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 Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?

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PostSubject: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:09 pm

Inspired by the CGI thread. Mine:

Jurassic Park - The Best
Spoiler:
 

Jurassic Park - The Worst
Spoiler:
 

The Lost World - The Best
Spoiler:
 

The Lost World - The Worst
Spoiler:
 

Jurassic Park III - The Best
Spoiler:
 

Jurassic Park III - The Worst
Spoiler:
 

Jurassic World - The Best
Spoiler:
 

Jurassic World - The Worst
Spoiler:
 
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V.a.nublarensis
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:12 am

I'd have put the Rexes attacking Eddie's car as the worst in TLW and the Spinosaurus grabbing Nash as the worst in JP3.

Look at JW, though. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:33 am

Yeah, I personally didn't think the T. rex animatronic in JP3 was that bad (not great, but okay), and the movement on the Baby Stegosaurus, especially when Sarah reaches out and touches it, is remarkable.

I would say most of the Spino animatronic shots, specifically where the skin looks unusually wrinkled or the movements stilted, are the worst for me. In terms of worst TLW animatronic, I'd have gone with a fairly specific shot when the Raptor snarls at Malcolm before being taken out by Kelly. Something about it seemed very model-ish.

Taking the Apatosaurus animatronic on it's own, there are moments when it looked spot on and blends well with it's CGI body, and a few shots were it seemed stiff like it did more complex mouth movements. But sadly compared to the Triceratops in Jurassic Park, my favourite animatronic from that movie, it needed some extra work done. I remember when CinemaSins commented on how fake it looked, and I remember thinking "Uh, do you not want there to be any animatronics in the film, period? Because that almost happened!"
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:13 am

Spino animatronic is probably the greatest piece of equipment the entire saga but they lighted and directed it absolutely terrible. In the river scene it works - which is why I chose it for best for the very specific shot - but elsewhere it doesn't because they didn't know what they were doing with it. The Nash death scene does look terrible indeed, as does the whole rolling of the plane. I still respect them for trying to do with it animatronics rather than lazy out with CGI, like JW would have done, but regardless of noble artistic (?) intentions and Stan Winston still being part of it it just did not work. Apart from the very few Spino exceptions I already mentioned. And most of the non-CGI raptor animatronics which were still good.

I think the major problem with both Baby Stego and JP3 Rex for me is the horrific eye movement. They are slow and clunky. With original Triceratops the eyes made sense since it was sick (and the model was overall amazing anyway), but those two don't have that. I mean, what the hell is this supposed to be below?

Spoiler:
 

I know the JP3 Rex model in particular was ancient at that point and that they dragged it from some old warehouse rather than build new one for just one scene, but 'cmon. Even in theater I remember watching that and thinking, is that the best they can do after two films with Rex animatronics?
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:42 pm

I've paid closer attention to the compy in Ludlow's cage recently. Got to admit, the animatronics are pretty terrible there, the thing literally moves like factory line industrial robot with very stiff, clunky gestures. Or maybe a bad string doll. I suspect they didn't really bother with it considering it's kind of a background novelty more than focus of the screen, but in any case I might have to change the worst TLW animatronic/puppet to that. Which is interesting considering I think compys otherwise are easily the best puppetry in the entire film. Incl the best shot, as in my opening post Razz

So this is the bad one I'm talking about:

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:35 pm

Jurassic Park:
Best = T. rex
Worst = Brachiosaurus

TLW:
Best = Male T. rex
Worst = baby Stegosaurus

JP///:
Best = the Raptor animatronics
Worst = Spinosaurus

JW:
The Apatosaurus was just bad.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:09 pm

@CT-1138 wrote:

JW:
The Apatosaurus was just bad.

The ironic thing is that while they were average-at best-they were also the best by default. While I still hate JP3, I will say this about it. At least they had an mix of animatronics and CGI. Granted the animatronics weren't perfect, but at least we had quite a bit of them. And that's just sad.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:07 am

Having not really watched any of the JP3 behind the scenes footage too much, I wonder how much of the animatronics were carried over from the first two films. Apart from the obvious ancient T-Rex body that is. I assume mainly the raptor 'suits' etc, if they weren't new altogether

Also, Trevorrow says the reason for lack of animatronics in JW was budget. Yet in we actually look at the budget of JP3, 93 million (adjusted to 2017 inflation almost 128 million), it is infinitely lower than JW's 150 million (adjusted to 2017 inflation 154 million). But they still managed to have giant armada of animatronics in 2000/2001 with that, whether there were some carryovers from previous films or not. So with JW it's obviously just a cheap excuse and most of the money was just allocated to wherever, because post production effects are easier and comfortable to do.

