Is CGI Getting Worse?

  • Published on Aug 23, 2018
  • In recent years I've noticed a dip in quality in CGI, resulting in many digital creations that feel very unreal. In this video, I explore why that may be. Please comment below if you know more about CGI and can answer the questions posed in this video.
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    Intro and Outro Music by William Dennison:
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  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 16 828

  • Miike_Snow
    Miike_Snow 10 months ago +12818

    I work for a company in Belgium specialized in CGI / render . And All a can say about thoses bad cgi scene is the light is ruining the 3d model. The light is the key in 3D rendering !
    Just take a look at this kind of 3D render (yes all is in 3D),
    the light is making all the realism in that scene, not the models or the materials. Light and color grading at the best :) !

    • Lorenzo Lombardi
      Lorenzo Lombardi Day ago

      Your profile picture is the worst one of all-time

    • Lorenzo Lombardi
      Lorenzo Lombardi Day ago

      I hate your profile picture nearly as much as your written English

    • TheVidzWatcher
      TheVidzWatcher 3 days ago

      "A company" very convincing!

    • Freezalo The Green
      Freezalo The Green 5 days ago

      I'm from Belgium ass well what company do you work for?

    • Champis theBunny
      Champis theBunny 6 days ago

      My comment is not about movies per se, but about light and CGI characters. I spend a lot of time in Skyrim, a game with fairly low poly faces and even bodies. Yet, if you look at what the screen-archers can do, they can make a relatively low poly character or scenes, look almost beyond next gen. I learned some time ago, that the lighting in the engine is key to realism. Good textures count of course, but w/o proper lighting and shading, and a few other key effects, your character or environment, can end up looking like crap no matter how good your textures and meshes are. So, my efforts to make my various characters and world look as real as possibly, hinge as much, if not more, on advances in ENB and best lighting, the engine can support as they do on finding the highest, GPU killing 4k or 8k textures packs.
      So yes, I can totally relate to what the OP is saying, and have seen for myself how dramatically image quality can change on just lighting alone in 3d environments.

  • Warp Zone
    Warp Zone 22 minutes ago

    If you think the CG is bad now, wait until that Sonic movie they've alledgedly fixed but won't show us any screenshots of comes out. Then you'll see how deep the uncanny valley really goes.

  • Warp Zone
    Warp Zone 23 minutes ago

    "What? The CG looks bad? Ehhh, we'll fix it in post! What? Color grading costs money!? Ahhh, it looks fine. It's Superman blowing up a city! Everyone will love it!"

  • Bartacomus Kidd
    Bartacomus Kidd 3 hours ago

    Black Panther Sucked

  • AltTab
    AltTab 9 hours ago

    They used to produce these in America, now it's Indian sweatshops or Asian crankhouses making these garbage tier CG fuckfests.

  • Rodrigo Parra Palma
    Rodrigo Parra Palma 14 hours ago +1

    After seeing the trailer for CATS, the answer is a godzilla sized yes

  • Beats For Fun
    Beats For Fun 15 hours ago +1

    disagreed with Avatar looking real lol when it came out on blueray it felt less real to me, the CGI was just to define it looked unreal and more cartoon to me then having watched it in 720p...

  • Clubbtech44
    Clubbtech44 16 hours ago

    Stop complaining if you want it to change you try and make good cgi and u see how hard it is

  • Thijmen Striekwold
    Thijmen Striekwold 16 hours ago

    You just go with the popular opinion lol

  • FlappyPhantom
    FlappyPhantom 17 hours ago +1

    I don't get why so many people are bashing CGI so much even though almost every big budget movie in 21st century is using it and majority of people love those films. If done right, average viewer can't tell the difference between real and computer-generated. I just don't get what's wrong with these type of people who are bashing everything new, saying "Oh, old times this, old times that, blah, blah, blah... New is bad, boohoo...". Yes, there are bad examples of CGI but it's not the reason to say that every movie that's using CGI is bad and unrealistic. If you criticise something then give a proper, constructive criticism and not your "This is bad because I didn't like it" nonsense.

