The Art Of Compositing

Suicide Squad David Ayer’s anti-hero ensemble Suicide Squad definitely had its flaws, but few of those were the fault of the many visual effects houses—18 companies in total—that worked tirelessly on it. Imageworks were the ones who handled the Squad’s final battle with Enchantress, and the movie’s villain proved to be a huge challenge, according to VFX supervisor Mark Breakspear. He told ARTofVFX: “Enchantress was a unique challenge as the actress had been shot without a costume as we had to add it in later to allow it to behave in a way that normal cloth or materials couldn’t.” Breakspear later told AWN that of the 300 shots they enhanced for the film’s third act, dealing with the Enchantress’ tattoos proved the most difficult. “That was amazingly tricky to make sure it looked like skin, but also had the translucency that we needed to see the sub-surface tattoos.”

The Wolf of Wall Street Watching Martin Scorsese’s ode to excess The Wolf of Wall Street, the only scenes that stick out as being possibly computer-generated are the one during which Jordan Belfort’s yacht sinks and the one when a lion wanders freely through his office. But a visual effects reel released by Brainstorm Digital revealed that some of the most basic shots in the movie were rendered with CGI. From sun loungers to tennis courts, Brainstorm made plenty of subtle touches to bring the film in line with the director’s vision. VFX producer Mark Russell told Digital Arts: “Working with Martin Scorsese, everything is about propelling a story forward and contributing to the film. I feel that with his movies, there’s a kind of stylized realism to them that we have to integrate with.” San Andreas The amount of destruction on show in this Dwayne Johnson-led blockbuster definitely doesn’t come cheap, but San Andreas actually cost a lot less to make than many of the big natural disaster flicks that came before it.

According to Variety, the production budget was only $114 million—roughly half the amount needed to bring Roland Emmerich’s 2012 to the big screen. The film’s visual effects supervisor, Colin Strause, was able to keep costs down by employing practical solutions to problems that most visual effects companies would solve with only computers today. As he explained it: “You can make a $100 million movie look like a $200 million movie. You can make movies way smarter. CG for the sake of CG is always a mistake.” They still had their work cut out for them, though. Seven different companies worked together to render 1,300 VFX shots for the movie.