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Silver Card Talk Member
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SFX have always taken a long time to produce. Even back in the classic years. CG is just a different way of producing them. Green screen sets pre-date CG by several decades Smile When it was all done by hand, it could take even longer. The skeleton fight scene in 'Jason and the Argonauts' took Ray Harryhausen three or four months to complete. They are churning out films and TV series much faster these days than they used to take as they have far too much air time to film due to all the different channels, streaming services and whatever that are burning through the content 24 hours a day.

Until or unless the amount of air time that needs to be filled goes down, things are only going to get worse.

People watching TV shows and films on their phones and tablets are the ones who complain the most if the content isn't at the maximum resolution available for their tiny little screens. So production companies just aim for the best that come up with. If you want to see the alternative, try watching some of the Genre movies that pop up with similar titles to the big releases but with tiny budgets Smile

I really like to watch films with a good story or even ones that are just entertaining. SFX have always been involved...just different. Think 'Mary Poppins', 'Around the World in 80 Days' and even 'Gone With the Wind'. SFX were important in all of them and that took time. It always will.

BTW, there is a specific problem with dark scenes on TV such as 'The Long Night' in GoT and several scenes in HotD which featured the same approach. They are created to meet the demands of the directorial vision of the episodes using specialised, high quality screens. Unfortunately, very few also take the trouble to check out how they will look on 'normal' home TV sets that their customers will be using. In the studio, the dark scenes still show the detail everyone wants. In most people's homes, everything is just too dark to see anything. There have been a lot of complaints about the problem in HotD. HBO just said it was an artistic/directorial choice and left it there.

Hm, too much time on my hands today. That's two rants already Smile
 
Posts: 1467 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Jessica
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I agree that CG takes a long time, as do practical effects. I myself prefer to see practical effects and prosthetics. I'm just a fan of that stuff.

But I also think that shows/movies lean way too heavy on CG. Way too heavy. I mean, it looks great and cool and sometimes is integral to the plot. But most of the time, it isn't needed to be honest. If you have a good story, good actors, you don't need all the flashy crap. I often get frustrated with the CG that is everywhere nowadays. I prefer not to have it, it takes away from the show for me somehow, maybe because of my love of practical effects. I don't know. I just think it has gotten really overboard.

In regards to "The Long Night" in GOT, OMG it was horrible. I have no idea what happened in that episode (and I had to watch it at night with the lights off to try to see and still couldn't see). I cannot believe that the episode actually got to air, I mean seriously? It is all black!! They built up to it, and built up to it and then we got a black screen for an hour?! Ugh. There is a Youtuber (Steven He, "When movies are so dim you actually can't see anything" is the title) and he is basically making fund of this situation. He's really funny but it is so true. This artistic vision stuff really is crazy. They need to think of the end product (because it is a product) and how we, the consumer, watch it instead of how it looks on their super computer/monitors.

Anyway, that's my rant Big Grin

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Jessica
 
Posts: 1923 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA | Registered: May 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Jessica, you're right CG is everywhere these days but a large percentage of it goes unseen by the viewers. Take a look at this Bridgerton SFX reel to see what I'm talking about. Please watch the whole reel Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG7QWOlyiik
 
Posts: 1467 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of chesspieceface
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quote:
Originally posted by Kevin F:
quote:
Originally posted by chesspieceface:
I'm inclined to agree. I think they should try to whip up 12 episodes a year for these kinds of shows and then drop them one episode each month,
People seem to forget just how long it takes to produce shows like 'Stranger Things' and HotD. The CG effects take a huge amount of time to produce, if you want them to look good. With shows like HotD, the bulk of what you see on screen has been created by a large team of highly skilled CG artists and animators. The most recent series of 'Stranger Things' was the same. The actors are finished in a few weeks, the SFX teams then have to work for months and months to get everything else right. Increasingly, they are being given insufficient time and being forced to work ridiculous hours to make the deadlines.

You can't just 'whip up 12 episodes' in less than a year and hope that they will still look good. This is increasingly true now that most homes have 4K UHD TV sets on their walls. While computers have become faster and more powerful, it still takes horrendous amounts of time to render out the final products. Then there is the amount of time it takes to create everything, work out and implement the animations involved and then you have to combine everything to produce the finished product. This takes months and months....if you want it to look good.

I have an active interest in 3D computer graphics and still sit at my PC and create models and animations. I even got to do a bit of contract work for the CG animated reboot of Gerry Andersons' 'Captain Scarlet' a few years ago. So I know what is involved in producing this sort of thing at high quality.

I do sometiimes wonder if people realise just how much CG is used in TV shows these days. Not just the superhero and scifi shows but even historical dramas like 'Bridgerton' make extensive use of CG effects to produce what is seen on screen.

The simple truth is, if you want multi-episode TV series that have cinema quality on-screen production, then you are going to have to allow for longer times between seasons. Anything less will result in increasingly poor quality.

*** Rant over *** Big Grin


It would be roughly the same amount of episodes as they make now, just not aired weekly for 3 months leading to 18+ months between seasons. That would eliminate the long stretches with no new material which was the main idea there.

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Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
 
Posts: 3182 | Location: California | Registered: December 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by Jessica:
I myself prefer to see practical effects and prosthetics. I'm just a fan of that stuff.

In regards to "The Long Night" in GOT, OMG it was horrible.

This artistic vision stuff really is crazy. They need to think of the end product (because it is a product) and how we, the consumer, watch it instead of how it looks on their super computer/monitors.


Yes, Yes, and Yes.
 
