Behind the Scenes with Digital Domain

I stumbled upon a fun behind the scenes video with Digital Domain that had a lot of interesting insights. I especially liked the environment rebuilding stuff towards the end of the video.

Check it out!

Remington M
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:32 pm
Thanks! I always appreciate it when you post things like this.
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:33 pm
Nice Special Effects.
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:35 pm
awesome man thenx a lot
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:35 pm
very cool, great effects
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:36 pm
I really like your posted (behind the scenes) videos :)
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:40 pm
Wow great! its awesome!
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:40 pm
that is awesome really cool effects!!
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:42 pm
thanks for this Andrew
Remington M
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:43 pm
This was one of those movies where I thought that some of the visual effect work was amazing while others were almost video game quality. It seems like Digial Domain only had their hand in the good shots, because there were some like the sand, and the CG polar bear that were just terrible. I still havn't figured out there rationalization of creating a poor CG polar bear instead of simply filming one, it doesn't seem to difficult to me. Thats just my 2 cents though:)
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:45 pm
Wow that was amazing
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:47 pm
OMG Do you know how long I have been searching for this!!! This is one of my favorite company's!
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:50 pm
omg thats just amazing thanks andrew:P
October 9th, 2009 @ 2:59 pm
Wow Nice Andrew Kramer

This is my favourite website, you've helped me so mcu


Greetings Holland
soma peires
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:03 pm
awesome ;)
really interesting to view behind those fx used in the movie...
I liked the GIJoe^^
Simon Steele
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:13 pm
Very cool thanks for sharing
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:16 pm
Andrew you made the 3D model of starfleet symbol at the begining for the startrek movie right?
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:18 pm
Thanks for sharing! It would be really cool with a tutorial showing how to build a scenery similar to the one they built around the eiffel tower. :)
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
Great Work with the Effects
October 9th, 2009 @ 3:58 pm
i have a question... do they use after effects for these big movies? or what programs do they use
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm
Hey this is amazing! check out the list of artists that will do the gnomon master classes this year, there is so much to learn! Andrew you should be part of that!
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:02 pm
Crazy! I always wonder how many terabytes of memory something like these scenes require, how vast are the render farms to process them and so on. I recall a couple of years ago reading about a madman who had created an animated film entirely in his home computer and his final render went on for literally month after month. He had a number of backup batteries to cover for any power interruptions. I couldn't get over the notion of one mouse click and then walk away, you won't see your finished product until spring and what if you see it and realize something needs to be changed lol. Very cool stuff Andrew, thanks!
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:10 pm
I still got a lot to learn from you MASTER
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:17 pm
good stuff thanx for sharing
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:18 pm
Andrew Im out of condoms. Is sandwich bag ok to use?

Thanks from Iowa
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:37 pm
I really like it when you post things like this in the blog. It gives us readers more insight in the buisness and you can show us what you get inspiration from.

I have suggestion that would really make this site exeptionally good; I would love to see you teaching us in how to plan a shot, set up the scene, perform it (equipment and things to remember) and THEN how to edit it in After Effects. I want to learn how i can make my shots better, and how to adapt the editing to MY scene.

An examlpe would be to take a normal camcorder with you when you plan and shoot the scenes for the tutorial. As your videoblog gets better you can start learning us tips and tricks not only in editing but in the filming-process. Just upload a video to the blog or put it in a tutorial.

This is just a request that i would like to see in the future.. I can see that you are really busy at times, so this may be too much. But thanks anyway. Keep up the good work!

Greetings from Norway! (22nd :D)
Juan Francisco
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:45 pm
We love this kind of posts on your blog Andrew, thanks so much!
October 9th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm
This is awesome!!!!....unlike the movie! awesome effects can't just be the only good thing about the movie. the plot sucked. oh well, all i can say is the effects were amazing!
October 9th, 2009 @ 5:19 pm
I've been inside this building! It's awesome.
October 9th, 2009 @ 5:29 pm
WOW! Very awesome. Love the behind the scenes stuff. :)
October 9th, 2009 @ 5:29 pm
That was really cool and shows us all just how much work has to be put in to make great effects.. I wonder how much coffee is consumed.. and donuts, jelly filled delicious doughnuts.....

