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Noooooo!!! ILM dumps their physical effects unit!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with probably the saddest news to appear before my bespectacled geeky eyes in a long, long time. In a way, this is an obituary for ILM's miniatures and model department.

Lucasfilm is selling off its physical production unit, which handles everything that is not CGI work at ILM. Now, I understand business isn't as booming for practical effects these days as it was in the '80s, but goddamnit. To me this represents the magic of ILM, not the digital world. I grew up with these guys, my imagination was fed a steady diet of ILM's work. STAR WARS, INDIANA JONES, GHOSTBUSTERS (2), POLTERGEIST, WRATH OF KHAN, DARK CRYSTAL, LABYRINTH, GOONIES, COCOON, BACK TO THE FUTURE, NEVERENDING STORY and so many more...

I love CGI. Some masterful work has been done on screen, including ILM's work on JURASSIC PARK and more recently WAR OF THE WORLDS and A.I. There were moments in A.I. that had my jaw hanging open. However, when I think of the magic of cinema I think of those tried and true magic tricks... Models, make-up, glass, mirrors, forced perspective, manipulation of light... To me that's the magic of cinema.

The news isn't all bad. The unit is being sold to a man by the name of Mark Anderson, a model maker at ILM for more than 15 years. The new name is Kerner Optical and it will get priority whenever ILM needs to farm out physical effects.

I had a chance to visit ILM a couple years ago when they were trying to pimp the VAN HELSING DVD. I hated the movie, but I couldn't pass up an invitation to ILM, no matter how many crappy she-vampires and werewolves I'd have to watch. When I was there I saw 3 matte paintings. The first one took my breath away. It was of the big shield generator dish sticking above the trees of Endor from RETURN OF THE JEDI. I'd seen that image a hundred times as a kid and there it was, up in the lobby where I was getting my vistor's sticker. The second of three was up in the same lobby and was of NeverNever Land from Spielberg's HOOK. Not as breathtaking, but a work of art in its own right.

I saw the last matte painting in one of the hallways of the building. It was of a snowy tarmac. DIE HARD 2. I was told that was the lasty matte painting ILM ever did. That really made me sad. That was then almost 15 years old.

I guess the physical effects house still lives on in Kerner Optical, but it's now not part of ILM. To me Industrial Light and Magic is now simply Industrial Light. The Magic leaves with its physical effects department.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 14, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by Bishop6

    time moves on

  • June 14, 2006, 8:15 a.m. CST

    oh whtf!!

    by Bishop6

    I was first!!!!!!!!

  • June 14, 2006, 8:16 a.m. CST

    sell off the miniatures on eBay!

    by durhay

    I call the Tauntaun!

  • June 14, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Shitty news

    by Archduke_Chocula

    Just watched the Indy doc again too.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:23 a.m. CST

    "Lucas Film sell's 'Everything Good'...

    by brycemonkey

    to pay for more shit CGI no one wants!" Is the actual title. or "Lucas Film sells everything good so George can buy another house/car/boat/sandwich!"

  • June 14, 2006, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Did they auction off Phil Tippet too?

    by I Dunno

    I remember reading about a scene from Poltergeist they did at the end of the film where the house implodes. They built this 5 foot model of the house for some insane amount of money and time and put a huge vacuum under it and sucked the whole thing in. Obviously if they fucked it up they'd have to build the thing again. I also remember reading about the ghosts in Raiders being made of silk and filmed underwater. It seems like FX were a lot more fun to figure out how to do and execute back then. But time marches on. As a digital movie production student, I can't say I'm too heartbroken but yeah, it is the end of an era. Harry, pull some strings and get me an internship at ILM. I'll pay you double the subscription rate to this site for a whole year.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:25 a.m. CST

    "The Magic leaves withits physical effects department."

    by newc0253

    puh-leaze. i love mattes and models as much as the next geek who grew up on ILM movies but this is bloody silly. yes, CGI is often cheap and shitty and even a good CGI shot sometimes lacks the grit and authenticity of a decent model. but CGI is getting better all the time and, at the end of the day, it's how it looks that is important to the moviegoer, not the painstaking craft that goes into it. is Quint seriously suggesting that ILM should keep a bunch of matte painters and model makers on payroll just for the sake of nostalgia?

  • June 14, 2006, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Surely this TB will descend into the usual anti-GL crap

    by Lone Fox

    So I'll get this in early. ILM is a business, and whether folk like it or not, there is just not enough demand for miniature FX work anymore. It's time consuming, costly, and often hit-and-miss. Yes, the same can be said of bad CG work, but ILM have always set the standard and it makes sense to concentrate on the next step forward. A shame to see it go (or rather, change hands) but that's life.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I ask you this, assholes

    by Shigeru

    Would you rather have the CGI Jabba from the special edition of New Hope, or the giant puppet from ROTJ? This is fucking bad news bears.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:39 a.m. CST

    Not as bad as it seems

    by performingmonkey

    Sure, they're selling off the physical effects unit, but they're selling it to a guy who's been in the department for years, and they are always going to be first choice when ILM want any model work doing. Like it says, they will now be able to do more projects that the HUGE ILM wouldn't normally be offered because they're so HUGE. It's better all round for the unit. They actually did some great model work on the last two episodes, the Geonosis arena being particularly stunning.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:40 a.m. CST

    This doesn't really effect anything.

    by AlgertMopper

    Did you even read your own damn article? It's being bought by a guy that works for them, and they get top priority when ILM needs to work. What's the problem?

  • June 14, 2006, 8:40 a.m. CST

    No more Man in suit??????????????

    by TheResident

    goddamn!!!!!!! now im angry >=(

  • June 14, 2006, 8:44 a.m. CST

    i want a movie thats all matte paintings

    by tripp5

    it would be like an all green screen movie, except "practical."

  • June 14, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Lucas Sells Soul

    by future help

    and Joseph Cambell saw it coming (or going)

  • June 14, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    I'm with AlgertMopper

    by filker-tom

    This doesn't affect anything. It does, however, show the encroaching senility of some movie-geek folks who want the CGI to be more and more realistic and more and more prevalent, and then are shocked -- shocked! -- when it happens, and the older physical models aren't needed any more. I mean, cah-mon. The entire POINT of most SFX and modelling software is to do things that are damn near impossible to do with models.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Why it's kind of a big deal.

    by Shigeru

    Yeah the practical effects company will still get work (maybe) and ILM will go to them first. That's all good. But why this is kind of sad is because it shows that Lucas and ILM do not want to be associated with this kind of moviemaking anymore.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Good point Performingmonkey & Algetmopper

    by half vader

    But the weird thing is that there are more miniatures in the NEW Star Wars movies than the old ones, and many of the shots the CG haterz moan about were actually digital combos with an awful lot of traditional miniature work. I'm not that sad about matte painting being digital though, as it has freed that art from the tight consraints the artists worked under. Ask people like Barron or Pangrazio and although we all like the romantic notion of the old process, I'm sure they'd agree as guys who've crossed over that painting in the digital realm has many technical and aesthetic points in its favour. Having said that, I saw some of the Hoth paintings in the Archives at the ranch once and they were absolutely awesome.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:55 a.m. CST

