Industrial Light & Magic has released their Star Wars: The Force Awakens visual effects reel and it is as usual, delightful. There is an interesting mix of practical and computer generated special effects in the reel, and some scenes you thought might be all computer generated, are really real life sets. ILM has been creating visual effects that have delighted fans and won numerous awards. Check out the reel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens after the jump. (more…)


Warcraft director Duncan Jones gives us the first look at Orgrim Doomhammer, as brought to CGI life by Industrial Light and Magic. Robert Kazinsky, (Pacific Rim, The Frankenstein Code) voices and provides the motion capture work for the character who is one side of the movie’s plot-coin that examines the first meetings and subsequent battles between the Horde and the Alliance forces. (more…)


ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) has just released a Special Effects Sizzle Reel for Marvel‘s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s a fantastic look at the meshing of technology and actors, of how the two are combined to create the incredible scenes of CA:TWS. While no one should hold their breath for a Marvel movie to end up on the Oscar’s Best Picture Nomination list, we should see some nods to the special effects works from both Anthony & Joe Russo‘s CA:TWS and James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy. (more…)


The awards season is a great time to see some of the behind the scenes work that goes into the movies we love. ILM and other visual effects companies often release visual effects reels to the awards voting community to show exactly how much their work impacted the overall movie. We’ve got three visual effects reels for Pacific Rim and Star Trek into Darkness from ILM for your viewing entertainment. (more…)


The casual movie goer won’t recognize Dennis Muren‘s name, but would instantly recognize his special effects work in movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and many other George Lucas and Steven Speilberg movies. He’s been a tremendously creative force in ILM‘s (Industrial Light & Magic) special effects for many years. If this guy has an opinion on the state of Special Effects in Hollywood today, then those with any sense would consider his opinion seriously.

What’s he got to say?

“In some ways, I think special effects aren’t special anymore.”

“This toolkit has been around for 20, 25 years. Unless we come up with something really new, it’s up to the artists to make best use of the tools they’ve got. If you’re going to make a motion picture, don’t just throw computer graphics in to make everything bigger or more. Don’t have an army of 20,000 centaurs or whatever it is, if the story is better with seven centaurs. They’ve lost sight, making things bigger and bigger. Less personal.”

“A lot of directors like combining them [a variety of different FX techniques]. I would say not a lot of younger directors have had experience with that. Probably is that they won’t be as comfortable with it and it’s easier, production wise, to say just shoot a plate and we’ll get it later. Get it and move on. The time it takes to make a robotic character or a Muppet perform right… there’s a lot of value to that. Seems to have been forgotten.”

What do you think about his comments? Have computer special effects become the crutch supporting poor directing and production values? Have the abundance of huge special effects diluted the magic of what we’re seeing?

Think back to those movie’s effects that really made an impact on you, perhaps that first time you saw Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs, or watching Yoda rummage through Luke’s supplies on Dagobah. Muren makes some important points, when does a special effect become special in the eyes of the audience.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.



Industrial Light and Magic is hoping to win the lone Oscar nod to The Avengers for their work on The Avengers visual effects and has released a special effects reel from the movie to woo Oscar voters.

We are proud to present this video which showcases some of ILM’s Oscar nominated effects work for the 2012 hit film, “Marvel’s The Avengers”. This reel represents a small fraction of the work created by over 200 ILM artists, scientists, and engineers backed up by a world class production team.

The stop motion animations which open and close the reel were done the old fashioned way – by hand, one frame at a time. They were crafted by ILM’s stop motion guru, Erik Dillinger specifically for this reel.


Fans that have already bought The Avengers Box set might be a bit miffed that this video wasn’t included in the behind the scenes features. The video is a great look at the remarkable work done on the film.

Via: Superherohype

We’re still raving about The Avengers, you’re still reeling from the wave of the awesome The Avengers put out. We’re all just, floating out on an Avengers high right now,’ kay? So how’d they do it? How’d they make such a super fun, totally optimistic, superhero team-up, smash hit? One thing that definitely contributed were the spectacular special effects. Everything from The Hulk to the Helicarrier looked marvelous.

