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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Legolas and Other Visual Oddities
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Arannir
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 8:55am

Post #26 of 43 (199 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I also have the feeling that CGI in many cases is easy to blame but often unfounded.

Also do I not think that much of the look of TH is because of CGI but because PJ wants it to look like that. He is obsessed with getting the look he wants as far as I can tell from documentaries, blogs and commentaries. I doubt he would not have chosen to do things differently if he felt that there was a problem with a look that solely comes from the use of CGI or the often lamented way by some that moviemaking per se is cheapened or threatened. Which I would argue against fir many filmmakers (not all) including PJ.

I am very certain this whole thing is a taste, not a technology issue. And mist definately not an objective failure.



“A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Oct 8 2013, 8:56am)


imin
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 8:59am

Post #27 of 43 (196 views)
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I think they would go with whatever works best on film [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really think time or money has been an issue, if they are using CGI on others faces - which they are, then why not Bilbo as well? Think how much CGi there is already in this film, a few more seconds CGi isnt going to run them over budget or time.

If however they did all that and then thought this looks rubbish we will try make up for Ian Holm then fair enough - end result either way, was a terrible de-aged look which even my sister of 12 commented on.

'What's the matter with you?' - J.R.R. Tolkien


Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 11:20am

Post #28 of 43 (186 views)
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But, Dormouse – [In reply to] Can't Post

Have we not seen Bloom off-screen (of the film) in the Legolas costume, and isn't his face fairly 'normal' looking in those clips? To me, the look in the trailer is so unnatural that I think it must be achieved with CGI. Scary…


In Reply To
Well, OK, if you can show me that I'm wrong, I'll accept graciously, but I am deeply sceptical of how far the things that are blamed on CGI around here actually are down to CGI. Bilbo's face, I'm sure, is foundation.

It seems to me that trying to de-age someone digitally would be horrendously difficult and time-consuming, because the signs of age on a human face are subtle things which would change constantly with movement and light. Make-up, being a simpler and quicker option would surely be preferred.



Noria
Rohan

Oct 8 2013, 12:47pm

Post #29 of 43 (168 views)
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Welcome sousuke22. And Roheryn, I largely agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I'm not a particular fan of Legolas and more of a Hobbit fan than an Elf fancier, I'm glad also that Legolas is in the movie. He should be there when Bilbo and the Dwarves reach the Woodland realm. How it will all work out is another story, but I'll wait and see.

Most of the returning characters look a little different but it doesn't bother me at all. I try not to worry about things that can't be helped, for instance that Ian Holm is visibly older and frailer, in his voice and movement and not just facially. It doesn't matter to me.

I loved the visual complexity and beauty of LotR and I loved the same in AUJ. I don't care if they achieved the effects through green screen or real sets, makeup, masks or CGI as long as they look good to my eyes. I grew up in an era in which special effects were fairly primitive and often laughable and I learned long ago to use my imagination to see what film makers are trying to show me. If I start focusing on what I might think is done poorly or weird in the various effects, DoS would be ruined or me before I ever saw it.

That's my personal take on it.


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 1:53pm

Post #30 of 43 (154 views)
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Well, to be honest..... [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see that his face looks particularly different on or off screen, beyond that one shot where his eyes looked too bright. He doesn't look the least bit unnatural to me. I know Orlando Bloom is older and in any case has different colouring, but when he's in costume and on screen he's just Legolas again. I see him, I think Legolas, and focus on what's happening, not on looking for what might be wrong. If it doesn't jump out and bite me, then it ain't wrong (for me anyway).

I suppose maybe I come at this in a different way. When I started watching TV and films the effects were pretty basic. Scenery sometimes wobbled. Strings sometimes showed, and if images had been blended together you could always see the edges. A combination of live action footage and flat two-dimentional drawings seemed pretty magical. You knew it wasn't real any more than theatre was real and you didn't look for the faults - you didn't have to, they were so obvious - but if you had, it would have destroyed the illusion completely. Your imagination supplied what was missing. Willing suspension of disbelief. That's the key, then and now. So when I hear people criticise these films because they're not real it just makes me want to laugh. Of course they're not real. Question is, will you let yourself believe?


Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 2:04pm

Post #31 of 43 (145 views)
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I very much agree with this when it comes to locations, for example [In reply to] Can't Post

I can certainly suspend disbelief when it comes to locations. To me they are works of art, like the illustrations in a fantasy book can be, and I have little problem with them. However, Legolas's (to me) psycho look is extremely obvious and not attractive (my sisters also asked what has happened to his face, without any prompting from me). The look is in fact taking me out of the film, it is so obvious. I'm truly hoping I will be able to enjoy the wonders of DoS without focusing in on and obsessing about Legolas's weird looks – but hopefully he will not be a major part of the film (for other reasons as well).


