Practical Effects VS CGI

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Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  Polidano on Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:31 pm

Nowadays, most film productions turn to the CGI department to handle special effects...these computer generated effects have become more affordable, requiring less man power to produce.  Not to mention that many of these effects look amazing.  Check out the very short video below which shows a couple of practical effects used in Cocoon.  No computers here!  What do you think?  Did these "tricks" do the trick?


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RE: Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  Tommy De La Pena on Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:06 pm

While these practical effects in Cocoon are quite impressive for their time, it is easy to recognize how outdated and tacky they are when compared to the visual effects of today's modern films. Despite the hard work the production crew had put in Cocoon, most of their practical effects do not stand the test of time. Especially when the aliens finally reveal their appearance within the movie. Although i have to admit the pool scene where Walter (One of the aliens) reveals his real arm and soaks it within the pool is quite an impressive practical effect, the next scene where they fully expose their true forms is quite wonky and poorly executed in my opinion. Having the shining effect and making the aliens appear to have the ability to fly was a creative idea, but it was not that impressive on screen due to how stilted the aliens appeared and the lighting effect being quite tacky. Despite this, I still managed to enjoy the movie and appreciated the practical effects used at the end of the film for the aliens' ship and the fog that was implemented. Even though they may sometimes come out wonky, I believe practical effects do indeed still have their place in today's films (Like E.T., not a CGI created character but instead using an animatronic) and that there needs to be a certain balance of CGI and practical effects used within non-animated movies. Alongside practical effects, CGI is still not perfect within films but can provide a visual enhancement to the audience also. Each being quite impactful when used correctly according to the purpose of the effect. Despite not being able to stand the test of time, I do indeed think that the "tricks" used within this movie did the trick in the time that Cocoon was released.

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Re: Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  amychristina on Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:42 pm

I would say that, yes, these practical effects really did the trick for Cocoon. I was very impressed with the effects like the fake skin, the glowing of the aliens, and the fake UFO. They all looked really believable, and since there were no computers used on these effects, the hard work put in to make such effects were really well done and creative. These effects really helped me to enjoy the movie, but the flying of the aliens was the only thing I felt was tacky and weird. It didn't really work for me, but Cocoon overall had awesome practical effects. Though practical effects sometimes aren't as good as computer generated effects, both forms have their ups and downs, and the effects for this movie were definitely up there.

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Re: Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  jacob kennedy on Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:40 pm

in the movie Cocoon the tricks and the effects were just okay. I personally thought it was kind of unrealistic but it might have been good for the time that the movie was played. I just think they made them to bright and the figure was weird. One trick and effect that was pretty good and impressive was the skin and how they were able to pull back the skin. therefore, I think that it was good for the time but doesn't look good now because how much the cji has enhanced.

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Re: Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  Marielle M on Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:05 pm

I believe that the practical effects in Cocoon were quite effective, especially for the time. The only effect from the movie that I didn't enjoy was the flying of the aliens as it looked out of place with the rest of the movie. The practical effects with the skin suits peeling back were quite good and very effective in the context of the movie. The alien space ship at the end was an effect that I would argue even holds up by today's standards of CGI when the light was shining down on the people in the boat. There is definitely a place for practical effects even in big CGI blockbusters today as it adds a sense of realism that I have found CGI still doesn't quite match. There is nothing that can top actually having the tactile thing in front of the camera, and at least with current CGI that still isn't something that can be created in my opinion. That isn't to say that one day it won't get there, I just believe that for now, practical effects still do have a place in the world of movie making for the realism they bring to a production.

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Re: Practical Effects VS CGI

Post  Graemelynch on Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:53 pm

Although I wasn't the biggest fan of the tricks used in Cocoon, I'm still amazed at how they made something that could be easily mistakable for CGI out of a bunch of items and camera angles. I found that really ingenious how they used the terrarium to get that underwater shot. I think i would've appreciated the effects a lot more had i not been born in the age of technology where CGI is the norm.

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