100 Years of Special FX

I never thought I would be linking to College Humor but they posted a pretty cool montage of some of the most iconic visual effects from the last 100 years.

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When did you first gain an interest in the world of visual effects? Was it a movie or even a TV show? For me seeing some behind the scenes work on James Cameron’s Terminator 2 was brain-busting. The scene when robert patrick passes through the jail doors always rattled my processor. I also credit the first Matrix movie because it was rather exciting watching how they did some of the amazing shots on set.

POSTED:
5 years ago
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118 Comments

afi
4 years ago
5 years ago
Cool! ...but no last Starfighter?
Evan Ing
5 years ago
Here are a few quick links to some of their special feature clips on youtube if anyone is interested.

Moving Forced Perspective
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDlxpnRxDJs&feature=related

Miniatures
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDlxpnRxDJs&feature=related

This one isn't too great except for the moment at 2:18. Ever felt like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDlxpnRxDJs&feature=related
Evan Ing
5 years ago
Lord of the Rings. I loved special effects before that but that is what made me say "I'm going to make movies." Their extended edition box sets have the BEST special features I have ever seen for ANY production. And it really makes you appreciate not only the animation and compositing, but set design, model making, sound mixing, and everything else required to make those movies.

More than anything it made me realize the dedication, teamwork, and above all passion they all had towards creating an amazing piece of work.
5 years ago
Hey
Love that sequential making of videos that "Geosat" posted shows the people how much work goes in to making each shot.

Andrew keep up the great work see if you can do a hundred years of special effects. :)
Elvis Gon̤alves РBrasil
5 years ago
Wow expensive matrix until now strikes me, what impressed me most was not the bullets but the cameras ...
atifqureshi
5 years ago
I Like this Comment
plz do somethinks


The Matrix Part I is still my all time favourite. And for sure Andrew you had something to do with my strange interest for visual effects.

about this plz plz
5 years ago
When I was 12 I saw Jurassic Park and then a behind the scenes. It had it all for me, lifelike dinosaurs, Ariana Richards, great looks.
That movie had a big influence in my future choices.
Mgns
5 years ago
Found the commercial I wrote about in the last post: http://www.spyfilms.com/#adam_berg/jc_jeans-frozen_moment

Really cool, like the carousel, but something like seven years before.
Mgns
5 years ago
When I saw Adam Berg's jc jeans-commercial (Adam Berg is the creator of the new phillips 21:9-commercial) in the early 2000's. In the commercial there was a man jumping of from a building, and the camera folowed him, went up along him and looked down at a pool like 30 meters down. All is done in bullet time and accompanied by Space Lord by Monster Magnet.
FreudenbergFilms
5 years ago
Fritz Lang. Sorry this is the German Director of 1927 film Metroplolis. ;0)
FreudenbergFilms
5 years ago
And yet I did not see metropolis and it was made in 1927. Come on it is one of the very first VFX movies of its time and should have been at the front of that reel. George lucas turned to if for inspiration on C3PO as well as THX. But then again I think the video was american VFX. Metropolos was made by a German Director
ZombieKangaroo
5 years ago
wow, i loved it. although i think a very crucial point of special effects was in 2001 space odyssey cuz they had some extremely ground breaking effects, and one for today i would have put in is Cloverfield which in my opinion shows some of the best 3d work ive ever seen but, man is that some intense VFX work. awesome vid
Eric
5 years ago
It think that the video should have also tossed in 2001 and Aliens both outstanding effects movies.
Ethob
5 years ago
100th responce to 100 years Woo Hoo
5 years ago
Of course Star Wars. Even wrote letters to Dykstra asking how to get a job there.
Even with the water worm in the Abyss...the t-rex attack on the jeep in Jurassic Park was when I turned to my friends in the theatre and mentioned how we had just witnessed movie history. Just one of the most flawless scenes ever done. Of course there are numerous flawless scenes in the Rings trilogy: Balrog scene and Nazgul flying over Minis Tirith are a couple. Even Gandalf riding the horse up the various levels of the model Minis Tirith. Just amazing how well those were done.
M Gomes
5 years ago
Have to say that for me there are a few scenes as far i can remeber that cause a WOW felling at the time: Although technical speaking it is not a special effect, the firt time we saw a Star Destroyer on Star Wars, The one that keeps on going and going and going, impressed a lot, Jurassic Park, T2, Matrix, Lord Rings...
Plissken
5 years ago
T2 all the way!It was the big one!
I was 16 at the time and like... WOW!
Dave
5 years ago
I remember watching alot of the films when they were released, and how revolutionary the special effects were. Amazing to see just how far we've come!
chris
5 years ago
I agree Andrew. It was T2 for me too. My uncle managed to get me into a showing when I was 12 years old and it completely blew me away.
5 years ago
Very cool stuff
thank you !!!
rbuck
5 years ago
I have found music reference. So, I answer to myself...
This is : "Rods and Cones" from the Blue Man Group
You can find a lot of video on youtube as this one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVgB9VmWLZg

