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The Endless "It's CGI!", "No, it's Not!" Debate

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posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 10:30 AM

Originally posted by roadgravel
Yes, I see your point. But believing in something does not make it an actual reality. People believed the earth was flat sheet but it is not. My inability to explain or recognize what something is does not change what it is in fact.

Great point! Let me clarfy. I am referring to personal experience. I'm sure if they had actually observed for themselves that the world was indeed round, then that truth would be self-evident. Taking someone's word that the world is flat is not experiencing that truth, and therefore would not be a truth at all, it then becomes belief. Truth comes from experience.
Hope that clarifies

posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 11:03 AM
If you want to see some great CG work visit the Computer Graphics Society of Digital Arts: Check out their forums. Look at the work that has been done. These are professionals, amateurs and everything in between. Most of the UFO CGI work is coming from these people.

posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 12:08 PM

Originally posted by LordBaskettIV
Why not go to your local library and get books on photoshop and 3d software apps. Maybe even learn it for yourself.Then you too can participate in a much broader sence within the threads. We no longer live in a world where a camera uses actual film, it goes straight to disk or cd or removable media. Someone shouldn't have to lay it out to you in "laymans" terms, because in alot of cases(especially 3d) you cant, it uses terms that are not from a normal persons vocabulary. Do you know what HDRI,GI,SSS,Diffuse,ambience,specular,bump mapping,normal mapping,Sub-polygon displacement, Nurbs,ect even reference? Do you know the difference between scanline and ray traced renders are? Can you tell VRAY from Renderman, or Brazil, or Final render? If not, how can you disscuss cgi(or something not being cgi)?

We all participate in ways we can. It's one thing to throw fancy words around and quite another to be capable of stringing them together in a cohesive grammatical sentence that makes "sense." I have no idea what you are talking about, and that's kind of the point. You're rubbing those terms into everyone else's faces. I don't want to learn Photoshop, nor do I care to participate in a cgi/non-cgi discussion. I want the issue solved so we can move on. The attitude you express above IS the problem.

Where it gets silly is when two people on opposite sides of the argument begin to argue repeatedly using these terms and others where one says it IS and the other says it ISN'T. Well, if two self-proclaimed experts can't agree, then I have to try to choose who REALLY knows what he is talking about or else conclude NO ONE does.

What really galls me is people who proclaim they are such wonderful experts that they can see differences I can't, that they can see evidence that no one else can. That does not fly in a court of law and that's why you have to be able to demonstrate what you see--just like you would to a jury. That's the standard of evidence I would like to see displayed in CGI debates.

posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 12:28 PM
Is there -ANY- video that has been discussed on this site that has not been debunked as cgi?

posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 02:02 PM
The thing about CGI, it's not perfect. Experienced users can tell which program was used to render a scene just by recognizing a certain bug, or even the overall 'feel' of it. It's something that is very hard to explain to a person that has never used 3D software. That's what currently makes the CGI vs real discussion pointless.

The thing that bugs me is that the believers try to make up explanations for phenomenons they know nothing about. For example, if an experienced CGI user points out any flaw in the render, a believer will pop up saying that it could be the product of the alien anti gravity system (!).

For the ones that are interested in this stuff (Not the inconsistencies-in-jpeg-artifacts-are-due-to-alien-cloaking-device guys), I suggest that you check out forums like cgsociety and look at a couple of renders. Try to find out how they are made, look for examples of the strengths and limitations of the different rendering engines. If you have access to 3D software, play with the different rendering techniques, shaders, and so on. Don't be afraid to move sliders around. I assure you that in a few months you will find a lot of things wrong in pictures you would've sworn were real before.

posted on Aug, 11 2007 @ 02:29 PM
It's not that I don't recognize the fact that determining whether or not a particular or video is CGI can possibly help decide if a video is authentic. But in my opinion, it's a very small and even irrelevant part of the discussion that tends to take over entire threads.

Even if at the end of 30 pages of pro- and anti-CGI poop slinging, a consensus is reached that the video is "real" as opposed to computer generated... it doesn't matter if we don't know such basic information as who and where it came from.

Like I said, even if it's actual footage of an alien flying saucer, it doesn't matter, because we don't have enough other information to prove it. If somebody posts a photo of a supposedly gold nugget on eBay and says it's gold, what would it take for you to be comfortable enough to send the person a check? If you have a brain at all, the photo is probably not going to be enough proof for you no matter how much you debate about the shape of the rock or the color balance in the image. You'll want to know the real name of the person selling, third party documentation, etc. Even if it's a real photo of a real gold nugget, for practical purposes the thing is worthless unless or until proven otherwise.

