That Rolling Ball Droid From The Force Awakens Trailer Wasn't CGI

Vivi22

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Pyrian said:
Heheh. Remember when people identified CGI on account of it looking bad? Now we think things are CGI because they look too good.
In this case I'd say it's more a matter of people not knowing how they could actually build it rather than something looking "too good," therefore it must be CGI. A lot (probably even most) of CGI these days is still pretty obvious and fake looking. Particularly when movies overly rely on it and try to fix everything in post without properly planning the shot beforehand.
 

Vivi22

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castlewise said:
Folks are quick to point out that the prequals were CGI heavy, but CGI was terrible then.
Bullshit. The Lord of the Rings movies were released around the same time (roughly in the middle of the prequel trilogy actually), and the CGI in those looked great. And they were done without the resources of Industrial Light and Magic by a much younger team that had decades less experience in CGI. Not to mention that Jurassic Park came out in god damn 1993 and had CGI shots that hold up better than everything in the prequel trilogy. How you use CGI and plan the physical shots around what will be added later is infinitely more important now than how much processing power you have and how well it's rendered.

On the other hand, how much of Guardians of the Galaxy was CGI? All of it?
The shots with all of the ships and space battles sure. But I would say every single set the actors ever set foot on was actually built and did exist. Ask George Lucas when the last time he did that was. The answer would likely be back when he filmed Return of the Jedi. Guardians used CGI for the things they knew they needed it for, and planned their shots accordingly. And as a result they used it exceptionally well. George Lucas on the other hand basically gave up on sets and filmed anything and everything in front of a green screen.
 

Armadox

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King of Asgaard said:
Well it still looks fucking ridiculous, so really, that's another point against it.
I swear, is JJ just trying to redesign everything to absurdity? Because at this point I wouldn't be surprised if C3PO shows up as a battle mech with shoulder spikes.
Time has passed. If that is R2-D2's head on a rollerball, it's because post Empire he got his body shot off. Droids are still droids and require repairs and up-grades. So it's more likely C-3po and R2-d2 are either different, junk, or aged and nearly useless antiques.
 

Vault Citizen

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Considering how the film makers said they would be relying on cgi much less with this movie I already assumed that this robot had actually been built.
 

Lieju

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Armadox said:
King of Asgaard said:
Well it still looks fucking ridiculous, so really, that's another point against it.
I swear, is JJ just trying to redesign everything to absurdity? Because at this point I wouldn't be surprised if C3PO shows up as a battle mech with shoulder spikes.
Time has passed. If that is R2-D2's head on a rollerball, it's because post Empire he got his body shot off. Droids are still droids and require repairs and up-grades. So it's more likely C-3po and R2-d2 are either different, junk, or aged and nearly useless antiques.
They are too iconic to change that much, so I really doubt that's R2-D2.
It's more likely we'll see them looking the same design-wise but a bit busted up.
 

Soviet Heavy

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Doesn't surprise me. The way that thing rolled over the ground looked like it was real. It looked like an actual football bumping and bouncing off rocks.

I'm guessing that the droid's head is mounted on a counterweight inside the lower ball and the two sections on the outside roll around it.
 

Fox12

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Pyrian said:
Heheh. Remember when people identified CGI on account of it looking bad? Now we think things are CGI because they look too good. And the poor effects crew might have to make previous-generation physical props for people to think they look real (by dint of looking the right type of fake). Perceptions are weird.
I'm not too beat up over cgi, though I do feel it's overdone. What gets me is that everything in the originals was dirty. They looked used, while everything in the prequels was far too pristine. Just compare the Y-wing to the naboo fighter. I think that's a more important debate then cgi. Ridley Scott, at least, had a pretty grounded, earthy looking film with Prometheus, even if the script was poor.
 

chiggerwood

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Chairman Miaow said:
Doesn't change the fact that it's just R2's head on a *football. I really don't like it but whatever.
*Soccer ball. Football is a sport where the players don't fake injuries, hue hue hue.

