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Fenn
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27 Jul 2022, 11:06 am

cyberdad wrote:
Oh wow! yes my nephew has a remote controlled BB8 and it does almost look like the real thing. However in future I suspect they will stick the base model robots behind animated screens as the CGI is getting more and more complex. I have some reservations about the Star wars robots as they adhere to Lucas design from the 1970s so to 2022 eyes they look a little clunky and not functional.


I guess it depends who you are, A fan/hobbyist/maker or a fan/movie go-er/at-home-streemer.

There are conflicting reports on how “real” BB8 was. The puppeteer who dressed in a green screen suite and “played” BB8 says there was one used in some scenes, and was later used for “red carpet” work. Other reports say there was no “real” (RC / Autonomous) BB8 at all until after the shooting was complete, then one was made for promotional appearances.

Practically a “real” R2D2 could be made (and has been) with most of the gadgets seen in the original three films. In the prequels he is CGI (I think) for scenes where he flys with rockets. The rockets are not practical for most hobbyists, even those with a full aluminum machine shop (and there are some with skills and milling equipment and so on). The 3D hollo-projector doesn’t really exist (for 3D volumetric moving images viewable from any angle) there are various approximations but none conveniently fit in a droid. A digital tv/movie projector can (and sometimes is) fit.

BB8’s head and look and movements can be done, but the hidden internal apparatus leaves no room for panels and gadgets.

The CGI is surely good enough to fool most audiences, the problem is for the actors - they need something to look at and react to.
This is why motion-capture is used for human or human-like characters - characters that can be replaced with CGI substitutes later. For a CGI droid to be believable as a character that the audience really cares about it really helps if it exists in the same world as the actors. Kenny Baker’s performance inside the R2 suit made R2 loveable in the original trilogy in a way he wasn’t in the prequels or the final three (in my not so humble opinion).

Mark Hamill leaning down to talk to R2 or putting his hand on his dome the way you might put a hand on a kid’s shoulder, or wiping swamp gunk out of his eye, even when he was just a prop, really sold it. That kind vibe is hard to get with a CGI only character.

From a cost standpoint - I just don’t know. Really good CGI or mocap probably isn’t cheep. Getting a couple of geeks to build you a droid with grassroots support for sourcing parts who have used croudsourcing of uber-fans and true-believers who have already worked out most of the details in the last 20 years of fandom may actually be cheaper?
(But I really don’t know).
I know render-farms cost dollars.

More details on BB8:

https://www.starwars.com/news/bb-8-and- ... -last-jedi

https://github.com/adamgreen/bb-8


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cyberdad
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27 Jul 2022, 5:12 pm

Fenn wrote:
The CGI is surely good enough to fool most audiences, the problem is for the actors - they need something to look at and react to.
This is why motion-capture is used for human or human-like characters - characters that can be replaced with CGI substitutes later. For a CGI droid to be believable as a character that the audience really cares about it really helps if it exists in the same world as the actors. .


This is a good point. I agree it's more authentic to have a moving robot for the actors to interact with but isn't this also part and parcel of the actor's skillset to interact with a blank space? The compromise is to have a base level object that simulates a robot.

Fenn wrote:
Kenny Baker’s performance inside the R2 suit made R2 loveable in the original trilogy in a way he wasn’t in the prequels or the final three (in my not so humble opinion).


Yes I understand the characters of Korg and Jar Jar were enhanced by the actors who played them. Ahmed Best in an interview said he literally lived and breathed George's character while on set. Unfortunately while fans loved Kenny Baker's performance as R2D2, Ahmed was sent hate mail which caused him to be suicidal.

I was thinking about concepts in robotics and what came to mind were the drones. If you look at the original trilogy the 1970s concept of a drone was a ridiculously large aerial robot with legs and massive antennae (in the 70s it was assumed that anything remote controlled needed like a analogue radio antennae :lol: ). Fortunately in the prequels when Darth Maul used probes they shrunk them but even in the clone wars they continued using the big clunky robots created from the 70s which from a functional perspective were big enough to be detected because they were loud and noisy and susceptible to being shot.

In the Book of Boba Fett Fenec Shand uses a miniaturised smart probe that is capable of not only infiltrating an enemy compund (in the series it penetrated Jabba's palace) but also send back a 3D map of the facility which reflects current understanding of satellite technology.



Fenn
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28 Jul 2022, 5:22 pm

So: how should a new Star Wars “long long time ago in a galaxy far far away” movie’s world look?