or this one :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVgB9VmWLZg

Have a nice day...
5 years ago
mine was jurrasic park i love that movie it was the first movie i ever watched
rbuck
5 years ago
Fantastic !
But does anybody know the music reference of this little bit of Art ?

Thanks ...
sohail
5 years ago
great good!!!!!!
Kevin C
5 years ago
I think I first became "aware" of VFX when I saw the original King Kong, and Clash of the Titans. (Amazingly, it wasn't Star Wars, because those movies seemed real to me, not special effects). Once I saw the making of Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, I started really paying attention to the effects in all movies.
Jafet
5 years ago
Well, it is true that all those movies has insipired all of us, and those are the reason why we are making visual fx, in our personal or professional projects. And all of us are contributing to that history.
Awesome post, I myself became very interested in visual effects because of Terminator 2 much like many others. I was about 12 years old, much like Andrew, it blew my mind away how they could make the Robert Patrick form into liquid metal, pass through prison bars, take shot gun blasts, and poor through a hole in a helicopter's windshield!

Anyways, the bird flying with kids during the video, was that not Harry Potter? I'm not sure never wasa Potter fan.

All the films in the video and many other films listed here by other subscribers all have one thing in common. The visual effects where ground breaking when imagined; morerover, the viual effects allowed film-makers to suspend the audiences' belief in reality and tell each of their stories in a more profund manner.
5 years ago
I agree with Heath733. A new tutorial, with that effects.
Heath733
5 years ago
Andrew seeing as T2 was a massive moment for you, maybe you could make a tut for the jail bars scene, or a realistic way to create a T-1000 transformation.
You've got a 100th tutorial coming up, why not bring it back to your roots and make it an amazing tut with liquid metal.
However
5 years ago
TERMINATOR 2!!!!!!!!!!!
5 years ago
I fist got interested in Visual Effects when i saw a bunch of Dragonball Z videos made in After Effects on youtube. I thought those were pretty cool, and I found out the program they were made in.

Ever since I first saw After Effects it was love at first sight. XD lol
highdefw
5 years ago
Really inspiring, thx for sharing
Chris
5 years ago
I love this video :) I got interested in VFX when I was young, and my dad told me, "they made Superman fly by filming him with blue light." An obvious error on his part, but it still intrigued me, how could blue light make superman fly? So I researched on my own how they did it. And yes, I learned it was actually a blue SCREEN haha. Anyway, I fell in love! (....with VFX, not Superman)
5 years ago
oh, before i forget...
my answer to your question is "star wars episode 4 (the real episode one ;) ) and some behind the scenes photos of it."
5 years ago
i saw photos of most of the stuff in a book named lexicon of visual effects. but it is even more impressive to see this effects in a "motion"picture. correct me if im wrong but most of the real groundbreaking effects are about 15-100 years old. today its not easier because the audiences expectaions are very high but today its mostly all about making visual effects look 100% realistic and even more important putting lot of them in one movie. in the past it was about the question "how do you create one effect and surprise your audience". ... in the olden days ;) ;) but i love andrews stuff :)
Richard Ojogun
5 years ago
For me, seeing Robert Patrick emerge from the flames in T2 was just magical. Another is the special edition version of 'THE ABYSS' - with the massive waves scene-brilliant. Lastly the Jodie Foster scene on the beach in 'CONTACT'.
Pavan
5 years ago
Hey Andrew,I can not install crazy bump in my pc plz help me out.............
Richard Ojogun
5 years ago
brilliant, for me seeing Robert Patrick emerge from the flames in T2
vishal tom
5 years ago
nice video...........but a couple like matrix, phantom menace and LOTR missing.........
5 years ago
cool .. lord of the rings was the push to get me in to VFX works ..
5 years ago
Amazing and inspiring clip there Andrew. Who ever thought FX would evolve this awesome. Wonder how it's gonna be 100 years from now.
Tanel
5 years ago
really cool video!
sandra
5 years ago
for me it was the making of Jurassic Park and Ice Age 1 ... i was amazed by ilm model Shop and special effects and blue sky's Fur renderer and animation techniques .. since then i'm torn between 3d character animation and visual effects .. and still Am !!
Fotis
5 years ago
for me, it was watching the behind the scenes featurette on the Matrix dvd back in 99...
5 years ago
Wow thanks great vid ;)
Samuel
5 years ago
Hi Andrew, i´m from Brazil, so, dont pay atention in my english. Nice work you your site, specialy your tutorials.
The scene from terminator, i think it could be done filming the jails separetely, and the actor can be filmed in green screen, so, put them togheter and use the liquify effect and some effects from distort to make the distortions that appear when the actor pas trough the jails(i´m not in my home and here i don´t have after effects to see the right effects to use). I will try to reproduce the scene in that way. Congratulations for your job. Thanks.
5 years ago
NIce Kramer, thank you.
5 years ago
I was maybe 10 or so when I started watching a show that used to air on TV called "Movie Magic." Instantly my favorite show and I would wait all week for it to come on. It was just behind-the-scenes featurettes from the making of huge Hollywood blockbusters. Stan Winston was a regular on the show, of course.