OT:I'm actually impressed by that. Maybe I won't completely slag it off, but then again it is still directed by Jar Jar Abrams, sooooo, we'll see. I'm not asking for a lot, just minimal lens flare and a memorable, coherent plot that doesn't need elderly time traveling actors to explain things at the audience.
 

castlewise

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Vivi22 said:
castlewise said:
Folks are quick to point out that the prequals were CGI heavy, but CGI was terrible then.
Bullshit. The Lord of the Rings movies were released around the same time (roughly in the middle of the prequel trilogy actually), and the CGI in those looked great. And they were done without the resources of Industrial Light and Magic by a much younger team that had decades less experience in CGI. Not to mention that Jurassic Park came out in god damn 1993 and had CGI shots that hold up better than everything in the prequel trilogy. How you use CGI and plan the physical shots around what will be added later is infinitely more important now than how much processing power you have and how well it's rendered.


On the other hand, how much of Guardians of the Galaxy was CGI? All of it?
The shots with all of the ships and space battles sure. But I would say every single set the actors ever set foot on was actually built and did exist. Ask George Lucas when the last time he did that was. The answer would likely be back when he filmed Return of the Jedi. Guardians used CGI for the things they knew they needed it for, and planned their shots accordingly. And as a result they used it exceptionally well. George Lucas on the other hand basically gave up on sets and filmed anything and everything in front of a green screen.
Lord of the Rings is are good examples because I've seen a lot the behind the scenes stuff. LoTR it was very specific about what it used its CGI for because the CGI wasn't that good. That's why you saw the "bigatures" and scale tricks and other stuff which allowed them to use real props. The true CGI elements (I'm thinking of the wargs or some of the mass battle sequences) dont hold up. Its true for Jurrasic Park, as well. The TRex in that still looks good because most of the time its anamatronic and they put an incredible amount of work into the model (like hand carving individual scales). The true CGI stuff (I'm thinking of the initial scene with all of the dinosaurs or when the Galimimus are running) doesn't hold up nearly as well.

Compare that to the Hobbit where they don't use bigatures at all and pretty much every shot has at least one green screened element. (They even green screened the backdrop in one particular outdoors set). The extended edition for the Hobbit shows an incredible amount of green screening. I haven't watched the GoG behind the scenes stuff, so I don't really know about that. However my guess is that while many sets were partially real, I bet almost every single one of them that features any kind of wide shot has a green screen somewhere, if only for the backdrop. Offhand I can think of the following set driven scenes which must have used some sort of green screen. The planet sequence at the beginning, the city sequence, the large central interior room of the prison, any of the wide shots in Knowhere, any of the interiors of the Kree battleship which have a view of the outside.

I don't want this to be a thing though. Your main complaint is true enough. Lucas used a lot of CGI in the prequals and even if the CGI had held up it turns what was originally a very "real" feeling series into a "toy" feeling one. Its nice that the new movie seems to be trying to capture the feel of the original trilogy. But all new effects driven movies have crazy stupid amounts of CGI and Star Wars wont be any different.
 

JimB

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Vivi22 said:
On the other hand, how much of Guardians of the Galaxy was CGI? All of it?
The shots with all of the ships and space battles sure. But I would say every single set the actors ever set foot on was actually built and did exist.
I am 98% sure I heard reports to that effect, yes. I mean, after a certain distance a green screen was hung up--hang on, let me find a video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqWX0EkdOYo]--but from what I remember, the actors were on actual sets.
 

Nimcha

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That's cool.

I hope they actually try to remember that not having CGI doesn't automatically make a good movie...
 

Zealous

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Okay, great? That droid being CGI or practical doesn't really mater compared to the fact that it's just another one of JJs "oooooh, shiny" moments where he puts something in that seems new and interesting, but upon any further inspection just seems incredibly stupid and nonsensical (lightsword anyone?).
 

Armadox

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Lieju said:
Armadox said:
King of Asgaard said:
Well it still looks fucking ridiculous, so really, that's another point against it.
I swear, is JJ just trying to redesign everything to absurdity? Because at this point I wouldn't be surprised if C3PO shows up as a battle mech with shoulder spikes.
Time has passed. If that is R2-D2's head on a rollerball, it's because post Empire he got his body shot off. Droids are still droids and require repairs and up-grades. So it's more likely C-3po and R2-d2 are either different, junk, or aged and nearly useless antiques.
They are too iconic to change that much, so I really doubt that's R2-D2.
It's more likely we'll see them looking the same design-wise but a bit busted up.
Either busted up and set aside for newer models, or shiny and new and in the thick of it even thought they are outdated heaps. Yah. When you really think about it R2 should be old tech, and C3po was always built out of scrap parts anyways. Both characters should be in a scene and then forgotten for the new technology that has happened since the end of the Empire.
 

