Deadpool 2’s what the…!? scene and how it was made

A lot of crazy stuff happens in Deadpool 2. A lot. But perhaps nothing quite matches the ‘baby legs’ moment. It’s when Wade Wilson aka Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) is stuck on the couch of his elderly blind roommate Blind Al (Leslie Uggams) while his legs re-generate, having been earlier torn in half by Juggernaut (oh yeah, that was pretty crazy, too).

We first see the stumpy legs – and possibly more – as Wilson sits. Then, Cable (Josh Brolin) arrives and Wade shuffles up to him, baby-walk style. To pull off the legs gag, director David Leitch entrusted production visual effects supervisor Dan Glass and VFX studio Double Negative to work their magic. vfxblog asked Glass to describe how those shots were made. Continue reading Deadpool 2’s what the…!? scene and how it was made

Inside the mind of Pacific Rim: Uprising’s animation director

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Pacific Rim: Uprising might just be an animator’s dream project; giant Jaeger robots fighting giant alien Kaiju. Whenever I watch a film like that, I always wonder, where do the animators start? Notwithstanding the fact that there’s already a Pacific Rim film out there, and perhaps plenty of other giant fighting robot films, something about Uprising’s animation felt different.

So I asked animation director Aaron Gilman to tell me. He’s now at Double Negative and is a veteran of such other effects-heavy films as Avatar and Iron Man 3 at Weta Digital. We talked about getting started with animating such large characters, finding performances, using motion capture and what Gilman calls his ‘Heft and Jank’ approach. Continue reading Inside the mind of Pacific Rim: Uprising’s animation director

Mandelbulbs, mutations and motion capture: the visual effects of Annihilation

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When Alex Garland’s Ex Machina won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in 2016, it was perhaps considered a major surprise in the VFX community. But the win also highlighted just how crucial the visual effects were in bringing the story of the A.I. robot Ava, played by Alicia Vikander, to life.

Now Garland and Ex Machina’s Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Andrew Whitehurst from Double Negative have re-teamed on Annihilation, about a group of scientists who investigate a mysterious quarantined zone called the Shimmer. While there was a larger visual effects effort required for this new film – which involved the Shimmer itself, an array of mutated creatures and an alien humanoid being – the VFX again remain highly integrated into the storytelling and crucial in realizing Garland’s vision.

vfxblog caught up with Whitehurst for an in-depth discussion about making the film and the visual effects (realized by Double Negative, Milk VFX, Nvisible and Union VFX), including shooting in real locations in the UK, designing with Mandelbulb 3D fractals, filming with practical effects and stand-ins for much of the creature work, and delivering a beautifully choreographed ‘dance’ for Annihilation’s stunning conclusion.

***Warning: this interview contains major plot spoilers*** Continue reading Mandelbulbs, mutations and motion capture: the visual effects of Annihilation

A whole bunch of Blade Runner 2049 VFX breakdowns in one place

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Over the past few months, I’ve seen some incredible – incredible – VFX breakdowns posted by the various studios behind the effects in Blade Runner 2049 (overall supervisor John Nelson). So here’s a whole bunch of them in one place at vfxblog. I’m sorry if I’ve missed any of the major work, please let me know.

https://vimeo.com/248318780