We can only hope that the promises are fulfilled for JP5.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:16 am

The reason for lack of animatronics in JW was because Universal doesn't want them for some reason, I forgot what.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:30 am

Another Colin Classic line:

“I think the lack of animatronics in Jurassic World had more to do with the physicality of the Indominus, the way the animal moved. It was very fast and fluid, it ran a lot, and needed to move its arms and legs and neck and tail all at once. It wasn’t a lumbering creature.

A) Is the I-Rex now suddenly the only animal in JW?
B) Is that attempting to imply that Spinosaurus and T-Rex in previous films were supposedly lumbering?
C) I remember plenty of shots where the thing was moving either slowly or sneakily, and many closeup shots that would've looked about billion times more convincing with animatronics. Especially the first shots we see it, when it's "hiding" behind the leaves. And then with the gyrosphere and some of the jungle stalking. Those would've worked even with second rate upper body robotics, not full structure.

They glow about the motion capture and models they built, but no-one notices it under the thick CGI curtain. And IMO they're not that impressive anyway.

My wish for JP5 is that not only are there sufficient amount of animatronics supporting the CGI, and that they aren't there just for novelty's sake but with actual practical reasons, but also that they don't attempt to 'enhance' the animatronics with extra CGI layer on top of them. Keep animatronics/puppet entirely separate from CGI. And if they don't match, that's CGI's fault, not animatronics as the computer effects are done in post.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:34 pm

You know, the salt in these mines is so thick I'm convinced this area was under the sea millions of years ago.

Even if you don't agree with a lot of Trevorrow's reasoning (and I have my own issues as well), given that it's still a couple of years since Jurassic World came out he probably would not say anything that could potentially throw it under the bus. These sorts of things are usually discussed years after the fact. Maybe if it was Brad Bird (for example) in his place (leaving JJ Abrams to direct Tomorrowland), then his clout and experience would have bolstered Universal's confidence in allowing time for animatronics to be built.

Though from what I remember from a Jurassic Outpost podcast, they mentioned that Executive Producer Thomas Tull of Legendary Pictures pushed for CGI over animatronics, after seeing the dailies for Godzilla. Unfortunately, that is based on only what I heard from the guys on the podcast, and have not been able to find any solid articles online.

At the end of the day, I am with the same boat as everyone: I want to see animatronics and top of the line CGI hand in hand to make the best possible dinosaur scenes, and neither exist for their own sake and serve the story.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:53 pm

I think Bayona's film will have more animatronics, Bayona is big on practical effects & we know the budget for this film will be bigger than JW's.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:08 pm

Mistral wrote:
Another Colin Classic line:

“I think the lack of animatronics in Jurassic World had more to do with the physicality of the Indominus, the way the animal moved. It was very fast and fluid, it ran a lot, and needed to move its arms and legs and neck and tail all at once. It wasn’t a lumbering creature.
Laughing Laughing Laughing



Lumbering... riiiiiiiiiight... What movies was Trevorrow watching.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:16 pm

@CT-1138 wrote:
Mistral wrote:
Another Colin Classic line:

“I think the lack of animatronics in Jurassic World had more to do with the physicality of the Indominus, the way the animal moved. It was very fast and fluid, it ran a lot, and needed to move its arms and legs and neck and tail all at once. It wasn’t a lumbering creature.
Laughing Laughing Laughing



Lumbering... riiiiiiiiiight... What movies was Trevorrow watching.

In the words of the Joker; "Very poor choice of words."

Though let us examine both creatures when they interact with vehicles:

Rexy is more ponderous and deliberate in her interactions with the car, she's still acting like a real animal interacting with a strange item for the first time. As usual the animatronics really bring this scene to life. The I. rex by comparison is a lot more frantic, faster and more aggressive, very rarely standing still and always looking for something to attack, like a rabid dog on the loose. Rexy is territorial and driven by instinct, the Indominus is insane. And credit where its due, its closeups tend to show much better CGI than most creatures in the film, almost to the point in which I thought it was an animatronic when I first saw it in the cinema.

Disclaimer: I'm not trying to be the Colin groupie of the forum - I am simply judging each movie as I believe to be fair.
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PostSubject: Re: Best and worst moments of Animatronics in the JP quadrilogy?    Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:32 pm

I just think that Colin said that simply because he didn't want to suffer the wrath of the higher ups if he said that they didn't give him more animatronics because they didn't have that much faith in a new director. Which, let's face it, was the real reason.
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