Greatest VFX of all time?

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  • Always the best one, i feel.
  • KirstieTKirstieT Staff
    edited September 2013
    I know that this doesn't ENTIRELY count because it's not out yet, but I am thinking that Gravity will top this list when it comes out.
    Even if it's not aesthetically brilliant VFX (which I think it will be, of course) then even just the crazy upgrade in the amount of hardware needed for post production (if this article is to be believed: http://bit.ly/18wasl8) should merit it receiving some sort of award......
    Can't wait to see this :)
  • I'm starting to suspect that Gravity will entirely change the standard for science fiction and space-based projects. 
  • edited September 2013
    James Cameron on Gravity:
    “I was stunned, absolutely floored,” he says. “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.”
    More on the project:
    “When (Cuaron) called and said, ‘I want to do a movie in space,’ immediately I started seeing the movie with all these very long shots I’ve never seen before, especially in a science-fiction movie,” Lubezki says. “But I got a chill because I realized how hard it was going to be to do something like that, when you have an actor in zero gravity and you’re not cutting.”
    Cuaron enlisted visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, with whom he had also collaborated on “Children of Men.” “We said if somebody can do it, it’s Tim,” Lubezki recalls. The trio of Cuaron, Lubezki and Webber soon concluded they couldn’t make “Gravity” as they wanted to by simply using traditional methods. So for the spacewalk scenes, says Webber, “We decided to shoot (the actors’) faces and create everything else digitally. Which was quite a difficult decision.”
    http://variety.com/2013/film/news/alfonso-cuaron-returns-to-the-bigscreen-after-seven-years-with-gravity-1200596518/
  • edited September 2013
    James Cameron om Gravity:
    “I was stunned, absolutely floored,” he says. “I think it’s the best space photography ever done, I think it’s the best space film ever done, and it’s the movie I’ve been hungry to see for an awful long time.”
    From the VFX Supervisor:
    “When (Cuaron) called and said, ‘I want to do a movie in space,’ immediately I started seeing the movie with all these very long shots I’ve never seen before, especially in a science-fiction movie,” Lubezki says. “But I got a chill because I realized how hard it was going to be to do something like that, when you have an actor in zero gravity and you’re not cutting.”
    Cuaron enlisted visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, with whom he had also collaborated on “Children of Men.” “We said if somebody can do it, it’s Tim,” Lubezki recalls. The trio of Cuaron, Lubezki and Webber soon concluded they couldn’t make “Gravity” as they wanted to by simply using traditional methods. So for the spacewalk scenes, says Webber, “We decided to shoot (the actors’) faces and create everything else digitally. Which was quite a difficult decision.”
    http://variety.com/2013/film/news/alfonso-cuaron-returns-to-the-bigscreen-after-seven-years-with-gravity-1200596518/

     


    They should have just bought HitFilm and saved a ton of money. I don't see anything in the trailer that couldn't be done in HitFilm. It's the time and effort that determines the quality. ;) 
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator
    edited September 2013
    You might want to look a little more closely at the trailer. ;)
    While I'm obviously very proud of what HitFilm can do, the fidelity of the stuff in Gravity is a fair few levels above anything I've seen before - and that's just going from the trailer. Some of the weightlessness techniques they use elsewhere in the film sound extremely advanced, difficult and clever.
    Bear in mind, also, that the trailer is a minute-or-two. Sustaining that quality over 90 minutes is a whole other thing.
  • edited September 2013
    Okay- I admit I just wanted to boast about HitFilm and got a little carried away. :blush: 
    The footage IS astounding and I think you're right, Simon, it will definately set a higher standard.
    Check out the extended trailer. Like I said before- I hope this isn't the best part of the movie as impressive as it is. I hope there's a decent story that matches the effects.
    http://youtu.be/mDfaNfg_baE
  • This is going to be spread on social media fairly soon for HitFilm, but I thought it would be nice to share it here first and see if anyone had some opinions. 
    Now that Gravity has come out in the US (jealous) there have been many more detailed articles on it. I've had a look through this one and there don't seem to be any spoilers so no worries about that. 
    However, this is by far the most detailed and interesting post I've seen about this movie yet. It's such an incredible achievement for all involved, and a rare opportunity for them all to move from the 'typical' filmmaking techniques and experiment a bit - hence the bit about it taking months for new employees to even grasp the idea behind how they wanted to achieve the shots. 
    My favourite quote: "Tim Webber says his IT team worked out that if Gravity had been rendered on a single core machine with a single processor in it, the rendering would have to have been started at the dawn of the Egyptian civilization to get it finished in time –5,000 B.C.!"
    Here's the article. Whaddaya think? http://www.fxguide.com/featured/gravity/
  • Yeah, there were spoilers. Now I know how they did some stuff and the magic is gone. ;) Just kidding.
    Amazing the lengths they went through to achieve their vision. It was worth it!
  • Great article, thanks for the link Kirstie. Pretty damned awesome stuff.  :) 
  • Yeah, there were spoilers. Now I know how they did some stuff and the magic is gone. ;) Just kidding.


