Is CGI Getting Worse?


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Published: 11 months ago
In recent years I've noticed a dip in quality in CGI, resulting in many digital creations that feel very unreal. In this video, I explore why that may be. Please comment below if you know more about CGI and can answer the questions posed in this video.

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I own none of the footage used in this video, all footage is property of its respective studio. Use of this footage is protected under Fair Use.

Intro and Outro Music by William Dennison: https://www.williamjondennison.com/

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I work for a company in Belgium specialized in CGI / render . And All a can say about thoses bad cgi scene is the light is ruining the 3d model. The light is the key in 3D rendering ! http://i.imgur.com/1Golhyn.png

Just take a look at this kind of 3D render (yes all is in 3D), https://www.artstation.com/artwork/mGbny
the light is making all the realism in that scene, not the models or the materials. Light and color grading at the best :) !

10 months ago

Totally agree. Raytracing is important... case in point of how not to do it, Indiana Jones and the crystal skull tree-chopping car in the jungle scenes.... dear gods :(

1 week ago

I kind of disagree with that. Light is what is is, light. A point, a surface that emits light. The real key is materials, because that's them that are reacting to light. And creating realistic materials is a whole lot more complicated then placing lights correctly, which can simply mimick the real world placement, intensities, colors. Few parameters to deal with.
But materials... They decide how light is bounced around and reaches your eyes/film/sensor. There is not much research in the lighting department anymore, CGI lights are as good as they can get, you can merely improve how efficient they are to cut down computing time.
But there is MASSIVE research and software development/releases going on with materials and how they can accurately take the incoming light and make surfaces look real.
But then people in the CGI industry, due to Center Row Theory #2, are getting "lazy". By lazy I mean how often did you hear things like "not perfect but making it perfect would take too long, and motion blur will hide imperfections anyway".
It's a thing of our era, there is no time for anything. There are those few movies that can afford 1 year of shooting, 1 year of development and many months of rendering time. And there are those that must be wrapped in 18 months, or even less. If those movies don't have really huge budgets to afford to replace time by massive work force and computing power, they look bad.

1 week ago

@En théo Time constraints = time = money - more complicated CGI

2 weeks ago

Shown example in comment is static picture and I'm if you'll take HQ stop frame from modern movies in most case it will look good as well. I agree that light is one of most important parts of CGI. But when we are talking about animations - physics is equally important, which is one of author's points when he says that some modern models doesn't have "weight". Especially it is noticeable when one object is interacting with another object.

2 weeks ago

from what movie was the fpptage of the fat guy running??

3 weeks ago

The 2017 IT remake rests heavily in the "bad" cgi category.

1 day ago

Yup you're right bud, so many movies look like shit now, the CGI is garbo.

1 day ago

So yeah, capitalism..

1 day ago

Totally agree thought it was just me

1 day ago

........

2 days ago

Whats that movie with the huge fat guy?

2 days ago

R.I.P.D.

1 day ago

CGI are being outsourced to countries like India.

2 days ago

Actually CGI people can bare is on good ,beautiful and forget what is real but Story should be better no matter what

3 days ago

It's because it's eaiser to get a hold of the tools to create cgi, and the lack of raw talent CREATING the cgi....

3 days ago

The weight issue is a big one. When robots and dinosaurs are being thrown around like empty cardboard boxes, that’s when I lose interest.

3 days ago

The reliance on it is ruining films, that's for sure.

3 days ago

Honestly I think you need glasses because technically C.G.I. is getting better you’re just too picky yo geez

3 days ago

Yeah Venom suffered from the same thing as Black Panther among other things haha

4 days ago

completely agree ive been thinking about that for a long time now. Lots of people try to say its not that bad but I disagree and to all the people who say its the people getting worse not cgi? i dont think thats the point. its not about the technology itself getting better or worse, its about how suprising it is that in recent years it does look worse in alot of films. wether it is new tech or a lack of talet doesnt really matter to me. it just looks worse.

4 days ago

idk why you used Alita as an example of bad cgi. The VFX in that movie blew me away

4 days ago

Actually Fallen Kingdom used a lot of practical Dino’s and Force Awakens was mainly on camera and practical effects

4 days ago

🤔 interesting

5 days ago

Probably my biggest gripe with The Hobbit's effects, is that the bloom slider is turned up all the way, as if it's some game from 2004.