  • Tony Burzio
    Tony Burzio 19 hours ago +1

    Wasn't the change in CGI about the time of illegal use of visas to replace American nationals in animation?

  • Isaac Sheu
    Isaac Sheu 19 hours ago +1

    the chestburster alien on covenant was a puppet. you can see how transparent he is, the light going trought and all that. it is great.

  • Andreas Gullberg Larsen
    Andreas Gullberg Larsen 19 hours ago +1

    Agree with most you said, but I don't think you explicitly mentioned animations. At least my brain shouts FAKE if big heavy characters accelerate unnaturally fast and lose that "weight" you talk about.

  • Lu Fel
    Lu Fel 20 hours ago

    You described what I was always feeling and couldn't put into words when i would watch most of these movies ! I would tell people the CGI isn't that great and leaves me wanting.
    Then they would bash me into the ground !!!!

  • cagdas gĂĽven
    cagdas gĂĽven 21 hour ago

    Alita is a cgi anime so its still an anime. Noone gives that much attention unless producers fuck up something bad as Berserk

  • Daniel Stone
    Daniel Stone 22 hours ago

    Part of the problem with black panther and I suspect with some other movies is the camera. The scene is shot in a way that is impossible other than for a virtual camera, and this is something your brain notices even if you don't

  • DividingByZero FPV
    DividingByZero FPV 23 hours ago

    Black Panther, there was no tension or weight because it sucked out loud regardless of CGI

  • Gavriel
    Gavriel Day ago +1

    It’s sad that the Spider-Man and iron man suits of the 2000s are better than the ones today

  • Mi Gi
    Mi Gi Day ago

    It's like they're skipping a step to save money

  • Shuck A Cuck
    Shuck A Cuck Day ago

    "the Avatar movies."

  • Valkyrie
    Valkyrie Day ago +2

    You know what has really good CGI?

    Battlestar Galactica (2003) ! Obviously in the beginning in 2003 it looks very eough, unpolished and lacking detail. but as the show progressed, up to 2009... man that shit got good!

  • Dalym
    Dalym Day ago +2

    I'm curious, do you have similar issues with traditional 2d animation? I basically never hear about complaints regarding realism in regular anime. At most it's about quality.

  • Ledirektor
    Ledirektor Day ago +1

    The first Transformer movie had awesome CGI to me, especially the part when Optimus fight Bonecrusher. And other great CGI was the first Pacific Rim too

  • Gustavo Santos
    Gustavo Santos Day ago

    Maan, you know what I can't stand? Those CGI in laundry detergent ads, in where they put a camera inside the cloth to see how the soap destroys the dirt. I don't know why but those make me sick.

  • Jothunheim
    Jothunheim Day ago

    Back then, CGI artists had a thirst for acknowledgment. They weren't given the respect and credit they get today, so every work was a chance to prove what they could do and show everybody in the business that they could make the magic happen on screen. Nowadays, everyone knows that CGI is great and that it can do amazing stuff. The artists aren't hungry anymore, so they don't do as good a job as they used to. Most of the new artists aren't as dedicated as the old ones!

  • Trypod9000
    Trypod9000 Day ago

    Yeah, there's a lot of shit out there, but you've not even touched on any of the good, what about Thanos? What about the de-ageing in film's? Have you watched film's like Dr Starange? What about Gravity? What about the MonsterVerse film's? And I'm sorry but the CGI in GotG Vol.2 was bloody amazing, it was nominated for an Oscar!

  • N1kk1
    N1kk1 Day ago

    well said

  • Lupus et Borealis
    Lupus et Borealis Day ago +1

    I can't smash the like button hard enough.

  • Therealpyrocynical Olbe

    Fuck you

  • WeirdCity
    WeirdCity Day ago

    You became desensitized to cgi. It doesn't woo you anymore and you are critical. Not much in those comparisons to be honest.


    Great video! I think so too..there is way too much CGI in most of the movies today. Like the Marvel movies...I think Disney don't want to spend much money on these productions anymore....they trying to get fast money by releasing new Movies in a very short there is no way to spend time on the details.