*runs away to get a doughnut*

Kevin Lee
October 9th, 2009 @ 7:08 pm
nice, thanks for posting this fantastic find Andrew.
October 9th, 2009 @ 7:13 pm
Awesome video! Thanks man!
October 9th, 2009 @ 7:19 pm
I always wanted to know about this :O!
October 9th, 2009 @ 7:22 pm
The short overhead clip of the Eiffel Tower at the end looks like it could be done using:

1. Camera mapping for everything other than the Eiffel Tower (In fact I believe, given the last part of the video, this is exactly how they did it).
2. The Tower in 3dsMax (Yikes! Even procedurally it's got to be a nightmare to model!).
3. Combined motion control between Max and AE (I know you can do this but I have never had a project requiring this. Knock on wood.)
kuRt rusSels hAir
October 9th, 2009 @ 9:03 pm
unreal. I knew it was effects heavy but to be in total control of recreating scenes... and doing it well. Great post, thank you for the inspiration and inside peak.
October 9th, 2009 @ 10:18 pm
Very nice post Andrew!!!! Always love to see what the industry is up to.

@ Daniel They did say that the particle system was houdini which is a node based compositor. Most High end industry studios use node based systems not layer based as after effects is. For more information on those has some good posts.
October 9th, 2009 @ 10:22 pm
that was pretty cool.... I hope to see a tutorial on this one pretty soon. LOL
October 9th, 2009 @ 10:29 pm
Ya, that's amazing!!! I wish I was that good at 3d Animation!
October 9th, 2009 @ 10:33 pm
I haven't watched the hyper left wing movie, but the clip that I did see... I gotta say that with their awesome knowledge about VFX, they completely messed up a shot. When one of the Joe's or maybe two, jump through the bus that is going perpendicular, inertia and simple physics was not accounted for at all. I noticed the front Joe crash through the left bus window (right window in the shot; I know...confusing.), and exiting the adjacent right bus window. Even a bullet wouldn't be fast enough to crash through the adjacent window. OOPS! Great FX, hands down, but common, you make a movie like that, you don't have to have a mathematician to figure that out. Just hire me! I win a T-shirt.
October 9th, 2009 @ 11:35 pm
awesome post!
Digital Domain uses a node based compositor called "nuke".
I tried nuke last month on linux pc.
it is truely awesome and very fast.
but you know what, I didn't find the "TIMELINE"
Well for an after effect user like me is a little difficult
to grab.
October 10th, 2009 @ 12:54 am
Andrew, you could make it much better !!!! :D :D :D :D :D
October 10th, 2009 @ 12:59 am
Cool video Andrew,That chopper at the end looks like the one you posted before showing the real one and the cgi you made.Hmmmm?
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:02 am
Veeeeery nice!!!!
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:18 am
Green-screen plates if any one is needs/wants/has-to-have! :)
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:20 am
X the is :(

October 10th, 2009 @ 1:25 am
Amen .Bro.Bill and Sevis
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:42 am
:/ Stunned + blown away
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:52 am
Thanks very much Sir...
October 10th, 2009 @ 2:06 am
Digital Domain is and always has been one of my favorite VFX houses. And each time they do some more work for a feature film, i get reminded of WHY they are.

I loved the Eiffel-Tower and the Digital Environment-stuff...


I think, these tasks would have been a lot tougher, if not impossible, without using NUKE.

Oh, and @abhay sharma:

The Timeline in Nuke is directly under the Viewer =)
October 10th, 2009 @ 2:10 am
@abhay sharma Nuke is a Node Based working environment.. and a bit difficult to get used to ;)

