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Visual Effects

‘Star Wars’ Visual Effects


I find this shit fascinating. Also, I really think the “old school” method looks better than a lot of the the CG being done these days. Models look more 3D because they are 3D in real space, not created in a computer.

Of course, I also still often write with a pen or pencil on actual paper, so what do I know? Well, something at least. I know what I like.

Anyway, check out this great video and learn all about stop motion, blue screen and more of the tricks of the trade that helped make Star Wars, Empire and Return of the Jedi the classic movies they are.


‘Great Gatsby’ VFX Before and After

great gatsby

Helping to continue our irregular series of visual effects articles is this new video from visual effects supervisor Chris Godfrey. According to Godfrey, he’s been allowed by director Baz Luhrmann to show this video highglighting the before and after visual effects of his most recent film The Great Gatsby.

This video serves to highlight, once again, what a crucial role visual effects play in modern motion picture production. In truth, it’s hard to imagine a movie made these days (especially a period piece) that didn’t have at least some visual effects shots in it.

With all that it does for filmmakers, let’s hope that the visual effects industry will begin to get the respect it deserves. That would be nice.

Meantime, as I’m a fan of this movie, the director and behind-the-scenes movie secrets in general, this video is pretty interesting to me.

I hope you find it that way as well.

[vimeo 68451324 w=560 h=315]

Every Ray Harryhausen Creature Creation In One Awesome Video


I am a huge fan of visual effects master Ray Harryhausen, who passed away recently at the age of 92. During his lifetime he brought us all manner of creatures and pioneered the use of stop motion effects in movies and television.

He was a true visionary and his creations will live on and inspire countless generations of current and future filmmakers. To give you an idea of just how many amazing creatures the man brought us during his career, YouTube user Mat Bergman has put together a video highlighting every one of them.

Check it out below and be amazed.


Building a T-Rex


I had the privilege of knowing effects guru Stan Winston a little, having met him originally though a mutual friend. In fact, I visited his studio during the time he was working on the first Jurassic Park movie.

I was amazed at what I saw and when the movie eventually came out, I was even more amazed at how it all came together combining Stan’s animatronics with Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri’s work (among many others). It changed the way movies were made forever.

In short, he was pretty much a genius.

So, many years later, it’s fun to see these videos put out by the Stan Winston School shot during the time he was working on the movie. Things sure have come a long way in the visual effects world, but at the time, this was the pinnacle of technology and very cutting-edge stuff.

I think it still looks pretty damn good. Enjoy.




‘Before VFX’ Is Fascinating


A couple days ago I posted a video showing some before and after visual effects shots from various TV shows and movies. Many people were surprised at the number of effects being used and also that, in many cases, effects were used at all.

Yeah, Hollywood likes to use visual effects to do almost anything these days. They do it a lot. To help illustrate just how much, a new website has sprung up showcasing what the author calls “The Canvas” of visual effects.

It’s a fascinating look at the “Before” shots in lots of famous movies including The Dark Knight, Twilight, Captain America, Kick-Ass, Avatar and a whole lot more. Plus, it gives you a greater appreciation for what the actors have to go through. Playing a big, emotional scene with a bunch of dots stuck to your face can’t be that easy.

Here’s a few of the “Before” pictures. Head over to the Before VFX website for a whole lot more.


“Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”




“Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”

The Green Screen Is Your Friend

If you watch a lot of movies and TV as I do (and occasionally even make them), you’ve probably sometimes wondered “How did they do that”? Well, as you’ll see from this video, they “did that” with a lot of green screen and visual effects.

Visual effects is a huge part of Hollywood and the men and women who work in that industry should be recognized and rewarded as such. This is only a small fraction of the work they do each and every day.

Enjoy and try not to be too shocked.


Some ‘Avengers’ Behind the Scenes Fun

As always, when I see something cool I bring it to you. This time it’s a very interesting video showing how (and why) a particular shot was accomplished for The Avengers.

Cool stuff indeed.