Gravity, what a movie !

I don’t go to the cinema very often. I just don’t find the time to do it… with 2 children, it’s not that simple, but I really wanted to see Gravity because I knew this film would be special. And I must say, it’s special, it’s probably the most impressive movie I’ve seen in years, and one of the best use of Visual Effects ever.

I really enjoyed Children of men, Double Negative worked on this one, and I loved how Cuaron used VFX for both impressive shots, and completely invisible ones. In Gravity, he pushed this Art even further, where no one ever been before him. And I’m pretty sure we’ll have to wait for years before someone else make another movie with such a good understanding of what VFX can do.
Most of the time, when you see a movie, you’re impressed by the amount of VFX shots and the complexity of them. When I say “complexity” I mean “how could they even render it ?” because it involved hell of a lot of polys, reflections and technical challenges everywhere. In a Transformers, it’s about destroying a full CG city, in the Hobbit, it’s about impressive camera moves in very busy environments.

In Gravity, it’s different. The complexity is not even visible at the beginning. You’re in the movie, you’re in space, with the character. You flight with them, you’re in Zero G with them, trying to move in the ISS, or in the Soyouz, and you just forget about the movie. It’s after, when you realize that you’re actually not in space and that the movie hasn’t been shot in space  conditions that you feel scared. At least, that’s how I felt. Everything was so convincing, so real, and the shots so long, that I just have no idea of how they could have achieved this. When you think about what you just saw with a VFX Artist eye, you realize how difficult this film must have been.

I really wanted to congrats all the sups, all the artists who worked on this movie, because I know how complex it is sometimes to make the right decision to make a shot. When you start something like this, you never really know if it’s going to work at the end and really, these shots are the most complex shots I’ve ever seen.

Thanks to FXGuide for having jumped on this movie to give us extremely good articles that I urge you to read.
First, you can read :

Gravity: vfx that’s anything but down to earth

and you can listen to the podcast :

the vfx show #174: Gravity

Thanks guys for such good articles !

I really hope we’ll see more and more movies like Gravity, and I hope Tim Webber, the VFX Sup, will get the Oscar.

Environment wise, Gravity is mainly about space, earth, and star fields. But if it sounds easy, it’s not that simple. I worked on this type of shots for Tree of Life and it was pretty hard because we don’t have that many sources. Everything is flatten and if you want to add some life, depth, you need to paint a lot of layers for the earth.
In Gravity, you have different type of view of earth, lit by the sun, on sunset, in shadow with city lights, with different type of clouds, and all of the DMP are really nice.
The shot are so long that they probably created few version of the all earth with a very big stack of layers mapped onto a sphere. It’s a very nice work, so is the work on the star fields. I really felt I was in space.

If you still haven’t seen Gravity, just run !


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