“Jurassic World,” directed by “Safety Not Guaranteed” helmer Colin Trevorrow, was the beginning of a new trilogy and it satisfied most fans by its high-octane dinosaur action and nostalgic references to the original Jurassic Park trilogy.
Like previous movies in the series, “World” had spectacular visual effects. However, fans of the original trilogy felt there was an overreliance on CGI (Computer-generated Imagery) and less on practical effects.
A short visual effects reel of the film has been released by pioneer VFX house Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), demonstrating the highly complex and intricately detailed post production. Here it is below.
The VFX reel shows how ILM was able to put not only digital dinosaurs on the screen where there were none, but the reel also showed the amount of world-building that was required to transform the lush green jungles of Hawaii into the sprawling Disney world-like island resort of the fictional Isla Nublar.
Apart from the highly detailed and fluid dinosaurs, ILM also had to paint in foliage and grass. They also had to remove the tracks on which the prop Gyrospheres with wheels would be running and turned it into balls of glass carrying two passengers rolling on grassy fields populated by computer-generated dinosaurs.
The reel also shows how people wearing grey suits would be used for motion capture and then would be digitally replaced with a CGI dinosaur.
Special mention should be made for the only animatronic dinosaur that appears in “Jurassic World,” the dying Apatosaurus. Legacy Effects released a video detailing the artistry and love that went behind creating this wonderful practical Apatosaurus head, a scene which became the most emotional and saddening in the entire “Jurassic Park” series. You can check the video below.
In the first three “Jurassic Park” films, there was a balanced use of practical and CGI. The full-sized robotic dinosaurs created by late special make-up effects artist Stan Winston were iconic, to say the least. Those models were used for close to medium range shots and were controlled by a group of puppeteers through remote control telemetry devices. The full size models gave the actors something to react to.
The wider shots that showed the full figure of the dinosaur or have the creature walking and running were created using CGI. The CGI models were created using scans of the original models built by Stan Winston Studios.
Originally, for the wide shots, Spielberg had opted for go-motion technique but after looking at walking digital dinosaurs secretly created by ILM animator Steve “Spaz” Williams, Spielberg decided on CGI.
Tim Alexander, the visual effects supervisor of “Jurassic World” who had then just started working at Disney’s former Buena Vista Visual Effects, admits to being “blown away” by the film, notes The Hollywood Reporter. “Jurassic Park was a huge leap forward, everyone recognized it. It was a milestone in the switch over to the computer realm,” he says.
Twenty-three years later, “Jurassic World” continues the tradition with the help of the same ILM that opened a floodgate of possibilities for cinema.