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 Posted:   Aug 6, 2022 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

A head of hair is a wild, unreliable thing. It never stays the same length. It never stays in the same place, unless you have Doctor Strange amounts of pomade on you. Look in the mirror right now and you’ll inevitably find not one, but many stray hairs poking out this way and that. It’s unavoidable but also quite natural for hair to behave this way.

It is also a massive problem if you happen to be making a film or a television show. When you shoot an actor in one location but have to digitally relocate them to another, which happens quite frequently, you have to bring along every last follicular imperfection with them. According to a compositor who worked on the first Avengers movie, this is not an easy task. Far from it.

“The heli-carrier sequence was shot on a runway in New Mexico. Scarlett Johansson had this curly red wig on. We had to figure out how to get sky behind her head instead of mountains. That was a huge pain in the ass.”

The compositor’s job is to merge all the elements from a movie, from the principal photography to the special and visual effects, into a single, final shot: the one you see in the theater or on your TV at home. For Johansson’s wig, the compositor and their team struggled to seamlessly blend the actress’s fake tresses into the finished background. They digitally cloned her wig. They feathered it. They blurred the edges to more easily integrate it. They even tried getting the original wig Johansson wore on set, so they could shoot the wig by itself on a green screen and then marry those shots with the original footage. In the end, they spent over two weeks working on that single head of hair, for an expository sequence in The Avengers that you almost certainly don’t remember.

“If I looked at the shot now,” that compositor said, “I could probably point out to you all of the morphs and dissolves that most people don’t see when watching it casually.”

That’s not the only time wigs have caused VFX artists headaches. Another source working on a period TV show said that they blew “80 percent” of their effects budgets fixing visible wig lines in the locked picture. This is the cost of filmmaking now. It’s not just in the battle scenes. In today’s Hollywood, compositors, along with all of their colleagues, are often left to clean up all of the messes left by writers, actors, directors, producers, and all of the other name-brand talent.

Those messes can be enormous—sometimes the crew on the set will outright forget to shoot something—and they can also be tiny, as tiny as a strand of hair. What matters most, though, is that those messes are forever growing, as more and more of what doesn’t go quite right on set is being left to a post-production workforce that is disparate, overworked, confused, and exploited.


Read the entire article here:

https://defector.com/inside-hollywoods-visual-effects-crisis/

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2022 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Now we know what swallowed up most of CG budget for "Justice League".
And the hairless lip STILL came out crap!

 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2022 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Wait--I'm posting one more pic because it's just so freaking funny....

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 6, 2022 - 12:36 PM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Solium, try to watch that doc Light and Magic and Disney +.
It is a pretty good doc, and by the end of it you feel pretty depressed.
The early years of ILM were like a hippy commune artist paradise.
People of little or no formal higher education figuring stuff out brilliantly, improvising and creating.

As it went on, digital knocked down the door.
George got exactly what he wanted, a complete digital tool box, all the old crafts replaced by computers.
Actors can be replaced and takes spliced together, but alas, the films themselves came out entirely empty.
The whole "limitless possibilities" of digital effects is, quite ironically, entirely the problem.

The end of the do wants you to feel great about how advanced things are, but, really, it is not so much.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2022 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

Solium, try to watch that doc Light and Magic and Disney +.
It is a pretty good doc, and by the end of it you feel pretty depressed.
The early years of ILM were like a hippy commune artist paradise.
People of little or no formal higher education figuring stuff out brilliantly, improvising and creating.

As it went on, digital knocked down the door.
George got exactly what he wanted, a complete digital tool box, all the old crafts replaced by computers.
Actors can be replaced and takes spliced together, but alas, the films themselves came out entirely empty.
The whole "limitless possibilities" of digital effects is, quite ironically, entirely the problem.

The end of the do wants you to feel great about how advanced things are, but, really, it is not so much.


This.

It’s a great documentary but it makes me yearn for the time that FX people had to actually devise ways of doing things rather than just boot up a PC.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2022 - 1:37 PM   
 By:   TheAvenger   (Member)

Now we know what swallowed up most of CG budget for "Justice League".
And the hairless lip STILL came out crap!



Actually I thought the lip was fine but the software that created Henry Cavill was absolutely terrible.

 
 Posted:   Aug 7, 2022 - 5:52 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Actually I thought the lip was fine but the software that created Henry Cavill was absolutely terrible.


Heh.

 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2022 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   Scott McOldsmith   (Member)

CGI works just fine with time, money and care - and if you're not creating living beings. But if you use computers as an additive to models and environments, it can be breathtaking. Some films create an alien or historical environment so convincingly with CG that I really enjoy the experience (the Total Recall remake, Star Trek 2009). But I don't think it's really cheaper than using practical models and sets because you need to really spend time and megabucks to get it right.

