Questions tagged [special-effects]

Questions about the use of "special effects", such as those produced with computers or optical trickery.

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Looking for a 90s tv show (approx. 5 min per episode) about the special effects in Science Fiction movies

I remember when I was a kid in Canada, there was a series of short episodes explaining how special effects were made in science fiction movies. I remember there was an episode on Armageddon and ...
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23 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was there a "blue tunnel" hyperspace effect in the original version of Return of the Jedi?

This answer to a question about the looks of hyperspace travel in Star Wars seems to indicate the "blue tunnel" effect, which happens once the ships are traveling through hyperspace, was ...
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2 votes
0 answers
608 views

What was the deal with Sullivan's "veins"?

In Space Sweepers, UTS CEO James Sullivan is shown as developing something like a strongly visible "vein" pattern underneath his skin at several points in the movie - usually, when he ...
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4 votes
1 answer
737 views

Was the "Two Spirit" played by a real berdache?

In Lovecraft Country S1E04, "A History of Violence", Tic, Leti, and Montrose, following the trail of Titus Braithwaite's last voyage in the secret vault, encounter a "corpse" that ...
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6 votes
1 answer
341 views

Did a ship model used in Star Wars (1977) have Playboy pinups in its cockpit?

The 1999 tome Uncle John's Legendary Lost Bathroom Reader has an article on Star Wars which claims The models were so detailed that one of them even had Playboy pinups in its cockpit. (p. 434) If ...
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2 votes
1 answer
100 views

Is there an MCU czar or architect for VFX and stunts?

It is well-known that Kevin Feige serves as the mastermind of the MCU, being largely given credit for the immense success of the MCU. He has wide-ranging responsible for the cohesion of all the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

How is this ageless Data realized?

Bent Spiner is known to have commented that he couldn't play Data anymore due to his age. Yet in the recently released trailer for Star Trek: Picard, there he is! ...
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44 votes
4 answers
15k views

How did they film the Invisible Man being invisible in 1933?

In The Invisible Man (1933), The Invisible Man gets encountered by a cop and seven people behind him. The cop attempts to convince him to come to the police station, but the Invisible Man gets in an ...
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9 votes
3 answers
709 views

In Star Trek, prior to Discovery, has a ship been shown dropping out of warp from the outside?

I've noticed Star Trek: Discovery has, on several occasions, used a neat visual effect to show a ship dropping "out of warp", from the outside. Something stationary is shown (like a planet) while the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
744 views

Was the viewscreen in TOS viewed as novel or incremental at the time?

Obviously the original Star Trek presented a number of amazing technologies (even if it wasn't necessarily the genesis of all of them). Today we have amazingly huge high-resolution screens becoming ...
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6 votes
1 answer
961 views

What Star Trek effects shot was reused the most?

It's well-known that (especially in the TNG era), shots of ships and planets were frequently reused since they were expensive to create. Many matte paintings were reused with minor (or no) retooling,...
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12 votes
0 answers
2k views

Is Betelgeuse's "scary" face ever revealed?

Has there ever been an in-universe or behind the scenes reveal of what Betelgeuse's "Can you be scary?" face looks like? The animatronics rig is cool, but it seems to only consist of the portions the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
942 views

Are the cockpit windows on “Star Wars” spacecraft transparent?

Looking For an in-Universe Answer/Explanation; Please No Armchair Speculation or Narrative Theories I was rewatching Return of the Jedi (1983) and wondered about something during the scene where the ...
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17 votes
1 answer
1k views

What was used to represent "Latinum" in "Who Mourns for Morn"?

In the Star Trek universe, the fictional material "Latinum" is valued in much the way we value gold. It's almost always referred to as "gold-pressed" (the naturally liquid substance encapsulated in ...
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10 votes
1 answer
263 views

Did this shot from Orville rely on cloning (image manipulation techniques)?

This shot from The Orville required a very large number of extras and costumes for a relatively low-budget venture. (I'm mostly concerned with cost in the wardrobe department.) Were that many ...
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4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Height of Peter Macon / Lt. Bortus

As can be seen from this picture, Lt. Bortus is depicted as extremely tall compared to other member of the Orville crew. Is this the natural build of Peter Macon, or is the appearance manipulated ...
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7 votes
1 answer
3k views

Were the seismic charges in Attack of the Clone the first use of a delayed sound effect in space?

