The wonder of The Wizard of Oz has spanned generations, delighting both young and old. In its time, the special effects were quite a sight to see -- the moment Dorothy opens the door from her bland black and white life on the farm to see the vibrance of a new world. And, although its origin story, Oz the Great and Powerfuldirected by Sam Raimi, left fans of the original Oz a little less than dazzled, the VFX concepts of Sony Imageworks' are definitely worth exploring. Take a look at a behind the scenes video, with commentary from Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor Scott Stokdyk, after the jump:

If you were thinking that Oz the Great and Powerful was really, really effects driven, suffice it to say -- you'd be right. Out of the film’s 1,800 shots, 1,500 contained VFX, making the film a huge undertaking for the VFX team, composed of lead house Imageworks, as well as Digiscope, Luma Pictures, Method, Evil Eye Pictures and Reliance MediaWorks.

According to Stokdyk, their desire, in terms of design, was to "bring volume and detail" to their CG environments, which is apparent in so much of the film. Concept artwork inspired the overall look of the backgrounds and environments you see in the film, however a lot of care was taken the closer the shot was, to add minute details, like mist and snow, that the concept art couldn't capture or provide.

In the video, many sequences are covered, such as the "Balloon Crash" over the river rapids, in which Imageworks designed and custom-built the canyon, with its jagged rocks and rushing river, which all started with a blue screen element. As Stokdyk explains, the water effects required multiple layers of foam, spray, mist, and detailed splashes to get what is seen on-screen.

Whether you're interested in getting into CGI and VFX, an Oz fan, or just like to look at cool behind the scenes stuff, I'm sure there's something for everyone in the video above. No doubt hearing the VFX Supervisor himself talk about the team's approach to creating the dreamlike world of Oz is something worth taking time out for.

What do you think about Imageworks' and Stokdyk's approach to the visual effects on Oz the Great and Powerful? Let us know in the comments.

[via It's Art Mag & Filmmaker IQ]