The history of special effects in cinema






The history of cinema is inseparably linked with the history of special effects. From the first primitive tricks with lights and fake daggers in silent movies, to entire worlds and incredibly lifelike creatures that never existed. Now almost all films with a decent budget to some extent use virtual scenery.

What comes first in the movie - the story or the acting? Special effects or skill cinematographer? Of course, all of these components are essential. But still, some films have become famous precisely because of the special effects used. And let today, some of them look ordinary, and some naive at the time they become milestones in film. Of course, all of these movies was a lot. But few can boast special effects, only by which it was possible to tell a story conceived. These special effects are not simply called the wow effect, but did take the soul. Which makes empathize with the main character, imbued with situations in which he found himself. Let us recall some of those iconic films.

Metropolis (Metropolis) (1927) h4>




Perhaps, «Metropolis» first film in which special effects have become a real breakthrough. The director managed to perfectly capture the atmosphere of the city of the future, and without complex technical tricks not done. It was first applied effect Shyufftana (Schüfftan Process), named after the inventor of the Eugene Shyufftana . Its essence lies in the formation of a composite image using a system of mirrors, allowing you to create non-existent landscape and organically fit into their actors.










While the "Metropolis" was the most complex and expensive film made in Germany. He also became a challenge to Hollywood. However, the cost of production is so over budget that the studio Universum Film AG had to go into debt to Hollywood as a corporation Gunning. As a result, the Americans began to massively use the process Shyufftana until 1950 it did not replace other technologies.



But more recently the process Shyufftana regularly used in the film.

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (1966): the construction site of Versailles. i>



Socrates (1971): the Athenian Acropolis. i>



The Age of The Medici (1973), Florence 15th century. i>



Some scenes from "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" were filmed using this technology. It's hard to say why Peter Jackson used Shyufftana effect, being armed with powerful modern technologies. Perhaps it was a kind of an expression of gratitude and respect.





Forbidden Planet (1956) h4>



Scenario фильма retells Shakespeare's play "The Tempest", but the action is transferred to another planet. Then you and spaceships, and unparalleled scenery and mysterious monster generated by the mind of one of the last of an extinct people. The film became a classic American fantasy genre 1950.

In "Forbidden Planet" were used for the luxury of the time effects, thanks to which depicted the views of the planet Altair IV with the two luminaries of the sky and green; underground cities of steel and porcelain by an extinct race; scenes of battles with monsters and flying spacecraft.











To create many decorations used machinery matte painting , which was the forerunner of blue screens when analog capture and green - in digital. In addition, it was the first film in which only electronic music sounded.

A curious fact: "Forbidden Planet" is the second work in the movie Leslie Nielsen , gave us a series of films «Голый gun ».



2001 A Space Odyssey (1968) h4>



Один of the most famous science fiction movie. Long, stringy story buried would any other movie, except this one. Stanley Kubrick was able to create incredible feeling close, almost arrived, but still the future. In this work all the details of the scene, including any text fonts and interfaces. The most amazing thing is that after almost half a century depicted space stations and ships do not look fondly. And after watching you'll understand where the designers of "Star Wars" inspired. The truth is we are talking about the exterior; interiors still have been created in the spirit of science fiction of the 1960s.



Each scene, each frame is built with incredible precision and attention. For the shooting of the film used in the most complex and expensive special effects. It was in 1968, computers were in their infancy, and all the effects were analog. At the same time the creators managed to achieve incredibly realistic.



Aypad 1968:





The technology used in the shooting of the first part of the film - the process Shyufftana:



But this scene:



It was filmed using the technique of scanning slit (slit-scan):



For shooting inside the annular module spacecraft was built a huge rotating drum:





But not all the scenes were shot with such a large scale. For example, in the film there is an episode when the stewardess comes in and sees the passenger compartment in a rotating zero gravity ballpoint pen. Today, it would be removed with the help of 3D. Kubrick also cost the piece of glass and a two-way tape.





Star Wars (1977) h4>



History of the fantasy genre can not be imagined without the «Звёздных Wars ». And in general I can no longer imagine a world without them. The abundance of all kinds of spacecraft, aliens, spectacular scenes and shootouts - lightsabers! And that scene where rebel fighters are trying to break through to the core of the Death Star? By the way, for it it was built mock shooting station surface several meters long, and the camera drove along it in a car with decent speed.





Yes, the younger generation does not understand how delighted and its hidden breath we watched these films. And it is not about how to make it more lasers and space. With the help of special effects, George Lucas was able to create a wonderful atmosphere of a fairy tale, the existence of which wanted to believe unconditionally.



For the filming have been many models of equipment and built a variety of layouts. Various alien fauna depicted by a time-lapse filming dolls. Actively used blue screens for subsequent overlay image.



Interesting fact: the famous effect of departures in the perspective of the text at the beginning of each episode of "Star Wars" was originally filmed in analog form:



The camera slowly moved along the panel with glowing letters. It was very difficult to ensure sufficient fluidity of movement. In addition, it was necessary to shoot the same scene in different languages, as required by the conditions of hire in different countries - German, French, Spanish, etc. Later, Lucas was replaced by these episodes in the computer version.



Alien (1982) h4>





Very few directors are using special effects to enhance the emotional intensity of history. Mostly they are used to create entourage and general entertainment. «Инопланетянин» certainly it refers to the psychological fiction. Here technology was used to create not just a nice wrapper and feelings, emotions, soul, if you like, the main character. Strange looking alien was very convincing, the audience is very empathized with him. Doll, full servo forced to fall in love bigeye ... whoever he may have been there.



