The Best VFX Shots of the last Decades

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Old 08 August 2012   #1
The Best VFX Shots of the last Decades

I thought it would be interesting to have a thread where people can list the best (and most memorable) Visual Effects shots of movies, TV shows, TV ads, music videos, et cetera, made in the last few decades.

It doesn't have to be CG VFX. Miniature work, animatronics, stop-motion, practical effects (e.g. pyrotechnics), optical/photographic tricks and so forth count as VFX, too.


I'll make a start with a favorite old music video of mine:

"All is Full of Love" by Bjork, directed by Chris Cunningham, VFX by Glassworks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2tBhaVEWGM



I think that the very human, very emotive and very photoreal robots in this video were way ahead of their time (1999). At the time this video was released, nothing quite like it had been done or seen before.

I also think that humanoid robots in later movies like "I Robot" were inspired by this early masterpiece.


Now its other people's turn: What VFX shots in films, TV ads, TV shows or music videos do you consider worthy of labeling "One of the Best"?
 
Old 08 August 2012   #2
The 2009 Evian dancing babies TV advert is what did it for me. I can put my finger on that as being what got me interested in CG.

http://youtu.be/Q2-rifg94ks

Looking at it now I can see all the little mistakes and sure we all see great improvements in CG adverts now, but I still love that one.
 
Old 08 August 2012   #3
By the way, is there a method of inserting Youtube videos into posts here?
 
Old 08 August 2012   #4
This contest is over!
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Old 08 August 2012   #5
Originally Posted by Artbot: This contest is over!


Hahaha, epic !!

For me was the matrix trilogy BTW.
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Old 08 August 2012   #6
Originally Posted by Artbot: This contest is over!



That is... EPIC.

What is it?

For me, while it wasnt the most important, I was really impressed with the 3d integration in district 9
 
Old 08 August 2012   #7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiARsQSlzDc
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Old 08 August 2012   #8
A still doesn't do it justice.. Colin's Bear:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiARsQSlzDc


(BTW it's kind of disheartening hearing someone wanted to get into VFX based on a shot from 2009..I was inspired into CG by TRON..not Tron Legacy..****ing TRON..haha.)

Also speaking of old, All Is Full of Love was more than a decade ago..how scary is that? Jurassic Park was almost 20 years ago! @#$%
 
Old 08 August 2012   #9
Originally Posted by DePaint:
"All is Full of Love" by Bjork, directed by Chris Cunningham, VFX by Glassworks



I think that the very human, very emotive and very photoreal robots in this video were way ahead of their time (1999). At the time this video was released, nothing quite like it had been done or seen before.


The robots look photoreal because, for the most part, they were photographed ;-)
 
Old 08 August 2012   #10
Originally Posted by dneg: The robots look photoreal because, for the most part, they were photographed ;-)


All is Full of LULZ

Also, the "realistic" faces were Bjork's actual face match-moved onto the robot's head.
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Last edited by Artbot : 08 August 2012 at 12:55 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2012   #11
Since the OP mentioned SHOTS as opposed to whole movies, and since he also said "memorable" I would have to say that, for me, there can be only the first CG dinosaur shot from Jurassic Park. I have never had that feeling of awe and wonder in a cinema before or since, thus making it the most memorable in my lifetime regardless of whether it was the best.

Speaking of the best, though, this is far more difficult. I can think of a few, such as the scene in LOTR The Two Towers when Legolas is busy firing away with his bow and then turns and grabs onto Strider's horse and jumps up onto the back. Even in slow motion that shot just looks perfect, cloth and all. Another would be in Transformers, in the slow motion VFX shot directly after, I think, Devastator plows through a bus. He goes charging at Prime and it looks totally real every time.

Blade II still has the best CG stunt doubles, though I imagine the sunglasses help a lot with that. Davy Jones is the best all CG character, and 2012 has the best destruction I have ever seen.
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Old 08 August 2012   #12
Originally Posted by Artbot: All is Full of LULZ

Also, the "realistic" faces were Bjork's actual face match-moved onto the robot's head.


There's still a lot of subtle CG in there, with the arms, and the fact they replaced the bigger background arms at the last minute as well.

But it is telling that a lot of people think of that video as either all-cg or mostly-cg, when it's not, it's just a triumph of production design and cinematography.

Of course I bet you could make that entire video in full CG -now-, even her faces, and water effects, and it could be the same fidelity..but why?
 
Old 08 August 2012   #13
There have been many but for me there is one stand-out:

Cecile B. De Mille's "The Ten Commandments" - Parting of the Red Sea and the Pillar of Fire

While it's true these FX shots now look really dated, it's only recently that VFX of this scale could be surpassed.

The methodology to do the parting of the Red Sea with the "old methods" must have been pretty complex, and would have required a lot of imagination. Again, it's not the effect that amazes me today, but the manner in which these types of shots are formulated.

Seeing these things in VHS all those years ago left an impression on me.
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Old 08 August 2012   #14
One of the best early transformation sequences I have seen was in the Frederic March Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Made it seem his skin was changing appearance right before one's eyes and with a moving camera as well.

The fx in Hitchcock's the Birds. Like 10 Commandments, shows that when a major studio of the time gave the resources to the fx people to experiment they could work miracles.Especially the scene where the birds get loose in the house.

Another effect I find subtle but impressive is the use of front projection in the Dawn of Man sequence from 2001. I would have bet the shot of the cat on the rock was filmed in Africa , not an indoor set.


And the animatronic mask for Kong in King Kong 76. Having rewatched it recently its really quite an impressive bit of mechanical work on Carlos Rambaldi's part--making the face blow air and the range of expressions. All the focus was on the faulty full size Kong but the mask was quite an achievement even if it was suitmation. I see why Rick Baker gave him the credit for making the costume work.

Also a few of the stop motion sequences from Planet of Dinosaurs. I am not sure whether they top the most fluid bits from When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth but they come pretty close.
 
Old 08 August 2012   #15
Terminator 3 car chase sequence (sorry, I can't remember impressive stills) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gu1ke8bHclA I know it's not hugely CG, but it was impressive and breathtaking. Arnold paid from his pocket 2 millions for this if I remember correctly (it was supposed to be omitted due to cost).
 
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