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10 Coolest Special Effects Spaceships

| 10 COOLEST TO ŠPÄCESHIPS Special effects have evolved tremendously over the last century. Consider - for example - how effects artists have depicted space travel in the movies. Here's our top ten list, based on design, technological innovation, the use of computer graphics and the lasting impression made on viewers. BROUGHT TO LIFE BY SPECIAL EFFECTS 2 1936 3 1951' 1902! SHIP: Dr. Zarkov's Rocket Ship MOVIE: Flash Gordon Serials DIRECTOR: Frederick Stephani Ray Taylor SPECIAL EFFECTS: Ed Keyes SHIP: Cannon Propelled Rocket Ship MOVIE: A Trip to the Moon DIRECTOR: Georges Méliès SPECIAL EFFECTS: Georges Méliès SHIP: Klaatu's Flying Saucer MOVIE: The Day the Earth Stood Still DIRECTOR: Robert Wise - cOL FACTOR: 90% SPECIAL EFFECTS: Fred Sersen, L.B. Abbott, Lyman Hallowell, Ray Kellogg, Emil Kosa DESIGN: 100% The rocket ship in this movie was recycled from the 1930 film, Just Imagine, but the use of sparklers to provide illumination was a true innovation. George Lucas was inspired by these effects and wanted to remake Flash Gordon. Thank goodness he couldn't get the license or we might not have had Star Wars. COOL FACTOR: 43% INNOVATION: 50% The first spaceship brought to life by special effects was in 1902 with Georges Méliès A Trip to The Moon. To achieve these groundbreaking effects, Méliès leveraged his extensive knowledge of set design along with an innovative system of pulleys that he There were actually two saucers used in this iconic film: an eight-foot model and a miniature. To achieve the special effects, the production team relied heavily on putty and clever camera angles. DESIGN: 38% COMPUTER 0% GRAPHICS: - INNOVATION: 40% COOL FACTOR: 83% COMPUTER 0% GRAPHICS: - DESIGN: 92% INNOVATION: 100% engineered himself. COMPUTER 0% GRAPHICS: 4 1968 5 1977 SHIP: Discovery 1 MOVIE: 2001: A Space Odyssey DIRECTOR: Stanley Kubrick SPECIAL EFFECTS: MGM SHIP: Mothership MOVIE: Close Encounters of the Third Kind DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg SPECIAL EFFECTS: Future General Corporation - COOL FACTOR: 93% Not only did this legendary spaceship show what could be achieved without computer graphics, 2001 pioneered the use of front projection, a precursor to green screens. To film the spacecraft, the team used a series of motors and DESIGN; 100% INNOVATION: 95% This unique mothership was inspired by oil rigs in India, as seen through the eyes of Steven Spielberg. Equal credit goes to Douglas Trumbull, special effects supervisor and inventor of Magicam, an analog equivalent to today's virtual production techniques. COMPUTER 0% GRAPHICS: live-action projection. - COOL FACTOR: 99% 19867 DESIGN: 100% - INNOVATION: 95% SHIP: Sulaco MOVIE: Aliens DIRECTOR: James Cameron SPECIAL EFFECTS: Fantasy II Film Effects, L.A. Effects Group, Peerless Camera Company, Stan Winston Studio - COMPUTER GRAPHICS: 0% -6 1977 SHIP: Millennium Falcon MOVIE: Star Wars DIRECTOR: George Lucas SPECIAL EFFECTS: Industrial Light & Magic Cameron envisioned the Sulaco as a shark-like submarine, a militaristic contrast from the organic Nostromo seen in Alien. The team on this Academy Award-winning film used six-foot tall miniature models to achieve their special effects. Techniques like rear projection, mirrors, beam splitters, camera splits and foreground miniatures were used to achieve the grand scale of the ship. - COOL FACTOR: 88% DESIGN: 75% INNOVATION: 80% There are dozens of iconic ships in the Star Wars universe but only the scrappy Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Pioneering modern day computer special effects, the team at Industrial Light & Magic invented the precise, computerized motion photography that took the use of miniatures and models to the next level. Urban legend has it that the 'Falcon was inspired by a half-eaten burger and an olive-on-a-toothpick, which led ILM staff to call it "the Porkburger." COMPUTER GRAPHICS: 0% .8 1996 - COOL FACTOR: 100% DESIGN: 85% INNOVATION: 90% SHIP: City Destroyer MOVIE: Independence Day DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich SPECIAL EFFECTS: 20th Century Fox Digital Unit, Digiscope, Hunter / Gratzner Industries, Matte World Digital, et. al. COMPUTER GRAPHICS: 0% COOL FACTOR: 93% 90% of Curaón's masterpiece, Gravity, was generated through computer graphics. Even the glass on the characters' helmets aren't real. Tim Webber, VFX Supervisor at Framestore, said that if Gravity was rendered on a single core machine with a single processor it would have had to start in 5,000 B.C. to be completed on time. A signature innovation was the 20 x 10ft "light box" that used over 4,000 LED lights to project high-resolution graphics and color against the actors. Independence Day used over 3,000 special effect shots and still holds the record for most miniature models used in any film. Emmerich's VFX team relied heavily on in-camera special effects including model spaceships, cityscapes and landmarks. DESIGN: 90% 201310 INNOVATION:90% COMPUTER GRAPHICS: 0% SHIP: International Space Station MOVIE: Gravity DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón SPECIAL EFFECTS: Framestore 2009 - COOL FACTOR: 95% - DESIGN: 45% SHIP: USS Enterprise NCC-1701 MOVIE: Star Trek DIRECTOR: J. J. Abrams SPECIAL EFFECTS: Industrial Light & Magic INNOVATION: 100% COMPUTER 100% GRAPHICS: J. J. Abrams gave Industrial Light & Magic a simple directive: turn the USS Enterprise into a hot-rod. He also gave them a lot of leeway in preserving the classic look of the ship. Although the new Enterprise, is completely computer-generated, the paint mimicked the original 1979 practical model. It contained small amounts of mica to alter the color depending on the camera angle. - COOL FACTOR: 88% DESIGN: 80% INNOVATION: 50% COMPUTER GRAPHICS: 100% 0O ANIMATION MENTOR® The Online School of Animation and VFXTM Sources:,

10 Coolest Special Effects Spaceships

shared by animationmentorstaff on Nov 21
We are nerds here at Animation Mentor, we teach animation and visual effects. To give some inspiration to our tribe of students, we produced this infographic to show how visual effects has evolved ove...


Rachel Ito


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