How ‘Rogue One’ Brought Back Familiar Faces

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Those of you that haven't seen the movie yet should probably avoid this article. Everyone else will no doubt find this story about the character effects used in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story pretty interesting.

But as they revisited the 1977 George Lucas movie that started the “Star Wars” franchise, and gave fresh screen time to some lesser-known heroes and villains, the staffs of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic faced artistic and technological hurdles: most prominently, using a combination of live action and digital effects to bring back the character Grand Moff Tarkin.
 

Ducman69

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I promise you, no one in the audience didn't realize it was blatant CGI. That said, it was as good as CGI gets for such crazy close up shots.

My question though, is would it have been better to just have a look-alike playing the role, rather than an obvious computerized recreation? Personally, its never bothered me for example that batman's face has changed in the movies time and time again. I understand that its a different actor, but still Bruce Wayne, and I don't need a CGI recreation of a younger Michael Keaton to avoid confusion.

So I'd personally restrict CGI recreation to what Terminator did, where there's poor lighting, steam, and short glimpses, and never super close up so you don't really focus on the flaws in their recreation of young Arnold. And for older movies, just find a similar looking actor for the role, identify him by name, and I'll have no problem understanding its recast but real.
 

dandirk

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as soon as i saw him on screen i knew it was CGI

Well that could very well be bias since you probably knew he was dead? I agree I could see the common CGI issues but they were more subtle.

I personally thought it was the best CGI of a person I have ever seen to date (in a movie). While I knew it was most likely CGI, it did make me wonder if there was some pactical editing tricks involved.

Princess Leia on the other hand wasn't near as good.
 

ZodaEX

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I promise you, no one in the audience didn't realize it was blatant CGI. That said, it was as good as CGI gets for such crazy close up shots.

My question though, is would it have been better to just have a look-alike playing the role, rather than an obvious computerized recreation? Personally, its never bothered me for example that batman's face has changed in the movies time and time again. I understand that its a different actor, but still Bruce Wayne, and I don't need a CGI recreation of a younger Michael Keaton to avoid confusion.

So I'd personally restrict CGI recreation to what Terminator did, where there's poor lighting, steam, and short glimpses, and never super close up so you don't really focus on the flaws in their recreation of young Arnold. And for older movies, just find a similar looking actor for the role, identify him by name, and I'll have no problem understanding its recast but real.


Wrong. Several people over at the Jedi Council forums have reported viewers not noticing that Tarkin was CGI. Speak for yourself for once?
 

Merc1138

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Wrong. Several people over at the Jedi Council forums have reported viewers not noticing that Tarkin was CGI. Speak for yourself for once?
Oh yeah, because people on a star wars forum fawning over the latest star wars anything simply because they're happy it's not a repeat of episodes 1-3 means anything...
 

conscript

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some serious sleuths here to realize an actor that died 22 years ago had to recreated with CGI...
 

hawkeye_wx

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Count me among those who did not realize Tarkin was CGI. I'm sure it helped that I was not familiar with Peter Cushing.
 

Stoly

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Interesting article but I wish was was a video of the process
 

ChedWick

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I didn't notice right away. At first I thought it was just an actor who looked eerily similar to the original actor. As the movie progressed I did start to wonder if it was CGI. Then we got another CGI face and I knew I was initially mistaken. I'm sure if I saw it in IMAX it would have been very obvious to me though. My wife had no idea though.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Having seen the movie twice, I can say that the format you see the movie in will likely affect how noticeable the CGI is here.

First in Dolby Atmos (really the best retail theater experience), CGI Tarkin was pronounced, almost to the point of making me uncomfortable.

Then in a small-ish Real3D screening (note that Atmos is not 3D), it didn't bother me nearly as much, and if I wasn't looking for it due to knowing the character and having experienced the movie in Atmos, I likely wouldn't have noticed it, or at least been bothered by it.


Also, I went back and watched the prequels, and he's on one of the Clone Destroyers with Vader observing the very initial frame of the first Death Star. But like Leia, he wasn't on long enough to matter!
 

zamardii12

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Having seen the movie twice, I can say that the format you see the movie in will likely affect how noticeable the CGI is here.

First in Dolby Atmos (really the best retail theater experience), CGI Tarkin was pronounced, almost to the point of making me uncomfortable.

Then in a small-ish Real3D screening (note that Atmos is not 3D), it didn't bother me nearly as much, and if I wasn't looking for it due to knowing the character and having experienced the movie in Atmos, I likely wouldn't have noticed it, or at least been bothered by it.


Also, I went back and watched the prequels, and he's on one of the Clone Destroyers with Vader observing the very initial frame of the first Death Star. But like Leia, he wasn't on long enough to matter!

Whoever did the voice for Tarkin was spectacular.
 

Bomber

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I knew it was CGI. However I was impressed. My wife mocked me for how many times I said wow. This was in Real3D. While it was obviously CGI, the detail was impeccable. Really the only thing missing was the "spark" of life. The eyes looked a little hollow and lifeless. Other than that, amazing.
 

DeathFromBelow

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Count me among those who did not realize Tarkin was CGI. I'm sure it helped that I was not familiar with Peter Cushing.

I didn't notice right away. At first I thought it was just an actor who looked eerily similar to the original actor. As the movie progressed I did start to wonder if it was CGI. Then we got another CGI face and I knew I was initially mistaken. I'm sure if I saw it in IMAX it would have been very obvious to me though. My wife had no idea though.

I saw it in Imax 3D. I knew the original actor had died, but I didn't realize how much CGI was involved. I thought Tarkin/Leia looked great.

I'm wondering if the CGI is more obvious in 2D, the 3D effect may have made it hard for me to notice.

Sad to hear about Carrie FIsher.
 

Insula Gilliganis

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I knew it was CGI. However I was impressed. My wife mocked me for how many times I said wow.

I thought the same.. great job with him but AWFUL rendering of Princess Leia. Perhaps that "lifeless" quality that was missing actually enhanced his CGI while it failed with hers.

hqdefault.jpg
 

rezerekted

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Peter Cushing, best vampire hunter ever and also played Doctor Who in a movie version in the 60s.
 

Mnx4

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Gotta say, when Senator Mon Mothma came on screen, I was like "DAAAAMN she didn't age.... or they found someone that looked just like her." Then Tarkin pops on screen and I realize the rest of the film is gonna have CGI cameos...
 

T_A

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When i`v seen him i thought that was too obvious a CGI and it did distract me a bit when watching since they were doing close-ups, but i still preferred it to a look-a-like.
as for Leia`s scene, i really enjoyed it , since it was really short and the moment was too heart warming felt good to be distracted by the fact that i knew it was CGI.


p.s
it also amazes me they they can recreate animals perfectly in CGI , but can`t make a human face that our minds would believe.
 

Derangel

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Gotta say, when Senator Mon Mothma came on screen, I was like "DAAAAMN she didn't age.... or they found someone that looked just like her." Then Tarkin pops on screen and I realize the rest of the film is gonna have CGI cameos...

Mon Mothma is a very close look alike, but it's a different actress. Genevieve O'Reilly played Mon Mothma in Rogue One as well as in Episode 3.
 

Ducman69

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p.s
it also amazes me they they can recreate animals perfectly in CGI , but can`t make a human face that our minds would believe.
Remember that after the nuclear apocalypse, to horse riding gorillas, all humans look alike too.
 
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