CGI is not bad, you just don’t notice when it’s good

[The argument in the interesting 7:39 minute “Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)” video in this story from Co.Create is exactly the argument of presence: When computer effects are successful, we don’t notice them – we misperceive the role of technology in our experience; it’s only when poorly executed CG effects stand out that they ‘break’ the (presence) illusion. –Matthew]

"Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn't)" graphic

Counterpoint: CGI Is Not Bad, You Just Don’t Notice When It’s Good

A new video chockfull of really crappy CGI also shows how great CGI is so subtle you don’t even notice—and it happens all the time.

By Joe Berkowitz
August 5, 2015

If makeup is applied seamlessly on a human face, the observer won’t even notice the makeup at all. So it goes for CGI too, apparently.

Recently, Co.Create mentioned a very convincing video essay about why CGI is ruining movies. Anyone who’s ever rolled their eyes at the crystal clear fakery of an entire metropolis descending into fireballs probably related to it. However, a new video takes an opposite approach by illustrating how everyone thinks CGI is terrible because of some seriously egregious examples. (Like the botch job on The Rock’s Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns. Yowza.)

Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t) discusses how the examples we tend to cite as proof of CGI’s inherent badness are merely the main examples we notice. Written and narrated by Freddie Wong for Rocket Jump Film School, the video shows how CGI elements are subtly incorporated into almost any environment shown in most movies. Wong also uses lot of behind-the-scenes footage to reveal how CGI is used in place of makeup effects, like in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or the actors themselves, like Sandra Bullock in parts of Gravity. Ultimately, this video points toward a future where CGI and practical effects will blend ever more together, a la Mad Max: Fury Road.


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