Posts: 9725 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Jessica
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quote:
Originally posted by Kevin F:
Jessica, you're right CG is everywhere these days but a large percentage of it goes unseen by the viewers. Take a look at this Bridgerton SFX reel to see what I'm talking about. Please watch the whole reel Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG7QWOlyiik


OMG that was frustrating to watch! What a waste! I can understand doing CGI for the bee and peacock (they don't always show their tails), as well as turning a modern road into cobblestone since those are not too common anymore. But OMG, everything that they CG'd is readily available to film in front of!! What a waste of time, effort, and money. Terrible.

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Jessica
 
Posts: 1923 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA | Registered: May 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Jessica:
OMG that was frustrating to watch! What a waste! I can understand doing CGI for the bee and peacock (they don't always show their tails), as well as turning a modern road into cobblestone since those are not too common anymore. But OMG, everything that they CG'd is readily available to film in front of!! What a waste of time, effort, and money. Terrible.
Well, sort of. It's a lot cheaper to film indoors in a studio and always will be. So scenes in a street can be shot indoors using a blue screen to which they can add CG buildings. It's also better from an environmental point of view as they don't have to build then scrap a load of temporary physical sets.

Adding greenery/flowers/etc to an old building is cheaper and safer using CG. No insurance costs, no risk of damaging irreplaceable stonework, windows, etc.

The stag would have been a nightmare to film for real.

Old cityscapes don't exist to be filmed any more. Modern buildings have very different roofs.

The horserace where they put up a stand and filled it with people rather than doing it for real. Cheaper to use CG.

Location filming is always challenging and time consuming, so companies look for more cost effective alternatives. For a lot of the scenes in that reel, they were saving money not wasting it.

But my point was, how many people watching the original programmes even noticed that any of that stuff was CG or even thought that it might be used in a series like that ? The SFX reel showed just how much is used in non-SFX driven productions. As I said, an awful lot of CG is so good it goes unnoticed by most viewers Smile

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Kevin F,
 
Posts: 1467 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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IF CG was unavailable, how many of the scenes in that reel would really need it just to provide backgrounds? How many camera shots could simply be close ups? Why does a shot of racing stands have to take on the scope of the "burning of Atlanta"?

Yes, it might be cheaper than location shooting for the necessary scenes, but it's just waste when you don't need it and you could just film. You might need it for action sequences or anything that can't be physically done then and there. That's why it used to be called special effects, because they are supposed to be special. That's why postproduction isn't supposed to take 3 times as long as the actual production.

If they are just normal scenes, where the viewers don't even notice the CG because they are watching the actors and trying to follow what they are saying, do you even need the CG?

And if the CG is a distraction, why keep using it? If you messed up "The Long Night", and everybody knows it, why keep using the same technique in HotD when people are saying that can't see what's on the screen. That makes no sense at all. Roll Eyes
 
Posts: 9725 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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A lot of the CG in the reel would have been in older films in the form of hand painted mattes and travelling mattes. Just a new way of creating them. The more things change, the more they remain the same Smile
 
Posts: 1467 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
Picture of Jessica
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quote:
Originally posted by Kevin F:
quote:
Originally posted by Jessica:
OMG that was frustrating to watch! What a waste! I can understand doing CGI for the bee and peacock (they don't always show their tails), as well as turning a modern road into cobblestone since those are not too common anymore. But OMG, everything that they CG'd is readily available to film in front of!! What a waste of time, effort, and money. Terrible.
Well, sort of. It's a lot cheaper to film indoors in a studio and always will be. So scenes in a street can be shot indoors using a blue screen to which they can add CG buildings. It's also better from an environmental point of view as they don't have to build then scrap a load of temporary physical sets.

Adding greenery/flowers/etc to an old building is cheaper and safer using CG. No insurance costs, no risk of damaging irreplaceable stonework, windows, etc.

The stag would have been a nightmare to film for real.

Old cityscapes don't exist to be filmed any more. Modern buildings have very different roofs.

The horserace where they put up a stand and filled it with people rather than doing it for real. Cheaper to use CG.

Location filming is always challenging and time consuming, so companies look for more cost effective alternatives. For a lot of the scenes in that reel, they were saving money not wasting it.

But my point was, how many people watching the original programmes even noticed that any of that stuff was CG or even thought that it might be used in a series like that ? The SFX reel showed just how much is used in non-SFX driven productions. As I said, an awful lot of CG is so good it goes unnoticed by most viewers Smile


I honestly had no idea that it was actually cheaper. I really thought that the CG would be more time consuming and expensive. Huh. Learn something new every day. :-)

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Jessica
 
Posts: 1923 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA | Registered: May 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
And if the CG is a distraction, why keep using it? If you messed up "The Long Night", and everybody knows it, why keep using the same technique in HotD when people are saying that can't see what's on the screen. That makes no sense at all. Roll Eyes


I haven't seen HotD yet, so can't comment on it. But if the scenes are dark like The Long Night, OMG that is soooo stupid on their part. The biggest complaint about that episode was the darkness. Really dumb to not listen to the audience...

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Jessica
 
Posts: 1923 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA | Registered: May 26, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Silver Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Jessica:
quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
And if the CG is a distraction, why keep using it? If you messed up "The Long Night", and everybody knows it, why keep using the same technique in HotD when people are saying that can't see what's on the screen. That makes no sense at all. Roll Eyes


I haven't seen HotD yet, so can't comment on it. But if the scenes are dark like The Long Night, OMG that is soooo stupid on their part. The biggest complaint about that episode was the darkness. Really dumb to not listen to the audience...
The scenes are at least as dark and there are more of them, though quite short.

The really bad part is that other franchises have followed their lead. There is a scene in the recent Obi Wan series where it is too dark to really follow what is going on. Not as bad as HotD by any means but really spoiled that section...at least for me. It was an important confrontation between Obi Wan and some obscure character dressed in black Big Grin
 
Posts: 1467 | Location: Warrington, UK | Registered: January 10, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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