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Visual Effects Breakdowns from Pacific Rim, Transformers and More

Jonny Elwyn

Get inspired by some spectacular visual effects work with these insider breakdowns.

In this fast paced video from Rodeo FX you can take in a detailed explanation of how they created the MGM Grand crowd shots in the film Now You See Me, using The Foundry’s Mari and Nuke to “off the shelf” systems such as Kinect and PS3 cameras for motion capture and 3D scanning.

In the next two videos you can see detailed layer-by-layer visual effects composites, which if you were to slow the video down, would give you a great view of just how many small details are involved in really selling a shot. For more details on Rodeo’s work on Pacific Rim check out this post from their site.

Pacific Rim Visual Effects Breakdowns

The good people at Industrial Light and Magic have put together these fantastic interview led videos of the work they performed on destructive action epic, Pacific Rim. They cover creating the Kajiu and the Jaegers to tackling how to build Hong-Kong in order to destroy it.

The Great Gatsby

This first montage from Visual Effects Supervisor Chris Godfrey showcases the work of all of the various vendors who worked on The Great Gatsby. In the following videos it’s worth jumping over to Vimeo to check out Chris’ comments under each one, explaining a bit more about the complex visual effects work involved. It’s great to be able to see cut scenes as the editor would have handled them, along side the finished shots.

No matter what the budget or how big the sets that art director Ian Gracie built – and he did go big – the scale was never going to be large enough for the vision. The physical build cost just for Gatsby’s mansion was over five million dollars. The biggest set build, which included the mansion hallway, ballroom, stairs and organ, then out to the breakfast patio and down to the dance-floor was more than 50 metres by 30 metres by 12 metres high. But that was just one specific set with 200 metres of bluescreen and blackscreen permanently hung.

Gatsby’s mansion was in fact a mix of many locations and sets. The front gates and driveway were at Sydney’s Centennial Park, the building façade (first two floors) was a school at Manly, the entry to the dance-floor was in stage one (Fox Studios), the stairs, the pool were stage two, the wharf was on stages three and one at various times, the beach and water were at Cottage Point and Nick’s bungalow was built at Centennial Park, stage three and Mount Wilson (in the Blue Mountains).

Transformers – Dark of The Moon

In these videos, again from the masterminds at ILM, you can get a look at their process for creating some unbelievably detailed visual effects work on Transformers – Dark of The Moon. Plus, stunning sound design too.