So maybe when one of these things pops up, they could be split into two threads or something. One where the CGI people slap each other back and forth, and another where people can provide and debate other (more important) information about it, such as who and where it came from.

The latter, of course, will tend to be about 1-2 pages long, at best. But at least we can regain some kind of perspective here as to the relative values of different kinds of proof.

But I suppose this concentration on the images is just a natural consequence of the bulk of us being armchair ufologists, and only having the images to work with. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 07:39 AM
Using terms specific to 3d is not meant as a nose rubbing to those not "in the know"( at least for myself). Unfortunately, I'm sorry if you took it that way. What I am trying to say is that like many things, 3d has its own lingo and terms. Alot of these have to do with one specific aspect of real world recreation or have to do with some sort of 3d specific function. You can't expect people to define a term that is easily searchable on the net over and over in each thread. The pissing matches start when one person uses a term out of it's actual(accepted) definition and is corrected. Plus, many people will always give false statements if it makes them seem more knowledgable in the conversation over the other fellow cgi guys. In the haiti thread, someone said one of the "higher ups" from the Halo team( ie Bungie Software) said he thought it was real. So what?! he makes games, not real world graphical simulations. It would be like dropping a name of a race car driver while discussing boats....sure they are both vehicles, but very different skill sets. It would be cool if people would stop debating....but then we wouldn't be at ATS.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by weknowyouknow

Hate the use of all caps, but I agree w/ the sentiment presented.

You aren't going to make any "discoveries" on youtube.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 10:48 AM
I'm always amazed when people here post YouTube video's here of UFO's when nothing is said about who recorded the video and other pertinent details one would expect from a UFO sighting report. If there's no informatoin about that then it's my guess that whom ever posted the video is hiding something. lol

Even a beginner in photoshop can pull off a half-way decent fake that can impress many of those who don't know better.

[edit on 12-8-2007 by Palasheea]

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 03:12 PM
Just because we want to believe in something we can not shut our eyes close and try to ignore the facts. The CGI guys help a lot in flushing those facts out. I will agree that some of them lack to touch when it comes to deal with people that dont agree with what they are seeing but the fact still remains. I coach basketball and baseball on my free time, and sometimes I get so frustrated borderline angry when my kids dont get something that is so simple to me, but the reality is that is not that simple to them, IMO there is some of that here.

We need these guys, love it or hate it, we need everybody that is willing to spend some time here and contribute, DENY IGNORANCE remember?

It is funny to me because when I started here I use to for lack of a better word hate CGI guys, but then I realize that the problem was myself and my will to believe everything. Now I have my set of rules in order to believe in something, and in that rules is to analyze what is being presented.

The idea to create a separate forum for them to have their discussion, is a flaw one.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 04:06 PM

Originally posted by Farnswoth
The thing that bugs me is that the believers try to make up explanations for phenomenons they know nothing about. For example, if an experienced CGI user points out any flaw in the render, a believer will pop up saying that it could be the product of the alien anti gravity system (!).

You just said a mouthful. As I've said before time and time again, you have the believers who want it so desperately to be true, they'll slam your behind to the mat for stating the obviousness of a CG hoax. You and try time and time again to educate people on whats possible with CG and what continues to develop.

But it makes little difference. Consequently alot of people waste alot of time, whilst there are good cases to look at and pick apart.

The same bottom line exists today that has been there since I started in UFO work 20+ years ago: people want the sensationalistic "Reader's Digest" version of it all. They want their proof and want it laid out in front of them.

But in the end the legitimate unknowns are never so cut and dry (and we've found a couple here at ATS before). Therefore I dont think these people will ever be quenched in their thirst for the reality of the UFO subject.

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 05:36 PM
My take on the whole CG debate may suprise some. After the whole chad drone thing I stopped taking part in discussions about CGI 'possibilties' for a few reasons. First was that it was starting to get into a 'my kung fu is better than your kung fu' thing amongst some CGI guys. (Some of which with little or no proveable track record.)

Secondly that is sometimes very hard to put into words that a non CGI user can understand 'why' you consider something an ovbious fake. I dont mean that to sound condesending, but its no different to a boilogist having trouble explaing to ME something about the internals of a skin cell. Once you take the inherant knowledge and technical phrases away...its nearly impossible to provide 'proof' to people who aren't in the same field.

Again I dont mean to sound condesending but its a bit like a mathematician trying to explain advanced calculus to a 5 year old. Some people know their professions very well, but this doesn't give them an excuse to act like idiots.

If a plumber said to me...this photo can't be real because the damn pipes would explode.... that'd be a simpler way of saying something much more technical no doubt. If I then insisted that he was wrong... only for him to go into a vast technically worded essay I'd sort of asked for it.