    So what? This is nothing.

    by Doctor_Sin

    This is like that 'panic' article a few days ago about Avi "leaving" Marvel. Bullshit. The fx dept. is being sold to an employee who will own it and get prime choice cut of preferential treatment whenever ILM needs physical fx. IT'S NOT GOING AWAY, you sad assmangling buttmuncher. Enough with the "pass the hankies" crap everytime LFL/ILM/GL announces anything. Newsflash: GL has bigger things to think about than how happy he makes any of us. Nor does he wake up and ponder ways to 'screw' people. Saying some dumb, weepy-eyed shit like "The Magic leaves with its physical effects department" is just narrow-minded and lacking in vision and progress.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:59 a.m. CST

    That final matte shot in Raiders...

    by Billyeveryteen

    Is a fucking masterpiece. Sigh.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:04 a.m. CST

    Doesn't it also mean

    by blackwood

    that the practical effects wing can now pursue work that ILM wouldn't do? If anything, should be a boon to smaller genre pics (horror is top of those for whom practical effects are by and large always better).

  • June 14, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST


    by blackwood

    repeater. In my defense I didn't read anything before talking back. Repeater.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:07 a.m. CST

    ROTJ vs New Hope Jabba?

    by Saluki

    Neither. PM Jabba will do just fine. This news actually makes me a little happy. Bringing a focus on making CGI even better is where the future is at.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Yep, sad.

    by DocPazuzu

    Just how much charm, magic and elbow grease went into those effects is really made obvious when reading about ILM. I have those two massive and massively illustrated books they published in 1985 (The Art of Special Effects) and 1995 (Into the Digital Realm). The first one details the first ten years of their work and the second one the subsequent ten. From what I understand, the plan was to publish a new book once every ten years. It's telling that they're already one year overdue for the next one. Something tells me they're having trouble finding ways to entertainingly describe computer number crunching enough to fill a book of the preceeding volumes' magnitude. Snapshots of wire-frame models, computer consoles and tech nerds just doesn't have the same punch, ya know?

  • June 14, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Re: Man In Suit

    by gillbates

    There's a place in Japan called "Tobu World Square" that has 102 of the world's most famous architectural monuments in 1/25 scale miniature size. The park includes such structures as the Taj Mahal, Empire State Building, the Pyramids of Egypt and The Forbidden City of China just to name a few. The quality and level of detail of these models is stunning. The entire park includes about 140,000 miniature people and each one is different. If you want to see what physical effects are capable of and/or feel like Godzilla for a day, this is the place to go to. I think it was made by the same guys who did the miniatures for the Godzilla movies. The main site with a Flash presentation is here and you can Google to see pictures from people who have visited the place to get a better sense of the scale of the buildings.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Old tech

    by beelkay

    While models and miniatures, etc., probably have some place in movie-making nowadays, CGI is the future, and ILM probably did the right thing. There don't need to be many physical effects companies now.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:27 a.m. CST

    Brick Price- Whatever Happened...

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    Anyone remember Brick Price Studios...they were old school effects people from back in the early STAR WARS-inspired sci-fi movie days...worked on NBC's "Project:UFO" and a bunch of lower budget movies...

  • June 14, 2006, 9:29 a.m. CST

    we should get rid of CGI altogether.

    by chickychow

    everything should be done with paper mache and GI Joe figures. Explosions can be done with hairspray and a bic lighter, or those baking soda volcanoes you asswipes used to make in science class. I never made one of those. I made a potato gun. but I used baby muskrats instead. I shot muskrats out of a moving car, capped some dudes who was givin me trouble. that muskrat barrage put an end to that nonsense... YOU want a muskrat shot up your ass? didnt think so, punk. go make a fuckin volcano, you pumpkin-eatin' bitch.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:34 a.m. CST

    I should add...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...that my post wasn't an anti-CGI statement. It's just a bit melancholy to realize that an era consisting of a particular form of artistic creativity more or less has gone to its grave.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:43 a.m. CST

    George Lucas - The Man, The Myth, The Money Hungry B...

    by Capt. Murphy

    ...astard. I'm sure it was sold due to a lack of interest in physical effects by outside companies, which is sad, because if anyone could keep non-CG alive, it's ILM. Unfortunately, it seems like if there's anyone that wants to kill's ILM.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Blackwood gets it - perfectly

    by Doctor_Sin

    ILM doesn't want to 'waste' resources on practical fx - so now they have a 'partner' company to handle that. I bet in all the fine print, Lucas owns a share of stock in this 'new' company. "Hey, filmmaker! YOu want ILM-quality practical fx? Well, we don't handle that...but this other 'unrelated' company does - and they have years of ILM experience." It's a fucking win-win situation.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:48 a.m. CST

    ILM did not become succesful dwelling on the past...

    by Just Plain Steve

    They have made a few crappy CGI effects (Mummy Returns) But their ability to look at their mistakes is why the CGI Yodo in Episode II is a hell of a lot better than the Puppet in Episode I. They are imporving on themselves. The problem everyone has with CGI is its unlimited possiblities. It doesn't matter how it was made, if you see something impossible on the screen, everyone now assumes it was computers, no matter how it was done. Morning the loss of pratical effects is actually just morning the loss of special effects innocence.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:48 a.m. CST

    The Bearded One

    by lancelot10

    Dumped what helped make him who he is today. I suppose its been old technology for years but there is something special to it a computer can't do. Maybe they'll be a movement back this way down the line but for now I guess CG has completely taken over.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Are you fucking kidding? This is the BEST NEWS EVER!

    by Kentucky Colonel

    Imagine, if you will, that some poos schumck somewhere wants to do his own effects movie and gives ILM a call. "Hello, I'd like to make my effects movie" "Well, sure, we'd be happy to help. We'll need a bazillion dollars up front to program all your eye candy in a computer" --CLICK--. Now, the same guy calls up Mr. ILM Models dept. and says the same thing. "Well, we might have to use popsiscle sticks and egg cartons, but I think we can do it for a couple o' grand." SHCWING! Computers are nice & pretty and OH-SO-IN-FOCUS...but where is the fucking soul in them? That bullshit that passes for R2D2 in Return of the Shit is lamer than a broke-dick-donkey. Give me Kenny Baker in a tin can any day! Or Jim Henson's hand up a puppet's ass as opposed to the digital Jabba. The only CGI Millenium Falcon I wanna see in on my Playstation (and I could use a game where I actually get to FLY the damned thing without having to go through all the bullshit). I'll bet the house imploding in Poltergeist might have looked cooler with CGI...but, y'know, you would KNOW it was CGI! When that came out my little twelve year old noggin couldn't figure out how the fuck they did it! You can't implode a house! No way did they simply reverse the film and the house sprang up like some kinda suburban big bang. THAT is MAGIC.'s all pixels & renderings & motion capture & artificial. I, for one, hope this "new" company goes on to achieve great things. And if Lucash ever calls him up for something I hope he tells George to get bent. Models are what made ILM, no matter how much George would like to rewrite history. So I say...great news! I look forward to seeing great and truly "Magical" things from this new development. Fuck fat Artie....Hi Fred!

