Beijing uses CG in the Olympics opening ceremony fireworks

Beijing Olympics opening ceremony fireworks

The Beijing Times has revealed that the footprint fireworks sequence for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, was computer generated and inserted into the coverage too look like the real thing. Beijing’s hazy night skies and camera shake as though it was filmed from a helicopter was even added to the sequence to make it look more authentic.

The 29 footprints were lit at one footprint per second, with 29 of them marching from Tiananmen Square to the Birds Nest stadium. They were supposed to symbolize the path of the 29th Olympiad and their arrival to Beijing. The fireworks were actually lit, but what people saw on television was a computer generated sequence. Only the last footprint in the stadium was actually filmed by camera, the rest were slotted in at the right moment.

The head of the visual effects department for the opening ceremony said that since everyone thought it was filmed live, he couldn’t see a problem with it.

Posted by Mike 10 years ago

filed under: News

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Comments

steve - August 11, 2008 @ 1:36 am

Hey,
My fathin in law wants to know how long do the Olympics go on as far as days etc..
Steve

Bob - August 11, 2008 @ 1:51 am

Well, that just burst my bubble. That was my favorite part of the whole show, and now I find out it was all fake. The NBC commentators did not make it explicitly clear that we were watching CGI footage. What a scam.

Harry Hayfield - August 11, 2008 @ 2:21 am

When I first saw those footprints (which I thought looked more like a map of China than a footprint) I wondered if they were real because there was something about them that didn’t look quite right (in terms of timing and appearance)

Well - August 11, 2008 @ 11:56 am

Well it has already been stated that the fireworks DID go off and they were REALLY lit. Those footprints were actually made using fireworks.
It’s just that the one shown on TV was CGI.
Clearly there could NOT have been a helicopter doing a flyby to FILM the footsteps simply because there would be a CHANCE of the shells hitting the copter, hence being a huge danger to the safety of the city.

Xiao Zhu - August 11, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

I didn’t think that sequence looked real.

yuri - August 11, 2008 @ 3:34 pm

what??? it was not firework???? how can i believe?

Michelle - August 11, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

Who cares people! it was a fantastic opening!! one small part of it was allegedly fake - so what? everything else wasn’t!!
GOOD GOING BEIJING regardless of what the world was saying about your pollution (which is really bad anyway) u pulled off a magnificent job!!
Michelle

Erica - August 11, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

Even if the fireworks were amazing, I don’t think it’s right to show fake firework to billions of people all over the world! I, for one, waited with such great anticipation to watch the opening ceremony.. Now after I realised it was a total scam (I thought it looked bit unnatural by the way), I don’t have respect for Chinese olympics commitee who do not have respect for the rest of the world!

commonsense - August 11, 2008 @ 10:06 pm

Yea, the sequence looked like CGI, but the broadcasters announced them as real. China says the footprint fireworks really did go off - do we have proof? Kinda phony and fraudulent - just like the products with lead, melamine, and other crap that they export. :)

No - August 11, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

Meh, I watched real footage of the footprints on Youtube. I can understand the safety concerns involved.

Tony - August 11, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

what do you want? made in China.

Angelo - August 12, 2008 @ 12:04 am

My Uncle Louie tried to tell me those were fake, but I didn’t beleive him. Now, fuggedaboutit…….

jessa - August 12, 2008 @ 12:19 am

oh my gosh, people. CALM DOWN. so what if that part of the show was fake? how is that being disrespectful to viewers? are you saying that now, since that ONE part was computer generated, you’re going to refuse to accept that the rest of the show was amazing? go get a life, instead of complaining about how you all feel so deceived.

[...] faked fireworks were actually set-off at the stadium, but because of potential dangers in filming the display live [...]

[...] faked fireworks were actually set-off at the stadium, but because of potential dangers in filming the display live [...]

IMOM - August 12, 2008 @ 1:11 am

Guys. IT is a SHOW. Like a movie. The footprints are CGI but everyone thought they were real. Then that is great CGI. It is not like China created a CGI G.W. Bush if he had boycotted the show.

Beijing Fireworks Faked? « AnecdotalHumor - August 12, 2008 @ 1:45 am

[...] Beijing Fireworks Faked? The Beijing Times has revealed that the footprint fireworks sequence for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, was computer generated and inserted into the coverage too look like the real thing. Beijing’s hazy night skies and camera shake as though it was filmed from a helicopter was even added to the sequence to make it look more authentic. FULL STORY [...]

