CGI or rubber suits?

For the discussion of the upcoming Godzilla film by Legendary Pictures.

Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Cimmerian Dragon » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:34 pm

Tohosaurus wrote:Also, bring on the black and white and water used for his atomic ray.


Not sure about the water, but I prefer black and white cinematography. Go for it, Legendary.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Tyler » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:09 pm

Living Corpse wrote:Really? I thought they looked fine.


They looked like guys in fan made costumes to me. Their actual faces looked like rubber masks with no facial expression.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Bentley » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:30 am

Probably a mix between CGI and rubber suits would be the most interesting to see.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:21 am

Tohosaurus wrote:
therealmccoy wrote:I've asked this question several times in debates like this: Why would they build miniatures and use suitmation in a time period in which the technology is much more advanced? It doesn't make sense to me. The argument that it has always worked for Toho is almost invalid, because you just have to think about it: these films were released nearly every year, and on much smaller budgets. Plus, that technology wasn't available back then. Yeah, the Millennium films used it a little, but i'm willing to bet that their budget didn't allow them to use CG properly. In my opinion, the "CG for Godzilla" hate stems from the '98 film and nothing more. If someone can provide me with a logical explanation why the traditional method would be the best course of action, I'm all ears. The method that CatFace described is interesting, but why would they do it?

Because Godzilla has always used models and suitmation at Toho. It is therefore classic and so we should always do things the old, inferior way because it's classic. Also, bring on the black and white and water used for his atomic ray. :mrgreen:

Anyway, you could say it worked for Toho I suppose, but they were low budget movies with low budget returns, so it's relative.


Old? sure. As for inferior, LOTR showed which mode of effects could look inferior.

The digitally inserted live action actors were shrunken down realistically enough to suspend disbelief that the hobbits were tiny people when compared to onscreen human characters. They looked real 100% of the time in that film, while the otherwise excellent and state of the art CGI epic-failed
with the fully CGI Legolas attacking the cave troll.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zpssk85XTQQ

The human actors and their makeup were practical effects, with their environments digitally enhanced around them to give the illusion of scale, and it totally suspended disbelief. CGI Legolas on the other hand did not. So much for the superiority of CGI over practical effects.

LOTR shows that it is possible to digitally manipulate a background environment to give the illusion of scale to a practical effect, and GMK did the same thing with Godzilla strafing the soldiers with his breath weapon.

LOTR also shows how bad CGI can mess up. If we were unable to forgive the jerkiness in stopmotion animation for breaking the illusion of realism (which ironically enough could probably be digitally fixed now adays), why should CGI get a free pass when it scews up too?
And low budget movies Like LionsGate's Minotaur show that budget is not an issue with the realism of CGI effects.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpP7wSw9nww

I'm sure Anaconda and Deep Blue Sea had bigger budgets than Minotaur, lol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AsrkE_VpgA&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMwmqp3GLMc

And the age of the technolology is irrelevent, because Jurassic Park 2 came out the same year as Anaconda and looked nowhere near as bad. Deep blue sea came out the year after GINO and Deep Rising, so its bad effects have no real excuse.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Lord Gappa » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:42 am

Legion1979 wrote:This whole topic is idiotic.

CGI vs rubber suits? In a 21st century Hollywood film that's going to feature a giant reptile smashing things? This is an absolute no-brainer.

What are some of you smoking? Do any of you even watch modern American films?

If you're just going to post in this thread for the sake of being a dick, then why even post in the first place?
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:29 am

Legion1979 wrote:This whole topic is idiotic.

CGI vs rubber suits? In a 21st century Hollywood film that's going to feature a giant reptile smashing things? This is an absolute no-brainer.

What are some of you smoking? Do any of you even watch modern American films?


In case you have not noticed, 21 century Hollywood film has kind of been a huge let down, with mostly inferior remakes and Cash-ins on classics from bygone eras in film, and even botched interpretations of comic book superheroes, (Spiderman3 and the entire X-men series).

