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Superman Returns
A Hero's Return
Article by Joe Fordham
 
In Superman Returns, D.C. Comics' venerable superhero returns to the screen after an absence of nearly twenty years. Director Bryan Singer and newcomer Brandon Routh as the 'Man of Steel' breathe fresh life into the series with the help of physical effects supervisor Neil Corbould, stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell and visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson. Lead effects house Sony Pictures Imageworks and a host of other vendors spread across three continents contributed everything from digital set extensions and atmospherics to fully synthetic environments and CG stunt doubles for the film's exhilarating actions scenes.
 
X-Men: The Last Stand
Dark Phoenix Rising
Article by Jody Duncan
 
The X-Men and their mutant adversaries once again come to blows — this time over thorny ethical issues — in X-Men: The Last Stand, the third installment in the popular film franchise based on the Marvel Comics series. Faced with a breakneck schedule and a heavy slate of effects, visual effects supervisor John Bruno opted for an in-camera approach whenever possible, relying heavily on practical makeups designed and executed by Spectral Motion for lead mutants — several of them new to the story — and special effects by Mike Vezina. Innovative visual effects — some 900 of them mandated by the ambitious storyline, were distributed among ten vendors from around the globe.
 
Poseidon
Wipeout
Article by Jody Duncan
 
For Poseidon, an update on the classic 1970s disaster film The Poseidon Adventure, director Wolfgang Petersen traded models and in-camera effects for sophisticated digital imagery to tell the tale of a small band of survivors who attempt a perilous climb out of a giant cruise ship overturned by a rogue wave. Visual effects supervisor Boyd Shermis challenged Industrial Light & Magic to push the boundaries of digital model complexity and fluid dynamics in the creation of an all-synthetic ship, rogue wave and ocean environments. Interior scenes of mayhem were the work of Giant Killer Robots, The Moving Picture Company, CIS Hollywood, Hydraulx, and a handful of other vendors. John Frazier handled practical effects.
 
V for Vendetta
Overview: Dan Glass on V for Vendetta
Article by Estelle Shay
 
Coming off the Matrix films and Batman Begins, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass discusses the challenges of working on the smaller-scale V for Vendetta, a thriller based on an Alan Moore graphic novel about a masked vigilante in a near-future society, chafing under the rigid rule of a fascist regime.
 
The Da Vinci Code
Overview: Angus Bikerton on The Da Vinci Code
Article by Joe Fordham
 
For the much anticipated film version of The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown's best-selling and controversial thriller steeped in unorthodox religious ideology, visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton reveals the methods used to achieve a seamless blend of effects involving real-life ecclesiastical settings that were off-limits to the film crew, and a series of historical flashbacks key to the movie's complex narrative.
 
 
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