Serena - August 12, 2008 @ 2:01 am

Who cares if it was C.G? If they actually had this original idea and the firework was actually there (just not filmed live) then what’s the big deal?

stev01 - August 12, 2008 @ 2:24 am

WTF??? Fireworks are MADE IN CHINA!!!! What a rip off!

Craig - August 12, 2008 @ 2:27 am

fake fireworks, I would not put it past the chinese givernment to do such a thing.

First a ton of knock-off FAKE products…now FAKE fireworks.

As for the air pollution issue, go on and seed the clouds more so it will train to throw people off of the overly bad air quality.

Jess - August 12, 2008 @ 5:01 am

MADE IN CHINA (sucks)

[...] the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, many of the special effects were digitized.  (They were fake projections.)  China’s plan to create special effects using computers backfired.  This looks really bad [...]

[...] 2008 Olympics.   We all agreed it was a spectacular show, even though the “Footprint” fireworks were mostly computer [...]

James - August 12, 2008 @ 9:20 am

I can’t wait to see the CG versions of Chinese olympic competition victories. I’m sure they will be fantastic!

john - August 12, 2008 @ 10:42 am

OH let these arseholes slag of china… because some fireworks were faked for their entertainment… rather the fact no other country could do it let alone come up with the idea…. let these people slag of china about fake this fake goods and the show now being shit,,, cause its all just a defense mechanism of jealousy and hatred they did a kcikass show!!!!!!

john - August 12, 2008 @ 10:46 am

if this issue wasnt about the chinese,,, people will be saying how great it is of them to be so conciderate and caring for the danger of people and the public….
but because its not white people and its the chinese all of a sudden its an expecting thing… well the people commenting bad comments is a very small majority of guttless jealous racist individuals,,, you cannot deny it was the best show…….. and also soooooooooooooooooooooo many people have seen the real china and respect the chinese alot more, rather than the typical white mans narrow mind they have finally openned up their minds…… but there is still the odd few morons short of a few brain cells that are still attacking china!!

christina - August 12, 2008 @ 10:49 am

The fact that they were CG is completely irrelevant. The only CG part was the timing the foot prints were lit, because they foot prints were actually physically there and lit, they just used CG to simulate the ‘walking’ effect. There is nothing deceptive about this and they put just as much work into creating this effect as they did the rest of the ceremony. People who are offended by this should lay their bigotry aside, if only in the spirit of the Olympics. This hateful sense of entitlement makes me ashamed to be an American.

john - August 12, 2008 @ 10:52 am

one thing i got to say to china , in the future is be less conciderate about dangers and peoples safety cause whatever china do people always hate you for it anyway,
and dont keep helping those poor people in africa, cause before long white people are gonna start saying we are building them fake homes, and giving them fake food. and putting lead in their toys.. people will do anything to damage chinas fast growing reputation…

chinarocks - August 12, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

so much slagging. That too from a country who shot the entire “landing on the moon” sequence in the Nevada desert and claims they actually landed on the moon!

andymac - August 12, 2008 @ 8:01 pm

The CG was inserted because of safety considerations, it actually did happen, but they couldn’t film it. In fact I actually respect that, because they respect the safety of a helicopter pilot. I think we’d all feel a lot worse if the guy was fatally injured.

As for the “fake” Nevada moon landing, there is no proof that it did or didn’t happen. It’s just another conspiracy. You want them to have shot the film in Nevada so you can say it was faked. WHat if they actually did land on the moon, how stupid would you feel then?

JJjJJJJJ - August 12, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

Well it has already been stated that the fireworks DID go off and they were REALLY lit. Those footprints were actually made using fireworks.
It’s just that the one shown on TV was CGI.
Clearly there could NOT have been a helicopter doing a flyby to FILM the footsteps simply because there would be a CHANCE of the shells hitting the copter, hence being a huge danger to the safety of the city.

