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Comment Good CGI is good, bad CGI is bad... (Score 1) 232

As noted by a lot of the other posters, it depends on whether the CGI is done well or not. There are two examples that particularly stand out for me:

1. I saw a breakdown of the Tyrannosaurus Rex attack sequence from the original "Jurassic Park", which captioned which shots used CGI and which used animatronics, and I really wouldn't have been able to tell without the captions.

2. In a recent documentary about ILM, there was part of an interview with the director of "Iron Man", Jon Favreau. He said that he'd been very emphatic about using physical effects wherever possible, but that there was one scene which was a close-up of the suit, and he wanted to be very specific about how the studio lights reflected off it as the camera &/or the suit moved. They iterated on the shot a whole bunch of times, and in the end, the shot was also rendered digitally, and even he really couldn't tell which was which any more. And this is someone who obviously lived & breathed the imagery of that film for months.

On the other end of ILM's CGI scale, there's the end of "The Mummy Returns"...

Comment Escape From New York's Apple Store (Score 2) 353

"In 2016, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don't buy an iPhone."

Comment "Atomic Batteries to power" scores double... (Score 1) 701

I voted for this, as it's the first one that I thought of before seeing the lists, and it's actually a geek double: not only was it coined for the Adam West "Batman" series, but it also pops up as part of the cockpit pre-launch sequence for the fighters in "Wing Cmmander III".

I remember having a grin a mile wide the first time I saw that in the game...

Comment Iron Man's HUD GUI & Snake Plissken's glider (Score 1) 74

It's been a while since I watched it, but I recall that one of the DVD extras for the first "Iron Man" movie is on the GUI design of the HUDs for the suits. The designers apparently thought quite a bit about the specific HCI issues that might arise for such a usage situation (essentially like a fighter plane, but with more stuff), and so there are nested menus that radiate out from the lower left when the user's attention focuses on that part of the display, without obscuring the full field of view, etc.

The different GUI colour schemes used between the various suits was also considered, although narrative clarity and style were (sensibly) prioritized above functionality in this respect, I think.


Potentially wandering off topic (but sticking with fictional movie aircraft instrumentation):

One of my favourite special effects stories is that back when "Escape from New York" was being made, it was too difficult/expensive to do the computerized 3D wire-frame rendering of Manhattan digitally that was to be displayed on Snake Plissken's glider, so they just made black miniature models of the buildings with gridlines painted on them, and then "flew" a camera over them to get the footage that ended up being displayed on the screen. Back in those days, practical effects based on painted wood were still cheaper than CGI!

See (e.g.)

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