The simulations of Plunk initially fooled me. A couple of them are quite beautifully accurate. Yet this itself is the problem. CG is both too perfect and never perfect enough.
Plunk simulates physical forces with a style that suggests it’s all a homemade, garage experiment. But the delicate balance of weights and forces portrayed in each spot are pulled off so perfectly that the viewer *distrusts* the physics. Which they would be right to do, because it’s not real at all.
The CG world is built on perfect foundations - perfect cubes, perfectly flat planes, perepetually still air. The real world has noise, chaos, accidents and turbulence. Plunk use dynamic simulations to replicate the real world but their garage aesthetic is at odds with the perfectly controlled results of their ‘experiment’.
The only way you could make the Plunk setup work fo’ real is by using industrially engineered equipment. I’m talking vacuum-packed, tempered-steel, atomically correct, Large-Hadron-Collider style engineering. Which is all made with CAD programs to achieve computer-assisted perfection.
CGI was born into these types of industry as a way of eradicating environmental noise. And yet it’s environmental noise that constitutes the real. Lack of it sets off our bullshit detectors.
So even though Plunk’s physical simulations are based on state-of-the-art physically correct algorithms, we’re stuck in an ironic loop: we use CGI technology to reintroduce the noise that the technology was made to eradicate. Yet still, perfection seems imperfect.
All goes to show, you can’t fake the noise of the real! (I would like to sit in a cafe, squinting into the distance and smoking a gitane with this phrase on my t-shirt.)
On a related note, in the past year or two there’s been a load of virals and stunts making their rounds on Youtube which purport to show amazing events that defy gravity or show one-in-a-million chance type things. I’m thinking of the T-Mobile Angry Birds viral. What’s truly impressive isn’t these faked-up, fake-ass fakey concepts. It’s stuff like this. Click that link, it’s tha shiz.