  • Ana Gonzalez
    Ana Gonzalez Day ago +1

    I felt the same way when cartoon shows started to change from hand drawn animation to builds/puppets.

  • Topper
    Topper Day ago

    4:40 Well they had like six weeks to do the cgi for the final blackpanther fight

  • NessMasterGengar! !
    NessMasterGengar! ! 2 days ago

    Black Panther needs a better physics engine

  • NessMasterGengar! !
    NessMasterGengar! ! 2 days ago +5

    The Spy Kids Movies had the best cgi no doubt.

  • Pow Getrekt
    Pow Getrekt 2 days ago +1

    DC is really good at this. Shit editing and CGI for some reason.

  • Andy Jacobs
    Andy Jacobs 2 days ago +1

    As far as Golem in the Lord of the Rings. Serkis was shot on location and rotoscoped out. Then he would redo all of his movements/acting in a motion capture studio indoors.
    And that was at the turn of the 21st century two decades ago.

  • Tonderai Chidembo
    Tonderai Chidembo 2 days ago +1

    it seems as everyone loves lord of the ring. Lord of the attached its heart to everyone who watches it.

  • TheTalisman616
    TheTalisman616 2 days ago

    Gotta be honest. I notice CG issues. It bothers me bigtime. Bad CG us soooo annoying. But.... hobbit was beautiful.

    • Chris Wood
      Chris Wood 12 hours ago

      Eh, it was okay until the scene in the mountain. That scene was horrible. Similarly, the river scene in the second one was bad. Just too much. Too many movies use CG as an excuse for overly elaborate sequences just to showcase the power of CG. Can't do that. That's like a musician trying to play something at their limit. You're going to notice them making mistakes. A good musician is always better than what they are playing.

  • Benzo
    Benzo 2 days ago

    The rock in scorpion king is the worst cgi ive ever seen. Looks like a face drawn on a potatoe to me. Makes my fucking eyes bleed.

    PARADOXICLES 2 days ago

    CGI should only be used as a last resort, when there simply is no practical, real world, way to make/do whatever it is the scene requires. CGI now days seams to mainly be used to cut costs, and it shows.
    Jurassic Park is THE best example of CGI work ever, its only used when needed, and still holds up 20+ years later, despite being the very first use of CGI in a movie.

  • Felipe MagalhĂŁes
    Felipe MagalhĂŁes 2 days ago

    I agree with most of the arguments. However, movies are made to entertain ordinary people, not 3d artists. I'm a photographer and I see this approach every time. Photographers debating about impressive sharp images and how much distortion a picture has, or a highlight a bit off as an outrageous mistake but at the end of the day, the viewer doesn't care about all of this at all, they prefer to resize your 50mpx image to 1080p and apply a cheap Instagram filter on it.

  • i am cool
    i am cool 2 days ago +21

    Blade Runner 2049 has the greatest use of CGI in recent memory

  • leofreaking
    leofreaking 2 days ago +1

    Agree with a lot you're saying, but had to pause to say:
    3:10 Black Panther "A fantastic movie on every level except for one important detail"? No way, José.

  • nlmaster98
    nlmaster98 2 days ago

    I was quite fearsome haw Stranger Things would handle CGI in season 3, but was quite pleased!

  • Alex Maas
    Alex Maas 2 days ago

    Black panther didn't feel like a real person with real stakes because everything in the movie was explained by "magic space metal." And the bad CGI.

  • The_Guy_Silver
    The_Guy_Silver 2 days ago +1

    Only Just got recommended. Why? No Idea but I enjoyed this Video!

  • Jimmy Gordon
    Jimmy Gordon 2 days ago

    Digital domain employee here. The Thanos sample you showed was our test that we delivered to Marvel, we did not do the Black Panther fight scene you mentioned. That was double negative. DD did previz on it only. However! I don’t think anyone could make that entire scene look good in six weeks. That is a fucking colossal undertaking.