My favorite CG effects are difficult or impossible to spot. But when you have Pierce Brosnan parasailing over melting ice bergs, you KNOW it's phony because the actor can't possibly be in that situation. So even if the effects didn't suck as much as they did, there's no way you're gonna buy it.

Using computer to erase wires and stuff? Wonderful. That's how Tom Cruise can hang off an ascending airplane. He's still doing the work but the safety wires aren't visible. When used as a tool to supplement, CGI is no different than front or rear projection. It puts actors in a place they wouldn't be otherwise. It either works well (Cliffhanger / A View to a Kill) or it looks ridiculous (most other Bond films).


'

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2022 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Pretty true Scott.
The issue with the Lucas impact on effects it that it surpassed the logic or plausibility of reality, and it tossed out any consideration if human beings can even comprehend what they are seeing in the overstuffed digital vistas. The Star Wars prequels are fine examples of this, many of the action and battle scenes are so overloaded with elements that you cannot even apprehend what is taking place. All the effort in digital work has the end result of doing the opposite of escapism or entertainment, it actually pushes the viewer away from the film.

The fatal error of later ILM revolution in effects in the mid 90's was the visual effects houses and crews buying their own fake digital epiphany, that they had seen the eyes of god in all those pixel potentials- that surely, wheres one or two spaceship models was terrific and a great success, surely a screen with hundreds, or thousands of ships would be, oh, so much better.

But alas, it just isn't. And here we are almost 30 years after that digital god moment, and they are all still living in the digital stupor that took over, and most of the directors are entirely drunk with it as well. It explains much of the decline of our film quality as entertainments that are relatable and gratifying.

 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2022 - 9:11 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

CGI works just fine with time, money and care - and if you're not creating living beings. But if you use computers as an additive to models and environments, it can be breathtaking. Some films create an alien or historical environment so convincingly with CG that I really enjoy the experience (the Total Recall remake, Star Trek 2009). But I don't think it's really cheaper than using practical models and sets because you need to really spend time and megabucks to get it right.

My favorite CG effects are difficult or impossible to spot. But when you have Pierce Brosnan parasailing over melting ice bergs, you KNOW it's phony because the actor can't possibly be in that situation. So even if the effects didn't suck as much as they did, there's no way you're gonna buy it.

Using computer to erase wires and stuff? Wonderful. That's how Tom Cruise can hang off an ascending airplane. He's still doing the work but the safety wires aren't visible. When used as a tool to supplement, CGI is no different than front or rear projection. It puts actors in a place they wouldn't be otherwise. It either works well (Cliffhanger / A View to a Kill) or it looks ridiculous (most other Bond films).


'


You can use CGI for "living things". Two of the best uses are the T-Rex in Jurassic Park and Golum in TLOTR's. It takes great care, time and money to do it right. That's not to say its reached its potential as it still cannot realistically render a human being.

I still prefer physical models over CGI. Orville is a good example. They used a real model for much of season one (maybe season two) but more and more moved to a CGI model of the Orville. By season three it appears they used a digital model exclusively and it's just not as realistic.

Bad effects stand out regardless if they're models or CGI. I'm often fooled by both when they are done well. But I have to say bad CGI seems to stand out a lot more.

You just can't replace an actual physical thing on camera. I get more entertainment out of Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation or Japanese Godzilla films than CGI heavy films.

 
 Posted:   Aug 8, 2022 - 9:15 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

Pretty true Scott.
The issue with the Lucas impact on effects it that it surpassed the logic or plausibility of reality, and it tossed out any consideration if human beings can even comprehend what they are seeing in the overstuffed digital vistas. The Star Wars prequels are fine examples of this, many of the action and battle scenes are so overloaded with elements that you cannot even apprehend what is taking place. All the effort in digital work has the end result of doing the opposite of escapism or entertainment, it actually pushes the viewer away from the film.

The fatal error of later ILM revolution in effects in the mid 90's was the visual effects houses and crews buying their own fake digital epiphany, that they had seen the eyes of god in all those pixel potentials- that surely, wheres one or two spaceship models was terrific and a great success, surely a screen with hundreds, or thousands of ships would be, oh, so much better.

But alas, it just isn't. And here we are almost 30 years after that digital god moment, and they are all still living in the digital stupor that took over, and most of the directors are entirely drunk with it as well. It explains much of the decline of our film quality as entertainments that are relatable and gratifying.


Your right on Ado. The over indulgence in how they use CGI is the problem. A recent episode of the Orville had a million CGI spacecraft flying around on screen at one time. This was supposed to be impressive I guess, I thought it was a big blurry mess. In my mind millions wasted on CGI. Meanwhile the Death Star Trench run in Star Wars with a couple of spaceships or the Battle in the Mutara Nebula between just two Starships remain intense and thrilling.

 
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