Discuss all things Ghostbusters here, unless they would be better suited in one of the few forums below.
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By Sav C
#4861243
In an interview, Paul Feig said that the New Ghostbusters would rely on Practical Effects with some CGI touchups. After seeing the trailer I was puzzled that ghosts made with Practical Effects in 1984 and ‘89 could look so much different from ghosts made with Practical Effects in 2016.

To try to understand the differences, I have decided to compare color properties.

Here is an essay I wrote examining the effects in the first two films and the new trailer's Special Effects:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3IQ8g ... sp=sharing

Please tell me what you think. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks!
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User avatar
By Skyknight
#4861289
In other words, old ghosts looked more like they were part of the world they showed us. New bright neon light ghosts that still don't illuminate the backgroud look too artifical and stick out way too much!
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By Sav C
#4861323
Exactly! Some people nowadays seem to have shorter attention spans than in the '80s, so now films need to be more saturated and edited faster so people don't start to doze off. It's like they're making films that are mimicking video games.
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By Skyknight
#4861381
I think the video game did a better job 7 years ago. I feel if they need to make the ghosts glow so bright, then they also need to realize that they would light up the background. If they want the background to stay dark, they shouldn't make the ghosts look like effing neon signs!
Like this the ghosts look like they were copied and pasted from somewhere else and are not really part of the world that is shown. I know that ghosts aren't really part of the material world, but as soon as they take a visible form they should affect their surroundings.
User avatar
By Kingpin
Moderator
#4861404
I'm really not seeing the absence of ambient glows from the ghosts that you guys are talking about (at most there's two spots where they might be missing - I've detailed these below). I've just re-watched the main and international trailers, and here are my notes:

You can see the blue of the ghost at the mansion reflected on the wood surrounding the door, the lower edge of the picture frame, and the vase in the bottom-right corner of her opening shot, as well as on Gilbert's face and suit.

You can see the blue from the ghost in the Subway cast across the I-beams, the ground, the rails and on Patty.

You can just see the green glow of Slimer on Patty and Abby.

You can see the lighter blue of the ghost Abby punches reflected off of her and the car next to her.

The two occasions I couldn't see any obvious glow being projected by the ghosts were during that shot of the large crowd scene populated with 1920s/1930s ghosts, but this might be because we can't really see much of the surrounding area, and of the ghost at the concert (though that may be because it was drowned out by the stage lights, or because the ghost doesn't give off as bright a glow - we'll have to see if anything changes between now and the release.
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By Sav C
#4861419
Now thinking about it, the video game did do a pretty good job. I don't play many games, and got stuck on the River of Slime level.

The essay was mainly about the saturation of the ghosts, and not the brightness (although I could do one on the brightness.) I may have given the impression the Blue Ghost wasn't giving off any light. It is, but unlike the Library Ghost, which gives off a high key light, the Blue Ghost gives off a low key light. The high key is realistic for an object of that size and brightness, since it lights the room evenly, like a lantern. The low key, when used in this sense, doesn't strike me as realistic. The low key casts harsh shadows and is quite directional, and not something I'd expect from a ghost.

In other words, the high key is very low contrast, and the low key is very high contrast.

