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Amazing Before & After Hollywood VFX


Amazing Hollywood VFX. So well done in fact that most of the time we don’t actually see it, at all!

But pretty much everything we see in the movies has a whole ton of CGI behind it, enhancing it into the polished scenes we’ve grown to love.

For the Desolation of Smaug, Benedict Cumberbatch not only recorded the voice of Smaug, but also had a camera strapped to his head as he thrashed about on the sound stage.

Koba from the Dawn of The Planet of The Apes was a CG version of actor Toby Kebbell who acted out the bonobo’s part throughout. A fully computer generated model was then constructed and rigged with the tracking points from Kebbell’s face and body. The motion capturing mixed with CGI is what made the chimps in the movie so convincing.

Game of Thrones! It’s pretty obvious to every viewer that Daenerys’ dragons were CGI.

It would have been a lot less convincing to simply enhance giant puppets. But she still needed to interact with the dragons on set so rudimentary green props were used. The same challenge was encountered on a much larger scale with the skeletons.

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon’s CG character was based on very a real raccoon named “Oreo”. Also there was a teddy bear version that would be filmed after the plate, so the animators could get a feel of how its fur reacted to the scene’s lighting. In many of Rocket’s dialogue scenes, a speaker and microphone were strapped to an extra to give the other actors something to react to and for the other scenes, actor Sean Gunn would kneel in front of them reciting Rocket’s lines. Many of his body movements were used in the final animation.

It’s no surprise that Man Of Steel is packed full of CGI.

When your main character is expected to have super speed and fly around the skies, there’s going to be some special effects involved. However something that wasn’t CGI was Henry Cavill’s pecks as the actor refused any digital touch-ups or enhancement to his body in his shirtless scenes. He also refused to take steroids to muscle up for the role saying it would have been dishonest of him to use trickery while playing Superman and he wanted to push his body to the limits to develop his physique into one that was worthy of the character.

In X-Men Days of Future Past, Mystique was so much more complex than Jennifer Lawrence in a blue suit. The actors’ reels would have to transition seamlessly from one another and VFX artists added a system called Feather Groom tracked virtually to Lawrence’s blue skin changing color as the scales are flipped over. This system could be moved over her entire body like a ripple in water. For her role as Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence wore a special bodysuit. She had previously worn full-body prosthetics in X-Men: First Class but found that too uncomfortable.

Some people wonder why the majority of the end fight of the Avengers was filmed on a green screen and not in the real Manhattan streets. Just the logistics alone, of shutting down a street for the entire shoot would have been a nightmare not to mention having to add so much digital debris and matte paintings afterwards anyway, that the whole thing may as well have been CGI from the start. And so it was. Artists had to create cars, mailboxes, fire hydrants, traffic lights, concrete streets, cables, bars, you name it, they CG’d it.


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