Magicians of the Miniature
January 3, 2015 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Matte Shot (previously) presents: Magicians of the Miniature, an overview and image gallery of miniature effects work.
posted by brundlefly (13 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Fascinating! And an amazing collection of photographs.
posted by carter at 1:43 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow. Amazing stuff. I could stare at those photos for hours.
posted by octothorpe at 2:57 PM on January 3, 2015

Great stuff. This goes on my reading list for tomorrow for sure.
posted by WillRun4Fun at 3:25 PM on January 3, 2015

Reminds me of those shows The Learning Channel used to show about how special effects were done. Always so fascinating -- CGI is fine, I guess but hard to appreciate. A cool model and piano wire I get. Render farms and polygons, not so much.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 3:35 PM on January 3, 2015

Big Hollywood films still use tons of miniatures, including supposedly "all CGI" movies like the Star Wars prequels. The problem is they're often really expensive to do right. I'd love to see more low budget films take a swing at it.
posted by brundlefly at 5:10 PM on January 3, 2015

I'm just in awe of this stuff. I've worked in CGI my entire career but this is what inspired me. I tell my classes to study the way it is really done before you attempt to imitate it virtually. Unfortunately the best book on matte shots, Mark Cotta Vaz and Craig Barron's "The Invisible Art" is out of print and getting hard to find. I lent my copy to a student some years back and now I can't afford to replace it (grrrr!).
posted by cleroy at 7:21 PM on January 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wow. Amazing stuff. I could stare at those photos for hours

Yeah, me too. I used to build lots of models,and even scratch built some in my model railroad period, but these are like five levels above where I ever was. I am amazed and humbled by the talent shown here.
posted by pjern at 11:35 PM on January 3, 2015

cleroy, that is a great book. The first VFX company I worked at had a model shop on the ground floor that you had to walk through to get in, and it was wonderful. I can totally understand why digital has taken over the industry, but there was definitely a magic to seeing these little alternate worlds slowly being built before your eyes.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:36 PM on January 3, 2015

Thank you for this post---so lovely. It was striking to see how big the skyscrapers were for The Towering Inferno; reminds me of the "bigatures" used in Lord of the Rings and Titanic.

It was nice that he focused on some lesser-known effects films, but I was still surprised not to see the miniatures from Kubrick's 2001 mentioned. Still awe-inspiring.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:31 AM on January 4, 2015

Love the photos. I think this one is my favorite.

Reading this took forever because I kept having to look up the referenced scenes on YouTube. Here are a few I found: posted by neckro23 at 9:04 AM on January 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Wow, that Svengali clip is amazing.
posted by octothorpe at 11:42 AM on January 4, 2015

Just got back from The Hobbit and was thinking about this post while watching it and was kind of amazed at how bad some of the shots of Lake Town look. I don't know if it was all CGI or a miniature + CGI but it looked worse than miniatures from some of the movies from the '30s and '40s.
posted by octothorpe at 8:15 PM on January 4, 2015

Agreed on the Svengali clip. It's always amazing to see clips that early with that much camera movement.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:28 AM on January 5, 2015

« Older Fan Art Friday: Disney's The Haunted Mansion   |   The Last of the "Creative Moderates" Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments