Marvel movies have completely eliminated the concept of practical effects from the movie-watching public’s consciousness
Not just practical effects just like. Basic set design lol
How… How do they think sci-fi was done before CGI?
Really badly? Do you remember sci-fi before CGI? It was shit. And don’t say Star Wars because they went back and fixed that with CGI later.
*big sigh* *puts head in hands* heathens who’ve never watched pre-MCU sci-fi movies OR the unedited Star Wars movies, my beloathed
So first of all, most people agree that the majority of the “CGI fixes” in the Star Wars original trilogy (excluding minor visual/sound effects like lightsaber colors and blaster sounds) are unececssary, extremely conspicuous, and/or bad. This is not news to literally anyone older than about 20 who has consumed Star Wars content on any level. There are quite literally two very famous ‘despecialized’ fan projects explicitly dedicated to un-doing all of the shitty “fixed” CGI effects while simultaneously restoring the OT in HD.
And yes, I do, in fact, remember sci-fi special effects before CGI was the foundational cornerstone of moviemaking. It was not, in fact, shit:
Also, ironically I can show you by….*gasp* using fucking Star Wars, of all things. Welcome to the Tatooine pod race set of The Phantom Menace, which was not, as popularly believed, CGI’d but was instead a fully-built miniature set:
Yes, they built the entire set as a minature, built life-sized pod racers for the actors, then spliced the two together using digital effects. Yes, they did such a fantastic job that people think the entire set and scene sequence was basically completely CGI’d to this day. You’re fucking welcome for undervaluing the time, effort, and talents of set designers by implying that set design and practical effects inherently mean things will look like shit.
CGI also ages really poorly. What you think looks incredibly realistic now is going to look terrible in a few years. Just look at the original vs remastered Star Trek. They “restored” Star Trek around 2006 and replaced a lot of the practical effects with CGI, and maybe it looked ok in 2006, but it looks so bad and fake now.
You can see a video comparison for one episode here: https://youtu.be/ruPVTPCavdM
In the 60s they built a whole model of the Enterprise, complete with blinking lights and beautifully sculpted/painted details. It looks stunning! Then they replaced it with that horribly smooth and fake looking cgi ship.
Just look at this beauty
You can see the model at the Air and Space Museum in DC
Unfortunately the remastered version is the only version available to stream, but you can still find DVDs with the original effect.
made in 1968 and still stunning 2001 A Space Odyssey
the designers worked with engineers at NASA to make realistic futuristic special effects using models and matte paintings no computer effects at all! - and incidentally inspired David Bowie to write Space Oddity, later performed in space by astronaut Chris Hadfield
The CGI of the original Jurassic Park may not be aging well (though arguably still better than some), but the practical effects will always look stunning.
I want to talk fantasy.
This shot was achieved with splicing and green screen.
This wild-looking shot (and similar manipulations) was famously achieved by having a professional juggler in a duplicate of Bowie’s jacket and gloves sitting behind him, basically with Bowie in his lap, doing the handwork while Bowie kept his arms behind the juggler. You may have seen a game based on this on Whose Line Is It Anyway.
This? Wires! Splicing! THE CGI TO DO THIS DIDN’T EXIST YET! (The juggler is hidden under the cape. If there’s a scene where he’s wearing a cape, that’s actually probably why.)
And this? This heartstopping shot?
This does appear to be from the version with CGI—
—CGI THAT WAS USED TO ERASE THE SHADOW FROM THE PRACTICAL EFFECT.
The shot itself hasn’t changed. The lift itself was done with wires and Bowie was given some propulsion with an air cannon so he could make that turn at speed. A minor amount of CGI was used in the 30th anniversary to “touch up” the work done in 1986, and one of the things they did was to remove a shadow on the wall from one of the wires.
How about this?
You don’t know it, but you’re looking at a practical effect. In real life, the Ruby Slippers are almost orange. That luxe, rich ruby color showed up on the film as black when the shoes were the correct color, so the costumers adjusted the actual costume to give the color they wanted.
A MODEL OF A HOUSE SHOT INSIDE A NYLON STOCKING ATTACHED TO A FAN.
MAN IN A COSTUME.
HORSES DUSTED WITH COLORED GELATIN.
And this? This is where it would’ve been useful to have CGI. Margaret Hamilton got really badly burned on the steam doing one of her entrance/exits, and ended up in the hospital. THIS is what you use CGI for.
You come into my house and insult practical effects?
I’ll just finish off by reminding you THIS IS ONE, TOO.
That last one, iirc, was there was a double in a sepia-toned costume, and the interior door and wall there was painted brown, so when it was lit and shot it all appeared to still be in the sepia tone of the Kansas scenes, and part of why Dorothy stepped back out of the frame was so the double and Judy Garland (in the proper blue-and-white costume) could swap.
You are correct. The double’s name, by the way, was Bobbi Koshay.