Special effects articles round-up

When I was a kid, I would eat up “making of” TV shows and special effects-related shows like the Leonard Nimoy-hosts Lights, Camera, Action. One for The Dark Crystal that appeared on HBO — and now on most of the DVD editions — left a huge impression on me, particularly sequences with Brian Froud drawing a Skeksis (making a point to mention he always started from the eyes) and behind-the-scenes footage of performers on stilts rehearsing for their parts as Landstriders. And if you’re a special effects nerd like I am, you’ll find these articles interesting:

The second part of SuperheroHype!‘s Hellboy II set visit shows some glimpses at the creatures from the Guillermo del Toro film, including some words on how each of them was accomplished; it’s particularly interesting to note that they used mostly practical effects, except for long shots and fighting-heavy shots. Practical effects almost always look so much better than CGI; textures, lighting, and particle effects just don’t cut it without a lot of money behind it…

…as in the films discussed in a pair of articles at Variety on CGI lighting and particle effects. The lighting effects article largely discusses the improvements in the technology as seen in Transformers, while the particle effects is largely specific to the Dust in The Golden Compass — both superb examples of cutting-edge work in each field.

UPDATED (3:26 pm): Coming Soon has added a somewhat less interesting article called “The Effects of The Spiderwick Chronicles— less interesting because it pretty much just reads: “CGI, CGI, a little more CGI, aaaand some CGI thrown in for good measure.” Even so, a few sentences near the end about how (and why) they built a digital model of a historic house is kind of cool. The Spiderwick Chronicles opens wide on Thursday, February 14.

Posted on February 8, 2008 at 10:58 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: Around the Intertubes, Movies · Tagged with: , , , , ,