Watch: Can You Catch All of the CGI Used in This Tribute to VFX?
The next time someone tells you CGI doesn't look real, show them this video.
Visual effects have come a long way since the early days of George Méliès and Ray Harryhausen. Artists, like those at Industrial Light and Magic who worked on Jurassic Park's CG dinosaurs, have pushed the craft to its limit and advanced CG technology so much that they've been able to blur the line between reality and fantasy for all moviegoers. And though we often hear that VFX have a long way to go before they're good enough to be truly believable, this video by Roy Peker reveals just how good visual effects artists have become at using compositing to hide CG elements in plain sight.
We all know that movies like Captain America, The Jungle Book, and Ex Machina are littered with CGI, and in fact need them in order to have their stories told, but there are plenty of films that have CGI that you may have never guessed. Films like Suffragette, The Theory of Everything, and The Wolf of Wall Street all contain "hidden VFX," like a few extra buildings in the background, a few dozen extras to fill out a crowd, or even a color change to make a gloriously grand and pink hotel (The Grand Budapest Hotel).
These subtle visual effects are the ones primarily honored in the video, because while we love to see a giant CG lizard stomping through Manhattan or an astronaut dodging debris in space, we're also full aware that they're not real. Hidden VFX remind us that some things are not always what they seem—a lovely reminder for those who appreciate the magic of cinema.