What do you think each of these techniques achieves more successfully, and where do you see the future of modelmaking headed?

It is perhaps testimony to the lessening impact of miniatures in the industry that the annual Visual Effects Society have renamed their award for Outstanding Miniatures or Models in a Feature Motion Picture, to simply Models. Some winners of this prestigious award have been the digital models used in Transformers: The Dark of the Moon (2011) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012).
Although the Transformers franchise has moved largely away from the use of models in action sequences, the combination of models and CGI caused a sensation in the industry and won ILM the Visual Effects Society Award for Best Miniatures in 2008.
One of the original reasons given for using miniatures and models in film is that there are certain shots that are impossible or cost-prohibitive to do in real life at full-scale, such as blowing up the White House or a skyscraper. This is, of course, a common justification also given for computer-generated imagery. As we have seen, there are some things that digital effects accomplish that real miniatures cannot, but there are also certain things that computers do not simulate as well as real life.
What do you think each of these techniques achieves more successfully, and where do you see the future of modelmaking headed?

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