  • Actionbastard
    Actionbastard 2 days ago

    CGI isint the problem. Every single hero movie for the last 10 years has been the same movie with diff charcaters.

  • sagar kardam
    sagar kardam 2 days ago

    Which movie is it on 6:46

  • Fer  Polanco
    Fer Polanco 3 days ago

    It's like hardcore pixar! You feel nothing organic in much of the work my best reference for a impressive cgi it is not actually a movie its bjorks all is full of love video

  • Jared Scott
    Jared Scott 3 days ago

    Using Alita Battle Angel as bad CG? Are you fucking kidding me? You have no experience 🤡

  • SquaredSpekz - Connor Ellis

    In comparing Jurassic Park and Jurassic World, you use the shot from Fallen Kingdom where the Dino IS REAL?

  • Peter Degtjarewsky
    Peter Degtjarewsky 3 days ago

    What was disappointing about the Black Panther end fight is that it reverted back to the early 2000s Ben Affleck Daredevil style. The reason why comic book movies didn’t do well before Batman Begins was precisely because of this: Audiences, either consciously or subconsciously new it was fake and “cartoonish” because the laws of physics were being broken. Thank you for bringing that up! I notice in any action movie that as long as the laws of physics are obeyed you will end up with a decent fight/movie. The reason why Marvel’s newest Spider-Man resonates with more people has a lot to do with Spider-Man not swinging above New York with webs tied to imaginary clouds. But ultimately a successful CGI movie has to do with the Director and how prepared they are and how well they plan and communicate with the SFX teams. Good/bad CGI rests 100% at the doorstep of the Director.

  • Advin
    Advin 3 days ago

    Which movie is this 6:18 to 6:24 ???

  • tcdahn7
    tcdahn7 3 days ago

    Wait..some of these movies took years and gave millions to cgi artists..I'm sorry Avatar is garbage and fake.

  • logan cintron
    logan cintron 3 days ago

    I love all of the Jurassic films, but I feel Jurassic World and its sequel would actually have been better as a cartoon.
    Indomimus rex is a fairy cartoonish concept, being a mish mash of assorted dinosaurs
    Grey (the kid with a special interest in dinosaurs) was meant to be a kid appeal character
    Fallen Kingdom in particular uses a lot of slapstick, especially in their Stygimoloch scene
    Indoraptor happens to make a smirk before he kills of someone, leading more towards a villain in an animated film.
    And who can forget that trippy scene with Chris Pratt and the lava?

  • Derpy 1109
    Derpy 1109 3 days ago

    It also doesn't help how a lot of CG animation feels TOO smooth. When a real, physical human and a CG human-alike are doing anything near each other, I often noticed the CG character goes from "sorta-kinda smooth" to "liquid" - like, no, characters aren't supposed to have every movement perfectly smoothed out. Humans are often jittery and erratic, even when they look like they're not - while CG characters usually lack that little hint of sharp movement in all of our movements.

  • TrollMaster5
    TrollMaster5 3 days ago

    What movie is that with the CG Fatguy? I have no clue what that is but I have no interest in seeing it just from that alone

  • Plevell
    Plevell 3 days ago

    rubbery, glossy and wet-like hideous stuff? NEXT GEN! :D movies are becoming old console stuff

  • Plevell
    Plevell 3 days ago

    go watch the cats trailer :D

  • Mr CoCo
    Mr CoCo 3 days ago

    CGI has ALWAYS sucked and is the reason I hardly watch movies any more. CGI ruins movies for anybody over 20 or with half a brain. It works for kids, maybe.

  • zelo 3
    zelo 3 3 days ago


  • Helga Alex Reed
    Helga Alex Reed 3 days ago

    It's simple - the hollywood's business model is to reduce the production costs, hire less people, stay in one location and do everything on a computer, to reap higher margins. It's quantity vs quality now. Look at the new Terminator - the cgi is a disaster.

    IM_A RANDOM_GUY 3 days ago

    The black panther one was because the company only had a couple of weeks to work on it

  • Jennifer Grow
    Jennifer Grow 3 days ago

    A delayed project is often better than a rush job. We need to support artists so they can properly work in good conditions.

