Agents of SHIELD VFX Breakdown

It’s easy to brush off some of the visual effects we see on television because they’re done with a lower budget and not quite as polished as what is possible on the big screen. However, we’ve gotten to a point where the visual effects in every episode of a network television series can occasionally be more impressive than visual effects on some blockbuster movies, especially when it comes to TV shows from the world of comic books.

Agents of SHIELD is ABC’s TV series that takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, even though the connection between the show and the movies is tangential at best. While the show doesn’t quite have visual effects that measure up to what we see in the MCU, the fact that these visual effects are done in a much shorter post-production window with significantly less money should not be overlooked.

Check out the Agents of SHIELD VFX breakdown after the jump to see what we’re talking about. Read More »

Logan VFX Breakdown

Since Hugh Jackman doesn’t actually have claws that extend from and retract back into his hand, usually the creation of Wolverine’s signature adamantium claws in the X-Men franchise comes from the prop department. However, for the instances when Wolverine has to jam his claws into somebody, visual effects must be employed to make it look like the mutant has actually stabbed someone rather than just playing pretend.

In the case of Logan, the visual effects process of creating Wolverine’s claws delivering damage to bad guys was more complicated because the movie’s R-rating allowed for much more gruesome, bloody kills from his signature weapons. For those curious how they pulled it off, a Logan VFX breakdown from the visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures reveals the details layers that went into creating Wolverine’s claws and a few more seamless details.

Watch the Logan VFX breakdown video after the jump. Read More »

Saturday Night Live VFX Featurette

When it comes to examining a show like Saturday Night Live, it’s easy to only pay attention to the comedy and performances. After all, people watch the staple late night sketch series for laughs. But because the show is live where anything can happen, that makes the technical achievements behind the scenes even more impressive.

We’ve already talked about countless times how impressive it is that SNL even comes together at all when the entire episode is put together in a single week. But many still don’t realize just how much of a miracle it is, especially when it comes to the quick turnaround of things like building sets, or even more impressive, creating visual effects.

Watch the Saturday Night Live VFX featurette after the jump. Read More »

Suicide Squad Visual Effects

Suicide Squad has come and gone, but soon enough we’ll see at least one of the bad guy ensemble’s characters return to the big screen with Margot Robbie reprising her role as Harley Quinn in Gotham City Sirens. While we’re waiting to see if the movie ends up getting the greenlight to start shooting this year alongside Aquaman, we can take a look behind the scenes at the visual effects that helped bring the more wild side of the DC Extended Universe to life.

After the jump check out Suicide Squad VFX breakdowns that show how Cara Delevingne transformed into Enchantress, how a subway was destroyed and how Diablo’s big, climactic firestorm was created. Watch the Suicide Squad visual effects videos below. Read More »

Rogue One Virtual Sets

Everyone knows that visual effects are required in order to bring a movie like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to life. They may be more advanced than when George Lucas first took us to a galaxy far, far away, but we wouldn’t have the worlds, spaceships and creatures necessary to bring Star Wars to life without the magic of visual effects.

In the case of Rogue One, there are plenty of sequences that are composed entirely of visual effects, whether they’re space battles or environments that are composed entirely of digital pieces. However, there are some sequences where you might not have realized that a partial virtual set was employed. Instead of throwing actors into a room that is entirely green/blue screen, the crew built proxy sets where the nitty-gritty details would be added in post-production by Industrial Light and Magic. They’re details that you never would have thought were visual effects.
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Rogue One

This week brought Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to Blu-ray and DVD, allowing fans to bring home the first Star Wars spin-off home to watch over and over again with the added bonus of finally being able to watch Star Wars: A new Hope right after.

Besides that, you’re likely going to be rewatching all of the scenes with K-2SO on repeat, since he stole so many scenes from his human counterparts. That’s thanks to actor Alan Tudyk (A Knight’s Tale, Wreck-It Ralph, Firefly), who not only provided the voice of the reprogrammed Imperial droid, but also did the motion capture performance on set with the rest of the actors.

We had a chance to sit down with Alan Tudyk along with Industrial Light and Magic animation supervisor Hal Hickel to talk about how they brought K-2SO to life, from his inception, to finding his voice, to figuring out his movement and more. We ran part of this interview regarding the original journey K-2SO had in earlier drafts of Rogue One, but this is the full Alan Tudyk interview with insight from Hal Hickel along with it. Read More »

Princess Leia Visual Effects in Rogue One

The visual effects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were a hotly debated and discussed part of the first spin-off story from the rest of the Star Wars saga. While Industrial Light and Magic brought to life the usual space battles, planet environments, aliens and more that we’ve come to expect from the visual effects studio, they also essentially brought a deceased actor back to life with a digital recreation of Peter Cushing (played by Guy Henry) reprising his role as Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars: A New Hope.

This was quite a point of contention, both due to debate about whether it was appropriate or ethical, and also because there was quite the divisive opinion about whether the visual effect actually looked good enough to use so prominently. However, Peter Cushing wasn’t the only actor digitally recreated for Rogue One. Carrie Fisher also saw a younger, digital double of herself created for the final scene in Rogue One, and she couldn’t tell whether it was archival footage from Star Wars or a visual effect.

Find out more about the Princess Leia visual effects in Rogue One after the jump. Read More »

Batman v Superman Visual Effects Reel

We’ve already seen plenty of in-depth looks at the visual effects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but one more couldn’t hurt. This time, a new VFX reel comes to us from MPC. Unlike the previous reels we’ve seen, most of the work completed by the post-production company dealt with the titular battle between The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. This includes digital doubles, fully computer generated environments and more. Their work also included part of the fight between Wonder Woman and Doomsday.

Watch the Batman v Superman visual effects reel from MPC after the jump. Read More »

Doctor Strange Visual Effects

When it comes to blockbuster movies, visual effects companies can create (and destroy) anything. Sequences where entire cities are destroyed or an entire creature created with visual effects happen regularly, and the technology is so advanced that they pretty much all look incredible. The more impressive trick in visual effects these days is when one of the companies responsible for these effects makes it so that you aren’t even aware there’s a visual effect happening.

In the case of Doctor Strange, there are endless visual effects, mostly because of how our characters can manipulate the world around them. However, some of the more impressive visual effects you may not have realized were there to begin with. A Doctor Strange visual effects reel was recently published online, and I was floored to learn of the existence of more extensive visual effects than I had initially though, including some of the best digital doubles of actors you’ve ever seen. Watch below. Read More »

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VOTD: The Evolution of CGI Faces in Movies

CGI Faces in Movies

Visual effects in movies have advanced in a spectacular way in the relatively short history of cinema. What once was thought to be impossible to create in post-production has become a mainstay in blockbuster tentpoles. More recently, visual effects companies have become quite skilled in creating human faces entirely with computer generated imagery, and a new video essay shows us how this part of movie magic has evolved in a small window of time.

Watch the evolution of CGI faces in movies after the jump. Read More »