Take the Hulk movies that have come out. Most did not like the first one, but I was happy to see a realized Hulk doing what it doing what it did in the comics, and looking real a little more than half the time. The CGI was a mixed bag, going from believable to terrible and then back again.
All of Banner's mutations into the hulk looked obvious, save for when he was in the fluid tank having a nightmare. By contrast though, I definitely got what I paid for in the scene where the Hulk mutates back into Banner. Then I god lucky when the Edward Norton remake came out. The CGI did not look any worse than the first film, but there was a distinct lack of feats though. How do you go from throwing tanks to just knocking over humvees?

Oh well, at least both Hulk movies were not as poorly handled as the X-men franchise with their dissolving human nonsense and over all interpretation of most of the cast.

The ironic thing was that James Cameron's Avatar was demonized as being derivative and "all seen before" or at laughable worst, Pochahontas in Space, lol.

As far as I'm concerned, Cameron finally got to make his own alien movie, with creatures of original design, as opposed to having to make a film off of other folks (Ridley Scott and H.R. Giger) monsters.

And then you have AVP2, which was an all around poor sequel to AVP, but at least most of the effects were done well. Surely not better done than the first though.


As for using miniatures limiting what can be done, it seemed to work well enough throughout the whole LOTR series. And digital effects can make the angles look believable enough, Especially when the creature, actor or thing the environment is built around has a definite and consistent structure. If the effect for the creature is concrete, then the battle is already half way won, and when it comes down to it, I'd much rather a crumbling building stand out as an obvious CGI effect than Godzilla. The same goes for the people he steps on or vaporizes. CGI's main justification is that it can make the creature do things like be realistically wounded or move with a speed and ease that a suit actor would have difficulty pulling off, like in running or jumping, possibly twisting around to bite an opponent. That is all fine with me as long as the animation quality does not look like Shrek. Otherwise, you can get the same result by digitally enhancing the background and the environment around the actor to give the illusion of feats of speed and agility. And wounds can be computer generated and digitally grafted on realistically.
They did that in Hellboy and Helllboy2.
Think of Andy's head exploding in the Dawn of The Dead remake,among other feats that blended practical and CGI effects.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Bentley » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:54 am

As long as CGI doesn't make people lazy at using the camera I think the visuals can be satisfying. Imo this is not a technological issue, but the fact that people make bad choices with the freedom they get from CGI -at times too many movement in a scene, the action is too fast etc.-.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Tohosaurus » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:03 pm

I think it's a more interesting question to consider Toho. The OP asked if LP and beyond was going CGI. Naturally anyone would've expected LP or any American adaptation of the franchise to go CGI, but when Toho undoubtedly goes back to make a new Godzilla movie or two, will they retain suitmation? Always 2 depicted Godzilla in a brief cameo appearance that justified CGI rather than the time consuming and probably overly expensive suit with the appropriate miniatures associated with him destroying the city. As such, I don't think this is a sure fire indication that Toho is going to migrate to CGI Godzillas. That said, I do think it's only a matter of time before Toho's Godzilla goes CGI for good. CGI in Toho films is often questionable at best, which is something that needs to be addressed as well (even Always 2's Godzilla is not that great at parts if you look). But once they do so, it's all for the better. The fighting and scaling will be so vastly superior it's not a question. I respect the art of suitmation, but I respect it the same way I respect all of the old, inventive ways of other practical effects in history. However, it doesn't mean I support using the old methods when superior ones are available. Suitmation and models can work somewhat well. I think in the Millennium Godzillas and Heisei Gameras we saw that, but it still isn't the same as good CGI, it must be admitted. Water, fire, smoke, explosions ... unless Toho wants to go CGI on all of that (which really misses the point then anyway), it will always just become another reason to resign Godzilla movies as an oddity of the foreign world that's not on par with the West. I completely disagree that CGI is not an art in and of itself or is just lazy.

