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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
When did PJ become so obsessed with CGI over practical FX, sets, and cinematography?

frodolives
Lorien

Jun 12 2013, 1:47pm

Post #1 of 18 (853 views)
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When did PJ become so obsessed with CGI over practical FX, sets, and cinematography? Can't Post

While I am very excited to see this movie, I am concerned with Jackson's seeming obsession with CGI. The LOTR films were a wonderful mix of practical effects and techniques, real sets, location shooting, and so on. But these movies appear to be 90% green screen work and it is REALLY obvious. I hope the CGI we see in this trailer is unfinished, but somehow I'm not so sure. Why release a trailer for a major film with unfinished FX work? Why not show the best stuff you have that doesn't require such heavy FX? Show me Bilbo talking with Smaug, where you see the dragon only in shadow, etc. This is the first trailer for any of these films that has me feeling underwhelmed.


telcontar7
The Shire

Jun 12 2013, 2:02pm

Post #2 of 18 (544 views)
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I don't get it [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't he explain that miniatures don't work with 3D, 4k, and 48fps? As for sets, it seems they actually build Mirkwood judging from the production videos, so sets are still being used.

The FX work will continue till the release of the film, but the trailers are usually released at least half a year earlier, so some unfinished work is not surprising at all.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Jun 12 2013, 2:26pm

Post #3 of 18 (473 views)
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when? [In reply to] Can't Post

* KingKongcough* Laugh


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 12 2013, 3:03pm

Post #4 of 18 (435 views)
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More Like LOTR ~ 1999 [In reply to] Can't Post

Weta and Gollum were such a successful couple, surpassing the likes of major effects studios such as ILM and inspiring Cameron's Avatar, that it is used everywhere. Bigger and bolder is always better, right? And at one time the Superbowl was just another football game. Now... it's a spectacle where the actual game is diminished with it.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 12 2013, 3:04pm)


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 12 2013, 4:08pm

Post #5 of 18 (373 views)
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The emphasis on CGI in the trailer, when the CGI is so blatant, really makes it seem like WETA demo reel... [In reply to] Can't Post

I really hope that these shots are not completed as has been speculated. Also, hopefully the bland sunny day/blue skies settings in Mirkwood will be altered to be more atmospheric/less antiseptic.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


frodolives
Lorien

Jun 12 2013, 4:13pm

Post #6 of 18 (342 views)
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I don't think that's Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

In Mirkwood, Legolas is wearing scale armor. In the sunny day shots, he's wearing his LOTR clothes. These new shots appear to take place sometime around the end of the barrel ride. Why there are orcs & elves there is anyone's guess.


Kimtc
Rohan


Jun 12 2013, 4:54pm

Post #7 of 18 (312 views)
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Probably an issue of cost effectiveness and control, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

Don't need a cast of thousands (in full costume and makeup) when you can slot them in with a click of a mouse (not really but sort of). And you don't need to wrangle people on sets.


In Reply To
Weta and Gollum were such a successful couple, surpassing the likes of major effects studios such as ILM and inspiring Cameron's Avatar, that it is used everywhere. Bigger and bolder is always better, right? And at one time the Superbowl was just another football game. Now... it's a spectacle where the actual game is diminished with it.



sycorax82
Rohan

Jun 12 2013, 5:19pm

Post #8 of 18 (309 views)
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There's the same level of 'green screen work' as in LOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

There were plenty of practical sets and location work seen in AUJ. There also will be in DoS. We know that Smaug's chamber, while expanded with CGI, was a massive set with a ton of physical coins and jewels. Then you've got the big Dale exterior set.

If anything there's more focus (no pun intended...:P) on cinematography this time around. There has to be as it's much harder to get a useable shot thanks to 3D, 48fps etc.

Peter is simply following on from ROTK and the likes of hte Pelennor Fields sequence, which involved so much CGI. It's the only way that kind of scene can be pulled off. Azanulbizar was a continuation of that. The CGI Azog was a little jarring because he was a last-minute addition to the film.


frodolives
Lorien

Jun 12 2013, 5:36pm

Post #9 of 18 (288 views)
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I'm not so sure... [In reply to] Can't Post

Consider this: they don't appear to be using forced perspective anymore, instead having Ian McKellan on one green screen set while the dwarves & Bilbo are on another set. That alone requires more green screen than LOTR. Likewise, the orcs are largely CGI, requiring all sorts of green screen & motion capture work. So I don't think there is the same amount of that type of stuff as in LOTR.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 12 2013, 5:57pm

Post #10 of 18 (260 views)
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True for the barrel ride, but it's also sunny/bright/bland [In reply to] Can't Post

 for the scenes of Leggy and Tauriel fighting Orcs on stone walls, which may be either the parapets of the Woodland Realm and/or Dol Goldur.

