Miniatures in Cinema

Here is an exciting look into the smaller side of Hollywood.

Thanks to Jim for the link. Direct Link.

August 6th, 2009 @ 10:02 pm
niiiice!! loved it
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:06 pm
awesome !
Chad ONeal
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:09 pm
Likey likey
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:10 pm
nice, thats really cool
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:13 pm
feels like film 20 all over again.. but thnx great post!
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:16 pm
Pretty inspiring, can't wait for the new Vlogs by the way Andrew.
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:23 pm
Oh man, I miss that show, that was an awesome show, they should make a new up to date version of this kind of stuff. I bet there are a bunch of die hard VFX kats like us video copilots
The Rover
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:24 pm
What program did they use back in the old star trek times?
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:33 pm
Can't wait for the video copilot show!
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:54 pm
has kind of an 80's feel to it =] very interesting and worth watching
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:54 pm
hohoho I loved this program when I was a kid =D I watched it every day!! you brought me back good memories =D thx Andrew!!!
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:04 pm
looks like fun
August 6th, 2009 @ 10:04 pm
Sweet post keep it up!
Asllan ismaili
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:05 pm
That is in old-time but now we have thnx andrew
The Real Smithy
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:05 pm
I really love this stuff, these guys are amazing with the amount of detail they put into model, Hail Stan Winston and Fritz Lang. I always believe that models should always be used, and only use CG for the impossible (e.g. transformers) or to improve a scene. I mean look at Starship Troopers, the Fx, both CG and models are better than things we are seeing today. Nice link Andrew and associates.
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:08 pm
Looks hard haha... that why i love cgi
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:09 pm
Thanks for the nostalgia. I really enjoyed watching this video, and i got to thinking about how things didn't really chance since then. The hole thing is done digitally now a days, but the concept is the same.

The thing that gets me the most excited is, what took millions of dollars to make back then, and a bunch of highly reputed talents to make a title, is actually achievable with todays cheap technology for a fair price.

You still need some talent, but today things are so flexible... you don't need to spend that much to get software and hardware that will provide you with the tools you need for a average Joe to start a production.
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:17 pm
The Real Smithy:

I have to agree with you, while CG is getting better and better, my eyes are no fools, somehow my eyes like models better. But today i don't thing models alone are good enough, and vise versa with CG. There has to be a way of combining the two to make something bad ass.
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:27 pm
Nice. One of the crowning achievements I remember are the AT-ATs from Empire Strikes Back. With having to work with mattes and miniatures of brighter color schemes (the white on white), which is far more difficult to make it look right for the eye, really show the dedication to detail...
Dustin James
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:40 pm
is this what the video blog is going to be like?
August 6th, 2009 @ 11:59 pm
So cool
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:13 am
great share andrew.

once i read an article about a guy who made 250 effects right in his bedroom. He finished all of them in 4 months i dont really remember where i got the link from but im sure its from

He said he used aftereffects most of the time.
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:14 am
Peter, you summed up the new world of visual effects. That is the key.
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:15 am
NICE Video
Kevin C
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:25 am
Loved the video, Andrew.
My favorite landscape minature was from Terminator, when Sarah dreams about LA being blown to smithereens on Judgement Day. Done mostly with minatures with just the right amount of CG. And of course I love all the minature work done in the Star Wars sage too.
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:29 am
Wow! Just watched the whole thing. Very interesting. My question is about cost. Is it cheaper to do an effects scene CG or with models? Thats probably a bad question, I'm sure it depends. You can certainly see the advantages and disadvantages to both models and cg.
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:59 am
very nice. you should make a tutorial on bringing together miniatures with live action and green screen cg components because i am getting into that now. that would be cool!!!
August 7th, 2009 @ 1:02 am
Mahazing, i've seen something like that, but in Star Wars^^
For the modern tehnique i like the way they made FMVs in Need For Speed.
August 7th, 2009 @ 1:11 am
That's a lot of work to build those
August 7th, 2009 @ 1:54 am
I love post's like this, please keep doing them. Thanks so much!
August 7th, 2009 @ 2:04 am
@Dextrmania: You're thinking of the BBC "Attila the Hun".

Pretty cool stuff I must say.
August 7th, 2009 @ 2:18 am
Nice to see, thanks!

check also the making of the HBO intro from the '80.
August 7th, 2009 @ 3:26 am
"Puppets are gay, Steven - when're you gonna learn that?"
"George... puppets rule!!"

