In today’s day and age, when we talk about the movie magic, we often do not refer to just the acting or the monologues presented by some of the very fine actors of this era. We also talk about the computer-generated effects that leave us mesmerized. Film makers like James Cameron and Peter Jackson have pushed the world of VFX to another level. The motion capture technology, miniature and giant puppets and computer-generated imagery create such amazing fantasy worlds and creatures that are beyond our wildest imagination. In this article we have compiled a list of some of the best movies that presented the finest work in the field of visual effects.
1. Avatar (2009)
Released in 2009, James Cameron’s “Avatar” changed the face of VFX in the film industry. The revolutionary virtual production techniques used in the film broke all the barriers between the director and the viewer. The movie changed the way we talk about VFX in the film. Steven Spielberg described the movie as an emotional spectacle. The director-centric workflow created by Rob Legato made it possible for the Cameron to make his hybrid Sci-Fi adventure movie to look like a live-action film. With the help of E-Motion capture, the director was able to see how his actor’s CG character will look on the screen directly at the time of shooting which was a massive upgrade from the previously used technologies in any film. Weta Digital, a studio from New Zealand was brought onboard to work on the VFX workflow that supported the CG character. The artists at Weta hand painted the entire VFX structure to get high-quality results.
2. Gravity (2013)
Created by Alfonso Cuaron in 2013, Gravity brings a breath of fresh air to the world of VFX. The innovative visual effects were created by Framestore and the production design was handled by Andy Nicholson while Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki worked on the innovative cinematography. These amazing artists as a team made this movie one of its kind. In the opening 13-minute shot the visuals are so amazing and contain so many details that these 13 minutes will be studied exclusively as VFX marvel. From realistic looking adventures in zero-gravity to mesmerizing celestial bodies, Gravity will be remembered as one of the finest examples of VFX gone wild.
3. The Lord of the Rings Franchise
There are three films in the franchise out of which the last one that was released in 2003 broke all the barriers of VFX of that time. In the epic final movie alone there were 1488 visual effect shots which are almost double from the second one. The movie has the most epic and astonishing battle scene in the movie history which any director will think twice before recreating. Even though the first movie is still considered a VFX marvel, Peter Jackson, who is the brain behind such an amazing creation saved the best for the last chapter. The movie was so perfect that even today after more than 15 years it is still alive in the minds of the fans.
4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the movie was based on the reverse-aging of the main character that was played by Brad Pitt. The main character started at his 80s in the film and slowly reverse-aged during the whole movie. Brad Pitt appeared for the first time with his real face at 52-minute mark and before that rather than using makeup, the creators decided to use VFX. A special technique is known as “emotion capture” was created for this film which helped in developing the CGI creation from the neck up of the main character. David Fincher who is the director of the film worked extensively with the whole team to create a realistic era of the early 1900s.
The world cinema has produced a lot of VFX films in the last few decades. Every new movie that is built around the world of VFX demands specific technological advancements. New techniques are created to fulfill the needs of the story and every time a new technology emerges in the VFX industry, it is adopted by the film industry with open hands. The VFX has made it easy for the directors to work on the scripts without any restrictions which are important for the creative freedom. From creating bugs on the computer to creating battlefields, VFX brings life in everything that seemed impossible a few years back.