VFX Academy Awards

So the Academy Awards for best visual effects is upon us and we momentarily focus on the impressive work created by the many thankless visual effects artists around the world!

Not that my opinion matters, (Although I was the first to combine an After Effects Tutorial with MS Paint) but I started to think about the idea of giving an award for best VFX.  How do you choose? Luckily, I don’t have to.

Visual Effects is the art of problem solving. Every shot, every movie, every challenge is different.  I look at the body of work in this years academy awards and think, “every one of these movies did their job exactly right”. The visual effects all expanded the story, the world and created an impressive experience. Not to mention the films that were not nominated like Pacific Rim.

Was one movie more or less innovative than another? I don’t know. I do know that the end result does not always tell the story of what it takes to get there.

The film Gravity created some stunning work that has never been done before on that scale and pulled it off flawlessly. The set extensions in Lone Ranger were some of the best I’ve EVER seen.  And did you see the Star Trek into Darkness End Titles? AMAZING!  I mean… Well…

The point is this: I think every person on the post side of visual effects will probably be lost in the the controversy over wether or not Leonardo DiCaprio wins or loses.  But maybe we can all take a moment to talk about the great visual effects shots you remember from this past year! Leave a comment, maybe the artist who created it is reading!

PS: Go LEO!

83 RESPONSES TO "VFX ACADEMY AWARDS"
February 28th, 2014 @ 12:27 pm
wow feels pride,keep goin VC.u r doin much more benchmarks in vfx history
Hassan dar
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:10 pm
Only Hollywood can do that Excellent work.Thanks for sharing VC.
    Jalil
    March 2nd, 2014 @ 9:06 am
    Hassan Dar you are a disgrace for PK,anyone can do whatever anyone want to do,look andrew is doing something and you are just talking but you have nothing to show he is pride for US and what you are for PK????nothing but a disgrace people like you.
    james
    March 5th, 2014 @ 3:55 pm
    actually its vfx houses around the world usually in the middle of a industrial estate.. it really isnt a glamorous world
    March 6th, 2014 @ 2:32 am
    f.y.i Gravity was produced in u.k not Hollywood !!!
kkehoe5
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:11 pm
I love these videos, thanks for posting them.
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:30 pm
You know, MS Paint and After Effects come from two different worlds... Congratulations on combining them!

I get the impression that this blog post was either typed in a hurry or not proof read ;-)

Greetings from the UK!
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:34 pm
the best for me is Gravity. The others i love, but Gravity has the best vfx and just freak out my mind!!!

Ps: Congrats Andrew and crew that worked on Star Trek Into Darkness!!!
Federico
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:52 pm
Ahah... Yeah... still remember my reaction to the end titles of ST!
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:53 pm
Not a word avout the closure of rythm&hue studio ? The director of Life After Pi didn't even thanks them for their work on a movie that is 95% CGI. They get, by the way, an award for their work, but 2 weeks after closing for bankrupcy...
    March 9th, 2014 @ 1:22 am
    I am sorry but initially i was feeling the same about RnH but then when you think further how is it possible for a well established and well know VFX studio to go into bankruptcy, it all boils down to the quotation given by them thru the tender system which goes to the lowest bidder.So if you tried to under cut the rest of your competitors by quoting the lowest price, this is the eventual outcome. Look at Lucas light and industrial or Weta for that matter. When they quote they do not quote low, they definetly only quote for what the work will require of their services.
    Just my thought on this matter.
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:57 pm
so awesome ! i will achieve this level one day...
Niall Horn
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:59 pm
I really liked the FX work of this year, The Destruction Sims in Gravity by Framestore and the Huge Water Sims by Scanline and ILM. VFX is moving on so fast. Its Exciting! Man Of Steel was my Favourite VFX Film of the year.
Trevor
February 28th, 2014 @ 1:59 pm
Amazing work guys!!!
JamesB
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:04 pm
just hope that everyone realizes the difference between good cinematography and good VFX. Gravity of course should and will win Best Visual Effects, but Best Cinematography? I say give it to Roger Deakins for NOT winning for Skyfall last year!
    Fred
    March 2nd, 2014 @ 5:52 am
    skyfall looked awesome, that's true!
    Michael
    March 2nd, 2014 @ 10:17 am
    Hear hear!
yassine
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:27 pm
this year it was have a great VFX in Gravity and ST and ather movies. I like it
Sean S
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:30 pm
I have new appreciation for what you guys do and the challenges of the industry after seeing the documentary on Rhythm and Hues. Keep it up! You guys are my heroes. You've inspired, challenged, and have impacted my life more than any of you realize. Thanks.
OUsss
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:40 pm
woow that's great level of art and details
thanx for sharing :)