  • June 14, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Capt. Murphy, you ignorant retard...

    by Atticus Finch

    Reading the fucking article. There is not a big enough call for that type of FX work anymore. If you owned a company...just pretend now...and had a bunch of guys on the payroll being used for almost nothing, would you keep them on? Well, you probably would, but since Lucas actually knows what he is doing, he sold the department in order to let them grow, not kill them, you douche.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:01 a.m. CST

    CGI is so cheap now...,

    by cookylamoo

    You wonder why slasher movies still use obvious dummies, fake blood, and cut aways. ******************* By the matte shot ever...any nominees? I'd pick Return to the Planet of the Apes. *************** I also admire the chutspah of "Beginning of the End" where they made giant grasshoppers by putting real grasshoppers on photographs of buildings.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    It's like that cocksucker Cecil D. Demille

    by I Dunno

    He does a remake of The Ten Commandments, not only in SOUND but in COLOR! What the fuck? Silent, black and white movies are what made him and he just turned his back on it. Damned kids have no sense of history.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:05 a.m. CST

    This just in: Lucas to facefuck Ray Harryhausen!

    by chickychow

    then he's gonna take a shit in the old man's hand and make him slap himself

  • June 14, 2006, 10:06 a.m. CST

    View It As An Opportunity

    by CaptDanielRoe

    For any filmaker who respects painters, sculpters, and puppetteers. The good thing about this is that the more used to the digital audiences become, the more ready they will be to be blown away by the real. ...In any case advances in robotics and digital cameras will bring back practical effects in some form.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST

    I'm glad Kentucky Col and Atticus also get it

    by Doctor_Sin

    It really makes better business sense to say "We're selling off this specific department within our company," turn around and either own controlling shares of stock or simply *buy back* the fx company. Then, said company could be advertised as "Joe Blow's Effects - A Proud Member of the Lucasfilm Ltd Roster of Companies." And LFL still makes $ off of the practical fx that smaller filmmakers rely on. It doesn't go away, just gets handled differently. I would be willing to guarantee that GL has shares of stock in this new company.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Kerner, eh?

    by woxel1


  • June 14, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    CaptDanielRoe is right.

    by I Dunno

    Even though we're about 5 years maximum to the point of 100% photorealistic CGI, legions of moviegoers are going to say, "What? X-Men Begins uses awkwardly jerky stop motion, immovable pictures painted on glass for backgrounds and robots for their FX? We're there!"

  • June 14, 2006, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Noooooo!!! Quint has just revealed how dumb he is!!!

    by llac9

    Almost as dumb as Capt. Murphy! Nooooooo!!

  • June 14, 2006, 10:44 a.m. CST


    by photoboy

    They still had a few model effects in ROTS, so I don't see the logic in dumping models and going entirely CGI...

  • June 14, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by CuervoJones

    Computers are not that good yet

  • June 14, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Physical Effects

    by Mirrorball Man

    I don't have any opinion about what Lucas does with his money, but honestly, "The Lord of the Rings" wouldn't have been half as good without Weta Workshop, and I think we can all agree on that.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    bye bye dreamy effects :-(

    by elmstreetkid

    i always preferred model work to straight-up CGI anyway. look at Poltergeist, one of the great effects films of all time. house models, creature effects, forced-perspective shots....and they still hold up today. look at ANY CGI film between '88 and '96. that stuff looks like "early cgi"..... byebye practical effects, you have gone the way of 2D animation, and you'll be missed.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Wow. Yackbacker, can you believe ...

    by llac9

    ...some of these dumbass posts? I Dont think they

  • June 14, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing Werewolves..

    by cerebulon

    Harry, I love you but you are DEAD wrong about the Van Helsing Werewolves. There were the BEST werewolves I've seen to date. Their design was flawless and exactly what I've always felt they should look like. Look at the recent competition: Underworld, American Werewolf in Paris, Cursed, Wolf, Bad Moon, Dog Soldiers, and Wolf. Sure, a few had a right body style, Dog Soldiers had it best - but they didn't get the movement. Van Helsing, for all of its siliness... really did a fantastic job with the wolves. I would love to see them set at the archtype for all future lycantropic films.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Quint, you stupid luddite.

    by Jar Jar 4 Prez

    You probably don't even know why you think the things that you do.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by Jar Jar 4 Prez

    Van Helsing was cool and had great looking werewolves.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:45 a.m. CST

    This is great news for the model shop!

    by Shaner Jedi

    It means they can now work on shows ILM needs models and miniatures for, while also bidding on model/miniature bids for shows independent of ILM. This is to compete with the likes of New Deal Studios,which works on portions of a show dealing with miniatures. Kerner Optical can now do the same. This means they can now keep their staff up and still be a great place for ILM to come to when they need stuff to blow up.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:48 a.m. CST

    Van Helsing has the best visual effects ever.

    by chickychow

    they make Return of the King's look like motherfuckin shadow puppets.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST

    You guys lauding...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...the werewolves in Van Helsing are on crack.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Uh, huh

    by ewokstew

    "Even though we're about 5 years maximum to the point of 100% photorealistic CGI" yeah... they said that when Jurassic Park came out... 13 YEARS AGO!

  • June 14, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    The way I see it...

    by judderman

    Companies like Weta have already completely outclassed ILM in terms of practical effects. And they do it for less money. If ILM wants to go all-CGI, that's fine; CGI is cheaper. That means that movie budgets will go down, which means (he said, swallowing the entire annual salt output of Poland) that ticket prices could come down. Practical effects will be farmed out to companies who actually know how to do them, like Weta, Stan Winston and the Creature Shop, and do them more cheaply.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    I don't know why I bother

    by half vader

    I know I sound like a prat for saying that but who was the moron who updated the talkbacks with the ability to post without reading the thread instead of an edit function?

