Special effects question

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    • #49764
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      as I’m learning the ropes on new software, right now, and trying new things as I explore filmamking….
      I have a question.. do old school special effects still sell a story? or is everything CGI?
      here’s an experiment I tired, using only the same basic techniques (cross disolves and overlays) that would have been used in the film days for stuff like Bela Lugosi in Dracula…

      what do you guys think?

    • #203616
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      IMHO – Anything that enhances your story is a good thing – whether it’s ILM level stuff or lowered opacity for ghost like effects and everything in between. Remember content is king and glitz for the sake of glitz is wasted and useless – it’s the story that’s important.

      However, just like audio, good effects can make a mediocre story better (most of Hollywood today) but bad fx can make a good story mediocre. I should really say badly done instead of bad – the original “Day the Earth Stood Still” had very low tech effects done well and is one of my top 5 flicks.

    • #203617
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      thanx.. what do you think of what is essentially one of my very first efforts at video special effects above?

    • #203618
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      Liked the candles, not so much the apparition.

    • #203619
      AvatarGregory
      Participant

      @Don. Don RUN or type fast to the nearest place to get Star Trek 09 the JJ Abrams movie. But the Full set with the extra bonus disc. Watch the bonus disc, the making of and effects, then watch the movie, then watch the bonus disc making of and effects and drop your jaw.

      JJ Abrams did nearly everything old school, from lights to even some exterior shots of the ships. Granted some parts were CGI, but MOST of all of that movie is old school. In fact before its release many in Hollywood believed it would flop because of the old school effects, guess what, after its huge success when George Lucas re-re-re-re-re-re-released the Star Wars set for the Brown Box edition he “borrowed” some of Abrams ideas for the last 3 but first 3 released Star Wars films, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Yep, George Lucas lifted some old school ideas from JJ Abrams.

      Some things in Star Trek 09, the Shuttle Hanger show when leaving Earth, that is an old Blimp hanger, the shuttles in the background are….cardboard cutouts, OUCH!. The “base” is an old oil refinery.

      The Kelvin ship is an old beer brewery, So is the Enterprise but they used the Budweiser brewery for that. When Kirk is trying to find Uhura and is running around with Bones in tail those huge stainless steel things to the left and right, are Budweiser storage tanks. They used flashlights for the lighting effects, yep handheld flashlights. And when the ship took a hit, yep the crew leaned to the left and right.

      JJ wanted to recapture the “feel” of Star Trek but update it at the same time. He did a good job. And it is one of the extremely few movies that is filled with effects that may of which was done old school. But keep in mind the space battles and some exterior shots are CGI. But watch the behind the making of and you will get your answer, they even give you the show how.

    • #301618
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #302901
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #203620
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #301958
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #302743
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #302244
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      AWESOME!

    • #203621
      Avatarhal9000
      Participant

      When done well both “sell a story” just as well. The only advantage with CGI is that you have no limitations as to what you can do which can make it look fake (e.g. the camera moves in ways that are impossible in real life, a plane flies too close to the camrera). Personally I don’t like CGI, it just looks fake to me. Old school looked fake but at least the objects appeared tangible whereas CGI looks like a matte painting that you can view from every angle. It does have its place, making a set appear larger to save cost but when it comes to animate objects give me “Dragon Slayer” over “Dragon Heart.” One thing about CGI that may concern you are the models. Unless you have the equipment to scan in your subject you’re going to be spending a lot of time creating it especially if you want it to look real. There are some websites that have premade models available (there may be a cost) but you may not find what you want depending on your program (another cost that may concern you). Good luck.

    • #203622
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      I like the idea that you can combine BOTH to sell an illusion… I think maybe if you use the cgi sparringly and as a last resort…
      I hear with the movie “the thing” (latest version) they used old school effects, but also used cgi with the old school effects in order to get the animatronics to do things that were impossible… like removing bars and wires etc, but also adding layers of realism like blinking eyes etc to fake heads… this is the direction I’d choose for effects if I were directing… it just makes sense to me.

      there is soooo much to learn here…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx-UtIRh-Ag&feature=channel&list=UL
      vs:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JchXCnuQFrs

    • #203623
      AvatarAnonymous
      Guest

      Whatever needs to be done to tell the story you can do as little as making a video black and white or as much as creating 3d models, don’t feel like you have to do a ton of work just do what you need to do to tell the story.

    • #203624
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      right now I’m making some props.. I am just buying off the shelf halloween type props and will be modifying and painting peices as I go untill it is finished..

    • #203625
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Don,

      SFX work best when you let the audience ‘fill in the blanks’. Director Alfred Hitchcock used to merely suggest something without actually showing it and let the audience ‘do the work’. That famous ‘Shower Scene’ in “Psycho”, everyone remembers how bloody and horrific it was to watch that woman get stabbed over and over. Actually, you didn’t ‘see’ any of that happen. The shot prior showed a victim’s POV of the knife coming at them. The next shot was the murderer’s POV of the victim screaming and raising her hands in defense. Ultimately, the sequence ends with ‘blood’ (actually chocolate sauce) pouring down the drain in copious amounts.

      When on a budget, the less you show and the more you suggest, the better it will come off. When you’ve got money to throw at it the opposite is true but you can over do it and still not pull it off. Originally in ‘THE THING’, they were going to use stop motion animation for the first true appearance of the monster. However, though the animation was outstandingly done the timing was off just enough to fail meeting with Director John Carpenter’s vision. With extra money for the budget, they went the animatronic route much to critical acclaim.

    • #203626
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      I agree comp, but my story does call for my monster to make some facial appearances and to be using it’s human like opposable thumbs to do what it needs to do on camera.. the scenes however will be overall dark, contrasty “Day for night” scenes.. so as you said, “less is more..”

    • #203627
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

    • #301656
      AvatarJustin maribito
      Guest

      I’ve got some good recommendations for audio repair tools…PM me if needed.

    • #72002689

      The dissolve on the candles looks strange if you are looking at the lady on the couch. I would recommend masking the candles out so they are their own layer and then dissolve them in. Be sure to add a feather to the mask.

      I think “old school” VFX is still really popular. Filmmakers try to make as much of the video practicle as they can because it better sells the CG. Best of luck.

      Check out my work here:
      Utah Video Production

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