I think you should now post more tutorials about tracking and demolishing objects cause like you see it's the core of VFX world !
    Akpe
    March 1st, 2014 @ 5:06 pm
    Totally agree
elpixolero
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:45 pm
Great examples of the capability of VFX. I really was amazed by the the VFX and of course the unseen... well unhear stunning sound design of Gravity. But sometimes it's a bit sad, that VFX is mostly seen as "useful for the movie". In the case of Gravity it IS the movie. The story and the actors are good, don't get me wrong, but the outstanding part of the movie is VFX the rest is... well "Open water" in space ;)
Gabriel
February 28th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm
CG is evolving in such an outstanding way. Until a few years ago it was very clear whether it was CG or not (specially for the people that work with it daily, or at least has seen some behind the scenes), but not anymore. Technology is amazing

The only problem I see is smoke, which is easily discernible (ok, not THAT bad for Sitni Sati).
Rob
February 28th, 2014 @ 3:05 pm
"Gravity" was phenomenal as was Hunger Games and The Hobbit. Wow!! Such amazing work.
JeffO
February 28th, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
Hey Andrew,
Thanks putting all these great VFX show and tells up for us to see. They are all really great!!! My vote is for The Hobbit, if I could vote. However, the titles for Star Trek are far better!!
With all the VFX that is revealed in these clips, it is harder and harder to tell what is real and what is not, when watch a movie. I would not have guessed that there was that much VFX in the Lone Ranger, I mean, just shoot outside and you got it. But not so, just put it on a green screen and let half a billion dollars worth of server farms and a VFX team build your world!!!
Thanks again for putting all these in one place!!
evilflip
February 28th, 2014 @ 3:28 pm
The end credits in StarTrek into darkness were the best part of the movie, not just because they looked great, but also because it meant the movie was finally over. I think that Pacific Rim was sadly overlooked, it had some badass battle scenes and even included some cool miniature shots.
February 28th, 2014 @ 3:58 pm
These are awesome! Forgot about this year's :)
Eric
February 28th, 2014 @ 5:02 pm
Man of Steel was the best cgi imo!
February 28th, 2014 @ 5:08 pm
Awesome! I could not imagine that "The Lone Ranger" had these effects. Thanks
February 28th, 2014 @ 8:54 pm
I heard each render time for every single frame in this VFX took about 99 hours to complete? Then if that movie uses 60 FPS then, 5940 Hours? That's a bit crazy if you tell me. But the results are outstanding.. I think I will never reach this stage... :(
    Vlad
    March 14th, 2014 @ 9:23 am
    I sort of doubt that it took 99 hours for a single frame since their (im assuming) rendering on a 20k super computer and even then most movies would be ~24 fps, with the exception of the hobbit which is double.
March 1st, 2014 @ 2:39 am
So much awesomeness in about 15 minutes of videos ....
March 1st, 2014 @ 2:40 am
I say we start another category for "MOST AWESOME CREDITS"
March 1st, 2014 @ 3:05 am
Haha, I really really enjoyed your tutorial with MS Paint.. You should do more of those ;)
david
March 1st, 2014 @ 5:10 am
Hey Andrew
have u done any other type of movie fx besides title sequences, I know you did of course star trek end credits but how about shot sequences for other movies?
Very interested about other roles in vfx in movie industry
Gerhard Bottermann
March 1st, 2014 @ 5:16 am
All these VFX-Shots are really good and I prefer these artists my imaginary hat.
Only the shots you do not notice are the best shots - but this is only my opinion.
I think that only in Hollywood, New Zealand and England is enough money and manpower for good-quality VFX-shots.
I know that because I´m just work on my own Sci-Fi shortmovie and I should put quite a bit of money to the VFX-artists. But I don´t have enough money so I will make the most VFX-Shots own right.

