Is CGI Getting Worse?


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Published: 9 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

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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 :) !

8 months ago

that bar and that stuff in it has to be real, I just can't fathom how all of that is computer generated. If true, it's perfect.

21 hours ago

+The Planxtys pfff please hit the caps lock key again

1 day ago

Actually lighting is very much tied to real world physics that can be replicated and as technology and the ability to render more and more complex lighting algorithms have gotten better the lighting and materials (especially things like fur, water, fire, etc. anything tied to physics) have also improved in films. The problem, IMO, is multifaceted. First, is the insane demand for more and more shots done in CGI. CGI can be controlled, so directors and producers like it for that reason. For instance if you want to shoot a scene in a blizzard good luck waiting around for those weather conditions and capturing the right moment. But if you just do it in CG you can shot the scene today, hand it over to an effects house and be done with it at a know point in time at a known cost. For reasons like this increasingly films are sometimes shot with basically a bunch of costumes and green screens and minimal set building or location work. This way production can be controlled. The disadvantage is that visual effects studios are now burdened with insane workloads which frankly they are struggling with. People in the industry work insane hours and often on temp contracts. The average turnaround for a worker in vfx is like 5 years. The technology also changes quickly which makes it hard to keep up. All of this takes its toll on the films themselves. However, IMO, I think the single biggest problem is animation. Especially of humanoid characters that give off that uncanny valley effect. This is incredibly difficult to accomplish and while techniques (like motion capture) and skilled artists (like at Weta, ILM, etc) exist to carry out these effects they simply cannot keep up with the number of shots. For instance, Weta took its time and carried all the effects on the Apes movies however The Hobbit (also by Weta) was rushed through production by Warner Brothers and they also demanded one extra movie. If you watch the extended docs for those films you will see how insane the production of those films was. For instance, the battle with the dragon in Laketown was supposed to be the end of the second film, instead it was cut and put in the third because they literally ran out of time. That's why some aspects of the vfx on the Hobbit films is a bit rough around the edges. It's not that they couldn't do it - the same people did better and more difficult work on the Apes movies - it's just that they didn't really have time.

2 days ago

Can you list the movies you used in this video, please?

2 days ago

+Maruha Starshaya if they charge more, producers will just throw out the CGI studio in favour of another one willing to work for cheaper. so unfair, but unfortunately true.

2 days ago

Agreed, though the movies you mentioned at the start as looking "realistic" didn't according to many. Marvel and Disney especially lack photo-realism in their graphics, instead going for more of a surreal comic/cartoon-look which suits their company's history but is graphically overrated and lazy. The Hobbit is no different in essence as it was a less "mature" direction than the original LotR films took, and I'm guessing fewer people's reputation were at stake as the franchise was already well-established.

The cutting edge in computer graphics is usually found in still imagery (see @Miike_Snow's link; gorgeous) followed by cinematics in gaming, with films lagging behind. It astounds me that even though it's the exact same thing, filmmakers and game designers approach the subject wildly differently.

Besides strong lighting, physical realism is probably most undervalued. Materials and their properties are vitally important, yet rarely discussed. Those weightless dolls @3:49 were done with little effort - a good animator's perfectionism is not appreciated by the average client as @mfx mentioned. You mention that a real frame of reference is required, but the mind can genuinely be tricked with enough effort, and a fully man-made animation can look very real given enough effort. It's just that real footage is a much more efficient way to get there.

But businesses want cash, the consumer wants the latest trend and artistic quality suffers.

So yes, quality is declining, even if the progress of technology compensates for this somewhat. But this has been going on for a long time. And it's not just the arts - large groups of people have a tendency to cause all sorts of decay, a constant found in all societies. That's why "going mainstream" is also called "selling out".

Thankfully, the upswings can be explosive. Who knows, perhaps the quantum computer is soon realized, followed by literally photorealistic media. The visual films of our time will be forgotten as their narratives and acting tend to be mediocre. We'll remember the LotR trilogy though, which was a masterpiece for many non-CGI reasons.

