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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Middle-earth TV Series Discussion:
Though this is a mute point - I wonder why computer animated characters and world building

Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14, 3:24am

Post #1 of 23 (534 views)
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Though this is a mute point - I wonder why computer animated characters and world building Can't Post

were not options for this (and other) series - is it cheaper to hire actors than to create them? The technology has really gotten impressive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh9msqaoJZw

It seems the creative control to bring to life artistic renderings would be attractive.


squire
Half-elven


Aug 14, 11:45am

Post #2 of 23 (484 views)
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The question might be is it cheaper to direct actors than to direct CGI-images [In reply to] Can't Post

As impressive as 3-D CGI has gotten in portraying humanoid figures on screen, I get the feeling that filmmakers still prefer talking to the performer about his or her performance, rather than having a committee meeting with a team of technicians about producing that performance over a couple of weeks on a series of workstations. As I understand it, actors feel the same way, preferring to respond to another person on a human-scaled set rather than to a tennis ball or other stand-in object in a featureless green-screen space.

Also, shouldn't we note that a video link is 13 minutes long when posting it? I hadn't the time to view the entire thing, so I may have missed a point you wanted the video to make.



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Solicitr
Rohan

Aug 14, 12:40pm

Post #3 of 23 (474 views)
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There's [In reply to] Can't Post

also the issue of cost. An animated character has to be voiced, and all decent animated characters have to be mo-capped-- which means you're paying an actor anyway, in addition to a lot of computer techs. And then it all takes a LOT of time, and time is money.

Even in a high-budget series like Game of Thrones, Jon's wolf Ghost was left out of episodes because (even without an actor) the CGI expense would have broken the budget.


In other words: possible, but still more costly and time-consuming than just filming a human.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14, 3:06pm

Post #4 of 23 (454 views)
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Just jump along the presentation, you don't have to watch from start to finish [In reply to] Can't Post

Just glide your cursor to the right of the play arrow and you will see images etc. I am sure you know that.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 14, 3:09pm)


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14, 3:08pm

Post #5 of 23 (453 views)
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I am not ruling out that both real and cgi are used in the production. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 14, 3:11pm

Post #6 of 23 (455 views)
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Mute? [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps because there's nothing to say (the word you were looking for was 'moot').

Seriously, though, it's one thing to have virtual characters in a cut scene for a video game. It's quite another to have to sustain such a character throughout a full series. Backgrounds would be a bit easier, though computer graphics often enhance already existing images.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


InTheChair
Lorien

Aug 14, 4:08pm

Post #7 of 23 (441 views)
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They probably want a bit of a circus anyway [In reply to] Can't Post

Planning for a long running series they likely want there to be real actors that the fans can fall in love with. Actors whose statements and social media content can be followed and discussed. Actors who can occasionlly appear at Cons and marketing events. They're gonna want to stoke the fires and keep the buzz going in between seasons.

Maybe they could do this with voice actors as well, but real actors can seem more personal, and they are going to touch up with CGI either way.


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14, 4:49pm

Post #8 of 23 (431 views)
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Though the production has been mute on design information [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if background characters - elves, orcs, Numenoreans etc. will be CGI as with the movies. It is not a moot point as the quality of the production will depend on the realism presented by any CGI.

My guess is that both will be employed where appropriate and cost effective.


(This post was edited by Eruonen on Aug 14, 4:51pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 14, 5:00pm

Post #9 of 23 (424 views)
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Armies, Fleets, Etc. [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, we could well see large groups of extras rendered as CG characters; this has become a fairly common practice. The same could be true for the depictions of fleets of ships, siege equipment, large structures, characters such as Ents, and the like.

Also: Very punny! Tongue

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Aug 14, 5:37pm

Post #10 of 23 (420 views)
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Yeah, and it can look uncanny [In reply to] Can't Post

Alita is a good example. Yes, the technology is incredible, and yes, you kind of accept it as you watch the movie, but she's still so obviously CGI, that she can feel distant, and distinctly inhuman, at times. And that's never a good thing when trying to make the audience relate to a character.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 14, 7:55pm

Post #11 of 23 (382 views)
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Battle Angel [In reply to] Can't Post

To be fair, as a cyborg with an obviously robotic body, Alita was supposed to look somewhat inhuman, as opposed to the Major in Ghost in the Shell. The film Alita: Battle Angel might not be the best example to use to make your point.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Aug 14, 7:59pm

Post #12 of 23 (381 views)
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Staying out of the valley [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess the question is how realistic do you want it to be? The more realistic you want to make it, the more money it's going to cost, and also the more need you'll have to pay actual actors. And it may still look wrong to audiences. See: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, The Polar Express, Beowulf, young Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy, young Carrie Fisher and live Peter Cushing in Rogue One, and so on.

On the other hand, if ultra-realism of characters is not a priority, I'm sure you could make a good Pixar-like computer animated film or series and not break the bank. See: Brave. It's been around forty years since the Rankin/Bass and Ralph Bakshi animated movies, and there have been many developments in animation since then. Of course, obtaining the rights to a Middle-earth film or series would be an issue, but if Amazon does well with their presumably live-action series, perhaps the Tolkien Estate would be open to letting someone else (if not Amazon) do an animated movie or series.