Great post, thank you!!
August 7th, 2009 @ 3:38 am
And of course - which is probably even more fitting in this context than the one I just posted. ;)
August 7th, 2009 @ 4:15 am
Really cool. And a Lot of work! :O
August 7th, 2009 @ 4:49 am
Love 8:22. Legato has balls to carry a gun for shot approval. :D
August 7th, 2009 @ 5:10 am
Andrew when you were making a tutorial i think it was your last one, you had a 55mm plug in could we perhaps see it or be told were to go? I can't seem to find it anywhere

August 7th, 2009 @ 5:24 am
Sweet show opener, too!
August 7th, 2009 @ 5:26 am
nice , awesome post
August 7th, 2009 @ 5:38 am
Thank you so much for posting this. I used to be obsessed with this show in the mid-90s and I couldn't figure out what it was called. I think it was on the Discovery channel and they covered almost every aspect of visual and special effects.
August 7th, 2009 @ 5:54 am
Nice! That the key! A mixture of old school miniatures and After Effects.
August 7th, 2009 @ 6:21 am
Using physical models always wins, in my opinion. There is a tangibility that I haven't really seen matched in full CG. Peter Jackson used miniatures and many other practical, in-camera effects for LOTR, and the results far surpassed those of films like Troy or Narnia. And that's just one example. Jurassic Park made use of a beautiful blend of CG and animatronics, and even today some films pale in comparison. Guillermo Del Toro's work also manages to mix the two methods brilliantly.

I'm hoping this is all leading up to a tutorial involving miniatures, greenscreen, advanced effects compositing, and probably some motion-tracking. Something like the set-extensions tutorial, except made with custom elements, and far more epic.

Sam Loya fighting off goblins on top of the Tower of Darkness, perhaps?
August 7th, 2009 @ 6:24 am
the most impressive mignature i've ever seen is in beetlejuice =>
August 7th, 2009 @ 8:16 am
What do u think about Sam Loya fighting as goblin on top of the Tower of Darkness?
August 7th, 2009 @ 8:20 am
Does anyone else love the old school music and voice over as much as I do??? So great! But really a great video and incredibly awesome to see how they did these things.
August 7th, 2009 @ 9:28 am
Hi,andrew I'm a Chinese learner
each of your tutorial is very exciting,I love you very much!! haha

And can you make a tutorial to teach us how to make a title
like ‘the Transformers’? thank you very much
August 7th, 2009 @ 9:39 am
Just like I was saying in the last blog post on miniatures: the old Star Trek stuff is awesome. The miniatures in the first Star Trek motion picture were pretty awesome, when the Enterprise was flying through VGER. It really made it seem HUGE, when it's really a model.
Peter made a great point. With our technology now, VFX could be best by combining minis and CG. For example, have your model, but CG can add little puffs of smoke coming from the working parts of the ship, etc. I really like the direction you're going with the Andrew... I hope you're building up to something.
August 7th, 2009 @ 9:54 am
Really interesting video, thanks Andrew.
Yeah pretty miniature in Beetlejuice :)
August 7th, 2009 @ 9:57 am
Hey VideoCoPilot!

Just wanted to show you some stuff that I've done with material that I've bought from you guys.
Thank you!

August 7th, 2009 @ 9:59 am
I think this is a wasteful and unsustainable way to create the best models/effects in the face of progressive cg developments, particularly hardware and software.

However, i think miniatures will have a renaissance as 3d scanning technology becomes more prevalent.

That market will be a mass market.

What you are watching is a dying breed of great men.

I also have to say, in the films i have seen recently, the cg has improved markedly where time and great skill is spent.

I don't really understand how this post is relevant to your proposition here though Andrew as you deal with After effects and limit 3d modeling.

Lastly, why is it that on every post there is very little analysis or critique.

Wheres the emotionality!
August 7th, 2009 @ 10:06 am
it's hard to belive that nowdays film-makers are doing these extremly hard things...CG Rulls:))

anyway...i think those man put in a very big effort in makeing these things:)
August 7th, 2009 @ 10:49 am
The best if not one of the best VFX sites out there no doubt. Keep up the great posts and yeah that AE2 is amazing its helping me so much. thanks guys
August 7th, 2009 @ 11:35 am
hello ak please can you make some new turorials for us on Action essentials 2?
Matt in MO.
August 7th, 2009 @ 11:36 am
Reminds me of that creepy story arc in season 7 of CSI: Las Vegas with the Miniature Crime Scene Killer.
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:33 pm
I remember watching Movie Magic on Discovery! I wish that show was still around.

I also remember watching Reading Rainbow!
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:55 pm
Hey, I'm a huge fan of vcp.
Check out my first bigger project (had some help):
August 7th, 2009 @ 12:59 pm
I really enjoyed that, thanks.
August 7th, 2009 @ 1:14 pm
Thats Awesome its just sad that now most of the Set and Miniature are Replace by CG
August 7th, 2009 @ 1:32 pm
love the video...this helps me re-fresh my head with new ideas, i currently shoot photos of 1.24 scale cars to look as realistic as possible...BTW thanks for the Big Dreams shot i really wanna shoot video of my 1.24 now...I hope to see more videos on marring VCP with smaller scale stuff thanks AK
August 7th, 2009 @ 2:06 pm
AHHH MOVIE MAGIC!! I use to watch this show.
King Silver
August 7th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm
I was just thinking about blowing up a toy car using the same mentioned technique, perhaps Lord Kramer could shed some light on a next tutorial about this idea.
I think combining the Live action Essentials explosions with a miniature would result in a great shot.