But it was Jurassic Park that really blew me away. I had the "making of" book and would stare at the pictures for hours of guys working on a computer, hand-painting the skin on a velociraptor or whatever. I just couldn't imagine that being somebody's real job. I remember feeling so disappointed that even if I ever did get to work in that profession, I still would not have gotten to work on Jurassic Park, so what's the point? I still feel that way about Aliens, by the way. The best has already been done with that film, so nothing else will ever be as cool to work on.
5 years ago
I did see this video before!
its awesome!
N-Design
5 years ago
Very cool stuff
5 years ago
Very cool stuff
Wassim Lens Production
5 years ago
Coool
Thanks You Mr Krammer
5 years ago
I posted this a couple weeks ago, glad you noticed. :)
suvil
5 years ago
my first interest was into 3d animation all because of kung-fu panda!! I am in love with that movie! And during my search for quenching my thirst on 3d animation, i met with an accident with adobe after effects and videocopilot.net!! haha!! And since then i am learning AE as well as 3d animation!
Hern
5 years ago
i seriously love king kong 1933 !!!!!!

thanks for this link!
5 years ago
It was Star Wars for me, but what amazed me th emost was Forrest Gump. Especially the shot where Gary Sinise is in the hospital bed, and the doctor picks him up and he has no legs? Crazy. Plus all those amazing compositing shots where Forrest was in historical footage talking to presidents and what not, the dvd has a pretty good featurette onthe vfx done for the film.
5 years ago
I saw a making of "The Last Starfighter" back in the 80´s and i was amazed! My first Computer was a Sinclair ZX81 with 64x44 Pixel Graphics but it was possible to make "minimalistic" Graphics and i loved it ... Oh Yeah - TRON was also Great!
FixMix
5 years ago
Actually, I can't really say which movie it was. I remember stumblin upon tron one afternoon on TV; I was maybe 9 or 10 and still remember being totally beside myself afterwards. Then there was StarWars; my first light-saber was made out of cardbox and spray paint and old newspapers which unfortunatly I didn't put under the saber before I sprayed our front porch red... That's how the dark side gets you...

Terminator 2 was important and then much later Matrix because many of the effects were hard to grasp at first sight...
Chad Ronning
5 years ago
Tron, The Black Hole. Those were a couple of classics that got me very interested. Of course Star Wars helped too.
5 years ago
I reckon for me it was with the release of the special re-edition Star Wars. The fanfare surrounding the changes and constant images of computer screens doing SOMETHING to the original A NEW HOPE; adding scenes and characters, was real exposure for an industry for me, already hyped from T2 and Jurrasic Park. But the daddy, becuase it actually made my jaw hit the floor, my hair stand on end, my neorons fire more and a feeling that everything had changed in movies for ever was THE MATRIX. A film whose visual FX were placed up there with the stars and the story. The illusion was beyond me...until After effects and a certain website turned up of course....
5 years ago
Star Wars, I was six years old and built out of paper and card a imperial star destroyer, I slept with my favourite book which was making of empire strikes back. By ten i could name all the stuntmen and sfx artists from loads of films. 29 years later I am still doing the same...