That could just be my opinion. It would be nice to get an actual lighting technician to throw in their two cents.
By pferreira1983
#4861477
Yeah like a lot of things about the new film that's been bugging me is the fact that the ghost effects look worse than what was in the original movie. Is it that hard to make them look like the original movie?
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By Sav C
#4861493
Yeah like a lot of things about the new film that's been bugging me is the fact that the ghost effects look worse than what was in the original movie. Is it that hard to make them look like the original movie?
It shouldn't be too hard to get them to look like the originals. All it would take is making the ghosts less saturated, and maybe darker (while making the backgrounds lighter.) Basically getting them to blend into their surroundings better. Right now they look a bit out of place.
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4861508
Is it that hard to make them look like the original movie?
At a stretch I'd say they're not trying to replicate the specific look of the ghosts in the original movie.
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By Sav C
#4861516
At a stretch I'd say they're not trying to replicate the specific look of the ghosts in the original movie.
Great point! That seriously didn't occur to me. Paul Feig said so much about Practical Effects I just assumed he was going for the original's look, like JJ Abrams was with Star Wars.
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By Skyknight
#4861575
But Abrams did a way better job on Star Wars. You can only tell where it's CGI because some shots would've been impossible without. But they look exactly like the rest of the movie and fit in perfectly. While the ghosts in Feig's Ghostbusters look totally out of place because the CGI touch up was done wrong!
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4861579
However it is worth noting that the effects work on the ghosts may not have even been completed when the trailer was put online, so they may still be some difference between what we saw in March, and just over two months time.
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By Sav C
#4861611
But Abrams did a way better job on Star Wars. You can only tell where it's CGI because some shots would've been impossible without. But they look exactly like the rest of the movie and fit in perfectly. While the ghosts in Feig's Ghostbusters look totally out of place because the CGI touch up was done wrong!
I haven't seen the new Star Wars, but what I meant is that Abrams was trying to replicate the old film with Practical Effects. When Feig said he was using Practical Effects, I figured he was trying to recreate the look of the original's effects, and it never occurred to me that he might be going for a new look.
However it is worth noting that the effects work on the ghosts may not have even been completed when the trailer was put online, so they may still be some difference between what we saw in March, and just over two months time.
It's possible. Take a look at this shot missing a Scoleri brother in the the Ghostbusters II trailer: https://youtu.be/UnzH75FlwvU?t=2m5s
By gold333
#4861687
Awesome comparison document kid.

I loved reading it.

For me personally, the 1999 DVD had the best ghost/neutrona effects.

Something about old school effects on old school film and gritty grading.

The blaster beams too look more "real" and bright for want of a better word on that release to me.
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By Sav C
#4861695
Awesome comparison document kid.

I loved reading it.

For me personally, the 1999 DVD had the best ghost/neutrona effects.
Thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed it :)

The first DVD I got was the 2005 release, which was probably the worst the film has looked on disc. Recently I got the 2014 Blu ray, which is a huge improvement over 2005, so I'm really happy about that (even though it is a bit dark in some shots, especially in Ghostbusters II.)
Something about old school effects on old school film and gritty grading.
I wish they had shot the reboot on film, it would've been great to see the (new) New York skyline with the grain of 35mm. The digital medium has offered some great advancements, especially in film restoration and archiving, but it would be great if Hollywood used the old school techniques much more often than they do now.
The blaster beams too look more "real" and bright for want of a better word on that release to me.
Judging by comparison shots, the 2005 DVD and 2009 Blu ray both did a very poor job on the beams.

In the past I've tried figuring out an alternative word to "real" when describing effects, and have come up with natural (which still doesn't seem like the right word) and believable (which doesn't seem to be much of an improvement.)

Thanks for reading!
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4861709
I wish they had shot the reboot on film, it would've been great to see the (new) New York skyline with the grain of 35mm. The digital medium has offered some great advancements, especially in film restoration and archiving, but it would be great if Hollywood used the old school techniques much more often than they do now.
Wouldn't that be a bit of pointless nostalgia, though? I used to work in a cinema and a 35mm print took up a lot of space in the projection room, compared to a hard drive containing the film (plus, the film won't lose quality, get scratched or potentially burn over time when it's digital, versus actual film).
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By Sav C
#4861737
Wouldn't that be a bit of pointless nostalgia, though? I used to work in a cinema and a 35mm print took up a lot of space in the projection room, compared to a hard drive containing the film (plus, the film won't lose quality, get scratched or potentially burn over time when it's digital, versus actual film).
Sorry, I should've been clearer, what I meant was that they should shoot on film more, not project. It would be great if they shot it on 35mm, and then scanned and projected in 4K or higher. Digital is great for accurate archiving and projecting, so no scratching or loss of quality, but I prefer movies that were initially shot on film.

