This Is What Movies Would Look Like Without Visual Effects


Photo: photo illustration by FXRant

Last month, visual effects (VFX) company Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.The studio helped bring a ravenous Bengal tiger to the big screen in Oscar winner “Life of Pi.”

However, after more than 200 layoffs, some 400 VFX artists protested during the 85th Academy Awards. 

The recent bankruptcy filing of Rhythm & Hues is the latest blow to the VFX community which has taken a hard hit in the past year.  

Last September, VFX studio Digital Domain Media Group also filed for bankruptcy before being bought in part by Galloping Horse and Reliance Capital. 

Now, some VFX artists have suggested a walk out later this week on 3/14 (“Pi” day) to show support for creating a union.

If it weren’t for visual and special effects crews, a lot of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters would be unwatchable. 

From “Life of Pi” to “The Dark Knight Rises,” we’ve gathered together images from visual effects studios Industrial Light & Magic and Rhythm & Hues and visual effects software company Imagineer Systems to show what popular movies would look like without added effects.

Visual Effects crew Rhythm & Hues helped make Oscar winner 'Life of Pi' go from this ...

... to a boat lost out in the Pacific Ocean with a giant Bengal tiger.

All of Davy Jones' gang in Pirates of the Caribbean is completely computer generated.

The actors don't wear costumes or makeup.

... don't look nearly as scary with a green screen.

Before Optimus Prime was on the big screen in 'Transformers' ...

... he was a computer-generated image.

... Natalie Portman would be a featherless ballerina.

Without visual effects in 'Alice in Wonderland' ...

Lewis Carroll's world looks pretty 'Wonder-less.'

... would be rendered flat and green.

Spidey was able to appear on a web of wires in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' ...

... with the help of motion tracking.

Mark Ruffalo wore a capture suit while filming 'The Avengers' to make the Hulk look realistic.

The visual effects team translated Ruffalo's actions into a 3D rendering ...

... and, this was the end result.

'The Avengers' didn't film in New York.

The majority of its action sequences consist of the team on a green screen set.

Instead, the crew filmed seven miles of New York City streets while the actors were in town for a few days ...

... to create a 20 block replica of the city.

So, when Scarlett Johannson was flying through the skies in 'The Avengers' ...

... she was safe on the ground.

There weren't really 80,000 people in the Pittsburgh Steelers' stadium during 'The Dark Knight Rises.'

Rather, small groups of more than 11,000 people that showed up were filmed and spread throughout the stadium to make it appear full.

As for the blown-up field, director Christopher Nolan and his crew couldn't actually destroy it.

It actually looked like this.

The art department built a raised section with a few holes in it for stuntmen to drop into.

And, digitally replaced the entire surface of the field.

You've seen what your favourite movies would look like without visual effects ...

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