Big budget Hollywood blockbusters and state of the art CGI go hand in hand, this wasn’t always the case but since Jurassic Park opened its doors the summer blockbuster has evolved. In the 20 odd years since then, digital effects have come on leaps and bounds even if shoddy rubbish like Sharknado sets the whole business back by 30 years.
Whenever a piece of less than spectacular digital effects work is on display, the internet is all over it and we collectively break the hearts of digital effects workers all over the world. For example, The Rock in The Mummy Returns during the climatic battle was all CGI to create the half man half scorpion effect. Sadly, the end results were laughable and looked less convincing than a Playstation One cut scene. However, for all the mistakes that are made, some of the best CGI goes unnoticed and countless movies have used this tool to heighten, alter and improve what was physically shot in camera.
RocketJump Film School recently released this excellent video essay that highlights some of the best unnoticed examples of how to blend the physical and digital worlds together. Without spoiling the insightful eight minute essay, they make an eloquent point that bad CGI originates from filmmakers who don’t know how to use it properly.
You might be surprised by just how much unnoticed yet vital digital effects work goes into a movie.