In Attack of the Clones we have a chase of Obi-Wan Kenobi by Jango Fett through an asteroid field wherein Fett detonates a series of "seismic charges". The ...
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why does the Tron movie switch between wide and full screen presentation?

Has anyone noticed that the film switches between wide screen and full? I've got a theory that it has to do with the good vs. bad perspectives. Any time Red seems to be winning, it's full screen; but ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

How are lightsabers digitally rendered? [duplicate]

A while ago, I thought one could use trigonometry. Simply have the actors hold the base of the light saber, and the stick part would be generated by the computer.
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8 votes
2 answers
708 views

Is Luke's hand animatronic or CG?

I am referring to the appearance in The Force Awakens
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17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does Phil Tippett—the stop-motion artist for the original “Star Wars” trilogy—feel about the 1997 CGI reworking to the films?

Phil Tippett is a fairly well known—and well regarded—stop motion artist and visual effects supervisor—whose big break happened when he was hired by George Lucas in 1975 to create the special effects ...
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8 votes
1 answer
256 views

Which FX company or team created Maz Kanata?

For me, standout moments of the Force Awakens were Maz Kanata's screen time. The character was wonderfully textured and the performance subtle, nuanced and awe inspiring. I can find information ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Did they use models or CGI for the spaceships in The Force Awakens?

Before The Force Awakens was released, Lucasfilm talked a lot about their efforts to use practical effects and such, using CGI relatively sparingly. This video covers practical costumes, props, droids,...
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-3 votes
1 answer
441 views

Why all the double stars in the left half of the The Force Awakens star field?

There is a strange non-random effect in the star field used in The Force Awakens. I expect others will question this, but I'm absolutely certain it was there. I noticed it during the initial scene ...
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8 votes
1 answer
758 views

How did they realize young Michael Douglas in Ant-Man?

Michael Douglas is around 70. The first scene of Ant-Man take place in the mid 80s, and he is playing someone in his mid-thirties to early forties. There were a number of close ups. Vs. Was this ...
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12 votes
2 answers
5k views

How are the throat slitting scenes created in Game of Thrones?

I am currently watching Game of Thrones S3, where a character’s throat is slit. In scenes such as this, how is the fake wound and blood spray created? Also, how do actors provide perfect expressions ...
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14 votes
1 answer
6k views

How was the teleporter effect on Star Trek: TOS achieved?

Does anybody know how they made the glittery spiral effect when teleporting on the original Star Trek series?
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31 votes
1 answer
72k views

How were the lightsaber effects done in Star Wars?

According to Wookieepedia, the the props are made of wood. Also, due to the brittleness of the stunt blades used during this fight, which were little more than wooden dowels, Diamond was forced to ...
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  • 495
0 votes
1 answer
170 views

Is the sphere or bubble of pure force overused in scifi movies? [closed]

It seems that every time I see a movie with a character who either has the power of telekinesis or a force field of some sort that they almost always manifest it as a sphere or bubble of force. I'm ...
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14 votes
1 answer
6k views

How were the planet (from orbit) special effects produced in the original Star Trek built?

I've been watching the old Star Trek again for the first time in 20 years or more. I am really impressed with the appearance of the ship in space, but more so I am impressed with the appearance of ...
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5 votes
1 answer
250 views

Early 90s YA novel about a kid into special FX who meets an (animatronic, yet possibly alive) dragon

All i can remember are a few specifics, would love to rediscover the title. Haven't been able to Google up anything. The kid (~13) made special effects models as a hobby (only one i can remember is a ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What inspired the Praxis effect?

In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, an over-mined moon explodes resulting in a flat shockwave emanating out into space. It's been commented this has no bearing in real astronomy, despite being ...
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43 votes
4 answers
32k views

Where is the Shoe in the Space Battle in "Return of the Jedi?"

I've read, in many places, and heard in interviews, that while filming the Battle of Endor sequence in Return of the Jedi that in the "It's a trap!" scene, when an overwhelming number of Imperial ...
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