Creating the Razor Crest

The Razor Crest, the ship from The Mandalorian, gets its close-up in a new behind-the-scenes video from ILM. While so much of modern filmmaking relies on CGI, The Mandalorian team actually went a little old school here and built a model they could use for filming. They still used a digital version of the ship as well, but it’s still neat to see the show resorting to classic modelmaking methods as well.

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thor love and thunder VFX

Taika Waititi has learned a thing or two while working in a galaxy far, far away.

The filmmaker, who is writing and directing the highly anticipated Marvel Studios sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, will be using the same visual effects technology for the new movie as was used while making The Mandalorian, the Disney+ Star Wars series that Waititi both acted in and directed. Get the details below. Read More »

Jon Favreau is becoming known as a director who loves testing the boundaries of cutting-edge technology and using that to further the limits of filmmaking. But sometimes, even he loves to go old-school. The writer, creator, and showrunner of The Mandalorian revealed that the effects used to shoot the ship of the titular bounty hunter, called the Razorcrest, will be entirely practical.

Inspired by the use of models to shoot the ships of the original Star Wars trilogy, Favreau and fellow executive producer Dave Filoni (Clone Wars) elaborated at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago on how they teamed up with Industrial Light & Magic to pay homage to the original Star Wars movies by shooting with old-fashioned models and rigs.

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Award-winning visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic announced today that they’ve launched a brand new division. ILM TV will, as the name suggests, serve the “streaming and episodic television market” and expand the ILM brand beyond theaters and the VR projects of ILMxLab.

The first shows that ILM TV are slated to work on are SyFy’s Superman prequel series Krypton and Disney Play’s upcoming live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian. 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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The Force Awakens Visual Effects - Industrial Light and Magic

You’d be hard-pressed to find a casual filmgoer who could name you any visual effects company other than Industrial Light & Magic. Thanks to the company’s relationship with the Star Wars saga, the special effects creators easily the most recognizable name in their business, followed closely by Weta Workshop, due to their ties to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Now the special effects house has released a visual effects reel showing off the incredibly detailed and extensive work they did on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Yes, even though plenty of behind the scenes videos and interviews leading up to the release of The Force Awakens showed off all the practical setpieces, aliens, vehicles and more, there were still plenty of digital effects needed to bring the Star Wars sequel to life. Check out The Force Awakens visual effects reel after the jump and be wowed by the work ILM did for this movie. Read More »

Watch ILM’s New Opening for ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

New Kimmel opening

Films destroy and rebuild Los Angeles all the time, but usually it is for nefarious purposes. The producers of Jimmy Kimmel Live hired ILM to disassemble and rebuild Hollywood landmarks for the show’s new opening, which debuted last night. Check out the benevolent rebuild of Hollywood in the video featuring the new Kimmel opening below. Read More »

Transformers 3 Visual Effects Artistry Deconstructed

It’s easy for some to completely write of Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a forgettable Summer big budget blockbuster, but I think it would be wrong to overlook the technical achievements of some of the awesome action sequences.

ILM and Digital Domain have both released videos breaking down all the work that went into the action you saw on screen. You might be surprised to find out that Optimus Prime, Autobots and Decpticons weren’t the only CG additions in the film. Whole real-world environments and complete shots were created within the computer – buildings, vehicles, bridges, skyscrapers, cities and planets.

For me, these visual effect breakdown videos are the closest thing we have these days to the “Movie Magic” specials from my childhood. While I agree those were more fun, and nothing will beat the magic of practical effects done right, its still fun to get a look behind the curtain and see how the magic was constructed. Watch the videos embedded after the jump.
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