the Flash VFX breakdown

Given its home on The CW, who expected The Flash to become the most satisfying, and in some ways the weirdest superhero show on television? And yet here we are, one season into the show with fans eagerly awaiting the second. (The Flash season 2 debuts on October 6.)

One way to ease the wait between seasons for any show is enjoy new tidbits like a costume update. Another is to dive into breakdowns of the creation of the prior season. And so here’s a The Flash VFX breakdown that shows how some of the show’s effects, both obvious and subtle, were layered in. The real attraction here, I expect, is the footage of Gorilla Grodd, all drawn from episode 21, ‘Grodd Lives.’

That comes from Encore VFX, via io9. This episode of the show was nominated for the Outstanding Special Visual Effects Emmy, and it’s easy to see why.

Grodd, one of the stranger characters even in The Flash comics and definitely one of the oddest on TV right now, was first introduced in the series’ fifth episode. He shows up in a few other places, but this episode is where Grodd really takes center stage — not that there’s any way to avoid giving a giant (and growing!) psychic gorilla whatever he wants.

Once upon a time it was pretty standard to see sub-par effects on television, but that standard has been changing as budgets increase (slightly) and the quality of digital effects are enhanced by leaps and bounds. At this point you won’t see effects on this level in every episode of most shows, but it isn’t uncommon to find series setting aside some money to do a VFX blowout in one or two episodes.

Even with that in mind, what The Flash pulled off was pretty special. Keeping the lighting dim doesn’t hurt, and having a set of characters and multiple stories that are paying off well for viewers really doesn’t hurt. But let’s not take anything away from the Encore crew; what they did with Grodd was awesome.

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