Jurassic Park question

As a longtime movie fan, I’ll agree with this. That first view of the brachiosaurus wsas meant not only to wow the audience, I’m convinced it was meant to wow fans of special effects.

In all the teasers at the time, they’d show only the tail. They wanted it to be seen for the first time in the theaters, I’m certain.

i grew up on the effects of Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Jim Danforth, David Allen, and others. Heck, I’d animated my own dinosaurs. I knew the tricks they used to convey a sense of reality – highly detailed skin textures, anointed with special liquids to bring it out for the camera; using bladders inside the figure to give a subtle illusion of breathing. Making “muscles” under the skin so that the skin would move like that of a real creature, not a stuffed toy.

The brachiosaur blew all that away in a single shot. Its skin not only moved as if it had muscles – it was wrinkled and baggy like an elephant’s hide, and all those wrinkles stretched and jostled like a relatively rigid animation model never could. The mottled skin coloring was far more detailed than the finest air-brushed model, and it moved in so many parts in so many different directions at different speeds that it would have driven an animator insane to keep track of it all. It was so far beyond previous methods that it was awesome. Quantum Leaps light years in size, to mix physics metaphors.

I didn’t see any “jerkiness”. In fact, this is one area where the CGI is notably superior to traditional animation – you can move and blur things so that the “strobing” one often sees with rapid movement in traditional animation isn’t there (George Lucas had used computer programs to provide such blurring, in fact, on the ttraditionally-animated effects in The Empire Strikes Back, and i believe they were used in Dragonslayer, too. In addition, the sometoime clumsy matte lines and edges on bluescreen-type effects could be done much more cleanly with digital composition.

the main defect I did see was a failure to correctly match lighting direction and light levels – sometimes the dinosaurs seemed to “glow” a bit, as with the velociraptors in the kitchen sequence. But that’s peretty minor. I didn’t notice it at the time – I think I’m jaded now by overexposure.

It wasn’t a cheat at the time, it was just a lucky convenience. But then, after that, a lot of movies used that kind of setting to hide the dodgy effects work.

I think one of the reasons it holds up so well is that they did mix the CGI with animatronics, even in the same shot. My favorite example is just after the T-rex escapes its paddock and is scoping out the two vehicles, when the kids find a flashlight, which attracts the T-rex.

The particular shot I like is done from the perspective of Grant and Malcolm’s car: first, the camera looks through the clear roof, where you can see the T-rex’s head (animatronic). Then, the camera pans down to look through the windshield, and you see the T-rex walk toward the car with the flashlight (CGI). I found it clever that they just used a pan of the camera to hide the giant animatronic head, and somehow, having seen the actual, solid presence of the T-rex, your mind sort of adds solidity to the CGI Rex stalking off. It’s a great trick.

If you noticed “jerkiness” during those T-rex scenes, the rain is to blame; I saw a documentary somewhere (maybe on the DVD itself) that showed how problematic that whole shoot was. Large animatronics like that require huge motors to operate due to their weight, and they have to be calibrated pretty carefully to move smoothly. When the rain got turned on and the head got wet, it got heavy, and after only a few minutes of shooting the movements would get jerky as the motors struggled with the extra weight. They had to shut everything down, dry it off with blowers, and start up again to get another few minutes. Sounded like a real chore.

Nowadays they could solve that problem by adding in digital rain.

Digital rain never looks quite as… mucky as the real thing.

They used clever girls.

OK, but the sheer volume of water need originally could be reduced to only the amount needed to make it look mucky, then add more in post.

I’m guessing this is a joke…but I don’t get it.

It’s a rather memorable line in the movie.

“Clever girl” is a bit of an internet meme–it’s a quote from Jurassic Park from the hunter dude in response to the Raptor moving around in an intelligent manner. “Clever girl.”

Oh right…OK. I remember now. It just threw me being used out of context.

“Miss Nickleby, please!”

RIP Bob Peck. :frowning:

Here’s something interesting…I read about these, but it’s interesting seeing them:

Jurassic Park Movie Mistakes - Part 1
Jurassic Park Movie Mistakes - Part 2

They should do a remake with giant pigs.

I actually watched the movie using Rifftrax and Weird Al was a guest commentator (actually, it was just Mike and Al) and he says that Jurassic Park isn’t that scary in daylight :cool:.

Is there any chance of it being shown in theaters again? The big theater sound added a lot to the experience. I swear, during the scene where the coffee in the cup was vibrating because of the thump of the T-rex walking nearby - - my drink cup was doing the same thing. And so was my diaphragm.

I would pay to see it in the theater again.

A lot of these are just simple continuity errors which can happen in any movie. Among the few specific to the effects in JP, I guess my favourite is someone’s hand balancing the raptor as it looks into the kitchen, late in the second video.

Yeah, I didn’t see that one, or a lot of them originally. It took slowing down, and circles being drawn to draw my attention to it.

I checked out those errors and they addressed what I always felt was the worst, the one where the T-Rex pen turns into a cliff… Phew…

Heh. I love this line–my brother and I quote SO much JP, and for some reason, this post just made me giggle.