Welcome to part two of a multi-part article series based around Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.
In the first part of this series I talked about how the dwarves were interchangeable and only one or two (save Thorin) were necessary to the plot. In this one I’m going to talk to you about the bad, no, appalling, CGI used throughout the entire Hobbit Trilogy. Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of visual effects just not the way they are used. Like Cristopher Nolan believes, if you can do it practically then do it. CGI is just one tool in a filmmaker’s toolbox, not a must-have that you need in every single scene.
The biggest example of this is the CGI Orcs and Goblins to the practical makeup and costumes of The Lord of The Ring’s Orcs. Which of the two do you honestly think looks more realistic? The Uruk-Hai on the left or Azog on the right?
The reason why these bad visual effects are so much worse is because they are featured VERY prominently. Take Azog for example. in the first movie of the trilogy, he is in it for over ten minutes and he is the main villain of that film. Why don’t I tell you what makes his face bad? the first big issue with him is his lighting. His face almost always has a strong white light shining on it from at least one side. The issue with this is that this character is the only one getting this light. Any real elements (or even some CGI ones) have no light shining on them making Azog feel out of place and unnatural.
The other main issue with his face is that it feels very glossy. In order to make a computer-generated face look real is to add texture, shadow, and stretching. For texture, you need to give the face all the fine details like skin stretching, dirt, and little scars.
Take a look at this and tell me if this looks physically possible.
Visual Effects are meant to suspend the disbelief of the viewer and bring them into a fantastical world. These horrendous effects pull the person watching the movie out of the story. See you in the next part!