This year’s Academy Award nominations are out, and as usual scifi and fantasy dominate the visual effects category. The Avengers, The Hobbit, Prometheus, Life of Pi, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all up for the gold; and most people really believe it’ll be on of the first three. While both The Hobbit and Prometheus were very impressive, a friend of mine said it would be a crime against humanity if The Avengers didn’t win. And he’s right. ILM was at the top of their game with the movie, and here are just five reasons why:
CG New York
Are you ready to be completely blown away? All of those shots of New York, such as Iron Man flying through it at night or the entire fight against the Chitauri, were created in the computer. That nighttime flight of Iron Man looks so real you could swear they flew a helicopter through New York and just pasted in a CG Iron Man, but the entire flight was computer generated.
Attention to Detail
If you want an example of how closely ILM pays attention to detail, look at the shot where the jet is firing on the Hulk in the Helicarrier. When the Hulk roars at the jet, you can actually see a reflection of the jet and the tracer fire in his eyeball. That is just insane detail that most people wouldn’t see, but the ILM artist put it in there anyways. Crazy.
There’s this elitist group of idiots who still decry CG effects and swear that physical models are the only way to go. Movies like The Avengers shows that is bullshit. The entire Helicarrier may have been CG, but it’s an elaborate digital model even more complex and detailed than most physical models. Seeing how much work went into that is very impressive.
Gollum in The Hobbit was impressive, and while it was a leap over what we saw in the LOTR trilogy; we’ve still seen Gollum before. The Hulk in The Avengers is the best CG version of him yet, and ILM did an amazing job just not in his CG modeling but translating the acting in the animation for a character who doesn’t really talk…much.
CG Black Widow
You know that awesome shot where the Hulk is chasing Black Widow through the Helicarrier and smashing everything? Well that Black Widow was CG. Game over, give ILM the statue right now. Don’t even wait for the awards ceremony, they win.