Latex Vs. Digital

Latex Vs. Digital

I’ve come across these two videos on Youtube…go figure! I thought it would be interesting to see the difference between a digital yoda and one created from foam latex. Obviously there are differences between the two – I always hated the foam latex Yoda of episode 1- I thought he was too clunkie looking, and didn’t really capture the magic Frank Oz did in the previous early episodes.  I believe lighting and animatronics had something to do with it. The lighting in the previous movies was always dark and added a more mystic look to Yoda. In the new episodes, the lighting is very flat and doesn’t really add to the character. I also think the builders wanted to add more emotion to Yoda and showcase what they can do now with him…basically adding  Animatronics; these servos made the head bigger and ill proportioned to the original Yoda. Which made the puppet look like an different character all together. Some say that Episode 1 Yoda was built to look like a younger version of the character. The builders constructed the puppet with more hair and bigger eyes…which I think was it’s downfall. The original puppet was built to Frank Oz’s hand and was constructed much like Kermit the Frog- were one movement of Frank’s hand can add subtle nuances to Yoda’s expression. Mechanical servos and computer generated images can’t capture those movements. Although the computer animators of Episode 2 and 3 were amazing- adding ear shakes, mouth puckers, and more emotional eyes. Days and days of animators, millions of dollars spent to capture what Frank Oz did in a couple days shoot. Anyway, I can go on and on about this subject. I recommend playing both these clips at the same time if you do it correctly you can see how one is far more superior to the other…which one? You decide and let me know. 🙂



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1 Comment

  • badgrammer March 27, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Is it just me, or does the digital Yoda’s head look narrower than the puppet one; maybe an aspect ratio problem. =

    I always loved the puppet Yoda, especially the ones in Episode 5 & 6. There’s was more character in his movements and manner, even with it’s lo-tech approach.

    To my eye, they tried too hard with the CG Yoda where they really shouldn’t have. He moves too much and makes too many gestures compared to the puppet, who’s clunky movement seems to translate to thought and character.

    But maybe I’m tooting one’s horn too much. =P

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