Stephen - August 13, 2008 @ 12:08 am

I have no problem with creative enactments - they should just be announced. The US, after all, creates it’s own - like the scene of Iraqi mobs pulling down the Sadam statue. The line between reality and fantasy can be blurred - but it should only happen for entertainment purposes, as it was here.

nate mcguire » The Olympics - August 13, 2008 @ 1:07 am

[...] a sham.  After all of the controversy surrounding the “authenticity” of the opening ceremony, another Chinese-faker controversy has been [...]

gousa - August 13, 2008 @ 4:40 am

I love China’s attitude. If you can’t do it for real FAKE IT! Want the fireworks to be amazing FAKE IT! Like a little girls voice not her face FAKE IT! Make promises to olympic committee, and then do not heed them FAKE IT promises. China would like the world to think that it is a modern and compassionate country, but as we have seen it is nothing but a dictatorial, freedom oppressing FAKE IT nation.

George - August 13, 2008 @ 5:14 am

I agree that China does indeed produce a lot of faked products. One has to think beyond the the political boundary and skin color. They produce faked products for the purpose of making money, a very capitalist thinking like the rest of the world for a long time. The reason this practice has been allowed is due to the poorly managed legal system created by a government that literally wrecked the country for a good critical 20+ years from the 50’s to the late 70’s. The human right issues were 30 times worse during those decades for those who have not heard of Cultural Evolution. Did the our democratic western world focus on the positive progress China has made?

People’s sentiment are often time manipulated by the media & politics. In the 80’s during the Cold War. Russians were portrayed as the “bad guys” in numerous Hollywood productions, including the famous Rocky IV. China was not an economic power in those days. Nobody said anything about China except knowing there were plenty of poor people living there.

Recently, as China has become a strong competitor to the United States after the dissolution of Soviet Union, which is no longer a big threat to the United States as before, the focus lands on China.

Each nation has her skeleton in the closet. Our British colleagues sent opium to China to make the entire economy plummet in the 19th century, not too long ago, for the sake of generating cashflow our our royal family. China indeed needs to improve her human right. But how was our British colleagues upholding human right in opium trade?

If we the western world wants to be benefactor of our eastern siblings (We are all human beings, are’t we?), we need to remove those hostile emotions that often show our insecurity when we see an accomplishment that appeared to have surpassed our own; and to take on a constructive & encouraging attitude.

Even the firework were not real as it appeared on the TV screen, the show in the stadium was still a spectacular one. But all our media seem focus on a feeding frenzy to attack the seemingly negatives.

Putting others lower does not make us higher. That is the universal truth. We are what we are, transient and constantly in a flux of changes every day of our lives. When assessing others we need to be aware of our past, present and future directions, not just the gossip our next door neighbors or the media are hyping on, in order to state facts as they are.

cyanide - August 13, 2008 @ 7:36 am

and yes, last years NFL are actually 2 people playing madden ‘08 on PS3

and the americans did fake the moon landing.

:D

have a nice day

jilly - August 13, 2008 @ 7:41 am

in other news,

the transformers movie is CG.

OMG!!! i can’t believe it!

sufei - August 13, 2008 @ 6:17 pm

Facts speak louder than words.welcome to china and know her ,and i believe that you will find something doesn’t like what you heard .

hopeforsense - August 14, 2008 @ 1:51 am

China, damned if you do, damned if you don’t!!!!

Get it!! Just be yourself!!!

Go! China!!!!!

Gan - August 14, 2008 @ 2:47 am

i don’t mind if it was a CG because of whatever reasons, BUT, please tell the audience! otherwise, what a faker!

and the fake singer, come on..just let the audience know(maybe display text like “sang by that girl and performed by this girlll…”). but..it didnt happen. so what a liar!!

as most of us thought it was “Real and live”. so if you didnt anounce them that means you are cheating us! the poor audience!

so dear china, i am an oversea chinese..please be honest! dont put the country to the shame!

phiphi - August 14, 2008 @ 5:08 am

well, i may accept the CGI idea … but I just can’t accept Beijing Olympic Committee replaced the original little girl, Yang Peiyi, who sang the anthem with a beautiful one??? That’s way too far! How could they have the heart to do so??? Beijing wanted a flawless Olympic but their heart is flawless with selfishness and manipulating intentions? How would Yang Peiyi felt??? She may felt she’s not good for China and that beauty is above everything! Her own country against her buck teeth?? My goodness… Now I believed what my friends always told me , China’s Chinese women preferred to go under the knife to enlarge eyes and extend their height or looks than the consequences of the side effects. There’s even a beauty pagent Miss Surgery or something in China.

