visual effects

2017's Most Noteworthy Visual Effects in Film

We tend to focus on animation on our blog, but this week we wanted to pay homage to some of the best visual effects thats been seen in films so far this year.

1. "Blade Runner 2049" (Warner Bros.)

Bladerunner which comes out in October of 2017 is projected to have great visual effects, yet producers tried to use real sets and compositions as much as possible. Director Denis Villeneuve told Screen Daily "I can count on my fingers the amount of times we put a green screen on set. Most of the movie was done on camera, me and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins worked very hard to do it that way."

2. "War for the Planet of the Apes" (20th Century Fox)

Planet of the Apes, which opens in theaters on July 14th used a ton of visual effects to complete the film. VFX producer Ryan Stafford explained to online magazine Collider that snow was the largest hurdle for his team, “Our characters are digital and they’re played by humans so that introduces the very nature of their footfalls are different. They have a different gait. They have crutches instead of hands. So every time the apes are walking in snow, that entire path has to be digitally recreated. We basically erase all the human footfalls and we replace it with ape footfalls. That presents a huge challenge. Just the sheer logistics. Additionally what snow looks like when it’s balled up and icy on the tips of fur is going to be a whole new challenge that has to be applied. Last movie we had a real big breakthrough with wetness on fur and this movie, we’re going to take that ball and run with it. We have tons of wet fur in this movie and then the additive complexity of snow and ice on fur. “ 

3. "Transformers: The Last Knight" (Paramount Pictures)

Transformers is known to go heavy on the special effects, in fact director Michael Bay revealed to online magazine SlashFilm that "the visual effects of the Transformers franchise are so complex that they have broken the computers of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)." Transformers: The Last Knight is set to release on June 21st.


4. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (Walt Disney Pictures)

Visual effects will be used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi but director Rian Johnson made it clear that the late Carrie Fisher who had already filmed scenes for the film before her death would not be altered. Johnson told SlashFilm “In Rogue One, we created digitally a few characters, one an actor that had actually passed away but had been in an earlier Star Wars film. We’re not doing that with Carrie, although technology gives the ability to do so many different things today.” Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out in December of this year. 

5. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Marvel Studios)

Guardians of the Galaxy's visual effects was largely used to create avatars.  VFX supervisor Guy Williams explained at a VFX conference the thoughts that went behind blowing up an avatar telling the panel “At one point, we had to blow away a large portion of his face, and we were worried about ratings,” he continued. “We needed a solution that was visually compelling but not too gory. We relied heavily on fractals [and used math to create the look] to make the destruction areas not look very biological, because we could get away with it as long as it doesn’t look like a human. We removed parts of him and then had them grow back.”

Source: User generated


Talent Spotlight: Introducing Nico Sanghrajka

This week we sat down with Nico Sanghrajka to find out a little more about his background in rigging and visual effects! 


Nico has been helping us with the rigging of Bink. He's also helping us on a client project; we're creating 8 episodes for a webseries. He is originally from Germany and studied computer graphics at a film academy in Germany while specializing in rigging and lighting. After graduation, he sent out his reels and was called to Berlin to work on his first feature film, Rudy- Return of the Racing Pig. This was a live-action movie about a pig.  The pig wasn’t doing everything the director wanted so they called on some animators to help replace the pig in a couple of shots. Shortly after, Nico moved to London to work on the Tale of Despereaux. Later, he received a job offer from DreamWorks Animation in Redwood city. He worked for DreamWorks Animation for 6 years on movies like Megamind, Kung Fu Panda, and Penguins of Madagascar. In July of 2014 Nico went back to London for 9 months to work on the Jungle Book which comes out later this year! He now lives in San Francisco and has recently worked as a rigging supervisor for Deadpool, the new Pirates of the Caribbean, and the new Startrek!

When he’s not busy working on rigging or visual effects, you can find him somewhere outside. Nico loves hiking, spending time at the park, and the beach. He also loves activities like snowboarding and riding his motorcycle. If you want to know more about Nico and his work, you can check out his website.