Watch: Sharlto Copley Playing Chappie in Impressive VFX Breakdown
This is impressive. While Neill Blomkamp is off working on his version of an Alien movie, let's try not to forget that Chappie was released this year. Whether you liked the film or not, there's a lot that Blomkamp does as a sci-fi director that should be admired. Whether it's the way he seamlessly integrates sleek CGI into practical scenes, or tries to create entirely CG characters and make them feel completely real. That's a lot harder than it sounds, and thankfully there's a few VFX teams that help him pull this off. One of the VFX houses responsible for a large chunk of the main work on Chappie was Image Engine, a Vancouver based agency. This 4-minute reel shows how they went from blank plates or actual shots with Sharlto Copley in costume to the final footage with the robot. There's some impressive work on display in here, so take a look.
"Chappie showreel: breakdowns of Image Engine's vfx work for Academy Award nominated director Neill Blomkamp's latest sci-fi feature." There were a few things I noticed while watching this footage. First, I'm amazed how much actual footage Blomkamp is shooting on set. They have a take with Sharlto performing, then a take without him where it's blank, then a take with him interacting, then an action take if needed. I'm also impressed by how much actual VFX work goes into each scene - from compositing all of the elements, to multiple layers of lighting and dust, and layers of metal and rubber to form Chappie. This is why it's so cool to see VFX breakdowns, and why I admire Blomkamp for the films he makes. Nice work, Image Engine.