For the sake of low budgets and all, suits, models, even holding off on HD video filming until Final Wars, had to remain the reality. Using lengthy and costly methods of creating a 90+ minute Hollywood grade movie commands a budget that goes well beyond what almost any Toho movie has ever costed. A lot of this has to do with skill. Cloverfield was created on a 25% larger budget. Simply throwing money at the Godzilla franchise will not herald a new direction for it. But even D-War came in at $75 million for its budget with more Hollywood grade special effects, but other cost factors like extensive traveling and shipping ran that movie's bill up. So am I saying Toho needs to start setting aside 30, 40, or 50 million dollars to create solid Godzilla movies with great special effects? Not necessarily, but as long as the films are resign to sub-$10 million budgets, there's only so much that can be expected of Toho. The key, again, is in finding skilled personnel, which many would agree the Heisei Gamera movies had with superior effects to most Heisei Godzillas but sub-Godzilla budgets.

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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:54 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7tNqjsclhs

Watch how badly the first bite is animated when compared to the second. In the first bite at 0:30, there is no sense of real weight or impact when compared with the neck snapping bite that followed, which was flawlessly executed. Hell, even before that, at the point were Grant is running from the Rex the lighting of the creature is terrible, making it stand out unnaturally compared to the rest of the shots we see of it. After that we see the perfect illusion of the Rex's foot nearly crushing Grant, but then we get the Shrek animation of the first run in and bite at 0:30.


The continuitity of the animaton quality fluctuates so much that it's like watching the first Hulk movie condensed down into one scene.
With examples such as this that show CGI's lack of consistency, one comes away with the assumption that the effect was either too hard to pull off, or that the effect used was indeed lazy in its application.
Even stop motion wasn't this inconsistent, and it actually got better as the years went on, with not surprise bad animation once Phil tippet developed Go-Motion. Heh, there's another example of practical objects representing gigantic scale. The star destroyers, AT-AT walkers, and The Rancor were all small models that when filmed at the proper angles and placed in proper backgrounds looked perfect, and did not have sudden lapses in the effects.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby therealmccoy » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:41 pm

Instead of providing numerous examples of bad CG, post numerous examples of well-utilized CG and feel good about it. I get tired of this "CG could ruin Godzilla" attitude. It's really silly. Again I say, if you have the belief that a film is carried solely on special effects, you are in for a lot of disappointments. I could care less what route they take; as long as it's GOOD, it won't really matter to me. Bad special-effects aren't an evil deal-breaker to me.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Giga Kaiju » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:47 pm

It doesnt matter which effect is going to be used i am still going to watch this movie to be entertained not to complain.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Tyler » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:46 am

Godzilla 2000 wrote:He's not being a dick, he's being realistic.


One can be a realistic dick, though.

And if they did use suits it's not like it would look exactly like a Toho film. It would look better and who wouldn't want to see that? Even if they do it all CG I personally think something like Gamera 3 done on a huge Hollywood budget scale can happen and would be incredible if someone had enough balls to do it.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:34 am

therealmccoy wrote:Instead of providing numerous examples of bad CG, post numerous examples of well-utilized CG and feel good about it. I get tired of this "CG could ruin Godzilla" attitude. It's really silly. Again I say, if you have the belief that a film is carried solely on special effects, you are in for a lot of disappointments. I could care less what route they take; as long as it's GOOD, it won't really matter to me. Bad special-effects aren't an evil deal-breaker to me.


Sure, after all I already provided the trailer of Minotaur, a straight-to-dvd low budget film that managed to do so well with its CGI that it blends seamlessly with the practical effects. That should have shown my cautious optimism for CGI well enough, but if you insist.

LOTR. Oooh, I feel better already with the effects of the CGI flame.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gdxPX6_8M
too bad the cave troll was not rendered as well, though.

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Avatar
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5esKccNnpZM
Ironically enough, the only things that looked even a bit off in this film were the lifeless powersuits. Everything that was alive looked, alive.

