Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Cafe Society (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=13)
-   -   What things still cannot be portrayed by CGI or special effects? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=879362)

Velocity 07-25-2019 05:51 PM

What things still cannot be portrayed by CGI or special effects?
 
We seem to be at a point where any explosion, slow-motion bullet, microscopic-zoom-in of a red blood cell or whatnot can be done. What are things that still cannot be shown with CGI or special effects today?

74westy 07-25-2019 06:08 PM

>3 dimensions?

Snowboarder Bo 07-25-2019 06:17 PM

A team recently figured out how to do iridescence, even on irregular objects. It's freaking amazing.

https://rgl.epfl.ch/publications/Dupuy2018Adaptive

Dewey Finn 07-26-2019 09:49 AM

How about a fully realistic artificial person? I think any attempt still falls in the uncanny valley.

zimaane 07-26-2019 09:54 AM

Fire is still difficult.

On Game of Thrones, they actually set stuntmen (wearing lots of protective gear) on fire during the battle scenes, rather than CGI the flames.

bump 07-26-2019 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zimaane (Post 21771474)
Fire is still difficult.

On Game of Thrones, they actually set stuntmen (wearing lots of protective gear) on fire during the battle scenes, rather than CGI the flames.

I imagine a lot of that is probably processing capacity at the moment, until we either get more capacity, or someone comes up with a better way to model it. Similar to the way CGI hair was always wonky until relatively recently.

Chronos 07-26-2019 11:38 AM

They're very close with people, but it's still usually not quite good enough.

Actually, in an objective sense, they're a lot better at people than they are at any other animal; we're just really, really good at seeing the small flaws in people.

Jasmine 07-26-2019 11:41 AM

People still want their flesh and blood stars with all of the personalities, gossip, and scandal that comes with them. I mean, how could you have the Academy Awards if there were no real people to receive them?

Steophan 07-26-2019 11:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21771464)
How about a fully realistic artificial person? I think any attempt still falls in the uncanny valley.

But how would you know if they had succeeded?

enalzi 07-26-2019 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bump (Post 21771657)
I imagine a lot of that is probably processing capacity at the moment, until we either get more capacity, or someone comes up with a better way to model it. Similar to the way CGI hair was always wonky until relatively recently.

Also, CGI is expensive. Sometimes, even if CGI would work, it's cheaper to go practical.

Tim R. Mortiss 07-26-2019 12:07 PM

Voices. For all the visual magic they can weave these days, they still use real people speaking with real voices.

(although I suppose one could quibble that a computer generated voice would not count as CGI, being neither a G nor an I)

Jophiel 07-26-2019 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21771726)
But how would you know if they had succeeded?

Because the studio that pulled it off would never shut up about it.

Tim R. Mortiss 07-26-2019 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21771464)
How about a fully realistic artificial person? I think any attempt still falls in the uncanny valley.

When they do manage to pull it off, I'll be looking forward to a bunch of new Bogart movies.

DCnDC 07-26-2019 12:22 PM

A computer can make a believable, realistic fake person just fine, as long as it doesn't have to move.

https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

(refresh to get a new image)

Chronos 07-26-2019 01:21 PM

"CG" stands for "computer graphics", but "CGI" stands for "computer generated images". So faked sound would still be the "CG" in "CGI".

Although, I've heard that the latest Madden games use computer-generated announcer voices, not samples of the actual people, and it sound seamless to me. Though given that my source on that was 13 years old, it's possible he might have been mistaken (even if they used samples, they did an excellent job of stitching them together).

DCnDC 07-26-2019 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21771897)
Although, I've heard that the latest Madden games use computer-generated announcer voices, not samples of the actual people, and it sound seamless to me. Though given that my source on that was 13 years old, it's possible he might have been mistaken (even if they used samples, they did an excellent job of stitching them together).

Not exactly. It's still samples, just a whole lot more of them. It's the reason the announcers since Madden 17 have been Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis and not a better-known team: they had the time to sit in a studio and record several hundred hours of material, which actual NFL broadcast teams would never have the time (or inclination) to do.

https://www.polygon.com/2016/6/8/118...-charles-davis

Machine Elf 07-26-2019 02:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 21771782)
https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

(refresh to get a new image)

Those are pretty good - although if you refresh over and over again, every now and then you encounter a face with defects that look like nightmarish rifts in the space-time continuum. :eek:

DCnDC 07-26-2019 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machine Elf (Post 21772073)
Those are pretty good - although if you refresh over and over again, every now and then you encounter a face with defects that look like nightmarish rifts in the space-time continuum. :eek:

Yeah, I got some freaky lazy eyes and some strange deformed creatures around the margins occasionally, but otherwise it's pretty impressive.

