CGI polemic about bring back actors.

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CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 10:17 am

I would like to talk about the polemic of to use CGI to bring back dead actors, like Peter Cushing in Star Wars Rogue One.



Audrey Hepburn CGI:



What is the ethic limit for such technology ?

For me I think it's fine to use it to rejuvenate actors :
Michael Douglas:

Robert Downey Jr:

Anthony Hopkins:
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 12:21 pm

Leia and Tarkin looked absolutely terrible. And anyway, you can't bring them back even with CG (at least not in a real role). To think it's possible is an insult to them and to all great actors. What makes them what they are isn't just what they look like. Its' their ACTING. And acting is performance and character choices, not just reading dialog and being recognizable.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 1:11 pm

Only an approximation of their appearance can be "brought back," not their voice, mannerisms, and acting style. It's just a mask.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 1:14 pm

I have to agree with you in most.
Looking the CGI of Audrey Hepburn it feels a bit lifeless in acting, far from the Sabrina or princess Ann characters we know from the movies. Even the shape of her face it's not fully right. Maybe they had no good reference for the 3D reconstruction.

But I think CGI can be used as "digital virtual make-up" for extent ressemblence to actors in relation to some characters.

De aging it's importante. For example I found Red Dragon a bit silly, showing a aged Anthony Hopkins portrying what should be a very younger Hannibal Lecter, in comparison to The Silence of Lambs version of Dr Lecter.

About voice it can synthetized, like they did after Paul Walker's dead, in Fast and Furious. Mannerisms and acting style are really the bigger challenge.

fwtep wrote:Leia and Tarkin looked absolutely terrible. And anyway, you can't bring them back even with CG (at least not in a real role). To think it's possible is an insult to them and to all great actors. What makes them what they are isn't just what they look like. Its' their ACTING. And acting is performance and character choices, not just reading dialog and being recognizable.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 1:27 pm

People familiar with Peter Cushing complain about the voice of fake Cushing being wrong.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 1:56 pm

Is it the polemics against using CGI to bring back dead actors you wish to discuss? Since a polemic is "a strongly written or spoken diatribe against something", I think not. I think you wish to discuss the practice of taking a dead actor, slapping his CGI image on a performance and what our reactions and thoughts on the subject are. These may involve polemics, but they are not about polemics, unless we wish to discuss the use of language and dingbats in our written discussions on the subject.

That bit of nit-pickery aside, I am agin' it except under limited circumstances. All of the exceptions I can think of offhand involve some performer's choice to be in a movie which, for some reason can't be done (death, as in Paul Walker's case with the Fast & Furious entry; age as in Carrie Fisher's appearance in Rogue One). Mr. Cushing could not consent to be in Rogue One; Fred Astaire could not choose to be in a vacuum cleaner ad; Miss Hepburn did not tell people "After I'm dead and gone, feel free to make money by whoring out my appearance and reputation for good taste if they pay you enough money." It's as spurious as the claim that "Will Rogers never met so-and-so" that crop up every election or so. So-and-so may be a b*****d, but then so too, likely, is the guy making the claim.

I would like to think that, besides the money, these people thought they were bringing a bit of art and dedication to their chosen roles. To decide for them afterwards is a vast usurpation. It shows a lack of respect for the dead, and if we choose not to respect those whose voices we cannot hear, then what respect do we, as the living, deserve?

I'm not asking you to please don't talk about me when I'm gone; just don't express opinions and attribute them to me without some real research -- and certainly, bear in mind, that my opinions change occasionally; nor does my thinking something means I'm going to tell you. I offer the same consideration for you.

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Last edited by boblipton on Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 2:03 pm

I just think it is all very, very clever.

In the first place Carrie Fisher and Peter Cushing's estate approved for the work to be done, secondly actors are always impersonating someone - so there's not much difference in my mind to someone being called in to be a model for someone else than portraying that someone else in the actual flesh. Let's face it, actors have been the disembodied voices to cartoons for years.

I also think that actors must relish the idea that they can be made to look young again! Crikey, I wish that all scenes taken of me that have appeared in recent years could have had the same treatment! :D
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 2:09 pm

In Rogue one case the voice was from the brithish actor Guy Henry, who also provided his body image and face expressions. But in Fast and Furious it was really Paul Walker's synthetized.

Ludi wrote:People familiar with Peter Cushing complain about the voice of fake Cushing being wrong.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 2:27 pm

Well, I'm waiting more people opine to turn it into a real polemic.
Hepburn CGI had a mistake, the ear lobe of the CGI wasn't lose, like Hepburn had.

