• Oppenheimer’s visual effects supervisor clarifies that CGI was used in the movie, despite the extensive use of practical effects.
  • Visual effects in Oppenheimer involved manipulating visual elements, such as removing modern objects from the film.
  • The seamless blend of CGI and practical effects in Oppenheimer makes the movie even more impressive and highlights the necessity of both techniques.

Oppenheimers visual effects supervisor clears up details on the movie’s use of CGI. Oppenheimer’s VFX has been extensively discussed in the movie world because of the impressive practical effects used to create the atomic bomb Trinity test. While Nolan may not have replicated the classic mushroom cloud shape, the director’s push for practical effects in the sequence created an essentially, real-life explosion that was used in the biopic.

Oppenheimer’s VFX supervisor Andrew Jackson, however, seeks to clarify the use of CGI in Oppenheimer. While the Trinity explosion has gained buzz for its use of practical effects, Jackson told The Hollywood Reporter that some have mistakenly “taken it to mean that there are no visual effects, which is clearly not true.” The movie contains about 200 shots containing VFX, many of which were CGI effects. Check out the full quote from Jackson below:

“Some people have picked that up and taken it to mean that there are no visual effects, which is clearly not true. Visual effects can encompass a whole lot of things.”

Why Oppenheimer’s Use of CGI Makes The Movie More Impressive

Custom image of Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer with an atomic explosion behind him.

Jackson explained that these effects involved removing objects representing modern-day times in the films. Delving into smaller details like this supports Jackson’s point that “visual effects can encompass a whole lot of things.” VFX is not just fire and explosions but involves any shot where a VFX team examines it and digitally manipulates a movie’s visual element. Just as an editor ensures the pristine transition between shots, a VFX team ensures that all those shots are as spotless and accurate as possible, whether that means taking out modern buildings or enhancing an explosion.

Related: Why Oppenheimer Names The Atomic Bomb Test Trinity & How It Connects To Jean

Jackson’s discussion of Oppenheimer’s VFX also clarifies that CGI does not mean laziness. Oppenheimer is a grandiose film that certainly would not be characterized by visual languidness. The practical effects, however, are not the only evidence for the complexity of the film’s VFX. Rather, the seamless blend of both CGI and practical effects makes the movie all the more impressive, especially because audiences have a hard time spotting what is the visual effect.

CGI can be overused in modern-day Hollywood, but this is not the case in Oppenheimer. Through his discussion of how the visual effects in Oppenheimer operated, far beyond just the Trinity explosion, Jackson has clarified that computer-generated VFX is just as necessary as well-done practical effects for a movie with a scale like Oppenheimer. The Trinity explosion includes incredible practical effects, but CGI was just as essential to make the visual magic of Oppenheimer come alive.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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