Gemini Man Visual Effects

Though critics didn’t seem to care for Gemini Man much, one of the consistent compliments among many have been with regards to the visual effects used to create a young Will Smith that faces off with an older version of Will Smith. The team behind this amazing technological achievement in visual effects has consistently touted the fact that they didn’t simply de-age Will Smith’s face, but instead, they created a completely digital model of young Will Smith that was informed by a motion-capture performance. Now a Gemini Man visual effects breakdown reveals how it was accomplished.

Gemini Man Visual Effects Breakdown

What you see in this Gemini Man visual effects breakdown isn’t much different from what we’ve seen from the visual effects in the recent Planet of the Apes trilogy. A motion-capture performance is done either on set or in a soundstage built for motion capture, and the actor is replaced with a digital model. Technology has now allowed filmmakers to see a rough version of what the shot will look like in the monitor while cameras are rolling.

You might be thinking to yourself that this behind the scenes footage seems to contradict that this isn’t just de-aging technology. But Will Smith’s face is only being used as a reference point for the digital model. Even in the scenes when Will Smith was on set with a motion-capture camera strapped on his head and dots on his face, he was completely replaced with a digital model of young Will Smith. You can see how that worked around the 33-second mark of the video.

Director Ang Lee has been playing with technology on film almost as much as James Cameron. The only problem is that Lee’s focus on the technology may have him distracted from really delivering a worthwhile story for the visual effects to enhance the movie rather than being a crutch for it to rely on purely for spectacle. Gemini Man is as generic as action blockbusters can come, but the concept of seeing an impressive fully digital younger version of Will Smith seems to lessen the blow a little bit.

For more from Ang Lee about Gemini Man, be sure to read our interview with him right here.

Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.

The film is directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ang Lee and produced by renown producers Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger.

Gemini Man is playing in theaters everywhere now.

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