VFX Videos of the Week 11-21-14

by Graham Edwards

Fun with oobleck - The Slow Mo Guys

I’m starting this week’s collection of videos with a big serving of oobleck. What’s oobleck? It’s a non-Newtonian fluid. Or, to you and me, a thick‘n’sticky mix of cornflour and water.

If you’re a fan of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (there must be one or two of you out there, right?), you’ve seen oobleck before. It’s that weird black stuff that boogies away in the chamber full of alien urns, or whatever they were.

In the video below, the endlessly entertaining Slow Mo Guys have mixed up a bucketful of oobleck, dumped it on top of a loudspeaker, and set their high-speed cameras rolling at a zippy 1,600fps. The result? A peculiar practical effect that defies both gravity and common sense. The coolest, gloopiest video of the week:

This year, New Deal Studios is celebrating its 20th anniversary. One of the dwindling number of full-service VFX companies still operating out of Los Angeles – and still going strong – New Deal boasts credits spanning the decades, from Broken Arrow, Alien: Resurrection and Pitch Black all the way up to Inception, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Interstellar.

If you watch nothing else today, watch this interview with New Deal’s Digital FX Supervisor and Technical Lead Jeff Jasper. Brought to you by The Foundry, it’s full of stunning behind the scenes footage and breakdowns:

What would a Friday roundup be without a few VFX breakdowns? Check out this week’s new reel from MPC, deconstructing their meticulous visual effects from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Beautiful work:

On to this week’s trailers, of which four caught my eye. First up is the latest international trailer for Seventh Son. Fantasy beasts? Check. Sweeping panoramic landscapes? Check. Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore? Check and check. Due out in February 2015, this fantasy epic features spectacular effects from MPC, Trixter, Rising Sun Pictures, Method Studios and many others, all under the overall supervision of VFX legend John Dykstra:

Next up is Marco Polo. This new Netflix series about the famous 13th century explorer starts airing in December, with a roster of VFX providers including Pixomondo, Spin VFX and Phosphene:

It seems you can’t leave your house without tripping over another live-action adaptation of a traditional fairy tale. The latest is Kenneth Branagh’s colour-saturated rendition of Cinderella, starring Lily James as the girl with the glass slipper and Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother, and featuring effects both magical and mousey from MPC:

Last and definitely not least (actually, I like this so much I reckon it’s last and most) is the trailer for Peanuts. Some purists are already tearing this apart, but it seems to me that Blue Sky Studios have come up with an intelligent hybrid of 3D CG and sketchiness to bring Charles M. Schulz’s classic cartoon world bang up to date. Most important of all, this feels like Peanuts:

That’s all for this week. The video that scored the most votes out of last week’s selection was Black Hole Creation by Shanks FX. Way to go, Joey! You can vote for this week’s favourite right now – or add your own choice to the list – in the poll below. Ready … steady … vote!

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