Carlo Rambaldi , a legendary specialist in special effects (check out the list of films on which he worked), and Alien inspired the creation of entities Carl Sandburg , Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway. Eyes kukly- аниматроника were critical to the reliability of the image, and for the sake of creating them have been hired specialists from Jules Stein Institute . For the filming was made 4 copies of ET's head: one for general animatronic scene and remaining for shooting close-ups of different emotions.

However, only the head was a mechanical character. Within the body of a man was hiding. In different stages suit ET to put on one of the two dwarfs. The shooting was the third actor - the 12-year-old boy, born without legs. Hands ET ran a professional mime. Production of all components of the dolls took three months and a cost of 1, 5 million dollars.

Hunters for the ghosts (1984) h4>



Extremely charming fantastic комедия. Yvan Raytmanu managed to take such an exciting film full of ghosts, ghosts and special energy traps without a digital effect. Just plain old "analog". Moreover, all who watched "Hunter", ready to swear that without 3D was not done. Still, the creators somehow unscrew. The film features a huge amount of animation and effects matte painting . Were made of various models and dolls, it is widely involved lighting effects. Then the painstaking work carried out on the various video sequences note.





In fact, it is the special effects in the film has been applied not so much. Often used various "grandfather" methods, such as the suspension of objects on the ropes, fireworks and so on. For example, in the scene in the library from the pop-up boxes of index cards begin to fly. This was implemented through a system of pipes through which the fan discharge air:



However skillful work with special effects, "old school", a wonderful direction and the acting made the "Ghostbusters" one of the best science fiction comedy. And the name "Lizun" even entered the folklore.

Terminator 2 (1991) h4>



The success of the first "Terminator" has allowed the creators to get more funds for shooting второй part . It is possible to create a character, without which today the story of Terminator is simply impossible - T-1000.

Neubivaemy robot of molten metal that can take many forms, shook the imagination of viewers worldwide.



Of course, there were many other impressive scenes, including the dream of Sarah Connor, where she oversaw a nuclear explosion. But nothing in this film can not be compared with the fear of immune T-1000, which we find everywhere, and which can not be destroyed.



For shooting various scenes with "liquid metal" robot created doll animatronics, special costumes were made, widely used computer effects. By the way, in the scene where he kills a policeman and makes its appearance, in fact filmed twin brothers.



piglet Babe (four-footed kid) (1995) h4>



For some reason, this film was not popular in Russia. This is a very touching story about a pig that in order to avoid becoming aspic enrolled duties herding dog. At that time, "Babe Pig" could boast of the highest quality computer-animated animals. And as is the case with all the movies in this review, the special effects were an integral part of the plot. Without them it would be impossible to tell the good and sweet story.

In order to achieve credibility of speech, the filmmakers filmed and digitized "facial expression" of various animals. Subsequently, these materials "collected" specific phrases characters. In the filming of the scenes involved real animals, whose muzzle was applied to computer animation.



The Matrix (1999) h4>

Фильм-эпоха, has had an enormous influence on modern pop culture. The effect of his exit was deafening. The grim story of our enslavement universal shook a huge number of spectators. And the role of special effects here is invaluable. Virtually the entire film rests on them. The unusual and novelty created by the Wachowski brothers (then take) scenes led to imitations shaft. Hallmark film effect become frozen bullets when time slows down and we see the trajectory of their flight.





In fact, "The Matrix" has become a classic, just coming in rent. The main "trick" the Wachowski became a scene in which the characters froze in motion, and the camera Flied them around, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the moment from all sides. This was done by installing several dozen cameras that simultaneously (or with a slight delay) made one frame. After that, these shots going into the video sequence.





The most difficult episode of the film - the scene of a shootout in the lobby of the skyscraper where Neo and Trinity confront the crowd of security guards with automatic rifles:



Each vyscherblina, each hit the wall, accompanied by the release of fragments of stones, made with the help of squibs. Achieving the perfect shot, the Wachowski reshoot the scene about 20 times. And for that, every time they completely rebuild shattered interior.



"I know kung fu!»

Iron Man (2008) h4>



On the one hand, it is quite unexpected выбор, as "piglet Babe." I have included this film because it's another stupid Hollywood hack on the theme of superheroes. In my opinion, the special effects used in the movie are forced to shrink the heart of every viewer. If you ever forget, this is not a list of the best films of all time. Here are collected the tape, in which special effects are not only very good for its time, but without them it would be impossible to convincingly tell the story of the author intended, to make the viewer empathize with the hero.

For example, in the scene where Tony Stark, played by the inimitable Robert Downey Jr. blows, he connects to his beating heart ... car battery. To create an artificial chest, with the actor removed the latex mold and made him indistinguishable from the real invoice the chest.





And finally, remember that a virtuoso flight fighters, in which the protagonist makes a deadly tragedy into something amazing.





Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) h4>



Probably, it is difficult to select a different film in the last 20 years, in which the visual effects would be as inseparably linked to the plot and the main characters. «Восстание Planet of the Apes » impossible without a huge number of computer graphics. At the same time to the authors was a very difficult task realistic simulation of primates. And it's not only in skeletal animation. The most important thing - it is a mimicry of monkeys which had to humanize, to make meaningful. But that it still remained a monkey. Think of what it was a difficult task, if we add to this the continuous hairline, do not facilitate the work of experts in 3D-modeling and animation.







To create facial expressions, much like a human, applied photography of actors-those with subsequent digitization of the control points.



This is one of the applications of technology motion capture: the actors with special markers on the body are removed in different movements, then these markers created by computer animation with the necessary adjustments, and the imposition of 3D-models. And correction implies conformity not only the skeleton, muscular system and monkeys.




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