A Look at ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Before and After Visual Effects

There has been a lot of talk about the practical effects used for Mad Max: Fury Road, but not so much discussion about the visual effects in the film, which are also quite impressive. In fact, the most impressive thing about the marriage of practical and visual effects in the film is how unaware we are of them most of the time.

Fury Road wasn’t like a film such as Avengers: Age of Ultron or Transformers: Age of Extinction in that whole characters were CG creations. The hand-to-hand battles here were just that, hand-to-hand, and, for the most part, much of the environment seen in the film was pretty much exactly as it was on set. Well, at least in some ways…

FX Guide has just posted an excellent piece on the totality of the digital effects in Fury Road, here’s their introduction:

But the intense Namibian shoot, and further filming in Sydney, was only half the story in the creation of Fury Road‘s insane stunt action and post-apocalyptic landscapes. Hundreds of visual effects artists, led by overall visual effects supervisor Andrew Jackson, would spend considerable time crafting more than 2000 visual effects shots and helping to transform the exquisite photography into the final film that at times feels almost like a single car chase. Even more plate manipulation would also be carried out by colorist Eric Whipp, weaving in a distinctive graphic style for the film with detailed sky replacements and unique day for nights.

Australian effects house Iloura handled the bulk of the digital work with more than 1,500 shots overseen by visual effects supervisor Tom Wood with additional work completed by Method Studios and BlackGinger.

Quoted by Jackson in the piece he says, “I’ve been joking recently about how the film has been promoted as being a live action stunt driven film – which it is, but also how there’s so little CGI in the film. The reality is that there’s 2000 VFX shots in the film. A very large number of those shots are very simple clean-ups and fixes and wire removals and painting out tire tracks from previous shots, but there are a big number of big VFX shots as well.”

I’m sure many of you will begin to question those that celebrate the film for its lack of CGI when there clearly was plenty of digital work that went into the film. Jackson sums that up best when he tells “FX Guide” that while sequences such as the massive dust storm could have been achieved almost completely in CG, it was important from his point of view to shoot actual vehicles driving – that way you retain realistic camera movement.

“You shoot the layout and vehicles and gradually everything might get replaced,” he says, “except the camera and the positions of where things were. You may end up with nothing left of what was actually filmed, but the shot still inherits something real from the plate you shot originally. I still believe it’s worth doing for that reason.”


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