[...] about it with some of my kids until early morning. But this was short-lived when I found out from internet releases and talks that some of the fireworks sequences, the footprints in particular (and maybe some [...]

READ CAREFULLY for the love of god - August 14, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

i think alot of people have MISREAD and misinterpreted the statement … there were actual fireworks but the viewers saw a cgi recreation of it for the safety of helicopters.

also during the 2004 Athens the tenor opera singer - forgot his name - also didn’t do a live performance

READ CAREFULLY for the love of god - August 14, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

also think about the winter olympics with the cgi fire >_>

AC - August 14, 2008 @ 9:42 pm

An explanation (but I regard it as an excuse) given by a Chinese (but I regard him as a moron):

“It’s just similar to a woman applying make-ups on her face, a magician playing magics, or an actor using a “double” in movies. Do you really think a taro ice-cream is really made with taro? Idiot!”

AC - August 14, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

Not doing a live performance is fine, but the problem is the voice doesn’t belong to the girl on stage, yet the organiser still put a microphone on her dress.

So what do you think?

Anne :) - August 15, 2008 @ 12:37 am

deceiving was wrong
but im not perfect either

“love covers a multitude of sins”…

unknown - August 15, 2008 @ 12:52 am

The drums? the countdown? the dancers? the painting? the scroll? the 2008 taichi performers? were these just garnishes to the 55sec CGI seqence of 29 footprints timed to appear with the real fireworks?

I have only just found out they were not real. I was shocked by the headlines but after reading the details about safety (which most brief stories omit entirely - what does that say about western media?) I realise that we’re nit-picking. Do we like to complain so much? Are we so prejudiced against China? How would we feel when reading this sort of thing about our own country. We all have our problems but if that was the only thing a foreigner focused on how would we feel?

I’m ashamed at how easily we condemn an entire nation of 1.3 billion as being fakers and producers of poor quality goods. Have we never faked anything? And as for the goods, you pay for your quality. If you bought the high-end chinese products I’m sure they’d be in a different class entirely. This is a sports event. How are they doing there? Did these people fake their training? their sweat and tears? We are too easily swayed by our own media. Their tone is far from being balanced.

Me - August 15, 2008 @ 1:08 am

Fake? I don’t think so. China make ton of firework a year. Why they need to do that? Firework is very cheap to buy and very cheap to make in China. If they do so…. SO WHAT?? Have you see it before? Have you? NO. Now you did!! How great it is!!

How come no one say thank you to the director of the ceremony? People…. you guys are so FAKE.

gousa - August 15, 2008 @ 4:32 am

Hey George WHAT THE HELL IS YOU SMOKIN!!!!! Are you dabbling in that opium? Dude, you need to get off that stuff and join us in the real world. Even though your writing is eloquent your thought process is lacking. Did they or did they not fake the fireworks, the girls voice, the promises they made to the committee and now the age of their competitors? (The last point will probably never be known, because they can FAKE a passport. Every other piece of info indicates an age under 16, but China insists their passport system is flawless and everyone else is wrong. Ya right.) It is a simple question yes or no. Now you’re blaming the American media for reporting the facts. I bet the Chinese gov wishes they could control American media like they do their own. Why didn’t they just show the fireworks as they were or let the little girl that actually sang that song to appear on TV? We Americans don’t mind when someone surpasses our accomplishments just as long as it is not FAKE or they let us know that it is FAKE, but China deemed it necessary to omit certain facts. So much for being a little honest, but what would I expect from a country that severely oppresses its people and lives by dictatorial rule.

Eric - August 15, 2008 @ 6:50 am

Who really cares about the fireworks. China put on a great opening show, which is called entertainment! My son lives in China and says the people are great and are very proud to show the world their country. Is their govt messed up, yeah, but alot better than 30 years ago. Go CHINA, finish second to the USA!

EJ - August 15, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

i f u guys expected something good, something real from CHINA, u guys suck! u guys are sooooooooo idiot. Everthing from that country(I don’t even want to call it a country. they’re just barbarians) is trash. They are world champions when it comes to cheat people. I still can’t believe how such an undevelped country held Olypics. They have to grow up to be world citizen(or human being). They don’t show or have any respect to players from other countries. I just HATE that country, china.