by the way, could you blow up the car while Sam loya is inside fully trapped to his seat belt!!
August 7th, 2009 @ 5:56 pm
wow that was a show I never missed when I was a kid, know I am beginning to understand better my love towards filmmaking!!!!
August 7th, 2009 @ 6:03 pm
Jay Scott AKA VPS
August 7th, 2009 @ 6:10 pm
I used to love this show i wish i could find a website where have old episodes. Andrew continue to do your thing man u ROCK!!!! I check your site every day.
August 8th, 2009 @ 12:31 am

U got what i really wanted to say thanx for the link.

I just purchased "Robot Design With Josh Nizzi" from gnomonology and i must say its pretty awful DVD training coz that guy Nizzi is such a bummer he never shares project files and never explain things linearly (beleive it or not he just shows u how to assemble the parts of the robot...not how to make them!!!) and he has lots of credits for sketching/modeling robots for the movie transformers 2. What made me purchase it,is the love of the movie,not actually the need for modeling an autobot.
Anywooo, i'm planning on buying a cool camera nowadays and recently been checking out andrew kramer's Sony EX-1 video post in his blog (gotta tell u, his shot along with the strength of the camera, i couldnt really realize what i will lack when i get the camera!!!)so i just need a word from u Kramer about what i should actually buy. U name it, i will get it coz hey,in ma world, Andrew u already have a "Certificate of exelence" in Digital world of CG. hollaback at me master.
August 8th, 2009 @ 1:56 am
Thanks for sharing.

They really did it the hard way back then. Not that 3D digital modeling or animation is a piece of cake.

How about a Starship Enterprise modeling and animation tutorial in Blender? [Only joking..ha..ha]
Eric Sneider
August 8th, 2009 @ 3:09 am
They did some really cool miniatures in the LOTR as well. I've got a book with pictures of people standing in them and working on them. Really cool. Tells you a good bit about it too.
August 8th, 2009 @ 3:58 am
haha andrew kramer makes "pre matted minature models"

ships,city's, aircrafts, and some explosions--200$$

(I could see this happen one day) haha
August 8th, 2009 @ 5:37 am
I want to have a countdown for the upcoming VLOG xD. I am so exciting to see same some behind the scene stuff from videocopilot.
August 8th, 2009 @ 10:32 am
It's weird how real explosions look so fake now that I'm used to computer generated ones. :P
August 8th, 2009 @ 12:22 pm
Hey Andrew,
I would love to see some tutorials and your recommendations for shooting this kinda of model-based visual effects...chances are I won't build a space station anytime soon, but could use the same visual techniques for product shots.

Mixed in with a goodly amount of my 2K Action Essentials clips - awesome BTW.

For newbie question I'd like to know is whether I shoot on a green/blue screen and fight key and spill issues or just use something like duvetyne and use blend modes and a garbage mat to fix it. ( I guess I could just do some testing.)

And while I don't have plans (or expectations) to use a motion controlled camera rig, I do own a nice collection of pro lenses for my Canon 5d Mark ii, and a newly purchased ghetto-steadicam rig (the Merlin) -- SO, ideally with your expertise, a bit or two about DIY steadycams and camera rigs with a special attention for me on the film-like HD quality we can now get on a $3K DSLR.

As always, thanks for - you help me raise my game.

August 8th, 2009 @ 2:18 pm
Very interesting...thanks for this post.
Dennis Wemyss
August 8th, 2009 @ 6:23 pm
That was the best 22 minutes of my life at the news station while waiting to film. Great inspiration. I wish more models were used instead of CGI. You can't beat them. Amazing video.
August 8th, 2009 @ 7:42 pm
Hi Andrew,

Thanks for sharing. If you enjoyed this, I'm sure you'll enjoy my YouTube channel called Movie Visual Effects. I am uploading awesome videos such as these there. Do check it out...

August 8th, 2009 @ 9:20 pm
check out the video at 7:38. Punch buggy!
August 10th, 2009 @ 4:39 am
Nice work, great to watch
August 11th, 2009 @ 1:16 am
I've seen this years ago in Polish TV, loved it back then, even more love it now! Thanks! :)
August 12th, 2009 @ 1:18 am
The lord of the Rings trilogy used incredibly elaborate miniatures extensively. Plus cutting edge(for the time)CG effects. All the best productions use as many tricks as they can, from as many places as they can.
August 12th, 2009 @ 9:56 am
I used LOVE that show! I was so bummed when it went off the air.
August 21st, 2009 @ 3:29 am
August 26th, 2009 @ 12:19 am
great video....u should post them more often..
August 26th, 2009 @ 9:24 am
That means talent..Thank you for sharing Andrew!
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