Zyada 07-26-2019 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 21771782)
A computer can make a believable, realistic fake person just fine, as long as it doesn't have to move.

https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

(refresh to get a new image)

Except that I would argue whether these are fully computer generated. IIRC, these are fusions of multiple photographs to create a new photo.

ftg 07-26-2019 03:32 PM

Stuff with "flow" are a problem. Long hair sweeping around, burbling liquids, the aforementioned fire, etc. More extreme than fire are explosions where there's the extra added issue of the producers don't want a realistic looking explosion. A short flash, some smoke/dust and stuff falling over several feet away isn't glamorous. So lots of flame. A really nice fireball is somehow considered mandatory regardless of situation. And that's hard to do. A clump of C-4 going off, sans dust, would actually be easier. (Unless it's blowing something into a million pieces, then those get hard.)

lingyi 07-26-2019 08:26 PM

I've seen (ummm...certain types of) where the face of a celebrity is superimposed over someone else's body. Its very, very realistic except when it occasionally glitches around the edge of the superimposed face, especially when something, like an arm passes in front of the face.

GuanoLad 07-26-2019 08:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21771464)
How about a fully realistic artificial person? I think any attempt still falls in the uncanny valley.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21771726)
But how would you know if they had succeeded?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 21771773)
Because the studio that pulled it off would never shut up about it.

Standby for Gemini Man.

lingyi 07-27-2019 12:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lingyi (Post 21772765)
I've seen (ummm...certain types of) where the face of a celebrity is superimposed over someone else's body. Its very, very realistic except when it occasionally glitches around the edge of the superimposed face, especially when something, like an arm passes in front of the face.

Dang lingyi!

"I've seen (ummm...certain types of) [NSFW videos] where the face of a celebrity is superimposed over someone else's body. Its very, very realistic except when it occasionally glitches around the edge of the superimposed face, especially when something, like an arm passes in front of the face."

Also, I just found out that Deepfake (thought it was a specific group's name) is the name for these types of videos. Do a search on YouTube for them. Most aren't as convincing as the ones I've seen. No doubt because of the lack of umm...distractions. :D

Kobal2 07-27-2019 01:53 AM

The obvious is "anything that relies on more than the I part of CGI". One example that springs to mind is memories/dreams, which typically feature sounds, smells, physical sensations, moods & emotions & more complex stuff (like existential dread, or the absolute knowledge that there is something dreadful *right behind you*) that a computer or screen simply cannot simulate. Yet.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel
Because the studio that pulled it off would never shut up about it.

Ah, the Recently Vegan Model :)

Snowboarder Bo 07-27-2019 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dewey Finn (Post 21771464)
How about a fully realistic artificial person? I think any attempt still falls in the uncanny valley.

Still images are a snap (scroll down to page 9); full body with animation isn't far off IMO.

Sam Stone 07-27-2019 02:05 PM

Technically, hair and fur have been the most difficult things to get right. From the looks of the latest Lion King, they're getting really good with fur. But realistic long hair is still a difficult problem.

scabpicker 07-27-2019 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machine Elf (Post 21772073)
Those are pretty good - although if you refresh over and over again, every now and then you encounter a face with defects that look like nightmarish rifts in the space-time continuum. :eek:

Oh yeah, that network knows how to do a face, but it doesn't know much else. The backgrounds can get pretty crazy, and if there's a hand in the shot it looks like a Francis Bacon painting.

GMANCANADA 07-29-2019 07:24 AM

I don't think there is anything they can't do currently given sufficient time and money.

It seems to me a lot of the comments are based on not seeing things done well in certain movies, but that's often due entirely to budget and time restrictions placed on the animators.

As far as CGI people being in the "uncanny valley" in 2019 - did anyone watch Avengers Endgame? Captain America's aging at the end is all CGI, no makeup was used at all. I couldn't tell it from real life. ("Fat Thor's" body was also entirely CGI)

I'd also guess all of the fire & explosion scenes etc were CGI too.

They can do anything now.

