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Old 08-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #76
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Just saw District 9, and while I did enjoy it, the effects work was NOT that good. Terrible character model/environment integration problems (though the lighting matches looked pretty stellar) and an overreliance on in-camera tricks to cover up sloppy work/to make sloppy work acceptable. Someone mentioned this as a highlight of WETA's more "traditional" work, and while I wouldn't call it a lowlight, per se, I think it's pretty laughable to go that far. It didn't look bad, but it didn't look even remotely great. Perhaps I watch too closely and actively, but I did an awful lot of cringing.
Well, shit. I'm not sure what you're looking for then. For a low-budget film, I think the work in D9 is pretty remarkable, given the scope of what they tried to accomplish. I'll be the first to acknowledge Weta/whoever did the work on D9 (someone posted an article I didn't read yet about this) aren't the best when it comes to compositing... that's definitely their weak point, but while some of the integration (as you called it) was a bit off (and of course they're using a lot of in camera tricks... I'll call that efficient filmmaking before "covering up for sloppy work"... please) the majority of effects they achieved on a really low budget is definitely [img]impressive[/img].

As I've said before here, I guess I just admire a more expressive and ambitious use of digital imagery over ILM's extremely precise and subdued (if more technically "perfect") work. Though I'd never suggest ILM aren't still the gold standard for this sort of thing... because their work really is "perfect" so to speak. I'll happily make the trade if Weta continues to offer the most believable (performance-captured or otherwise) and life-rich CG creations. I suppose I'm just saying, I fail to understand the mentality that one studio is so clearly superior to the other when both are consistently putting out truly groundbreaking work that's the "best" in the industry upon any given release. I can't say I really prefer one over the other as they each have some particular strengths and weaknesses, at least as far as what I look for in this sort of thing.

And just out of curiosity, IYS, I wonder what you'd point to as the best example of recent work ILM has done that puts them so clearly over the top for you. Laz has mentioned a number of specifics so I'm looking for you take on the matter.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:32 AM   #77
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Not too impressed with the trailer.
Saw this comparison between Avatar and Delgo:
http://img.denihilation.com/delgovatar.html
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:46 AM   #78
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in the ILM vs Weta battle, I had forgotten about Davey Jones......I was wrong. He's better looking than Gollum
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #79
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in the ILM vs Weta battle, I had forgotten about Davey Jones......I was wrong. He's better looking than Gollum
Very true, although Jones is a product of technology 4 years more advanced than Gollum (tech which was still in its infancy back in the days of Jar Jar and Gollum).
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:07 AM   #80
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Very true, although Jones is a product of technology 4 years more advanced than Gollum (tech which was still in its infancy back in the days of Jar Jar and Gollum).
Thats true, but even still, before Davey Jones came along, I dont think I had seen a more believable cgi character than Gollum. I think at a point, it becomes less about the technology and more about the artistic capabilities of the people doing the composite and rendering (the technology is still a huge factor obviously). It still blows me away how well Draco holds up 13 years later! He was another character that they didnt have to hide behind rain and shadowy lighting. He still looked great in clear daylight. When you take that into account, I find it somewhat disappointing that we still have conversations about cgi characters not quite blending. you'd think it would be all sorted out by now.
I also wish they'd not always rely on cgi for creature effects. I'll still take a state of the art animatronic over cgi any day
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:38 AM   #81
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The people saying ILM is behind are definitely ignoring all the work on POTC, the skeletal pirates and of course Davy Jones (the scenes of him on board in direct sunlight, with the wind blowing, and spray hitting his face, hard to beat). But also some of the best is found in the SW prequels, I think he went a bit overboard with the CG in Clones, but if it was made today it'd look great, and ROTS was incredible, especially the opening battle scene. But the character design and environment rendering as well, Wookie planet, lava moon, etc. And I think General Grievous came out pretty darn awesome as well.

As for people saying KK looked bad, I wasn't a big fan of the dinosaur sequences, but the backgrounds themselves were great throughout, and Kong was amazing.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:53 AM   #82
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I don't think anyone is saying ILM are behind...
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #83
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who did the "CGI" for I Am Legend? Whoever they are - they lose by default.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:03 PM   #84
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who did the "CGI" for I Am Legend? Whoever they are - they lose by default.
Sony Picture Imageworks mostly.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:11 PM   #85
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ok, they suck pretty bad then cus that was terrible
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:23 PM   #86
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ok, they suck pretty bad then cus that was terrible
Ehh, you can't blanket a whole studio just for one movie. I chalk that movie up to a whole host of disastrous creative decisions. Dudes at Imageworks were just collecting their paychecks. But they too have done some pretty stunning work on The Spiderman films, Superman Returns, Watchmen, The Matrix sequels, etc.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:33 PM   #87
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fair enough - I honestly think it was the only time I have been completely jarred out of my suspension of disbelief by crappy CG though - and I've seen some pretty crappy CG...
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:34 PM   #88
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For the record, I think Avatar looks fantastic.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:45 PM   #89
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fair enough - I honestly think it was the only time I have been completely jarred out of my suspension of disbelief by crappy CG though - and I've seen some pretty crappy CG...
Yeah, I get you. That movie is a travesty on so many levels though it's hard for me to get too upset about the visual effects.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:47 PM   #90
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Up until the creatures/vampires/zombies/whatever the hell they are were revealed I was digging it... after that it was painful to watch.
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