Hulk 03. The consistency of quality is dodgy, but the sheer realism in the interaction between objects, what hulk drags and pics up, was beyond my expectations of what CGI was capable of in terms of realism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wrNMPRriwc

And as for the character assassination, the crack about being crazy, I'll just chock that up to frustration that I pointed out a glaring inconsistency in the quality of the technology in the medium, and how it is has not been helped by either budget or time. If a suit or makeup looks lifeless or stiff, its called out. If stopmotion models look nothing like their live action full-size contemporaries, that gets called out too. CGI should not get a free pass either when it messes up. It is after all the effects medium that revolutionized the way we view cinema after all. It should be held to at least some kind of standard.

Oh, and about miniaturizing water effects, CGI seems to do that exceedingly well, among other things. From what I read, everything about that sequence was CGI save for the up close shots of the men on the ship, and Jack Black, with the exception of the belly blitz.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXxt3eFhQBQ
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Captain Aktion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:38 pm

^Yeah, but look at the flooding of Isengard. That was a combination of CG, miniatures, and maquette work that took my breath away. If you can add that kind of CG detail while keeping the tactile grounding of actual props then you've got the future of FX, IMO.

I see no reason that you can't use miniatures and actual suits, not just puffy, fill it in later mo-cap suits, but full Kaiju costuming rigged up to utilize CG elements, to create a real FX extravaganza.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Ethan » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:50 pm

Legion1979 wrote:It doesn't matter. If you honestly think LP's Godzilla isn't going to be CGI (maybe augmented by physical props, but primarily CGI) you're crazy.

Me hopes it won't be shot 100% in front a blue screen like Avatar or Star Wars.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Captain Aktion » Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:06 pm

^Sadly, that's probably, realistically, the best we could hope for.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Hellspawn28 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:39 pm

As much I would love to see some suit work to used, it's likely never going to happen. Hellboy 1-2 and Where the Wild Things Are where not giant monster movies. Their is nothing wrong with a CG Godzilla since CG was not the reason why G98 sucked.

kaiju_wars wrote:
Are you talking about the movie Predators, if so, that came out either earlier this year or last year.


It came out last July (July 2010).

Tyler wrote:I thought the Preds in Predators were big rubbery dumbasses. I don't think they looked half as good as the ones in the AVP flicks.


AVPR I could understand but not the first one. Sorry but the Predators in the first movie look awful, one of the main reasons why I hated those movies.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:35 am

Well, at least in AVP, they did not have a Predator stupidly doff all of its weapons to demonstrate how inferior it was physically to a Xenomorph, even a mutated one like the Predalien. The weaponry belongs on a predator. the weapons are practically a part of it, almost making a Predator like a cyborg, similar to how Tony Stark is connected to his suit.

From its vision enhancing mask to its personal cloaking device, to weapons like the smart disk, its gear is made to work with the Predator's natural attributes. Without them, Predators are just powerful , tail-less aliens with useless glowing blood and an equally useless but interesting set of jaws pitted against a creature that can kill by being wounded and has sharp weapons built into every corner of its seemingly bio-mechanical body.

AVP2 was crap save for the special effects, and I'd much rather follow Predator:Concrete Jungle's storyline when establishing how Weyland/Utani and Mother came into being. "Miss Utani" indeed, lulz.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby Tyler » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:46 pm

The armor made them a bit bulky but that's about it. The ones in Predators were like giant walking bobble heads.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby CatfaceFourtoes » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:37 pm

I think part of it has to do with the fact that the first two Predators were portrayed by a big guy, Kevin Peter Hall. I think he was taller than Arnold, it was not just a visual trick. In AVP, I think only one of the actors came even close in height, and that was the guy who played the Predator that did not die until the end.
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Re: CGI or rubber suits?

Postby DaddlerTheDalek » Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:31 pm

Cgi & Motion-Capturing. Maybe some Stan Winston stuff.
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