Think It's CG? Think Again...Part Two

Think It's CG? Think Again...Part Two

Welcome back to part two of our series on effects that you thought were CG.

Independence Day was a great movie, putting aside the actual plot, for all the special effects that were in it. There was that great scene where the fireball engulfed New York and we see the wall of flames rushing in a very strange manner down the streets.

This effect is hard to achieve with CG, even if it was done today, so Roland Emmerich shot it for real....So how is it possible to torch New York without really torching New York?

Well for a start you can build a scale model to set alight. Now to get that strange creeping motion they built the model on its side and stuck the camera at the top.

When the flames naturally rise up they will look as if they are going sideways along the model streets...They shot this all at very high speed so that when the film was played back at the right speed we have this fire crawling, oddly, along the streets of New York.

This is how we used to do these things. We’d build a beautiful and detailed set and then blow it up and hope that the shot looked good. Because when it comes back from the lab that a second shot is needed its not really all that possible...

For part one of this blog click here...

2 Comments mark spevick

Posted by
mark spevick
Mon 14 May 2012: 2:00pm

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  • Shallon:

    I remember that shot and how they built a bigature of the White House, it cost them something like $10,000 or more to build it, then it was destroyed in less that a few seconds. They had to do it in one pass, to build another model would have offset production time and budget a lot if the shot went wrong. Those where the days.

  • Jorge Rodiles:

    part CG part Physical VFX donde by Mr. Viskocyl (guru on pyrotechnic since starwars, panic room, indepencence day, etc etc)

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