Sci-Fi Do you prefer characters who are CG or Human

Should holograms be CG or Human?

  • CG

  • Human


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rachellang54

Cadet
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Location
Orange County
Hi everyone! I'm new here, I've been working on a sci-fi short film so I thought this would be a good place to get some opinions :D

Basically, there's an AI character who appears as a hologram to interact with the main character. Should we get a real actress to play the hologram or use a CG animated character similar to a very realistic video game character? The rest of the film is live action with CG drop ships added.

If you have a preference visually for one or the other, I'd love to hear why in the comments.

Thanks!
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
I think it would be better to have a CG character as contrast to focus on the hologram specifically.
Or, use real actors but use CG to indicate they are holograms.
Show the holographic emitters or the light that enables the hologram.
Have the image 'flicker' or be somehow altered from the other real live actors appearances.
For simplicity and to create the feel of a hologram, CG would be easier and more effective.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
What is the general setting of the film? In short, I ask because I'd expect the AI to match the rest of the tech set in the film. If it was set in the current time but supposed to be slightly advanced then I'd expect it to be as Tom describes, either some type of visible emitter so that you can see it's a hologram being projected or even have a slightly 'fuzzy' look to it (like old SD TV displays) that could 'flicker'.

But, if we're talking about a film that takes place at a utopian future time with far more advanced tech then I'd think that the AI display would be seamless as it would be talking with real person with just some minor hints that it's a hologram (eg: maybe a slight shim around the person, like a barely-there aura almost or perhaps the trope of something passing through the hologram). For a dystopian future I think a more low-tech design would be done, perhaps more in line of the current time described above.

But there is another way to go. Depending on the conditions in which the hologram will be interacting with your main characters perhaps you could take the approach of the 2002 version of The Time Machine and present your human looking AI on large flat glass display panels? The movie itself wasn't that memorable but I thought their usage of the large clear flat display panels to display the library AI was pretty neat, especially with the AI being able to independently move from panel to panel on it's own showing it had intelligence but was restricted in how it could interact with the real world.

 
Reactions: Tom

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
What Kevin suggests is pretty good.
I agree with it.

Should we get a real actress to play the hologram or use a CG animated character similar to a very realistic video game character?
It depends on many things as to which you would use.
Have you considered using a live actress with capture?
Kinda like Gollum in LOTR?


Do you have access to realistic video game character software? I think it would be a real bear to have to write code for all the movement. I'm not a programmer so I don't know much except polygongs? and wire frames?
I would think it would be a lot of work to get a CG character right in all the ways you need it to be.
Motion capture on a human seems like it would be easier to do. You could overlay morphs and appendages if needed. I would think it would be easier to write code for a morphing arm that becomes a gun that to write all the code needed to show realistic movement, presence, body language and expressions.

If there are no 'modifications' needed to the hologram (arm turns into a blaster, head explodes) it would be simple by comparison to just film a live actress and give her a 'glow' or make her 'wink' in or out of frame.
 

Tiran

Ensign
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Current CG characters look horrible and fake. If a true AI wants to use a human facade to better relate to people, I think it would get the details of facial expressions right, not create another rubber-lipped video game character. So the AI's stand in would be indistinguishable from a person.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Current CG characters look horrible and fake. If a true AI wants to use a human facade to better relate to people, I think it would get the details of facial expressions right, not create another rubber-lipped video game character. So the AI's stand in would be indistinguishable from a person.
Personally, I think CGI characters are getting better and better in movies.
there's an AI character who appears as a hologram to interact with the main character.
I understand there is an intention to separate the human actors/actresses in the appearance of a technologically advanced scenario.
If the hologram looks and reacts with the set the same as the other actors, it will be hard to tell the difference unless you paste a "H" on her head.
1546063752559.png
No offense, Rimmer

For the viewer to associate that actress with being a hologram, something needs to be different.
The question is, should the hologram be 'played' by an actress or a CGI construct?

I think it entirely depends on what the filmmaker wants the 'hologram' to do.
One must ask the question while watching the film if the technology is advanced enough to make indistinguishable holographic humans.
If the technology doesn't match up with what is portrayed in the film, the viewer might have a problem suspending their disbelief.

So, one consideration that might be given is how 'other' holographic constructs look.
Will there be holographic displays?
A holographic apple being bitten?
A chunky big head avatar being shown?
How much CGI and how detailed it will be will determine whether an AI character who appears as a hologram to interact with the main character will be more believable as a CGI construct or an actress.

I think there was a LOTR film done in the 70s or 80s that used actual actors with colorizing effects to make them fit in with the cartoon elements.
I think it was this one...
1546064513418.png
Publicity for the film announced that Bakshi had created "the first movie painting" by utilizing "an entirely new technique in filmmaking." Much of the film used live-action footage which was then rotoscoped to produce an animated look. This saved production costs and gave the animated characters a more realistic look.
~ Wiki

The point is, the filmmaker took steps so the 'look' matched.
 

Tiran

Ensign
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Personally, I think CGI characters are getting better and better in movies.
They are getting better, but I have yet to see a Gollum or Princess Leia that could be mistaken for a person.

My opinion is simply to give the AI more ability to produce nuanced images than somebody working at Pixar.



Bakshi used both rotoscoping and a type of chemical image processing to make live action look kinda/sorta like animation, but both are pretty bad. WIth digital effects plenty of simpler processes could be used to inform the viewer that the person is not physically there in the room - the simplest being just shooting the actor on a green screen with slightly different lighting and matting them into the scene. That alone looks wrong enough, but you can also change things like image quality, contrast, frame rate, color intensity, skip frames, interference lines, etc for essentially no expense.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
Bakshi used both rotoscoping and a type of chemical image processing to make live action look kinda/sorta like animation, but both are pretty bad.
I agree, it 'looked' terrible.

the simplest being just shooting the actor on a green screen with slightly different lighting and matting them into the scene. That alone looks wrong enough, but you can also change things like image quality, contrast, frame rate, color intensity, skip frames, interference lines, etc for essentially no expense.
I agree, I agreed with Kevin on this as well.
 
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