The stylistic depth and faithful world-building of Blade Runner 2049 mark a deserved win even in spite of the arguably more technical achievements of fellow nominee “War for the Planet of the Apes”. 2049 embodies what most would consider good visual effects. It’s not necessarily the grandeur alone (though it’s a beautifully epic film), rather the seamless integration of the digital and the live action which achieves a true suspension of disbelief.

In our last article, we discussed a few key questions we need to continually be asking ourselves in the midst of production, in order to aim for the highest production value possible in the arena of visual effects, especially on a low budget. We also discussed common pitfalls to watch out for in the video-saturated climate we now live in, where abundant special effects, affordable hardware, and accessible software are all at our fingertips. The strides we’ve made from previous generations of filmmaking are remarkable - and we would do well to learn as much as we can from the film industry’s innovative past in order to shape its exciting future.

The Mill announced on Tuesday, February 6th, that they will be diving back into film and theatrical work with a new location in Adelaide, Australia. Though there are plans for VR, AR, and interactive media (pegged with the usual buzzwords “emerging and immersive markets” in their initial press release), their initial focus is on visual effects for major production companies and streaming services.

We are getting away from After Effects this week and diving into Nuke, a node-based digital compositing application. Our instructor, Anthony Thomas, will take you through how to best utilize our Aerial Explosions into a shot he created specifically for this tutorial.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony offers no surprises in this realm. This year’s nominees for Best Visual Effects pushed the envelope in both scope and technical prowess, and brought many innovations of the last decade to a whole new level. Though diverse in subject matter, they exhibit trends in both viewer expectation and industry technology. Here are three takeaways before the winner is crowned.

This week we’re taking a quick look at adding mattes to make sure your VFX are appearing behind objects in your scene. In this example, we are adding mattes to make our Explosions erupt from the other side of a large building.

In this new ActionVFX “Power” Blog Series, we will discuss several key elements that will not only challenge and equip you as a visual storyteller, but engage critical thinking to ensure your story is as powerful as possible. We will begin this series by exploring the Power of Tone.