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Do people really find CGI convincing?


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I've got to wonder. The best computer-made monsters in movies I've seen were sort of like the real thing, until they moved or light fell on them. The texture, the geometry are all wrong, and there is absolutely no interaction with the environment. In the 1980s and 90s they used CGI for things that couldn't be created otherwise - floating letters, holograms, weird spaceship battles, but ever since the fashion took in the 2000s to use computers to render what really exists, quality has been out of the window. I look at these wonderful enormous balloons from "Batman" (1989) and I think: "Nowadays they would draw these on the computer, no question about it," and they would look like crap. Only nowadays there probably wouldn't be prop makers creative enough to come up with such designs to begin with. But do people really even suspend their disbelief when they see these gods who raise lightning bolts that don't even throw light on their arms or smooth werewolves with all the mass of a hallucination? Or ships in "Dunkirks"?


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6 hours ago, Ardanis said:

... from actual footage.

You do know that no matter whaty kind of window you are looking it from, it's not actually happening in there, right ? Unless we are talking about augmented reality device and then only part of it is real. Or is it.

So for example, looki here.

Edited by Jarno Mikkola
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It’s good enough to let people enjoy the story? Like, people are criticizing the appearance of SPOILER in The Mandalorian, but it didn’t bother me. I didn’t look too close (luckily only watching in HD, not 4K) and it was a nice scene. Or take the Marvel movies. They are almost entirely CGI. Some if the actors basically aren’t even on the screen (Hulk, Spider Man). But who cares? It’s a live-action comic book, representing hand-drawn books. If you like the kind of schlock that Marvel has been putting out, then the CGI is perfectly serviceable, way better than it was when I was a kid. 

(Which is not to say it’s a good thing. The freedom to make an adequate depiction of anything they can imagine makes lots of movie producers forget the power of practical effects, even if it means working under constraints. For me, I much prefer the Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage shows to the cartoony Avengers movies.)

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1 hour ago, subtledoctor said:

(luckily only watching in HD, not 4K)

His face was way too dark... but, other that that, it was ok-ish. Fun fact, looking at the puppet in the show, it looks quite convincing, as in there's no always obvious puppetier ... and he needs to be drawn out of all of the material, so that's guite convincing CGI too, even if it's made easier with green screen effects. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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CGI has its place, though using it to construct like 90% of a scene seems to usually look phony and visually exhausting to me (but I don't really care that much, since I'm not the type to really watch the big-budget CGI action movies/shows anyways, and have not kept up with anything Star Wars or Marvel or pretty much any other big movie franchise - I enjoy smaller movies more, so that's what I stick with). From what I've seen of human CGI examples, it seems to be currently at an uncanny valley level that's weird, creepy, and immediately scene-ruining due to it garnering a "...wait, is this CGI?" sort of reaction and taking you out of the movie. We'll have to see if that's something that's ever conquered at a very high detail like a cinematic experience would demand - funnily, lower detail video using like face-replacement software can seem less phony because of the lower detail nature and our brains having already been trained to fill in or at least ignore the missing details, but the same can't be said when we're looking at extremely high quality footage like you'd see in big budget films.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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On 12/22/2020 at 5:37 PM, Ardanis said:

Unless we're talking about grindhouse level budgets, modern CGI is indistinguishable from actual footage. That's all there's to say imo.

Really? Which ones, for example? I watched this trailer with Keanu Reeves not long ago, where he got digitized, and that's supposed to be the latest, and none of that convinces me one bit. True, I broke off before the point where Reeves would appear, because there were other figures on the screen, moving and grunting and pushing each other, and none of that impressed me, so Reeves would be done on the same level. Bad physics are the surest giveaway, because real bodies are compressible, they flatten and stretch out all the time, deflate and inflate, and these textured polygons are like stone commendatores from Don Juan, in hosiery. But even scenes are too flat and predictable - or predictably unpredictable. Nothing in life is or looks right the way CGI is and looks right. I don't know, maybe my peripheral vision is still too good and catches all these side details people are used to ignoring, but even if I can't point out what's wrong, a scene that looks devoid of any novelty or surprise like a stale Hades is a cue for my subconscious: this is plastic. Then again, CGI's realism may just benefit from extreme "curving": the standard of reality is so low, audiences don't find it too much of a stretch to accept a couple more gimmicks. I mean, some people actually talk to their robot dogs and voice assistants, Alices and whatnots. What kind of shift in brain matter does that require?

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