MOLEC­U­LAR MAGIC

Star Wars leg­end John Dyk­stra is the man in charge of vis­ual ef­fects

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - X-men : apocalypse -

Apoc­a­lypse can ma­nip­u­late inan­i­mate ob­jects – how are you vi­su­al­is­ing that?

Part of the fun of this movie is to see the de­tails of things. So rather than just see a build­ing fall­ing down there’s an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore what hap­pens in­ter­nally at a molec­u­lar level. Bul­let Time is a good ex­am­ple of that kind of think­ing. His power has to man­i­fest some­thing that’s not par­tic­u­larly vis­i­ble. If you were do­ing a guy whose power was throw­ing light­ning, easy – we all know what light­ning is. When it comes to desub­li­ma­tion, which is a solid go­ing into a gaseous form di­rectly or a gas turn­ing into a solid di­rectly, there’s no iden­ti­fy­ing vis­ual. But peo­ple need to feel that there’s some physics be­hind it, in terms of the way things move, con­ser­va­tion of mass… You al­low a lit­tle magic as long as there’s a dose of re­al­ity with it.

What’s the bal­ance be­tween phys­i­cal ef­fects and CGI?

We’ve tried to cre­ate as many things as we can prac­ti­cally. The ten­dency to­wards com­put­ers is em­pow­er­ing and at the same time lim­it­ing. There’s serendip­ity that hap­pens when you do real things. When I be­gan do­ing vis­ual ef­fects you had to fig­ure out how to phys­i­cally make an ob­ject do some­thing that was recorded on film. With a com­puter you don’t have that lim­i­ta­tion any­more. But you also don’t have the process in­volved with the cre­ation of the fi­nal im­age, and that process is in­for­ma­tive and in some cases re­ally valu­able. In a weird way it’s like the dif­fer­ence be­tween a hand­writ­ten let­ter and an email.

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