In Reply To
I suppose maybe I come at this in a different way. When I started watching TV and films the effects were pretty basic. Scenery sometimes wobbled. Strings sometimes showed, and if images had been blended together you could always see the edges. A combination of live action footage and flat two-dimentional drawings seemed pretty magical. You knew it wasn't real any more than theatre was real and you didn't look for the faults - you didn't have to, they were so obvious - but if you had, it would have destroyed the illusion completely. Your imagination supplied what was missing. Willing suspension of disbelief. That's the key, then and now. So when I hear people criticise these films because they're not real it just makes me want to laugh. Of course they're not real. Question is, will you let yourself believe?



dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 2:09pm

Post #32 of 43 (140 views)
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Fair enough. well, as I said, I can't see it... [In reply to] Can't Post

.. so I've no idea what it is that you and others are put off by.


imin
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 2:22pm

Post #33 of 43 (138 views)
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I think people just honestly see different things when looking at the exact same image. [In reply to] Can't Post

When i look at Ian Holm's face in AUJ it is clear to me that something isn't quite right, i didn't have to think about it, my brain just knew instantly something was off.

Now this to me is more jarring in films where they try their best to create a sense of realism which i believe they do in all PJ's middle earth movies.

I think it is easier to have suspension of disbelief in old films where the sets are clearly sets etc simply because they are so obvious and so abundant. It means if your mind doesn't wash over them and suspend its disbelief then you would never get into the film.

Nowadays with films becoming more realistic in terms of CGI, sets etc, they are less obvious and lots of times you wouldn't know if it was a set or on location. For me though this just means when it gets to a point where the CGI is not up to scratch for whatever reason the illusion is broken and it then takes a moment to regain the suspension of disbelief as i just took a second to go 'oh that looks weird'.

Saying all that though i think some people pick up on these things more easily than others. This is not saying some people are clever and others are too dumb to notice. This is more just, some people notice things better than others.

I spend a large part of my day being asked to critique peoples facial aesthetics. Which means to do a good job i have to be able to spot tiny variations and think of ways to improve them. Most people have a clear idea of what they want - which is usually to be moved towards the golden proportion. Kind of getting away from the point there but it shows that even though people don't know why they want a certain look it almost always falls into a set proportion which we instinctively feel is right/attractive. But then i feel doing this has made me 'get my eye in' for detail which may mean i pick up on things a bit more but at the same time lots of other people have spotted the slightly off faces which leads me to the subject line of people just see the exact same image differently.

I don't think there is anything wrong for wanting films to look more realistic - i don;t think PJ et al do either otherwise they wouldn't have spent so much money on prosthetics, make up, CGI etc when people can just use their imagination and have a willingness to suspend their disbelief. I think times have changed - when the tech was not available in movies then you just had to accept what was there. Now though we have seen in different movies just what is capable and when it doesn't meet those high standards then i feel like 'well why not?' It is the frequency of the slips in realism which make this all the more powerful. If it just didnt look realistic then suspension of disbelief takes over. However if everything looks great and real i don't need suspension of disbelief as i already believe. Its just this believe can be momentarily shattered by something very small like a strange face - uncanny valley. It's nothing major (to me) but if its the choice of a face which looks amazing and i can't tell it had CGI to make it look younger or a face i can easily see had something done to it (e.g. bilbo, legolas) then i would pick the better quality version.

For me the realism in LOTR was what made it special - compared to other fantasy movies at the time and prior to it, it stood head and shoulders above the rest in terms of realism, and for me that greater sense of realism sucked me in, making me feel like i was really there.

I think over time eventually we will get to a point where it is impossible to tell - we are there for some things - back drops to locations, but faces are much more difficult to pull off currently. But for some people it already looks awesome which is great news as they are ahead in a way.

'What's the matter with you?' - J.R.R. Tolkien


adnan
Rivendell


Oct 8 2013, 2:58pm

Post #34 of 43 (138 views)
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There is may be a simpler way to compare... [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe someone would be kind enough to post a side-by side closeup of Legolas from LOTR & The Hobbit trailer. That should clarify some of the differences.

Rivendell


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 3:32pm

Post #35 of 43 (128 views)
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And I spend a lot of time identifying old photographs.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and scanning them for publication. And also paint and model miniature portraits (evidence supplied on request!) though my normal work now is writing - so I have my own eye for detail in faces.

Sorry, I'm not getting at you or trumpet blowing, but it's all too easy to write people off as less observant, less sensitive, less skilled than yourself because they don't see things as you do. And maybe there are some posters who might feel a bit intimidated by that - though I'm sure you don't mean it that way - and think that they're somehow lacking because they haven't seen these faults which are so obvious to others. So I just toss this in for their benefit. As you said yourself to start with, we do honestly see different things in the same image. No one's right, no one's wrong, we're just different.

Another factor, I suspect, is that those who really enjoyed the film and are looking forward to the next two are less predisposed to find fault than those who didn't, and aren't. Again, an honest difference of opinion.


