She-Hulk trailer shows off Marvel’s CGI problems

first trailer she-hulk Released last week, the first thing people talk about is CGI.

On Twitter, the hashtag was trending alongside the words: “CGI. “Reporter Josh Spiegelman Kidding It’s always a good sign when one of the most common reactions to a trailer is “…the effect isn’t done yet, right?”sites like this ScreenRant and total movie There have been reports of problematic special effects that were used to turn actor Tatiana Maslany into a giant green superhero. It sparked a debate about the use of computer-generated imagery in these projects.

Before getting into the discussion itself, it is worth acknowledging two important points. Most obviously, CGI is a tool like no other. It’s just one way to achieve a specific vision on the screen. As such, these types of computer-rendered effects work well. Just last year, dune Demonstrate the effectiveness of applying computer-generated effects judiciously.Likewise, no matter what people think Avatarthe effect is great.

They can be used minimally to enhance other base productions. For example, practical effects proponent Christopher Nolan used CGI to realize the character of Aaron Eckhart. dark Knight. However, they can also be used to create a convincing surreal feel.Pick an example from the same larger franchise she-hulkRocket Raccoon (Sean Gunn, Bradley Cooper) is an excellent computer-generated character.

Another major point to acknowledge is that yes, she-hulk Probably not done yet. After all, it won’t premiere for another three months. This leaves a reasonable amount of time to finish rendering and fix any issues. That said, it’s also worth acknowledging that Disney made a conscious choice to release a trailer with these effects, knowing that the project will be judged by reference to these visuals. It’s a fair game of criticism.

She-Hulk Trailer CGI Jennifer Walters Quality Issues Point to MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Vision Equipment and VFX Workers Dealing With Trouble

More importantly, about she-hulk The trailer is just one example of a long-simmering tension.In recent years, the use of computer-generated imagery in mainstream blockbusters, especially its attempts to to replicate the real environment, e.g. jungle cruise. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the most high-profile example of this trend has drawn a lot of criticism.

Critics were quick to single out the film’s problematic digital effects, such as black widow and Shang Zhi and the Legend of the Ten Ringsalong with recent moon knight streaming show. Even the positive reviews of these projects suggest that “CGI soup. “There is a feeling that she-hulk The trailer unfortunately became the straw that broke the camel’s back, at which point what could have been forgivable or forgivable happened at a tipping point.

After all, these projects look bad for no reason. They are very expensive movies that generate decent profits at the box office.Not only that, they Greatly outperform competitors who look much better than them. black widow reported cost $200 millionwhile visually more impressive dune cost only $165 million. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness According to reports, the budget is $200 millionExceed $185 million That Batman cost.

As mentioned, the problem is not the use of digital effects per se.This is how Companies use them. Part of the problem is Marvel Studios’ house style. These films tend to look very similar, both in terms of lighting and composition.The studio is known for its Use of Color Correction to ensure some sort of homogenous visual style, it famously tries to “horizontal“Kenneth Branagh Pleasant tilt angle in post-production Thor.

A big part of successfully integrating computer-generated imagery into a shot is considering how the object will look like Lit and Framed. Again, there’s nothing particularly new or special about this. Filmmakers must apply the same level of thinking to more analog special effects, such as models or masks.In order for CGI to look great, it needs the same level of planning as the actual special effects on something like Lord of the Rings Movie. It cannot be forced to fit the style of the house.

This is the biggest problem with using CGI in blockbuster movies. People tend not to think of these visuals as an art form. There is an accidental “fix it in the post” Attitude towards digital effects, seeing the technology as a magic wand that can fix anything, rather than a tool in a big box. The work done by these craftsmen is rarely seen as an art form, and often only in their become The failure of the punching bag, such as cat.

Part of this attitude undoubtedly stems from a preconception that digital effects are cheaper than actual filmmaking, stemming from larger systemic problems. If the numerical effect is more cost-effective than the actual effect, it is largely because the labor involved is grossly underestimated. Because computer-generated effects are relatively new, the industry doesn’t enjoy the same protections as more traditional filmmaking sectors such as set and costume designers.

in a family the power of its guildthe visual effects artist is not highly unionized. This means that their labor is underpaid and visual effects companies are forced to Contract bids with major studios are too lowIt also means that large studios can wield considerable sway over these artists, forcing them to work ridiculous hours with insane deadlines. This is a particular problem when studios greatly underestimate the work involved.

She-Hulk Trailer CGI Jennifer Walters Quality Issues Point to MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Vision Equipment and VFX Workers Dealing With Trouble

“It fell entirely on the shoulders of the studio that set the release date and then worked backwards from there,” explained Todd Sheridan Perry, who was in charge of production. the impact on Black Panther. “Not enough time to realize the ambitions of the project.” After backlash over trailer Sonic the Hedgehog, VFX Studio Films staff worked 17-hour days with no days off to redesign characters.Even so, they couldn’t survive; they closed a month before the movie.

This production usually comes down to wires. Given that the studio had to re-release an updated version of the movie”improved visualsWhile still in theaterswhich may not be a good sign, director Tom Hooper is working on cat until 8am before the world premiere. As with any other art form, the time and effort invested in digital effects is often reflected in the quality of the output, and depriving the artist of the opportunity results in poor quality work.

One of the problems with the approach Marvel Studios took is that it complicates these issues even more.Contrary to the reputation of studios planning months or years in advance, studio operations mostly in flight. It plans probabilities like this extended remake. As we all know, Benedict Cumberbatch is still in the remake Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness exist March 2022, just two months before the movie was released. This didn’t give the visual effects team a lot of time.

Likewise, coordinating actors after a project can be difficult, and it’s easier to shoot on green screen than to return to the set.This leads to incredible effects, like the disturbing shots of Simu Liu, Awkwafina and Menger Zhang compound on lawn. This is a choice. According to Kyle Buchananproducer Kevin Feige would rather “reshoot something to make the character land better than worry about last-minute visuals.” Why not get it right the first time?

She-Hulk Trailer CGI Jennifer Walters Quality Issues Point to MCU Marvel Cinematic Universe Vision Equipment and VFX Workers Dealing With Trouble

However, it’s also the result of a culture that sees these visuals as simple solutions to complex creative problems. When you only have Thor’s Hammer, everything Looks like nails. Shang Zhi and the Legend of the Ten Rings intended to be A tribute to classic Hong Kong martial arts moviesbut even if A potentially fascinating tribute to martial arts movies Get lost in unnecessary and distracting digital tricks instead of leaning towards the texture and tangibility of practical effects.

she-hulk Facing similar problem. Tatiana Maslany has proven she is one of the best actors of her generation orphan black, she mostly uses her body to play multiple different roles. With budget and time constraints, it seemed like a waste to bury Maslany in a show that was largely produced in post-production. Guardians of the Galaxya movie with a CGI talking tree and a raccoon, wisely chose to keep Zoe Saldana under makeup rather than CGI.

The argument here may be that digital effects look more “realistic”, same logic – and broader trends militarize these roles – Explains why cloth clothing is often replaced by armor paneling in real-life situations. However, looking at some of the examples already cited, this is not convincing. A fairer statement might be that these computer effects look more generic, less stylized, and more in line with “Everything in the Marvel series is overlit. “

CGI is not the problem here. CGI can be used well, both overt and covert. The problem arises when CGI is used as a stick, without treating these effects as an art form. Filmmaking is a beautiful process that includes countless tools and possibilities and requires creativity and ingenuity. Everything has a place, especially CGI. However, that place is not “at the last minute” and “everywhere”.