Despite being released almost 20 years ago, images from the Lord of the Rings trilogy still stand. Some effects seem to have been created today, and many creatures and places feel real. All the beautiful graphics come from a perfect blend of CGI and practical effects. Both are used to complement each other instead of relying on one.
Of course, viewers can still see some of the technical limitations of the era, such as the fragile CGI Oliphaunts during the Battle of Minas Tirith. However, most of the effects were far ahead of their time, and many fans believe that Lord of the Rings is even better than the new Hobbit trilogy.
This is because Lord of the Rings only uses CGI when needed. For example, when Frodo hides from the giant spider Cinnamon, most of the place has been disguised as an actual backdrop. All bones and cobwebs look at physical objects that Frodo may have touched because they were. It’s a little harder to make a spider, which is why CGI pliers have been added to this set, making it even more realistic.
Another reason why CGI looks good is due to technical limitations. Since CGI models could not look completely realistic, they often hid in the shadows, so the data was lost. So Shelob CGI looked better as it showed only minimal light from its textures. And the same technique can be seen when the companions are attacked in the Moria mines. The Troll Cave was placed in a natural environment with a bit of lighting to hide the models’ imperfections from the public.
As for life in Middle-earth, much of its realism stems from the fact that most of these surroundings were impractical. The most prominent example is the Shire, a vast New Zealand complex that tourists can visit today. As if that were not significant enough, vast amounts of photographic equipment attract the small hobbit statue. The film was clipped with double dwarf bodies, with the actors standing from different angles to provide a compelling perspective. In some cases, I created two different sizes of the same set for other characters.
One of the reasons why the Hobbit trilogy has received much criticism is the excessive use of CGI. Perhaps most notably, all orcs were CGIs and not prostheses like in Lord of the Rings. While CGI is excellent, oversupply makes the world more artificial and loses its pile.
However, Lord of the Rings still used a lot of CGI, such as Gollum’s motion capture. And Gollum seems most prominent in The Hobbit. However, Gollum was the main focus of the study, so it makes sense that the effects are still awe-inspiring. In contrast, the Hobbit had so many CGI creatures that it seemed that they had made less effort to make them as natural as possible.
Regardless of the age of the films in the years to come, there is so much care and attention to detail on the screen that they will never go away. Life in Middle-earth will probably feel the same way, and the trilogy will become a timeless classic.