    Way to give me a heart attack! 0.0

  • I think if I got to choose a shot, it would be the Jurassic Park raptors in the kitchen section, specifically the shot of the Raptor smashing into the metal door. That whole sequence is electrifying in its intensity and the action switches between people in suits, part prosthetic and full cg dinosaurs so seamlessly that at no point do you question their physical presence in the kitchen and the threat they pose to the actors.
    It was that film and specifically that sequence, which started off my ambition to work in movie VFX. I'll never forget it, and the nights staying awake long past my bedtime, reading through the storyboards at the back of the making of book. 
    Surprised to see no mention of Alien and the planet/reveal sequences, Benjamin Button - which caused all of us in VFX to marvel or Avatar which at points took my breath away. Perhaps due to a lack of iconic VFX powered imagery in BB (despite the solid triumph of the VFX work) and the fact that Avatar was a fantasy VFX setting going in.
    As for Gravity... It's almost entirely, uncut CG. Rendered in stereo. That's just a ridiculous accomplishment, the computing power alone that goes into maintaining a production of that quality, with shots that long... Is itself an absolutely remarkable feat. I'm very much looking forwards to seeing it.
  • I think if I got to choose a shot, it would be the Jurassic Park raptors in the kitchen section, specifically the shot of the Raptor smashing into the metal door. That whole sequence is electrifying in its intensity and the action switches between people in suits, part prosthetic and full cg dinosaurs so seamlessly that at no point do you question their physical presence in the kitchen and the threat they pose to the actors.
    It was that film and specifically that sequence, which started off my ambition to work in movie VFX. I'll never forget it, and the nights staying awake long past my bedtime, reading through the storyboards at the back of the making of book. 


    A Jurassic Park mention was needed here, for sure. It was absolutely incredible at the time (I was two when the first one came out and it convinced me fully that there was a dinosaur island until I was about ten or so) and the shot of the raptors is one of the best. For me though, the thumping in the water scene is just brilliant, and the first glance of the T-Rex was electrifying (excuse the pun with the fence there).
    However one thing I can't help but think of (after Film Riot's movie scene challenge) was this guy who used Blender (totally free software) to recreate that iconic scene in 5 days. I mean - what. 
    It is bang on correct and every time I think of how epic that VFX was at the time, and how quickly it can be done NOW with so little software (but a lot of talent, granted) it reminds me how much can be achieved, and then I get happy. 
    If you haven't seen it, you must check it out. The look on Ryan's face is priceless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIej2o4LU3M

  • The most amazing thing about Jurassic Park (my all-time favorite movie, by the way) is that not only has it held up extremely well for twenty years, but no one has been able to produce better looking dinosaurs for a film or TV show.  It's the gold standard for dinosaurs.
  • I think the concern that the CG might not work meant that the film was constructed very, very cleverly to make absolutely the best possible use of CG, animatronic, men in suits etc. Everything was optimised as much as possible. That attention to detail doesn't often happen these days. It's the same problem that afflicted Jurassic Park 2, where they got a bit over-excited by the tech.
    I'd say the dragons in Game of Thrones are surprisingly good, especially for a TV show. They're probably the first dinosaur-esque effect I've seen on TV that comes anywhere close to Jurassic Park.
  • edited November 2013
    The most amazing thing about Jurassic Park (my all-time favorite movie, by the way) is that not only has it held up extremely well for twenty years, but no one has been able to produce better looking dinosaurs for a film or TV show.  It's the gold standard for dinosaurs.

    I think the Diplodocus stuff is a bit shonky now, but the Raptors and T-Rex still haven't really been bettered. Possibly simply because there hasn't been a huge budget dinosaur movie for a while.


    However one thing I can't help but think of (after Film Riot's movie scene challenge) was this guy who used Blender (totally free software) to recreate that iconic scene in 5 days. I mean - what. 
    It is bang on correct and every time I think of how epic that VFX was at the time, and how quickly it can be done NOW with so little software (but a lot of talent, granted) it reminds me how much can be achieved, and then I get happy. 
    If you haven't seen it, you must check it out. The look on Ryan's face is priceless: 

    I've... Gotta disagree. Though the tech's there to do a better job of it now (and faster) - I think that Blender render was (despite the talent required to create) - A million miles away from the quality of either Jurassic Park or today's feature film standards. Those shots of the film also used a massive prosthetic T-Rex head, which is why it looked so real!
    Overall, I too share your enthusiasm for the increasing power of technology. The sentiment that it can be done much faster now - Is absolutely true. Things have absolutely exploded since Jurassic Park came out and some of the things we can do with computers now, is frankly ridiculously cool.


    I'd say the dragons in Game of Thrones are surprisingly good, especially for a TV show. They're probably the first dinosaur-esque effect I've seen on TV that comes anywhere close to Jurassic Park.

    You're right, they're really good. Part of why is because of the huge budget Game of Thrones has, though. The time spent on making the VFX great is drastically larger than you'd normally see on a TV production and much closer to film.


  • I'd have voted for Terry Gilliam's "Adventures of Baron Munchhausen"  the whole movie is packed with really clever and inventive tricks, I still notice new things when I re-watch, my particular favourites, the scene where his ship is thrown to the moon and this one'
    http://youtu.be/ReBLbL3nfmI
  • Ah, I've always had a fondness for the positron streams in Ghostbusters. That hand-drawn animation and the optical overlays with the flares and the sparks combine to make one of the most interesting displays of energy beams in film. In the embedded clip, I always particularly enjoyed the shots around 1:30-1:55 where Ray and Egon let fly at Slimer* at the catering table and bar. The way the stream bends almost gives the positron stream a liquid look--like it's effected by gravity.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZVzT0zx_pk
    *Slimer is never referred to as such in the movie, and, in the script for the film he is actually called "Onionhead." He doesn't get named Slimer until the "Real Ghostbusters" cartoon.
  • RIP Harold Ramis. 
    Amazing how VFX have moved on - we can do that shot (better and faster) on a computer and software that cost less than a used car. (Under £2500 including a DSLR to shoot it).
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    (Now we're into aesthetics, which are, obviously, personal taste, but, honestly, I've seen a lot of CG proton streams, and I like the original better. I do find the commentary for Ghostbusters a little depressing at times--Ramis and Reitman apologize for the movie's VFX looking terrible---you know what? 95% of those effects still stand up, except a few shots with matte lines, and the inconstant lighting on the stop-motion Terror Dogs.... Ghostbusters reamains a fantastic looking movie.)

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