I would prefer to see a live-action Silmarillion, and perhaps one or two live-action series set in the Third Age before that, however.

Hl Aurwandil, angil berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Aug 14, 8:26pm

Post #13 of 23 (374 views)
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Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...if ultra-realism of characters is not a priority, I'm sure you could make a good Pixar-like computer animated film or series and not break the bank. See: Brave. It's been around forty years since the Rankin/Bass and Ralph Bakshi animated movies, and there have been many developments in animation since then. Of course, obtaining the rights to a Middle-earth film or series would be an issue, but if Amazon does well with their presumably live-action series, perhaps the Tolkien Estate would be open to letting someone else (if not Amazon) do an animated movie or series.


A few year ago, when direct-to-video animated movie and video game tie-ins were commonplace, I thought that an animated prequel to The Lord of the Rings adapting "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen might be a viable idea. As it was, I was a bit surprised we never saw an animated tie-in for either the Shadow of Mordor or Shadow of War video games.

"Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." - DRWolf (after John C. Maxwell)

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 14, 8:26pm)


Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Aug 14, 8:27pm

Post #14 of 23 (371 views)
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Alright, that's kind of true, I guess [In reply to] Can't Post

Still, I think the point remains that fully CGI characters still haven't quite gotten to the point where they're entirely indistinguishable from humans.

"It is my duty to fight" - Mulan


Eruonen
Valinor


Aug 14, 8:35pm

Post #15 of 23 (366 views)
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The eyes are always the give away plus some just not quite natural skin [In reply to] Can't Post

 


FrodoEyes
Rivendell

Aug 14, 8:40pm

Post #16 of 23 (364 views)
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The Hobbit! [In reply to] Can't Post

I want it to feel realistic, and not like a computer game. Have we really forgotten a lot of the complaints that The Hobbit received about this issue?

'I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.'
'So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.'


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Aug 14, 11:03pm

Post #17 of 23 (334 views)
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Live-action CGI [In reply to] Can't Post

Live-action character CGI tends to be used in the following situations:

  1. Massive crowds
  2. Death-defying stunts
  3. Aging or de-aging of recognizable human characters
  4. Non-human characters

I agree that non-human characters should use prosthetics where possible, but it may not always make financial sense. Dragons, for example, undoubtedly make more sense to do as CGI, but even Gollum in the LOTR movies was CGI. Also, I suppose the writers can avoid aging and de-aging if they truly wish to, but it might make sense to show some characters getting older. Of course, they can depict that the old-fashioned way, with prosthetics. As far as massive crowds and death-defying stunts are concerned, however, I don't see any problem with CGI. Just don't use it for close-ups of faces.

Hl Aurwandil, angil berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!


CuriousG
Half-elven


Aug 15, 1:36pm

Post #18 of 23 (290 views)
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Uncanny and inhuman [In reply to] Can't Post

That describes the CGI-Moff Tarkin in one of the Star Wars reboots. I was fascinated by the technical accomplishment on the one hand, but as a movie viewer, I was also a bit creeped out and didn't want to see more deceased actors resurrected like that.


Archestratie
Rivendell

Aug 15, 3:41pm

Post #19 of 23 (268 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That describes the CGI-Moff Tarkin in one of the Star Wars reboots. I was fascinated by the technical accomplishment on the one hand, but as a movie viewer, I was also a bit creeped out and didn't want to see more deceased actors resurrected like that.


Well, it's going to happen and more and more frequently in the future. It's not all that different from the dead people resurrected in the Forest Gump movie in the 90's.


Solicitr
Rohan

Aug 15, 3:50pm

Post #20 of 23 (259 views)
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Subject [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Backgrounds would be a bit easier, though computer graphics often enhance already existing images.


And even there Game of Thrones with its massive budget still found it cheaper to film on location, from Malta to Iceland, and only use CGI backgrounds for things like The Wall.


cats16
Valinor


Aug 18, 4:56am

Post #21 of 23 (179 views)
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Just wait for Scorsese's The Irishmen later this year [In reply to] Can't Post

De-aged De Niro, Pacino and Pesci!

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!




Fleuz
Lorien


Aug 19, 8:03am

Post #22 of 23 (87 views)
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Gemini Man [In reply to] Can't Post

Gemini Man with Will Smith might be an even bigger step. Simply because here is no Performance Capture in use. It's 100% computer generated.

Regarding GoT and other TV-productions.
Set extensions with plates or digital backgrounds are in at least 75% of the shots already. The trend is clear.


Hasuwandil
Rivendell


Aug 19, 11:14am

Post #23 of 23 (69 views)
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Digital matte paintings [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, I don't think we're ever going back to hand-painted matte paintings.

Hl Aurwandil, angil berhtost,
oƀar Middangard mannum gisandid!

 
 

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