I am studying Practical effects, Stunts, and Computer generated imagery(CGI).
because I want to find out why the former two have been overwhelmingly phased out in favor CGI, even in cases where it produces poorer or more expensive results.
in order to help my readers more thoroughly understand the current state of motion pictures
Research Question. What makes a variety of effects more “real” then just solely using CGI
Effects in movies are all about suspense of disbelief. Essentially when ever there is a monster on-screen in Alien you know it’s a man in a suit, or a giant animatronic dummy if we are talking about the queen. The Deathstar was a miniature, Yoda was a puppet, and lightsabers are just rotoscoped scribbles over what was basically a broom handle.
So if all of these things are “fake” why do not ruin the experience ? There is a lot too this answer, but really all it boils down too is fidelity. Fidelity is that unquantifiable thing that makes what is fake seem real. Was they Deathstar a miniature? Yes but it looks like a giant moon sized space station, it fills space like a giant moon sized station, everyone treats it as such. Yoda was a puppet; yes he was, but he was acted out and Puppeted in such a way by Frank Oz that it never broke fidelity. As for lightsabers, Between the physicality given to them by actually being a real thing augmented to seem its something else, the sound they make and the light they cast they appear to actually be there.
What does any of this have to do with my research question?
If fidelity is the absolute basis of all effects in a film what happens when certain effects are favored even when they don’t actually fit. If you are beginning to think now of all the films with effects that are just hot garbage like the ones in absolute shit films like Birdemic or Syfy Saturday movies such as Sharktopus or Pirahanacanda (those are both real movies… ones about a shark-octopus hybrid, the others about a piranha-anaconda hybrid if you couldn’t guess. Oh they both go on killing sprees as well.)Then you are not quite getting what i am saying.
What i am talking about is crap like this scene (skip to 1:00)from Along Came a Spider (2001).
Holy Crap when that car crashes… it just…. it just looks so bad. They seriously breached fidelity here, let me explain why. For starters the car just goes nuts when that dude is shot, this is a movie that is supposed to be grounded in realism (not all movies are, go watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit if you don’t understand that distinction) so when the car reacted that way it’s jarring. Secondly the human “puppets” created in the CGI shot just look like crap. Finally and more importantly, there was nothing in that shot that called for CGI (sans unrealistic car crash)why not just crash a real car? That would have looked 100% real because it would have been real. you dig it?
Now if that is bad example whats good example of fidelity? In my opinion (and in the opinion of this guy)the best example would be Jurassic Park. Jurassic park uses every method of trickery possible to make the dinosaurs seem real. For shots where the raptors had to move in a way that animitronics or men in suits would not allow CGI was used, but it was used intelligently. When the animals brush up against something instead of ignoring physics because they aren’t actually there the item they touch will still move and make a noise. When however they could use something real to make the effect they did. When the T-Rex smashes through the roof of the jeep the kids are in there is an actual physical giant animitronic dinosaur smashing through the glass.
The genre of movies that is probably the most adversely affected by the use of the wrong effect is Horror movies. Unlike other genres suspense is more important to a horror movie than action is and poor use of effects hurts that dynamic. CGI specifically allows for what was once just not doable to be created in a lazy way, as detailed here, which breaks the suspense/action dynamic.
I however do not believe that CGI itself is the problem, the problem is using it where something physical would be a better fit, and vice versa. One of my current favorite movies is Pacific Rim, and ill put it bluntly, that could have never ever been done in a way that was not laughably cheesy using practical effects. It would of looked like a terrible episode of The Power Rangers, or one of the less well done Godzilla movies. There lies a great deal of what I am looking into, what is the right choice for most of these films, and if there is a right choice why is the wrong one made.
CALL FOR RESPONSE
How do you feel about the use of CGI Vs practical effects?
Which do you prefer in general and why
In your Television and movie watch experience which is more frequently done wrong?
Any specific movies you think used one or the other to its fullest (don’t say avatar I have a vendetta against that movie )