By fourteen I had ambitions to become a VFX designer, wondering why ILM hadnt knocked at the door,

At 17 I wrote to the late great Stan Winston and he was polite enough to help me out with a college project..
THiNQ!
5 years ago
My dad took me to see "The 7th Vovage of Sinbad" in 1958 when I was 5. When the cyclops made his first appearance out of the cave I had hysterics and had to be taken home screaming. Strangely, it led to a life-long love of sfx and it's been fascinating to see how the industry has grown in 50 years. I never thought it would be possible to create effects at home that the pros could not even dream about when I was a lad. And you're always wondering what the 'next big thing' will be.

I could tell you about the time I turned down a job creating Jabba the Hutt on "Star Wars" - but that's another story.
Chris
5 years ago
I'd have to say Star Wars and (much later) T2 are what really got me interested. Then Jurassic Park came out and completely changed everything!

Of course, I didn't get involved in anything myself until I decided one day to research how to make my own lightsaber effect...
5 years ago
Glory to the FX. glory videocopilot.net. Glory Cara de NACK! unglorius Bastard, So keep Dancing with Sparks.
torksu
5 years ago
Thanks for! great video, I have seen most of these movies except the real old ones. I also still have to go see the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, real cool VFX. But I started training myself in VFX and 3D animation after I'd seen the movie Final Fantasy Advent Children. The new Blu-Ray version of that movie is even better :P
marieju
5 years ago
I think the first movie that got me into vfx was ghostbuster. but it looked so bad last time I watched it...
Samael Daemon
5 years ago
I must say that it was Star trek the original series that inspired me, I just wanted to teleport(energise) so bad as a kid I still dream about teleporting some times...
5 years ago
I just saw this the other day and I was going to post it here lol!
braamling
5 years ago
I already saw this one on dumpert.nl I was impressed;)

for me it was starwars that made me thing about special fx and filming/editing myself
adam
5 years ago
ILM ILM ILM i love ILM ever scince jurassic park i have loved working in VFX and Animation. i hope to work with ILM one day once i have finished my college course!
anvir tahini
5 years ago
IS maKE the KRAMERS best DUDES ROCK!!!!!! BEST mr ANDREW IS socks~!!1
braamling
5 years ago
I already saw this one on dumpert.nl I was impressed;)
Mohammmed
5 years ago
it's wonderful stuff
5 years ago
Yeah, it's a shame they didn't include Matrix VFX into this compilation!
Rainier Markmann
5 years ago
star wars (the old versions), lord of the rings, titanic, wanted and THE METEOR are the greatest equals of VFX, i think
Panayiotis
5 years ago
i was first interested in special effects when i first saw The Matrix. The effects in that movie was simply groundbreaking. I started experimenting since then and with a little help from our one and only Andrew Kramer i've manage to do some pretty descent stuff!
Jeff
5 years ago
I think Star Wars, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and Hook did it for me. Hahah
Stephen
5 years ago
They left out Harry Potter. The quidditch scenes have pretty heavy visuals.
5 years ago
I think the best of time according to the movie Terminator 2.The rest is history.
Tom
5 years ago
I'm going to go back a little farther with my choice.
I always liked the original War of the Worlds for it's special effects.
I also got a kick out of the original Blob movie when I was a kid. Not very high tech but I always remember the scene at the theater when the Blob oozes out of the projector room windows.
Then of course more modern day movies like Star Wars, Aliens, T2 and Matrix.
Robert Donnelly
5 years ago
Kinda sad to say it but it had to be Star Wars Episode I. I was about 12 when that came out and it amazed me.
5 years ago
I know it's wrong to post here but check out this Adobe After Fx Demo Reel from 1993...It's pretty incredible to see how far that AE has progressed too!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4Zb-Qz68Ek
Reno
5 years ago
My question would be: How long until nothing in a movie is a shocking jump in what can be done with Effects?

Right now I can't think of anything past some of the effects in the original Matrix movie that have just blown me away - things that had never been done before and that were also pretty major jumps in terms of what can be done. I'm speaking of the 360 degree camera array mostly.

