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Seriously, what is so bad about CGI?

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  • Seriously, what is so bad about CGI?

    (Stands high on soapbox)

    I've heard this criticism so many times I decided to give it it's own thread.

    One of the most common Star Wars gripes is "obvious cgi". Which is a complaint that baffles me. I remember seeing Episode 3 with that massive battle above Coruscant - hundreds of ships in multiple layers over the planet, lasers going everywhere. That was a hell yeah moment. Yes, it was cgi. But it was awesome cgi and that is what counted.

    And here's what really baffles me about cgi critics. I know that a good number of them are fans of the original Star Trek. That presents a real inconsistency. You can handle plastic ships, cardboard sets, and painted backgrounds but Lucas cgis a battle and now you scream about how fake it looks.

    I also know that at least a few cgi gripers watch Dogfights. I loved that show too and the cgi in that show was a whole lot more obvious than in the Star Wars movies.

    Star Trek can have cheap models and painted scenery, Dogfights can have computer game animation, but for some reason the gripers expect George Lucas to give us Star Wars Battle of Britain style with real flying X Wings. Anything less than total immersion is treated like crap.

    For heaven's sake, how many whiners have a copy of the original Tron? And you're going to gripe about modern CGI?

    And let's not forget the Clone Wars series. That series didn't even try to look real. People liked it too.

    The most recent Star Wars Rebels has animation quality that hearkens back to the era of Reboot:



    Yet the only complaint is leveled against the movies.

    I liked them all. Cgi just let's you make epic scenes that you really can't make using models or reality.

    I challenge any critic to re create the Episode 3 Coruscant battle using just scavenged battleship models and have it look more awesome than the movie.
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  • #2
    The Battle of Trafalgar will be fought in CGI some day.
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    • #3
      If you wanted to do a large World War II aerial battle how would you do it today with out CGI?

      The quality of CGI will only get better as time goes by.

      Probably the only way your going to ever see a movie of such classic battles as Battle of Trafalgar is through CGI.

      Its the future whether you like it or not.

      I just hope for some of the classic battle scenes they can wait until CGI is perfected.
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      • #4
        The worst part is seeing CGI characters/vehicles do impossible, flashy stunts. It takes one away from the picture.
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        • #5
          I am convinced if it hadn't been for CGI I never would have married my first wife. But by the time I noticed how bad it was...it was too late.

          Too late...

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          • #6
            I've seen two WW1 aviation films that used CGI, they were both absolute garbage.
            The long toll of the brave
            Is not lost in darkness
            Over the fruitful earth
            And athwart the seas
            Hath passed the light of noble deeds
            Unquenchable forever.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
              I've seen two WW1 aviation films that used CGI, they were both absolute garbage.
              Because of cgi or because they were dumb to start with?

              Flyboys had some hokey characters and they didn't give as much aviation variety as they could have but the flying scenes were fun to watch.
              A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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              • #8
                CGI in and of itself isn't usually the issue. When it's poorly done, it becomes an issue but when it's combined with a mediocre or bad plotline and story, it becomes the whipping boy even if it isn't necessarily bad CGI. For instance, when watching SyFy shows, some shows have very mediocre to bad CGI, however, because the story is ok, people are willing to accept it. Combined with bad CGI (Sharknado), the best one can do is to accept it as part of satire.
                If you watch the last couple Matrix movies, the CGI is actually pretty good but because the storyline is muddled and poorly written, the only "good" Matrix version is the original movie. Consequently, many detractors look at CGI movies as leaning on technology rather than good movie-making; it's a shallow and overly broad interpretation and is a reactionary one. Regardless if you're a StarWars fan or a Star Trek fan, both employ CGI and both have had models as well. Just depends on the situation.
                As for the difference between practical effects vs CGI, what does occur is because CGI is so dependent on rendering rates and resolution, etc. etc. in conjunction with budgeting, technology has a hard time being as efficient as practical effects for many situations. And practical effects on screen usually evokes a different audience response than CGI for many situations.
                If we're talking aviation movies, there's just no way a small budget will allow for proper CGI of an aerial battle properly. For instance, Battle of Britain would be incredibly expensive to do CGI if you were trying to replicate the movie from the '60s. Probably equivalent to renting all the Spits, Hurri, and others to redo the movie again.
                All that being said, IMHO, a lot of the criticism leveled against CGI is based on jealousy and envy.

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                • #9
                  Just watch the Mummy Returns with the Rock scorpion sceen. Yeap bad bad bad CGI.
                  Are we there yet?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
                    Because of cgi or because they were dumb to start with?

                    Flyboys had some hokey characters and they didn't give as much aviation variety as they could have but the flying scenes were fun to watch.
                    'Flyboys' was infantile, then 'The Red Baron' flew over the horizon, and made it look almost credible!
                    The long toll of the brave
                    Is not lost in darkness
                    Over the fruitful earth
                    And athwart the seas
                    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                    Unquenchable forever.

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                    • #11
                      The problem is the CGI; it's the way Hollywoody substitutes it for real plot, interesting characters and an interesting film done by actors who know their terade and have more than one emotion.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Von Richter View Post


                        'Flyboys' was infantile, then 'The Red Baron' flew over the horizon, and made it look almost credible!
                        That was crap directing and screenwriting.
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                        • #13
                          To address PS's point.

                          Some CGI is better than others. I thought "Guardians of the Galaxy" visually stunning, its CGI much more effective than "Star Trek Into Darkness."

                          With Guardians it appeared they took the time to do it right, while other movies, such as the recent Fantastic Four offering, slap some crap into the computer and call it a day.

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                          • #14
                            CGI, well done and applied conservatively, is a good thing. It should be used to improve the visuals of a scene. Used poorly and excessively, however, it's crap. For example, Lucas over-used it. So did Jackson at times. GotG got it right. Mad Max got it right (aside from just a couple bits). So did this new Star Wars.

                            If the entire movie is CGI, then it is what it is.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chukka View Post
                              That was crap directing and screenwriting.
                              And crap CGI, I've seen WW1 kites flying... they don't look anything like that dire CGI in 'The Red Baron'!

                              The long toll of the brave
                              Is not lost in darkness
                              Over the fruitful earth
                              And athwart the seas
                              Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                              Unquenchable forever.

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