  • June 14, 2006, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Kerner Optical should change it's name...

    by Tony Mike Hall

    Agree, this is a good development but Kerner Optical should change its name to something more catchy - this sounds like a Lens Crafters competitor or an optometry clinic. If we must feature the name Kerner, how about: "Kerner Krafts?" "Kerner the Market?" "Kerner Sanders?" "Kerner of State and Main?" "Tathleen Kerner?" I don't know, something. Help me out, I'm not one of those arty-farty pansy marketing people.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Matte Paintings vs digital paintings

    by Caped Revenger2

    Unfortunately, even matte paintings, like CGI, became overused there for awhile, especially by Lucasfilm movies, there for awhile. The most glaring example would be the painting of the Millennium Falcon which Han and Lando are standing in front of, in ROTJ. (The same shot is seen a few seconds later, from Han's POV out the shuttle's window.) I remember reading at the time that they were considering bringing out the full-scale set, (which incidentally was used for the deleted sandstorm scene) but Lucas said instead, "Let ILM paint it in." It's another example of overuse and overreliance on a type of effect, and the result, ironically, is that the effects artists get lazy. Think about the sheer number of matte paintings in the later Indy movies, and movies of the late 80s and early 90s. All the shots were all the same - a locked down shot, the actors standing in the lower right hand corner, with the painting of the castle/cave/floating city/whatever. And yet, even as I type this, I remember the sheer magic of those shots, maybe even because they stood out! It's still too bad that, over time, the artistry never approacjed the greats such as Albert Whitlock. The same thing is happening to CGI. The sheer availability of the technique is diluting the results.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:15 p.m. CST


    by Shaner Jedi

    don't be ignorant. This means ILM's former model shop now competes with folks like New Deal Studios and the Weta Workshop. Weta's Workshop has always been apart from Weta Digital. Get a clue.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:22 p.m. CST

    To be the single greatest stunt or effect ever seen

    by Orionsangels

    is Indy going under the truck in Raiders. That still blows my mind to this day. It's the single most badass thing a hero has ever done on film. It wasn't CGI, no models. The guy went under a fucking moving truck! That's what makes me most sad these days, is that realism is lost in movies these days.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    King George is a lazy bastard. Who sees CGI as an easy

    by Orionsangels

    way to pump out cheap effects.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    The CGI itself isn't the problem

    by Doctor_Sin

    It's the not-very good 'artists' that feel everything CGI has to bounce, flop, wave, or undulate continuously. It's the 'artists' who don't know how to craft subtle shadows and emotive scenery, because they want everything BRIGHT and CLEAR and EASY TO SEE. It's the 'artists' who don't understand that colors are slightly muted in nature and not V-V-V-VIVID. Things don't have to zip and whiz and blur by. People don't have to suddenly become rag dolls without skeletal frame. I applaud the use of CGI in crafting films - it's a great tool for helping filmmakers achieve their vision...I just wish someone would school the CGIers themselves on how to be subtle.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST


    by NathanH

    I think Lucas has lost his greedy mind, the poor chap. I picture him locked in the Skywalker ranch screening room, milk bottles full of his own piss and shit strewn about, tissue boxes on his feet, watching Greedo shooting first over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Mumbling incoherently, "ThisisthewayIalwaysintendedthescenetobe IneverwantedHantoshootfirst IalwayswantedGreedotoshootfirst ThisisthewayIalwaysintendedthescenetobeIneverwantedHantoshootfirstIalwayswantedGreedotoshootfirst". Stopping every 2hrs and 43m to wash his hands 5 times with Jar-Jar bubble bath. I'm gonna make my point as plain as white cotton panties. Lucas is nuts. Loco. Bonkers. Right now he is probably flossing his teeth for the 77th time with the original twin sunset negative. Do you think he cares about a bunch of old dusty models when they could all be re-created digitally? He probably split the original Death Star model in half and takes baths in it fortnightly.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Quint, for fuck's sake

    by DonkeyBalls

    All it is is the name of a business which is changing. Phil Tippet has been gone a long time with his own company. None of those old "magicians" have been there in a long time. This is literally a change of letterhead. Be more sad that practical effects themselves have gone the way of the dodo bird, not that ILM finally made the move legal. Things have been this way for a long, long time already.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:47 p.m. CST

    One of the best CGI effects to this day is

    by Orionsangels

    The T-Rex that Goldblum makes follow him the flare. It looks like a large animale with weight mass. That was the CGI artist. So you're right Doctor_Sin. It doesn't matter how advanced CGI is. It's up to the artst. and keep in mind JP was almost 13 years ago.

  • June 14, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST

    How 'bout "The Wonderful World of Kerner" ?

    by durhay

    He could just make the first "n" of "Kenner" into a "r".

  • June 14, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    A wise move?

    by dr_buggerlugs

    As I see it, CGI is getting cheaper and dare I say a lot easier? Soon, we'll be seeing quality cgi effects done by smaller teams, independent of a large group such as ILM for low budget digital based films. Once cgi has hit a ceiling (and it will), I always thought that physical effects would once again become the barometer of SFX technique due to the fact NOT everyone can do it...but I guess ILM don't see it that way.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:04 p.m. CST

    More work for Weta!!

    by KiwiMetal

    This is why Weta has become so good. They do it all. They know, why do it in computer when they could do it in the real world and make it physical. Sets, characters (full make up, costumes etc)and Models. Cgi is best when complementing the 'real'stuff, Not when it is the only Stuff.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Like anything, CGI is only as good as the artist behind

    by Novaman5000

    it. Look at Jurassic park. That film had FANTASTIC CGI in 1993. Awesome integration and realism. Now compare that to some of the dino shots in 2005's King Kong and it's shocking how JP is actually better in many places... 12 years later!! You'd think that in this day and age, CGI would be totally flawless, but it really is all about who's doing it, how they approach it, etc. Say what you want about the JP series, but they have always had amazingly consistent (read: AWESOME) effects.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I'm definitely not one of those people against CGI

    by Novaman5000

    If you can make it look real, I don't give a shit how you do it. If you can't do it well... Don't do it. That's my stand on any sort of effects.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Supply and Demand

    by JumpinJehosaphat

    Ultimately, someone will fill the void, if one forms, from this happening. No void, no business, more CGI -- a golden age of which we may not yet have seen. Follow the money, as the old saw goes....

  • June 14, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Kerner's tagline: We Aint ILM, but we know how to Fuck!

    by chickychow

    It goes on: You want CGI? Whattaya, a homo?!

  • June 14, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    Donkey Balls, actually...

    by Shaner Jedi

    models and miniatures haven't gone anywhere. And they still wont with this move. The Model Shop will still work on ILM films. They'll also be able to work on stuff ILM normally wouldn't bid on: like traidtional mode/miniature shows, traditional creature work,and small model/miniature boutique work like New Deal works on.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:48 p.m. CST


    by Cory849

    Amen. Well said. Anyone in the industry reading this: read Doctor_Sin's post. Then live Doctor Sin's post. kthxbye.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:52 p.m. CST

    I rented "The Sound of Thunder"

    by cookylamoo

    and I was rather plesantly surprised. OK, it wasn't the world's best CGI, but it was a lot better than guys in suits and rubber monsters. The city changing CGI and CGI Mattes were also really nice.