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 8 2013, 3:56pm

Post #36 of 43 (129 views)
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Here's the relevant part [In reply to] Can't Post

Click here, and under "Gandalf the not-so Grey". It's not exactly what I thought they talked about, maybe there's another quote out there. I'm sure they've said about applying "digital make-up" to the returning actors, but I can't find that either.

And I agree with you - they have digitally de-aged parts of the face, but it's certainly not extensive. Make-up can cover blemishes just as easy as CGI.



imin
Valinor


Oct 8 2013, 4:31pm

Post #37 of 43 (118 views)
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Didn't mean to be seen as trumpet blowing myself [In reply to] Can't Post

If it did come across that way. It was the best way i could think why i am seeing some things (which many others are) which some people like yourself are not.

I do agree that if you are loving a film you will give it much more slack than if you dislike it and so won't let it break your suspension of disbelief but i still think with realism being taken to ever higher levels the few times they do slip up makes them all the more obvious and breaks that veil of realism and for many they can still spot the differences between an unaltered face and a face digitally played with/lots of make up, prosthetics. I think if you can't see it then that is great as it means that veil of realism is still there for others who see the differences it is a chance for their disbelief to break through. But in the grand scheme of things i am talking about (at least for myself) a slip of a second or two so barely anything, just i would prefer no break at all.

One thing that could be different would be assessing if people can see the differences when watching the films or just viewing images from the film side by side - e.g. spot the difference. (could do a study, use some images where nothing has been altered to see if people are seeing differences when they are not there etc). Would be fun (well to me, haha).

'What's the matter with you?' - J.R.R. Tolkien


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 5:49pm

Post #38 of 43 (104 views)
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Spot the difference? Yes, that would be fun... [In reply to] Can't Post

At least it might mean that we all knew what we were all talking about... Or maybe not!


Dragonrnbw
Rivendell

Oct 8 2013, 6:34pm

Post #39 of 43 (106 views)
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Not so worried now [In reply to] Can't Post

The visual has been bothering me too...that being said I just saw the trailer in 3D and WOW!!!! It looked REALLY good!!! I was able to see so much more and the odd colors and visual oddities I saw on my computer were not there!
I think once we see it on the big screen in 3 D we will be happy! :) Even Legolas looked normal.. Not the same Legolas in LOTR - he is older - but he didn't look abnormal! (I am not a big 3 D fan...prefer to watch my movies without 3D but it did look really cool..I have to admit!)

Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for thou are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!


dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 7:06pm

Post #40 of 43 (91 views)
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Thanks Daniel.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It does mention some digital tinkering, so I was wrong about that. It also mentions extensive use of sticky tape 'face lifts', so it's a mixture.

Can I let the horses go now, please, they're getting a bit hard to hold onto! Tongue


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 8 2013, 8:11pm

Post #41 of 43 (87 views)
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Whatever they did to Elrond, worked a treat. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see any difference, and neither can I in Bloom. So whether it was digital or make-up (or a mixture) it worked.

Don't worry dormouse. They were only ever a small horses!





dormouse
Half-elven


Oct 8 2013, 9:59pm

Post #42 of 43 (63 views)
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:) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sousuke22
Registered User

Oct 10 2013, 5:24am

Post #43 of 43 (42 views)
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Changing Tune [In reply to] Can't Post

I have to say, after reading both opinions that clashed and supported my own, I'm actually starting to back off my stance.

For starters, the CGI improved dramatically between the first and second DOS trailers IMO, most particularly with regards to lighting in the Azog scene and the scene with the elves running through the trees.

As for Legolas, I showed the trailer to my brother (another avid LOTR fan) and he didn't say anything about Legolas. When I pressed him for noticing anything weird, he just said he looked to have a harder jaw line and more manly than he used to, but nothing he noticed apparently. He even said a couple shots of his face, especially the one in the dark, was just a bad shot of him grimacing. Of course it looks weird.

But blowing the images up to 1080p and watching, I am backing off some of my CGI claims. Maybe it is just make-up, but it actually looks like it could be lighting too. Who knows. Either way, I'm not too concerned with it now and I do agree with the sentiment that it's not going to look exactly like LOTR.

There are some things they've improved and some that look a bit more cartoony IMO, but DOS looks to be an improvement over AUJ in these regards. I love seeing more practical makeup in the orcs, etc. in this new trailer rather than all the CGI goblins in AUJ. In retrospect, it's making me like AUJ more because I'm seeing it as a lighter, more fun film ahead of the darkness and grittiness of DOS and TABA.

I'm also encouraged by posts that seeing Legolas and other scenes in motion in IMAX viewings dispelled many doubts.

Productive chat, either way. And thanks for the warm welcome to the Forums.

I think I have a much more positive outlook on the "problems" now. Rewatching LOTR, there are lots of location shots, but also lots of sets that are obvious only if you really look at them. My only issues with AUJ and DOS were the outdoor shots that they used sets for, but even that takes a backseat to the actors, etc.

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