Chronos 07-29-2019 09:42 AM

But that was still CGI applied to the real Chris Evan's face, doing real acting and speaking and emoting. Creating a face from scratch, and having it behave like a real human face, is more difficult. What they did is impressive, to be sure, but it's not the end of the line.

ZonexandScout 07-31-2019 10:40 AM

Birdemic: Shock and Terror demonstrates that CGI still can't convincingly simulate the actual explosions that occur when birds hit the ground. I was not fooled for a minute. They should have just filmed the real thing.

Ashtura 07-31-2019 02:52 PM

Have they made huge strides since Tarkin in Rogue One? Cause it certainly wasn't there yet then. When they have a CGI human character THAT prominent in a movie and it 100% works, then I will say no, there is nothing CGI can't do.

I will say I found the CGI in The Lion King utterly convincing. They certainly have nailed animals and landscapes.

Pantastic 07-31-2019 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scabpicker (Post 21774005)
Oh yeah, that network knows how to do a face, but it doesn't know much else. The backgrounds can get pretty crazy, and if there's a hand in the shot it looks like a Francis Bacon painting.

It doesn't seem good at dealing with glasses on the face either - in a few refreshes I saw someone with the front part of glasses removed but not the side pieces, and at least one where there was a blur in a spot that was most likely improperly removed glasses.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor 07-31-2019 04:15 PM

God.

Chronos 08-01-2019 03:31 PM

When you look at CGI Tarquin in Rogue One, and Tarquin in the original movies, it's quite clear that one of them looks just a little bit too freaky to be a real human.

Unfortunately for that argument, though, the freaky-looking one is Peter Cushing.

RivkahChaya 08-02-2019 01:08 AM

My brother is a CGI tech. He once did some fire about 15 years ago, and got a note back that it looked "too hot." He wrote back "What the heck does that mean?" and they responded that the fire was "Too realistic." Apparently the whole point of CGI-ing the fire was to have magic fire, or something. He gave them magic fire, and they were happy.

Again, this was about 15 years ago, but at least at that time, it was apparently easier just to burn something and film it if you wanted fire, and the only reason for CGI was if you wanted your fire to be somehow "otherworldly." Or you wanted the bush not to be consumed, or whatever.

This may still be the case.

Also, my brother says that people want to see real people in movies, particularly dramatic movies, most of the time. It's easier to relate to them. He says that human actors aren't going anywhere.

GuanoLad 08-02-2019 02:32 AM

Fire in movies isn't usually CGI, because it's so hard to do realistically; instead they film elements of real fire and composite it on. The problem with that is it doesn't have true volume or react quite as realistically as you might want. See Crowley's burning car in Good Omens as an example of that.

Dorjän 08-02-2019 01:01 PM

Aircraft flying realistically.

Chronos 08-02-2019 02:04 PM

They can make CGI aircraft that fly realistically; they just choose not to.

dtilque 08-02-2019 02:32 PM

Spacecraft flying realistically.

Oh wait a minute, that's another "choose not to".

KneadToKnow 08-02-2019 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasmine (Post 21771708)
I mean, how could you have the Academy Awards if there were no real people to receive them?

Here's a preview.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21784040)
Tarquin

Nitpick: Tarkin.

Chad Sudan 08-04-2019 07:04 AM

Dreams.

Green Bean 08-04-2019 09:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GuanoLad (Post 21772801)
Standby for Gemini Man.

I just saw a long preview for this last night. I hadn’t heard of the movie before that, so I had nothing idea what I was looking at.

It falls into the uncanny valley.

My initial reaction was, “heck yeah, I want to see a sci-fi action flick directed by Ang Lee and starring Will Smith!”

After a little bit, I started wondering why the ‘other’ Will Smith looked so...wrong. I assumed it was regular Will Smith with his appearance altered with makeup, but there was something just so off about him. It gave me the heebie-jeebies. I actually thought to myself that I wanted to read an article about what they did with the makeup to make him look so odd, but I’d probably have to wait until the movie came out.

By the end, I knew I wasn’t going to see it, largely because ‘other’ Will Smith’s face was weirding me out so much.

I guess I found out why he looked so messed-up earlier than expected.

I’ve seen 2 other recent examples of a well-known actor being de-aged in a movie: Michael Douglas in Ant Man and Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. In both cases the transformation was remarkable, and although it didn’t look completely authentic, it wasn’t creepy. But neither of those were cgi-only.

Rayks Marcial 08-05-2019 10:04 PM

Wild sex, like in van Lustbader's "The Ninja."


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.