Something is bring a character that was portrayed by a actor, back with the appearance os the actor. Other thing is to create a new character which the actor never portraid and used the dead actor appearance to create the new character.
Can you imagine if someone use a CGI model of John Wayne to make a gay comunist character? He would roll in his grave as he would never take such roles in life.
(No prejudice intention here, I was justi making a point showing mentality of vintage actors)


I found this about Peter Cushing CGI: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ection-cgi


boblipton wrote:Is it the polemics against using CGI to bring back dead actors you wish to discuss? Since a polemic is "a strongly written or spoken diatribe against something", I think not. I think you wish to discuss the practice of taking a dead actor, slapping his CGI image on a performance and what our reactions and thoughts on the subject are. These may include polemics, but they are not about polemics, unless we wish to discuss the use of language and dingbats in our written discussions on the subject.

That bit of nit-pickery aside, I am agin' it except under limited circumstances. All of the exceptions I can think of offhand involve some performer's choice to be in a movie which, for some reason (death, as in Paul Walker's case with the Fast & Furious entry; age as in Carrie Fisher's appearance in Rogue One). Mr. Cushing could not consent to be in Rogue One; Fred Astaire could not choose to be in a vacuum cleaner ad; Miss Hepburn did not tell people "After I'm dead and gone, feel free to make money by whoring out my appearance and reputation for good taste if they pay you enough money." It's as spurious as the claim that "Will Rogers never met so-and-so" that crop up every election or so. So-and-so may be a b*****d, but then so too, likely, is the guy making the claim.

I would like to think that, besides the money, these people thought they were bringing a bit of art and dedication to their chosen roles. To decide for them afterwards is a vast usurpation. It shows a lack of respect for the dead, and if we choose not to respect those whose voices we cannot hear, then what respect do we, as the living, deserve?

I'm not asking you to please don't talk about me when I'm gone; just don't express opinions and attribute them to me without some real research -- and certainly, bear in mind, that my opinions change occasionally; nor does my thinking something means I'm going to tell you. I offer the same consideration for you.

Bob
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 2:41 pm

All Darc wrote:... if someone use a CGI model of John Wayne to make a gay comunist character? He would roll in his grave as he would never take such roles in life. ...

Bob
[/quote]

John Wayne made a few visits to Oz back in the late 70's - ostensibly to do some commercials here. He also appeared on some live television variety programmes and was interviewed. What came across was that he had quite a pronounced sense of humour. There is no reason to believe that if he were alive in the 21st Century that he would not consider such a role as the above - he would probably think it all quite amusing - especially if the pay cheque was large enough. :D
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 3:09 pm

Donald, it's a little bit hard to imagine. :lol:
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 5:45 pm

I thought the Peter Cushing in Rogue One was pretty passable (dialogue included), mostly because he was usually in shadows, the Princess Leia was truly awful though. I wonder if Carrie Fisher actually "approved" this, since in one of her stage shows she says that Lucas owns her image. Perhaps they asked as a courtesy wanting to keep her around for Episode 9, but I suspect if they really wanted to they could have done it whether she liked it or not.

Personally, I think the whole concept is pretty despicable and is the precursor to outsourcing acting to the lowest bidder and then making it look like whoever they want. Society cheapens itself even further to make another buck.

That said, I'd pay cash money to see a gay, Bolshevik John Wayne though. Cash. Money.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 5:51 pm

oldposterho wrote:...
That said, I'd pay cash money to see a gay, Bolshevik John Wayne though. Cash. Money.

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And I'd pay money too to see Charlton Heston play a gay, communist leading a campaign for gun control! :D
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 6:05 pm

oldposterho wrote:Personally, I think the whole concept is pretty despicable and is the precursor to outsourcing acting to the lowest bidder and then making it look like whoever they want. Society cheapens itself even further to make another buck.


Once actors' voices can be synthesized, studios won't have to pay residuals to anyone! :shock:
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 8:03 pm

That Audrey Hepburn commercial is disturbing -- it feels like I'm watching an alien in her body, or an android that looks almost exactly like her. Something about her mannerisms, and the timing of her gestures is just...off. (So I guess it's pretty much in keeping with the well-known "uncanny valley" phenomenon.)
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 8:27 pm

What did you think about the Tintin movie, in terms of acting performance ?

Image


Maybe Peta Digital have better technology to capture facial expressions, necessary for accurate "acting transfer" to a CGI model, than Luca's ILM have.
I agree that a artificial acting performance in a CGI character of a dead actor, it's offensive even if the CGI textures and lighting are looking natural.