5 days ago

Yes because people are getting more ignorant to real art and content. It's all about money money money

5 days ago

These are exactly my thoughts. That's what I've been saying anytime I get the occasion. And I get the feeling I'm the only one to think of it this way.
I miss a well made movie like a home made pie made with home brewed ingredients. No synthetic sweets I get from the store can quench my crave for a sweet tasty desert, no matter how sugary, colorful, advertised or... many they are.


Strictly about CGI: it's not lighting that ruins the movies but animations: characters move like in cartoons, with almost instant speeding and stopping, ruled by animation curves, with no regard to mass, pressure, elasticity etc.
Take Ant Man - so rotten that I don't even know where to start... but I stopped expecting more from Marvel years ago...

Then there are problems in other areas than strictly technical CGI, like psychological depth, screenplay etc.
Take Alita - her face can only express a few emotions and those are exaggerated just like in cartoons: astonishment, anger, without subtleties, being based on cliche emotions like "awwww how cute" or "I'm gonna break you".
Now compare this to *Ex Machina*. You'll probably say human emotions can't be fully depicted with CGI faces. But they can. And if they can't, choosing CGI means a compromise is made with physical materials over emotions, on top of already thin actor performance, emotional substrate and screenplay.

Speaking of, going deeper, think about "Bicentennial Man" or "AI". Where is that substance in today movies? How about "The Matrix"? "Inception"?
Think about it, most movies today are made for retarded teens, by retarded grownups.
We need something else other than CGI animated cartoons that have started being molded in bulk by marvel.

Again, I'm tired of all the dry, flat, epic yet violent and free bang packed action from the beginning to the end of the movie! Too much sugar and too less taste.
They fight each other there then they go somewhere else and fight some more then they meet with others and reinforcements come and they fight yet again and good guys win then the cast starts.

Dammit, take "Terminator"! It surpasses many of today's movies.

5 days ago

A big part of it is trying to make every single shot and move the "money shot" to put in a trailer. Trying to over-stylize all the moves the different CGI creatures make and act like it's a Quentin Tarantino movie, instead of making something that isn't so overly slick. A person - even a super hero - can't do two or three 360 degree flips in the air and do some kind of impossible one-point landing afterwords. Trying to make everything look super cool is just too unrealistic. It may look good, but it just screams FAKE.

5 days ago

My first instinct was close to your second theory. People are getting sloppy / rushed, the quality control isn't there. The CGI is figuratively becoming commoditized.

5 days ago

It's not the CGI, but the resolution we watch everything else. At lower resolution the CGI was more believable. Now we expect CGI to have pores and sweat like its ultra defined counterparts.

6 days ago

Totally agree. Needed to be said. Well done!

6 days ago

CGI isnt getting worse your opinion is shit. your just setting the bar too high. if you think you can do better THEN DO BETTER.

1 week ago

Swear they all try to make it way too dramatic that it ain’t even good -_-

1 week ago

With how high quality tvs are today a lot of ACTUAL imagry on them looks fake to me. Doesn't matter what it is, and it feels like ppl are in front of green screens even if they are not. So Idk. I don't honestly care. It's still entertaining for me. Sure some of the obvious bad CGI can kill it but really? You had a complaint with black panther's suit? That was one of the LEAST obvious CGI for me, and I have 20/20 vision.
Not everyone is gonna see in the same super-critical light as you. So we can't agree if you expand your talk about bad CGI to examples that barely even touch that realm.

1 week ago

Guys i love this show too much to say "this cgi sucks", but this cgi sucks. http://youtubesmov.com/mov/kK7Db_a0x0W/vid.html?

1 week ago

Extremely insightful, accurate and SPOT ON take explaining the abysmal state of CGI. You have just confirmed what my 'gut' (and my eyes) have known for years... this is precisely why I hardly ever go to the movies anymore... and forget action or (gulp) super hero flicks! May the force be with you, and may your cautionary perspectives ascend to the highest ranks of our rapidly ailing movie (and music) industries until more level heads prevail.

1 week ago