In this digital effects age, do miniature props and models still have a place? I still wonder if the sheer talent of the team that worked on the original Star Wars props could still prevail over CG teams today.
Philippe Toupin was the visual effects creator in this short BTS film, “A Small Trip To The Making Of Visual Effects – Miniatures Effects”, that shows of some true talent using miniature props. My opinion? This stuff kicks butt and can stand on its own even by today’s digital standards.
An excerpt from Robert Nyerges’ blog:
“As many moviegoers may have noticed, the last two decades of cinema have surely followed the curve of technological advances as many of today’s theaters are populated with films that place a heavy reliance on CGI. Special effects, what was once a primarily physical and practical medium is now dominated by the crutch of digital enhancements. It seems, though, that new developments in software and computer imaging has taken some of the magic out of filmmaking. Not only that, but the onset of more widely available and affordable software programs has largely diluted the professional pool.
Granted, without the assistance of digital 3D modeling, movies such as TRON (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), The Matrix (1999), and The Lord of the Rings (2001) would not have been possible. And don’t forget the epic classic 2012 (2009). Well, not so much…
Lately, however, it seems that there has been a [perhaps only minor] resurgence in the application of miniature models as a means of practical special effects. Take for example, Christopher Nolan, the modern master of grandeur. His two most recent blockbusters, The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010), have employed the use of scaled miniatures to capture some of their more impressive action sequences.”
A Small Trip To The Making Of Visual Effects – Miniatures Effects