The new movie was shot on digital, the Arri Alexa XT to be specific. If it was shot on 35mm, and then scanned in after editing, and projected digitally, that would be by favorite process. Basically the exact same thing as what happens with the originals when they are sent on new theatrical runs.
By GBfan77
#4861776
As far as practical effects go, the effects of the 84 film still hold up very well. With the exception maybe of the Terror Dog when it's Chasing Tully. I think the effects in that scene could use some touch ups but not much.

Now lets talk about what we've seen thus far in the reboot. The Ghosts are noticeably bright, but that might be for a reason. I've mentioned this before that the film was given a 3D treatment and anything filmed in bright colors works best for 3D, so I'm hoping to see Ghost that Pop out from the screen.
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By Sav C
#4861782
As far as practical effects go, the effects of the 84 film still hold up very well. With the exception maybe of the Terror Dog when it's Chasing Tully. I think the effects in that scene could use some touch ups but not much.

Now lets talk about what we've seen thus far in the reboot. The Ghosts are noticeably bright, but that might be for a reason. I've mentioned this before that the film was given a 3D treatment and anything filmed in bright colors works best for 3D, so I'm hoping to see Ghost that Pop out from the screen.
The Ghostbusters II effects hold up even better, but that's because ILM was fully operational when they started work on the film.

At least for now I haven't seen a film in 3D that hasn't given me headaches and made me feel nauseous. Maybe they'll turn down the brightness and saturation of the ghosts for the 2D copy.

If you see it in 3D I hope you really enjoy it!

Recently I saw the film "The Walk" and it was probably my favorite film of 2016 so far. They did a really great job, and it is a beautiful tribute. I felt 1,368 feet up even though I saw it in 2D (on a 48 inch TV) and not 3D IMAX like everyone said to.
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By Kingpin
Moderator
#4862373
Uhm, well, not being Feig or involved with the production in anyway, I can only conclude that they went with their own way with the ghosts to create their own iconic look, to have something that can't just be considered a pale imitation or a "copy" of how the 80s films did them.

There's also been the technical explanation that they may've been done this way to work better with current 3D cinema technology.

It's sorta like how Nolan's Batman franchise didn't use the same design of suit that Keaton's did, or how the suits worn by the First Order Storm Troopers are inspired by the classic Storm Troopers, but different enough, they're a way for a director or art director to put a bit of their own stamp and influence on things.

I don't think that's automatically a bad thing. Having never seen a ghost, neither strikes me as being more or less an accurate a depiction of a paranormal entity. :)
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By Sav C
#4862471
Uhm, well, not being Feig or involved with the production in anyway, I can only conclude that they went with their own way with the ghosts to create their own iconic look, to have something that can't just be considered a pale imitation or a "copy" of how the 80s films did them.
It would've been nice to see them done '80s style, but non Ghostbusters fans would've wondered what the heck they just watched.
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User avatar
By Sav C
#4863174
Hi everyone,

One complaint that seems to come up a lot with Ghostbusters II is the Statue of Liberty and how she doesn't actually have feet, yet becomes able to walk.

It seemed like an odd complaint since the slime obviously manipulates objects, like the toaster which grows feet so it can dance:
Image
The tub, which wouldn't bend like that without the influence of slime:
Image
The mink coat:
Image
So wouldn't it make sense for the Ms. Liberty to gain the ability to walk?
Image
Tell me what you think! Thanks.
Image
By gold333
#4864668
Hi everyone,

One complaint that seems to come up a lot with Ghostbusters II is the Statue of Liberty and how she doesn't actually have feet, yet becomes able to walk.

It seemed like an odd complaint since the slime obviously manipulates objects, like the toaster which grows feet so it can dance:
Image
The tub, which wouldn't bend like that without the influence of slime:
Image
The mink coat:
Image
So wouldn't it make sense for the Ms. Liberty to gain the ability to walk?
Image
Tell me what you think! Thanks.
Image
Yeah I agree.

The Staypuft scene, although iconic was borderline childish. The liberty statue was just childish and really relegated GB2 to kids movie territory towards the end in my opinion.

The statue is a wireframe metal structure with overlying panels. It has no skeleton or joints or even feet. To have it just hover over the streets would have been more "realistic" eerie Twilight Zone rather than the Scooby Doo kids effect we saw in GB2.