  • June 14, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST


    by Cory849

    I meant Doctor_Sin's most recent post...where he asks for subtlety in the use of CGI

  • June 14, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    WETA > ILM

    by digital8

  • June 14, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    They used models in Sith, people.

    by Tall_Boy

    Mustafar, bitches. That's why it looked so good.

  • June 14, 2006, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Some of you guys really slay me.

    by Lezbo Milk

    I is funny as hell to read posts on topic like this. I love the practical vs CGI debate. For the record, I love both. I love all the old matte shots, and models, etc...etc. There are some great memories for me revolving around those old movies...key word being memories. What you fuckers have to remember is we are living the experience of watching a brand new technology (CGI) go from invention to maturity within just a few decades. Who knows how much better it will get? I don't know. CGI is the way most effects will be produced now, so I'd suggest coming to terms with it. If a modern day, big budget film were released tomorrow and it was full of matte shots and guys would all go insane and die bashing your heads against the lobby of the theater post viewing. I know there is a soft spot for matte stuff...but get real, it doesn't live up to anyones expectations anymore.

  • June 14, 2006, 2:21 p.m. CST

    It really pisses me off when people call Lucas greedy

    by I Dunno

    That bastard could have made a Star Wars movie every three years from 1986-1995 and made twice what he made on the saga. He employs hundreds of people, fucking adopted more kids than Angelina Jolie, and if it weren't for him, Lord of the Rings would have been done with midgets and claymation. So whatever you think of the SE or the prequels, gets off his taint about how much money he makes because he pours a shitload of it into making genre movies look and sound better than they ever could without him.

  • June 14, 2006, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Just another case of Lucas uhh, wrapping....raking....

    by Lando Griffin

    our...uhhh...ummm...damn it, line!

  • June 14, 2006, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by durhay

    No leaf blower for him.

  • June 14, 2006, 2:38 p.m. CST

    I'd like to buy the models from Dragonslayer.

    by Nice Marmot

    That's all I really have to say, you arguing people are all a bunch of douche-bags.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Douchebags isn't hyphenated.

    by chickychow

    If you were a douchebag, you'd know that. But no, you're just a fartsniffer... Wait. Fart-sniffer..?

  • June 14, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Typical AICN

    by Liberty Valance

    Nostalgia over progress. The ways these idiots lament the loss of antiquated techniques you'd think that models always looked 100% realistic. Bullshit. You could always tell when there were models onscreen, just like you can always tell when CGI is onscreen. Special effects aren't perfect, and they never will be. You take what technology provides and suspend your disbelief. Matte paintings were a step up from rear projection and CGI backgrounds are a step up from matte. Ten years from now current CGI will seem rudimentary and the internet community will once again yearn for the nostalgic ways of the past. It's an endless cycle you dumb fucks. Accept it or go hook up your Atari 2600 to your 13-inch, rabbit-eared blck & white TV, go play River Raid and spare the rest of us your inane opinions.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Novaman5000, PJ wasn't going for realism in his dinos

    by Orionsangels

    How many times does that have to be said here? The look of PJ's King Kong is supposed to have this dream like quality too. It's not about being realistic. I like it that way. 33 Kong is far from realistic and its still a classic. PJ's king kong goes for a fantasy world. Not dino's created in a lab. king kong is not grounded in realism. its supposed to be fantastical.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:15 p.m. CST


    by savage_henry

    Is that you, Crazy Alice?

  • June 14, 2006, 3:35 p.m. CST

    Oh, horsehit, Orionsangels

    by I Dunno

    They did not intentionally make the dinosaurs and parts of Kong look like crap to give it a "dream quality". Making creatures that look like lame cartoons is not an artistic statement, it's the FX guys running out of time.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST

    lame cartoons?

    by Orionsangels

    You need your eyes examed. Cartoons don't look like the dinos in the new kong. crap is a matter of opinion. I like the way they looked. I love stop-motion for that matter. Heck, most people say the t-rex fight is the best scene in the new kong. but not for you, right? you wanted pure realism. that's all that matters to you. fuck everything else, right? well it's a fucking movie with special effects. not real life. deal with it. Just for the record. watch PJ & Weta talk about the effects in kong and how they went about creating them. in the dozen or so docs that were made for kong. They weren't going for ILM's JP dinos. They went for their own look and style. sorry if that meant cartoon looking dinos for you. too bad for you.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:57 p.m. CST

    WTF TomBodet!

    by Orionsangels

    The entire skull island is fake. give weta a break. the amount of CGI & model effects in kong is astonishing. 1930s NY for example. entirely in computer. Cut these guys some slack. They did a helluva job and got an oscar for it. maybe oscar doesn't mean much these days, but still you don't have an oscar. i think PJ's kong will age like fine wine. right now. its too new looking.

  • June 14, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST

    ILM dumbs down their physical effects unit!!

    by Orionsangels

    That should have been the headline.

  • June 14, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST


    by CrispyOne

    I suppose someone was upset when the silent movies went all talkie, too.

  • June 14, 2006, 4:42 p.m. CST

    by Evil Chicken

    Well said, Quint. Well said.

  • June 14, 2006, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Well, even with only CGI, ILM will still be better.

    by JackPumpkinhead

    Better than others. Especially better than SOME effects studio that until recently had been riding high on the undeserved fame it got because of SOME lukewarm adaptations of a great trilogy of books, but only showed its true crappy colors with the atrocious effects in SOME awful recent remake of a certain adventure / monster classic from the 30s. Wot a studio could that be?

  • June 14, 2006, 4:46 p.m. CST

    This just in...

    by crackerfarmboy

    The OT of Star Wars is being re-released with ALL NEW CGI scenes! It's called "Star Wars: Extra Special, Super Duper, Completely Unnecessary Edition Vol. 7". It finally eliminates the problem of "empty" backgrounds. Every scene will now have at least 189 CGI creatures added in the background. Most of them are said to be "utterly hilarious looking"! Lucas is quoted as being "very excited".

  • June 14, 2006, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Liberty Valance Has a Point

    by Evil Chicken

    Still in all, classic special effects are what built ILM. Having them dump

  • June 14, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Waaahhh! Quint is a little bitch! Waaahhhh!

    by Razorback

    Fuck practical effects. They look fake anyway.

  • June 14, 2006, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Shit, just read the article... ILM will stull use them

    by Razorback

    The company is being purchased by an ILM employee and renamed. ILM will use the new company, which will most likely keep the same staff, as its primary mini and model subcontractor. Lucas also sold off Pixar and still has a special relationship with that company. This is no big deal.

