"Stalingrad" VFX breakdowns


Nice breakdown here, not to mention the fx being quite impressive…



Some truly fantastic stuff in there.


Very extensive use of Houdini for everything but modeling and texturing. Great reel for SideFX! :thumbsup:


Really amazing!


Wow, truly stunning work! But I have to point out that there’s no way that Heinkle (or whatever it is) would remain so intact after an impact like that. But that’s nit-picking. :wink: Excellent job!


Very impressive work, dramatic license and all.


I love it! Very nice shots in there.


That is so incredible and realistic.


Beautiful shots. Great aesthetics in the simulations and camera moves.
Russians, what else… lol


Amazing work!


speechless… that is just amazing. I got a little jealous :stuck_out_tongue:


simply stunning vfx work and an absolutely great way to showcase the amount of effort that goes into creating such effects.

One one issue with so many blue screen comping though is that there’s always a fuzzy edge to every single edge, will there ever be a point where we’re going to get edges that appear as sharp as they should in focus, or is that something that can only be achieved by shooting in 8k and downsizing after roto?


Shooting 8k? That would be fun…

You can get good edges out of most cameras it just usually requires a lot of light. Green is often a little better for digital shoots (more green photo-sites in most cameras) but even with blue you can get them. And resolution can help but then I think pulling chroma keys on an Alexa is often easier than Red - really depends on a lot of circumstances.

Looking at the breakdowns in this (take the tank shell through the window shot as an example) the screens are often under lit and lose hanging with folds. Many reasons why this could be the case, for this shot they might have been worried about spill and also space limitations - throw a lot of light on that screen and your actors would begin to look unnaturally lit. Or it could have just been time and equipment problems. Hell maybe they just didn’t have the right lights that day.

But yes, you can get great edges from chroma keying but doing so is part of the general on-set vs. post compromise.


Good FX but that Heinkel scene would have almost killed the film for me.


I seen the film on DVD last night. I had high expectations this would be a Russian “Private Ryan” or “Schindlers List”, but it isn’t in my opinion. I’m no expert on reviewing movies, but here is my two cents worth:

What I liked was the VFX was superb and probably the best part of the film. The fighting scenes were very well done too. The German uniforms were nice and dirty, ie they looked realistic for the scenario unlike the usual shiny brand new ones we usually see in movies. The destruction of the buildings was very good, the wear and tear on the weapons to me looked realistic. Basically, all the props including CG assets are exceptionally good with proper attention to details. One scene shows a tank officer in a SS uniform being briefed by the German Captain, and the tank man looked like a giant! I think the humanizing of the enemy (the Germans) is an unusual touch and probably helps show the issues faced by both sides.

What I didn’t like was that after the initial opening scenes, what promised to be a movie set on a city wide scale of epic proportions turned into one localized in a square. Actually it was set in two buildings. The six Russian main characters are all fixated by a 15 year old girl who doesn’t want to leave her home. Likewise the German main character is obsessed by a Russian woman who looks like his wife who was killed by bombings back in Germany. If the movie is supposed to be a love story, I wasn’t too impressed.
There is an occasional brief view of the city from the air, teasing me into thinking I would be seeing a wide-scale battle, but it never happens. All the action is local to the square.

Another annoyance not related to the movie itself is the English subtitles (the movie is in German and Russian language) are bad quality, I mean really gibberish at times. Think of cheap product assembly instructions badly translated from Chinese into English and you get the idea).

The bottom line for me is this is a mediocre movie, made to look better by some exceptionally good VFX. Without the VFX, the rest is barely passable.


From what I understand the film is a prelude to the battle of Stalingrad proper, centred around Pavlov’s house. Your sentiments seem to be shared people on IMDB. Pity really.

Except that the tanks have small errors in them (wouldn’t have known myself, but saw it pointed out on another forum for a WW2 game). Given the amount of reference out there for WW2 tanks and the cost of modelling relative to the rest of the VFX, I don’t understand how mistakes could get through.


The point I am trying to make is that they could have made so much more with this movie, so as to reflect the scale of what was an absolute huge battle that swallowed up a huge chunk of a generation from both sides. I would have thought that few families in Germany and Russia were not affected by the loss of life incurred at Stalingrad, but this movie gives little indication of that.

The tank detail errors I can’t comment on as I know nothing about tanks. But you are right about the amount of references available, so mistakes shouldn’t have been made.


This statement is absurd. Even from my old plastic modeling days I saw people who were fanatical about ridiculously tiny details on historical models, but the (sad) truth is, the only person they are pleasing with such mind-numbing attention to detail is themselves. And that’s fine if you’re not on a deadline or budget. In a production environment, it’s a luxury rarely afforded. And honestly, if you put two so-called historical “experts” in a room, it’s unlikely they will agree on what was historically accurate anyway.

Sure, they should get the right tank type, Tiger II or whatever for the Germans, Shermans for the US, etc., but to nit-pick beyond that is just silly. 99.99% of the people watching aren’t going to notice that the hatch style was different on the later models or that the drive wheels had 14 tangs instead of 16. That level of detail is only necessary if you’re making a historical documentary and hyper-accuracy is a relevant point.


Well … i noticed that the German tanks shown in the breakdown couldn’t have been in Stalingrad battle since they had the big schürzen armor skirts covering the sides and tracks.
That upgrade only started to be employed by Spring/Summer 1943…
In graphics terms the difference is big so this error should have been detected


That is correct. Also, those are Panzer Mk IV ‘H’ tanks which were nowhere near Stalingrad in November 1942, only coming into widespread service the following summer in time for Kursk.
Details like that are important for a film where expectations are high. This 2hr 10 minute effort cost over 30 million to make. They could have taken the time to research properly and come up with the right tanks for the time and place.