A tub of popcorn and a movie is probably one of the most amazing pass times. However, a penny for a thought can be that most of the movies we see today, especially the one involving aliens and robots and elaborate, eclectic characters are usually filmed on a set, covered with green screen and pointed with markers. So what we see on screen is a highly efficient digitalized imagery. This is done with the help of VFX.
VFX or visual effects has changed the course of cinema completely. The first recorded use of visual effects in movies was seen in 1895, where it was used to portray a more realistic assassination of Mary Queen of Scots. Cut to the 21st century, now it is used in most highly grossing movies. A talented set of VFX artists take over post direction to make the unreal, real, be it Sméagol in Lord of the Rings or Thanos in Marvel's End Game.
Here are five amazing movies and the VFX Studios behind production and special effects :
1. Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame
Being one of the most monumental movies, it is not surprising that around 10 VFX companies were involved in the making of the movie, these are –
• Industrial Light and Magic
• Method Studios
• WETA Digital
• Digital Domain
• Lola VFX
• Cantina Creative
• Capital T
• Technicolor VFX
• Territory Studio
While the opening scenes and the figure and robot like features of nebula were mostly tackled by Cinesite Studios, Thanos and the smart Professor Hulk came to life courtesy of Framestore and WETA Digital.
The production involved both characters study and atmospheric detailing. While the former was opening Space scene, Battle scene and the Explosion scene, in the midway, the latter is seen in the making of Hulk, Thanos, the mangled figure of Iron Man and the aged Steve Rogers.
All in all, best VFX breakdowns clearly reveals why the movie is loved and cherished by one and all.
In James Cameron’s Avatar, the power and beauty of digitally produced world. The company responsible for the production of this masterpiece is WETA Digital and the team truly pushed limits of visual effects and animation.
The firm based in Wellington added over 1800, stereoscopic, photo realistic visual effect shots, further adding conceptual design, face, costumes and props which were appropriate to the environment.
• The characters were mostly computer generated .
• The surrounding atmosphere was inspired from live action footage to make it look hyper realistic.
• The flora and fauna suggested by the director and brought to life by the animators was a cherry on the cake.
3. Bahubali 2: The Conclusion
Bahubali and Bahubali 2 are one of the most technically accurate and amazing special effects in movies produced by the Bollywood film industry. The company associated with the special effects and VFX is Makuta Visual Effects.
• The team created a complete new world and environment called the Kunthala Rajyam and added a few aspects of the existing Mahishmati to add to the realism.
• The boat scene was augmented to life by the company as well.
The production team used high definition LiDAR scanning to visualize the depth, distances and light sources in the different scenes.
4. Jurassic Park : The Lost World
The fantasy creatures and environment that came to light in this movie was courtesy of the company Industrial Light and Magic.
The studios brought to life chilling and lifelike images of the digitally stimulated living organisms.
Unflinching attention was paid to light, shadows, fog and weather to make the creatures come to life from the dummies of the sets. Over a thousand photographs of real life wild animals were used understand the effects of natural light on the skin.
The movie is also path breaking as it was the first to seamlessly blend the natural and the augmented environment.
5. Robot 2.0
The movie which came to be one of the most path breaking movies in the Indian film scene. Over 25 companies worked on the movie to reach perfection and save time. According to V. Srinivas Mohan 80% of this work was achieved in India itself.
The most challenging part of the movie was definitely the creation of the bird-cellphone mutant Pakshi Rajan. The fight also heavily employed special effects and the results seem to be mind blowing.
Quick VFX in movies is often used to make slight changes that may not even meet the eye, so much so that it is often called the “third hero" in the movie. Hence we must always appreciate the parts we come to love openly so that the unsung artists and supervisors can cherish their hard work.