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 »

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 »

Rogue One Visual Effects

The visual effects of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were quite the topic of discussion once fans saw that actor Peter Cushing was recreated by way of a motion-capture performance and digital effects. However, that’s not the only reason that the film ended up with an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

A new Rogue One visual effects reel from the wizards over at Industrial Light & Magic shows off all the layers that went into the planetary destruction of Jedha after a little blast from the Death Star. There are also some breakdowns of sequences on Scarif when the Rebels are attacking the Imperial base on the tropical planet.

Watch the Rogue One visual effects reel after the jump. Read More »

Fantastic Beasts Visual Effects

It comes as no surprise that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has an extensive amount of visual effects used to bring the magical creatures of the wizarding world to life. It’s a blockbuster that has to transport us not only to a world that doesn’t exist, but also 90 years in the past. As someone who watches dozens and dozens of movies each year, you start to feel numb to most visual effects, but even I’m impressed by some of the work on display in this Fantastic Beasts visual effects reel. Watch it after the jump. Read More »

Batman v Superman Visual Effects

Even though Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t come away with an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects, it must be said that there is still some outstanding post-production work done on the comic book movie. No matter how you feel about the movie itself, you can’t deny that there are some incredible visual effects seen on screen.

Director Zack Snyder wanted to make sure everyone knew just how much hard work went into creating Batman v Superman, so he put together a VFX reel that’s nearly 12 minutes long, showing everything from digital destruction to animation tests for Doomsday to shots that were created entirely with computer generated imagery.

See Batman v Superman before and after visual effects after the jump. Read More »

Contact Mirror Shot

This year the sci-fi drama Arrival has been receiving all sorts of praise. Thanks to the emotional core that ties character drama to grounded science fiction, the film from Denis Villeneuve has been compared to a similar film: Robert Zemeckis‘ adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel Contact.

Contact is a little more visceral and unbelievable than Arrival, but it’s still one of the better sci-fi movies to come out of the 1990s. And much like Arrival had some incredible visual effects that were not easily spotted by even the most avid of movie watchers, Contact had some impressive, state-of-the-art visual effects work done at the time. But there’s one particular shot that you probably didn’t even know was a visual effect.

Find out which scene we’re talking about after the jump. Read More »

Arrival Visual Effects

Sometimes when it comes to visual effects, less is more. In the case of the acclaimed sci-fi hit Arrival, there’s not a mess of blockbuster spectacle that needed to be done in order to bring the arrival of these unique aliens to life. While there are aliens created with visual effects, there aren’t any cities that need to be intricately blown up in post-production or anything like that.

If you’d like to see some of the visual effects work that went into Arrival, a breakdown from Oblique FX has been made available online, showing how they manipulated footage that was shot on location to make it look like one of the sites where the unidentified flying objects is located. It should come as no surprise to see that the giant, pebble shaped ships were created in post-production, but you might be surprised by what is real and what isn’t.

Watch the Arrival visual effects breakdown after the jump. Read More »

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Star Wars - Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One - Peter Cushing

Millions around the world, probably billions, have seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story now. It’s already pulled in over $573 million at the worldwide box office, and it’s going to take in a bunch more as we head into January. However, not everything regarding Rogue One has been praiseworthy. In fact, there’s one element of the Star Wars spin-off that has been rather controversial and discussed extensively.

Rogue One features the resurrection of the late actor Peter Cushing as Imperial officer Grand Moff Tarkin, thanks to the magic of motion-capture performance and visual effects. For some it was a distraction that didn’t quite do the trick, but others weren’t even aware that the character was a digital recreation of a deceased actor. Today we have official details on how this came to be and what Lucasfilm intended to do if they couldn’t adequately recreate Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. Read More »