Anyway Lucas can go back in this film maybe in 2027, and redone some scenes, and people will buy once again the new "restored version". Remamber he changed Star Wars A New Hope two times, one in 1997, with a repulsive grotesque CGI of Jabba, and again i 2004 for the DVD creating a new CGI Jabba (also not very good but better than the crap 1997 version).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Br0R5kMzwM

See how even the basic geometry of Jabba it's a complete mess in the 1997 version.
The movie was digitally restores in only 1920p in 2004, so I'm sure it will be restored again for 4K BD, and he will certainly change something once again.

He changed even Yoda in episode I:

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 8:42 pm

All Darc wrote:What did you think about the Tintin movie, in terms of acting performance ?
Maybe Peta Digital have better technology to capture facial expressions, necessary for accurate "acting transfer" to a CGI model, than Luca's ILM have.


By the same token "Polar Express" was another picture that used CGI to give approximations of real actors. In another way of looking at it, the latest iterations of "A Christmas Carol" and "Alice in Wonderland" etc., used CGI to distort the features of real actors. Where does one draw the line? You could take it further and say that it is in bad taste to play pictures that feature the living likeness of people who are now dead? There are some cultures where that is the vogue.

I really can't take it all too seriously, although perhaps I can accommodate the thoughts some may have on it which are akin to those towards the colouring in of black and white pictures. I just think it might be fun to see say, Rudolph Valentino make a comeback - this time around even talking! :D I just like to sit in awe of what is now possible.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSat Jan 07, 2017 11:47 pm

Let's say that CGI is used to fill in missing bits of films, such as the sequence with Eugene Pallette in Laurel & Hardy's Battle of the Century. We have stills to guide us; and it's largely the pen shtick, of which we have a good exemplar in Double Whoopee. I have no problem with that.

Sticking with L&H, we're on shakier ground if we'd go CGI for the whole of Hats Off!, even though we have stills and The Music Box to give us some support. This would be a reconstruction of a whole piece, with its atmosphere and the interplay between the actors. It would be guesswork without the magic of acting. I'd be at best just curious to see how charmless it was, and at worst disgusted by the sham.

The problem isn't so much the technology as people whose standards have fallen so low that they believe actors to be little more than their physical appearance and their personal quirks and symbology. You can have a simulacrum of Ollie fiddling with his tie all you want, you're not going to have the subtleties which give it the distinction which Mr. Hardy would bestow on it. We've all seen cartoons of famous actors and other notables; are they ever anything more than crass and shallow representations? Same situation with CGI.

And this doesn't even address what is perhaps the most important aspect (though others have glanced at it above): What would the real actor choose to be in? What role would he or she accept? Forcing the image of someone with a reputation--even a dead person with a reputation--into something new without that person's imprimatur--not the person's family's imprimatur, not a law firm's imprimatur, but rather that of the original artist--seems really ethically abhorrent to me. And, practically, it's like asking all those monkeys with all those typewriters to generate a new play "by Shakespeare." Sure, given enough time, they could do it, and in perfect blank verse, too, with iambic pentameter, and lots of Elizabethan words, usages, and topical references; and sure, it would stink. Standards, people--standards!
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 2:09 am

I find it creepy...I don't like the way the Audrey Hepburn one looked. I hope they stop doing this.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 6:50 am

I think someday we would be able to restore film making a 16mm or 8mm looks like 35mm again, using the image of lower resolution as a precise scafold guide were sharp 3D textures would be added in a way that if you down sample it again back to 16mm it would look like the original 16mm. So the acting performance would be maintained.
It could also be used to making 35mm film remastered to true IMAX resolution.

About Audrey CGI I did a mistake in my comment. The ear lobe of CGI was right. I confused cause I was checking many links with many fotos and this photo of the double:

Image

Image

Odinthor, sorry to say that, but use CGI to reconstruct a film a lost scenes would be worse than use it to create a new film. Recreate missing frames can acceptable, but not a whole scene.


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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 7:18 am

I would love to see a perfect colorization. They improved technology in 2001 up to 2007, but it was much based in cost and vevenue return. The Lucy colorization made in 2016 and the other TV show had no quality upgrade. Still teh aprouch of segment the image (faces, eyes, clothes, background elements) and add a color spectrum, to each one, that ressambles a natural color somehow.

http://www.westwingstudios.com/wws/website/gallery.html

Legend Films almost stop colorizing film and series, and the technology upgrade ceased
Only with complete 3D estimation of character/objects and mapping of texture would be possbile a perfect colorization, but it would be very expansive.