Yes I realise I'm talking about the "realism" of a possessed 150ft statues' dynamics of possession, but as we all know these things affect the "tone" of a movie. Hellraiser is equally improbable but scares the crap out of you.

As for the grading. I'm a commercial advertising photographer who lives in Photoshop. We all have a moment where everything you continue to adjust starts to be over the top. It starts to look less and less real. The '14 BR toned the "color corrections" applied between 99-09 down, so that the movie looked more like the original release.

Sure, some things needed tweaking, the blown out whites in the rooftop scene, etc. But on the whole all the post 99 releases look faker to me in terms of color.

Its hard to explain but the tonal gamut and contrast ratio of the effects/ghosts/beams appears mismatched to the film grain of the scene itself.

Like in the cleaning lady blasting scene, at the ISO level (film sensitivity) and contrast ratio (lighting) used in that scene, the sudden appearance of the beams would just look like a blindingly bright predominantly whitish / orangish color.

The later releases add very detailed bit depth, hues and tonal range to effects like that, and some ghosts for example, where its mismatched to the film stock. Sure the remastered effects are rendered in 32-bit software with huge gamuts... But the original film stock would never have displayed that detail!

At the grain level, focus and lighting visible in a scene, the VFX could not possibly be there in real life the way it looks on the film. It's evidently painted on, and takes you (even if a little) out of the immersion. (Subconsciously for a non-professional image-maker I suppose.)

Like getting a 0.2 megapixel Sony Ericsson phone from 2002, taking a 640x480 pixellated video with it. Blow it out to 4K resolution (it will still look as bad, as you cannot create new information by simply enlarging a source), and then go and add 4K hyper detailed effects to it. It will obviously look fake.

I put it down to messing with something too much where you begin to lose sight of the forest through the trees. It's why the 99 DVD release looks most "realistic" or "vfx matching environment" to me. I think those original cinematographers and vfx guys knew what they were doing.

PS: I'd love to see your cinematography write up!
Last edited by gold333 on May 20th, 2016, 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Sav C
#4864696
For the sequel they didn't seem to do do as good of a job with the domino theory of reality.
I call it like the domino theory of reality. If you can go one step at a time and it seems to make sense, you can then take your audience into an area that is relatively outlandish. ~Ivan Reitman
To have it just hover over the streets would have been more "realistic" eerie Twilight Zone rather than the Scooby Doo kids effect we saw in GB2.
Hovering would've been so cool! Image
You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.
As for the grading. I'm a commercial advertising photographer who lives in Photoshop. We all have a moment where everything you continue to adjust starts to be over the top. It starts to look less and less real. The '14 BR toned the "color corrections" applied between 99-09 down, so that the movie looked more like the original release.
I live in Premiere, but use Photoshop on occasion for animation work (nothing professional, just stuff for fun.)
The later releases add very detailed bit depth, hues and tonal range to effects like that, and some ghosts for example, where its mismatched to the film stock. Sure the remastered effects are rendered in 32-bit software with huge gamuts... But the original film stock would never have displayed that detail!
If possible, they should release an unaltered scan of the original print. I would buy that in a heartbeat.
I put it down to messing with something too much where you begin to lose sight of the forest through the trees. It's why the 99 DVD release looks most "realistic" or "vfx matching environment" to me. I think those original cinematographers and vfx guys knew what they were doing.
They sure did :)
PS: I'd love to see your cinematography write up!
I'm glad you're interested. I'll try to have it up within a week!
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By Sav C
#4865201
Hi guys,

An important part of a Visual Effects Shot (or any shot really) is the Cinematography, as it can make or break how realistic or convincing an effect is perceived.

Here is my write up on the Cinematography in both films: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3IQ8g ... sp=sharing

It also delves into a bit of visual symbolism I've come across in both films.

I didn't look into the Cinematography of the reboot only because it would've made the essay longer, but once the film comes out I probably will make a write up about it too.

Hopefully you enjoy it, and thanks for reading :)
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