Matrix Reloaded Burly Brawl

How much of the Burly Brawl in The Matrix Reloaded was computer generated? I’ve heard that the entire thing was pure CGI from beginning to end, but it looks far too realistic for this to be true.

You can’t tell? You’re in the minority, heh. Anyways, the CG bits are near the end where Neo grabs the pole and starts swinging it around and continues to plop it into the ground and dance like a monkey on top of the Agent Smiths. Other bits with CG Neo include the flying sequences. Pause the DVD as he swoops by the camera, obvious CG.

“The CG bits”? Do you mean the obvious CG bits? If not, then I think a lot more of it was CG than you think.

You’re right actually, and I knew that. There’s CG sprinkled throughout the movie, however, I took the question as when neo was replaced with a CG character. It’s a quirk I picked up as a result of being subjected to reloaded, but I digress. There’s CG effects abound in that fight and it’s be very time consuimg to point them all out, though it’s fun to look at the stunt doubles who weren’t touched up to look like Hugo Weaving.

I’m pretty sure that the transition from real to CGI occurs as the Smiths are pouring through the chain link fence. Right after that, the camera starts moving in ways that would be very difficult if it was real, and everything starts to look a little fake.


It’s an interesting question. I don’t know why people rag about the Burly Brawl - it’s an amazing piece of CGI craftsmanship. Photorealistic? No, but as close as we’ve ever come, with that many figures at once.

Also - it would probably look a lot more real if they were doing more realistic fighting that you knew that humans could do. Suspention of disbelief is a lot harder to keep up when you have superman fighting 100 superthugs.

If you can find a copy of Cinefex issue 95 (October 2003), there’s a lengthy article describing the various CG tricks used in the film. Geek heaven.

According to the article, the “Burly Brawl” was one of the first major effects scenes to be tackled for the film. It’s a complicated mixture of live action and partial or complete CGI doubles for the main characters. Apparently in some of the shots, the multiple agent Smiths are entirely digital (bodies and faces alike).

I’m with Gadfly; an amazing sequence, although, granted, it’s more decorative than it is anything central to the story.

For me it has nothing with them doing things that humans can’t do, it is that they move inhumanly. There seems to be some sort of trend amongst CGI people that has the characters moving in a “boneless” manner, is the only way I can describe it. Kinda ragdolly. A prime example of this is when Legolas jumps off the trolls head, or when he swings up onto the warg. Also, the fact that clothing doesn’t crumple properly at their joints adds to this. For me, these are the two main give-aways at the moment. It it getting better and better, I love that CGIers have stopped making characters jiggle for example. Before, they used to have the characters in constant motion, which was very jarring.

You pretty much nailed it Iteki, though it seems they still haven’t gotten a foothold on realistic texturing as well. Neo’s face and leather outfit both also stand out as CG.

I guess my only problem with the CGI in that scene is that it enabled the filmmakers to make that scene far longer than it should have been.

I have this issue at home, I’ll see if I can dig up some specifics on the Burly Brawl later.

I take exception to the comments that CGI texturing isn’t ‘there’ yet. I’m a CGI guy, and it’s a challenging game for me to guess what is and isn’t.

If proper time is spent, still life CGI can fool anybody. (Yes, human animations aren’t good enough yet, even when the motion data is captured from actual people.)

Visit this gallery or this gallery and tell me some of those pictures wouldn’t fool you.

When they get it wrong on the big screen, mostly it’s because they didn’t have enough time. Sometimes it’s because they didn’t have enough money. And sometimes what looks good on film doesn’t look good on video.

Case in point: During the highway chase, when the camera is following Trinity on the bike, and the camera passes under a truck… The truck is obviously CG on video. The ambient light level is too high on the undercarriage. It looked great on the big screen, though.

CGI was used throughout the Burly Brawl in different ways. Often, CGI was used to “clone” live actors and stick them into the scene multiuple times. The scene where Neo grabs the pole and swings around kicking everybody in site, however, marks a clear demarcation where the entire scene is rendered via CGI. Now that I have it on DVD, I’ve watched this scene repeatedly, and it’s extremely clear when it switches over to 100% CGI. For me, the giveaway is the texture of the clothing and faces as well as the motion of Neo’s clothing. It’s hard to define exactly, but suddenly it looks artificial.

Yes, it’s better than anything done before with CGI on film, but it wasn’t perfect and I wish they had left it out, since the transitiion was (to me, at least) very jarring. It was the single “bad” scene in an otherwise excellent movie.


I was wondering if Neo’s outfit was changed in Reloaded from the first Matrix just for the sake of the CGI. His outfit in Matrix was more complicated. The plain black cassock type thing in the matte fabric looks like it would have the least visible texture. Could this have been a consideration?

CGI isn’t consistently “there” yet. Look at matrix Reloaded, Spiderman or a number of other release that attempts - but fails - to mimic human movement. I haven’t seen anyone in this thread dispute CG’s ability to create realistic looking environments and inanimate objects (Minority Report did a great job). However, when the special effects actually detract and distract from a movie, that’s when the directors have crossed the line.

CGI isn’t consistently “there” yet. Look at Matrix Reloaded, Spiderman or a number of other releases that attempts - but fails - to mimic human movement. I haven’t seen anyone in this thread dispute CG’s ability to create realistic looking environments and inanimate objects (Minority Report did a great job). However, when the special effects actually detract and distract from a movie, that’s when the directors have crossed the line.

Damn message board fooled me with its errors.

I agree about human and animal movement, and even throw in some imaginary animals that don’t look ‘right.’ The wargs from The Two Towers just didn’t seem to have the mass they should have had.

The oliphants looked okay, though.

It was the texturing comments I was surprised at. I was just being specific.

Fair enough, texturing is damn impressive when done correctly, but I still stand by it not being perfected for human use, or at least as it was utilized for Reloaded.

Are you saying that the Burly Brawl was worse than the council scenes, or some of the unecessarily hammy dialogue? Worse than the rave scene?

You. Me. Outside.