Coming Soon rounded up a few behind the scenes features that talk to Industrial Light & Magic, WETA digital, Hydraulx, and Evil Eye Pictures, all who provided special effects for The Avengers. If you’re one who likes to know all the details about how these comic book characters and their world were brought to life, you must read on!

Studio Daily took a look at the three stages of visual effects: previs, techvis, and postvis with work from companies like Industrial Light & Magic and WETA Digital. You can see examples of some of these intense actions scenes in with their digital effects unfinished above and below.

More behind the scenes SFX goodness after the cut!



Discovery Channel‘s ‘Mythbusters‘ is one of the best and nerdiest shows on T.V., a personal favorite of mine. Week after week I, and many other science nerds get our kicks watching Adam, Jaime, Grant, Tori and Kari put myths, urban legends, old wives’ tales, and the like to the test. I’ve seen every episode, and know a lot about it’s colorful, charismatic cast, or at-least I thought I did. Every fan of the show knows that resident Asian, Grant Imahara got on the show because of his expertise in Robots, electronics and visual effects. His 9 year run with Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) didn’t hurt either. Speaking of that, there is a bit more to his history with ILM/Lucasfilm.

In a recent appearance at Sage College in Albany, NY, Imahara elicited gasps from the audience when he talked about the ten years he spent filling in as C-3PO at live Star Wars events and for TV appearances. As reported by the Albany Times-Union, Imahara suited up as the gold-skinned droid for commercials, theater openings, and on Oprah Winfrey’s TV show. The suit designed to fit Imahara also made a brief appearance in Episode One — apparently without the future MythBuster inside.

Wow, consider my mind blown! Seriously, just when ya think the guy is set for life signing Mythbuster autographs he goes and says something like this.



Lucasfilm has been teasing us for years, but now it’s finally official. The ‘Star Wars’ Saga will be re-released into theaters in…..(wait for it)…..3D!!! Yep, in George Lucas‘s never ending quest for more money the entire saga will be converted into 3D and kick off in 2012 with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. No release date has been announced, but it will be presented by Twentieth Century Fox and Lucas Ltd., the “cutting edge conversion” will be supervised by Industrial Light & Magic.

“There are few movies that lend themselves more perfectly to 3D; from the Death Star trench run to the Tatooine Podrace, the ‘Star Wars Saga’ has always delivered an entertainment experience that is completely immersive,” said the statement

Well, whoever from Lucas Ltd. made that statement is certainly right. Though, I don’t know about you, but I’m not entirely sure I want to see Jar-Jar in 3D. The Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012. Lucas announces we will see Jar Jar in 3D in 2012. Coincidence?

While, most Star Wars fans are excited to see the original holy trinity get the 3-D treatment you have to wonder if it will be any step closer to what George Lucas envisioned back in 1977. It’s no doubt that the technology back then certainly inhibited Lucas’s vision for Star Wars, but the bearded wonder is clearly bullshitting us that all the re-releases, with the edits and ad on’s were really what he had in mind 30 plus years ago. It’s really just a quest from a greedy bastard to make more money. Now don’t get me wrong, it will be glorious to see Star Wars on the big screen again, but it won’t end with 3-D my friends. Nope, whenever there is a new bit of movie viewing technology George Lucas is bound to be right around the corner with another re-release. Don’t believe me? Well watch this funny video by Jon Gutierrez of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade theater and Gamma Squad and tell me your future Star Wars viewing won’t look a little something like this:

R2-D2 Made a Cameo In Transformers 2

R2 Main

According to Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) special effects supervisor, Scott Farrar, R2-D2 made a cameo appearance in Transformers 2.

There’s an R2-D2 flying around in there somewhere. There’s a little bit of space junk thrown in there; see if you can find it. It’s a scene in the desert.

And that desert scene (check out the pics after the jump)  is 2 hours 17 minutes and 52 seconds into the movie. ILM is apparently going to be putting R2-D2 in every movie they make form now on.