But, cool movies. Everybody who worked on this movies should become an Oscar.
Michel
March 1st, 2014 @ 5:26 am
Hi Guys,

This day and age CGI is becoming more and more Needed to make a shot work or not. But I just can't believe the quality it puts out there!! Do all the BIG STUDIO’s in the CGI world also use Adobe After effects and E3D? What software is used to produce such a visual realness! I know some, if not most can be done in AE and E3d, that I have learned from this site, but what more is used other than:
Boujou, Autodesk 3dsMax and Maya, AdobeCC (ae,pr,ph) , DavinciResolve, E3D and lots of plugins!! What are names of the software that also being used..

I know our ‘Yoda’ (Kramer) is using the ‘Force’ of Adobe CC AE en E3D, 3dsMax (and plugins) Anybody know if Andrew uses more than just these or is the CC the High End software?

You know what I really want: if we all chip in some money and together with Andrew we all try to make a movie. We all vote on how the story will go and we vote on who made a the best CGI for a scene to put in the film. (or Andrew creates a CGI problem for us to solve) The VPC community film will rise of this!!
Any Ways: I hope that Andrew finds the time, in between the big Hollywood films, to still make Tutorials for us!

Michel de Kok
The Netherlands
    jules
    March 3rd, 2014 @ 5:17 am
    Most feature film compositing is done in Nuke. 3d packages vary from company to company, most use either 3ds Max or Maya for modelling and animation, vray, RenderMan or Arnold for shading and rendering, Houdini, Realflow, Krakatoa for cgfx. After Effects is mostly used for stuff like HUDs and other motion-design related tasks.
    Michel
    March 3rd, 2014 @ 10:34 pm
    Thank Jules,
    You see, I didn't know that.. Gonna check that out!
    Again, thanks!!
Sumudu
March 1st, 2014 @ 5:27 am
Waiting for the Grid tutorial :-)
March 1st, 2014 @ 6:31 am
Gots to say, I was expecting to see a link to more exploding Oscars...chum.
March 1st, 2014 @ 7:51 am
You are absolutely right Andrew. These professionals are not being given their due. However, most awards these days are a joke. It has become all politics. Is there any award today that is truly worthy of merit when even the Nobel Prize has become politicized? Yes, one award still yet to be created is worthy of attaining. It is the Video Copilot award for best VFX. That's right Andrew, create the award and become the leader yet again on another front. Thank you all for what you do to make stories so much more enjoyable and complete.
pankaj vashishtha
March 1st, 2014 @ 8:36 am
Only WB and you can do it excellent work and no dought u r great
Thank u vc !
dalya
March 1st, 2014 @ 11:17 am
Hi , Andrew see this for the Jet & Aircraft it's Cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVCkoshycEA
Tim
March 1st, 2014 @ 1:08 pm
I think the work done on the Lone Ranger was amazing. I would have never questioned any of the effects in that movie, movies that require effects and digital sets like gravity should be in a different category.
March 1st, 2014 @ 2:41 pm
I really enjoyed Pacific Rim's vfx as well as The Hobbit's.
Austen
March 1st, 2014 @ 4:16 pm
Gravity should win the Oscars, it was the best, but sadly the second best is not even nominated (even in top 10) - Man of Steel was my choice. Iron Man, Oblivion and Lone Ranger fall way back in comparison with these two.
    jules
    March 3rd, 2014 @ 5:19 am
    I thought Man of Steel was just more of what the Transformers movies have been delivering for years. Nothing new or innovative, there. Sure, it was well done, but you've seen all of it before.
    Austen
    March 3rd, 2014 @ 12:44 pm
    @jules, Transformers also had some groundbreaking effects, as well, considering the fact that Avengers won in 2012 and Iron Man 3 is nominated this year, despite the fact that their effects are more simplistic and unoriginal, it is a perfectly reasonable logic that Man of Steel must at least be nominated.

