Tuesday, September 29, 1998

I’ve been thinking about re-vamping this site. I like the “home” idea, but I think it needs jazzing up; more rooms, perhaps? A more detailed blueprint? Graphics showing what the rooms look like?

While we’re at it, I’d like to provide some actual content here other than this diary. If/when I get CGI worked out, perhaps throw up some CGI and Java games. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I noticed over at the official Star Wars website that the subtitle for the new Star Wars movie is “The Phantom Menace.” It’s growing on me, but it still sounds hokey to my ears. I’m betting, though, that this is a temporary title akin to “Revenge of the Jedi,” to catch any illegal merchandise before the movie opens with a new title.

Lucas mentioned that he was inspired to look back into Star Wars after seeing the dinos in Jurassic Park. So, I got to thinking about the best CGI I’ve seen in the movies. All too often, CGI is realistic but doesn’t look real (Anaconda, anyone?). What movies did it right?

  • The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and in The Lost World (let’s not deny it), were truly spectacular. Some of the shots were of robots, some of foam-latex bits. Which is which? I was so enchanted I never bothered to try to figure it out. Now there’s good CGI work.
  • The T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a bit of a cheat, since it’s basically a real-life special effect; they designed the character to take advantage of the morph technique. Still, it was expertly done, and really added something to the story (remember the linoleum floor under the cop’s feet, rising up to take his form? Creepy and atmospheric).
  • More recently, The Borrowers featured a nice marriage of CGI and real life. They would actually switch from real people to CGI in the middle of a shot; the CGI characters still didn’t quite behave according to real-life physics, but still an impressive feat.

Meanwhile, the Star Wars Special Editions extra footage just didn’t look right. The shots were very nicely-done, but they didn’t mesh with the 1977 footage. Lost In Space was glaringly CGI. Titanic (what I saw in the commercials) was good, but spotting the CGI was not difficult. Truly, you can do CGI, but you can’t necessarily do it well.

Leave a Reply

I work for Amazon. The content on this site is my own and doesn’t necessarily represent Amazon’s position.