People will always say to any CGI guy 'if its fake make it yourself and prove it!' Hoaxers have a massive ammount of time on thier hands and the inclanation to do it. The rest of us who work in the field more often than not aren't inclined often to use up valuble free time replicating something we know to be fake just to try and convince doubters.

There are many fields of CGI and modelling, an expert in one may have little or now advanced knowledge of another disipline. An expert modeller of hard surface stuff someties can go an entire career without ever knowing a damn thing about compositing , organics, or other areas.

Like Jeff Rizzman, RECOGNISED professionals (not just guys who've been in the field a year and are still wet behind the ears) must carry more weight than people who suddenly claim out of the blue to 'work in the industry'. 3D is a small working world..its very easy to check on a persons credentials to see if they REALLY know what the are talking about or just taking part in a 'my kung fu is better than yours' type debate.

Although please bare in mind that it can be entensely frustrating for a 3d guy to see smething he knows is fake, be accepted as 'positive proof'. Sometimes the explanation of something thats easy to a person working in one industry is hard (and would get rather long and borring) to explain effectively topeople who are specalists in another unrelated one. This doesn't make either one superior to the other..just specalists in different areas thats all.

Testing the validity of a bit of footage with CGI proof / opinions is only part of the solution. Although if something shows the hallmarks of CGI that evidence has to come into play. In a court of law you have known professionals in a given field giving evidence that the court can then trust or disregard. They do not just drag any guy who says he knows about a subject off the street and let him give his opinion.

So those are my reasons and why unless I spot something that no one else does in some footage I keep quiet now. It would be far easier for people in each feild who are KNOWN proffesionals with a traceable track record in a area that allows them to make an educated judgement at once, than to have mega hundred post arguments of the 'it is!' / 'no its not' nature.

But remember that if you dont like the message.... dont shoot the messenger.


posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 05:39 PM
One thing I do want to add that may help some non 3d people spot fakes is this concept:

If you take footage with a video '/ digtial camera, the camera records at specific intervals each second. A computer rendering out a 3d scene is recording just those frames but extrapolating them from a continuous timeline. A frame is a very large unit to a 3d program or computer in general. This 'smoothness' can sometimes be a BIG giveaway.(there are many others but thats probably one of the easier ones to spot.

Remember that just because something doesn't match a 3d program does not mean it hasn't been done at composting stage. Some things are possible at composite time that aren't possible.or are a helluva lot harder straight from a 3d app.

Hope that helps.


posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 06:00 PM

Originally posted by jritzmann
Consequently alot of people waste alot of time, whilst there are good cases to look at and pick apart.

I agree with that.

I think the "problem" identified on this thread is basically the end result of the emergence of "Layman's UFOlogy". This "roadblock" being the logical conclusion of "free-for-all" discussions by the general public and localised to discussion forums, with the specific "problem" being that millions of people can now flood their brains with thousands and thousands of Youtube "vids and pics" that any anonymous person with a computer and connection labeled "UFO"!

At the end of the day the UFO Phenomena is a physical phenomena that occurs in the Earths atmosphere and discussions of "vids" on Youtube are almost always irrelevant to the actual Science that studies the physical phenomena that occurs in Earth's atmosphere known to the public as "UFOs" and in literature as UAP.

[edit on 12-8-2007 by lost_shaman]

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 07:10 PM
Yes, but what if it's Alien CGI?

posted on Aug, 12 2007 @ 07:45 PM

Originally posted by the secret web
Secondly that is sometimes very hard to put into words that a non CGI user can understand 'why' you consider something an ovbious fake. I dont mean that to sound condesending, but its no different to a boilogist having trouble explaing to ME something about the internals of a skin cell. Once you take the inherant knowledge and technical phrases away...its nearly impossible to provide 'proof' to people who aren't in the same field.

Wayne, I think you just said it in the best words possible. I'm to the point where I dont think it has to be your job or mine, nor anyone in the field of imaging to educate people in compositing, or CG's capabilities. I've always thought that people who really want to talk about the reality/validity of footage ought to have at least a semi-working knowledge of this stuff. God the time it would save.

posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 06:58 AM

Originally posted by jritzmann

I'm to the point where I dont think it has to be your job or mine, nor anyone in the field of imaging to educate people in compositing, or CG's capabilities. I've always thought that people who really want to talk about the reality/validity of footage ought to have at least a semi-working knowledge of this stuff. God the time it would save.