Should their tech match our tech?

If you are Disney and you don’t want to alienate a huge existing fan base, but also want to attract a new audience - what choices do you make?

The original movie was made in the 70’s.

Similar issues for the creative team on the “Lightyear” Pixar movie. They decided to embrace “neo-retro”.

“As I [Angus MacLane, Director/Screenwriter] said, the other quality I wanted the film to have was chunk. Now, I wanted there to be a thickness to things, an obvious construction. The original Buzz has a lot of chunk inspired by a healthy dose of NASA and Japanese anime. But we didn’t want this new Buzz to look like a toy–I wanted the technology in the world to be a pushbutton world of inefficiency. A celebration of the early 1970s and 1980s vision of the future. We tried a variety of shapes and textures to explore the design possibilities of this neo-retro future”

Source:

https://socalthrills.com/disney-pixar-d ... lightyear/


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Fenn
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28 Jul 2022, 5:39 pm

Sometimes today’s tech imitates or is inspired by the movies (Star Wars in particular)

https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/featur ... y-in-space

“ Imagine you’re sitting in class watching a scene from “Star Wars” and your professor assigns a project meant to fly in space.

In 1999, that is exactly what happened for engineering students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“On the first day of class, I showed the students the clip where Luke Skywalker learns to channel the Force using the free-floating practice droid on the Millennium Falcon spacecraft,” explained David Miller, the professor and creator of the course. “I said that I want three of these droids to fly on the shuttle or International Space Station, except without the lasers blasts," said Miller, now NASA's chief technologist. "And the rest is history.”

Seventeen years later, that class project, called SPHERES -- Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites -- is celebrating a rare milestone: 10 years of investigation on the International Space Station (ISS).”


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cyberdad
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29 Jul 2022, 3:32 am

Fenn wrote:
So: how should a new Star Wars “long long time ago in a galaxy far far away” movie’s world look?

Should their tech match our tech?


It's not about alienating the audience or the original fans. it's about moving with the times, A race of humans capable of warp drive space travel, cloning humans, brain/machine inteface, brain chips and nanotechnology/nanobots (refer to Clone wars) are quite easily capable of miniaturised electronics, and other breakthroughs that makes ridiculously cumbersome robots like C3PO redundant.

Yes, I am using our own tech as a reference point but I suppose its possible to have uneven tech development for the basis of a stretching a story.



cyberdad
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29 Jul 2022, 3:36 am

Fenn wrote:
Sometimes today’s tech imitates or is inspired by the movies (Star Wars in particular)

https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/featur ... y-in-space


Indeed. I'm not sure if you are familiar with Arthur C Clarke, his science fiction inspired the idea that geostationary satellites would be ideal telecommunications relays.



cyberdad
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29 Jul 2022, 9:22 pm

Oh dear...this will send the somewhat cranky star wars fandom into a meltdown :lol:
https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/m ... 0043d8823a



Kitty4670
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14 Aug 2022, 1:34 am

I watched Star Wars, I saw all the Star Wars movies, I didn’t see the last one.


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cyberdad
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14 Aug 2022, 1:45 am

Kitty4670 wrote:
I watched Star Wars, I saw all the Star Wars movies, I didn’t see the last one.


I didn't mind the Last Jedi. I am fixated with all the voices of force ghosts (1-2 who might actually be alive) Rey heard when she was fighting Sidious. It kind of reminded me of Harry Potter when all of Harry's dead loved ones appeared to him one last time as ghosts. My concern is that if Palpatine is so powerful whether he was like a skinwalker and shape shifted into Rey.



cyberdad
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05 Sep 2022, 5:01 am

Anyone up for Andor?



cyberdad
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06 Sep 2022, 4:00 am

Awww the force is not strong on WP

I feel like Kenobi languishing on Tatooine :lol:



Fenn
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07 Sep 2022, 8:07 am

Just read the wikipedia articles on the Andor series and character.
I liked Rogue One.
Could be good


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cyberdad
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07 Sep 2022, 5:17 pm

Fenn wrote:
Just read the wikipedia articles on the Andor series and character.
I liked Rogue One.
Could be good


Yes there's plenty of podcasts, trailers and write-ups so we know it's in the same spirit as Rogue One focusing on the non-Jedi events during the time of the great upheaval of the events post-Order 66 bit through the eyes of common folk struggling and rebelling against the empire.