btw Andrew ... Awesome as always...!!!
October 10th, 2009 @ 2:40 am
Go here

to see a lot of vfx breakdown... ;)
October 10th, 2009 @ 2:44 am
The street chase scene!
Was that 3d projection or is it my idea???
October 10th, 2009 @ 4:36 am
Looking forward to see a Tutorial for the Environment-Scene at the End of the Video!
October 10th, 2009 @ 4:46 am
If only G.I. Joe was worth a penny as a storyline or if it had anything original at all..
Id probably like this review..
Anyway, Im an animator, but also a viewer, so I must say, the FX are mind-blowing and sadly, they are the only thing that looks good in the entire movie :)
Thanx for sharing it with us, Andrew, I always love to see some behind-the-scenes action ;)
October 10th, 2009 @ 4:46 am
thanks It's grate
October 10th, 2009 @ 5:12 am
cool stuff, thanks vcp.
October 10th, 2009 @ 6:16 am
I wasnt going to see this movie at all, but now I will just for the effects.
andrew falk
October 10th, 2009 @ 7:47 am
WOW...i can't believe DD did the effects for GI Joe.....personally....i thought alot of the effects in the movie were.......BAD!....maybe they just did the money the GI JOE plane...awful! Me and the company i work at went to go see it ...we were very disappointed.
i saw alot of green on the rotoshots as well....and the chase scene with the delta suits....maybe the animators didn't study physics...just wasn't believable....anyway..thats my rant for the day....but i do love all the info you provide on this site...i check it everyday...keep it up....and where do i get my hands on a Video Copilot T-shirt?
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:00 am
Digital Domain is really good!
But my favourite is ILM.
Mikko Hassinen
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:12 am
The movie was quite crappy, but the effects were just amazing!
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:16 am
I loved the end of the video when they stopped the footage and showed each layer of the CGI process as it was added. That is always fun to see.
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:19 am
i love CGI Process thanks
Zvi Twersky
October 10th, 2009 @ 9:59 am
Best site ever for courses on tracking and visual effects with tons of free HD tracking plates, footage, and much more for exercises:
October 10th, 2009 @ 11:16 am
Amazing! Thank you, AK! :) ;)

Greetings from Argentina.
October 10th, 2009 @ 11:32 am
I just can't believe how they do those special effects, they look so real. Especially the Eiffel Tower scene.
October 10th, 2009 @ 12:29 pm
It's kind of tragic when you think about the tremendous amount of work that goes into the effects of a movie like this, and then the finished movie ends up being a shitty and forgettable summer popcorn flick.
October 10th, 2009 @ 1:51 pm
Honestly I wasn't really too impressed with the SE in GIJOE.
October 10th, 2009 @ 2:13 pm
Nack, me too.

After seeing MATRIX, nothing impress me.
October 10th, 2009 @ 3:03 pm
omg.look how much creativity you have to have to do what they do!it's so hard and complicated!
October 10th, 2009 @ 5:53 pm
Man, I just watched TODAY an here in Brazil (Pixel Show) event where the creative director of Digital Domain speech. Those guys are just awesome.
artflame noir
October 10th, 2009 @ 6:32 pm
This is exactly why this website is so awesome, cause of Andrews amazing enthusiasm in share anything of interest with... I love this place...

Thanks man, fantastic link...
October 10th, 2009 @ 7:59 pm
Iuliu i agree wid u 100%
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:19 pm
@daniel they most likely use flame and maya bro.
October 10th, 2009 @ 9:50 pm
Why don't you do a behind the scenes of
October 10th, 2009 @ 8:58 pm
Ahh crap... Can't see the video on iPod touch..

Will chxk it out soon!!
October 10th, 2009 @ 10:08 pm
I haven't seen the movie, but remember thinking the trailer gfx didn't look believable, same with the scenes in this behind-the-scenes montage. Very impressive work, but something always just looks unbelievable. Maybe I'll change my mind when I see it in HD.
October 11th, 2009 @ 2:19 am
you should really make some FX from gi joe yourself andrew :) and tutorials
October 11th, 2009 @ 3:09 am
Woah, that is so inspiring! It must have taken so much time and effort to make all those details the way they wanted it to be.. I just have to admire those who have done it, maybe someday some of us might be doing stuff like that in movies, who knows? :> great post!
October 11th, 2009 @ 3:43 am
o my god this is my best thank u dear andrew
October 11th, 2009 @ 4:05 am
wow, that movie is completely a special effect movie.
Nice, thank you.
October 11th, 2009 @ 5:56 am
Nice Special Effects.
thx for posting it
Philippe Poulard
October 11th, 2009 @ 6:09 am
Warf ...
dream at all in this forum I think ...
October 11th, 2009 @ 7:42 am
So awesome. I did not realize that a lot of the scenes in the movie involved greenscreen and not cgi.
October 11th, 2009 @ 10:59 am
i whatched yesterday and in some of airplanes aren't so amazing ,, they somewhere havent played whith the light corectly :) i think transformer 2 first half was better interects with the world
October 11th, 2009 @ 12:22 pm
Andrew could never do such effects ;P.
October 11th, 2009 @ 12:36 pm
What good is a effect shot without a good story?

GIJoe was really upsetting. On the other hand, TERMINATOR SALVATION kick ass job with good story.

October 11th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm
this makes me wonder. have you done vfx for any movies?? if so which ones??....
October 11th, 2009 @ 4:16 pm
oh well... in this case the sentence "we'll fix that in post" is very relevant xD
but amazing CGI work!
October 11th, 2009 @ 4:33 pm
Each time I see how movies are done, I'm always impress! Can't believed how much work and and problems that they need to resolve to get it done!