I totally agree with you. When even the likes of CGtalk are threatenting to ban anyone posting any more 'is this real or CG' threads its time to call a halt. As digital artists it isn't our job to police UFO photos. Plus to be honest the flak that you can get for doing it doesn't make it worth 9 times out of ten.

In an ideal world ATS would have an agreed upon 'team' of specalists in the digital area. But even then there are bound to be people who still see that as biased.


[edit: fixed quote tags]

[edit on 13-8-2007 by 12m8keall2c]

posted on Aug, 13 2007 @ 06:32 PM
I'm by far an expert but I've stopped commenting on a lot of threads just because..ah.. it does not really matter. I saw the haiti ufo thread some days ago and gave the video a watch and laughed my ass off. It was so obviously painstaking the same guy who had earlier posted some dirty videos over..what was it..the dominicans or something (a video that was even lamer with some really interesting lightning effects going on when one of the 'objects' passed the 'sun').

I simply can't muster up to sit down and write down reasons as to why I think it's fake and so on. I'm also so surprised every time one of these quirky videos pop up, I can't understand how people can go into discussions about antigravity and so on... I'm so surprised that more people don't get that 'feeling' that it's a hoax, a feeling one can substantiate if one wishes to by replaying the video a couple of times and watching the details of it.

Not my intention to come off high and mighty, but yeah, sometimes I don't get it. Why some threads grow as much as they do and the need for "well yeah, you reproduce it if it's so fake!". It's tiresome. It's just like watching the latest Hollywood flick, where you go "oh thats so obvious CG..etc" (when at times you also go; 'geez, I cant believe that was CG').

Can't understand, for example, why videos like these (, even have a "fan base"...and I don't care if the ufo researcher who got that video claims she got it from military, either shes on crack or the 'military' has a knack for 3d studio.

Ah. Anyway. Enough ranting. Back to waiting for the good stuff. Until then I hold my tounge.

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by SuicideVirus
To reiterate my opinion, it doesn't matter if it's CGI or not if it's unattributed or comes from an anonymous source.

Whatever. It doesn't matter if we don't know where it came from. At that point, the discussion moves out of the realm of UFOs and Aliens and into the realm of what's possible or not with computer graphics.

I totaly disagree. You see, with every single video or image that is being passed as "real", we need to approach with a checklist of things to check, before we can even start to debate the reality of video or image itself..

1: EXIF data
2: Image anomolys
3: Image inconsistancys
4: then debate.

If a video or image can pass the first 3 steps above, go for it, debate it all you want CGI free. If the image can NOT pass the 3 steps above, then there is no point in wasting your time trying to figure out what planet it came from.

If we get another video today of a UFO, we could go ahead and just start talking about where it came from, how it flies, whos flying it, and all that junk. But the entire converstation would be a total waste if later we find out the video is a hoax. Why even give this media the time of day?

We must first approach ALL MEDIA AS FAKE, untill proven real. It's a simple fact of todays computer age. If we do it the oposite way, "all meida is real untill proven fake", then we will have so many damn hoaxes being passed as real, like Isaac, its not even funny.

Why would we ignore the real/fakeness of a picture, just to talk about UFO's and Aliens? If you want an educated, well thought out debate about Aliens and UFO's at least start with an image/video that can be confirmed real, or even just "plausible" would do.

It's like a chair.... would you try to sit in a chair if you had any reason to believe it might be a fake chair and you would fall on your arse? Or would you first check the chair to see if it is real before you sit down?

[edit on 14-8-2007 by 11 11]

posted on Aug, 14 2007 @ 01:25 PM
I think a set of 'official' ATS starting criteria would be a good idea. If a piece of footage passes those basic tests then people are more confident of not wasting valuable time reading threads that turn out to be hoax.

The idea of a basic starting criteria would be to set out certain basic things that footage would be expected to pass easily if it is real.

Starting out with things such as does the basic story the person providing the footage has claimed sound plausable? Are there any other witnesses or evidence that can be found? Does the image or footage match something exsiting (without the UFO or anomoly)?

Are there any REALLY obvious rendering of modelling 'artifacts' that once pointed out anyone culd see? Is there any other evidence of either CGI or other trickery?

I'm not talking about a set of 'rules' that would be hard to pass, just a basic starting point for sensible and open discussion. The idea would be to cut down on people with knowledge of one area trying to expain to people with no (or little) knowledge in that area 'why' something looks fake to them. Lets cover the obvious things 1st.

To cover CGI generated fakes you are going to need some sort of 'ATS panel' that would cover modellers (both hard surface and organic), compositors, rigging and animation guys, Texture guys (to help spot when commonly available texture sets or models are used ), and an up to date industry knowledge for starters.

That would be my choice anyway for what its worth.


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