First Man Won The Oscar Visual Effects, But, Where Is Its VFX? (1)

The 91st Oscar Academy Awards are over. First Man beats Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Robin, Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story for the Best Visual Effects Award.

First Man is a documentary film about the life of American legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong, focusing on his process of becoming the first man in human history between 1961 and 1969.

First Man's director is Damien Chazelle, who won the 89th Oscar for Best Director Award for La La Land. Neil Armstrong is stared by Ryan Gosling who was the Best Actor nominee with La La Land in Oscar. The visual effects supervisor, Paul Lambert(Blade Runner 2049), who received the Oscar's Best Visual Effects last year.

Visual effects are mainly done by the DNEG Vancouver team and more than 400 artists and technicians from India. If you just watch the movie, you can't see where the special effects are used. It's very real. Similar to Dunkirk directed by Nolan in 2017. Both are Invisible Effects. Where are the visual effects used? Today we will share with you some of the production stories behind.

Redefine "camera shooting"

In order to make the lens picture feel in the 1960s, the production team combined the previous technology with the modern new technology, in addition to using a huge LED screen as the background, the miniature landscape model and some Physical effects, precious NASA imagery resources and so on.

The director's idea is to redefine "camera shooting" throughout the shooting and production.

When visual effects supervisor Paul Lambert first met director Damien, the director showed him a full-featured notebook with all the story-lines, descriptions and effects of each scene. That is to say, the director has done a lot of preparation for how to shoot. His original idea was to circumvent the green or blue screen and get the real shot material from the "camera" as much as possible.

For this purpose, the on-site shooting team built a 35-foot LED screen with a width of 60 feet to provide a wide visual view. Play on the screen for 90 minutes CG rendered earth background.

The playback screen can be 360° flipped according to the specific requirements and actual conditions of the live shooting, for close-up or high-definition lens shooting.

For example, the lens shown below, starring Ryan Gosling driving the X-15 to break the atmosphere, we see the reflection on his goggles, is the picture of the big screen. Using the LED screen as the background for shooting, you can create interactive lights and reflections on the character, and the rendering effect will look more realistic.

They also used a miniature model when shooting. The team produced a number of different scale models for the LEM docking sequence. For example, there is a lens centered on the spacecraft. The model used is the following one, which is very real, but it seems to be S code.

When it comes to some distant shots, it will use CG production. For close-ups that are close at hand, a full-size oversized model is used. For example, the Gemini capsule is the 80%-90% oversized model of the real size, and the big guy we show below.

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