Like your post Andrew!
October 11th, 2009 @ 5:36 pm
Hey Andrew, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving.
Mike D
October 11th, 2009 @ 8:46 pm
GI Joe looks VFX don't look very good.
October 11th, 2009 @ 11:34 pm
it's beautiful.
good job!
Steve M
October 12th, 2009 @ 7:35 am
Thanks for Sharing AK!!
hIREn sOni
October 12th, 2009 @ 7:43 am
very cool!
I really like your posted (behind the scenes) videos
October 12th, 2009 @ 9:46 am

If you are questioning me. I have produced two movies. One got sold to FOX international and its currently playing in Showtime channel which was shot on super 35mm. The other in post production a scifi genre shot on RED. I am working as digital compostior on Fusion and Aftereffects in addition to producign and investing int he project. So if you want more details i can give you so you can check it out. Both are independent productions. So it is tough to make a low budget movie within the budget.

I know how much work it takes to get movies done especially visual effects oriented movie. At the end of the day the movie should be interesting for the audience with a good story. There is no good in making a movie without a good story.

As a vfx artist you can careless about the story becuase you want to get a job becuase it pays your bills.

Its irrelavant to talk and explain about this here. Becuase this is basically a place to learn the skills of VFX. Which i am greatful for Andrew for helping us to understand the inner workings of how much time it takes to get a job done and how tough it is.

October 12th, 2009 @ 9:52 am
Very exciting stuff!! Makes me want to quit my day job and rotoscope frames all day! xD
October 12th, 2009 @ 11:47 am
thanks man for more stuff
October 12th, 2009 @ 3:24 pm
Go JOE.... Go Kramer.....
October 12th, 2009 @ 4:44 pm
October 12th, 2009 @ 5:47 pm
Okay I have to see this movie!!!! :D
October 12th, 2009 @ 6:53 pm
How about a tutorial regarding Rigid Body Dynamics and prodedural modeling in Houdini? Anybody here familiar with Voxels (pixels with volumetric data)? Any good Houdini resources? is the only one i know.
ivan james
October 12th, 2009 @ 8:10 pm
thank andrew that's so awesome
October 12th, 2009 @ 10:35 pm
@ Hari

I think Agent2018 was querying if AK had done any cinema VFX as he is wondering if there is reason to Andrews posting of VFX breakdowns.

In any case, can you link to your work? Would be interested in checking it out.
October 12th, 2009 @ 10:36 pm
That's just my guess anyhow, maybe he WAS dissing on you :P
October 13th, 2009 @ 2:30 am
wow.. that gi joe bts vid was awesome

cg channel has just knocked redtube of the number one spot for my top 10 sites ;) JK he he
October 13th, 2009 @ 2:36 am

Man I walked out of Terminator, glad you liked it, I would have rather had sat on a chair and watched myself burn in the mirror. Im a big fan of cheese, GI JOE all the way for me, entertaining story and awesome graphics!

Let down of the century!!! Superman returns!! Shame on Bryan Singer.. it should have gone to BAY & Spielberg!
October 13th, 2009 @ 5:07 am
Hari, do you have a link to your Work?
October 13th, 2009 @ 10:04 am
Its amazing and also sad. Seeing such talented people put such hard work into a cheesy worthless film like GI JOE.
October 13th, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
it's probably not worthless when they're at the bank cashing their checks.
October 14th, 2009 @ 1:32 am
wow, this is great i always like to watch movies like this..thanks for posting..its very amazing
October 14th, 2009 @ 3:42 am
I Agree with Rimington. These shots were awesome but some other like the desert scene looked really unrealistic, and even more unrealistic when watching it in HD...
October 15th, 2009 @ 6:19 am
Wow! amazing visual effects in gi joe! thanks for sharing! greetings from Brazil
October 21st, 2009 @ 10:55 am
GHOSTIMAGE is the name of the movie. I feel terrible this is Andrews site and thread I am not supposed to promote my work in his place.

October 25th, 2009 @ 5:21 pm
- rant mode on -

I did not believe a single shot...The computer work is visible everywhere. And I think they are not supposed to be visible.
I know as a VFX artist you should go for what "looks good" instead of what looks "real". But this is far away from being believable.
Game aesthetics in a movie. Not the best thing to do...

- rant mode off-
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