    Beside, Smallville fight had some really innovative and amazing mesh of photographic, practical effect, plus the fact that hardly a handful of people actually spot the CG cape and Zod's and others suit proves Man of Steel CG was absolutely realistic. I would also like to add that Man of Steel employed more and bigger CG environments than any other movie i know apart from Avatar (Of course!).
March 1st, 2014 @ 4:56 pm
It's a complete joke that Pacific didn't get a nomination. The craftsmanship in creating the world, Jaegers and Kaiju is astounding!
Abhinendra
March 2nd, 2014 @ 2:50 am
Pacific Rim ... i think the best visual effects.... war scenes, huge destruction .. i can say, its awesome .... I really liked Pacific Rim...
Firoze Melsyte
March 2nd, 2014 @ 3:39 am
hey Andrew can i except a tutorial from you which could describe the effect as we see in the music video of michale jacksons black or white.
at about the end where face transformation occurs

like girl changes to boy etc. and i dont know the name of the effect so.........

it would be a great help if you cteate one.
Thank you.
March 2nd, 2014 @ 4:00 am
Hey Andrew, Im 18 years old student from pakistan.. I have your all tutorials pack. it is good struggle and now im expert in After Effects too just like you.. im your biggest fan BOSS instead of actors, starts, heros etc Reply meeee please
varun
March 2nd, 2014 @ 5:42 am
The creation of Middle Earth was the most beautiful i have ever seen
Surely, Weta Digital n others who worked on Hobbit should win
Tiebmbr
March 2nd, 2014 @ 10:26 am
Nice to see the Metropolitan plugin used to such great effect in STID! ;)
Javier
March 2nd, 2014 @ 10:59 am
They are all fantastic VFX, but how is the industry at this moment?

I just saw this, and I am seriously impressed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE

Photorealistic ambients are here to stay or is it the future going back to create fantastic drawings in Microsoft Paint? Damm... I miss that program!
akan selim
March 2nd, 2014 @ 11:14 am
Here is the video i have been working for my school.
Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emAtZHEm0E0
First of all i really want to thank to you for all your support on my previous video because you helped me a lot with your comments,i hope you enjoy!
Please let me know what do you think
Music:Hans Zimmer-Modern Warfare 2 Album
Not:Please if u like it,dont forget to subscribe my channel...That will help me more than you can imagine...
King Regards
The Explorer Production-Akan Selim
(I am just a beginner-1 year- lol)
March 2nd, 2014 @ 2:14 pm
Let's also take a moment to remember the number of jobs and VFX houses lost due to the corporate welfare in the form of subsidies. Hundreds of the VFX community will be marching across the street and, sorry to say, that will be lost in the tsunami of reports of whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio won or not. Hollywood is nothing without these artists and this unsustainable business practice of moving to the country that provides the biggest tax credit is going to ruin film as we know it, and all the middle class jobs that create these fabulous works of art will be extinct. If you truly like these videos above, take the 5 minutes out of your day, and write to your Congressman and tell them that you do not want to see films full of green screens with no artist to turn it into an Oscar winner. End tax subsidies. End the destruction of this beautiful art form. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE #VFXMarch
    Jean Claude
    March 3rd, 2014 @ 9:22 am
    A lot of industries depend on subsidies. How is a job given to another VFX vender a job lost? Or are you just an LA vender? Globally, VFX jobs are on the rise.

    I find it strange that the LA contingency has decided to make the VFX crisis all about subsidies when there are other issues that affect the entire industry and not just this small pocket of people.
Brian
March 3rd, 2014 @ 2:22 am
Is there going to be a future element pack of home appliances and rigged vehicles and PRE-fractured stuff???
March 3rd, 2014 @ 12:14 pm
Gravity deserved everyone of the oscars it got... This week I'm doing some effects for a Finnish political satire and its time for gravity-special... Lets see if i get an oscar for it.
Joel
March 3rd, 2014 @ 3:01 pm
Take one look at this video and tell me WHY Pacific Rim was not nominated:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHarrJ_1i8E

