Friday, 1 July 2011

vfX: Making of X-Men First Class

Did you thoroughly enjoy the visual effects (VFX) of X-Men First Class? And would you believe if I told you that the VFX was rushed due to the short production time allotted by Fox for the movie? Well, we can all thank the movie's supervising VFX Designer, the legendary John Dykstra, who was also responsible for the VFX of the ULTRA EPIC Star Wars, for executing the effects in style!

UPDATE (15/12): X-Men First Class is now being considered for nominations in an Oscar category for VFX! PLUS a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild for the stunt team! AND check out the pre-visualization for an unfilmed scene for XFC! Scroll down for more...

XFC contains over 1000 visual effects shots all created with the help of several leading effects studios: Rhythm & Hues, Cinesite, Luma Pictures, Digital Domain, MPC & Weta Digital, all coordinated by Dykstra himself.

The following are the effects shots they were responsible for...

Rhythm & Hues: Emma Frost, Mystique & Angel as well as set extensions and environments at the Lincoln Memorial, the X-Jet hangar and a CIA facility.

^These last two images are Emma Frost concept art made for the movie

^This is one of the many concept art images for Angel

Cinesite: Azazel, Cerebro & environment effects (eg. Soviet Red Square parade)

Luma: Banshee, Havok & Darwin

MPC: Beast, Riptide & yacht destruction

Digital Domain: Sebastian Shaw

Method Studios: Havok’s training scene, sequence where Erik & Charles meet Angel for the first time at the Hellfire Club.

Weta Digital: Final Battle (around 350 shots in total)

Now I was gonna provide brief descriptions of how the effects were created, but FXGuide has an in-depth (read: lengthy :P) article detailing the same! So, hope you enjoy reading it whether you are from the Animation/VFX industry or not...

UPDATE (15/12): Below is the pre-vis for XFC for an action scene, created by & using the technology of Xsens, 3D motion tracking experts. You'll notice the very last scenes in this video was enacted in the film...

In other news, X-Men First Class is being considered for an Oscar nomination for Achievement in Visual Effects! It goes head-to-head against 14 other competitors! Just so you know they include ALL the CBMs from 2011 except Green Lantern! The Academy will eliminate 5 of these films in January & from the resulting 10 shortlisted movies will emerge the lucky 5 nominations! The Academy Awards will be presented on Feb 26, 2012...
About GL I think it's a bit sad really, cos in my opinion though the film bombed at the US BO, I thought the VFX was pretty good. And when I watched the movie last week myself, I didn't think it was bad either! In fact, I'll be one of those rare few in this world who'll go ahead & say that I liked it!

Besides being considered for an Oscar nomination, XFC has already been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture! We'll find out whether XFC emerges victorious at the SAG Awards on Jan 29, 2012. Till then I think all we X-fans can only cross our fingers & hope that X-Men First Class gets its deserved rewards! All the best team!

Someone who's already proved his mettle? Michael Fassbender of course! He won the Best Actor Award at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for his work in X-Men First Class, A Dangerous Method, Shame & Jane Eyre! Congrats to the Fass! You truly deserve it!

(Thank you Daniel Reinoso for mentioning this blog post of mine in your article on AETuts+!)

Analyze the VFX of XFC in HD anytime you want at home! Pre-order your Blu-ray &/or DVD today!
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