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  1. #16

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    definitely prefer practical effects, you gotta appreciate something that's been handcrafted!

  2. #17

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    Quote Originally Posted by thedustycoyote View Post
    definitely prefer practical effects, you gotta appreciate something that's been handcrafted!
    Well executed digital design is still meticulously created by somebody fine tuning with their tools. The computer can only do so much on its own, and it is never art.

  3. #18

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    Mystic Manor did a nice blend of both practical and computer effects, especially in the first room. When the magical sparks are projected across the room and then the practical effects come into play was just fantastic.

    To me, practical and computer effects all depend on the situation required. You can do things with computer effects you can't do with practical effects, and vice versa. In this new day and age where people, especially hard core fans, really want to see the new cutting edge technology, one cannot prefer one over the other. If used appropriately and correctly, both practical and computer effects will have to rely on each other to be effective for the audience. So it's like Yin and Yang. Each effect on it's own is good, but when paired together are they at their strongest.



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  4. #19

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    As others said, both have merit.

    A over-looked good/properly applied projection effect: the pirate's face that changes in the moonlight inside the cave cell on Tom Sawyer Island. But for example, the Hitchhiking Ghosts gag in the mirror at Magic Kingdom just feels flat and 'non-special': they may have more movement and zanier action, but everyone essentially who sees it knows it's like seeing a video. There's no mystery or depth to it - whereby the physical 'ghosts-on-a-stick' retains the effect of 'how did they do that???" for those not in the know or familiar with magical illusions, even though it's a very simple effect - you can see the ghost is 3 dimensional and 'exists' somewhere, but it's not next to you in the vehicle, yet it looks so solid and 'present' you expect to be able to touch it. The digital animated figures do the opposite - though it's a lot more complex to make it work, tracking the guests and etc, tends to be brushed off as 'just being a projection' and old hat in these days of super hi-def television for the home and seeing hundreds of films with much more advanced entirely 'false' digital images that look picture real - hokey Looney Tunes looking ghosts on a glass mirror don't impress on the level of being ethereal and mysterious and intriguing which was the point of the Pepper's Ghost effect as implemented by classic Imagineers (fun, yes, I'lll give them that).

    Simplicity there is the key that makes the effect stand out, not range of expression or fancy digital projection tech. Modern projection technology has a lot to offer when used in a well thought-out way - but modern Disney doesn't seem to always think it out in terms of what best suits an attraction and what makes for a more compelling 'trick' or illusion.
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  5. #20

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    I would say use the right tool for the job no matter what that is.

    Let's look at the Mara effect that was just added to Indy. It is a digital effect and it really is better than the practical that it replaced. Does this mean that all practical should be replaced? NO!

    But when done correctly digital effect are just another tool to be used.

  6. #21

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    I agree with others in that both are tools to be used, not to be pitted against each other. It's a false dichotomy to ask whether one is better than the other. They are not mutually exclusive (consider the Potato Head Carnival Barker figurine, that combines a physical AA with digitally projected eyes to add "life" to the figure or the new Mara head) and they each have their unique advantages and disadvantages.

  7. #22

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    Well executed digital design is still meticulously created by somebody fine tuning with their tools. The computer can only do so much on its own, and it is never art.
    of course, that is not to say that digital artists can't be masters in their own right. and there is certainly a place for them. but for me, when something has been crafted with two hands it has a special quality that can't be digitally reproduced.

  8. #23

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    As others said, both have merit.

    A over-looked good/properly applied projection effect: the pirate's face that changes in the moonlight inside the cave cell on Tom Sawyer Island. But for example, the Hitchhiking Ghosts gag in the mirror at Magic Kingdom just feels flat and 'non-special': they may have more movement and zanier action, but everyone essentially who sees it knows it's like seeing a video. There's no mystery or depth to it - whereby the physical 'ghosts-on-a-stick' retains the effect of 'how did they do that???" for those not in the know or familiar with magical illusions, even though it's a very simple effect - you can see the ghost is 3 dimensional and 'exists' somewhere, but it's not next to you in the vehicle, yet it looks so solid and 'present' you expect to be able to touch it. The digital animated figures do the opposite - though it's a lot more complex to make it work, tracking the guests and etc, tends to be brushed off as 'just being a projection' and old hat in these days of super hi-def television for the home and seeing hundreds of films with much more advanced entirely 'false' digital images that look picture real - hokey Looney Tunes looking ghosts on a glass mirror don't impress on the level of being ethereal and mysterious and intriguing which was the point of the Pepper's Ghost effect as implemented by classic Imagineers (fun, yes, I'lll give them that).

    Simplicity there is the key that makes the effect stand out, not range of expression or fancy digital projection tech. Modern projection technology has a lot to offer when used in a well thought-out way - but modern Disney doesn't seem to always think it out in terms of what best suits an attraction and what makes for a more compelling 'trick' or illusion.
    Very well said. Practical or projected, from the animated gods in Greek temples to today's CGI, effects are storytelling illusions. Their job is to help put across the story to the audience in the most convincing way possible, which means the least distracting way possible (which, however, is not necessarily the most realistic way possible, but which best fits the "rules of the world," visual and otherwise, for a particular presentation). They succeed best when it's the least obvious, within the style and sensibility of a particular story venue, that you're watching an effect. That's where MK's Hitchhiking Ghosts fail -- they take you out of the HM's world of characters that are sculpted/exist in the real world/externally lit/mechanically animated/limited movement and into a world of characters that are drawn/exist on film/projected/computer animated/broad slapstick comedy cartoon movement.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 09-15-2013 at 08:28 AM.
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  9. #24

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    Re: Practical vs. Computer effects

    Thank you everyone.

    Was offline over the weekend, but was turning it over in my head, and I do think it's the entire "it's a movie" vs. "it's something physical" for me.

    I hadn't even really considered my personal favorite ride at the moment, but the combination of practical sets/effects with CGI is nearly seamless throughout Transformers, and the ability of the movie to transition between physical sets is something that still nearly takes my breath away.

    All the same, while knowing it would likely have cost them the entire ride budget to do one figure, one wonders at how a next-gen Animatronic version of the attraction would have looked...
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