  • Crow Face
    Crow Face 3 days ago

    i thought of this video seeing the new CATS trailer

  • zzz100ificati
    zzz100ificati 3 days ago


  • Luis AragĂłn
    Luis AragĂłn 3 days ago

    what is the movie at 2:31

  • Dick Salacious
    Dick Salacious 3 days ago

    You say VFX artist don't get paid much. I had to make a model on the type of people signing up for medical experiments and you would be amazed how many of them are VFX artist.

  • Michael Scott
    Michael Scott 3 days ago +1

    Thank you for saying what we’ve all been thinking.

  • The Cereal Guy
    The Cereal Guy 3 days ago


  • Vladdie99
    Vladdie99 3 days ago +3

    Excuse me, Alita vs Grewishka underground fight is visually stunning and super realistic, not sure why you threw that one in in your curb your enthusiasm montage. Most of the moves WERE performance captured, not all but they certainly filmed a stunt woman doing that spin to avoid Grewishka's grindcutters. You then say that the alleyway fight's mocapped characters looked 'lacklustre', I don't know what you're looking at but the metal lady looks incredibly solid and real, they have REAL weight to them and it doesn't support your words as the set is live, not put into a computer generated location as you suggest. Alita herself is the greatest CGI creation in history, the most human on a photo-real and emotional level with her hyper emotive face ever rendered before. I hope you give Alita its due and watch all the special features on the Blu Ray, it's really a historic achievement of VFX.

    • Vladdie99
      Vladdie99 Day ago +1

      @Jothunheim Please do! Try to see it on the biggest screen possible, IMAX3D was insane!

    • Jothunheim
      Jothunheim Day ago

      @Vladdie99 i actually only saw the trailer. I might go watch the movie soon.

    • Vladdie99
      Vladdie99 Day ago +1

      @Jothunheim He's definitely up there but for me Alita is set apart by how human she is. This is more difficult to pull off and avoid the uncanny valley than a squid monster man, as amazing as he was. She has human skin with pores, peach hairs on her face, her eyes have the right levels of moisture, her hair looks real, her bodies look more like practical effects, Rosa Salazar's emotive performance is perfectly rendered. Weta set the standard with Alita IMO.

    • Jothunheim
      Jothunheim Day ago +1

      I believe the greatest CGI creation in history belongs to Davy Jones in pirate of the Caribbean.

  • Crusty The Wanksock
    Crusty The Wanksock 3 days ago +1

    *Superman’s tash was the prophesied start of the apocalypse* 🌝

  • Todd Hill
    Todd Hill 3 days ago

    Anybody who works in CG knows that it's not called CGI, it's CG... c'mon people!

  • Tillmann Hegner
    Tillmann Hegner 3 days ago +5

    At least there is still Chirtopher Nolan with his many practical effekts. I mean the work on the sets is insane, but it looks (and is) real...

  • Sashank Chundi
    Sashank Chundi 3 days ago

    The reason the black panther movie scene look bad is because they had to rush it

  • Racingcar 3
    Racingcar 3 3 days ago

    Marvel got better again after black panther whit sgi

  • pigsrcool626
    pigsrcool626 3 days ago

    Some of the CGI in The Hobbit was great!

  • Xeno
    Xeno 3 days ago +1

    Thanos: hold my gauntlet

  • Lycan AreOne
    Lycan AreOne 4 days ago

    Real is better, though we forget when a material, effect, product, system, person, thing, experience is new. CGI is the Bath & Body Works version of Reality, a simulacrum of the real thing, a gross simplification, a stereotype. Novel experiences trigger more dopamine than experiences trained in the neural network as it generates new challenges for the nervous system to integrate with.

  • Brian Filter
    Brian Filter 4 days ago

    So glad I'm not the only one.

  • Jay Taylor
    Jay Taylor 4 days ago

    Wait till this guy sees the trailer for Cats

  • Sebastian Gonzalez
    Sebastian Gonzalez 4 days ago

    I feel like some of the examples you gave like the ghost busters and hippo in jumanji work. Sure they don't look realistic but they fit a comedic situation.