In many movies, VFX is used to fill in the gaps of action sequences when the main actors are not being show, but in Pacific Rim the CGI was just as important in telling the story as the actors (maybe more?) and Guillermo Del Toro did not cut corners when it came to detail (both in large scale and in mini-scale).
It will always be one of my favorite movies.
March 4th, 2014 @ 3:12 am
hi i make money with your tuts and always happy because vc is best ever
now i am vfx artist and make music video and vfx shot for commercial shot and tnx a lot .
and i hope vc makes tuts from nuke because is just for vfx
again thanks
Jakartaguy
March 4th, 2014 @ 9:16 pm
@Florence Paul, thanks for the shout out on Rhythm and Hues, I looked it up on the internet and watched the 30 minute movie. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lcB9u-9mVE
Andrew is smart (well we all knew that) but he mixes his work with other incomes streams supporting videocopilot's sustainability.
I will keep buying things from VC in appreciation of all the hard work. Thanks AK
MrAurora
March 5th, 2014 @ 7:06 am
The really sad thing is that the visual artists, and they are definitely artists, are living in thier cars and making minimum wage if they aren't working for free. Thats messed up and needs to be fixed.
    Brian
    March 7th, 2014 @ 12:53 pm
    I totally agree with MrAurora we all VFX artists must unite together through this platform for better life style and we actually deserve better.
March 5th, 2014 @ 1:12 pm
Even the break down to these scenes are insane.
Michael
March 5th, 2014 @ 8:24 pm
I think that the Star Trek into Darkness VFX was a bit better. I think so because of the smoke simulations were amazing. I am also a bit bias :). (ILM did the VFX for it.) I did the lone ranger and others but the vision of the future they portray is awesome!
March 6th, 2014 @ 3:22 am
No .. This is no VFX, no movie, no animation .. it's just for fun!
https://vimeo.com/88151844
March 6th, 2014 @ 6:18 am
i think that the special effects in gravity are awesome , the visual effects came out at you and toy could imagine being in that same position.

but i agree that sometimes full credit is not given to all the right people involved in making them possible, but once again gravity did it for me !!!!
Kashish
March 9th, 2014 @ 10:00 am
I believe that Gravity is just overrated (talking in terms of special effects), other movies had much better special effects.
Vidosav
March 11th, 2014 @ 11:21 am
Can somebody tell me where i can find some gread tutorials with fireball, throw some fireballs from hands?thanks!
JJ
March 13th, 2014 @ 9:48 am
Not too shabby, but you should see what I can do with a PowerPoint presentation.
March 14th, 2014 @ 6:51 am
This teaser is fully done with the help of the VC Plugin "TWITCH",This gives me lot of control and saves time.Pls Have A look and pls comment..
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=502255609886455
Brian
March 14th, 2014 @ 9:39 am
Jeez!! i typed Andrew Kramer on youtube and man it was horrible,tip for everyone don't type Dr.Andrew Kramer on youtube or you guys are not gonna eat anything for a weeks atleast. lol.
nephtali
March 14th, 2014 @ 3:10 pm
andrewwwwww where issssss element v2???????????????????????
Andrew Kang
March 15th, 2014 @ 9:53 am
Ironman Mark 3 Toy version is here

http://youtu.be/o7ufoy-DEVA
March 15th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm
Awesome, thnx you...!
March 16th, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
ADVANCE ELEMENT3D TYPOGRAPHY
http://on.fb.me/1dbB9h7
March 16th, 2014 @ 12:03 pm
motiongraphics _ ADVANCE Element3D HEAD

http://on.fb.me/PGiBRi
Jordan Carney
April 16th, 2014 @ 9:13 am
The Hobbit cannot win! Smaug is supposed to be a dragon! Not a wyvern!
May 8th, 2014 @ 8:24 am
After watching these clips, I am floored by the detail and work that goes into creating such beautiful effects. I am also more compelled than ever to continue in motion graphics and special effects. I am such a sucker for sci-fi so my favorite has to be the Star Trek stuff. Thanks for posting this blog!
manjunath
May 22nd, 2014 @ 9:58 am
VFX is more of invisible n seemless job ... No one really understands d effort it takes to finally finalise a shot...lol.. ppl take it for granted without having proper knowledge and they dont realise tat knowing s different from doing...
Anyways If no one s really pointing out flaws in shots N if it s seemless.. realistic n invisible... we are d WINNERS...
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