Li Ke - August 15, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

i am chinese
i am ashamed when i hear this
if it was not faked it would have been perfect
sorry to all
—————from a chinese girl

PJ - August 16, 2008 @ 6:46 am

Did you enjoy the fireworks at the time? Did you think it was beautiful? I did. So what if they were computer generated? Why even care? Are we so insecure that we are diminished in that we were “fooled”? We accept movie special effects every day and they don’t diminish anyone’s appreciation for art or beauty. When you can control something unpredictable with a computer and make it truly a spectacle is it really an issue? Maybe now that we know, we should be saying `Hey China! Beautiful CG effects! Nicely done!’ They told the story of the Olympic spectacle with seamless visual effects.

08.08.08 - August 16, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

This message is posted primarily in response to “EJ”. A note of advice: prior to making such severely defamatory remarks of China and her citizens please brush up your english skills!
EJ indeed you must not expect anything good from China for it is merely the fastest growing economy in the world, a country with one of the longest history, with the biggest population of the world. So, EJ since the chinese have not attained the status as world citizens or ‘human beings’, we may as well disregard a significant portion of the world’s population. Oh and indeed all China knows is how to ‘cheat’ people, in fact, the rest of the world is so ignorant as to rush to become China’s business, cultural and political alliance. Thus, EJ I commend you on your ability to voice your opinion of China with such a truthful facade!

And now to the other critics: I am an Australian-Chinese. I was born in China, but subsequently migrated to Australia. I call both China and Australia home. While this remains the case, I am not ignorant of China’s oft-times unpopular and incorrect political decision. However, I an angered by the ignorance underlying some of the comments made within this forum. China has not had a unblemished history, but she trying to undo this and making positive developments to herself and to the world. A developed country like USA has had it’s chance to grow, now give other countries this opportunity. While constructive criticism is crucial for positive development, a comment that is unsubstantiated, bordering on being defamatory is not!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Wolf - August 17, 2008 @ 3:30 am

Wow. I can’t believe everyone complaining about the fake fireworks. I mean it’s just for tv viewers to enjoy. If you can’t accept that, then I don’t think you should be watching tv for that purpose.

Plus, the drummers, scroll and stuff were all real. Now I don’t see people saying great things about those yet they point out the several things like fireworks?

gousa - August 18, 2008 @ 4:44 am

Wolf..The fireworks were not a minor part of the opening…

08.80.08….You point out that China has one of the longest histories, and then say the US is a developed country…US is infante in age compared to China…SO what the HELL was China doing when the US was growing.

EJ….You are going over the top. I don’t like China’s policies and their treatment of Tibet. I believe that everyone has the rights outiline in our constitution, but I see China is doing very little to UNDO anything they are just trying to mask it.

It seems to me that almost every country pushed out its powerless to form a country that is the most powerful. Ironic ain’t it.

[...] we had reports of a pre-recorded “live” fireworks display as [...]

DocP - August 20, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

Well the US faked the Man on the Moon…so the Chinese still have to aim higher…it is still just a footprint in the sky…quite a lot of kilometers left to take it to ‘moon’ level.

And if the Chinese are so bad this and bad that …how is it that almost 99% of what the world uses/eats/wears has at least a part/portion linked to China. China Rules the world quietly while the US blows its tarnished trumpet. So we’ll have to learn to live with our new rulers :-)

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AmericanFuckHead - August 21, 2008 @ 7:22 am

When american do it you call it great special affect, but when the Chinese do it, you call it fake firework.

You know what, thing which actually goes wrong is not what the Chinese did, but it’s your mind that goes terribly wrong, Think about it, people.

Chinaboy - August 21, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

Vietnam, afganistan, iraq, british empire colonising other countries for their own gains

Shall I continue………?

Before critising others lets take a moment and think our our own pasts.

History tells you alot about yourself and others!

gousa - August 23, 2008 @ 4:02 am

DocP…. Now that China is developing (Once again don’t know what the hell they have been doing all these years) they are seeing their workers paid higher wages (finally!!) which would mean with the increases that over time they will have to compete with American workers, but then we all will lose to Mexico.

AFH…Did you bother to read any of the other things that China lied about, and your thinking is totally in line with the Chinese gov mind control. It’s never our fault it’s always someone else.

ChinaBoy….I’ll admint on Iraq if you admit on Tibet. (Ouch…That gotta hurt!!)

AmericanFuckHead - August 24, 2008 @ 6:29 pm

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