There has been some controversy in the world of Hollywood special effects recently. While Life of Pi brings in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office and wins awards for its special effects, the company that did those effects, Rhythm & Hues, went bankrupt and closed up shop. The effects community protested the Oscars over the weekend, and have since continued their campaign online, where no one can play them off in mid-speech. The new Tumblr “Before VFX” shows us what popular Hollywood films looked like before special effects.
The “Before VFX” Tumblr is showcasing just how much of a difference digital effects play in movies these days. They have the “before” shots from movies like Life of Pi, The Muppets, Prometheus, Men in Black 3, and a lot more. They’re taking submissions for more and have been updating pretty regularly since its launch on Monday.
There are already quite a few photos up on the Tumblr, but we’ve selected a few we think really prove their point well.
No. 1 | Life of Pi
Life of Pi looked stunning in theaters, but that was almost entirely thanks to the work done by Rhythm & Hues. Here's what the movie would look like without the effects done by R & H.
No. 2 | The Avengers
Here's another one that was pretty effects heavy -- though The Avengers had a lot more going for it than just the look of the special effects, without them it would have looked like the dreaded lost Fantastic Four movie from the 80's
No. 3 | Lincoln
Yup. Even Lincoln depended on special effects and green screens. And not Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter either. The good Lincoln.
No. 4 | Alice in Wonderland
Without digital effects, there would have been a lot more dudes in green body suits in Alice in Wonderland. I don't think anybody wants to see that.
No. 5 | Iron Man 2
Take the digital effects out of Iron Man 2 and Robert Downey, Jr. and Don Cheadle don't look half as good as the worst cosplayers you've ever seen.
No. 6 | Avatar
If Avatar was just people putting on weird spandex suits and headgear, instead of uploading their brains into giant blue monkeys... well, I don't think I have to explain how that's pretty much and entirely different movie, right?
No. 7 | in Black 3
Remember that scene in Men in Black 3 where that one guy and that other guy paint Wilson from Castaway blue? Neither do I, because I didn't see it, but I'm pretty sure the soccer ball is some kind of alien in the finished product.
No. 8 | The Muppets
Et tu, The Muppets? Everybody's favorite puppets obviously rely on some screen magic to make everything come together, blending digital effects with puppets and whatever Jason Segel is. An android, right?
No. 9 | Prometheus
Wow, cool planet, Prometheus I like the way it's just a bunch of green walls and stuff. Very, um, minimalist.
No. 10 | The Avengers, Again
Without special effects, The Avengers' Hulk would have just been a constipated Mark Ruffalo. Which is still pretty scary, it turns out -- just not Hulk scary.
You can check out the Tumblr and subscribe to see a lot more of these.
(via Before VFX)
- Here’s why the effects community is protesting
- These kids wished Life of Pi was more like Calvin and Hobbes
- Special effects even make toy wars fun to watch