  • June 14, 2006, 6:13 p.m. CST

    Saw this coming from a mile away

    by alienindisguise

    Doctor sin is right. It's not the technology, it's the shit "artists" using it and almost all of their work in any cg heavy film looks like shit. Ep3,Spiderman 1,2 or should I call him rubber man and too many other to list. Their problem is they overdo it to the point of it being a fucking mess on screen. This technology still has a ways to go before it "fools" us into thinking it's real. Until then, it will continue to look fake and shitty. Physical effects will always win out no matter what.

  • June 14, 2006, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Indy 4

    by Anakin Whoopass

    Not really related to this business transaction because the ability to do physical effects is not diminishing, but I sure hope Indy 4 goes out of its way to feature a lot of real stuntmen, real locations, and real physical effects. Or that the CG is so well done that it doesn't look like CG. I don't think technological limitations are what make it look fake anymore, I think it's the ability and willingness of the artists and director to make it look real. CG is given away by impossible camera angles and unbelievable physics more than by lack of detail nowadays. And impossible camera angles and wacky physics are fine, if the whole movie is that way, but cutting between wacky CG and live-action is rarely seamless.

  • June 14, 2006, 7:04 p.m. CST

    George Lucas Raped Our Childhood!

    by Waffleking

    If you know what I mean...

  • June 14, 2006, 7:22 p.m. CST

    I Dunno

    by one9deuce

    You never fail to say something stupid in a talkback. Even if our user ID's were hidden, I would still always know which posts are yours.

  • June 14, 2006, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Is CGI going to be 100% photorealistic someday?

    by one9deuce

    HELL NO! Jurassic Park is still the best CGI of any movie, and that was 1993. I think that a lot of people on this talkback are totally on the money: The artist behind the effect is what makes it believable. Whether it's practical, miniature, or CGI it's always the filmakers behind the effects.

  • June 14, 2006, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Actually the best CGI is between JP and T2

    by Doc_Strange

    Both of those movies had absolutely convincing FX, except for some of the model work done on T2, but the CGI in those movies tops the list. I haven't seen covincing CGI done since then.

  • June 14, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST

    The last time a Lucas company did this...

    by MCVamp

    It was almost 20 years ago, and there was a division of Lucasfilm that was just a little bit too costly for the company's needs. See, he had ILM for special effects, and what this division was all about was creating stories, not short effects. In the hopes that it could still thrive on its own and become a viable company (because he did respect and admire many of its employees) Lucas sold it off. The division became known as PIXAR. SO sometimes these things have a happy ending. Just like an Asian massage.

  • June 14, 2006, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Look, didn't LOTR prove physical effects still work?

    by SpacePhil

    If I remember correctly from the "making of" stuff on the DVDs, didn't LOTR use a huge amount of models and miniatures, in addition to CGI? It seems to me that CGI is a great technique, but should be regarded as one among many, rather than as an end-all solution. Just my two cents.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    orionsangels, what're you a wart on PJ's nutsack?

    by chickychow

    I like King Kong too but I admit that the broto stampede looks terrible. The T-Rex fight? Awesome, because Weta and PJ obviously knew that that scene was the strongest in the movie and deserved the most attention. The stampede so obviously needs MONTHS-worth of work. Don't be an apologist. We hate them types round here. Next thing you'll be sayin General Grievous isn't the most awful piece of crap to ever sully my eyeballs.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:35 p.m. CST

    "Nostalgia over progress"...asinine comment of the day

    by IndustryKiller

    Right because you know movie are so much better now than they used to be right? If you think that you should be shot. Hollywood continues to feed us some of the worst garbage the film industry has ever turned out. If anything movies are getting worse. If the 70's was the golden-age of cinema (and it unarguably was) we are living in a time that couldn't be further from it. Special effects today are no more captivating to watch in films today than they are watching old tapes of Blade Runner or the original Star Wars trilogy. I'm not saying stop motion looked perfectly realistic, but it certainly has alot more heart and soul than the exorbident CGI we get pummeled with today. Imagine if Labyrinth were made today with CGI, it would be awful and have none of the magic it had. Actually I can win this argument right here. Model Yoda vs. CGI Yoda. Endgame. The Yoda in the prequels didn't have half the personality he did int he OT. They should use CGI sparingly, like for the Yoda fight, and models whenever possible. Like Sam Raimi did for Doc Ock in Spider-man 2, and you all loved SPider Man 2 right? I bet none of you can remember the last time you saw a movie and said "That's good but it needed more CGI" but I'm absolutely sure you've all said "There was WAY too much CGI in that." Also ILM hasn't been good in years. In fact they are more a part of the problem these days then the cure. Every two movies or so they do the effects are phoned in and terrible.

  • June 14, 2006, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Brilliant retort, one9deuce

    by I Dunno

    Care to elaborate?

  • June 14, 2006, 10:05 p.m. CST

    The effects in JP were.......

    by GordoSan#1

    often physical and animatronic. At least they were for the close-ups of the T-Rex and Raptors. (sorry to break it to some of you guys) One of the reasons earlier CGI was better, was that they didn't bite off more than they could chew. I agree with SpacePhil about LOTR. Also, the new Supes is said to have plenty of physical stuff. So, the art is far from being dead (sans physical matte paintings) and still actually very "practical", sometimes.

  • June 14, 2006, 10:53 p.m. CST

    Jurassic Park = Best CGI to date

    by RezE11even

    Yes, much of it is physical, but you CAN NOT tell the difference. The CGI shots for the Raptors in the kitchen are seamless to Phil's puppet work and the animatronics. The Rex chasing the jeep looks just as fantastic and real as the Rex bashing in the car, yet one really happened and one was put in on a computer. I remember walking out of Jurassic Park 3 dumbstruck at how bad the effects looked compared to the original(not to mention how bad everything else was). I do think CGI is the way of the future, but I think a melding of all techniques is best. Hell, the stop motion effects in The Life Aquatic were simply amazing. I also don't see why CGI is so overused today- it turns out looking bad. The fact that you can always make it better with more time doesn't help, either. If you are going to spend time on a shot, make it the best it can be. The Spawn movie is one of the saddest experiences I've had in my life- watching finished scenes like Spawn Vs Violater in the alleyway look amazing, then cutting to Malebogia in hell- straight off my playstation.

  • June 14, 2006, 11:57 p.m. CST

    It's official - Lucas has no soul! ILM is good as dead

    by Proman1984

    to me now. I don't care about that CGI crap - to me it's all wothless. The only things that I cared about, indeed the thing that made ILM ILM in the first place is being sold now. I feel sorry for you Mr. Lucas - you just destroyed your most prescious jewel.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Computers Can Enhance Old Techniques

    by GordoSan#1

    The sad part of all of this is that computers give us the ability to make all of those older techs so much better. For Blue Screen, they used to have to minipulate frames and rescan over and over for each object in the frame, downgrading the whole of the film, along the way. Now, they can just composite the whole thing in the computer. This alone, makes models easier to implement. Getting rid of wires, rigs, placeholders, etc is now a snap, too. Stop-motion also can be blurred in post, replacing and improving the complicated "go-motion" technique used by ILM since Dragonslayer. (I think) This is of course, used to remove any "jerky" or "framey" appearence. I think Burton does something like this. (but then that makes me wonder: If he made Corpse Bride look so good, WTF did he use CGI in Wonka for? If he ever makes a Beetlejuice sequel, I sure hope he doesn't even think about rendering anything!)

