05. 23. 2005
Fake or not?
Totally standard looking spoon and fork, yes, except that they aren't real. These were rendered by Maya 3D modeling software. When I think of CGI, I still just think of cartoony things like Toy Story, which, while being a remarkable achievement, still looks far from real life. In something like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the live-action and the CGI are meshed, but there is still a discernible (and intentional) fake quality which instantly brings to mind a "behind-the-scenes" type news segment showing Gwyneth talking to a blue screen. But it can all be done so seamlessly now. While no one would doubt that the new Star Wars movie is full of Lucas effects, I don't think anyone outside of the cast/crew could tell with any real accuracy which props and characters were actually there on the set, and which ones were put in later.
Watch this computer-generated video about the Mars Rover mission by Maas Digital and you'll see how easily many of us could be fooled into thinking parts of it were the real thing. Scary, when you think about the implications in journalism, advertising, memory manipulation (sorry, am I just paranoid?).
Think you can't be fooled? See if you can tell which others of these images were computer-generated in Alias's (they make the Maya program) Fake or Foto quiz. I did okay, but I think I thought too much about being tricked and sometimes went against my instinct. I got 7 out of 10 right.