One effect that stands out in my mind outside of what was shown: In 1999 "Three Kings" had a really neat effect where it showed the damage inside a body from a bullet hit (bones cracking and such). It was very striking.
Mishig
5 years ago
Matrix's 3d graphic so nice, can u make tutorial one of them?
Vince
5 years ago
For me it was the Back to the Future Trillogy and the first JP movie.
zak
5 years ago
i love visual effects so much it's great to inspiration for any designer :D great topic Andrew :)
5 years ago
Well in my opinion the possession is the old Visual effect movie that i saw......
Enolive
5 years ago
Matrix movie had a huge influence on me. They had great visual effects.
Niraj Patel
5 years ago
Well i love the fantsy world.....like Harry Potter..Star Wars....Star Trek.....Lord Of The Ring...& many more......
D3FO3
5 years ago
Heavy Metal for me... I know its animation but when I first saw that movie in 92' I knew I had to be apart of motion design...Also that wonderful Dire Straites-music vid. "WE GOT TO MOVE THESE REFRIDGERATORs, WE GOT TO MOVE THESE COLORRRR TVssss."
Classic CG.
5 years ago
Back to the future and also Who framed Roger Rabbit, both incredible pieces of art
5 years ago
to be honest Videocopilot.net inspired me.
Before vc i don't know. I think Matrix and my favourite Back to the future^^
saad
5 years ago
in what movies have you worked in???
Nailuj
5 years ago
that was awesome!!!
I love the special effects!!!
spiderman!! woooow!
Pirates of the Caribbean!!!! woooooooooooow
mrnext
5 years ago
me was the day after tomorrow who inspire me to VEEFX
i love this movie
letthead
5 years ago
Great compilation! But they're missing a pivotal moment in movie magic history - "Death Becomes Her" (1992).
5 years ago
is the shadow of the T-Rex really wrong? hu?
Ra15
5 years ago
Thank you that's really great!

I became intersted into special effects when I watched the "Making of" of the LOTR trilogy and the Terminator. I totally admire these people who are able to create such realistic worlds, animations and effects with their computers.

I'm utterly happy that I found your homepage and wanted to thank you for posting such great realistic tutorials and news!!!
(Since the moment I get across your homepage I am hundred times more interested in special effects!!)

(Ps: do you think it's possible to write with the sparks of an animated but realistic firework (in After Effects) a name in the sky?)
Alex
5 years ago
wow. almost 100 tutorials!
i wonder what the 100 tutorial will be like.
How he did the subtitels of Star Trek the movie?
-who knows-
Hawkeye
5 years ago
I cant be the only one that got serious goosebumps during that,
sebastian
5 years ago
Those were the days.

The Matrix Part I is still my all time favourite. And for sure Andrew you had something to do with my strange interest for visual effects.

Thanks for that!
Dave B
5 years ago
The Matrix for me... perfect mix of plot and special effects. When i was younger it blew my mind... or should I say... FREED it ;).
5 years ago
well I became interested after watching a video on youtube and so after that I asked myself on how did the do that and sooner or later I search visual effects all over the internet and I found our tutorials and other peoples tutorials. So after about 9 months practicing I really got the hang of it!
Mikey Dee
5 years ago
Very cool. A little bit strange that LOTR was not amongst their selection... THE iconic VFX film :)
5 years ago
Star Wars and Lord Of The Rings are just some of the things that got me into visual effects. Others would be my friends who started a film company, Pixar (mostly in 3D VFX), and the original Star Trek. I always wondered how they made those sweet phasers fire.
rafa09
5 years ago
Wow... When was it that I first gain an interest in the world of visual effects? I would have to say Disney's Aladdin... back in 1992 (I was 9), when the cave is collapsing and he is escaping on the carpet. Its is not the best 3D in the world, but it was awesome at that time... i was drooling...
5 years ago
Nice video !

I became a VFX passionate when my buddies and I wrote a film about a superhero who could throw ham... Luckily I took it a step further and discovered a whole world of stuff I loved, from writing to shooting to practical effect to VFX and motion graphics ;)

That, and Star Wars.
5 years ago
haha very intresting!!!
Brian
5 years ago
It's amazing how imagination turn into reality.

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.
Guy
5 years ago
Jurassic park had a huge influence on me as a child in terms of how believable things could be. Of course Star wars gets a mention in my books.. the light saber concept is so simple yet flawless.
Just reminiscing about how freaked out I was in the scene with the velociraptors walking around the kitchen in JP.. nearly wet my pants each time.
Niek
5 years ago
Awesome, that's really cool, thanks for sharing Andrew.
Never seen the making of these films. now it all makes sense,
Greetz from The Netherlands :D
5 years ago
Good , And Nice Dr.Andrew!
marcel
5 years ago
I think my first real CGI/effects movie I saw was TRON.
And it's still a great film to watch 20-odd years later.
PvP
5 years ago
you have not to watch it on college humor - also on youtube (hq) available!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP_hAszQPgk
gerardnll
5 years ago
good stuff!
5 years ago
Yeah! Cool Stuff...
Tutorials
139. Translucent Glass
Create a cool title design using a 3D displacement map.
150. Color Vibrance Plug-in
Free Plug-in to create intense hot colorization in AE
Plugins
Stock Footage