Five vfx breakdowns to watch and learn from at home banner

Five VFX Breakdowns To Watch And Learn From At Home

Five VFX Breakdowns To Watch And Learn From At Home

Check out these interesting breakdowns and techniques and add them to your VFX skillset.

The Netflix queues grow by the day, we’ve all gotten much better at cooking, and the peak of human interaction is sharing zoom backgrounds with coworkers. In these uncertain times, it’s important to stay entertained and continue to learn

For all the VFX nerds, we can hit two birds with one stone. We’re counting down five VFX breakdowns to watch and learn from at home. 

Avengers: Endgame - FX Simulations

We just passed the one year anniversary of the highest-grossing film of all time. To celebrate, this breakdown gives a look into the industry-leading simulation work by Weta Digital. With an informative narration track, this clip brings to light the extreme level of detail that goes into top tier sims in VFX. 

At this level, considerations lean towards science and not just creativity. The advanced tools and teams used to build these physically accurate effects are far out of reach for most, but the philosophy is crucial even to the implementation of stock footage. 

Consider the physical properties of your space, all the way from the obvious light and environment to the subtle wind. Even temperature, which would affect how events such as explosions play out on screen, should be considered.

The Lord of the Rings - Forced Perspective

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most industry-changing films of the 21st century in part due to the sheer awe of its scale. From makeup and VFX to miniature work, the Peter Jackson trilogy innovated in every department. In this breakdown we get a look at the most classic example: in-camera forced perspective. 

The incredible thing about LOTR’s forced perspective shots is how they added layers of complexity onto fairly simple techniques. Forced perspective is one of the older techniques in the book, yet the effects and camera teams took it to a whole new level of realism. Testing some forced perspective is a perfect way to start with some great looks in camera and add that extra VFX flair. 

The Boys - VFX Breakdown

In the streaming era, original shows are bringing a perfect mix of Hollywood and indie budgets for VFX breakdowns. While some portions of this breakdown of Amazon’s The Boys feature advanced simulations and polished CG work, there is also a strong use of stock assets such as muzzle flares and barrel smoke

Another great take away from these shots are clever plate photography. In multiple scenes, we see stand-ins, stunt coordination, and more happening in a perfect mix. If anything, we can all learn from the perfect hair fan usage about 30 seconds in. 

ActionVFX - November Fire Release

Of course, we have to include some of our own! This breakdown shows off not only the full breadth of some classic ActionVFX fire assets, but also some great techniques for getting that perfect blend with stock footage.

Just as with the Avengers: Endgame simulations, the setting is taken into account in each situation. What’s the reflection level of the floor? What’s the light like in the room? Is there enough heat for distortion? 

These are the questions to ask yourself that can really hone in on the realism of a scene. In order to place new things into a shot, you have to understand how everything that’s already there is working. 

The Witcher - VFX Breakdown

Back to the world of streaming, Netflix’s The Witcher brought yet another fantasy tale to the small screen with a budget to rival many feature-length films. Every penny shows in this incredible breakdown, which puts Framestore’s skills on full display. One of the best things we see here is the combination of full CG environments with stock assets. 

In the ruined city, for example, a pristine starting point is turned to smoke and destruction through several layers of assets and some great lighting to top it off. This fusion results in beautiful and living environments that bring the worlds of The Witcher to life. 

One thing all of these breakdowns have in common is a strong mix of tools for one job: the finished scene. From fully simulated and rendered explosions to ones that come ready to go, the combination of techniques is your best bet to a full solution.

First time here? ActionVFX creates the best pre-keyed stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. (We also have some great free stuff!)

From Fire and massive Explosions to Blood and Gore VFX, we have the largest VFX library in the world ready to be composited in your project. Check out over 3,300 VFX stock footage elements right here

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