7 minutes ago

Just so you know, they had 6 weeks to do the final fight for Black Panther :/

10 minutes ago

Yes!! Thought was the only one that hated the Hobbit cause the cgi was poorly made and cartoonish.

48 minutes ago

Ihave to agree as far as I know weight, references and lighting are extremely improtant in creating something real references will always be the best to help with creating artwork overall especially with something fake.

1 hour ago

I stopped watching Hollywood films years ago because the bar was lowered but man, that's so terrible CGI....

1 hour ago

dude what black panther looks terrible im glad i never saw that , and why was there any hype around that

1 hour ago

Ready Player One was great though...

1 hour ago

The problem is that the animations have no textural flaws. There is hardly any developed skin texture showing how the material was made. It really crosses into the uncanny when things like shivering shaking and loosing balance are ignored. It really does make them like a cartoon. In older movies the contrast in flawed animation, with it being shaky made it realistic in the sense that physics actually was animated into the CGI. When human characters are done in modern CGI I see these problems right off the back, the lips dont quiver and stretch properly to articulate or have a lack of articulation, the skin shows no variety in pour shape, that a blurrier shade could have done better. Reality is not perfect, even visually. If you want a realistic animation, dont make a perfect one, make a realistic one.

2 hours ago

I thought the exact same thing while watching dumbo because my gosh some scenes it that was horrible

2 hours ago

ok chadwick boseman said himself being in that suit was killing him due to heat so ur full of shit

3 hours ago

Should of referenced the Final fantasy movies some, they got some crazy CGI to where some scenes you are wondering if they are cgi or live action

3 hours ago

Sir, I’ve seen most of these movies in the theaters. The clips you are displaying are heavily filtered. They look different then what was seen in theaters.

3 hours ago

How about Doctor Strange's CGI?

3 hours ago

The studio that did black panther only had about a month to do the entire battle scene

4 hours ago

There are only so many great artists in the industry. When big budget projects need the best of the best those artists have to dedicate their time to that project removing them from being used by other movies. this is why Marvels CGI can be hit and miss. Sometimes Marvel gets the good stuff and sometimes they don't. The budget also matters but I doubt budget is the reason Black Panthers end fight looked so bad.

4 hours ago

The reason the black panther climax scene looks so fake is because the VFX team didn’t have enough time before release to make the scene look more real. That still though doesn’t excuse the fact that it looks so bad

5 hours ago

CGI works a bit like a weight on a scale.

Too little, not that good to look at (apart from some films)

Too much, way too rubbery to the point where the Lego version looks more real

Just enough: Avatar

5 hours ago

You lost me at ''Black Panther is a fantastic movie'' Goodbye soyboy.

5 hours ago

Because he has a different opinion than you and likes black panther makes him a soy boy.Granted the movie is however mediocre and very overrated (even though your Comment had nothing to do with the video main point so whatever.)

2 minutes ago

I could barely get through Avatar because of how much I disliked the CGI.

5 hours ago

Idk I watched The Hobbit and I was entertained and happy.. because any LOTR movie that comes out I'm going to support because the original trilogy of films are my favorite films of all time by Peter Jackson.

5 hours ago

CGI NEEDS TO GET WORSE... THEY GOTTA SELL THE BLUEBEAM CRAP/NASA MOON AND MARS CRAP.... JUST YEAH....CGI IS GETTING SUPER GAY.

6 hours ago

This would explain why I don't care to go to the theater any more

6 hours ago

100% agree

6 hours ago

I liked movies when special effects were produced by Garbo, Dunne, Loy, Grant, Fred ... Now there are no effects like those ... Now people, animals, plants ... they are just dolls.

6 hours ago

I do think lord of the rings look good

6 hours ago

Bruh

7 hours ago

you said to correct you in the comics below. i can't find the comics is the comments ok too?

7 hours ago

There's more than one Avatar?

7 hours ago

I remembered this video after watch the trailer of Terminator: Dark Fate. The CGI in Dark Fate is much worse than in Terminator 2 (and Terminator 2 was made in 1991)...

7 hours ago