  • Coby
    Coby 4 days ago +3

    In my opinion, if the cgi is used as a stylistic choice, criticism of the “fakeness” of it is rendered kind of useless.

    • Coby
      Coby 3 days ago

      EndorsedBryce i totally agree

    • EndorsedBryce
      EndorsedBryce 3 days ago +1

      @Coby see my issue there is then you should expect it to look noticeably better in the "real world" than the game. Weather they did that is probably up for debate. but i'm sort of on the same page with you on that.

    • Coby
      Coby 3 days ago +1

      EndorsedBryce Ready Player One is also the case. People say that the cgi wasn’t good but it wasn’t meant to be photorealistic.

    • EndorsedBryce
      EndorsedBryce 3 days ago +1

      How often is that actually the case though? Alita's face is about the only example I can think of. Otherwise that sounds like the kind of thing that is used as an excuse for passing off bad cgi.

  • NotOrdinaryInGames
    NotOrdinaryInGames 4 days ago +38

    Computer will only do so much for you. You need a skilled professional to make the computer work properly.

  • Deel Food™
    Deel Food™ 4 days ago +4

    Annihilation was good though, dunno why that was used.

  • Albert
    Albert 4 days ago +7

    When I saw Hobbit one of my first thoughts was why do the orks look so cgi. In LOTR the cgi is on a whole different level. Everything looks realistic. One of few reasons why LOTR is way better. My personal opinion.

  • McAuley2442
    McAuley2442 4 days ago +7

    It’s because they used to fit CGI into real backgrounds. Now they fit real characters into CGi backgrounds.

  • WildBill94
    WildBill94 4 days ago +3

    The thing about CGI is that it has never looked 100% real.

    • vincent nightingale
      vincent nightingale 3 days ago +2

      WildBill94 I don’t know man, I didn’t know that the Black Panther suit in Captain America Civil War was mostly CGI

  • Scarsky YouTube
    Scarsky YouTube 4 days ago

    Yes, I agree, I saw a movie (I forgot the name)
    It’s about 4 kids trying to save the world by aliens, there’s just like 12 people on earth probably and I got to close to the screen and saw the monster that the kids thought were dead looked so bad
    Edit: It’s called “Rim of the World”

  • Jonas Gut
    Jonas Gut 4 days ago

    A lot of Miniatures (or Bigatures, how they used to call them) were used in the Lord of the Rings movies. A few examples of Miniatures: Orthanc Tower, Minas Tirith, the Argonath Statues, Rivendell, Lothlorien. But I also think, that artists used to have more time for the shots and maybe thus put more effort in. A good mixture of different techniques is the key, I think.

  • snorfah
    snorfah 4 days ago

    2:47 - which movie is this?

  • Bigtime1998
    Bigtime1998 4 days ago +4

    LOTR did the best job of incorporating CGI into real, live sets and backgrounds.

  • hĂĽlagĂĽ han
    hĂĽlagĂĽ han 4 days ago

    4:48 which movie is this

  • Jani SIr
    Jani SIr 4 days ago +2

    CGI is better than ever. You are not even noticing the good CGI.
    Also you just became picky over time.

  • Colin McLean
    Colin McLean 4 days ago

    I blame Westworld and it sequel Futureworld from the 1970s, they were the first films to use cgi. Westworld used 2D cgi and Futureworld used 3D cgi. I blame them!!!

  • tastymango007
    tastymango007 4 days ago +1

    Maybe I can't really judge your video because I don't have high expectations for movies in general, but I looked at your examples of bad CGI und I didn't know what you find so bad about most of them. But the fat jumping guy, the shark and the pumpkins do look pretty bad.

  • John Jonah Jameson
    John Jonah Jameson 4 days ago


  • Le Shurc
    Le Shurc 4 days ago

    Also for Black Panther, the computer effects team got the scene, then had 6 WEEKS TO FINISH THE ENTIRE FINAL FIGHT. They were rushed to their asses.