One of my friends on Google Plus pointed me to this page. I thought it was really worth blogging on this. It really reminds us that VFX is a massive collaboration of effort, resources and skills in many areas. All these come together to create the films filled with seamless and amazingly believable shots that we as movie-goers are so used to seeing in the films today.
I think these breakdown clips (though often very enjoyable to watch) are proudly showing and reminding us of the hard work of the men and women working behind the scenes to bring those effects to life on the big screen.
It is very common, for example, for objects that were shot on set to be painstakingly removed only to be replaced by a cg version of the exact same thing that looks... almost the same. Of course, these kinds of decisions are based on technical, aesthetic, and sometimes client requirements. However, all these are transparent to the viewers.
The clips below are only a gateway, giving us a tiny glimpse into the complex and painstaking workflow involved in just a few VFX shots from their respective films.
Lets take a moment to marvel at the artistic and technical breakthroughs, as well as to appreciate the ingenuity, time and effort of the artists and technical directors behind those shots.
Wrath of the Titans
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (part 1)
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (part 2)
X-Men: First Class
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part1)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part2)
Prince of Persia and the Sands of Time
Clash of the Titans
Alice in Wonderland
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage o the Dawn Treader
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Fast & Furious 4
Look beyond the awesome and appreciate the sweat and tears.
I have heard a lot of people that are not from the VFX industry asking in astonishment "Don't you guys have dedicated software and plug-ins to generate the effects at the click of a button?"
Yes we do have dedicated, proprietary software and plug-ins to generate effects and help the workflow efficiently. Generating effects that work at the click of a button? No. It never happens like that. Each shot is simply too complex. Sometimes clients cannot even settle on a look they want until the very last moment, so many things are usually in a constant state of change.
One of the inside jokes shared by my circle of colleagues is the existence of the mythical "make awesome" button in our software.
It simply does not exist.
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