  • June 15, 2006, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Deliver Me

    by BigSugar

    The roblem breaks down to this: CGI is AIMING for photorealistic, models are already there. I'm sorry, but none of the ships in the prequels look anywhere near as good as the ones in the OT. It's that simple. and yes JP is the still the apex of CGI, but even as was pointed out, it's the seamlessness of the effects, both physical CG, that made those sequences work. LOTR had some fantastic shots in it (some awful shitty ones as well) but even there it was the blending of the arts that made them work so well. The same reason that models will never go away is the same reason make-up fx won't; flesh is always better. what is it he says in THE FLY? [It] should make the computer crazy. when we have crazy computers, that's when CGi will rule. Until then, Karo syrup and plastic models will always have a place.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:18 a.m. CST

    You know...

    by Harysuxafat1

    since GL didn't bother to make one damn clonetrooper outfit for the movies I really think he's lost what little of his mind he had left. Those CGI costumes look like shit in my opinion and I hope he chokes on the wad of cash he bilked that dumbass out of. This CGI shit is getting out of hand and the funny thing is it doesn't really look good. If you're too damn lazy to build a set or make a costume get the fuck outta the business you hack.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:45 a.m. CST

    That JP scene does have the advantage of being the easi

    by half vader

    easiest thing you can do in CG. Night-time, and rain in front of the model. At least be fair.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:55 a.m. CST

    Model Behavior

    by Crash Crator

    *****I agree with Quint. The scale models are what drew me in and captured my imagination. The Enterprise from

  • June 15, 2006, 2:14 a.m. CST


    by Orionsangels

    I'll say whatever I damn well please chickychowchow! Now sit your ass down! Oh you're sitting? Well fuckin read then! - I never said PJ's Kong was perfect. Far from it. As a moviegoer you just have to learn to accept the flaws with every movie that's made. No film is perfect. I liked the movie a lot and just thought it needed a little defending from your negative naysaying little trashtalking clowns. fucking cynical elites. Oh sure It's easy to type away your mean spirited critique's from the comfort of your home. But let's see you fuckwads take a crack at special effects. eh eh eh! But but but! STFU! Everyone here thinks they know everything there is to know about movie making. Most of you don't know shit and I don't claim to be an expert myself. But you can see WETA tried their best given the time they had. Why beat them up for that? Bitching about it won't change the F/X's in the movie and when it does you get the star wars special editions. Which gets ya more bitching!

  • June 15, 2006, 2:24 a.m. CST

    Check Matte!

    by Crash Crator

    **********The alien ship from the 1982 remake of "The Thing" is my favorite matte painting. I actually thought they built it to scale!

  • June 15, 2006, 2:28 a.m. CST

    This just means they can get more work, retards

    by captain_sulu

    In his lust for Lucas-bashing, quint, being the dumbass that he is, overlooks the fact that this just opens up more doors for 'Kerner Optical'. ILM only goes after big ticket jobs. These guys will have a much better shot at smaller, more frequent jobs now, on top of everything ILM gives them. The model shop hasn't been a priority at ILM for years. Now they're their own company. Good for them.

  • June 15, 2006, 7:08 a.m. CST

    Models versus Maya, realism versus rendering...

    by SalvatoreGravano

    All just a part of "epic versus execrable". For a good example, vide e.g. the unmatched masterpiece "Ben-Hur" (models and paintings) and its tepid, lifeless, worthless quasiremake, "Gladiator" (Maya and Photoshop).

  • June 15, 2006, 7:56 a.m. CST

    a bad fanboy blames the tools

    by half vader

    It has a lot less to do with the technology of a brush vs stylus or a traditional vs digital model than it does the artist who wields it and the director who overrules them (with the exception of Ridley Scott). The argument is the same about a matte painting on glass shot live in the frame vs a matte painting done in the studio and double exposed into the neg (cheating! Where's the amount of difficulty/accomplishment?!) vs digital matte painting (heresy! Using accurate easy perspective tools instead of spending much longer mapping compound curves by hand! The economy and expedience! Disgusting! It hardly matters that you still need to know shot design, lighting, atmospheric perpsective, compostition, colour, etc. etc.!). And even there, it all can go out the window if the story point is stupid, shot design is bad or the director vetos it for an ill-informed, completely subjective decision. Not because someone used maja or photoshop. If you're at the mercy of the tool you use, you're not going to get far, and you're not thinking with the right discipline. The tech argument is stupid, as all you have to do is go back far enough and exchange the old technique to the new up and comer (like the three ages of matte painting mentioned above). No wonder all the stupid art critics cried heresy when David Hockney released his book about the 'old masters' using optics/technology. It's a reasonably similar but even more uninformed argument here. Of course no-one will read this but it's therapeutic for me.

  • June 15, 2006, 8:04 a.m. CST

    I meant composition

    by half vader

    I blame myself, not a spell-checker.

  • June 15, 2006, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Hey orionsangels

    by chickychow

    or whatever the fuck your name is, you better listen to me. I was up in here after King Kong came out, defending it to all the louts and bashers who were dissin on the first hour, rippin on the fuckin Opening weekend, and basically comparing Peter Jackson to fuckin Adolph Eichmann BEFORE YOU WERE BORN! So shut your mouth, that's that hole you stuff your dick into every night

  • June 15, 2006, 10:57 a.m. CST

    and dont call me chickychowchow

    by chickychow

    the last man who did that got eaten alive by iguanas... had nothin to do with me, but i figure that was karma servin up a hot dish of Fuck You to that punk.

  • June 15, 2006, 11:08 a.m. CST

    The only good effects are...

    by DigitalDong

    the ones you don't notice. cgi/physical, they all suck when you can identify them.

  • June 15, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    ILM's probably the 3rd best effects house now.

    by R.C. the "Wise"

    Behind Sony's Imageworks and Jackson's WETA. Fortunately for Lucas, he still has loyal Director's who continue to ask for their support, i.e. Speilberg, Bay, or even Sommers.

  • June 15, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    R.C., it's impossible

    by Shaner Jedi

    to measure who is "the best". There's alot of great work out there from british houses like Framestore and MPC too.

  • June 15, 2006, 12:08 p.m. CST

    How dare you little fuckers!

    by Orionsangels

    What's this crap about being here before me? I've been at AICN since Harry showed that WWII plane that was gonna be used as a reference model for a ship in SW Episode I. That was in 97! So anyway. Who's chickychow? Exactly!