That also begs the question of why it's winter in Laketown/the Desolation, and apparently Summer on the River Running/Mirkwood, when it should be around September/October as the Company reaches the area of the Lonely Mountain?

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

(This post was edited by Captain Salt on Jun 12 2013, 5:58pm)


Dwarvenfury
Lorien

Jun 12 2013, 8:00pm

Post #11 of 18 (225 views)
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Point Well Taken. [In reply to] Can't Post

Personally, the first DoS trailer had me excited, initially. Perhaps it
was the novelty of it. The CGI that i saw wasn't as distracting for me,
and I think it could maybe help in certain aspects of the story.
However, the trailer isn't much to conclude. DoS could very well turn
out to be a CGI fest with simple rhetoric and sentiment.

I agree with you that LoTR had nice natural visuals. For me, CGI should help
a story. A story should not necessarily always be made to show off CGI. It's not
that it's a bad plan, but it ultimately doesn't have the allure that story alone
can bring to a film. Trust me, no story, no amount of CGI will compensate.


hobbitylass
Bree

Jun 12 2013, 9:39pm

Post #12 of 18 (181 views)
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Too hard to get good visuals using scale doubles of so many dwarves? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if the increased use of CGI, and less use of forced perspective comes down to having so many dwarves in the movie.

In LOTR the hobbit doubles were used in shots from far-off, or shown from behind or from the side, when they were placed among big folk. They might be running towards or away from someone else, or charging towards the Black Gate with weapons raised along with everyone else, but not much more was required of them.

Now we have much more focus on the dwarves as a group, fighting, carrying on and reacting to things in the background, and scale doubles with face masks just won't cut it, especially in HFR.

So that to me seems like a good reason for the increased use of CGI and green screen shots for scenes that require dwarves with taller characters, or dwarves in battle with trolls, orcs, spiders, wargs, etc.


macfalk
Valinor


Jun 12 2013, 10:26pm

Post #13 of 18 (146 views)
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Hodor. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.


RosieLass
Valinor


Jun 12 2013, 10:41pm

Post #14 of 18 (168 views)
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With ROTK, in my opinion. [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember listening to commentaries on the extended edition of ROTK, and hearing how he piled more and more and more effects requests on the production people. I think I understood them to say that they created more CGI/fx in the last couple months before ROTK was due to hit the theaters than they did for the entire production of FOTR.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Thranduil05
The Shire

Jun 12 2013, 11:04pm

Post #15 of 18 (145 views)
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I'm completely in agreement... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think all in all the CGI has been overdone with The Hobbit. In some respects I agree with the decision and need to. The Hobbit is a children's book and therefore a lot of the content is more fantasy-like, for example, Radagast's sleigh and the animals in Beorn's house. Those things you wouldn't be able to portray without the use of CGI however then I look at Azog. His character was done entirely with CGI and motion capture. Why? I still can't understand why Bolg wasn't used in his place, he looks so much better, and that was through use of prosthetics and make-up! It amazed me how awesome the Balrog looked in FotR. That was more than a decade ago, presumably with only a fraction of the technology they have now, yet it looks so much more realistic than Azog.

I'm probably looking way too in to it but at times I think PJ should take a step back and look at the amazing team and tools he has at his disposal and shy away from CGI for certain things.

Anyone else in agreement?


hobbitylass
Bree


Jun 12 2013, 11:39pm

Post #16 of 18 (132 views)
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I agree about Azog [In reply to] Can't Post

I strongly dislike the visuals for Azog. He looks like a creature from a completely different franchise, not part of the aesthetic established for Middle Earth in the LOTR trilogy.


(This post was edited by hobbitylass on Jun 12 2013, 11:40pm)


Dwarvenfury
Lorien

Jun 12 2013, 11:55pm

Post #17 of 18 (116 views)
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I should clarify. [In reply to] Can't Post

The post above might have implied that no story or technology
will compensate for DoS. I didn't mean it that way. Instead, I meant
to say that it is hard for me to imagine at this point that technology would
be able to compensate for an absent story within a movie. That is all.
Carry on!


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea


Jun 13 2013, 10:44am

Post #18 of 18 (88 views)
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PJ's problem has always been the same, [In reply to] Can't Post

only now it's much too easy for him to do it-- too many digital doubles doing too many impossible things. In LotR, it took a lot of time, effort and money to animate that sort of thing, so we just got 2 or 3 shots of Legolas doing ridiculous things in all of LotR. But with King Kong, it only got worse. Now, Weta Digital can do this stuff at the drop of a hat, so we get several instances of computer generated actors and stunties doing silly looking, suspension of disbelief breaking, logic defying things in each film. For me, it makes it harder and harder to fully enjoy his films, and it makes me glad that with LotR at least, he had the limitations of the technology of the time to put the brakes on his more childish (not to be confused with child-like) impulses.

 
 

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