The final confrontation in Avengers: Endgame is one of the most epic scenes in comic book movie history. It’s as if a comic splash page came to life, grabbed a basketball, and windmill dunked on the airport fight in Captain America: Civil War. The Endgame battle is a fight between good and evil on a truly tremendous scale, full of the type of jaw-dropping, “holy shit” moments that make you wonder how any other film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will ever be able to top it.
We’ll have to wait and see if that ever happens, but in the meantime, I spoke with Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken about how Endgame‘s final battle came together. Weta created the VFX for that sequence, and Aitken told me about how much the battle changed over time, which actors were present for its key moments, that applause-inducing moment when Captain America grabs Thor’s hammer, the nanotechnology in Iron Man’s suit, and much more. Read More »
Each season, we get to see new behind-the-scenes videos detailing the impressive work of the visual effects teams for HBO’s Game of Thrones and how they’re able to generate some of the most iconic images in fantasy from scratch. Take, for instance, Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons: Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal. A company called Pixomondo has been in charge of bringing Dany’s “children” to life since season 2, and now they’ve revealed the unlikely inspiration for the fearsome winged creatures from our real-life animal kingdom.
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In honor of its 20th anniversary, the Visual Effects Society – a professional organization of artists, producers, technologists, and more who work in the entertainment industry – polled its nearly 3,400 members and determined a ranking of the most influential visual effects movies of all time. And since this is the internet, we’re legally bound to examine (and potentially argue with) a list like this after it’s published. So let’s take a look and see which films made the cut.
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With the advancement of technology happening at an exponential rate, it seems like almost anything is possible, especially on the big screen. Special effects are more advanced than they’ve ever been, allowing entire cities and civilizations to be destroyed with the click of a mouse (all right, it’s a little more complicated than that). But is that a good thing?
A new video essay, called The Weta Effect, offers the hypothesis that the reason people seem to not be as impressed by blockbusters and their special effects over the past decade is that special effects look too polished now. Technology allows the creation of such unrealistic characters, creatures and locations in such a realistic way, that it’s become harder to suspend out disbelief to accept them as they are. Does that make sense?
Find out more by watching the Weta Effect video below! Read More »
Earlier this week, we featured a little infographic counting down the biggest movie sets in the history of cinema. This look into the practical sets from decades past shows both how impressive and large some physical sets used to be, and also just how few giant film sets are built today, in favor of digital effects. But even the world of special effects wasn’t so technologically advanced. And much like extensive practical set building, the use of less-sophisticated but still impressive special effects is something that seems to be missing from today’s movies.
So if you need to escape the present day for awhile, check out this vintage one-hour NOVA special that takes a look at the magic of special effects in the 80s, focusing on films such as Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch the NOVA segment on special effects below! Read More »