Originally posted by: zombie84
Thats why the PT gets so much criticism for being "fake" and "artificial" and "CGI-happy".
Actually, even though I prefer the OOT and by and large disregard the PT films, I don't think the effects work of the original films holds up that well when compared to the IMO reasonably good CGI of the PT. Both have their advantages and disadvantages for sure and both will at times give off some significant clues to the viewer that what is going on at the screen isn't actually real. I have to say though that I find CGI to be far superior at portraying photorealism most of the time (though not always).
A lot of the actual objects and environments are practical elements and models but it doesn't make a difference. The same with all the plates. Most of the BG's and textures are based off real photographed plates but it doesnt seem to have made a difference since there is still an artificiality to it.
I can agree with this, but then again, I think the OOT is full of the same. Even the very opening shot of Star Wars has never quite fooled me, since the matte painting of Tatooine at the bottom of the screen has never looked like real view down on a real planet to my eyes. Does this bother me? It doesn't, because this scene, as well as the rest of the movies, is a medium where fantasy and reality blend to form art and great art at that. There are no sounds in the vacuum of space either, and even though the opening shot of Star Wars is full of just that, it doesn't pull me out of the picture - on the contrary!
The reason why all these methods are used instead of actually filming them is purely cost savings. Its a $250 million movie made for $115 million. The battle of Kashyyk looks like a freaking video game compared to Saving Private Ryan and there was nothing stopping Lucas from achieving the same realism as that film except the fact that it would cost another $5 million.