Something Amyss

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Lieju said:
They are too iconic to change that much, so I really doubt that's R2-D2.
It's more likely we'll see them looking the same design-wise but a bit busted up.
I'd like to see C-3P0 with a platinum chassis.

And I wouldn't be surprised to see them in at least working condition at the behest of Luke and company.

Also, while the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, I wouldn't be surprised if the popularity of R2 astromechs got carried into the sequels. Since they remained popular well into the future, I imagine parts would be relatively easy to come by. Not so sure about 3P0, though.

Armadox said:
Time has passed. If that is R2-D2's head on a rollerball, it's because post Empire he got his body shot off.
It doesn't look like Artoo's head. I imagine this is going to be something that's mostly there for the toy sales. In fact, we may have our new Jar Jar. Who is infinitely better than the old one because we can't understand what he's saying.

castlewise said:
Its true for Jurrasic Park, as well. The TRex in that still looks good because most of the time its anamatronic and they put an incredible amount of work into the model (like hand carving individual scales). The true CGI stuff (I'm thinking of the initial scene with all of the dinosaurs or when the Galimimus are running) doesn't hold up nearly as well.
Honestly, though, I think Jurassic Park holds up better than Phantom. This does, yes, come down in part to the use of animatronics, but even the CG looks less dated to me. And part of that may come down to the fact that they didn't just greenscreen the entire movie and go from there. But honestly, I think the CGI aged better in JP, even if it's clearly aged. And with a 6 year gap between the movies, that does say something. More, perhaps, that Lucas should have understood the limitations, but even so.
 

wooty

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Doesn't this just go to show that CGI has become so over used that we just seem to expect it to be everywhere, even when something is actually real.

I do hope there is a good balance in the new films.
 

Vigormortis

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It truly fascinates me how pissed off some people are over such inconsequential details as the claymore light-saber and the ball droid. And more over, it especially fascinates me that so many are arguing against the new saber and droid designs because of their 'impracticality'.

It's Star Wars people. Since when did ANY of it's world, character, weapon, droid, and ship designs revolve around practicality and logic?

I mean, we're talking about a story-verse that has swords made of light, doors that close in a fraction of a second, laser weapons that somehow impart impact force, bottomless pits everywhere with nary a guardrail in sight, and winged fighter-craft whose wings are useless both in space and in a planet's atmosphere.

Impracticality is Star Wars' M.O.
 

Lieju

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Zachary Amaranth said:
Lieju said:
They are too iconic to change that much, so I really doubt that's R2-D2.
It's more likely we'll see them looking the same design-wise but a bit busted up.
I'd like to see C-3P0 with a platinum chassis.

And I wouldn't be surprised to see them in at least working condition at the behest of Luke and company.

Also, while the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, I wouldn't be surprised if the popularity of R2 astromechs got carried into the sequels. Since they remained popular well into the future, I imagine parts would be relatively easy to come by. Not so sure about 3P0, though.
In-universe-wise,I don't see why they couldn't reconstruct their whole bodies. Especially if they're used in ways they weren't originally meant to. (Because how much strength ormobility a protocol-droid would need for example?)

But I got a feeling they'll be basically same design-wise but some dirt rubbed on them because THEY ARE OLD TOO GET IT?

Maybe C-3PO has a fake Santa-beard.
 

Zontar

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Yes, because the droid being CGI was the issue with it, not the fact that it's both stupid looking and impractical.
 

faefrost

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LazyAza said:
Magmarock said:
I wander if the ships are CGI. That what I would like to know.
Well they aren't going to be prop making ships for the purposes of action scenes etc (because films stopped doing miniature work like that a long time ago) only for closeup scenes with actors present where they can just be full scale static props such as the xwing abrams is standing in front of in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWBGrkc360M
One of the initial mandates for the new SW movie from Disney was as much as possible they had to go back to "Practical Effects", with the emphasis on models and production miniatures fleshed out with CGI rather than being pure CGI. The safe bet is pretty much any spaceship or vehicle has been created in a studio scale filming miniature form.

heck, we know the X Wings and Falcon were not simply created as miniatures. They made full 1:1 scale sets for them.