  • June 15, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Its called Kerner Optical because...

    by Fusionbomb

    ILM's old building located on KERNER blvd. in San Rafael, Marin County, was so secretive about their location that they had "Kerner Optical" stenciled on the doors to keep would be fanboys from knocking on their door. Goes along with the whole "Blue Harvest" idea. Lucas moved all the divisions ( ILM, LucasArts, Lucasfilm, Lucasfilm Animation) minus Skywalker Sound to the Letterman Digital Facility he built at the Presidio across the golden gate in San Francisco. The physical effects department most likely remained behind and adopted the name. Make sense?

  • June 15, 2006, 12:16 p.m. CST

    "Lord of the Rings would have beendone with midgets and

    by finky089

    claymation" That's a hilarious thought.

  • June 15, 2006, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Update on dumping the physical effects unit...

    by GunterMonkey

    It was recently discovered that Harrison Ford was sadly included in the antiquated items and physical effects which were dumped by Lucas. Eye witnesses say he was stuffed in a box between an old TIE fighter model and Ewok costume...

  • June 15, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST


    by finky089

    Is it somebody's naptime? Jeez....

  • June 15, 2006, 12:27 p.m. CST

    That's good news GunterMonkey

    by finky089

    Maybe now they'll stop production on thet un-needed Indy 4 flick. (Actually, they'll probably just used a CGI- Harrison Ford that has been digitally rendered 20 years younger....)

  • June 15, 2006, 12:45 p.m. CST

    The best use of CGI is...

    by theoneofblood

    Terminator 2. 15 years later that shit is still SEAMLESS. James Cameron is the king of special effects. He always knows what the right balance of Animatronics, Minature Work and CGI is. Shit, look at Aliens, the atomic explosion isn't anything but a lightbulb and some cotton wool and yet it looks fucking amazing. This is why I look forward to Avatar. JC is a ridiculous perfectionist and won't let an effect go into the movie unless he knows it'll hold up well past five years. (Terminator being the exception, but give him a break, he had no time and no money.) Contrast T2 with T3 and ask yourself which nuclear blast looks better? I was having flashbacks to Command and Conquer when watching that limp-wristed shit. It all comes down to the artist behind the effects. Also, I'm convinced George Lucas has NO concept of what looks good effects wise anymore. Look at the pear eating scene in ATOC, or that ridiculous overabundance of CGI soldiers in ROTS, that shit is pathetic and should not be produced by a professional effects studio. (Besides, why the FUCK would you CGI a PEAR!? Are they that hard to find?)

  • June 15, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    The complaint is absolutely ridiculous

    by Trazadone

    The complaint is absolutely ridiculous. "I want ILM, the best effects house in the world, to continue using techniques that make me nostalgic, explicitly for this reason and for no other." It's like somebody refusing to accept electric cars because the smell of gasoline conveys "transportation" to them in a way that ethanol never will. Or a stockbroker convinced that everything died "the day we started using newspapers rather than those wonderful old tickertape machines." (Okay, it's not quite like that, but Jesus, anyone who's seen War of the Worlds and says "The problem is they didn't use models" is an idiot.) When they re-did "Star Trek The Motion Picture" two years ago, they had to come up with shots that were storyboarded in the 1970s but never actually executed for time and budget reasons. So ILM did a CGI "refit" Enterprise that was specifically lit and shot to "look model-y" so it would blend in perfectly with the existsing footage. I challenge Harry Knowles or anyone else to watch the movie and identify the new material. It's absolutely impossible.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:15 p.m. CST

    The one thing I want to see...

    by moviemaniac-7

    An old school adventure movie with only practical effects and no CG. I think, when done right, that would kick some serious ass.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Not that I am against CG

    by moviemaniac-7

    But it's been overused in the last couple of years (and yes, that includes Peter Jackson, too) it has become too much for my personal taste. Just like CG animated toons, by the way.

  • June 15, 2006, 1:51 p.m. CST

    The Hulk looked fake

    by Rupee88

    is what everybody seemed to say. I thought he looked cool and better than The Thing or any other "man in suit" takes. Hellboy looked decenct, but he would have looked better in CGI (though it wouldn't have been cost-effective).

  • June 15, 2006, 2:59 p.m. CST

    Silence finky tinky winky!

    by Orionsangels

  • June 15, 2006, 7:21 p.m. CST

    have any of u actually watched JP1 recently?

    by misnomer

    yes the t-rex jeep scene stands up as really fine work- but thats all to do with the bergs direction BUT if you actually watch any of the CG daytime dinos in that movie, they look atrocious by todays standards (e.g the stampede) compared with JP3 raptors. But it's all down to the artists I agree with. I mean the CGI in Spider-man 2 pisses on the CGI in the first one. Seeing as the 3rd will be so effects heavy with an 80ft sandman, itll be really interesting to see how far the CGI has come in two years. There will always be room for model work-look at AVP- a piece of shit but the model work was really nice....

  • June 15, 2006, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Chickychowchow chow= troll

    by wolack22


  • June 15, 2006, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Did you know, misnomer

    by moviemaniac-7

    That the jeep in the wide shots of the T-Rex attack also was CG? Still holds up to this very day.

  • June 16, 2006, 2:08 a.m. CST

    The Best Test

    by Crash Crator

    *****Jurassic Park and Starship Troopers are the best CGI-movies ever made. Best me, if you can!

  • June 18, 2006, 4:44 p.m. CST

    It always changes

    by hackensmack

    The whole idea behind special effects is to make something look real that isn't. There has always been a learning curve with new techniques, whether it was optical composites, miniatures or CG. A lot of the work in CG has been trying to get the tools to do what the artist wanted; now that we are beyind that stage, when the money/time is available, the artists can perfect their craft. A lot of matte artists I have worked with really embrace the digital matte painting because it frees them from some of the mundane tasks (like matching paint ot celluloid) to concentrate on the image itself. Optical compositing always had to contend with image degradation, dirty negatives, lab goof-ups and other perils that don't efect the digital composite. Motion control was a process that required MANY time-consuming tests/takes just to get one shot. True, digital doesn't look quite real yet, but it gets better, rendering times get shorter. CAn you imagine trying to do the LOTR Trilogy or Kong Kong with potical composites and mniatures? Do you think the end images would hv ecome cloes to what we saw? i remember a number of films at Boss tha tsat on the shelf while poeple wondered if there was a way to put the imagesw on screen: "The Watchmen," "Godzilla,"--too complex, and too expensive. And, yes, I've worked for a number of FX houses that turned down smaller projects because their budget would not support the basic studio overhead. A smaller shop (with ILM's expertise!) can now do films that ILM's Digital shop would have to turn away.

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