that is hard to duplicate with much more advance technology and technique. And While I don’t think this is necessarily the best way that this argument could of been made it has heart to it and I care about that. Also seriously like 14 academic articles I found on Academic search complete were Physical copies only so I got extremely frustrated and went fishing for a non-academic one.

Gilsdorf really just is saying that things need to have a gravity to them, and air or realness. That ethereal undefinable characteristic that is only generated when something moves how it should within its environment. Unlike most of the previous authors I have looked at Such as Barbara Robertson in her “Dark and Light” story, this man thinks that at some point we will be able to move past that as the realism increases, but currently that material quality remains lost.

One thought on “Research Nugget #7”

  1. looks good Ben. You can have hard copies scanned through intra library loan — but I know we are crunched for time this summer.
    This article looks like it was very relevant.

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