Donald Binks wrote:I really can't take it all too seriously, although perhaps I can accommodate the thoughts some may have on it which are akin to those towards the colouring in of black and white pictures. I just think it might be fun to see say, Rudolph Valentino make a comeback - this time around even talking! :D I just like to sit in awe of what is now possible.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 8:18 am

All Darc wrote:Remamber he changed Star Wars A New Hope two times, one in 1997, with a repulsive grotesque CGI of Jabba, and again i 2004 for the DVD creating a new CGI Jabba (also not very good but better than the crap 1997 version).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Br0R5kMzwM" target="_blank

See how even the basic geometry of Jabba it's a complete mess in the 1997 version.
The worst thing about that is that it's apparently OK to step on his tail. Surely that's along the same lines as, say, meeting Don Corleone and throwing your drink in his face, then continue talking as if nothing happened? (And the most dangerous bounty hunter of all time has apparently nothing better to do than play bodyguard to that.)
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 8:26 am

I believe that this discussion has wandered a bit far afield, from the moral and ethical questions to the issue of execution, as if good execution justifies a bad act.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 11:12 am

If nothing else, it's creepy.
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 11:26 am

ClayKing wrote:If nothing else, it's creepy.

Oh, I don't know...Audrey Hepburn in the chocolate ad looks like melting chocolate throughout, and that's not all bad, just messy...
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 11:36 am

First we need to point how well executed it can be done, and then discuss in more details the ethics matter about.
If technically it look like a mess it will be offensive no matter the intention. Nobody wants the figure/image of a good vintage actor looking ridiculous and pathetic.

Like I said, use a actor to create a new character he never portraits it's certainly more inacceptable than recreating a character he/she already performed. Keeping in mind a character portrayed before, I don't see much trouble in a fast scene, but a whole movie about the characters it's more complicated to judge.

boblipton wrote:I believe that this discussion has wandered a bit far afield, from the moral and ethical questions to the issue of execution, as if good execution justifies a bad act.

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 1:21 pm

boblipton wrote:I'm not asking you to please don't talk about me when I'm gone;
Bob


Oh, we do have plans, Bob. Rest assured.

I agree with your points. I'm old enough to think there is a matter of respect involved: faking up a performance by Bogart or Hepburn is an act of disrespect to them. Unfortunately, in this day and age, most people think faking up a performance by Bogart or Hepburn is an act of respect to them, not the reverse. Same way they think "You'd better respect me" is the same thing as "I'm using this gun to intimidate you."

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 1:28 pm

All Darc wrote:First we need to point how well executed it can be done, and then discuss in more details the ethics matter about.
If technically it look like a mess it will be offensive no matter the intention. Nobody wants the figure/image of a good vintage actor looking ridiculous and pathetic.

Like I said, use a actor to create a new character he never portraits it's certainly more inacceptable than recreating a character he/she already performed. Keeping in mind a character portrayed before, I don't see much trouble in a fast scene, but a whole movie about the characters it's more complicated to judge.

boblipton wrote:I believe that this discussion has wandered a bit far afield, from the moral and ethical questions to the issue of execution, as if good execution justifies a bad act.

Bob


So you're saying that the issues Swift was satirizing in A Modest Proposal is dependent on the quality of glove leather to be obtained from Irish babies?

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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 1:56 pm

Bob, I didn't watched A Modest Proposal.

What I'm saying is not that the ethics depend exclusivelly from the quality of CGI. I'm saying that a low quality certainly make the whole thing offensive.
If it will also be offensive, even with high quality, it's another thing to judge.


It's like graduation oratory. You need to dress decently:

Image


If the oratory discurse will be good, I'm not sure.

But it will be certainly ridiculous if get dressed like this:

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qtVDm2RWYwo/ ... %2BITA.png
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Re: CGI polemic about bring back actors.

PostSun Jan 08, 2017 2:01 pm

boblipton wrote:
All Darc wrote:First we need to point how well executed it can be done, and then discuss in more details the ethics matter about.
If technically it look like a mess it will be offensive no matter the intention. Nobody wants the figure/image of a good vintage actor looking ridiculous and pathetic.

Like I said, use a actor to create a new character he never portraits it's certainly more inacceptable than recreating a character he/she already performed. Keeping in mind a character portrayed before, I don't see much trouble in a fast scene, but a whole movie about the characters it's more complicated to judge.

boblipton wrote:I believe that this discussion has wandered a bit far afield, from the moral and ethical questions to the issue of execution, as if good execution justifies a bad act.

Bob


So you're saying that the issues Swift was satirizing in A Modest Proposal is dependent on the quality of glove leather to be obtained from Irish babies?

Bob

Thanks, Bob!! I've always wondered what Swift meant :lol:
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